Chris Finch might be leaving the New Orleans Pelicans for the Indiana Pacers
Here we are! It only took until October but things are finally starting to intensify in the NBA’s coaching carousel. In the past few weeks, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Philadelphia found their new head coaches while teams like the New Orleans Pelicans are beginning formal interviews with candidates.
Unfortunately, the Pelicans aren’t the only team looking for a coach, and other teams are targetting an assistant from within their organization. That’s right, NBA Insider Ardian Wojnarowski is reporting that Pelicans assistant coach Chris Finch is in the running for the Indiana Pacers’ head coaching position.
This interview comes as no surprise for anyone who knows Chris Finch. If you talk to anyone in the New Orleans Pelicans organization, they’ll tell you that Finch is one of the brightest basketball minds they ever met. Team executive David Griffin even took time out of the team’s end of season press conference to praise to Finch.
That intellect along with the impact he’s had on the Pelicans offense is exactly why I profiled him a few months ago as a potential internal option for the team’s next head coach. It’s also why it’d be such a devasting blow for the team to lose him.
In my eyes, I believe the organization wants to keep Finch around and even views him as a potential head coach in the future. They love Finch’s offensive strategies and his impact on improving the team’s young players but he might not be ready to lead the Pelicans yet.
I think the organization plans to hire a coach who’s a mentor with a defensive background and then potentially give Finch the reigns down the line when he has more experience. This is a strategy David Griffin used in the past with Tyronn Lue under David Blatt. It’s also seen historically with Doug Collins and Phil Jackson on the Chicago Bulls.
It’s a shrewd concept but it won’t work if the Indiana Pacers are blown away by Finch’s interview. Luckily at the moment, Finch isn’t the leading candidate for the Pacers job but with his extensive background overseas and knowledge of schemes who’s to say that the Pacers don’t end up believing he’s the next Nick Nurse?
This makes the Indiana Pacers’ head coaching search worth monitoring. A lot of New Orleans Pelicans fans may not know who Chris Finch is, but his impact on the organization is something hard to replace.