The Pelicans are hiring former Cavaliers director of coaching analytics Michael Hartman to lead their analytics department, according to Shamit Dua of Bourbon Street Shots (Twitter link).
Hartman was promoted last summer after spending the previous two seasons as the Cavaliers’ basketball analytics coordinator. Under his new title, he helped the Cavs with player development and coaching strategy using a data-driven approach. He also worked with current Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin in Cleveland.
Here’s more from around the Western Conference:
- Kendra Andrews of The Athletic opines that the Nuggets need to stay patient in their pursuit of an NBA championship. Denver had a magical run in the bubble that saw the team overcome two separate 3-1 deficits (Jazz and Clippers) and ultimately fall a few games short of an NBA Finals appearance. Andrews observes that the Nuggets’ roster-building approach has them on the same trajectory that helped Golden State become a dynasty.
- In her latest mailbag, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News explores which free agent reunions with former Jazz players are realistic this offseason. One player frequently mentioned is Derrick Favors, who was traded away last summer to the Pelicans. However, Todd believes that – despite there being a mutual interest between Utah and Favors – he could be out of their price range. Jae Crowder, Justin Holiday, Wesley Matthews, and Jevon Carter are among the other free-agent options mentioned.
- As the Thunder begin their head coaching search, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman makes a case for why Knicks player development coach Royal Ivey deserves consideration. He notes that Ivey is a former player for OKC and spent a few seasons as an assistant coach with their G League affiliate and the Thunder. Along with Ivey, Mussatto also makes a case for former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie to be the next head coach in Oklahoma City.