The New Orleans Pelicans dismissed coach Alvin Gentry, the team announced Saturday afternoon.
After a disappointing performance in the NBA's Orlando restart, the franchise moved quickly to remove Gentry, who had one year left on his contract.
Though the Pelicans won just two games after the restart, executive vice president David Griffin said a better showing would not have necessarily saved Gentry's job.
"Frankly, had we been more successful in the bubble, this could have still been the decision we made," Griffin said.
This will be an opportunity for Griffin to use the Pelicans' talented young roster -- including No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and All-Star Brandon Ingram -- as cornerstones to be aggressive in the coaching marketplace.
Among those coaches expected to be part of the Pelicans' search: Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, LA Clippers assistant Ty Lue and former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, sources said. The Pelicans are also expected to have an interest in Brooklyn interim coach Jacque Vaughn, should the Nets decide not to retain him, sources said.
Griffin (GM) and Lue (head coach) were together with the Cleveland Cavaliers when the franchise won an NBA title in 2016. Griffin has history with Kidd back to their days together with the Phoenix Suns.
Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon was the assistant GM with Brooklyn during Atkinson's successful tenure.
Despite all the existing ties to potential candidates, Griffin said the Pelicans' coaching search will not be a quick one.
"This is not a rush. We have a job that we believe is going to be the most attractive in the NBA, quite frankly," Griffin said. "With all of the candidates in the bubble, for the most part ... the candidates that you want to talk to are still with teams in many circumstances. The virus itself is going to dictate some of our timeline. This isn't solely going to be done via Zoom. Depending on when we're able to sit down and really know one another, we'll have more updates."
New Orleans hired Gentry in 2015 from Golden State's coaching staff, fresh off an NBA championship.
In Gentry's five seasons, the Pelicans went 175-225 but were often beset with injuries. Gentry was forced to use a combined 140 starting lineups in five seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the most of any team in the past five seasons and 11 more than the next-closest team (Dallas).
In Gentry's first season, he used 42 starting lineups -- the most in any one season over the past five years, according to Elias.
The 175 victories places Gentry second all-time in Hornets/Pelicans franchise history, trailing only Byron Scott. Gentry also leaves as the only coach in franchise history to have a winning record (5-4) in the playoffs.