A batch of notes regarding the league's never-ending coaching carousel:
Former Suns head coach Alvin Gentry will interview with the Grizzlies for the second time on Thursday for their open head coaching position, tweets Yahoo! NBA reporter Marc J. Spears.
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is not expecting a contract extension to come this summer, despite the team's immense playoff success in his second year on the job, writes MercuryNews.com's Tim Kawakami. Jackson also said that with the departure of top assistant Mike Malone to become head coach of the Kings, last year's assistants Pete Myers and Darren Erman will simply move up the depth chart, and no hiring will take place to replace Malone.
According to Shams Charania from RealGM.com, Jerry Sloan will continue to consult with the Jazz in an unofficial capacity for the time being. Several of the coaching vacancies that opened up this summer intrigued Sloan, but none were good enough of a fit to bring him out of retirement.
As we look forward to what could be the final game of the 2012/13 season tonight, let's check in on a few odds and ends from around the NBA....
Hawks GM Danny Ferry was noncommittal when asked by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution if the team planned to extend qualifying offers to Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson. I'd be pretty surprised if Teague didn't receive a qualifying offer, considering he's unlikely to accept the one-year offer and it could always be rescinded if Atlanta needed to clear cap space.
Chris Mullin is in the mix to become the next General Manager of the Kings, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter). If he pursues the job, Mullin will vie with Spurs President R.C. Buford, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, who are said to be on Vivek Ranadive's wish list for the vacant position.
Jeff Hornacek's experience in working with young players should put him in a good position to succeed with the Suns, writes Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune. The former NBA guard has been considered in the last year by the Magic, 76ers, and Bobcats but finally found the right fit with Phoenix this week.
Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter) hears the Warriors have not begun talks with coach Mark Jackson, though something is expected to get done to avoid lame duck status next year. In Thompson's opinion (link), the Warriors can't do any better than Jackson and the coach's agent should angle for a multi-year extension. After Mike D'Antoni got a three-year, $12MM deal from the Lakers, Thompson (link) believes that Jackson is worth at least that much.
Earlier today, we learned that the Clippers aren't going to make a run at Dwight Howard this summer. That doesn't come as a tremendous surprise when looking at the Clips' cap situation and the maneuvering they'd have to do in order to retain both Chris Paul and lure DH over from L.A.'s other team. Speaking of which, do the Lakers have the right plan to keep Howard in purple and gold next season? More on that and other notes out of the Pacific Division..
Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wonders if Howard truly understands the Lakers' legacy and fears that the club isn't making the right pitch to him. Shelburne feels that the Lakers need to impress upon him just how much he is wanted there, despite the vocal criticisms he has heard from fans.
Warriors General Manager Bob Myers confirmed to Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News (via Twitter) that the team has not yet made a decision on coach Mark Jackson's option for 2014/15. However, Myers will talk with Jackson's agent soon. Kawakami recently predicted that Jackson would get a new deal in the next few weeks.
Mike Krzyzewski isn't ruling out returning as the coach of USA Basketball through the 2016 Olympics, Pete Thamel at SI.com reports. "There's a chance," Krzyzewski says, "That's correct." USA Men's Basketball chairman, Jerry Colangelo, said "Give it another week and we should be resolved."
The Men's Basketball national team will be meeting for a mini-camp this summer from July 22-25, but they're still not decided on a coach, unless Krzyzewski comes back to coach again after winning the gold medal at this past summer's Summer Olympics. So, do you want Coach K back, or would you prefer one of these other candidates?
The Knicks are staring at a 3-1 deficit after falling to the Pacers for the second game in-a-row tonight in Indiana, 93-82. The Pacers will look to close out the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Thursday in game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup.
While the now-less exciting second round of the NBA playoffs trundles on with the Spurs back at the cozy confines of AT&T Arena in San Antonio for game 5 against the Warriors, we've got more Andrew Wiggins and Sam Hinkie news, and some reports from the predraft NBA combine starting in Chicago tomorrow and going through Sunday..
More from Sam Hinkie via Tom Moore at PhillyBurbs including Hinkie's quote "I'm not afraid to push my chips to the middle." Hinkie recognizes that while the 76ers aren't in position to contend right away, he feels a sense of urgency to get the club back on track.
David Mayo of MLive lists of all 63 invitees (62 college and one D-League) to the NBA's Draft Combine this Wednesday through Sunday. Projected No. 1 pick Nerlens Noel will be in attendance as he works his way back from a torn ACL.
With all four Conference Semifinals tied at one game apiece, the Heat and Spurs will be the first two favorites to try to regain home-court advantage tonight, in Chicago and Golden State respectively. As we look forward to those games, let's check in on a few odds and ends from around the Association:
If the Lakers try to make significant moves this offseason, it may adversely affect the team's ability to undergo a major rehaul in the summer of 2014, opines Mark Willard of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
6'8" wing Aaron Haynes, the 2012/13 MVP of the Korean Basketball League, will pursue an NBA roster spot for the '13/14 season, according to Chris B. Haynes at SLAMonline. The 31-year-old Haynes will be repped by Larry Williams of Union Sports Agency, who also counts Ivan Johnson among his clients -- Johnson made his NBA debut for the Hawks at age 27 after spending several years playing for international and D-League teams.
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski looks back to June 2011, when Warriors' GM Bob Myers had worries about not being able to select Klay Thompson knowing that either the Spurs could possibly trade up in the draft to get him or that the Bucks were planning to select him with the 10th overall pick. As it would turn out, San Antonio would wind up trading for the 15th pick (Kawhi Leonard) and the Kings landed the 10th pick to select Jimmer Fredette, leaving the sharpshooting Washington State forward right into the hands of Golden State. Here are a few more miscellaneous notes to share along this evening:
The 76ers aren't expected to hold most of their interviews for their head coaching search until after the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, writes Tom Moore of phillyBurbs.com, although there is a possibility that the team could conduct some during camp.
When asked about the trade that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson told reporters that letting Ellis go helped change the culture of the team, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link).
ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets that Lionel Hollins will be highly coveted if the Grizzlies opt to not re-sign him this summer, adding that the Nets would figure to be among the interested teams.
Heat owner Mickey Arison engaged in some civil discourse with a fan on Twitter regarding the possibility that Seattle loses out on their bid for the Kings (credit goes to SportsRadioKJR.com). Arison made it clear that he believes that the city of Sacramento has done enough to warrant keeping the team, and refuted the notion that Seattle had put forth the same effort in 2008 before the Sonics franchise ultimately moved to Oklahoma City.
John Denton of NBA.com writes that Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu understands the current youth movement of the franchise and that his time in Orlando could be over within the next coming months.
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) reports that Lakers big manPau Gasol will be held out of basketball activities for the next three months after undergoing an operation on his knee today.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times focuses on Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe's efforts to develop into a true NBA point guard. With the help of assistant coach Robert Pack and the mentorship of both NBA veterans Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul, the third-year reserve has a prime opportunity to redefine his game as he continues to adjust to the position after being drafted as a two-guard from Kentucky in 2010. Nonetheless, Bledsoe has been playing well to start this season, producing 10.6 PPG, 1.5 steals per game, and shooting 49% from the field, compared to his career averages of 5.9 PPG, 1.0 SPG, and 42.4% overall. Interestingly enough, he is only averaging 18.7 MPG this year with increased production, which is nearly 4 minutes less than what he averaged as a rookie in 2010-11. There have been several links to arrive out of the Pacific Division tonight, and you can find a roundup of them here:
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak admits that there was a "real good chance statistically" of Phil Jacksonreturning as head coach at one point, but also became wary of complying with the daunting public support as opposed to making a decision that felt right for the team. Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times discusses how team brass did not want to let outside pressure dictate their decision-making during their head coaching search.
NBA legend Jerry West offered his thoughts on the team, saying that he sees some flaws and isn't sure yet if Mike D'Antoni is the right coach to lead them to a championship (Adi Joseph of USA Today reports).
Tuesday was an eventful day for the Warriors both on the court, where they lost to the Hornets on a last-second basket, and off the court, where they announced a front-office shakeup, including the promotion of Bob Myers to general manager. Here's the latest out of Golden State as the team's season winds down....
The new GM confirmed to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that Mark Jackson will return next season to coach the Warriors. "He’s good," Myers said of Jackson’s long-term status. "He’s done a great job."
Myers was in line to replace Larry Riley as the Warriors' GM in "a few years," but it only took 12 months to make the change. According to Thompson, who explains the reasoning behind the front office changes, Myers proved to co-owner Joe Lacob that he was ready to take the reins now