Donnie Walsh Rumors
May 7 at 2:49pm CST By Luke Adams
There are plenty of names being thrown into the mix for the Nets' head coaching opening and seemingly just as many being taken out of the equation. Sam Amick of USA Today is the latest to chime in on the subject, reporting that Scott Skiles is among Brooklyn's candidates, but that the chatter about a Jerry Sloan/Deron Williams reunion probably shouldn't be taken seriously. Here are a few more Tuesday odds and ends from around the NBA:
- As he tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Celtics president Danny Ainge hasn't sat down with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Doc Rivers yet to talk about their respective futures. "I don’t really pay much attention to what anybody says in the first week after the season," said Ainge, referring to comments made by the Celtics leaders immediately after last week's elimination.
- Likely lottery pick Anthony Bennett will undergo rotator cuff surgery on his left shoulder tomorrow, agent Jeff Schwartz tells ESPN.com's Chad Ford. Bennett, who will miss about four months, becomes the third top prospect that will miss the summer with an injury, along with Nerlens Noel and Alex Len. However, two GMs who spoke to Ford don't think the procedure will affect Bennett's draft stock.
- Pacers president Donnie Walsh told Marc Berman of the New York Post that he's unsure whether he'll remain in his current role next season. According to Berman, Walsh still believes there's a chance Larry Bird will unretire and assume his old position for the Pacers.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com examines the ways in which the Mavericks could add a maximum-salary free agent without breaking up their veteran core.
- With the Thunder and Grizzlies squaring off in the Western Conference Semifinals, Shaun Powell of Sports on Earth wonders if either team will end up regretting its blockbuster trade -- James Harden for the Thunder and Rudy Gay for the Grizz.
April 15 at 11:27am CST By Luke Adams
A pair of Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchups have been locked in, and one is particularly intriguing, as the No. 2 Knicks will take on the No. 7 Celtics. The winner of that series will avoid playing the Heat in round two, but could eventually be the biggest threat to Miami in the East. Here are a few of today's notes out of the Eastern Conference:
- Ongoing injury woes had Wizards big man Nene considering retirement earlier this season, as he tells Michael Lee of the Washington Post. "Tough enough to think about the end of my career? Yeah,
that’s how tough it was," Nene said. "It was so hard to play the way I did
it. I thought to end my career because it’s so painful, my body can’t
support. I’m glad I finished the season, but the way I suffer, I hope,
- With coach Doug Collins seemingly on his way out of Philadelphia, Tom Ziller of SBNation.com suggests some potential replacements for the Sixers to consider.
- Chris Andersen hasn't given much thought yet to whether or not he'll remain with the Heat beyond this season, writes Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post.
- Donnie Walsh isn't sure if he'll be back as the Pacers president next season, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I took this job because Larry [Bird] wanted a year off," Walsh said. "If Larry
wants to come back, I’m out. I’m leaving. If he doesn’t I don’t know
what I’ll do."
- Rumors are swirling about the futures of Joe Dumars and Lawrence Frank in Detroit, but Greg Monroe tells David Mayo of MLive.com that he trusts the Pistons decision-makers.
October 21 at 12:26pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Bulls figure to have a tough time repeating their success of the past two seasons with Derrick Rose injured and most of their key reserves playing elsewhere. Still, they have the advantage of playing in the NBA's easiest division, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, who believes they'll be able to tread water and come up with 46 wins, likely enough for a playoff berth. If Rose is back, a higher seed probably won't want to see Chicago in the first round, but until then, here's the latest on a few teams trying to benefit from the Bulls' misfortune.
- Donnie Walsh is back in familiar surroundings as Pacers president of basketball operations after a stint in the Knicks front office, as Harvey Araton of The New York Times examines in a lengthy feature. Walsh admits his recovery from spinal cord surgery, which forced him to meet with LeBron James unprepared and in a wheelchair, affected the team's pitch for the superstar in 2010, and the 71-year-old doesn't envision himself as a long-term solution for the Pacers.
- Though he's not expected to give Brandon Jennings a long-term extension this month, Bucks GM John Hammond is confident his backcourt of Jennings and Monta Ellis can work, and sees the Pacers and Jazz as small-market models to follow, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe details. "The goal today is not to make trades," Hammond said. "The goal today is to try to find a way to keep some of these young pieces together and build with this young nucleus but continue to keep a fair salary structure that will give us flexibility to change and improve this team."
- Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press looks at how the Pistons are moving against the small-ball trend.
- The Pistons' rotation is starting to take shape, as Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News examines.
- A more competitive on-court product this season is critical for the business side of the Pistons, argues Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press.
June 27 at 10:18am CST By Luke Adams
The Pacers have made their front office changes official, announcing at a press conference this morning that Larry Bird will step down as president of basketball operations. Donnie Walsh will take over for Bird as the team's president, while Kevin Pritchard will replace David Morway and become the team's new general manager, tweets Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
Wells reported yesterday
that Bird would be leaving the Pacers, at least in part due to health issues. The team also announced Morway's resignation in a press release. The duo had plenty of success in the Pacers' front office, with Bird winning the league's Executive of the Year award last month, and Morway having drawn interest this offseason from a number of teams searching for a new GM, including the Trail Blazers, Magic, and Clippers. The team's new pair, Walsh and Pritchard, will work together, but Walsh will have the final say on basketball decisions, says Wells (via Twitter
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported that the Pacers intended to promote Pritchard to GM.
June 26 at 3:13pm CST By Luke Adams
3:13pm: GM David Morway has resigned, the Pacers announced today in a press release, confirming Wells' report below that suggested Morway was no longer employed by the team.
"While I deeply care about this franchise, sometimes change is important for everyone concerned," Morway said in a statement. "For the past year I have carefully and thoughtfully considered my personal, family and professional goals. After discussing all of these issues with our owner, Herb Simon, and Larry [Bird], I believe this is the right time to step away."
In a pair of tweets, Wells suggests that Morway hadn't been around the franchise or been involved in the team's decision-making process for some time.
Just a few weeks removed from winning the NBA's Executive of the Year award
, Larry Bird
will step down from his role as Pacers president, reports Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star
. Bird is "100% sure" he won't return to the Pacers for next season, and will meet with team owner Herb Simon today to finalize his departure. According to Wells, Bird is dealing with some health issues, and will take at least a year off before deciding whether to return to a front-office position.
The move is the latest in an offseason shakeup for Indiana's front office. The team recently brought Donnie Walsh on board, and it appears now that he'll be Bird's replacement as club president, though that's yet to be made official. Kevin Pritchard has also taken on an expanded role, while former GM David Morway is no longer employed by the Pacers, according to Wells.
Bird had served as the Pacers' president of basketball operations since 2003.
June 25 at 10:55pm CST By Daniel Seco
Cavs assistant general manager David Griffin has pulled his name out of consideration for the Clippers' general manager position, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Griffin spoke with officials from the Clippers organization while in Chicago for pre-draft camp but reportedly doesn't feel like now is the right time to make a career move. The Clippers have only formally interviewed former Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe for the opening after Neil Olshey left Los Angeles to take the same position with the Trail Blazers. Here are a few more stories and headlines from around the league...
- Don't look for Dwight Howard to stay with the Rockets beyond this season if the center is traded to Houston, writes NBA.com's David Aldridge. The All-Star is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2013 and will seemingly look to sign with the Nets, especially if Deron Williams remains employed by the franchise.
- Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News says Donnie Walsh has taken a job with the Pacers and will lead the team's free agency efforts this summer. The move shouldn't affect Larry Bird's status with the organization as general manager David Morway still appears to be the odd man out.
- The effects of a condensed NBA season can be felt by Team USA as numerous stars will be absent in London, writes Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times. Dwyane Wade may potentially be added to list of players unable to play during the Olympics, which already includes Howard and Derrick Rose, among others.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld considers the future of eight players who could find themselves with a new team at some point over the next few days.
June 8 at 6:33pm CST By Luke Adams
6:33pm: Larry Bird and Pacers owner Herb Simon are expected to meet next week, tweets Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Bird must finalize a deal to stay with Indiana for Pritchard's promotion to become official.
4:57pm: When Larry Bird finalizes a new deal to remain president of the Pacers, he plans to promote Kevin Pritchard to general manager, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, Pritchard's promotion will spell the end of David Morway's successful tenure as Pacers GM.
Pritchard had been a candidate for the GM job in Orlando, where he reportedly might have teamed up with Tom Penn, a salary cap expert with whom Pritchard worked in Portland. Pritchard joined the Blazers as player personnel director in 2004/05 and held the GM job from 2007-10, compiling a mixed resume that included the drafting of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Brandon Roy. His most prominent move was probably his worst, drafting Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant with the No. 1 overall selection in 2007. Pritchard was fired just before the draft in 2010, and became Indiana's player personnel director last summer. The Pacers brought Pritchard aboard despite the skepticism of Morway and owner Herb Simon, Wojnarowski writes, but Bird's trust in Pritchard, a former teammate from their playing days, won out.
Morway's name has come up often in connection with teams looking for general managers this spring. He interviewed for the Blazers job before it went to Neil Olshey, and is a candidate for the position in Orlando. His exit from Indiana comes as a surprise to many league executives who credit Morway with the recent success the Pacers have had, Wojnarowski writes.
It also ends speculation that Bird, who won Executive of the Year this season, would leave the Pacers, and probably extinguishes any chance of Donnie Walsh returning to an NBA front office this year. Walsh had been linked to the Magic job, but he seemed more interested in an opening with the Pacers.
May 28 at 11:35am CST By Luke Adams
As the Magic's search for a general manager continues, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld examines the potential candidates and shares what he's hearing on Orlando's plans. Here are some of the highlights:
- Donnie Walsh may not be interested in the Magic job, and could be waiting to see if Larry Bird retires and opens up a position in the Pacers' front office.
- The Pacers' current GM, David Morway, might prefer to remain in Indiana and finish what he started with the team. There's a chance Morway could be promoted to team president if Bird leaves, though his contract expires in July, so he's taking interviews and has some interest in the Magic job.
- Kevin Pritchard is interested in the Magic opening, but not to the point where he's going to beg for the job, so if Orlando wants him, the team will need to move quickly.
- The Magic are interested in grooming Adonal Foyle for the GM job, but his presence could make some potential candidates shy away from the position.
- Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey may be Orlando's top choice, though Kyler isn't sure he'll leave San Antonio (Twitter link).
- Kyler also identifies Tommy Sheppard of the Wizards, Sam Hinkie of the Rockets, Larry Harris of the Warriors, and David Griffin of the Cavs as other executives the Magic should be targeting.
May 25 at 10:22am CST By Luke Adams
It's been a busy week for the Magic, who fired coach Stan Van Gundy and parted ways with GM Otis Smith on Monday. Dwight Howard still may want out of Orlando, however, and the team could be open to accommodating him. Meanwhile, the team's search for a new general manager has them targeting Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers, but not Shaquille O'Neal. Let's check in on the latest out of Orlando:
- The Magic will begin interviewing GM candidates next week, CEO Alex Martins tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The new GM will also try to sell Howard on his long-term vision for the team and try to convince D12 to sign a long-term extension.
- Martins has identified "championship experience" as an asset for potential GM candidates. Besides Kupchak, the following names could interest the Magic, according to Robbins: Pacers GM David Morway, former Pacers and Knicks exec Donnie Walsh, former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough, and Pacers director of player personnel Kevin Pritchard.
- Howard told TMZ.com that his recovery from back surgery is going well and that his back is doing "a lot better." The big man also spoke briefly about Van Gundy, saying that he hates to see anyone lose a job, and reiterating that he had nothing to do with the decision.
- Making a radio appearance with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Jeff Van Gundy was critical of Martins and the Magic for the way they handled his brother's dismissal. Scott Schroeder of SBNation.com transcribed a number of Van Gundy's notable quotes, including the broadcaster's opinion on Howard's role in the firing: "To try to make everyone believe that Dwight Howard didn't have a part in this is absurd. Just say 'we fired this guy because we feel this is our best chance to keep Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard and I decided to fire him."