Northwest Notes: Thunder, Jazz, Draft

Monty Williams would be a solid fit as Thunder coach Billy Donovan‘s lead assistant because Williams brings a wealth of experience and can relate to players well, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman opines. Williams, 43, was fired as coach of the Pelicans after five seasons. He also has served as an assistant coach for the Blazers for five years. The downside of bringing Williams in, however, is that because he has so much experience, he likely will tend to have his name attached to future head coaching vacancies and that would be problematic for stability purposes, Mayberry adds. Mike Brown and Mo Cheeks are also possibly in the mix, Mayberry writes. The Raptors have been reportedly interested in bringing Williams in as an assistant.

There is more news out of the Northwest:

  • Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey is adamant that the team won’t spend money just to spend money and is comfortable going into next season under the salary cap, Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News writes. The Jazz had a strong finish to the season so it’s conceivable that they do not tinker with the roster much, but they do have financial flexibility to do so.The Jazz ranked 25th in league salaries this year, Sorensen notes. “Do we feel obligated that we have to? Absolutely not,’’ Lindsey said. “We could exist underneath the salary cap going into next season.’’ The Jazz won’t go after any big name free agents, but there’s a decent chance they target an up-and-coming player like the Bucks’ Khris Middleton, a restricted free agent who made less than $1MM last year, Sorensen writes.
  • R.J. Hunter will work out for the Thunder on Monday and the Jazz on Wednesday, tweets Jake Fischer of The Georgia State guard is the 21st-ranked prospect on Chad Ford’s list, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 26th.
  • Minnesota guard Andre Hollins tweeted that he worked out with the Timberwolves on Friday (hat tip to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press).
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