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New Orleans Pelicans fire Monty Williams, create another coaching vacancy

Tuesday's move brings the number of available NBA head-coaching gigs to three.

Pierre the Pelican
Pierre the Pelican
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic opened Tuesday as one of two NBA teams with an available head-coaching position. That number increased to three when the New Orleans Pelicans announced they've fired coach Monty Williams.

In five seasons coaching the New Orleans franchise, Williams compiled a 173-221 (.439) record. He guided the Pelicans to a 45-37 record and a playoff berth in the 2014/15 season, but the Golden State Warriors swept them out of the first round of the playoffs.

More Pelicans coverage: The Bird Writes

Reports suggest the Magic have identified Tom Thibodeau, currently of the Chicago Bulls, as their top target for head coach. What bearing Williams' firing has on that possible development is unclear.

In February, Orlando parted ways with Jacque Vaughn after two-plus seasons. James Borrego, Vaughn's top assistant, coached out the string with a 10-20 record. All indications are the Magic will grant Borrego an interview, and Borrego himself has said he'd welcome the opportunity to coach the club for a full season.

Interestingly, both Williams and Vaughn come from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree, having served as assistants to Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs. Both men also played for the Magic, but not at the same time.

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