Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders passed away at the age of 60. Saunders had been battling the effects of cancer treatment and his health situation became dire earlier this month. Changes to way that Saunders‘ body had responded to chemotherapy for Hodgkins’ Lymphoma placed him in a life-threatening situation.
The Wolves had called the ailment a “very treatable and curable form of cancer” in August, when they announced his diagnosis along with the news that Saunders would continue his duties as head coach and president of basketball operations. A shift occurred last month, when Saunders took a leave of absence. Sam Mitchell has been coaching the team and GM Milt Newton running the team’s basketball operations since Saunders took his leave of absence. The team said at that point that he’d experienced complications related to the treatments he was receiving and that he was undergoing tests and further treatment at a hospital.
Saunders coached the Wizards, Pistons and Wolves in a career that spanned 17 seasons and included 654 victories. Saunders’ death was shocking and saddening to many around the league. Saunders was both well-liked and well-respected for a variety of reasons.
Here’s more from the week that was:
Free Agent Signings
- The Sixers signed Jordan Railey.
- The Pacers signed Terran Petteway.
- The Jazz signed Eric Atkins.
- The Pelicans signed Toney Douglas.
- Damien Wilkins, who was recently waived by the Hornets, signed a deal to play for Guaros de Lara of Venezuela.
- Ike Diogu signed with Guangdong Southern Tigers of Chinese Basketball Association.
- Thunder camp cut Julyan Stone signed with Gaziantep of Turkey.
- Scottie Wilbekin, who was waived by the Sixers, signed a two-year, $780K deal with the Turkish club Darussafaka.
You can stay up to date on all of the signings with Hoops Rumors’ free agent tracker.
- The Hawks waived Earl Barron and DeQuan Jones.
- The Cavaliers waived Quinn Cook.
- The Sixers waived J.P. Tokoto.
- The Heat waived John Lucas III, Keith Benson, Tre Kelley, Briante Weber and Greg Whittington.
- The Raptors waived Shannon Scott, Axel Toupane, Michale Kyser, and Ronald Roberts.
- The Pacers waived Kadeem Jack and C.J. Fair.
- The Sixers waived Pierre Jackson.
- The Wizards waived Josh Harrellson, Ish Smith, Jaron Johnson, Jaleel Roberts and Toure Murry.
- The Celtics waived Perry Jones III and Corey Walden.
- The Pistons waived Ryan Boatright.
- The Sixers waived Jordan Railey.
- The Pacers waived Terran Petteway.
- The Pacers waived Toney Douglas.
- The Sixers waived Jordan McRae.
- The Nets waived Justin Harper and Dahntay Jones.
- The Sixers waived Furkan Aldemir.
- The Pistons waived Danny Granger.
- The Sixers waived Scottie Wilbekin.
- The Timberwolves waived Lorenzo Brown, Kleon Penn, and Nick Wiggins.
- The Mavericks waived Samuel Dalembert.
- The Thunder waived Michael Cobbins and Mustapha Farrakhan.
- The Pelicans waived Jeff Adrien, as well as Bryce Dejean-Jones and Bo McCalebb.
- The Mavericks waived Brandon Ashley, Tu Holloway, and Jamil Wilson.
- The Spurs waived Julian Washburn.
- The Grizzlies waived Ryan Hollins.
- The Suns waived Henry Sims.
- The Rockets waived Joshua Smith and Arsalan Kazemi.
- The Nuggets waived Nick Johnson, Oleksiy Pecherov and Devin Sweetney.
- The Grizzlies waived Yakhouba Diawara, Sampson Carter, Lazeric Jones and Alex Stepheson.
- The Jazz waived Phil Pressey and Eric Atkins.
- The Mavericks waived Maurice Ndour.
- The Lakers waived Jabari Brown.
- The Pelicans waived Nate Robinson.
- The Magic exercised their rookie scale options on Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Shabazz Napier and Elfrid Payton.
- The Pistons exercised team options on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock.
- The Clippers exercised their third-year option on C.J. Wilcox.
- The Grizzlies exercised their third-year option on Jordan Adams.
- The Hawks exercised their rookie scale options on Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schröder.
- The Suns exercised their 2016/17 options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len and T.J. Warren.
- The Bucks exercised their rookie scale options for 2016/17 on Tyler Ennis, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams.
- The Spurs exercised their 2016/17 team option on Kyle Anderson.
- The Bulls exercised their third-year team option on Doug McDermott and fourth-year team option on Tony Snell.
- The Sixers exercised their team options for 2016/17 on Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Nik Stauskas.
- The Celtics exercised their third-year options on Marcus Smart and James Young, and their fourth-year option on Kelly Olynyk.
- Toure’ Murry will start the season in the D-League.
- The Hornets‘ new D-League team will be located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it will begin play in 2016/17.
- Coby Karl and Derrick Alston were officially hired by the Knicks‘ D-League affiliate in Westchester as assistant coaches.
- Cady Lalanne, who was selected by the Spurs with the No. 55 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, signed with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate.
- Knicks 2014 second-rounder Thanasis Antetokounmpo signed with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s D-League affiliate.
- Jimmer Fredette signed a D-League contract and will be eligible for the D-League draft.
- Perry Jones III and Jeff Ayres signed D-League contracts and entered the D-League draft.
- Michael Frazier, who was waived by the Lakers last week, signed with the team’s D-League affiliate.
- Jarell Eddie will rejoin the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s D-League affiliate.
- The Bulls are looking to start up their own D-League affiliate that would play in the Sears Center, which is located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
- Harrison Barnes decided against an extension with the Warriors and the sides called off talks. Barnes heads to restricted free agency in the summer of 2016.
- Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas are passing on signing rookie scale extensions with the Rockets and will instead set themselves up for restricted free agency this coming summer.
- The Pistons expect Jodie Meeks to miss the next 12 to 16 weeks as he recovers from a broken right foot.
- Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere has received NCAA eligibility to play the 2015/16 season.
- The YES Network and the Nets reportedly reached a new local television rights deal, the team announced. The agreement, which will kick in for the 2017/18 season, will give the team “substantially more” than $40MM a year and repair a revenue stream that lagged far behind local TV deals for other large-market teams.
- Hawks shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha will file a civil lawsuit against New York City, its police department and the officers involved for injuries suffered during his arrest outside a Manhattan night club in April.
- Agent Michael Tellem, the son of former agent turned Pistons organization executive Arn Tellem, is leaving the Wasserman Media Group for the Creative Artists Agency and taking high-profile client Danilo Gallinari with him.
- Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Raptors, hired Air Canada executive Michael Friisdahl as the new president and CEO.
- The Jazz named Linda Luchetti the team’s vice president of basketball operations.
- Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is close to acquiring majority control of the Nassau Coliseum.