Report: Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren faces uncertain future with team in ninth place

Jack Baer
·2 min read

Not all of the Indiana Pacers' struggles are Nate Bjorkgren's fault, but the coach reportedly isn't guaranteed to remain with the organization after this season.

Bjorkgren has "some significant work to do" with his relationships among players and members of the Pacers organizations amid an uncertain future, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Bjorkgren has reportedly showed a willingness to address the issues so far.

The Pacers hired Bjorkgren as their new head coach during last year's truncated offseason, replacing the fired Nate McMillan. In his first season in Indiana, the team is 30-34 and currently on track for a berth in the play-in tournament as the ninth place team in the Eastern Conference.

Bjorkgren joined the Pacers after two seasons as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors under Nick Nurse.

Bjorkgren's coaching style reportedly an issue for Pacers, but so are injuries

Indiana Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren gives instructions during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Could Nate Bjorkgren be a one-and-done as Pacers head coach? (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Wojnarowski claims Bjorkgren's style of coaching and communication on and off the court has been a major factor in the Pacers' struggles this year, though the team has also experienced major injury issues. Starters Myles Turner and T.J. Warren are both out for the season, while Caris LeVert missed two months while undergoing cancer treatments. All-Star Victor Oladipo was also traded away earlier in the season.

The Pacers entered this season hoping to build on a 45-28 season last year, but have instead taken a step back. Not helping things is McMillan turning the Atlanta Hawks around after taking over as interim head coach following the firing of Lloyd Pierce.

Basically, Bjorkgren appears to be on the hot seat, and changes are likely on the way whether he remains with the team or not. Bjorkgren reportedly has one more guaranteed year remaining on his three-year contract signed last offseason, with a decision to be made after the season.

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