Hawks big man Al Horford is entering the final season of his current deal and will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. But Horford’s eye is on the coming season, and he won’t discuss his future until next summer, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution relays. “My focus right now is to get better individually and help our team be the best team that we can be,” Horford said. “I have the same mindset and that is to help our team win and put us in a good position and try to be better. As far as the contract stuff, I’m going to wait until the season is over. I’m not going to let that linger and be a distraction. The focus is to be on the Hawks, on our team and getting better. Once the season ends, we’ll be able to sit down and talk and figure out all of that.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- The NBA officially announced today that Kiki Vandeweghe has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations for the league, a move that had seemed likely for months. He moves up from vice president of basketball ops and replaces the retiring Rod Thorn. Vandeweghe’s new position puts him in charge of player discipline, among other duties. “Kiki is one of the sharpest basketball minds in the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “In addition to his storied UCLA and NBA playing career plus his extensive experience as a general manager, coach, and TV analyst, he has most recently helped drive innovations in analytics that are reshaping the league in areas such as scheduling, game statistics, and player health.”
- Myles Turner has transformed from an injured high school junior who was an afterthought to college recruiters into a candidate to start at center for the Pacers this season, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. This year’s No. 11 overall pick performed well at summer league, leading to some thought of him as a Rookie of the Year contender, but coach Frank Vogel has reminded the big man not to get carried away, as Turner tells Kennedy.
- The Rockets have officially hired Matt Brase as the coach of Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced (via Twitter). Brase replaces former coach Nevada Smith, who spent two seasons with the Vipers and compiled an overall record of 60-46, including a mark of 27-23 last season.