We’re less than an hour before tip-off between the Atlantic Division’s cellar dwelling Knicks and Nets, and despite both teams’ struggles to start the season, one of the two will be able to avoid sinking further for now with a win tonight. Here’s some of the latest out of Manhattan and Brooklyn:
- SB Nation’s Tom Ziller goes into detail about what’s ailing the Knicks and Nets, how both teams should fare over the course of the season, and what may be in store if things continue to go poorly.
- To those who doubt that Knicks owner James Dolan would be willing to work with Jeff Van Gundy again after the latter’s abrupt in-season exit over a decade ago, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reminds us that in April 2008, Van Gundy had been considered for the the head coaching job by then-team executive Donnie Walsh. Isola also states that Dolan approved of the team’s interest in Van Gundy back then as well, although the former head coach would later tell Walsh that he wasn’t interested (Twitter links).
- Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld ponders what the current trade market for Carmelo Anthony is, and, considering that the Knicks star has the option to become an unrestricted free agent after this season and/or won’t necessarily have to commit long-term elsewhere if traded, argues that the team will have no other choice but to explore low-ball offers at this point.
- Following last season’s team exit interview, Mike Woodson was under the impression that Jason Kidd would be returning for another season with the Knicks, and was caught off-guard by the 40-year-old point guard’s retirement: “Absolutely I thought he was coming back…I did. I was surprised. Jason spent a long time in this league. He has the right to retire and move on. Obviously he had something else going and wound up here as a head coach. We would’ve loved to have him back. It wasn’t the case” (Marc Berman of the New York Post via Sulia).
We’ve already taken a look at one struggling New York team this morning, having rounded up a few Nets updates. Let’s head over to Manhattan and check in on the city’s other sub-.500 NBA franchise….
- Appearing on ESPN Radio in New York today, Jeff Van Gundy dismissed speculation that he might replace Mike Woodson as the Knicks’ head coach, suggesting that the team’s problems are roster-related rather than coaching-related (all Twitter links via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News).
- Jeremy Tyler has returned to action for the D-League’s Erie BayHawks and the Knicks are “closely monitoring” his progress, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. A source tells Berman (Twitter link) that New York will likely wait at least three to five games before considering re-adding Tyler, who was in camp with the team before undergoing stress fracture surgery.
- Daniel Leroux of RealGM.com examines what the Knicks’ future core might look like, particularly if the team decides Carmelo Anthony isn’t the answer as the long-term cornerstone of the roster.
We heard last night that Knicks veterans Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin had a heated exchange on Sunday prior to the team’s game against the Pelicans, a contest in which Iman Shumpert and Carmelo Anthony had a confrontation of their own. As Marc Berman of the New York Post details, those are just the two latest incidents in a string of run-ins dating back to Halloween, when Shumpert and Tyson Chandler got into a shouting match over a defensive breakdown. World Peace and Tim Hardaway Jr. also had a recent confrontation, according to Berman.
Our own Zach Links pointed out last night that the Knicks’ recent discord can’t be a good sign for the job security of coach Mike Woodson. The club’s nine-game losing streak isn’t helping matters either. Here’s more on the Knicks and their crosstown rivals, as the two teams prepare to meet in Brooklyn on Thursday night:
- Knicks owner James Dolan gave Woodson a vote of confidence last month, but that doesn’t apply indefinitely, as Berman writes in a second piece. Noting that Dolan is “obsessed” with the Nets, Berman suggests that a loss on Thursday could trigger a major move — perhaps either a trade or a coaching change.
- If the Knicks decide to replace Woodson, the team would be open to bringing back Jeff Van Gundy, who likely would have interest in the position, says Berman. A potential Van Gundy return may be more likely in the offseason rather than during the season, however. Berman adds that JVG may want input on personnel decisions if he returns to coaching, which could be a factor in whether or not he makes his way back to New York.
- Jason Kidd‘s seat in Brooklyn isn’t as hot as Woodson’s, but Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post wonders if the Nets regret not hiring Brian Shaw. As Dempsey details, the current Nuggets coach looked like the frontrunner for the Brooklyn job earlier this year, before Kidd emerged practically out of nowhere.
- According to Mirza Teletovic‘s agent Misko Raznatovic, he and his client are interested in a trade that would sent Teletovic to a team that would give him more playing time. The Sarajevo Times passes along the quotes from Raznatovic on the little-used Nets forward (hat tip to Sportando).
As I noted yesterday when examining the longest-tenured coaches in the NBA, four teams – the Pistons, 76ers, Nets, and Clippers – are still in the market for a new head coach, while a couple other positions could open up later in the offseason. In addition to those head coaching openings, plenty of assistants are being hired, or moving from one NBA team to another. Here are today's rumors on those head coaching searches and the assistant coaching carousel:
- Although the Clippers have asked and received permission to speak to Lionel Hollins, the Nets' initial request to speak to Hollins was turned down, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter links). Tillery adds that Brooklyn has yet to make another request since being denied on the day after the Grizzlies' season ended.
- No teams have requested permission yet to speak to Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger, but the Sixers are believed to have interest, tweets Tillery.
- A report yesterday indicated that the Nets and Sixers were among the teams that have contacted Larry Brown about their head coaching openings. Brown threw cold water on that report today though, according to John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer, saying he's happy at SMU. CSNPhilly.com, meanwhile, reports that Brown would likely have interest in returning to the NBA if it meant running a franchise. I'd be surprised if anything came of this.
- Less than 24 hours after ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Chris Broussard reported that Brian Shaw was a "serious target" for the Nets, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that Shaw also appears to be the Clippers' top choice at this point. Since no official interviews have been conducted yet, the situation remains fluid, but the Clippers are intrigued by Shaw's youth, championship experience, and developmental skills, according to Shelburne.
- Talks between Jeff Van Gundy and the Clippers have cooled, and the team has yet to ask permission to speak to Nuggets coach George Karl, though he remains a possible target. Lionel Hollins, Byron Scott, and Alvin Gentry also remain under consideration for Los Angeles, says Shelburne.
- Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times provides the same list of contenders for the Clippers' job, though he's even more bearish on the likelihood of the team hiring Van Gundy, writing that he's essentially "out of the running." Shaw, meanwhile is gaining momentum for the position, according to Turner.
- Although the Pistons' search appears to have been narrowed down to Nate McMillan and Maurice Cheeks, there's no guarantee a decision happens this week, sources tell David Mayo of MLive.com.
- Following up on a report from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News last week which suggested Patrick Ewing could be hired as an assistant in Charlotte, Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com says Ewing is interviewing for the Bobcats' lead assistant job today. The former Knicks big man has also received interest from the Kings, writes Haynes.
- Newly-hired Kings head coach Michael Malone is also talking to Ohio State assistant Chris Jent about joining his staff in Sacramento, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- Yet another Lakers assistant coach appears to be on his way out of L.A., as Darvin Ham will talk to the Bobcats and Hawks about a spot on their respective staffs, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
WEDNESDAY, 10:01am: The Nets have received permission from the Pacers to speak to Shaw, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, Brooklyn will interview Shaw soon and a formal offer could come shortly that meeting.
TUESDAY, 2:11pm: Now that his Pacers are out of the playoffs, assistant coach Brian Shaw is free to talk to teams interested in hiring him as a head coach. At the moment, four teams, the Nets, Clippers, Pistons, and 76ers, are without a head coach, and Shaw has been linked at one time or another to all four clubs. However, the team that is most interested in Shaw may be the Nets.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Chris Broussard report that Shaw is a "serious target" for the Nets' coaching opening. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star also reported earlier today (via Twitter) that GM Billy King has been doing a lot of background checking on the Pacers assistant. According to Stein and Broussard, Brooklyn will request permission to interview Shaw now that Indiana is out of the postseason.
Sam Hinkie's list of targets for the Sixers head coaching job remains mostly unknown, and the Pistons are said to be focusing on Maurice Cheeks and Nate McMillan, but the Nets and Clippers appear to have plenty of overlap in their respective wish lists. As of last week, Shaw and Jeff Van Gundy were believed to be atop the Clippers' list, and there may also be mutual interest between the team and Lionel Hollins, or at least Hollins' reps. The Nets, meanwhile, have contacted Van Gundy about their open position, and have asked permission to speak to Hollins as well, according to the ESPN.com report.
Although the eliminations of the Grizzlies and Pacers open the door for candidates like Hollins and Shaw to talk to teams, the Nets remain in no rush to complete their search, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com.
After we heard yesterday that there are some question marks surrounding George Karl's future in Denver, TNT's David Aldridge echoes that report, writing that the head coach is "antsy" about his current situation. According to Aldridge, the Nuggets don't plan to exercise the 2014/15 option on Karl's contract, which means he'll be on an expiring contract in '13/14.
"They want to play it out and see where they're at," one league source tells Aldridge. "And they're not going to budge on that."
As Aldridge notes, the Nuggets don't appear to actively be seeking a replacement for Karl, but if he wants to leave for a more lucrative opportunity when his current deal runs out, the team may not be inclined to stop him.
Here are a few more of the latest coaching-related rumblings from around the league:
- Jeff Van Gundy and the Clippers talked multiple times about the team's head coaching job, but discussions are now dormant, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Van Gundy was reportedly at or near the top of L.A.'s wish list, but it doesn't sound as if he's a serious candidate at this point.
- Two of the Nets' top coaching targets may become available for interviews within the next few days, as Tim Bontemps of the New York Post writes, pointing to Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw. In fact, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter), the Nets formally requested permission today to interview Hollins.
- The newly-retired Jason Kidd has interest in coaching, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
- Vitaly Potapenko, who was a Cavaliers lottery pick way back in 1996, will return to Cleveland as an assistant coach to Mike Brown, tweets Wojnarowski.
Mark Jackson, having just completed his second year on the Warriors' bench, is the longest-tenured coach in the Pacific Division. Mike D'Antoni, whom the Lakers hired at midseason, is next, while the division's other three teams are making offseason changes. Jeff Hornacek is the new Suns coach, and Michael Malone is poised to take over the bench in Sacramento. It's unclear who'll lead the Clippers, but there's news on that among the items out of the Pacific this evening:
- Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game counts Alvin Gentry and Jeff Van Gundy as the leading candidates for the Clippers coaching job. A source tells Bucher that Nate McMillan and Byron Scott probably won't end up with the gig. The Clippers want a proven head coach, making Brian Shaw another unlikely choice, particularly given his reputation for interviewing poorly (Sulia link).
- The idea that Chris Paul didn't have anything to do with Vinny Del Negro's ouster as Clippers coach is preposterous, according to Bucher, who hears that Paul is telling team management who he wouldn't want to have as the next coach, rather than giving them his preferred choices. That way he can retain an air of removal from the team's decisions, as Bucher explains (Sulia link).
- Michael Malone, set to become head coach of the Kings, might not be the only Warriors assistant coach headed out of town. Bob Beyer is a candidate to wind up on Malone's staff or with new Bobcats coach Steve Clifford, Bucher reports (Sulia link). The Warriors might not rush to fill those vacancies, Bucher says, but Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes that the W's have prior interest in 'Cats assistant Stephen Silas (Twitter link).
- With Malone perhaps just the first of many Warriors to make the jump up the road to Sacramento, the new Kings owners are concerned about the perception they're poaching from Golden State, tweets USA Today's Sam Amick. Sacramento principal owner Vivek Ranadive has yet to formally divest himself of his Warriors share.
The Nets have reached out to Jeff Van Gundy about their coaching vacancy, a source tells Mark Heisler (via Twitter). For his part, Van Gundy told Josh Newman of SNY (Twitter link) via text that he isn't willing to discuss potential opportunities at this time.
"I don't just talk about jobs. If [Nets GM Billy King] wants to talk about who he has talked to, then that's up to him," said the coach.
We learned this week that JVG is atop the Clippers' wish list, along with Brian Shaw. Van Gundy, who has said in the past that he is content with his current position as an analyst and color commentator for ABC, is believed to have interest in the job. His level of interest in the Nets job – which Heisler says is only in an "introductory" phase at this time – is unknown, but he didn't say no to the Nets either.
Back in January, Sam Amick of USA Today reported that Van Gundy missed coaching and was expected to explore potential opportunities beginning this summer. His brother, Stan Van Gundy, says that he's not looking to coach in 2013/14, however.
Although there are still a handful of NBA head coaching jobs available, the openings in Brooklyn and Los Angeles stand out, based on the regular-season success the Nets and Clippers had this past season. Neither team appears to have made significant progress in its search so far, but that could change soon. Here's the latest on the Nets' and Clippers' respective searches:
- The Clippers have reached out to Brian Shaw and Jeff Van Gundy, who are reportedly atop the team's wish list, and both men appear to have interest in the job, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
- According to Turner, Alvin Gentry has also been in touch with the Clippers and expressed interest in the job. Jerry Sloan's representatives called the Clips as well, but he has since "backed away" from pursuing the opening, says Turner.
- All the Clippers' discussions so far have been preliminary, with no formal interviews set up yet, writes Turner.
- Neither the Clippers or Nets seem to be making any headway with Lionel Hollins. Turner reports that L.A. has yet to speak to the Grizzlies coach, while Fred Kerber of the New York Post says Hollins isn't necessarily the odds-on favorite for Brooklyn.
- The Nets aren't among the teams who have called the Pacers about Shaw, according to Kerber, who hears from a source that Brooklyn may be inclined to favor a candidate with previous head coaching experience. "I think they have high regard for [Shaw]," the source said. "But with that roster and owner, my gut says they would want an established guy."
8:15PM: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reports that the Clippers have reached out to Jeff Van Gundy in order to gauge his interest in the job. There was neither a discussion about setting up a possible interview nor any indication of whether or not Van Gundy is actually interested.
8:47AM: On Tuesday, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com reported that the Clippers had their eye on big-name coaching candidates as they search for Vinny Del Negro's replacement. And according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, two candidates in particular seem to be atop the team's wishlist: Jeff Van Gundy and Brian Shaw. Both Van Gundy and Shaw are being "strongly considered" by the Clips, says Woike.
In addition to Van Gundy and Shaw, the Clippers are said to be eyeing current Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, as well as former NBA head coaches Alvin Gentry, Byron Scott, and Nate McMillan. According to Woike, interviews for the open coaching position could begin as soon as this week.
While his brother doesn't intend to coach next season, Van Gundy hasn't given any indication recently on whether he's open to returning to an NBA bench. However, back in January, Sam Amick of USA Today reported that Van Gundy missed coaching and was expected to explore potential opportunities beginning this summer.
As for Shaw, reports have suggested that he and the Pacers are turning down any and all interview requests until after the team's playoff run is over. So the Clippers will have to wait at least a few more days to speak to Shaw, and perhaps longer than that, if the Pacers manage to upset the Heat.