New Orleans Pelicans: Stan Van Gundy must hire assistant coaches… now

Stan Van Gundy needs to fill out his staff as the season approaches quickly for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans spent most of the offseason in a holding pattern after firing coach Alvin Gentry in August. After months of speculation, they finally hired Stan Van Gundy. Just in time.

The NBA Draft is coming up on November 18th and there are now reports that free agency may come before the draft and not after. Either way, it doesn’t leave the New Orleans Pelicans much time.

This is especially true since it was announced that Jamele McMillan, the assistant coach in charge of player development, was not returning with the team.

It is also unlikely that Chris Finch returns, leaving the Pelicans with just two assistant coaches, the recently hired Bob Beyer and Fred Vinson, the shooting coach who was retained.

New Orleans Pelicans: Time for Stan Van Gundy to hire assistant coaches

With training camp starting in less than a month, and real games 22 days after that, it is imperative that the New Orleans Pelicans get to work and that includes hiring assistant coaches.

Losing your player development coach this late in the offseason when you have a young team with a new head coach is no small thing. The players liked and trusted McMillan, which is why it is important for Stan Van Gundy to hire the right guy and do it now.

The Pels have a lot of work to do on defense, limiting turnovers and improving in crunch time, areas that assistant coaches can help. But they need time to get to know the players, to acclimate to their new cities and to get on board with Stan Van Gundy’s plans.

That’s a tall order with only nine days before the draft and possibly fewer before free agency starts. It would be smart for SVG to bring in some assistants who the players know and like, someone like Sam Cassell from the Clippers.

Either way, it’s time to get to work, so the New Orleans Pelicans and Stan Van Gundy need to announce his assistant coaches this week.