Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga is on the Hawks’ radar in their search for a head coach, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reports. Larranaga has been an assistant with the Celtics since 2012 after being a head coach in the G League. The son of college coach Jim Larranaga has also coached in Ireland. The younger Larranaga is also on the long list of candidates for the Knicks’ coaching vacancy, Amico adds.
In other developments around the Southeast Division:
- Trading for disgruntled Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t make any sense for the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel argues. Miami already has a better defensive power forward in James Johnson and Anthony has already indicated he doesn’t want to come off the bench, Winderman continues. Anthony’s expiring contract wouldn’t give the Heat notable cap relief in 2019 because of the salary commitments they already have, Winderman adds.
- Those salary commitments are also why it’s unlikely the Heat will deal Hassan Whiteside for an expiring contract or two, Winderman writes in a separate blog. In essence, they’d simply be giving away their center for nothing if they chose that route, Winderman continues. Whiteside has two years and $52.5MM remaining on his $98MM deal. The Bucks, Trail Blazers and Mavericks are among the potential landing spots for Whiteside if a trade goes through, according to Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype.
- Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman will have final say in the head coaching hire, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Orlando is searching for a coach after firing Frank Vogel. “If you’re asking do I have autonomy to do this job, I can tell you simply that I would not have come here had I not,” Weltman told Robbins.
- The Hornets’ coaching search could get complicated if they chose to pursue former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes. Reuniting Budenholzer with center Dwight Howard wouldn’t be a good idea, given how their relationship deteriorated in Atlanta, Bonnell adds.