Coaching Rumors: Kerr, Messina, D’Antoni

There are four head coaching vacancies in the NBA, or five, if you count the Pistons, for whom John Loyer finished the season as interim coach. Others may follow once the first round of the playoffs concludes in a few days, so the coaching market is in full gear. Here’s the latest:

    • Steve Kerr won’t use other openings as leverage against the Knicks and team president Phil Jackson, sources tell Ken Berger of Lute Olson, Kerr’s former college coach, rejects the notion that Kerr prefers a West Coast job and thinks he’s more than likely to accept an offer from the Knicks, as Olson tells Marc Berman of the New York Post.
    • Sources tell Nikos Varlas of that Ettore Messina has already told CSKA Moscow that he’ll leave this summer, but Varlas hears Messina is more likely to wind up as a Spurs assistant than an NBA head coach next season. Messina has drawn mention as a candidate for head coaching jobs with the Lakers and Jazz this year.
    • Mike D’Antoni is still interested in coaching, a source tells Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Bresnahan writes that the portion of next year’s $4MM salary that the Lakers agreed to pay him even though he resigned is less than $2MM, but Ramona Shelburne of hears that it’s more than that (Twitter link).
  • Reports have indicated that Mark Jackson and the Warriors never engaged in extension talks, but Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group hears that they briefly discussed the subject this past summer. Jackson is set to enter the final year of his contract next season, though it’s unlikely he’ll return for 2014/15 barring a long playoff run.
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