Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey isn’t promising that restricted free agent Gordon Hayward will be back with the team, but Lindsey said Thursday that he wants to have Hayward remain in Utah for the rest of his career, observes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Hayward’s teammates are confident he’ll stay with the Jazz, though Hayward didn’t offer much in the way of hints.
“Utah has been great for me,” Hayward said. “But it’s a business.”
Hayward and the Jazz have nonetheless indicated plenty of mutual interest, as I detailed when I examined the small forward’s free agent stock. Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune expects Ricky Rubio and agent Dan Fegan to ask for an extension that’s closer to the maximum, with an average annual value probably in the neighborhood of $15.5MM, than to Stephen Curry‘s four-year, $44MM deal.
- The sale of the Bucks will likely be a boon to Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, as Zgoda writes in the same piece. Saunders’ share of the Wolves will be 6% by the end of his five-year contract, and if the $550MM price of the Bucks dictates the value of the Minnesota franchise, Saunders’ stake will be worth about $33MM.
- The NBA has approved the sale of a minority stake in the Thunder to Tulsa energy company executive George B. Kaiser, the team announced in a press release. It’s the portion of the team that fellow energy executive Tom L. Ward had owned. Kaiser’s net worth is $10.1 billion, according to Forbes.com. Minority owner G. Jeffrey Records also transferred some, but not all, of his share to others within the ownership group.
It is certainly no surprise that, after we rounded up the Lakers’ exit interviews earlier tonight, there is already more buzz coming out of Los Angeles. This is the Lakers, after all. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Pau Gasol would consider reuniting with former coach Phil Jackson, now running things with the Knicks. Citing a source, Spears hears that the interest is mutual.
Meanwhile, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report mentions both Van Gundys, Stan and Jeff, as names that stand out to him should the Lakers part ways with Mike D’Antoni. Within the same story, Ding breaks down the team’s draft lottery odds as well as maps out the complicated status of their draft picks beyond this season. Here is what else is going on in the Western Conference:
- Earlier this month it was Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly that had some kind words to say about Kenneth Faried. On Thursday, it was Brian Shaw’s turn. As Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post writes, the head coach wants and expects to have Faried in a Nuggets uniform next season. Faried was frequently mentioned in trade rumors this season.
- The fate of Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin will hang in the balance just a little longer, according to Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune, who writes that the team will take a “decompression period” before making a decision on whether or not to bring the coach back. Luhm reports that a decision could come down as soon as this weekend.
- With Rick Adelman’s departure imminent, the Wolves head coaching wish list includes Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy, reports Spears in his final power rankings column.
- It’s a small silver lining in an otherwise ugly season in Minnesota, but ESPN’s Marc Stein tweets that the Wolves can take solace in the fact that they refused to deal rookie Gorgui Dieng at the trade deadline before they knew what they had (Twitter links). The Louisville product was a bright spot in Minnesota down the stretch and figures to be a key contributor in his second season.
The end of Rick Adelman‘s tenure as Wolves coach appears imminent, as we passed along earlier today from Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. Even once that situation is clarified, there will be plenty of others for the team to resolve. Here’s more from Hartman and others on what lies ahead for Minnesota:
- Wolves owner Glen Taylor tells Hartman that the team isn’t “pushing” for an extension with Kevin Love and says he doesn’t think Love would be interested in signing one. Still, that’s probably not a reflection of a lack of interest from either side in a long-term deal at some point, since Love isn’t eligible to sign an extension until next January, and even then, it would only tack two additional years onto his deal.
- Love told reporters after Wednesday’s game that he continues to have faith in the future of the Wolves, notes Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Sure. Of course,” Love said.
- The Wolves will surely consult with Love about their next coach, but they won’t give him the power to make the choice for them, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
- Wolfson wouldn’t rule out a scenario in which Flip Saunders takes over as Wolves coach and grooms an up-and-coming assistant to replace him (Twitter link).
There is no chance that Rick Adelman will be back as coach of the Timberwolves next season, one of the team’s decision-makers tells Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. It’s certainly not a surprise, given that many around the Wolves have believed that the 67-year-old would retire after the season. Fellow Star Tribune scribe Jerry Zgoda said last month that if Adelman didn’t leave, the Wolves would turn down their mutual option to retain him. Still, it seemed at the time that there was at least a remote chance the longtime coach would be back with the team.
Adelman is set to meet today with owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, with a final decision on the coach’s future to come as soon as this week. Both the team and Adelman have two weeks to exercise the mutual option. The Wolves have reportedly discussed him staying on with the club as a consultant, though it’s unclear if that will happen. Adelman’s wife has suffered from seizures over the past few years, and her health weighed on his mind before he decided to coach this season.
The Wolves haven’t made the playoffs in three seasons under Adelman, even though they made a nine-game improvement this year. He’s otherwise been a successful NBA coach, compiling a 1,042-749 record and winning raves for his offensive innovations.
The Wolves had apparently envisioned a strong pursuit of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, but he’s unlikely to join the Wolves, and while Taylor and Saunders like Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, too, he’s also a longshot, Hartman writes. Taylor doesn’t want Saunders to coach because he’d prefer his top basketball executive and his coach not to be the same person, Hartman writes. Saunders reportedly would like to return to the bench, and Hartman thinks Saunders can convince his boss to let him do so.
In wake of the speculation that Rick Adelman will step away from coaching next season, Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press looks at how the longtime coach’s legacy and examines the influence he’s had on the likes of Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, and Tom Thibodeau. Here is tonight’s rundown on the rumors out of the Northwest Division:
- Adelman will meet with Wolves president Flip Saunders and owner Glen Taylor within the next 24 hours and make a decision about next season “fast,” tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com. Greder adds that the decision might surface as soon as this week (Twitter link).
- Former Nuggets coach George Karl wouldn’t be interested in taking on a coaching role for a rebuilding team like the Wolves, reveals Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- Jazz players, including Trey Burke and Derrick Favors, have advocated for Tyrone Corbin‘s return next year, but Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune doesn’t think it’s a certainty that the first-year coach will remain in Utah beyond this season. The Jazz concluded their season with a double overtime victory over Minnesota tonight.
- John Canzano of the Oregonian thinks the Blazers would be wise to lock up Terry Stotts to a long-term extension in Portland. Waiting too long to show that the team has faith in Stotts might have a negative impact on the franchise, Canzano argues.
Sources identified a long list of potential NBA GM candidates to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Doug Collins, Mavs director of player personnel Tony Ronzone, Blazers director of college scouting Chad Buchanan, Bucks assistant GM David Morway, Nets assistant GM Bobby Marks, Knicks director of pro personnel Mark Hughes, Wizards director of player personnel Frank Ross, Pacers director of scouting Ryan Carr, Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, Magic assistant GM Matt Lloyd, Jazz assistant GM Justin Zanik, and Rockets executive VP of basketball ops Gersson Rosas all earned mentions. Here’s tonight’s look around the Association..
- The Kings have recalled Willie Reed from the Reno Bighorns, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (on Twitter). The Bighorns were eliminated from the D-League playoffs on Sunday.
- Some people familiar with Pistons exec Joe Dumars expect him to take some time off before pursuing another top executive role, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
- Jordan Farmar reiterated his interest in re-signing with the Lakers following the club’s 102-90 loss yesterday to the Grizzlies, writes Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News. ”Of course, I’d be a Laker,” Farmar said. “And if I was [General Manager] Mitch [Kupchak], I would sign me.” The guard averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 assists despite playing in only 39 games this season due to injury.
- The Bulls tried to lure Kurt Thomas to Chicago, but Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears that the big man considers himself retired.
- The T’Wolves never had interest in putting in a waiver claim for Greg Smith, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Smith landed with the Bulls earlier today.
- Who will be the biggest name traded this offseason? The Basketball Insiders staff held a mini-debate and the names of Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, and Rajon Rondo all came up in conversation.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
DeMarcus Cousins received his 16th technical of the season during tonight’s Kings/Wolves game. If the technical isn’t rescinded by the league, he will incur an automatic one-game suspension and have his season ended prematurely. Here’s more from out west:
- A group of writers at Basketball Insiders looks at which marquee players could be traded this summer, including Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, and Carmelo Anthony.
- Mitch Kupchak told Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News that the Lakers are interested in re-signing Pau Gasol this summer. “There’s great interest in re-signing Pau back,” the Lakers GM said. “I don’t know why there would not be interest. He’s a Hall of Famer. But by virtue of being a free agent, he’s in the market place. By being in the market place, we have to see how things play out.”
- For his part, Gasol told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com he’s excited about meeting with multiple teams when he becomes a free agent, including the Lakers (Twitter link).
Flip Saunders would make himself the Timberwolves next coach if it was up to him, writes Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. Team owner Glen Taylor wants Saunders to focus on one job because he believes a coach lives in the present and a good manager must think for the future, writes Zgoda. He still could change Taylor’s mind, particularly if he convinces Taylor that his coaching system and style will help keep Kevin Love in Minnesota, opines Zgoda.
More from out west:
Carmelo Anthony was very complimentary when discussing Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Anthony said, “Thibs [Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] is a great coach. His system kind of reminds me of [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich’s system. You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work. And that’s what they’ve been doing. They had guys who have been sitting out all season long, guys [have] been in and out the lineup, and they seem to get it done.” The Bulls are one of the teams mentioned as a possible destination for Anthony if he leaves the Knicks this summer.
More from around the league:
- The Knicks have missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. In a separate article, Begley looks at what this means for the franchise.
- There are three major contract situations the Timberwolves will have to deal with this offseason, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. The team will have to decide what to do with Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and coach Rick Adleman.
- In a separate article, Zgoda looks at the state of the Wolves roster heading into next season.
- Adam Silver thinks the NBA playoffs could benefit from a fresh look, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. The call to make changes to the current format is in response to the superiority of the Western Conference.
An unexpected 51-point performance from Corey Brewer in last night’s win over the Rockets no doubt had Minnesota fans thrilled, but it’s been an overall tough season for the Wolves. There was hope in the North Star State that this might finally be the season that the franchise breaks their NBA-leading 10-consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance. That isn’t the case, and there might be some changes to the club this offseason. Let’s round up the latest on the Wolves:
- Fred Hoiberg‘s unwillingness to coach the Wolves stems from his fear that Kevin Love will leave via free agency in the summer of 2015, reports Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. Hoiberg looked like a realistic candidate to run the team before a report earlier this week refuted such a notion.
- In the same piece, Lawrence opines that Wolves president Flip Saunders might have no choice but to take over head coaching duties himself next season. Saunders coached the Wolves from 1995/96 until 2004/05.
- Kentucky’s James Young is one prospect who intrigues Minnesota, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com. The Wolves are likely to own the 13th pick in the draft, and the latest mock from DraftExpress has Young going 17th overall.
- Another tweet from Wolfson suggests that trading Nikola Pekovic wouldn’t yield a fair return, but the Wolves would be interested in acquiring a wing and changing Kevin Martin‘s role, presumably to a sixth man.