Lowe’s Latest: Rivers, Jackson, Kerr

If Doc Rivers were to get out of his contract with the Clippers, he would immediately emerge as the front-runner for any head coaching opening in the league this summer, writes Zach Lowe of Grantland. One potential opportunity is the Warriors, who are embroiled in a tumultuous situation with head coach Mark Jackson. As Lowe chronicles, tension between Jackson and the organization has been brewing for quite a while.

Multiple league sources confirmed to Lowe the gist of a report from ESPN’s Chris Broussard that explained how former Warriors assistant Darren Erman had been fired for secretly recording coaches’ conversations. Those same sources added that Erman was concerned that Jackson and those loyal to Jackson were insulting him to other players behind his back. Lowe also says that Golden State’s front office is fond of Erman and was upset at having to let him go. Nonetheless, Brian Scalabrine‘s recent demotion and Erman’s firing has only added to the chaos in Golden State.

As we relayed from Lowe earlier, the consensus around the league is that Jackson will not return to the Warriors next year unless he leads them on a longer-than-expected playoff run. Though Jackson could still save his job, Lowe says that it’d be smart to bet that the team will have a new head coach next year.

Here’s more from Lowe’s latest column:

  • Golden State still hasn’t made a final decision on Jackson and has not reached out directly to any potential candidates, sources tell Lowe.
  • Scalabrine’s demotion was a compromise between the front office and Jackson, who initially made a show of firing him in front of other players and coaches even though he had no real grounds to do so.
  • Jackson reportedly asked Warriors adviser Jerry West not to attend most practices and team activities.
  • If the Warriors decided to replace Jackson, they would still consider other big names beyond Rivers, which is why — according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein — the Knicks tried to expedite their attempt to hire Steve Kerr this week. New York understands that two or three appealing opportunities could emerge after postseason eliminations, and that Kerr would be a potential candidate for some of those teams.
  • Front office and ownership sources around the league think there’s a decent chance the Clippers will be the first NBA franchise to sell for $1 billion, Lowe writes, echoing an earlier report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
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