Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue continues to make the rounds on the interview circuit as he seeks his next head coaching opportunity in the NBA. Per a Twitter report from The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, he will meet with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday regarding their current vacancy. You can view Charania’s tweet here.
Lue has been considered a top candidate to fill a number of coaching vacancies around the league this summer. As shared by The Inquisitr in August, there was reportedly mutual interest between him and the Philadelphia 76ers after the franchise elected to move on from Brett Brown. Since that time, however, the coaching landscape has changed significantly.
Per ESPN, the Sixers reportedly reached agreement on a five-year pact with Lue’s former Clippers boss, Doc Rivers, on Thursday.
Nevertheless, it seems to be a matter of when — and not if — Lue will return to the top spot on the sidelines for an NBA team, given his previous track record as a head coach and the current momentum on the open market. As tweeted by The New York Times‘ Marc Stein, Lue is thought to be the early favorite to replace Rivers in Los Angeles. His post can be viewed here.
Before joining the Clippers’ bench, the 43-year-old reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2016, winning a championship while at the helm of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over parts of four seasons with the club, he also compiled a 120-83 record and advanced to two additional Finals. However, he was ultimately fired by the Cavs just six games into the 2018-19 campaign as the organization transitioned to a full-scale rebuild.
In addition to his experience on the sidelines, Lue spent a number of years in the NBA as a player. He entered the league with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1998, eventually winning two championships with the franchise before moving on to the Washington Wizards. The six-foot-tall, 180-pound point guard played for five other teams during his career, including a four-year stint with the Atlanta Hawks, before retiring in 2009.
Over 554 career games played, he averaged 8.5 points and 3.1 assists per contest, according to Basketball-Reference.
Although he would inherit a potential title contender in L.A. and a roster featuring perennial All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Pelicans’ job has clear perks of its own. New Orleans’ roster boasts a cadre of talented, young players, including Brandon Ingram, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason, last year’s No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and former No. 2 overall selection Lonzo Ball.
The team had been considered a potential postseason challenger ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, but ultimately stumbled out of the gate and didn’t play well enough during the league’s Orlando, Florida, bubble restart to make up the ground that it needed to. As a result, New Orleans chose to part ways with Alvin Gentry.
NBC Sports‘ Dan Feldman reported that the Pelicans would likely have to outspend the competition in a potential contract offer to keep Lue’s current club from promoting him.