Pat Delany

Pacers Identify 14 Head Coaching Candidates

The Pacers are set to begin a wide-ranging search for a head coach that will include more than a dozen candidates, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski details, Indiana is looking to interview the following candidates as the team seeks a replacement for Nate McMillan:

  • Former Kings and Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
  • Timberwolves associate head coach David Vanterpool
  • Nets associate head coach Jacque Vaughn
  • Trail Blazers associate head coach Nate Tibbetts
  • Spurs assistants Becky Hammon and Will Hardy
  • Heat assistants Dan Craig and Chris Quinn
  • Mavericks assistants Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas
  • Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee
  • Sixers assistant Ime Udoka
  • Magic assistant Pat Delany

It remains to be seen whether the Pacers will be granted permission to speak with all of their potential targets. If they do, the team’s first round of virtual meetings would feature at least 14 interviews.

Many of the Pacers’ coaching candidates identified by Wojnarowski have been linked to other vacancies around the league. Vanterpool, Craig, Mosley, Silas, Ham, and Udoka, for example, are all believed to be interviewing for the Bulls’ job. Udoka and Ham have also been mentioned as potential 76ers candidates, as has Joerger. Vaughn was seriously considered for the Nets job before the team hired Steve Nash, while Hardy and Delany interviewed with the Knicks before they hired Tom Thibodeau.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Others on Indiana’s list, such as Tibbetts and Hammon, have interviewed in past years for various NBA head coaching openings. Only a couple candidates – Quinn and Lee – haven’t received head coaching consideration in the past, as far as I can tell. Meanwhile, Joerger and Vaughn are the only names on the list with previous head coaching experience.

Mike D’Antoni has also been mentioned as a potential target for the Pacers, but he remains active in the postseason with the Rockets and there’s no guarantee he’ll leave Houston when his contract expires.

Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has spoken about wanting to hire a head coach who takes a “modern approach” to the game and has the ability to connect with younger players. McMillan’s old-school approach to offense was believed to be one reason why Indiana made a change.

Knicks Plan To Interview Udoka, Others For Head Coach Job

4:58pm: The Knicks are also expected to interview Bulls assistant Chris Fleming, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who hears that the club will likely meet with about eight-to-10 candidates in total. Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link) hears that Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is among those who could interview with the Knicks too, though that’s not yet confirmed.

3:54pm: In addition to meeting with Udoka, the Knicks also plan to interview Magic assistant Pat Delany, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). A former G League head coach for Miami’s affiliate, Delany has spent six years as an assistant coach under Steve Clifford, first in Charlotte and now in Orlando.

3:39pm: The Knicks intend to interview Sixers assistant Ime Udoka for their head coaching vacancy, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Udoka joins a list of candidates that includes Tom Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Woodson, and Mike Miller. Atkinson reportedly has some support within the Knicks’ organization, though Thibodeau is considered the frontrunner. Woodson and Miller are also expected to interview — if they haven’t already.

Udoka, 42, enjoyed a seven-year playing career that ended in 2011 after suiting up for the Spurs, Trail Blazers, Kings, Knicks and Lakers. He was part of Gregg Popovich‘s staff in San Antonio for seven seasons before joining the 76ers last spring. Udoka also interviewed for the Cavaliers’ head coaching job last year before the team hired John Beilen.

Interestingly, Udoka was recently reported to be a leading candidate for the Bulls’ head coaching job in the event that they move on from Jim Boylen. It’s not clear whether New York’s apparent interest in Udoka will prompt Chicago to accelerate its evaluation process with Boylen at all.

Southeast Notes: Chalmers, Magic, Foster, Hawks

Free agents and former Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers have been working out together in Miami, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports. They were Miami’s starting backcourt during its championship runs in 2012 and 2013. Wade finished last season with the Heat, while Chalmers played for the Grizzlies. They have been working out at DBC Fitness, a Miami gym run by David Alexander, one of LeBron James trainers, Winderman notes.

In other news around the Southeast Division:

  • New Magic coach Steve Clifford is bringing in two of his former Hornets assistants in Pat Delany and Steve Hetzel, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Both worked under Clifford the past four seasons. New Knicks coach David Fizdale was interested in bringing on Delany to his staff, Stein adds.
  • Greg Foster will join the staff of new Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Foster had been an assistant with the Bucks since 2014.
  • Georgia forward Yante Maten is among the draft prospects the Hawks will work out on Tuesday, according to a team release. Elijah Stewart (USC), Isaiah Wilkins (Virginia), Melvin Frazier (Tulane), Elijah Brown (Oregon) and Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) are also scheduled to visit.

Knicks Notes: Smart, Porzingis, Delany, Draft

Grizzlies assistant Keith Smart is expected to become a top assistant on David Fizdale’s staff with the Knicks, tweets ESPN’s Ian Begley. Smart was an assistant with Fizdale for two years in Miami and came to Memphis with him when he was hired as head coach in 2016.

Smart, who appeared in just two NBA games as a player, began his coaching career in 2000. He has also been an assistant with the Cavaliers, Warriors and Kings and eventually became head coach of all three franchises, compiling a 93-170 career record.

J.B. Bickerstaff, who recently had his interim tag removed by the Grizzlies, has started interviewing potential replacements in anticipation of Smart’s departure, according to Begley.

There’s more today from New York:

  • Fizdale met Friday with Janis Porzingis, the older brother and agent for Kristaps Porzingis, relays Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Fizdale is hoping to travel to Latvia this summer to talk with the Knicks’ star, who is currently rehabbing his left knee in Spain. Fizdale is working to repair a damaged relationship, Isola adds, as Porzingis has been losing faith in the front office, the Knicks’ medical staff and former coach Jeff Hornacek. In Friday’s meeting, Fizdale reportedly addressed his issues with Marc Gasol in Memphis and a reputation that he doesn’t deal well with foreign-born players.
  • Pat Delany, who also worked with Fizdale in Miami, could be another addition to the coaching staff, Isola adds. Delany has been with the Hornets the past four seasons.
  • Small forward is an obvious position of need for the Knicks, but they plan to approach the ninth pick in this year’s draft with a best-player-available philosophy, writes Chris Iseman of NorthJersey.com. Wing players Miles Bridges and Kevin Knox met with the Knicks during the draft combine, but so did point guards Collin Sexton and Trae Young, even though New York drafted Frank Ntilikina in the first round last year. “There’s no secret that we can use help on the wing,” GM Scott Perry said. “But at the end of the day I think we’re still in that talent-acquisition mode. If that happens to be at No. 9 a wing player, great. If we feel the most talented guy clearly is at another position then we got to look at that direction as well.”

Hornets Notes: Hayward, Roberts, Delany

Somewhat lost amid the shuffle of a three-team trade and the latest updates on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony is Tuesday’s late-night agreement between the Hornets and restricted free agent Gordon Hayward on a max offer sheet. The Jazz are reportedly determined to match, so it doesn’t seem as though Hayward will end up in Charlotte. Still, the net effect could be a jump in the value of fellow restricted free agent small forward Chandler Parsons, making it harder for the Rockets to hang on to him, argues Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Here’s more on Hayward and the Hornets:

  • Hayward intended to meet with the Suns before he decided instead to commit to the offer sheet from the Hornets, a source tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • The Hornets are planning a visit with free agent point guard Brian Roberts, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. He’s No. 1 on Charlotte’s wish list as it searches for a backup point guard to Kemba Walker, Wojnarowski adds.
  • Pat Delany has officially joined the team as an assistant coach, the Hornets announced. He had been serving as the coach of the Heat’s D-League affiliate.

Eastern Notes: Kerr, Anthony, Jackson

Steve Kerr is seeking a five-year deal worth $30MM from the Knicks, notes Matt Moore of CBSSports.com. The article speculates that Kerr wants his deal to be the same length as Phil Jackson‘s, and he wants a salary comparable to Mike D’Antoni‘s $6MM per season when he was the team’s head coach. Kerr is expected to decide next week if he’ll become the next coach of the Knicks.

More from the east:

  • The main storyline in New York this summer is going to be whether or not Carmelo Anthony re-signs with the team. Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t sure if ‘Melo will be a Knick next season, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Stoudemire said, “My gut feeling is that Carmelo will be staying. That’s my gut feeling right now today but I’m not totally sure.”
  • Pat Delany, who coached the Sioux Falls Skyforce to the NBA D-League’s playoff semi-finals, has joined the Heat‘s playoff coaching staff, reports Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).
  • The Pistons should give Mark Jackson serious consideration for their vacant head coaching position, writes Perry A. Farrell of The Detroit Free Press. Jackson’s career situation reminds Farrell of Rick Carlisle‘s when he was fired after winning 100 games in two seasons with the Pistons, partly due to how he treated people in the team’s administration.

Odds & Ends: Joseph, West, Delany, Wiggins

Here are a few odds and ends from around the NBA on Wednesday night:

  • Kris Joseph, who was waived last month by the Celtics, is weighing international offers in Italy, Russia and France as well as a few NBA invites, tweets Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest. 
  • Haynes also tweets that free agent guard Delonte West has impressed at a coach's camp in Las Vegas.  West, who spent some time in the D-League last year, hasn't played in the NBA since his 2011/12 campaign with the Mavericks.  West has also played with the Celtics and Cavs. 
  • The Heat have named advance scout Pat Delany the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 
  • Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM evaluates the prospects of the eight 2010 first-round picks that are currently not on NBA rosters – Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Luke Babbitt, Craig Brackins, Elliot Williams, Damion James, Dominique Jones and Lazar Hayward.
  • Andrew Wiggins has the potential to single-handedly turn around an NBA franchise, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, adding that his ceiling has teams lining up to better their chances for his services. Kennedy names the Sixers, Magic, Suns, Bobcats, Kings and Jazz as the six teams who have positioned themselves for Wiggins, and Celtics and Raptors as outside possibilities.