The New Orleans Pelicans enter the 2023-24 season with significant expectations. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have struggled to stay healthy, but having two NBA All-Stars means pressure to win. The Pelicans made the playoffs in Willie Green’s first season but did not qualify last year. New Orleans was briefly one of the best teams in the league before things fell apart, and it is postseason or bust in 2024.
If the Pelicans fail to reach the playoffs, there will be significant changes. It could be time to split up their stars and significantly alter the composition of the roster. Head coach Willie Green will also be on the hot seat. He has gone 78-86 in his first two seasons, but the franchise has higher expectations than being a fringe playoff team.
If the Pelicans struggle early on, David Griffin and the front office may look to move on from Green. The head coach usually is first to take the blame and there are several marquee names available to take over. Would New Orleans be willing to pay for a top coach? They will have options and outside interest if they decide to fire the 42-year-old.
5. Jarron Collins
Collins is currently a Pelicans assistant, but he was one of three finalists for the Detroit Pistons head coaching job before the franchise convinced Monty Williams to take over.
The 44-year-old played a decade in the NBA, mostly as a backup big man for the Utah Jazz. He has been an assistant since 2014, including winning three championships with the Warriors before coming to New Orleans in 2021.
If the Pelicans move on from Willie Green, Jarron Collins is one of two obvious coaches on the bench to make the interim HC. It would be Collins’ first head coaching experience, but he is ready for that challenge. The New Orleans Pelicans would have plenty of outside interest too if the gig became available.