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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Stan Van Gundy hired by New Orleans Pelicans

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Former Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has been hired by the New Orleans Pelicans, multiple outlets reported Monday, one day after Frank Vogel and Dwane Casey departed the franchise after disappointing seasons.

The hiring of Van Gundy as a finalist to become the Orlando Magic’s head coach and president of basketball operations in June was conditional on Van Gundy revamping the Pistons’ roster, the New York Times reported. Van Gundy has more experience with young, talented players than most NBA coaches, including Dwight Howard with the Lakers and Kevin Garnett with the Timberwolves.

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The Pelicans are in rebuild mode and have undergone four coaches in the past five seasons, since a run to the NBA Finals in 2014.

New Orleans also has lost four consecutive games, including two of four to the Philadelphia 76ers and two to the Golden State Warriors.

The Pelicans will bring back James Young and Julius Randle, respectively. Young may play some small forward with shooting guard Buddy Hield likely to rejoin the roster after spending time overseas.

The Pelicans also could bring in former NBA player and NBA official Anthony Phillips to help them in personnel matters, sources told ESPN.

A former Lakers guard, Van Gundy ranks fourth on the NBA’s career wins percentage list at .647 and guided the Magic to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013-14, losing to the Heat in seven games.

New Orleans also received guard Ramon Sessions from Atlanta on a sign-and-trade deal, the team announced, and signed center Lamar Patterson, the source said.

Detroit beat the Jazz on Sunday for its 10th consecutive win, but another less-than-memorable season. Van Gundy coached the Pistons to the NBA Finals in 2009, but they struggled for a second straight season last year and cut his contract short.

Van Gundy said in June he expects the Pistons to make the playoffs again.

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