The 2 best young coaches in the NBA are in the Pelicans' division

The 2 best young coaches in the NBA are in the Pelicans’ division

The New Orleans Pelicans finally got their guy when they hired Willie Green to be head coach.

The NBA coaching ranks are trending younger, with many of the coaches now in their 40’s, as a few outliers like Gregg Popovic and Rick Carlisle hold it down for the older generation.

Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Stephen Silas, Wes Unseld Jr., JB Bickerstaff, Chauncey Billups, Jamahl Mosely and Ime Ukoka are all in their 40’s, while Willie Green is 40-years-old and Taylor Jenkins (37) and Mark Daigneault ( 36) are both in their 30’s.

Willie Green is certainly one of the rising stars of this group and many believe he will be one of the next great coaches in the NBA after taking the New Orleans Pelicans to the playoffs in his first season.

But there is a lot of talent in this group (and in the group of guys who are slightly older) so Willie Green is going to have some competition for best young coach, some of which will come from his own division.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Southwest Division is loaded with coaching talent

I’ve written that the Southwest Division is the future of the NBA, as it is loaded with young talent and MVP candidates (present and future) including Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, Dejounte Murray and Jalen Green.

But not all of the talent is on the floor, as the division is also stacked at coach led by Gregg Popovic, who is widely considered the greatest coach of all time and has led one of the most incredible sustained runs of success of any team in any sport.

You also have Jason Kidd (49), who took the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals this season.

You have Stephen Silas (48), considered an up-and-coming coach, who is trying to turn things around in Houston.

There’s Willie Green of course, who took the Pelicans to the playoffs in year one even though Zion Williamson was out and the team got out to a horrible start. Brandon Ingram also missed significant time and the Pels incorporated three rookies into their rotation. I thought all of these factors should have gotten Green some coach of the year buzz.

But Green’s chief young coaching rival in the Southwest is Taylor Jenkins (37) who led the Memphis Grizzlies to the second best record in the Western Conference this season before getting beaten by the Warriors in the second round.

With New Orleans and Memphis both having rosters that are ready to compete now and for years to come, the Green/Jenkins rivalry is going to be fun to watch, as both are smart coaches who are known for their in-game adjustments and knowing how to get the most from their players.

After three coaches in three years, it appears the New Orleans Pelicans finally got their guy, which is one off the reasons this offseason has been so drama free compared to the past.

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