Several days after a report indicated that Stan Van Gundy was unlikely to return to head coaching for the 2013/14 season, Van Gundy himself confirmed the news to David Baumann of Sports Talk Florida. Van Gundy told Baumann that he won't coach an NBA team next year, citing family reasons.
According to Van Gundy, he has not interviewed with any teams for their head coaching openings, despite being contacted by a handful of clubs. The former Magic coach has turned down all available opportunities, he tells Baumann. We had previously heard that Van Gundy interviewed with the Hawks as well as the Bucks. Assuming those reports weren't entirely off base, perhaps both teams just spoke to SVG rather than formally interviewing him.
With Van Gundy seemingly off the market, the Hawks and Bucks will be forced to look elsewhere for their new head coaches, while teams like the Nets and Clippers, who had also been linked to Van Gundy, will also have to explore other options. Grantland's Zach Lowe wonders (via Twitter) if Van Gundy is expecting a more desirable job to become available next offseason, though for now it's probably safe to take SVG at his word and assume he's making a family decision.
Earlier today, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote that Dwight Howard was showing interest in the Rockets and Mavericks while he contemplates his free agent fate this summer and ignores the Lakers' request to re-sign with them as quickly as possible. The Lakers can offer Howard a fifth year and more money because the 2011 CBA allows annual raises of 7.5% over the first year, which would be in excess of $20MM for Howard; the other teams bidding for the 27-year-old center's services, including the long shot Nets and Hawks, can only offer increases of 4.5% over the first year.
Remember, Howard is just entering his peak years, and will likely sign another max contract before he retires, so a four-year deal with an option for the final year would allow him to become a free agent again at 30, when he can then sign a larger five-year deal. While Howard takes his time deciding, do you think he re-signs with the Lakers, or does he jump to some other team said to be in the mix?
10:45pm: There have been some updates on the second to last day of the Chicago predraft camp, which started on Thursday and ends tomorrow night, as well as other draft-related news, including a few players who hope their names are announced earlier, rather than later, by David Stern in June.
3:00pm: There isn't on-court action at the Chicago predraft camp this weekend as there was Thursday and Friday, though teams and players remain in town until tomorrow. Several general managers tell Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that they would prefer the event focus less on putting players through drills and afford them more time for interviews. With ESPN televising the part of the combine with players on the hardwood, I wouldn't expect the GMs to get their wish anytime soon. Here's the latest draft-related news:
Spencer Lund contributed to this post
Stan Van Gundy is indicating to teams that he doesn't want to return to coaching for the 2013/14 season, and he hasn't had any formal interviews, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. That conflicts with the news we heard earlier today that Van Gundy had formally interviewed with the Hawks. He was also reportedly in Milwaukee a week ago to meet with the Bucks, though a later dispatch said that he declined to interview with that team. Robbins writes that Van Gundy has merely accepted calls from a pair of GMs.
There appears to be plenty of demand for the former Magic boss, who has also been linked to the Nets and Clippers in recent weeks. One rumor suggested that he's holding out to see whether the Clippers job will come open, but Robbins' piece doesn't make it seem as though that's the case. Van Gundy did some college basketball broadcasting work this past year, but has otherwise appeared content away from the game.
Robbins laments that Van Gundy's unwillingness to return will extinguish any chance that Van Gundy and Dwight Howard will reunite in the near future, perhaps with the Hawks. The coach and player, combatants in a war of words last season in Orlando, appear to have made amends, and Howard would benefit from the chance to work with Van Gundy again, Robbins believes.
Although Larry Drew remains under contract as the Hawks' head coach until June 30th, Atlanta is considering alternatives, interviewing several other candidates for the position. As the Hawks explore their options though, it appears Drew is doing the same. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (via Twitter) that Drew will interview on Monday for the Bucks' head coaching opening.
We heard last night that Jerry Sloan doesn't have interest in the Bucks' job, but the team doesn't have any shortage of potential candidates. Milwaukee has already conducted interviews with Kelvin Sampson, Nate McMillan, J.B. Bickerstaff, and Steve Clifford as well.
The Bucks have reportedly been seeking a coach who will command respect in the team's locker room, following a playoff incident between Larry Sanders and Monta Ellis and a season that saw multiple players dissatisfied with their roles.
Although Larry Drew hasn't been officially dismissed by the Hawks yet, it appears as if the team is exploring plenty of potential replacements for the incumbent head coach. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Hawks have formally interviewed former Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, as well as Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer.
In addition to Van Gundy and Budenholzer, the Hawks have interviewed Nate McMillan, but according to Vivlamore, those aren't the only three candidates that have met with GM Danny Ferry so far. Vivlamore writes that while there are other candidates who have been officially interviewed, "how many and who they are remains a secret," as Ferry is keeping details of the search very close to the vest.
One contender for the position who will likely be interviewed, if he hasn't been already, is CSKA head coach Ettore Messina, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski says the Hawks have been in touch wish the Italian-born Messina, who "is intrigued with the chance to be a global trail blazer in the NBA." There's a little history between Messina and Ferry, as the former Cavaliers GM once sent Mike Brown overseas to study Messina's offense. Messina also brought Quin Snyder over as a CSKA Moscow assistant this past season -- Snyder and Ferry have a longtime friendship dating back to their playing days at Duke, says Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski classifies Van Gundy as Atlanta's top candidate, but hears from sources that the ex-Magic coach is a long shot for the position. Messina is receiving "significant consideration" from the Hawks, according to Wojnarowski, while Vivlamore notes that the possibility of Drew returning next season isn't entirely off the table either.
Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio heard some speculation at today's NBA Draft Combine that the Lakers and Hawks are two teams trying to find their way into the lottery. With both teams headed for a summer centered on free agent decisions, Atlanta has two first-rounders - picks 17 and 18 - to dangle in an attempt to move up in the draft, whereas Los Angeles - equipped with only the 48th overall pick - would plausibly have to shop Pau Gasol and be willing to take on another contract in hopes of landing a higher draft pick along with another young piece.
Amico provides a reminder that this is still pure speculation as of right now, and that rumors such as these could just be as commonplace with other miscellaneous rumblings heading into the draft. With that being said, it's easy to imagine the Lakers exploring their options on this front considering that Jodie Meeks (who holds a team option for next year) and Jordan Hill are currently the only players under the age of 30 that are technically under contract for next season. Re-signing Dwight Howard and Earl Clark, who we've heard would be willing to stay in L.A. on a discount, would add to that list, though with other key pieces in their starting rotation getting older, pursuing efforts to become younger and develop some talent makes sense.
Considering that this year's draft class isn't arguably as strong as in previous years, it isn't out of the question to think that Atlanta could find themselves in talks to acquire a lottery pick, especially if one of the lottery teams misses out on a top target. Hawks GM Danny Ferry will have plenty of salary flexibility to work with this summer, and adding a lottery talent on a rookie-scale contract beforehand would make for an auspicious start to the team's offseason.
The Hawks have interviewed Nate McMillan for their head coaching position today, reports Yahoo! NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski. The team has not yet let go of current head coach Larry Drew, whose contract expires June 30th.
Atlanta's general manager, Danny Ferry, plans to conduct interviews with other candidates as well, but isn't ruling out the option of extending Drew's contract should no suitable coaches take his offer.
McMillan's last coaching stint came with the Trail Blazers, where he coached for seven seasons before being let go in 2012. The Hawks are also interested in Stan Van Gundy, but it's unlikely the former Magic coach returns to the NBA next season.
All eyes will be on Clippers guard Chris Paul this summer and while the All-Star has been treated like royalty in L.A. and arguably has been given more pull than any other player in the league when it comes to personnel decisions, it's possible that CP3 will head elsewhere as he looks to win his first NBA title. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld ran down the Clippers' biggest competition and identified the Mavericks, Hawks, Rockets, and Nuggets as the top threats to pull him away from La La Land. Here's tonight's look around the Association as the Clippers gear up for a very interesting summer..
Here's a look at the latest coaching notes from around the Association..