And-Ones: Jackson, Walton, Westbrook, Colangelo

A “strong belief” persists that Knicks team president Phil Jackson will wind up back with the Lakers organization with fiancee Jeanie Buss, and it’s a safe bet that the Zen Master’s tenure in New York won’t outlast whomever he picks as the team’s next coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. That leads Wojnarowski to wonder why Knicks coaching candidate Luke Walton would head to New York this summer. Walton, like Tom Thibodeau, looms as a candidate for the Lakers job, Wojnarowski writes, with Byron Scott not assured of lasting past the season, so Walton could eventually reunite with Jackson, his former coach, in L.A. Regardless, Jackson’s stubborn refusal to look outside his own sphere of influence for coaches and other employees isn’t in the best interests of the Knicks, Wojnarowski contends. See more from New York amid the latest from around the league:

  • Kristaps Porzingis and the allure of New York have Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook‘s attention as he thinks ahead to his free agency in 2017, Wojnarowski notes in the same piece.
  • Former Raptors and Suns GM Bryan Colangelo is the early favorite to land the Nets GM job, sources tell NetsDaily, which confirms that Colangelo is among several candidates interviewing with the team this week.
  • The Suns signed Jordan McRae to a second 10-day contract Monday, but it’s effectively a 12-day contract. That’s because all 10-day pacts are required to encompass at least three games, and Phoenix’s loss to the Thunder on Monday was one of only two games the team had left before the All-Star break when it re-signed McRae. The Suns open the second half of the season against the Rockets on March 19th, which will be the 12th day of McRae’s contract. He’ll make $37,065 instead of the standard $30,888 he’d see on a conventional 10-day deal.
  • The Hawks assigned Edy Tavares to the Spurs affiliate in the D-League on Monday, Atlanta announced. It’s the 10th time this season that the Hawks, who are without a D-League team of their own, have used San Antonio’s affiliate. Tavares will likely spend two games with the Austin Spurs on his latest stint, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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