4:07pm: The Clippers have officially confirmed (Twitter link) that Del Negro will not be retained as the team's head coach.
1:47pm: The Clippers have parted ways with head coach Vinny Del Negro, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). A report last week indicated that Del Negro was scheduled to meet with Clippers owner Donald Sterling over the weekend, with a decision on the coach's future to come shortly thereafter.
Del Negro's stint with the Clippers ends after three seasons and a 128-102 overall record. Led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clips captured their first division title in franchise history in 2012/13, but had an early exit from the postseason, falling 4-2 to the Grizzlies in the first round. With Del Negro's contract set to expire next month, a change in head coaches had been anticipated.
One report last Thursday did suggest that the Clippers hadn't ruled out retaining Del Negro, perhaps in part because he wouldn't be as expensive as the possible alternatives. But rather than being a unilateral decision by Sterling, the decision on Del Negro's future was believed to be an organizational one, with Paul and Griffin also getting some input. Del Negro's departure may bode well for CP3's future in Los Angeles, since the star point guard is likely to have a voice when it comes to deciding on the team's new head coach.
Michael Malone, Alvin Gentry, and Byron Scott have been mentioned as potential replacements for the Clippers, and recent speculation has resulted in Lionel Hollins' name coming up as well, though the Grizzlies reportedly hope to extend him. As Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets, the Clippers job immediately becomes the NBA's most attractive opening, particularly if Paul re-ups, so there should be no shortage of contenders for the position.
One ex-Raptor and two current Raps have opted in for the 2013/14 season, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com. According to RealGM's transactions log, Charlie Villanueva, Linas Kleiza, and Aaron Gray all picked up their '13/14 player options on May 13th.
None of the decisions come as any surprise, given the production the three players provided on the court compared to the salaries they're now in line to earn next season. Villanueva had confirmed earlier in the season that he'd exercise his option, worth $8.58MM. In 69 games with the Pistons this season, Villanueva established career-lows in PPG (6.8), FG% (.377), and PER (14.0), among other categories.
The Raptors duo won't be quite as expensive as Villanueva, as Kleiza's option is worth $4.6MM, while Gray's is worth about $2.69MM. Gray appeared in 42 games for Toronto this season, starting 16 of them, and averaged 2.8 PPG and 3.2 RPG. Kleiza played in just 20 contests for the Raps, missing time with a knee injury and then not getting back into the lineup even when he was healthy.
While all three players are now set to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2014, free agency could come earlier for Villanueva and Kleiza. The Pistons and Raptors both still have the amensty provision available, and Villanueva and Kleiza represent the top amnesty candidates for their respective clubs.
MONDAY, 3:21: Owner Josh Harris has made it official at a press conference this afternoon, announcing Hinkie's hiring as president of basketball operations and general manager.
FRIDAY, 11:06pm: Hinkie's hiring doesn't change Thorn's situation with the team, Thorn tells Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com (Twitter link). The veteran executive is transitioning into the role of a consultant for the Sixers. Moore also clarifies that Hinkie will choose the team's next head coach.
3:04pm: DiLeo will not return to the Sixers in any capacity, according to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). DiLeo had been part of the Sixers' basketball operations department since the 1990/91 season.
2:53pm: According to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, Hinkie will also be the Sixers' new president of basketball operations, and DiLeo is "out" (Twitter links). Cooney adds that Hinkie's contract is expected to be for three or four years (Twitter link).
An official announcement from the Sixers could come as soon as next week, tweets Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com.
2:35pm: The 76ers have reached an agreement with Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie on a deal that will make Hinkie the Sixers' new general manager, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
Tony DiLeo had previously been serving as the GM in Philadelphia, but his contract was set to expire next month, making his status going forward uncertain. DiLeo has been a longtime member of the Sixers' front office and had been working with ownership on the team's coaching search, so it's unclear whether he'll be parting ways with the club or simply transitioning into a new role. I wouldn't be surprised if he moved into the team president position previously held by Rod Thorn, but it appears as if Hinkie will be the final decision-maker in basketball operations.
Before the Sixers promoted DiLeo to GM last summer, the team conducted a search that included Hinkie. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the two sides re-opened discussions "very recently" (Twitter link).
3:00pm: The Timberwolves have officially released Roy, according to the team (Twitter link).
2:15pm: The Timberwolves are finalizing the release of Brandon Roy, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. While the move isn't official yet, an announcement from the team is expected soon, according to Wojnarowski.
Roy signed a two-year deal with the T-Wolves last summer, but the second year of that deal became nonguaranteed when his knee problems resurfaced, meaning Minnesota won't be on the hook for the 28-year-old's $5.33MM salary for next season.
Roy's return to the NBA following his 2011 retirement was a disappointing one, as injuries limited him to just five games for the Wolves, in which he scored a total of 29 points. It's not clear yet if Roy will officially announce his retirement for the second time or whether he'll attempt to continue his playing career, but it's hard to imagine him playing in the NBA again.
Even if Roy does retire, he'll continue to receive pay checks from the Trail Blazers for a little longer yet. Because he was amnestied by Portland, Roy will receive the full amount of his five-year, $82MM contract, which runs through the 2014/15 season.
The Suns officially have a new general manager, having hired Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough to replace Lance Blanks, the team announced today in a press release. The team will formally introduce McDonough at a press conference this Thursday.
"Ryan distinguished himself among an impressive group of candidates for our GM position," said Suns president Lon Babby in a statement. "His natural leadership and communication skills will serve the Suns well. And, his prodigious work ethic and ability to identify talent will enable us to take full advantage of the 10 draft choices, including six in the first round, that we have over the next three years. We welcome his championship pedigree to our organization."
McDonough had been considered one of the frontrunners for the Suns' GM opening along with Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman. Various reports, including one earlier today, suggested that Phoenix was also interested in hiring Grant Hill for the position. McDonough's hiring seems to indicate that either the Suns weren't seriously interested in Hill or that the veteran intends to continue his playing career.
McDonough joined the Celtics' front office in 2003, as a 23-year-old special assistant to basketball operations. After working in the team's scouting department and as Boston's director of player personnel, he has served as an assistant GM to Danny Ainge for the last three seasons. McDonough is expected to work with Babby to make a decision on the Suns' head coach.
12:12pm: Bondy hears Van Gundy isn't a high priority candidate for the team, and says it's unlikely the Nets will even meet with him (Twitter links). King, meanwhile, told reporters he'll be giving Jackson a call, tweets Andy Vasquez of the Bergen Record.
11:50am: Nets GM Billy King told reporters, including Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, that interim coach P.J. Carlesimo will not return (Twitter link). The team elected to let the coach go after last night's first-round elimination in Game Seven against the Bulls. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported within the hour that the team would make its decision on Carlesimo swiftly, and hinted that the Nets would not retain him. The search for a replacement will begin immediately, and sources tell Berger that Jeff Van Gundy will be a primary target (Twitter link).
The Nets aren't setting a timetable for themselves as they begin their search, tweets Joshua Newman of SNY.tv. Carlesimo had been an assistant coach when the team fired head coach Avery Johnson in December. Brooklyn had a record of 14-14 at that point, but under Carlesimo the Nets went 35-19 over the rest of the regular season and grabbed the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Van Gundy and Phil Jackson were reportedly among the team's targets to take over in the middle of the season, but with tepid response from its top candidates, the team decided to let Carlesimo coach the rest of the season. The Nets have continued to be linked to Jackson over the past few months.
May 4th: The four year deal is now official, owner Leslie Alexander tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
March 7th: The Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey have reached a verbal agreement on the key details of a four-year contract extension for Morey, Alexander tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link). Morey's current contract runs through 2013/14, so the new deal will lock him up for five years in total.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported last month that Alexander was pleased with the job Morey has done with the Rockets, and that the team intended to extend the GM beyond his current contract.
"We’ll re-up him," Alexander said at the time. "Daryl knows that I judge him all the time. I’ve told him. He’s not shy about it either. He just knows that’s the way I operate. Why wouldn’t I? The general manager is the one person in your organization you can really judge. He can make good moves or bad moves. This year, I think he’s made three terrific moves."
In addition to acquiring James Harden in the fall's blockbuster trade with the Thunder, Morey also signed Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to three-year contracts that have looked like good values so far. Even after agreeing to a max extension with Harden, the club has also managed to retain significant financial flexibility, and should have room for a max free agent this summer.
Morey has been the Rockets' GM since May 2007. Although Houston hasn't earned a postseason berth since 2008/09, the team has had a winning record every season during Morey's tenure (260-196 overall), as he managed to rebuild the roster without bottoming out.
12:36pm: Former Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy and Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson are expected to be among the Bucks' top targets as the team begins its coaching search, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
12:05pm: Following a four-game sweep at the hands of the top-seeded Heat, the Bucks have decided to replace interim head coach Jim Boylan, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gardner reports (via Twitter) that Boylan is "out" as Milwaukee's coach, with the Bucks confirming (Twitter link) that he won't return.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein had reported earlier in April that Boylan had a slim chance of keeping his job with the Bucks, while Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times noted this weekend that there were "increasing whispers" about Boylan being replaced.
With Boylan out, the Bucks will begin searching for a candidate to take over as the team's third head coach of the year. Scott Skiles and the Bucks parted ways back in January, resulting in Boylan assuming the reins to the team on an interim basis. Milwaukee had a 22-28 record under Boylan, sneaking into the playoffs as an eighth seed before being quickly dispatched by Miami. Whoever coaches the Bucks next may be working with a very different roster, with Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, J.J. Redick, and Mike Dunleavy among the players facing free agency.
Boylan is the fifth head coach to step down or be fired since the regular season ended. Interestingly, all five coaches were on Eastern Conference teams -- Doug Collins (76ers), Lawrence Frank (Pistons), Mike Dunlap (Bobcats), and Byron Scott (Cavaliers) are the other four no longer coaching their respective clubs.
The Bucks' search for a new head coach will begin immediately, according to the team (Twitter link). Grantland's Zach Lowe and Keith Langlois of Pistons.com have both speculated that former Milwaukee assistant coach Kelvin Sampson could be a top candidate (Twitter links).
The D-League's season officially came to an end this weekend, when the Rockets' affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, defeated the Warriors' affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, to win the 2012/13 championship. With the D-League season in the books, the NBA players that had been assigned to each team have now been recalled.
Ohlbrecht helped the Vipers go undefeated in the D-League, averaging 11.0 PPG and 6.5 RPG in the Finals against Machado's Warriors. Machado was Santa Cruz's second-leading scorer in the Finals, with 16.0 PPG.
FRIDAY, 12:37pm: The Nets have officially signed King to a contract extension, the team announced today in a press release. Details on the years and dollars involved in the deal weren't disclosed.
"Billy has been a great asset to the Nets organization over the last three years," owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. "He has shown he is not afraid to be bold and take risks, and, as a result, we have a playoff team with a world of potential. We are glad we will have the opportunity to continue our work together and realize that potential."
THURSDAY, 1:10pm: The Nets and Billy King are in the process of finalizing a multiyear contract extension for the general manager, whose current deal is set to expire this summer, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. A formal announcement from the team is expected sometime in the near future, according to Wojnarowski.
King, who assumed his current role with the Nets in July 2010, has rebuilt the club into an Eastern Conference contender since then, with the help of a free-spending owner in Mikhail Prokhorov. King and the Nets were the NBA's biggest spender last summer, when the team signed Deron Williams and Brook Lopez to maximum contracts, inked Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace to eight-digit, multiyear deals, and assumed Joe Johnson's hefty contract in a trade with the Hawks.
Prior to becoming the Nets' GM, King spent more than nine years in Philadelphia as general manager of the 76ers.