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Alvin Gentry hired as new Pelicans head coach

The Pelicans settled on the Warriors' lead assistant to take over for Monty Williams.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans have hired Alvin Gentry to be their next head coach, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The former Phoenix Suns head coach spent this year as Steve Kerr's lead assistant with the Golden State Warriors.

The team officially made the announcement late Saturday night.

"Alvin is a well-respected coach that brings many years of experience, a wealth of knowledge, creativity and leadership," general manager Dell Demps said in a statement. "Alvin and I have a shared vision and we look forward to working together in achieving sustained success for Pelican fans and the New Orleans community."

Gentry gets a four-year contract with New Orleans worth $13.75 million, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo, which includes a $4 million team option in the final season of the deal.

Gentry emerged as the choice over several prominent candidates, including ESPN TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy and former Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. Fired Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was expected to become a candidate, but the Pelicans chose Gentry instead after interviewing him twice.

Gentry has a 335-370 career record as a head coach, though that's skewed by many different interim stints. He experienced success in his most recent job as the Suns' lead man, taking them to the Western Conference Finals in 2009-10.

After being fired in 2012-13, Gentry spent a year as a lead assistant for the Clippers before serving in the same role for the Warriors. He will continue in his current position through the NBA Finals before taking over in New Orleans.

Gentry is known for being an offensive-minded coach with a gift for relating to his players. Anthony Davis in particular will love playing for him. He served an essential role in the Warriors' reconstructed offense and helped Kerr transition into his first head coaching job. But it remains to be seen if he can coax a better defensive effort out of a Pelicans team that finished just 22nd in defensive efficiency despite having Davis and Omer Asik up front.

Gentry replaces Monty Williams, who compiled a 173-221 record in five seasons on the job.