Northwest Notes: Thunder, Jazz, Nuggets, Wolves

The Thunder are one of the few teams still searching for a new head coach. Last month, Billy Donovan and Oklahoma City surprisingly parted ways after he reportedly rejected a two-year contract offer from the Thunder.

With Donovan having moved onto Chicago, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman explores the idea of Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy as a potential head-coaching candidate for the Thunder. Mussatto notes that the 49-year-old Handy has a championship pedigree, having gone to the NBA Finals six times. He also looked at Handy’s journey, which includes playing professional basketball and getting his start as a player development coach in 2011.

Along with Handy, Mussatto profiled Spurs assistant Will Hardy as a head coaching option for the Thunder.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune takes a look at who the Jazz might select with the 23rd overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. As Walden writes, Utah vice president Dennis Lindsey said last month that the team will be looking for a player who brings defensive intensity. Isaiah Stewart, Jaden McDaniels, Josh Green, and Tyrell Terry are just some of the prospects who may be options for the Jazz at No. 23.
  • In her latest mailbag, Kendra Andrews of The Athletic discusses what the Nuggets might do in free agency. Andrews was asked frequently about Jerami Grant, who played a pivotal role in Denver’s playoff run, an said that re-signing Grant is a top priority for the Nuggets. He could command a deal in the four-year, $64M range.
  • Chris Kine of The Star Tribune examines the next steps for the Timberwolves with the offseason finally here. As things stand, Minnesota has the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, which could both the team a good player and fill a need. However, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas suggested it’s not realistic to address a need in the draft. “Needs have to be addressed in free agency and trades,” Rosas said. “With draft guys it’s a development process. You want it to be right away, but the reality is it’s a two, three, four-year process.” Rosas reiterated that Minnesota is establishing its culture. Meanwhile, Kine argues that the Timberwolves do not have time on their side with both Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell looking to win.
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18 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Thunder, Jazz, Nuggets, Wolves

  1. Eric Lord

    It seems like Mussatto is just throwing names out there as potential coaches for the Thunder & hoping one is correct.

  2. The Howler

    Rosas talking as if MIN will be contending soon when they are probably a minimum 2-3 years away. Draft a developmental project that complements KAT, DRuss, and Malik “The Gunslinger” Beasley. KAT will be ready to re-sign as the team is reaching a peak of sorts.

  3. Sillivan

    trade idea

    Wolves get Ingram, salary starts at 29M
    Pelicans get James Johnson, Beasley and #1 pick

    • hiflew

      Really not a bad thought. Assuming Beasley gets cleared of his legal troubles that is.

      It’s fair to wonder if Ingram’s breakout season was real or a mirage because he didn’t look all that good as a Laker. So maybe for the Pelicans selling high on him is better than risking a max salary on a guy that could come back to Earth in future seasons. Beasley had enough of a breakout to wonder what he can continue to do as well.

      For the T-Wolves it is the opposite. They would be banking on the fact that if Ingram’s was legit, he has far more future value than anyone in this draft. The KAT/Russell pairing is ready for some playoff experience now and it is probably not going to immediately happen with a selection of Wiseman, Edwards, or Ball no matter what their upside is.

      It would be a gamble for both sides for sure, but might be one worth taking for both teams.

    • Special Agent

      That’s not as absurd as some responses are saying. Granted, Ingram has established himself and why would the Pels give up an established player but if they love a player at 1/1, maybe they like the smell and look of the bait. The problem is there is no unquestionable guy everyone loves at 1/1.

    • The Howler

      NO has homicide rate 4x MIN…We could argue if Beasley is a good fit or not.

    • mcmillankmm

      Does that salary even match up? I thought Beasley was going to be an FA….also isn’t Beasley good pals with KAT and Russell? It just seems complicated, two sign and trades as part of the deal, a #1 overall pick no one is too excited about and still feels like NO needs a little more…

      • hiflew

        Two sign and trades aren’t that uncommon. Last year the Durant/Russell trade were both sign and trades.

  4. nentwigs

    Destiny cannot be overcome.
    Whatever move/moves the Timberpuppies make
    it/they will be…….
    W…………………..R……………..O…………….N…………….G !

  5. jb10000lakes

    Knicks want Ball and hold the #8 (and 27th) pick. If Wolves aren’t sold on Ball and can reasonably get a guy they like/can use at 8, push for a trade and a future #1 (Knicks have a few). Wolves have some leverage here, push it. If nothing comes to fruition, so be it; but a possible path to take.

    • masisk33

      Yes, see what you can get. If nothing “wows” you, then take Wiseman #1 overall.

  6. masisk33

    Wiseman is probably the safest pick for this team Wolves need rim protection. Wiseman’s Length can get it done in the NBA. Either take Wiseman #1 overall or trade down and take Okoro. Okoro is another obvious fit for this roster.

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