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May 19, 2015 Updates

League sources said the Pelicans are willing to pay around $4 million to $5 million per season for Monty Williams' successor. Williams was fired last week after five seasons at the helm. But Calipari makes about $8 million annually and recently agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2022, which he hasn't yet signed. The $3 million gap in annual compensation is a major sticking point for Calipari, who would also want input on the Pelicans' roster, according to the source. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Pelicans have invited Chinese forward He Tianju to attend the NBA Summer League in July with an eye on drafting him. He's Chinese club Liaoning published the invite letter from Pelicans's director of player personnel David Booth on Tuesday, asking the 24-year-old to train from July 3 and play in games in Las Vegas on July 11 and 21. WTAQ News

May 18, 2015 Updates

New Orleans Pelicans president Mickey Loomis and general manager Dell Demps are meeting with Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry on Monday night in San Francisco, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Golden State granted permission for Gentry, the associate head coach, to interview for the head-coaching vacancy between playoff series, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

New Orleans has an interest in Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, but that intrigue belongs more with Loomis than Demps, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Thibodeau is waiting for the Bulls to initiate conversations about his future with the franchise, sources said. He has two years left on his contract. Loomis is an executive with the New Orleans Saints, and Thibodeau's tough-minded approach has an especially strong appeal to that part of the organization. Nevertheless, it is believed Demps is less inclined to want a strong-willed coach in the job, especially after so many internal battles with Williams. Demps was the driving force in pushing out Williams as coach, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

KC Johnson: Lot of chatter at draft combine that Pelicans would be hesitant to offer compensation for Thibodeau. Gentry interview supports that mindset. Doesn't necessarily mean Pelicans would hire Gentry obviously just that sentiment exists they'd rather wait to see what Bulls do first. Twitter @KCJHoop

The New Orleans Pelicans have ‎been granted permission to interview Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry for their coaching vacancy, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Gentry has emerged as one of the leading candidates for the position alongside Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who is widely expected to part company with the Bulls this offseason. ESPN.com

The Warriors, when asked about Gentry, declined comment Monday. It was not immediately clear how soon the interview will take place with the Warriors in the midst of a playoff run that pits them against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night. ESPN.com

May 16, 2015 Updates

Williams' low-approval rating with the fans didn't help, as he was booed by the fans at home games all the way up until the end. From this vantage point, that's an absolute joke considering what that team accomplished – 45 wins in the West and as competitive a first-round sweep as you'll ever see. This was a season-long sort of thing, one that flew under the national radar until I wrote about in this piece on Anthony Davis last month. The public pressure was clearly a factor here, and it reached yet another level when Williams made an honest and uncomfortable admission to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears: because of the way he'd been treated at the Smoothie King Center, he told his wife and five children to stop attending games so that they didn't have to experience all the negativity. It should be noted, though, that the fan voice would likely have fallen on deaf ears in the ownership and management ranks if the decision makers didn't hear some truth in these consistent complaints. USA Today Sports

Front office sources believe that if Hoiberg could be had, the Bulls would jump at the opportunity to then leverage the other head coaching openings -- New Orleans, Denver and Orlando, at the moment -- to extract draft-pick compensation for Thibodeau. But one thing the Bulls won't do, according to league sources, is let Thibodeau out of his contract for compensation without knowing they have a replacement who excites them. "That ain't happening," one of the people said. CBSSports.com

 

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