When the Indiana Pacers fired Nate McMillan following the team’s four game sweep out of the Orlando bubble at the hands of the Miami Heat, President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said it was going to be a long-term process to find a replacement.
Now with almost two months passed by since the Pacers came home, high profile coaches such as Doc Rivers and Billy Donovan have been hired by the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls.
Former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni had been listed as a likely candidate to come to the 317, but on The Fan Morning Show Thursday morning, the host of the Fieldhouse Files Podcast Scott Agness said that may not be the case anymore.
“D’Antoni is a name that has kind of faded here,” Agness said. “It’s grown to not be one that I would expect.”
Interestingly, Agness told Jeff Rickard and Big Joe that the Pacers may have a plan to not only bring in a new head coach, but also to bring in an associate coach from the same place. For example, if D’Antoni was hired, Chauncey Billups may be an option for his associate position.
“It’s seeming more likely that they hire two people from their list of candidates,” Agness mentioned. “That’s kind of the vibe I’m getting here, where you would hire the head coach and then perhaps their top assistant.”
Agness said two Miami assistant coaches are high on the list in Dan Craig and Chris Quinn.
Whoever the next head coach is, they are going to have an important role in developing the young Pacers talent drafted in the last few years like Aaron Holiday and Goga Bitadze. Agness discussed how Indiana has not hit big on a top draft pick often, and coaching will be key.
“(Holiday) is a guy that will really benefit from a little more stability,” Agness added. “You look around the small market teams and you have to hit on a big prospect like Tyler Herro.”
If you add the uncertain status of Victor Oladipo over the last month, Pritchard has a massive decision to make regarding the near future of the franchise.
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