The Indiana Pacers will be casting a wide net in their search for a new head coach before the start of the 2020-21 season. Indiana parted ways with Nate McMillan after getting swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat, and will reportedly be interviewing over a dozen candidates to lead this young, talented team into a new era. 

Among the names on that list, the Pacers intend to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon for the position, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This wouldn’t be the first time the former WNBA All-Star has received interest as a head coach. Since taking a coaching position with the Spurs in 2014, Hammon has been elevated to the top assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff. Hammon has also coached the Spurs’ summer league team a handful of times, including to a championship in 2015. She was also previously interviewed for the Bucks’ head-coaching position before Milwaukee chose to go with Mike Budenholzer to replace Jason Kidd.

In addition to Hammon, the Pacers will also conduct a first round of interviews with former Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger, who was let go by Sacramento at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. Joerger didn’t have much success with the Kings in the three seasons he was there (98-148), but his time as the head coach of the Grizzlies (147-99) indicates that he can lead a team to success. In each of the three seasons he was in charge in Memphis, Joerger led the Grit-n-Grind Grizzlies to three straight postseason appearances, but never made it past the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. 

Aside from Hammon and Joerger, the Pacers will also look at a slew of assistant coaches across the league, including Spurs assistant Will Hardy, Miami Heat’s Dan Craig and Chris Quinn, Mavericks’ Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas, Bucks’ Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, Magic’s Pat Delany, Timberwolves’ David Vanterpool, Sixers’ Ime Udoka, Nets’ Jacque Vaughn and Trail Blazers’ Nate Tibbetts. 

Several names on that list, including Ham and Udoka, have garnered interest from several teams with coaching vacancies, while both of Dallas’ assistants have been considered to be in line for head-coaching gigs for some time. It’s unclear if Vaughn will interview with other teams as the Nets announced that he would remain an assistant on their staff after the franchise hired Steve Nash to be the new head coach. Vaughn was the interim head coach for Brooklyn since March, after the team parted ways with Kenny Atkinson. Vaughn led the incredibly shorthanded Nets to the postseason, where the team lost in the first round to the Toronto Raptors. He was being considered for the Nets’ coaching vacancy, but the team ultimately went with Nash instead. 

The Pacers will have plenty of notable candidates to choose from for their next head coach, and this job will be a desired one, as the team already has the talent to make the playoffs consistently, now it just needs the right coach to get over the hump of making it past the first round.  

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