Michael Malone Rumors
May 17 at 1:10pm CST By Luke Adams
A little more than 12 hours after we heard that Vivek Ranadive's Sacramento investment group and the Maloof family had struck an agreement to transfer ownership of the Kings, the city of Sacramento held a press conference today to formally announce the good news. Mayor Kevin Johnson praised the city for never giving up on the Kings, and also confirmed that Chris Hansen isn't involved in the deal, so he won't be a minority owner of the team (Twitter link via Chris Daniels of KING5). As the new ownership group prepares to officially take over the Kings, here's a number of other items related to the sale and to the team:
- Assuming Keith Smart is not retained as the Kings' head coach by the new ownership group, Warriors assistant Michael Malone is expected to be a top candidate, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick also points to Chris Mullin as a potential front office candidate, with Geoff Petrie likely on the way out.
- The Sacramento Bee's initial story on the agreement between the new ownership group and the Maloofs has been updated with plenty of additional details, identifying a number of the investors in Ranadive's group.
- Chris Mannix of SI.com reports (via Twitter) that the NBA's 30 owners offered to repay the $30MM non-refundable deposit Hansen's Seattle group made to the Maloofs, but Hansen declined. Mannix adds (via Twitter) that Hansen and Co. don't intend to file any lawsuits related to the Kings situation.
- The 7% share of the Kings that Hansen bought in bankruptcy, pending NBA approval, will likely be auctioned off again, tweets Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee.
- In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton examines the next steps for the Kings.
May 7 at 9:32pm CST By Alex Lee
The Knicks have evened their conference semifinal against the Pacers at one. While the Grizzlies try to do the same, here are some news and notes from around the league:
- ESPN Boston's Chris Forberg examines the chances that Courtney Lee will stick in Boston as the Celtics head into their offseason. After being traded three of the last four summers, Lee struggled to carve out a role in his first year as a Celtic despite being given every chance to do so. Lee is under contract and the Celts coveted him a year ago, so it would make sense if they gave him another year to assimilate.
- Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com has a litany of Sixers coaching updates in his latest story. According to Moore, the team won't interview Michael Malone or Jeff Hornacek until next week at the earliest. Moore reiterates the team's interst in Brian Shaw and Michael Curry, while also adding a new name, Quin Snyder, to the coaching mix in Philadelphia. Snyder coached on Doug Collins' staff in Philly during the 2010-11 season and was mentioned earlier tonight as a possible fit in Atlanta.
- While Steve Blake is one of four Lakers to be amnesty eligible, his strong play this season as a role player makes it unlikely that he will be the one to go, writes Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times. Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol are his other three amnesty eligible teammates.
- Alex Len and his agent, Michael Lelchitski, contemplated delaying last week's ankle surgery until after pre-draft workouts in an attempt to move into the conversation for the No. 1 pick, writes RealGM's Shams Charania. “If he had a chance to work out, I truly believe he could have moved up and gone No. 1,” Lelchitski said of the Maryland center. While it was clearly the right decision, Len's injury will certainly affect his draft stock, as it will sideline him for anywhere from four to six months.
- In an Insider-only blog, ESPN's Fran Fraschilla breaks down five underrated draft prospects he believes will rise up boards as team's get a better look at them in the coming weeks. Among them, Frachilla lists Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, Cal's Allen Crabbe, Brazil's Lucas Nogueira, NC State's Lorenzo Brown and Baylor's Pierre Jackson.
May 7 at 11:50am CST By Luke Adams
The latest piece from Marc Stein at ESPN.com includes word that Dwight Howard remains more likely than Chris Paul to leave Los Angeles this summer. One source predicted to Stein that there's "zero chance" Paul signs with any team besides the Clippers. However, while Paul looks like a strong bet to return to L.A., the same can't be said for his head coach. Here are the latest rumblings on Vinny Del Negro and the rest of the NBA's coaching carousel:
- Stein refers to Del Negro's dismissal as seemingly "inevitable" and suggests that the Clippers want to go "big" with their next hire. Stan Van Gundy is one name likely to surface, according to Stein.
- If Del Negro is let go, Michael Malone, Alvin Gentry, and Byron Scott also figure to be a few top candidates for the position, according to Mark Heisler of HoopsHype.com. Stein endorses that list of contenders, particularly if the team's interest in Van Gundy doesn't go anywhere.
- Kelvin Sampson is the Rockets assistant frequently mentioned as a head coach candidate, but J.B. Bickerstaff is also on the Pistons' list, says Stein.
- Sampson and Mike Dunleavy aren't currently being considered for the Nets' opening, reports Stein.
- Assuming Larry Drew is done in Atlanta, Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer and former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder are expected to be among the Hawks' targets, says Stein.
- Coaching candidate Brian Shaw has yet to be contacted about job openings, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter). I'd assume the Pacers will give Shaw permission to interview for coaching jobs once Indiana is out of the playoffs.
- Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com surveyed leagues execs, players, and team personnel on who would make a good first-time NBA coach, and Heat assistant David Fizdale, Grizzlies assistant David Joerger, and Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg were among the top selections.
May 6 at 5:46pm CST By Zach Links
Here's the latest news on coaching and GM vacancies courtesy of CBSSports.com's Ken Berger..
- It's too early to identify a front-runner in the Sixers search, but things sound promising for Warriors assistant Mike Malone. Philly execs have contacted the Warriors multiple times about Malone, including several conversations with consultant Jerry West. In fact, the Sixers are consulting players who've played under both Malone and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer to get a feel for how the two candidates differ, according to one source.
- To the surprise of some rival executives, the Sixers' coaching search is being led by GM Tony DiLeo, whose contract expires this summer. With team president Rod Thorn moving into a smaller role and DiLeo's contract expiring, rival execs expect the Sixers seek out a new decision maker as well. In fact, that process has already begun through back-channel conversations, one person contacted on the Sixers' behalf told Berger.
- Nets star Deron Williams has been vocal in his support of Jerry Sloan for the job but also has a strong relationship with Jeff Hornacek. In addition to the Sixers, the former Jazz sharpshooter has attracted interest from the Bobcats, Suns, and Bucks, sources told Berger.
- The Suns are in the advanced stages of their GM search and the latest word is that Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough's is gaining momentum. Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman has been viewed as the favorite in some circles, however, and the Suns also have interviewed Spurs exec (and former Knicks GM) Scott Layden.
- The Clippers are expected to can Vinny Del Negro and Hawks are expected to let Larry Drew go, league sources said. The Clippers are said to be "exploring all options," while the Hawks' decision on Drew's future is expected "sooner than later," sources said. It is widely believed that GM Danny Ferry prefers to install his own head coach in Atlanta.
May 2 at 8:31am CST By Luke Adams
As they search for a head coach to replace Doug Collins, the 76ers are expected to begin conducting interviews next week, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski reports that the Sixers figure to begin their interview process with two current assistant coaches, Michael Malone (Warriors) and Jeff Hornacek (Jazz).
Besides receiving permission to interview Malone and Hornacek, the Sixers are also eyeing a handful of other candidates, says Wojnarowski. According to the Yahoo! scribe, Philadelphia is "strongly considering" Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and is "closely monitoring" the contract status of Lionel Hollins in Memphis.
We had previously heard that Malone and Shaw were at or near the top of the Sixers' wish list, and that the team has contacted the Pacers about interviewing Shaw, which will likely happen when Indiana's playoff run ends. Wojnarowski adds that the Sixers have been doing extensive research on Malone, and have received "excellent feedback" so far.
April 24 at 3:05pm CST By Luke Adams
WEDNESDAY, 2:05pm: Having been hired by the Cavaliers, Brown is no longer in the mix for the Sixers' job. However, another name has joined Shaw as a top candidate for Philadelphia, according to Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com. Lynam reports that Warriors assistant Michael Malone is "high on the Sixers' list" for the head coach opening.
TUESDAY, 9:46am: The Sixers are still in the early stages of their search to replace former head coach Doug Collins, but according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), two names have risen to the top of the team's list: Mike Brown and Brian Shaw.
Brown appears to be a popular target these days, as the Cavaliers have reportedly made the former Lakers coach their top priority early in the offseason. Shaw, meanwhile, has received plenty of head coaching buzz before, and it seems to be only a matter of time before the current Pacers assistant gets his shot.
Sixers assistant Michael Curry, who has the support of many Philadelphia players as well as Collins, is expected to interview for the club's head coaching position.
April 19 at 9:21pm CST By Chuck Myron
Three Pacific Division teams are preparing for the playoffs this weekend, while the other two have May 21st, the date of the draft lottery, circled on their calendars. By the end of that night, the Kings will know which pick they'll have in the first round, and apparently which city they'll be playing in next year, too, according to comments David Stern made today. We've been keeping close tabs on Kings developments, and there's news involving the other four teams in the division as well.
- A source close to Chris Paul tells HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram that there's no way CP3 will leave the Clippers (Twitter link). That's in keeping with the signals Paul's camp has been putting out all season.
- Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports unveils his final power rankings of the 2012/13 season, and in so doing passes along news that the Suns are thinking about keeping interim coach Lindsey Hunter, according to a source.
- Steve Nash has endured a season of injuries and dished out his fewest assists per game since 1999/00, but he's giving no thought to retirement, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Sulia link).
- From conversations with general managers, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports gleans the names of four assistant coaches who appear to be top candidates to wind up as head coaches (Twitter link). Three have Pacific Division ties: Michael Malone of the Warriors, Steve Clifford of the Lakers, and former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder, who's now an assistant in Russia with CSKA Moscow. The other name on Wojnarowski's list is Kelvin Sampson, who temporarily took over head coaching duties for the Rockets this season while Kevin McHale tended to his ailing daughter.
April 19 at 11:30am CST By Luke Adams
FRIDAY, 11:30am: The Cavs may move quickly to court Brown, in an effort to get ahead of other teams that may have interest in hiring him, a source tells Boyer.
THURSDAY, 8:33pm: Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer says that although Brown hasn't been contacted by the Cavs, he would listen if they called:
"If anybody calls, you have to listen.... I'm not rushing to get back to [coaching]. Whether it's the Cavs situation or anybody else, it has to feel right for both sides.... If they call, I wouldn't hang up the phone. I'd definitely listen to what anybody has to say. But then you have to decide if it's the right situation for myself, my family and the organization.''
3:54pm: Former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown could be a top candidate for the newly-vacated head coaching job in Cleveland, according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reports the same thing, writing that there appears to be mutual interest between Brown and the Cavs for a potential reunion.
Although he notes that there are plenty of other contenders, Amico
points out that Brown is moving back to the Cleveland era, is the sort
of defensive-minded coach the Cavs are seeking, and is still a favorite
of GM Chris Grant. According to Windhorst, the decision may end up depending on Brown, since the ex-Lakers coach has told those close to him that he's unsure whether he's interested in returning to coaching yet. Brown still has two years and $8MM remaining on his Lakers contract, so he doesn't necessarily need to return to the NBA next season.
Windhorst reports that the Cavaliers are expected to contact several possible candidates in the coming days, with Amico listing a few specific names that may interest the club. Among them are current assistants David Fizdale (Heat), Brian Shaw (Pacers), and Michael Malone (Warriors).
Byron Scott was fired by the Cavs earlier today after three seasons with the team.
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).
January 18 at 9:27pm CST By Chuck Myron
The news today that the Suns and coach Alvin Gentry decided to part ways didn't register nearly the reaction that coaching changes by the Lakers and Nets did earlier this season. That stands to reason, given that L.A. and Brooklyn are media hubs, but even the end of Scott Skiles' tenure in Milwaukee seemed to have more gravitas than what went down in Phoenix. Last-place teams typically don't generate much press, though, particularly when they're devoid of any notable star. Phoenix has had plenty of stars in the past, though, and one of them weighed in on today's move, as we pass along below with other notes from the Valley of the Sun.
- Rival executives are bringing up Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone's name in connection with the Suns job, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who identifies him as a strong candidate for the job this summer (Twitter link).
- Steve Nash thinks Gentry's departure from Phoenix could be a positive for his former coach, and Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com believes that speaks volumes about the state of the Suns (Sulia link). The move didn't catch Nash off-guard. "I think the writing's been on the wall," Nash said. "It looks like it to me ... They wouldn't extend his contract. They just gave him the year to kind of play it out. It looked like they wanted to get their own guy in there."
- Gentry isn't discouraged by today's events, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. "I still think I'm a good coach," Gentry said. "I'm at fault, not totally. There were other factors but I'm ultimately responsible as the coach."
- Marcin Gortat seems to be lobbying via Twitter for Stan Van Gundy, who coached the Polish center with the Magic, to take the job in Phoenix, writing "SVG is out there....." shortly after the news broke about Gentry this afternoon (hat tip to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Van Gundy said over the summer he still has the itch to coach, but has maintained that he has no interest in the Nets opening.
- The Suns front office expected that the team would compete for a playoff spot this year, but that was a drastic miscalculation from the start, contends Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link).