Earl Watson would like to coach the Jazz next season, and he’s picked up the endorsement of restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, as both Watson and Hayward tell Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Watson, who played with the Blazers this year, hasn’t ruled out playing again next season, but if he becomes Jazz coach, he’ll target Hubie Brown as an assistant, he says. Here’s more from around the league with an altered title picture now that Serge Ibaka is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs.
- Kevin Love will have some say in who coaches him next season on the Wolves, owner Glen Taylor confirmed to Charley Walters of the Star Tribune. President of basketball operations Flip Saunders has spoken with eight candidates, but he hasn’t endorsed any of them to Taylor, Walters adds.
- Taylor also said the Wolves lost “a couple million” dollars this year, Walters notes in the same piece.
- Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who partnered with Chris Hansen on an ill-fated bid to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle, is open to purchasing any NBA team, but wouldn’t necessarily bring them to the Emerald City, as he tells Shira Ovide of The Wall Street Journal. He says he wouldn’t move the Clippers out of Los Angeles if he bought them.
- Isiah Thomas and the Pistons are in preliminary talks about a deal for him to purchase a minority share of the team, reports Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News.
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and Cavs GM David Griffin have said they’re open to trading their respective first-round picks for players who can help immediately, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has political aspirations that would make him reticent to accept the post of executive director of the players union, but the job increasingly appears to be his if he wants it, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.
- Hawks and Cavs officials will meet with draft prospect Alessandro Gentile of the Italian league, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports. The swingman is No. 66 in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and 100th with Chad Ford of ESPN.com.