Byron Scott Rumors
May 22 at 11:33am CST By Luke Adams
The Clippers officially announced yesterday that they wouldn't be bringing back Vinny Del Negro to coach the team next season, and that the search for a new head coach will begin immediately. Considering the Clips are coming off a 56-win season and a division title, and expect to keep their core intact, barring a surprising Chris Paul decision, there will be no shortage of coaching candidates interested in the position. Here are the early rumblings on L.A.'s search:
- Nate McMillan is also among the candidates for the Clippers' head coaching opening, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. According to Turner's source, McMillan is one of about five candidates being seriously considered by the Clippers.
- Del Negro and owner Donald Sterling never actually met in person last weekend, but had an extended phone conversation that a source described to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com as "positive."
- According to Shelburne's source, Sterling told Del Negro he was optimistic the team would bring him back, but that there "were some issues with the players" to sort through. "Obviously they couldn't work through those issues with the players, or, player," the source said, referring to Paul.
- After letting him go, the Clippers told Del Negro they'd do whatever they could to help him find another job, writes Shelburne.
- The Clippers intend to move quickly in their search, says Shelburne, identifying Brian Shaw, Byron Scott, Michael Malone, and Alvin Gentry as likely candidates.
- Although Gentry has worked for the Clippers in the past, he left on "great terms" and is still friendly with Sterling and Clips president Andy Roeser, tweets Shelburne.
- Phil Jackson won't be considered for the Clippers' position, according to Shelburne, who hears from a source that the team feels it would be "too creepy" to pursue a coach engaged to the owner of the Clippers' crosstown rival.
- While Paul is expected to have some sway in the Clippers' decision, Shelburne hears that he's currently more interested in watching how the team handles the situation rather than asserting his own opinions.
- Hall of Fame writer Mark Heisler tweets that Lionel Hollins sits atop the Clippers' wish list, though Sterling denied to T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times that he was in San Antonio on the weekend to scout the Grizzlies coach.
May 7 at 11:50am CST By Luke Adams
The latest piece from Marc Stein at ESPN.com includes word that Dwight Howard remains more likely than Chris Paul to leave Los Angeles this summer. One source predicted to Stein that there's "zero chance" Paul signs with any team besides the Clippers. However, while Paul looks like a strong bet to return to L.A., the same can't be said for his head coach. Here are the latest rumblings on Vinny Del Negro and the rest of the NBA's coaching carousel:
- Stein refers to Del Negro's dismissal as seemingly "inevitable" and suggests that the Clippers want to go "big" with their next hire. Stan Van Gundy is one name likely to surface, according to Stein.
- If Del Negro is let go, Michael Malone, Alvin Gentry, and Byron Scott also figure to be a few top candidates for the position, according to Mark Heisler of HoopsHype.com. Stein endorses that list of contenders, particularly if the team's interest in Van Gundy doesn't go anywhere.
- Kelvin Sampson is the Rockets assistant frequently mentioned as a head coach candidate, but J.B. Bickerstaff is also on the Pistons' list, says Stein.
- Sampson and Mike Dunleavy aren't currently being considered for the Nets' opening, reports Stein.
- Assuming Larry Drew is done in Atlanta, Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer and former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder are expected to be among the Hawks' targets, says Stein.
- Coaching candidate Brian Shaw has yet to be contacted about job openings, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter). I'd assume the Pacers will give Shaw permission to interview for coaching jobs once Indiana is out of the playoffs.
- Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com surveyed leagues execs, players, and team personnel on who would make a good first-time NBA coach, and Heat assistant David Fizdale, Grizzlies assistant David Joerger, and Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg were among the top selections.
May 1 at 10:09pm CST By Chuck Myron
Mitch Kupchak has been Lakers GM since 2000, the year the team won the first of its five championships with Kobe Bryant, but this is his most important offseason to date, opines Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. Just months after it appeared Kupchak might be a candidate for Executive of the Year for his role in building a team primed for a title run, the pressure's on him to clean up the mess of a season gone wrong. Amico goes over the Lakers' to-do list for the summer, and drops news from both L.A. teams and other NBA outposts, as we detail here:
- The Lakers are privately hoping Metta World Peace exercises his early-termination option to get out of his $7.727MM contract for next season, according to Amico. World Peace hasn't given any hints about his intentions, though I'd be surprised if he turns down the money.
- Stan Van Gundy reportedly doesn't want to return to coaching yet, but he may be holding out to see if the Clippers job opens up, Amico hears, adding that Van Gundy has sent signals that he's not interested in the Pistons vacancy.
- Sources tell Amico that Byron Scott may become a candidate to take over as Suns coach if the team doesn't retain interim boss Lindsey Hunter, who appears to be on his way out.
April 21 at 12:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
Two of the league's three current head-coaching vacancies are with Central Division teams, and this morning we rounded up the latest on the Cavaliers' search. There's plenty of other news from Cleveland and the rest of the Central today, so let's dive in:
- Former Cavaliers coach Byron Scott will be a candidate for the Bucks job if the team elects not to retain Jim Boylan, tweets Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
- The Cavs possess four draft picks this year, but they'll likely try to package their second-rounders, at 31st and 33rd overall, to move up in the first-round, where they have picks No. 19 and, pending the lottery, No. 3, writes Bob Finnan of The News-Herald.
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer agrees, and also believes it's possible the Cavs could offer both of their first-rounders in an effort to land the No. 1 overall pick.
- The Pistons may trade their pair of second-round picks (38th and 56th overall) for a late first-rounder, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press believes, perhaps targeting a team reluctant to shell out the guaranteed money required to sign first-round picks.
- MLive's David Mayo surmises that the Pistons structured Lawrence Frank's contract to end in 2014, when they were scheduled to have ample cap space. Freeing themselves from the contracts of Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince to create room this summer accelerated Frank's exit, Mayo opines.
April 18 at 10:29am CST By Luke Adams
The Cavaliers have parted ways with head coach Byron Scott, a source tells Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The move, which the Cavs confirmed in a press release, comes a day after Scott completed his third season with the team.
its 2013/14 option on Scott back in October, at which point the head
coach expressed a desire to remain with the Cavs long-term. Scott won't stay with the club for the "five more years" he was hoping for, but he'll still be paid his salary for
next season, which is rumored to be $4MM+.
During his three seasons in Cleveland, Scott led the team to a 64-166 record. That's good for a .278 winning percentage, which is the lowest in Cavs' history for anyone that coached at least one full season. According to Lloyd, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert had been unhappy with the team's lack of defensive improvement during Scott's tenure. Gilbert was the "driving force" behind the decision to let Scott go, a source tells Lloyd.
It's not clear yet who might replace Scott in Cleveland, but as Grantland's Zach Lowe notes (via Twitter), a combination of cap space, draft picks, and Kyrie Irving makes the job fairly appealing. ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne suggested yesterday that the Cavs could pursue Phil Jackson this offseason, though Jackson may be more interested in a front-office role rather than a coaching position.
April 17 at 1:02pm CST By Luke Adams
While it's not clear yet whether or not Byron Scott will stay on as the Cavaliers' head coach next season, don't expect the decision to drag out for too long. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that one high-ranking Cavs official says a decision will be made quickly. When he speaks to reporters tomorrow, GM Chris Grant is expected to announce definitively whether or not Scott will be back next year.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported today that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is giving "strong consideration" to parting ways with Scott. Lloyd seems to be hearing similar rumblings, noting in his article that "all indications are privately pointing" to Scott being fired by the Cavs this week.
Cleveland exercised its 2013/14 option on Scott back in October, at which point the head coach expressed a desire to remain with the Cavs long-term, noting that he hoped to coach the team for the next five years. It doesn't appear Scott's stay in Cleveland will last that long, but if the club decides not to bring him back for '13/14, he'll still be owed his salary for next season, which is rumored to be $4MM+.
In his three seasons coaching the Cavaliers, Scott has led the team to a 64-165 record. The former Nets and Hornets coach took over the job at the time LeBron James left for the Heat, so a rebuilding process was anticipated, but as Lloyd points out, Scott's third season with the team has been particularly up-and-down, with
"players privately questioning his practice habits and in-game strategies."
April 13 at 11:54pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Aside from shedding light on Tristan Thompson as arguably the Cavaliers' most valuable player (aside from Kyrie Irving), Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer makes the case that Cleveland will have to add a couple of experienced and productive veterans through trades or free agency if they are to make significant progress in 2013-14. We've got a few more notes to share out of Ohio tonight:
- Pluto finds it odd that Irving didn't comment on Byron Scott, especially considering that Thompson gave the head coach a strong vote of confidence. Even if Irving was wary of saying the wrong thing, it didn't seem to indicate that all was well between the two.
- The team will offer restricted free agent Wayne Ellington some type of contract for next year, and although they'd like for Marreese Speights to exercise his $4.5MM player option, they'll also take a look at the type of offers he'll get if he declines.
- After an injury-riddled season and one of his worst statistically, Daniel Gibson tells Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer that he doesn't want to end his tenure with the Cavaliers this way and would be willing to consider any offer that they'd give him this summer.
- Mary Schmitt Boyer (also of The Plain Dealer) answered a bunch of questions from her readers about the Cavs, saying that the team should look to add a defensive specialist this summer and isn't sure whether or not Byron Scott will be back. Boyer doesn't think Scott should be fired, and believes that the team will make the playoffs if they are healthy next season.
- Cleveland has four draft picks in June, and Boyer doesn't foresee them ultimately adding four rookies to an already young roster. With that being said, she expects some of those picks to be shopped.
April 7 at 10:30pm CST By Zach Links
There's a lot of concern over Danilo Gallinari's season-ending injury, but Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post doesn't think it puts much of a dent in the Nuggets' playoff chances. Most Hoops Rumors readers believe the Nuggets had no chance of a title anyway, though our readers picked Denver as the most likely "Cinderella" team to make the NBA Finals this year. Here's more from around the Association..
- When asked whether he supports Byron Scott and would be disappointed if he were fired, Cavs guard Kyrie Irving said he did not want to address the topic at this time, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Scott is one of many NBA coaches perceived to be on the hot seat after the season and a lack of support from Irving could hurt his case.
- Dirk Nowitzki reiterated his desire to stay with the Mavericks, but also says that he wants to play for a championship again in his final couple of years, tweets Dwain Price of the Star Telegram.
- The Hornets will probably still be open to trading Eric Gordon this summer, sources tell John Reid of The Times-Picayune.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer gives his take on end-of-season awards with the final night of the regular season just 10 days away. Not surprisingly, he has LeBron James winning his fourth MVP award in five years.
- Kobe Bryant says that he doesn't want to play point guard just to extend his career, but he has looked awfully good doing it, tweets Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times.
April 6 at 8:01pm CST By Michael Pina
April 6 at 12:26pm CST By Zach Links
In his Weekend Dime column, ESPN.com's Marc Stein takes us on a ride around the NBA coaching carousel. You must be this tall to check out the highlights..
- According to sources, Stan Van Gundy's availability already has the Clippers highly intrigued. That doesn't bode well for coach Vinny Del Negro, who might not even be able to save his job with a deep playoff run.
- No team in coaching circles is rated as more likely to make a change than the Pistons. Sources consistently say that Lawrence Frank is going to be ousted when the season is over based on the lack of responsiveness from his players. It would be a big surprise at this stage if the Pistons aren't soon in the market for a coach and they make target a former player.
- One coaching source says that it is "very likely" that Lionel Hollins will get a new deal from the Grizzlies after the playoffs. Word is that they'll still probably keep him in the event of a first round exit.
- More than one source says that Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap is a coach in potential jeopardy, which undoubtedly stems from Michael Jordan's recent promise to season-ticket holders that major offseason changes are on the way. Stein doesn't think that the criticism for Dunlap is fair considering the group that he has to work with.
- Sources continue to link Kelvin Sampson to the Bucks' opening, but interim coach Jim Boylan could get the full-time gig still.
- One source with knowledge of the Suns said this week that Lindsey Hunter has a "good shot" to become the permanent head coach at season's end.
- Byron Scott is believed to have the support of the front office, but there is a growing sense in Cleveland that owner Dan Gilbert will make a change regardless. The coach had had to deal with the absences of Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and Dion Waiters throughout the year.
- Wizards coach Randy Wittman appears to be safe and he should have less to worry about that the aforementioned coaches on the hot seat.