Lawrence Frank Rumors
April 18 at 12:52pm CST By Luke Adams
The Pistons have notified Lawrence Frank that he won't be retained as the team's head coach for the 2013/14 season, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com first tweeted word that Frank was out as coach of the Pistons.
The decision had been expected for some time, particularly after Pistons owner Tom Gores expressed his disappointment earlier this week about how the club's season had played out. Gores did praise the way Joe Dumars and basketball operations had set the franchise up financially, but his comments didn't include many accolades for Frank's performance.
In two seasons with the Pistons, Frank led the team to a 54-94 record, failing to qualify for the playoffs either year. He'll still receive his salary for the 2013/14 season, since it was guaranteed for an amount in the neighborhood of $3.5-4MM.
We heard yesterday that Frank had informed the Pistons he didn't want to return to the club unless the team exercised its 2014/15 option on him as well. Frank didn't want to commit to the Pistons going forward unless the team was willing to commit long-term to him, due in part to the fact that his wife has been ill, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported today.
April 18 at 11:10am CST By Luke Adams
Two teams have already made coaching changes today, as the Cavaliers parted ways with Byron Scott and the Sixers announced that Doug Collins won't be returning as head coach. There could be a few more spins on the coaching carousel before the day is done, so let's round up the latest....
- ESPN.com's Marc Stein gets the sense that the Suns will take their time to make a decision on the future of coach Lindsey Hunter, who is not assured of returning (Twitter link). According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, Hunter didn't fare well in his end-of-season player evaluations -- "players don't want him back," one source tells Berger.
- It sounds as if Lawrence Frank is on the way out in Detroit, but he won't officially learn his fate until he meets with Pistons owner Tom Gores today, tweets Stein. Berger hears that one reason Frank wants his fourth-year option picked up if the team brings him back for a third year is that his wife has been ill, so he's reluctant to make a commitment to Detroit if the club isn't committed long-term to him.
- The situation with Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman figures to take a couple weeks to be resolved, according to Berger.
- Berger adds that Dwane Casey's job with the Raptors appears to be safe for now.
- Although he acknowledges that the Sixers could replace Collins internally, John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer expects the team to interview several coaching candidates, including perhaps Mike Brown, Nate McMillan, Stan Van Gundy, Brian Shaw, and Michael Malone.
- Tom Sorenson of the Charlotte Observer is at a loss in trying to determine whether or not the Bobcats should bring back head coach Mike Dunlap for next season.
- According to GM Chris Grant, the Cavaliers' search for a new coach will begin immediately (Twitter link via Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio).
April 17 at 10:24pm CST By Chuck Myron
Lawrence Frank has told Pistons owner Tom Gores and team president Joe Dumars that he doesn't want to return as coach unless they exercise his option for 2014/15, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Frank is concerned about being a lame-duck coach as the team continues to rebuild, Wojnarowski writes. The team has already picked up Frank's option for next season, but he's reportedly on thin ice after leading the team to back-to-back lottery seasons in his two years as coach.
The Pistons will be on the hook for Frank's salary next season regardless of whether he's their coach. Wojnarowski pegs that guarantee at $4MM, while Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News has the figure at $3.7MM. The 2014/15 option would be for $4MM, according to Wojnarowski. Regardless, Gores wasn't enthusiastic when he spoke about the performance of Frank and Dumars earlier this week, and Frank wasn't optimistic when he spoke to reporters, including Goodwill, before the team's loss to the Nets tonight.
"Let's hope for the best, but we understand what reality could be," the coach said. "There's dialogue there so we'll see what happens."
The Pistons are expected to give Frank their decision tomorrow. A decision could be coming soon on Dumars as well, as a report this weekend suggested he could be on his way out as well.
April 16 at 10:29am CST By Luke Adams
As we wait to see if the Central's top two teams, the Pacers and Bulls, will meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, here's the latest out of the division:
- As Vince Ellis writes in a pair of pieces for the Detroit Free Press, Pistons owner Tom Gores didn't exactly give coach Lawrence Frank and GM Joe Dumars ringing endorsements, noting his disappointment that the team fell short of playoff contention this season. "I will say I expected better results," Gores said. "I met with Joe and
Lawrence (on Sunday) and I let them know that. They’re great guys that know
their business, but I’m here assessing everything. My job is to move
this franchise forward."
- In Ellis' view, Frank appears to be on the way out in Detroit, but Dumars likely "isn't going anywhere." Gores did express excitement about the way Dumars and the Pistons' basketball operations had set the franchise up financially, with plenty of cap room available this summer.
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press argues that Dumars has earned at least one more year with the Pistons.
- In his latest mailbag for CSNChicago.com, Aggrey Sam addresses the future of Luol Deng in Chicago and speculates on whether or not Nate Robinson will be back with the Bulls next season.
- Kyrie Irving told reporters last night, including Rick Noland of the Chronicle-Telegram, that he "absolutely" wants to see Byron Scott return as the Cavaliers' head coach in 2013/14.
April 14 at 10:05am CST By Chuck Myron
Sources tell Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that Joe Dumars' run as team president will soon come to an end, though Lawrence throws a bit of cold water on his own report, noting the deep connection between Dumars and the team and writing that "we'll believe it when we see it." In any case, it appears the Pistons could be headed for a shakeup, with the Daily News scribe echoing earlier reports that the Pistons are likely to let go of coach Lawrence Frank.
The Pistons head into a critical summer, with only about $29MM in commitments for next season and another lottery pick on the way. The last time Detroit had such ample cap space, in 2009, Dumars signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to long-term deals that became albatrosses for the team. The Pistons traded a first-round draft pick to the Bobcats last summer in part to relieve themselves of the final year of Gordon's deal.
Dumars took over the team's front office in 2000 after a Hall-of-Fame playing career spent exclusively with the Pistons. He won Executive of the Year in 2002/03, but followed it up with his most noteworthy error, drafting Darko Milicic second overall in the 2003 draft, ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and other standouts. Still, the Pistons won the title in 2003/04, and went to the Eastern Conference Finals six seasons in a row before their recent string of playoff misses.
MLive's David Mayo examines the questions facing the franchise, pointing out the arguments both for keeping and getting rid of Dumars and Frank.
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.
April 3 at 10:01pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Pacers boast the second-longest current winning streak in the NBA at five games, but every other team in the division is on a losing streak, including the banged-up Bulls, who are down to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. There's news about the three Central Division clubs even further down in the standings, as we pass along:
- In response to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports that Pistons coach Lawrence Frank could be a "strong candidate" for the open coaching job at Rutgers, Frank said he has not been contacted by anyone and added, "I'm very happy as coach of Pistons," tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- With expansion off the table for the NBA, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler anticipates the Bucks will be the next team in the conversation to move once the future of the Kings is resolved. Kyler cautions that the Bucks have a lease that runs through September of 2017 (All Twitter links).
- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott isn't concerned with rumors questioning his future in Cleveland, as Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio notes via Twitter. "Not really. ... Whatever happens happens," Scott said.
- Amico believes an attitude adjustment, rather than draft picks or cap space, is what the Cavs need in order to turn the franchise back into a winner. He points to the team's 10-game losing streak as a product of an "organization-wide collapse" that can't be pinned solely on Scott or anyone else.
March 30 at 4:04pm CST By Chuck Myron
Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls agreed before the season to a four-year, $17.5MM extension, but Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported about six weeks ago that the coach had yet to sign the pact. The contract still remains unsigned, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, though it's not uncommon for Thibodeau to hesitate on such matters, Wojnarowski points out. Wojnarowski's entire piece, in which he also notes NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson is looking for a front-office job with a team, is worth a read, and there are plenty of other stories out involving Central Division clubs, as we round up here:
- Thibodeau says it's a "non-issue" that he hasn't signed his contract, explaining that he just received the paperwork back from lawyers who were reviewing it, tweets Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. Thibodeau added that as soon as he gets an opportunity to forward the signed contract to GM Gar Forman, he'll do so.
- Plenty of NBA GMs like Scott Skiles' no-nonsense approach, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, who wonders which NBA team the former Bucks coach will be piloting next year (Twitter link).
- The Cavs haven't given any indication Byron Scott is in trouble, but Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer, in response to readers questions, isn't certain he'll be back to coach the team next year.
- Chances are "beginning to look dicey" that Pistons coach Lawrence Frank will return next season, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Owner Tom Gores will decide at the end of the season whether to bring back Frank for the third season on his deal. It's the final guaranteed year on Frank's contract, which includes an option for 2013/14, according to Ellis. I'd assume that's a team option, though Ellis doesn't specify.
- Tobias Harris is seeing significantly more playing time with the Magic than he did before the Bucks traded him at the deadline, and Beno Udrih, who accompanied him from Milwaukee to Orlando in the same deal, thinks their old team wasn't giving Harris the minutes he deserved. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post has the details. "When I was in Milwaukee with him, I always knew he had the potential and talent to be a great player," Udrih said. "And in Milwaukee, I think they were just holding him back. They didn't give him a real chance to show what he can do. Here, he got a chance and he's definitely proving himself and taking advantage of the chance."
- HoopsWorld's Joel Brigham catches up with Malcolm Thomas, who speaks about the uncertainties of a 10-day contract. On Friday, Thomas signed his second 10-day deal with the Bulls.
March 21 at 7:00pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Without leading scorers Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters yesterday, the Cavaliers had the surging Heat against the ropes in Cleveland through three quarters, leading by nine before ultimately losing in a heartbreaker. The last few years have represented some trying times for Cavs fans, although with the rise of Irving as a young potential superstar, Dion Waiters showing flashes as a promising scorer, and Tristan Thompson continuing to improve, the horizon is beginning to look bright in Cleveland. A promising young core on a team with cap space could only be a selling point toward a possible homecoming for LeBron James in 2014, although ESPN's Marc Stein (Twitter link) believes that the Akron native and Dwyane Wade are too close for LeBron to just "bolt Miami." Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the NBA:
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld highlights that several clubs have considered signing Von Wafer, particularly teams looking to bolster their rosters before the playoffs start. The former second-round pick had recently returned from a stint in China and last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season. In the same piece, Kennedy identifies players who have helped their free agency stock with their strong play this year.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Al Harrington could decide to sit out the rest of the season for the Magic for the sake of their young players benefiting from major playing time. The 33-year-old forward, who overcame a staph infection after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, insists that his knees are fine now and that he will focus on preparing them for next year. Robbins adds that although Harrington is due about $14.7MM over the next two seasons, those years are partially guaranteed and could be bought out for nearly half that number this summer.
- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro discusses his job status with Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times. Now in his third season in LA and nearing the end of his contract, Dwyre writes that Chris Paul's contract status, the level of preference for Del Negro, and the team's performance in the playoffs are all substantial factors that are in play with regard to the coach's future with the team.
- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank tells David Mayo of MLive.com that, considering their record this year, none of the players - as well as the coaches - should feel safe about retaining their role for next season.