Lionel Hollins Rumors

Atlantic Notes: Garnett, Hollins, Raptors, Knicks

February 6 at 12:18pm CST By Chuck Myron

Grantland’s Zach Lowe suggests that Kevin Garnett will be the subject of trade discussions between now and the deadline. The 20th-year vet is appealing to teams looking for a either bench upgrade, an expiring contract or both, according to Lowe, identifying the Warriors, Hornets and Raptors in that group. However, it doesn’t appear from Lowe’s report that those teams are indeed going after Garnett, who has one of the NBA’s few true no-trade clauses. There’s more on the Nets amid the latest from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets GM Billy King denies that Lionel Hollins‘ job is in jeopardy in the wake of a report that the team had upped its scrutiny of the coach, observes Johnette Howard of ESPNNewYork.com“I don’t know where that story came from about Lionel, but it’s not true,” King said. That report indicated that Hollins’ criticisms of Nets players had rankled ownership, but King says he likes the coach’s demanding approach, Howard writes.
  • Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said Thursday that he’s always listening to trade proposals but added that he doesn’t have a lot going on for now, notes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. The team has reportedly been looking for an upgrade at power forward and has been linked to David West, Taj Gibson and Kenneth Faried.
  • Langston Galloway says he received “pretty significant” offers from multiple European teams but turned them down to play with New York’s D-League affiliate this season, as he tells Chris Mannix of SI.com, who writes in his Open Floor column. The Knicks signed Galloway out of the D-League last month to a pair of 10-day contracts before inking him to a multiyear pact.
  • If the Triangle Offense fails to work for the Knicks by next season and Phil Jackson continues to insist that coach Derek Fisher use it, that puts Fisher in a compromising position not just in New York but for any coaching job he’d want to take in the future, opines Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Celtics have recalled Phil Pressey from the D-League, the team announced (Twitter link). Pressey’s first career assignment to the D-League lasted but one day, long enough for him to record 34 points, nine assists and six turnovers in a single game for Boston’s affiliate.

Atlantic Notes: Jackson, Nets, Stoudemire, Drew

February 4 at 1:30pm CST By Chuck Myron

Phil Jackson‘s hints to Harvey Araton of The New York Times that his stay as Knicks president might not be a lengthy one lead Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com to wonder if the door is ajar for a return of the Zen Master to the Lakers, where Jim Buss is on a three-year timetable to succeed. Still, Jackson told Brian Lewis of the New York Post within the past week that “I’ve kind of just divorced myself from them,” in reference to the Lakers, so it seems a purple-and-gold reunion is almost certainly not in the cards. Here’s more from Jackson’s current division:

  • Trade rumors have swirled around Brook Lopez, and a recent report cast some doubt about the long-term job security of coach Lionel Hollins, but Lopez and Hollins have begun to forge a better working relationship, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News details. Hollins’ public criticism of Lopez and others had bothered Nets ownership, as sources recently told Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire said today that he doesn’t anticipate he’ll be traded this year, and that while he hasn’t had a conversation with the Knicks front office about a future with the team beyond this season, he expects one to take place soon, observes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • Larry Drew II‘s 10-day contract with the Sixers expires tonight, but coach Brett Brown made it plain Tuesday that he’s a fan of the point guard, notes Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter link). Drew is on his second 10-day arrangement with Philadelphia, so any subsequent deal between the sides would have to cover the rest of the season.
  • Sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia that former Knicks guard Chris Smith is headed to play for KB Peja in Kosovo. The Knicks signed Smith, the brother of J.R. Smith, to a minimum-salary contract with a fully guaranteed salary for last season, but they waived him a little more than two months into 2013/14.

Nets Ownership Ups Scrutiny Of Lionel Hollins?

January 28 at 10:33am CST By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 10:33am: Hollins didn’t seem to worried about his job when he answered a question from Newsday’s Roderick Boone about the report (Twitter links).

“Why wouldn’t the team be evaluating me? Now if you are talking about evaluating me like I’m doing something bad and all that … ,” Hollins said. “Whoever wrote the article, it’s his opinion. All I can do is coach.”

6:41pm: The Nets aren’t looking to fire Hollins, a source tells Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), asserting that Stein and Youngmisuk’s report is “totally false.”

MONDAY, 4:46pm: Nets officials are taking a close took at the job performance of coach Lionel Hollins amid concern about the team’s recent slide, report Marc Stein and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Tension between Hollins and some of his players is escalating, Stein and Youngmisuk hear, and sources tell Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com for the same story that Hollins’ public criticism of his players has upset people at the ownership level of the club. Principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns 80% of the franchise, is reportedly looking to sell his interest in the team while trade talk swirls around Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, Brooklyn’s three most highly paid players.

The Nets last week became the fifth team in NBA history to lose consecutive games by 35 or more, as Stein and Youngmisuk point out, and Brooklyn has fallen a half-game behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Hollins is in just the first season of a four-year deal to coach the team, and according to the ESPN scribes, the contract would be worth more than $20MM if Hollins triggers incentives and if the team exercises a fourth-year option. However, it seems that Hollins’ approach, featuring a healthy does of brutal honesty, is quickly wearing thin on some within the Nets.

Hollins got along quite well with Mike Conley and Zach Randolph in his last job as coach of the Grizzlies, according to Stein and Youngmisuk. However, Hollins failed to see eye-to-eye with a new management team at the end of his tenure with Memphis, which let him go in 2013 even though he had just led the franchise to the only conference finals appearance in its history. The 61-year-old is 232-227 in parts of eight seasons as an NBA head coach, including this year’s 18-26 mark with the Nets. Prokhorov and his advisers ultimately decided to keep former coach Jason Kidd for the duration of last season after entertaining the idea of letting him go, as Stein and Youngmisuk note. Kidd and the club eventually had an acrimonious split in the summer, clearing the way for Hollins to come aboard.

Western Notes: Rockets, Thunder, McLemore

November 6 2014 at 12:31pm CST By Chuck Myron

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said he won’t judge coach Kevin McHale merely by how far the team goes in the playoffs this year and expressed support for the front office as he spoke with Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Alexander pointed to Trevor Ariza and Kostas Papanikolaou as key additions in an offseason that, as the owner acknowledged, didn’t go as planned.

“It was a very difficult offseason,” Alexander said. “There were big decisions that really didn’t go our way. It was tough. It was tough going through it and hoping you’d be able to rebound and have a really good team. I liked the moves that we made. And we still have flexibility to make other moves, which I believe is important.”

The Rockets, with a league-best 5-0 record, put that unbeaten mark on the line tonight against a Spurs team that plans to rest Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Thunder would likely apply for a second hardship provision, which would give them a 17th roster spot, if they expect that a knee injury that Perry Jones III suffered Tuesday will force him to miss a significant amount of time, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. The team is poised to make Ish Smith its 16th player.
  • Ben McLemore has hired the Klutch Sports Group for his representation, the agency announced (Twitter link). The second-year shooting guard recently left agent Rodney Blackstock. Klutch has close ties to the Cavs, but the earliest McLemore could reach unrestricted free agency by his own choosing would be the summer of 2018.
  • Flip Saunders said uncertainty over the Timberwolves roster this summer prior to the Kevin Love trade helped keep him from hiring Lionel Hollins as Minnesota’s coach, observes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Saunders said he couldn’t promise Hollins, who interviewed for the coaching job that Saunders ultimately took for himself, that the Wolves would have the sort of veteran roster that Hollins is accustomed to, as Bontemps notes.

New York Rumors: Shumpert, Nets, Carmelo

October 27 2014 at 12:01pm CST By Chuck Myron

A report from Marc Stein of ESPN.com 10 days ago indicated that the Knicks and Iman Shumpert were in active extension negotiations, but Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com continues to hear that the sides haven’t engaged in any talks, echoing his dispatch from a month ago. The Knicks upset Shumpert when they made him a frequent subject of trade talk last season, Begley writes, and a source close to the swingman tells Begley that Shumpert is in no mood to give New York a hometown discount should he hit restricted free agency next summer. Here’s more from around the Big Apple:

  • Nets GM Billy King confirmed the team will keep Jorge Gutierrez and Jerome Jordan along with the team’s 12 fully guaranteed contracts for opening night, tweets Andy Vasquez of The Record. Presumably, that means Cory Jefferson will stick around on his partially guaranteed deal, too.
  • Carmelo Anthony did his part to refute a report that indicated that marquee free agents don’t want to play with Kobe Bryant, telling reporters that he’d “love” to play with the Lakers legend, as Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com note. Anthony also said that Bryant tried to recruit him to the Lakers this summer, but the Knicks forward can’t hit free agency again until 2018, and Bryant’s under contract through the summer of 2016.
  • Lionel Hollins said he never got to know Grizzlies owner Robert Pera before the team let Hollins go in 2013, as he tells Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The new Nets coach added that timing played a key role in his decision to take the Brooklyn job this summer while the Lakers still had a vacancy. “I felt either one of those jobs would be fine,” Hollins says. “The Lakers still had Kobe and they could change the team at a moment’s notice because they only had three players under contract. So I thought that wasn’t a bad situation and I thought this was a good situation so when it came about, it was one that I was happy and I wasn’t going to wait on the Lakers when I had a job in hand.”

Lionel Hollins On The Nets

August 31 2014 at 9:00am CST By Eddie Scarito

Lionel Hollins returns to the sidelines this season, replacing Jason Kidd as the head coach of the Nets. In an interview with reporters, Hollins addressed a number of subjects, and Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com has some of the highlights.

  • Hollins still hasn’t spoken with Kevin Garnett, who hasn’t committed to returning for another season yet. In regards to Garnett, Hollins said, “He’s such a heckuva competitor. He’s very focused and intense, and you like that about a player that brings it every night, and you know what you’re going to get from that player. That’s huge. Just his level of competitiveness and his willingness to do whatever it takes to win.”
  • When asked about Paul Pierce‘s departure via free agency, Hollins said, “Players retire, players get traded, players leave in free agency. You take what you have and you work with them.”
  • When discussing rookie guard Bojan Bogdonovic, Hollins said, “I think he’s got great size, he’s also got great speed and quickness. He can shoot the ball, but also put the ball on the floor. He can post up. I’m looking for players. Players that have multiple skills and are not just one-dimensional.”
  • Asked if he would use Brook Lopez similar to how Marc Gasol was utilized in Memphis, Hollins said, “I’m gonna utilize Brook in a way that fits Brook. Like I said, he’s a very talented kid, skilled kid, and he’ll be a very talented piece of what we’re trying to do offensively, but I want him to be a big part of what we’re trying to do defensively as well.”

Nets Rumors: Pierce, Hollins, Bogdanovic

July 7 2014 at 10:51am CST By Chuck Myron

The Nets aren’t in the running for either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, but given their role in reported talks with the Cavs involving Jarrett Jack as Cleveland attempts to clear salary cap room for James, Brooklyn is still at the forefront of NBA conversation. Here’s the latest:

  • Paul Pierce remains high on the notion of re-signing with the Nets, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, adding that the 36-year-old would like to play at least two more seasons (Twitter link). Brooklyn has rebuffed the Clippers’ attempts to acquire Pierce via sign-and-trade.
  • New Nets coach Lionel Hollins was reportedly a strong candidate for the Lakers job before he wound up with Brooklyn, but in his introductory news conference today, he indicated that the Lakers didn’t push hard enough for him, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. “I’m all about who wants me,” Hollins said. “If they wanted me, they would have hired me.”
  • Hollins also made it clear he wouldn’t attempt to usurp the role of GM Billy King, as predecessor Jason Kidd apparently tried to do prior to Kidd’s exit, notes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Twitter link).
  • Brooklyn’s discussions with draft-and-stash prospect Bojan Bogdanovic center around what would be a deal for the $3.278MM taxpayer’s midlevel exception, as Bontemps details.

Nets Hire Lionel Hollins

July 2 2014 at 2:32pm CST By Chuck Myron

2:32pm: The fourth year is a team option, but Hollins could make as much as $20MM total on the deal if the Nets pick up that option, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).

1:57pm: The Nets have reached a deal with Lionel Hollins making him the head coach, the team announced (Twitter link). Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that Brooklyn and the Steve Kauffman client were close to a deal this morning. The sides had been discussing a contract for four years and $18MM, Stein tweets.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis GrizzliesBrooklyn moved swiftly to hire Hollins after striking a deal with Milwaukee on Monday to allow Jason Kidd out of his contract so he can coach the Bucks. The Nets reportedly spoke with University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, and while George Karl, Ettore Messina and Mark Jackson were also rumored to be candidates, Hollins was seemingly the front-runner even before the Nets had officially let go of Kidd.

Hollins, 60, was also among the favorites for the Lakers vacancy, which is once more the only open head coaching position in the league. He meets Brooklyn GM Billy King‘s desire for an experience coach after the team experimented with the neophyte Kidd last season, having coached the Grizzlies to a franchise-record 56 wins and the Western Conference Finals in 2012/13. He’s 214-201 in parts of seven seasons as an NBA head coach, all of them with the Grizzlies.

The Cavs also met with Hollins about their coaching vacancy this offseason, as did the Wolves. The Jazz and Warriors had interest in him, too.

Nets Close To Deal With Lionel Hollins

July 2 2014 at 11:48am CST By Zach Links

11:48am: Hollins and the Nets will likely come to a deal worth $4-5MM a season over four to five years, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com

8:41am: Hollins would end up with more than $4MM per year in the deal the two sides are closing in on, Stein adds.

WEDNESDAY, 8:31am: The Nets are nearing an agreement with Hollins, with the expectation that they’ll strike a deal today, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

TUESDAY, 2:35pm: The Nets talked to Kevin Ollie about the job, but he said he’s content at the University of Connecticut, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets.

11:24am: The Nets are more or less focused solely on Hollins, in spite of King’s statements to the contrary, according to Wojnarowski (on Twitter).

9:58am: A source tells Marc Stein of ESPN.com that the Nets are “lasered in” on Hollins, and that such was the case even before they met with him (Twitter link).

9:41am: Hollins wasn’t the first person with whom King spoke, but the GM won’t identify who was, Vasquez notes (via Twitter).

9:23am: Regardless of whom the Nets hire, it’s likely to be someone with experience, King also indicated, as The Record’s Andy Vasquez tweets. That would seem to cast doubt on Messina’s candidacy.

TUESDAY, 9:16am: Nets GM Billy King had dinner on Monday with Hollins and will meet with him again this morning, as King told reporters, including Newsday’s Roderick Boone (Twitter link). Still, King has reached out to other candidates and says he can envision those talks progressing, tweets Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.

MONDAY, 5:41pm: The Lakers have renewed interest in Hollins as well, a source tells USA Today’s Sam Amick.  Los Angeles hopes to talk with Hollins or his representatives later this week.  Byron Scott has been considered to be the frontrunner for the L.A. job.

4:27pm: The Nets have arranged for a meeting with coaching target Lionel Hollins, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  Wojnarowski terms Hollins as the Nets’ “top coaching target.”  The two sides will meet in the next 24-48 hours.

The Nets, of course, are in the market for a new head coach after reaching agreement on a deal with the Bucks that sends Jason Kidd to Milwaukee in exchange for a pair of second-round selections.  George Karl and Ettore Messina also appear to be the mix for Brooklyn, while Mark Jackson may or may not be a candidate.

Hollins, the former Grizzlies’ head coach, has interviewed for several of this offseason’s top jobs.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Nets, Hollins, Nelson

July 1 2014 at 9:45pm CST By Zach Links

Celtics 2013 second round pick Colton Iverson is back from Turkey and confident that he’ll make the C’s roster, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com.  “I knew when I got drafted last year that there was a pretty good chance I would have to go overseas,” said Iverson. “I was here working, trying to impress, and do everything possible to help the team. I knew there was a slim chance just with the roster. I think this year there is a little bit better chance and I know the opportunity is all mine for the taking. I think if I just come out and show what I can do in summer league and the next couple days here, I will really help myself. So I’m coming along with a different mindset that it’s mine for the taking and it’s all up to me.”  Here’s more from around the NBA..

  • Everything is quiet on the Nets/Lionel Hollins front at the moment, but signs are pointing toward an agreement, tweets Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.  Brooklyn has no immediate plans to interview anyone else for the position.
  • Nets GM Billy King told WFAN that Jameer Nelson is “on the list” of potential free agents that Brooklyn could target, tweets Andy Vasquez of the Bergen Record.
  • Mark Jackson was rumored to be a possible coaching candidate for the Nets, but he’s not under serious consideration now, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.
  • New Warriors guard Shaun Livingston told David Aldridge of NBA.com (on Twitter) that his departure from the Nets was a “long time coming” and admitted that the team’s limitations in how much money they could offer was a factor.  He went on to say that Jason Kidd‘s bizarre exit from Brooklyn wasn’t a major factor from him but also “didn’t help matters” (link).
  • Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com runs down five potential free agent targets for the Knicks, including Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Andrew Bynum.