Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News has tons of interesting bits in his latest column and we have the highlights..
- There has been talk about the Nets looking for a “fresh face" rather than going with an established coach and Italian coach Ettore Messina would fit the bill, along with Pacers assisstant Brian Shaw. A group of Russian Nets executives who report to Mikhail Prokhorov is quite familiar with Messina, which could help his candidacy. Communication also won't be an issue for Messina as he speaks English fluently. “Players will find that Ettore has the technical mind to do the job, he can do the X’s and O’s, so strategically, it would not be hard for him at all,’’ said Spurs GM R.C. Buford.
- The Pacers know they need outside shooting help and would love to add Kyle Korver or J.J. Redick. Both players, of course, will be free agents on July 1. The club's other free agents, Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin, are expendable, which can give them some extra breathing space this offseason.
- David Stern plans to step down from the competition committee – which has the power to make rules changes – once he's done being commissioner. Lawrence's bet, however, is that he’ll still be used by the committee as a consultant.
- Lionel Hollins wants to paint Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger like the bad guy if he doesn’t get a new deal in Memphis, but people in the NBA feel that he hasn’t done anything to bounce Hollins and get the job for himself. The Memphis front office doesn’t want Hollins back unless it’s on the cheap and he starts buying into the club's statistical analysis.
- New Raptors GM Masai Ujiri wants to hire Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman to be his top assistant. Weltman and former Knick president Scott Layden were up for the Suns gig that went to Ryan McDonough.