And-Ones: Pitino, Giannis, A. Davis, 2019 Draft

Former Celtics and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is making a coaching comeback, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Agent Drew Rosenhaus tells Wojnarowski that Pitino has agreed to a deal to coach Greek club Panathinaikos for the rest of the 2018/19 season. He’s expected to make his debut on December 27.

Pitino’s lengthy stint at Louisville came to an abrupt end in 2017 as a result of the FBI’s probe into college basketball recruiting. He had spent most of the last two decades heading up the program, having previously coached the Celtics from 1997 to 2001. Since leaving Louisville, Pitino has been looking to re-enter the coaching ranks in the NBA, telling Wojnarowski earlier in the fall that he just wants to be “a part of an organization.”

“I want to develop young players,” Pitino said in October. “I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it.”

While his new job isn’t an NBA position, Pitino is hoping that Panathinaikos can be a stepping stone back to the NBA, writes Wojnarowski. He’ll take over a club that ranks 10th in EuroLeague play so far, with a 6-7 record.

Former NBA players Nick Calathes, Georgios Papagiannis, and Keith Langford are among the players on Pitino’s new roster, along with Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Here are a few more basketball odds and ends:

  • Asked whether he’s ever had an issue like the Suns, Grizzlies, and Wizards did last week, when there was confusion over which “Brooks” was involved in a proposed trade, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told NBC Sports Boston that he has. “With the same team, by the way, that was involved [in last week’s failed three-team trade],” Grousbeck said. “That’s another story – that I’m not going to tell.” Grousbeck didn’t go into any more detail, so it’s not entirely clear which of the three teams he was referring to.
  • In the wake of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo openly recruiting Anthony Davis to their respective teams, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores whether their comments constitute tampering, and whether commissioner Adam Silver is likely to step in.
  • Speaking of Antetokounmpo and Davis, they’re the NBA’s two most valuable trade chips, in the view of Bill Simmons of The Ringer, who ranked his top 55 players in the league in terms of trade value.
  • SI.com’s Jeremy Woo has published his latest 2019 mock draft, with Duke prospects holding the top three spots.
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10 thoughts on “And-Ones: Pitino, Giannis, A. Davis, 2019 Draft

  1. Ptn18

    I think Cam Reddish and Nazr Litle will slip a little since Reddish doesn’t have the stats, and Little hasn’t been starting.

    • Ptn18

      Kevin Porter of USC has been moving up, and the Murray State (beware Cameron Payne is from there) point guard is in the lottery now.

  2. whynot101

    On pitino, just because he wants to coach in nba, like my grandma wanting to fly jets, doesn’t mean it’s happening

    • ColossusOfClout

      Funny you say that, I think he still ends up back in the college ranks. And if that happens, UNLV is hie likely landing spot. He almost took that job before going to Louisville instead.

  3. Black Ace57

    Sixers openly admit to tanking and Silver works to get Sam Hinkie fired. Players actively tamper and he does nothing. He is overrated as a commissioner.

  4. JD396

    Maybe the Wolves could kick out Thibs and hire Pitino and he and his kid can dominate MN basketball

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