Tyronn Lue Choosing Between Sixers, Nets And Pelicans?
Tyronn Lue has quietly become the hottest head coaching candidate around over the past few weeks.
Although he is currently serving as an assistant to Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers, Lue getting the opportunity to claim a head coaching position next season is all but inevitable.
Between his championship pedigree, proven ability to coach stars, and general reputation in the league, Lue is viewed as a favorite to land with a premiere franchise in 2020-21.
The question now is: where will he go?
Tyronn Lue Has 3 Real Options
At this point, Lue has three very legitimate choices to pick from, and each comes with its own set of positives and negatives.
With one NBA title already on his resume, Lue has made it clear that he prioritizes the ability to win another as the biggest deciding factor when it comes to his next gig.
If he stays true to that, the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets would seem to be the two likeliest destinations for him.
The Sixers parted way with Brett Brown this past week after having him at the helm for seven seasons.
Over the course of his stint with the organization, Brown helped take Philly from league punchline to one Kawhi Leonard shot away from the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately, things fell apart for him and the Sixers in 2020 – culminating in a first round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics and his eventual termination.
Elton Brand and the rest of the Sixers’ front office is said to be very high on Lue, so the organization will make a serious push to acquire his services.
The Sixers will run a coaching search and talk to multiple candidates, but the interest in Clippers assistant Ty Lue is expected to be mutual, sources said. The Sixers cornerstone talent and resources are intriguing to candidates, including Lue. https://t.co/zsFgutqSCG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 24, 2020
The Nets are another team that has serious interest in Lue.
Jacque Vaughn served as head coach in an interim capacity following the departure of Kenny Atkinson, but nobody views him as the man to run a show starring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Brooklyn is planning to go all in on the prospect of stealing Gregg Popovich away from the San Antonio Spurs, but that is viewed in most NBA circles as a pipe dream.
The Brooklyn Nets are preparing to make a very serious push for current San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovichhttps://t.co/Ni1nbFXiR0
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 17, 2020
If that doesn’t work out, however, the franchise would go with someone like Lue as Plan B.
“League sources say Durant and Irving are interested in a higher profile head coach, along the lines of Tyronn Lue or Gregg Popovich,” ESPN NBA insider Jackie MacMullan reported.
If Lue is serious about winning another NBA title, going with either the Sixers or Nets would be the logical choice.
However, if he is interested in more of a rebuilding project with a lot of upside, the 43-year-old could take a serious look at the New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans parted ways with Alvin Gentry earlier this month after the team failed to make the playoffs. The move was a long time coming, and left one of the NBA’s most promising young teams rudderless.
While Lue would obviously not be a championship favorite with the Pelicans, he would immediately have the opportunity to build something special with 20-year-old Zion Williamson and 22-year-old Brandon Ingram.
Plus, it would reunite him with David Griffin, who was so impressed by him that he made Lue the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA at the time.
There is something to be said for not having to step into already-built perceived contenders with the pressure of winning immediately. Both the Sixers and Nets have flawed rosters, yet Lue would not have that excuse to fall back on if he failed to execute with them.
With New Orleans, meanwhile, there would be more patience. Less pressure. Higher potential reward.
It remains to be seen who Lue will ultimately sign with, but what is clear is that he is obviously the most sought-after name in the coaching ranks this year. He will have his pick of where he wants to land.
Will he make the right choice? Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.