Randy Wittman Rumors
May 23 at 6:26pm CST By Ryan Raroque
In an article he released yesterday, Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram cited that two point guards who interest the Mavericks include Jarrett Jack and the Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless. The source also said that after the Clippers released Vinny Del Negro, the feeling in Mavs camp is that Chris Paul would likely stay in Los Angeles considering he'd be given significant control over the next coaching hire. With that being said, Dwight Howard continues to be the team's top priority. Here are few more miscellaneous notes from around the league:
- Though the future of Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins still remains uncertain, the impending free agent coach says that he's not worried about an extension or heading elsewhere and is currently focused on the playoffs, "I have a job...I'm happy with where we are and excited about what we're doing. That's my only concern. Everything else is irrelevant" (Teresa M. Walker of NBA.com).
- Erik Spoelstra was pleased about James Jones' decision to not opt out at the end of this year and thus return to the Heat next season, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link). Spoelstra: "It's great news...J.J. is a Miami Heat guy. (He and Udonis Haslem), they're special. All of our guys are special in this organization, but they're Miami-bred guys. They're Miami true and blue."
- Ken Berger of CBS Sports tweeted that Jeff Hornacek interviewed with the Bobcats today and that Steve Clifford is headed for his next interview with the Suns, respectively.
- If there's any coach that isn't confident about his team making significant improvements next season, it's definitely not Wizards head coach Randy Wittman, who told CSN Washington: "It doesn't matter with the No. 3 pick. If we could stay healthy and come together as we did last year, have a full season right from the start, we should put ourselves in that (playoff) position...It doesn't matter if we pick eighth, third or 30th" (J. Michael of CSN Washington).
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside sheds some light on Mike Singletary (not to be confused with the current NFL assistant coach), who has been making waves for his standout play overseas. The 6'6 swingman, who recently won the NBDL title with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, has been playing for Barako Bull Energy Cola - a PBA team currently participating in a tournament in Dubai. With his solid production in the D-League (10.1 PPG and 4.9 RPG along with 41% shooting from long range in 49 games) and his experience with competitive international play, Schlosser thinks that the next step would involve an NBA summer league invite and is curious to see what kind of opportunities Singletary could find heading up to the start of NBA training camp in the fall.
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.
February 26 at 7:17pm CST By Sean Highkin
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has a new column in which he touches on a variety of topics from around the NBA and elsewhere in the basketball world. Here are the highlights:
- Wizards head coach Randy Wittman talks to Zillgitt about the difficulty of keeping the locker room engaged as Washington heads towards another losing season.
- Zillgitt takes a look at the Rockets' offense, which has vaulted them into the thick of the playoff race behind the explosive play of James Harden.
- Zillgitt also gives an update on the status of Royce White, who has struggled in the D-League but does not concern the Rockets organization.
- The Magic received excellent value in return for J.J. Redick, Zillgitt writes. He praises the aquisition of cheap, young assets in Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris, as well as a capable veteran with an expiring contract in Beno Udrih.
- Many international players in the NBA are looking ahead to FIBA's Eurobasket tournament this summer, Zillgitt writes.
December 11 at 9:13am CST By Luke Adams
We're about a quarter of the way through the NBA regular season, which is enough of a sample size that we can say certain teams have underperformed so far. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today take a look at the coaching situations for a few of those teams in their latest piece, examining whether any head coaches are in danger of being let go. We touched on Dwane Casey's situation with the Raptors in a post this morning, but here are the rest of Amick's and Zillgitt's updates:
- After Suns owner Robert Sarver told ESPN.com's Chris Broussard yesterday that Alvin Gentry wasn't on the hot seat, Amick and Zillgitt spoke to Sarver as well. Sarver's vote of confidence in this case was even stronger, as he told USA Today that Gentry's job is safe for the rest of the season.
- Like the Raptors, the Suns may explore an on-court change rather than a coaching move, with Michael Beasley a candidate to be involved -- according to USA Today, there's some disagreement between the team and player about what his role should be. However, Sarver still hopes Beasley will work things out in Phoenix: "We're working with him. He's working hard, and we still expect to be able to (salvage the situation)."
- The Wizards are still paying their last head coach, Flip Saunders, so they're unlikely to replace Randy Wittman this year, since it would mean paying three different coaches.
- Pistons owner Tom Gores has high expectations for his club, and wants to see some progress toward the playoffs this year in Detroit, making it a potential make-or-break season for Lawrence Frank.
- Keith Smart's job with the Kings appears safe, though team president Geoff Petrie's future isn't quite so clear.
- The Nets still have faith in Avery Johnson and expect some peaks and valleys with the team's overhauled roster. However, there's an expectation that the team will not only qualify for the postseason but be in position to "make an impact once they get there."
- Despite a slow start for the Pacers, there's still hope in Indiana that Frank Vogel is around to coach the team for years to come.
July 12 at 10:46pm CST By Ryan Raroque
were two wins away from an NBA Finals appearance this year, and while some fans may be alarmed that the team fell short of a Finals berth after going 50-16, R.C. Buford
explained why there's little need to panic (Jeff McDonald of SpursNation
reports). Along with the re-signing of Tim Duncan
, Danny Green
, Boris Diaw
, the team announced the additon of point guard prospect Nando De Colo
and appear to be excited at the continued development of Kawhi Leonard
. Here's the rest of what we've heard tonight out of the Association..
June 4 at 10:11am CST By Zach Links
MONDAY, 10:11am: The Wizards officially announced today that they'll retain Randy Wittman as head coach, according to a team release. The team didn't release terms of the contract, but according to previous reports, it will be for two years.
"We are excited to bring Randy back as head coach and give him the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that the team showed under his leadership last season," said Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld. "We were very pleased with the development of our young players and the commitment to winning he instilled despite taking over the team under difficult circumstances."
FRIDAY, 3:46pm: The Wizards are finalizing details on a two-year contract that will make interim coach Randy Wittman the team's permanent head coach, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. An announcement is planned for next week, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that Wittman's relative affordability was a factor in the Wizards' decision not to explore the coaching free agent market.
THURSDAY, 9:09pm: The Wizards plan to retain head coach Randy Wittman, even though no official announcement is expected anytime soon, league sources told Ric Bucher of ESPN The Magazine.
Wittman, already under contract for next season, was tabbed as interim coach after Washington fired Flip Saunders following a 2-15 start. While the club plans to keep the 52-year-old, sources said that there has been no indication that the Wizards plan to extend his contract.
Even though there are a number of high-profile coaches available, the Wizards haven't expressed interest in interviewing any outside candidates. The Wizards might have considered a big-name hire but didn't believe that it would be worth the cost during a rebuilding phase.
June 2 at 10:34pm CST By Ryan Raroque
With the eighth, 37th, and 56th selections in this upcoming NBA Draft, the Raptors could potentially draft three rookies in addition to bringing last year's draft pick, Jonas Valanciunas, into the fold for next season. Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld spoke with GM Bryan Colangelo, who is looking to explore multiple scenarios with his second round picks. Colangelo admits that bringing in three rookies may not be the best scenario, and that he will consider packaging picks in order to move up the draft board or possibly make a second round selection with the intention of developing that prospect in Europe for a few years. Here's more of what we're hearing from around the league this evening, including an update of the Bobcats head coaching search.
- ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted that the Bobcats will narrow their list of coaches after they interview Lakers assistant coach Quin Snyder next week and that a decision will be made after the conclusion of the NBA pre-draft camp.
- Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress presents his video scouting report of University of Washington's Tony Wroten with some input from Wroten's former coach, Lorenzo Romar. Schmitz lists Wroten's size, athleticism, rebounding rate for a guard, defensive instincts, and ability to get to the basket off the dribble among his strengths, while his decision making, shooting touch, defensive consistency, and ability to go right have room for improvement. He is currently projected to be this year's 25th pick according to DraftExpress.
- LaMarcus Aldridge is feeling much better after recently suffering from a potentially fatal blood virus, and personally thanked the Trail Blazers fans for their support.
- Chris Broussard (via Twitter) polled 22 league executives on who they would trade between Russell Westbrook and James Harden if one of them had to be dealt for financial reasons. 14 would prefer to deal Westbrook, while eight would deal Harden.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that the Bobcats are contemplating a team color change. While team spokesman B.J. Evans reiterated that the possible change would neither increase or decrease the chances of considering a new name, Bonnell mentions that there have been some rumblings about the franchise eventually re-acquiring the Hornets nickname from New Orleans. Tom Benson, who recently purchased the New Orleans Hornets, reportedly wants to re-name the team once the sale closes, thus opening the door to such a possibility.
- Wizards insider Michael Lee of the Washington Post provides his take on the team's decision to retain head coach Randy Wittman, who went 18-31 after replacing Flip Saunders during this year's lockout shortened season.
June 1 at 1:50pm CST By Luke Adams
So far this week, we've heard that the Wizards will shop Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis before the draft and that they intend to retain coach Randy Wittman. We've also seen the team land the third overall pick in the lottery, and heard owner Ted Leonsis say it won't be traded. What other news is coming out of Washington as the week approaches its end? Let's round up today's Wizards updates....
- The Wizards' intentions for Wittman have yet to be conveyed to the coach himself, says Michael Lee of the Washington Post. However, Lee adds that something could get finalized as soon as early next week.
- Wittman and GM Ernie Grunfeld are attending workouts for draft prospects in Minnesota today, tweets Lee.
- Maurice Evans told 106.7 The Fan that he's happy the Wizards landed the third overall pick rather than the first, since he's skeptical about Anthony Davis' potential to become a franchise player (link via Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post). While there's nothing wrong with picking third, Evans definitely seems to be reaching a little by saying he actually prefers it to No. 1.
- Washington native Thomas Robinson would love the chance to play for his hometown Wizards, according to Michael Lee in a separate Post piece. "That’s where I started my dream at, in D.C.," Robinson said. "To be able to come back home would mean a lot to me, because that’s something that you fantasize in your mind about when you’re little, bringing the city back to where it belongs. That’s something that I definitely wouldn’t mind doing."
- As we heard earlier this morning, the Wizards are expected to choose between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal at No. 3, making a Robinson selection unlikely.
May 24 at 3:37pm CST By Luke Adams
Udonis Haslem will sit out Game 6 of the Heat/Pacers series tonight, serving a one-game suspension for his flagrant foul in Game 5. But Haslem and agent Henry Thomas intend to appeal the suspension nonetheless, hoping to regain the $35K the Heat forward will lose.
"We'll file an appeal to the union," Thomas told Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida. "This is a guy who has been in the league for nine years and he doesn't have the reputation of being a dirty player. He's a hard-nosed player. But he's not dirty, and he doesn't want this to follow him around. … He's disappointed (with the suspension). He feels he tried to make a play on the ball."
As Haslem waits for his appeal to be heard, here are a few more Thursday notes from around the NBA:
April 24 at 4:48pm CST By Luke Adams
The Wizards announced this morning that they'd officially agreed to terms on an extension for team president Ernie Grunfeld, whose contract was set to expire at season's end. Grunfeld spoke to reporters today about his new deal and his plans for the team going forward. Here are a few highlights, courtesy of Michael Lee of the Washington Post:
- Asked if he felt he deserved a contract extension, Grunfeld said, "The important thing is [owner] Ted [Leonsis] felt that."
- The Wizards are in the second year of a three-year rebuild, and Grunfeld thinks the team is making good progress and has a "bright future."
- Washington doesn't figure to be an active player in free agency, since the team thinks of the acquisition of Nene as a sort of free agent signing: "Last summer he was the most sought-after free agent in the marketplace. We were able to get him via trade instead of having to play the free agent game and going out there not knowing for sure if you were going to get a player of his caliber. We played the free agent game, we just did it a little bit different. We are paying somebody a very nice salary."
- Grunfeld praised the job that coach Randy Wittman has done, pointing out that the players are playing "very hard" for him. However, he was noncommital on Wittman's future, saying he'd evaluate the situation with Leonsis after the season.
- Asked whether Andray Blatche had played his last game for the Wizards, Grunfeld replied, "No. Not necessarily. Players are always forgiven if they come back and perform well.... That remains to be seen. It’s going to be a process that we’ll monitor during the summer." Blatche is under contract for three more seasons, but is a candidate to be amnestied.