- Trade acquisition Channing Frye has given the Cavaliers a “breath of fresh air,” GM David Griffin told Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal amid an interview last week in which he disputes the idea of chemistry problems in the locker room. Frye has seen sharply limited playing time in the postseason but had his best game of the playoffs Monday, scoring eight points in nine minutes of action. “He’s been a huge, huge plus,” Griffin said. “We needed someone who was truly joyful to be part of the process to remind everybody how blessed we are to be together.”
The Kings have scheduled an interview for early this week with former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Blatt was one of the first names connected to the Sacramento coaching vacancy and has been a rumored candidate for several jobs since Cleveland fired him in January.
Blatt met with the Knicks this week to discuss the possibility of replacing interim coach Kurt Rambis and was believed to be a candidate for the Lakers’ job before they hired Luke Walton. During his brief stay in Cleveland, Blatt led the Cavaliers to the 2015 NBA Finals and compiled an 83-40 record.
Blatt will be at least the fifth candidate to interview for the head coaching position, according to James Ham of CSNBayArea. Ham reports that Sam Mitchell, Mike Woodson, Kevin McHale and Vinny Del Negro have all gone through formal interviews.
Indiana assistant Nate McMillan may soon join that group, Ham reports, depending what the Pacers do in tonight’s Game 7 with the Raptors. McMillan has a 266-269 career record in 12 years as head coach of the SuperSonics and Blazers.
The Kings are also planning to interview Charlotte assistant Patrick Ewing, whose team was eliminated from the playoffs today. Ham says Mark Jackson of ESPN and Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner are also on the list to be interviewed.
Once the interviews are complete, GM/executive Vlade Divac plans to whittle the list down to three finalists that he will present to Sacramento management. Despite earlier reports that the Kings wanted to find a coach this week, Ham says there is no timetable. The organization has been without a coach since it fired George Karl after the season ended.
The Warriors plan to hire the replacement for assistant coach Luke Walton from outside the organization, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein notes that former Cavaliers coach David Blatt came close to joining Steve Kerr on Golden State’s bench in 2014 but adds that Blatt may not be willing to become an assistant now as he waits for his next head coaching job (Twitter link). The Warriors say they won’t look at candidates to take Walton’s place until they are finished with the playoffs (Twitter link).
- Tyronn Lue hasn’t signed a new contract since taking over as the Cavaliers‘ head coach in January, but he’s not interested in any of the open positions around the league, relays Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Lue was the league’s highest-paid assistant, with a four-year deal he signed in 2014 worth $6.5MM. After replacing David Blatt, Lue reached a verbal agreement worth $3MM prorated for his time as head coach this season and another $3MM for next year, along with a team option for 2017/18 at $3.5MM with a buyout. An unidentified source told ESPN the Cavs will live up to the offer and plan to finalize the deal with Lue this summer.
- Cavs power forward Kevin Love‘s stats have declined, as well as his perceived value around the league, since he arrived in Cleveland, but the big man insists he is still an All-Star caliber performer, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. “I don’t need to justify what I’m capable of,” Love said. “Kind of the same thing with All-Star, too. I don’t need that to justify how I feel about my game and where I think my value is in this league. I know what I’m capable of. I’m willing to show it.”
- Former Cavs coach David Blatt received a strong endorsement from Tyronn Lue, the man who replaced him, to land another NBA coaching gig, Lloyd relays in the same article. “He definitely deserves another chance,” Lue said. “I thought Coach Blatt did a great and phenomenal job here. He taught me a lot. Just being friends with him and getting a chance to understand him was great for me. I know a lot of guys around here, we talked about it the other day, they miss him and his presence. I would just like to keep in contact with him. Hopefully, he gets another job in this league because he deserves it.” Blatt reportedly interviewed for the Knicks vacant post this week and the Lakers reportedly plan to interview him for their head coaching job, too.
The NBA’s relationship with the D-League continues to grow, and this season a total of 19 NBA teams had one-to-one affiliations with D-League clubs. Those NBA organizations without their own affiliates were required to assign players to D-League clubs associated with other NBA franchises. D-League teams could volunteer to take on the assigned players, and if no volunteers emerged, the players were assigned at random.
This significant change from the 2014/15 season came about after the Pacers purchased the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and turned them into their one-to-one partner for the 2015/16 campaign. Other NBA teams have interest in following suit in the years ahead, and the NBA’s ultimate goal for the D-League is for all 30 NBA franchises to have their own D-League squads. You can view the complete list of D-League affiliates here.
We at Hoops Rumors are recapping the D-League-related activity for the 2015/16 campaign for each team and we’ll continue with the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose D-League affiliate is the Canton Charge:
The Cavs made nine assignments for the 2015/16 campaign, sending three players to the D-League for a total of 29 days. Listed below are all the assignments and recalls Cleveland made for the 2015/16 season:
- November 13th: Assigned Joe Harris (1st) — Recalled November 19th
- November 20th: Assigned Joe Harris (2nd) — Recalled November 21st
- November 28th: Assigned Joe Harris (3rd) — Recalled November 30th
- December 2nd: Assigned Joe Harris (4th) — Recalled December 17th
- December 19th: Assigned Joe Harris (5th) — Recalled December 20th
- April 11th: Assigned Sasha Kaun (1st) — Recalled April 11th
- April 11th: Assigned Jordan McRae (1st) — Recalled April 11th
- April 12th: Assigned Sasha Kaun (2nd) — Recalled April 13th
- April 12th: Assigned Jordan McRae (2nd) — Recalled April 13th
Canton also had seven players assigned to it from other NBA franchises via the flexible assignment rule:
- The Bucks sent Damien Inglis (one assignment, 13 days) and Rashad Vaughn (one assignment, eight days).
- The Bulls sent Cristiano Felicio (two assignments, 15 days).
- The Clippers sent C.J. Wilcox (three assignments, 40 days).
- The Hawks sent Edy Tavares (one assignment, three days), Tim Hardaway Jr. (one assignment, three days) and Lamar Patterson (one assignment, 24 days).
Here is how the Cavs’ players performed while on assignment to the D-League this season:
- Joe Harris: In 10 D-League appearances, the combo guard averaged 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 33.1 minutes per outing. Harris’ shooting line was .397/.323/.794.
- Sasha Kaun: In one D-League outing, the center logged 15 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks in 30 minutes of action. Kaun made six out of his seven field goal attempts on the night.
- Jordan McRae: The shooting guard did not see any game action for Canton while on assignment. McRae did appear in 29 contests this season for the Delaware 87ers, who are the Sixers’ affiliate, averaging 23.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 35.4 minutes per outing. His slash line with Delaware was .549/.318/.799.
Cavaliers GM David Griffin was hesitant to say anything negative about former coach David Blatt, but the executive did contend that Blatt wasn’t the right person to lead the team’s current roster, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer writes. “David really didn’t do anything inherently wrong,” said Griffin. “It just wasn’t the right fit. We [the players] are radically more engaged with each other [since Tyronn Lue took over as coach]. You can see it on an night-in, night-out basis just by watching the bench during games.”
When asked about the Cavs’ record being worse under Lue than under Blatt this season, Griffin responded, “I told everyone that things were likely to get worse before they got better after the change,” said Griffin. “I know the [coaching] change was somewhat unprecedented. We were going to make some significant changes, and it was going to take Ty a while to get his feet on the ground. At one point, we had 23 games in 41 days. When Ty took over, we were changing offensive and defensive schemes and there were periods where we had absolutely no practice days. We put him in a very tough spot.”
- Richard Jefferson‘s contribution in Game 1 was subtle but important and showed the value of his signing this past offseason for the Cavaliers, observe Michael Beaven and George Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal.
- The Cavaliers have added Damon Jones to Tyronn Lue‘s coaching staff for the playoffs, relays Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group. The team believes it can benefit from Jones’ experience and rapport with players in its quest to return to the NBA finals, Haynes adds. Jones spent the season as an assistant with the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s D-League affiliate.
Atlanta likes rim protection at the center position, but other teams like him for his floor-stretching capabilities, Vivlamore observes. Horford reportedly places a high priority on signing for five years, which he can only do with the Hawks, but just about every other team in the league is nonetheless eyeing him, Vivlamore says, mentioning the Cavaliers, Raptors and Celtics specifically. Vivlamore makes similar remarks in a video with CineSport’s Noah Coslov on the Journal-Constitution site.