Stan Van Gundy is out after just one season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez, Van Gundy and Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin had talks for weeks before this decision was made.
"On behalf of Mrs. Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization, I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team," Griffin said in a release.
"This was a difficult decision as I have tremendous respect for Stan both personally and professionally, but we agreed it is in the best interest of our team to move forward in a different direction. We wish Stan, Kim and their family all the best in the future."
MORE: What's next for the Pelicans?
New Orleans finished with a 31-41 record this season, missing the Play-In Tournament for the second straight season. Expectations coming into the season, whether warranted or not, were much higher than what the Pelicans achieved.
The Pelicans are expected to consider Brooklyn Nets assistants Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Hall of Famer and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd to replace Van Gundy, according to ESPN.
The Athletic's Will Guillory added that current Pelicans assistant Teresa Weatherspoon is expected to be a serious candidate for the vacancy as well.
Looking ahead, the Pelicans will likely hope for some stability at the coaching position. This will be the third head coach that their budding superstar Zion Williamson will have in just his third season in the NBA.
Whether or not the 20-year-old will have a say in the coaching search remains to be seen, but the new bench boss will likely have to have a plan in place to maximize the Pelicans' potential around Williamson.
More to come.
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