Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan has enjoyed great success at the college level. He’s on the way to his fourth consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA tournament, but he isn’t ruling out a potential jump to the NBA one day, revealed an Associated Press report (via ESPN.com). Donovan accepted a head coaching position for the Magic in 2007, but changed his mind shortly after and returned to continue coaching Florida. Here’s more from around the NBA:
- Roughly two dozen players and agents would like to see the NBA player’s union push back their selection of a new executive director to July, passes along Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. We had previously heard that David White and Michele Roberts were the two finalists for the role, but the opposing group wants the candidates to be reconsidered, possibly widening the fielding by “starting from scratch.”
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel thinks the Heat would be wise to alter their draft strategy in light of the impending enforcement of the repeater tax. It’s important to secure young talent at the rookie-scale price rather than relying on expensive free agent contracts to build a team, says Winderman.
- Nikola Pekovic won’t appear in 70 or more games this year, so he won’t receive the bonus he would have drawn for doing so, notes Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Wolves signed Pekovic to a five-year, $60MM deal last summer that had up to $8MM in potential incentives.
- Nets GM Billy King doesn’t think Jason Kidd is getting the credit he deserves for turning Brooklyn into a winning team, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. King notes Kidd was receiving flak when his club was struggling, but few people credit the rookie coach for his instrumental role in their recent success.
- The report that the Nets are prioritizing a signing for Shaun Livingston next summer might mean the team is confident they’ll re-sign Paul Pierce, tweets Bondy. Another tweet from Bondy reiterates that King has not offered Pierce an extension and hasn’t discussed next season with Kevin Garnett.
- Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times runs down how the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament affected the draft stocks of many of the best college players. Jabari Parker and Marcus Smart were two top prospects who saw an early exit from the tourney yesterday.