Source: Pacers finalizing deal to make Nate McMillan head coach

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Indiana Pacers are working to complete a deal to make assistant Nate McMillan the team's new head coach, a source told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.

The Vertical first reported Saturday that the two sides were finalizing a deal.

The Pacers chose not to renew Frank Vogel's contract last week after the team's Game 7 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.

McMillan also interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Sacramento Kings, who hired Dave Joerger earlier in the week.

The 51-year-old McMillan has been an assistant coach with Indiana since 2013. He previously was head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2005 to 2012 and the Seattle SuperSonics from 2000 to 2005.

His ties to Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard extend to their days in Portland, where Pritchard was GM from 2007 to 2010.

Vogel had a 250-181 regular-season record and a 31-30 playoff record in six seasons as Pacers coach. In the 2015-16 regular season, the team averaged 102.2 points per game, which ranked 17th in the NBA. The Pacers scored 93.7 points per game in the playoffs, which was 12th out of 16 teams.

Pacers president Larry Bird has emphasized that he wants his team to play faster. McMillan, though, has a reputation as a defensive-minded coach.

"I'd like to score more points than what we're scoring," Bird said. "Defense with [assistant coach] Dan Burke has been great, like it has been every year. It's all about scoring points. If your defense is better, you don't have to score as many, but you'd like to score as many as you can."