Adam Simon

Adam Simon To Remain With Heat Despite Bulls’ Interest

A Heat spokesperson said on Monday that assistant general manager Adam Simon – who also serves as the team’s VP, basketball operations – will be remaining with the franchise, according to reports from Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald and Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).

Simon was one of a handful of executives rumored to be drawing interest from the Bulls, who are looking to hire a new head of basketball operations. Chicago has reportedly been keeping a close eye on Miami’s office structure and had Simon high on its wish list, but the team won’t get a chance to interview with the veteran Heat executive.

In some cases, when a team wants to keep an executive who is drawing interest from a rival club, that exec receives a promotion and/or a raise. It’s not clear yet if that will be the case for Simon, who grew up in South Florida and is highly regarded by the Heat for his scouting and draft work, according to Jackson.

The Bulls’ initial list of front office targets was said to include Simon, Pacers GM Chad Buchanan, Raptors GM Bobby Webster, and Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas. Like Simon, Buchanan will be remaining with his current team, and there’s a belief that Webster will do the same. However, Chicago has reportedly received permission to interview Karnisovas and Jazz GM Justin Zanik.

Latest On Bulls’ Front Office Search

The Bulls have received permission to interview Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas, sources tell K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Karnisovas was one of four men said to be on Chicago’s initial wish list for a top front office executive who will have full authority on basketball decisions. It’s not clear if the Bulls will get a chance to talk to any of those four potential candidates besides Karnisovas.

Pacers GM Chad Buchanan reportedly rebuffed the Bulls’ interest, opting to remain in Indiana. And there’s plenty of speculation around the NBA that the Heat will make an effort to retain assistant GM Adam Simon, according to Johnson (Twitter link).

As for the fourth candidate, Toronto’s Bobby Webster, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca writes that the Raptors may not grant the Bulls permission to speak to their general manager, who is under contract through 2021. With president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri and head coach Nick Nurse also set to have their contracts expire after next season, and many of their players coming off the books in the coming months, the Raptors face some long-term uncertainty and might not want to risk losing a rising young executive. There’s a sense they’ll tell Chicago that “this is not a good time,” according to Grange.

Even if they’re only able to speak to one of their initial four targets, the Bulls have a longer list of candidates, per Johnson (Twitter link), who names Clippers GM Michael Winger, Clippers assistant GM Trent Redden, Magic assistant GM Matt Lloyd, and Jazz GM Justin Zanik as possibilities.

Chicago has received permission to talk to Zanik, Johnson reports, so the Utah GM will join Karnisovas in taking part in the first round of Bulls interviews.

The Bulls will conduct those meetings electronically due to the coronavirus pandemic and reportedly want to make a hire prior to the draft and free agency.

Chad Buchanan To Stay With Pacers, Turns Down Interview With Bulls

Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan is declining an opportunity to interview for the Bulls‘ top front office position, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Buchanan decided to remain in his current job, saying he and his family have been treated well by the organization.

Toronto’s Bobby Webster, Miami’s Adam Simon and Denver’s Arturas Karnisovas are the most prominent remaining candidates for the position, Charania adds, but Chicago will continue to research other possibilities (Twitter link).

Buchanan, who is in his third year as Indiana’s GM, also worked with president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard in Portland before they both came to Indiana. His comfort level with that partnership played a strong role in the decision to stay, a source tells K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

The Bulls are seeking permission to interview Webster, Simon and Karnisovas, according to Johnson, who adds that team president Michael Reinsdorf hopes to fill the position before the NBA hiatus is over. Whoever is ultimately hired to run the organization may make more hires and will launch an overhaul of the scouting department.

Executive vice president John Paxson is expected to be retained in an advisory role, but the fate of former GM Gar Forman, who is now working mainly in scouting, may be determined by the new regime. Reinsdorf is still a strong supporter of coach Jim Boylen, Johnson notes, but the fate of all the coaches will be decided by the new team president.

Assistant GM Steve Weinman is believed to be safe, Johnson writes. He has built a strong reputation for his expertise with salary cap issues and the collective bargaining agreement.

Bulls To Seek Interviews With Karnisovas, Webster, Others

1:24pm: Pacers GM Chad Buchanan will  join Karnisovas and Webster on the Bulls’ list of first-wave interview targets, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Sources tell Darnell Mayberry and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Heat assistant GM Adam Simon will be part of that group as well.

According to Mayberry (Twitter link), the Bulls won’t pursue Ujiri or Thunder head of basketball operations Sam Presti and won’t go the player-agent route like New York and other teams have.

12:41pm: The Bulls have formally launched their search for a new top front office executive who will have full authority on basketball decisions, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. We had previously heard in a series of February reports that the team was laying the groundwork for front office changes.

Those February reports suggested that executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson would retain a “valuable seat at the table” amidst the front office upheaval and that general manager Gar Forman would have his responsibilities cut back.

Wojnarowski confirms that Paxson is expected to continue in an advisory role and says that the club will have more conversations with Forman about his future. Previous reports indicated Forman would likely be re-assigned to a scouting position.

According to Wojnarowski, Chicago plans to seek permission to interview Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas and Raptors GM Bobby Webster, among others. The club’s goal is to complete its planned front office changes “well before” the NBA resumes play, per Woj, who hears that interviews will begin next week and will be conducted virtually rather than in person due to the coronavirus.

Neither Karnisovas nor Webster is the head of basketball operations for his respective team — Tim Connelly serves as Denver’s president of basketball operations, while Masai Ujiri holds that position in Toronto. However, the two GMs have risen through their respective organizations in recent years and have played important roles in building the Nuggets’ and Raptors’ talented rosters.

According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, who identified Karnisovas and Webster as two possible targets for the Bulls in a March mailbag, Pacers GM Chad Buchanan, Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, Jazz GM Justin Zanik, and Clippers GM Michael Winger are among the other executives on Bulls president/COO Michael Reinsdorf‘s list of potential candidates (Twitter link).

Many of those executives are under contract beyond the 2019/20 season, but likely wouldn’t be held back by their respective teams if the Bulls’ job is viewed as a promotion from their current roles. Based on Woj’s description, it should be.

The timing of Chicago’s search is interesting. Ujiri spoke earlier this week about putting business like contract extensions for himself and Nick Nurse on hold during the NBA’s stoppage, and we heard on Thursday that the Knicks aren’t pursuing front office changes or a new head coach during the hiatus. Nets GM Sean Marks also said this week that his team isn’t moving forward with its head coach search at this time.

However, no official hiring or firing freeze has been instituted by the NBA, and the Bulls’ situation is a little different from that of those other teams — a new top front office executive would lead the team’s decisions in the draft and free agency, making that search a more pressing matter than a head coaching hire, lower-level front office changes, or extensions for current execs and coaches.

Southeast Notes: Adebayo, Heat, Miles, Kulboka

Heat center Bam Adebayo has accepted an invitation to Team USA’s training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup tournament in China, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. USA Basketball is scrambling for replacements after nine members of the original 20-man roster decided not to participate this summer, a list that includes Paul MillsapKevin LoveBradley BealAnthony DavisEric GordonJames HardenTobias HarrisDamian Lillard, and CJ McCollum. A 12-man team will represent Team USA in China.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat have named Eric Glass head coach of the G League Sioux Falls Skyforce, according to a team press release. Glass has been in the organization nine seasons and served as a video coordinator and player development coach the last two seasons. Additionally, Adam Simon has been named VP of basketball operations and assistant GM, while Eric Amsler has been promoted to director of scouting and director of player personnel.
  • C.J. Miles is eager to show he can still be an effective player for the Wizards once he returns from foot surgery, he told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Miles split time with the Raptors and Grizzlies last season and was traded to Washington this summer in exchange for Dwight Howard. “Last year I just felt like I never really got in a groove after the work I put in to really help my team,” he said. “It just didn’t fit. It’s not personal, it was new coach and a trade happened.” Miles underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a stress fracture in his left foot and will be re-evaluated in six weeks.
  • Hornets draft-and-stash prospect Arnoldas Kulboka will remain overseas and play in Spain during the upcoming season, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. The 6’9” Kulboka, 21, was a late second-round pick last year.

Heat Announce Front Office Changes

Longtime Heat executive Chet Kammerer will take on a reduced role in the team’s front office going forward, the club announced today in a press release. Previously Miami’s VP of player personnel, Kammerer will become a senior advisor of basketball operations, according to the club.

Meanwhile, Heat assistant GM Adam Simon will receive a promotion to Kammerer’s old VP of player personnel position while retaining his assistant GM title.

Both Kammerer and Simon have been with the organization for more than two decades, with Kammerer having held the VP of player personnel title for the last 14 years. In that role, he has headed up Miami’s draft efforts for over a decade. In his new position, Kammerer will continue to serve as a scout and will be an advisor to several key members of the franchise, including team president Pat Riley, GM Andy Elisburg, and head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Simon, who came up through the Heat’s scouting and basketball operations departments, has been the team’s assistant GM, as well as the GM of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, since 2013. He’ll continue to lead the Skyforce’s basketball operations department while also assuming responsibility of the Heat’s pro, college, G League, and international scouting.

The Heat’s front office moves were first reported by Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, who notes that the 75-year-old Kammerer requested the change to his role in order to spend more time with his family.

“When I spoke to Andy Elisburg and Pat Riley, I requested a change in role but wanted to stay involved,” Kammerer said. “Andy came up with [this new position]. I will give my input.”

Hornets Expand Search For New GM

The Hornets are expanding their search for a new GM even though former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak remains a leading candidate, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.

The Hornets are looking to replace Rich Cho after announcing last month they wouldn’t extend his contract.

The club has received permission to interview Sixers VP of Player Personnel Marc Eversley, Rockets Executive VP of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas and Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, league sources told Wojnarowski.

However, Kupchak’s longstanding relationship with owner Michael Jordan could still tip the scales in his favor, Wojnarowski adds. The Lakers replaced Kupchak with Magic Johnson last season.

Assistant GM Buzz Peterson is currently running the day-to-day operations for the Hornets and is expected to remain with the organization once a new GM is hired. Charlotte hopes to fill the position by the end of the regular season, Wojnarowski adds.

Latest On Bucks’ GM Search

Milwaukee will begin formal interviews for its open GM position on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports.

The team has been granted permission to speak with Blazer assistant GM Bill Branch, Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, and Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity, according to Wojnarowski.

The scribe adds that the Bucks have reached out to the Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon about the opening. Hammon has been working under coach Gregg Popovich for three seasons.

Milwaukee previously reached out to Indiana and gained permission to speak with the team’s VP of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie. Wojnarowski adds that the franchise also has permission to speak with Denver assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, Grizzlies VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski and Hawks special advisor Wes Wilcox.

Justin Zanik, who is currently running the team as its assistant GM, remains a strong candidate for the position. Zanik is gathering “significant support” inside and outside the organization, Wojnarowski writes. He joined the team with the expectation that he would be the GM-in-waiting once John Hammond‘s contract expired. Hammond recently left the franchise to become Orlando’s GM.

Bucks Rumors: GM Search, Garrity, Simon, Kidd

A Wednesday report indicated that the Bucks have received permission to interview at least four executives from various teams around the NBA for their open general manager position. However, Milwaukee’s list of potential GM targets in longer than that. A source familiar with the team tells Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times that at least five other execs are under consideration by the Bucks, with about three dozen NBA officials having expressed interest in the job.

While Woelfel doesn’t specify any additional candidates, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical provides two more names, tweeting that Milwaukee has been granted permission to speak to Pistons executive Pat Garrity and Heat assistant GM Adam Simon. Garrity was said to be a candidate for the top job in Orlando before the Magic hired Jeff Weltman and John Hammond.

Woelfel has more info on the team’s GM search in his latest piece, so let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • Head coach Jason Kidd may be considered down the road for a top basketball operations role, but he’s not a candidate to take over that role in the short term, sources tell Woelfel. Still, Kidd will meet with the finalists for the position to ensure that they’ll have a good working relationship.
  • Assistant GM Justin Zanik is viewed as a strong candidate to be promoted to GM, but even if he doesn’t receive an official promotion, he’ll be well-compensated. According to Woelfel, Zanik’s contract includes a unique clause that stipulates his pay will be equal to that of the new GM.
  • Grizzlies VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, one of the four candidates the Bucks received permission to interview, is viewed by several NBA officials as the frontrunner for the Bucks’ top job, reports Woelfel. Previous report have indicated that the relationship between Stefanski and Bucks consultant Rod Thorn is a strong factor working in Stefanski’s favor. The two men worked together in New Jersey and are longtime friends.
  • On Thursday, we examined five key questions facing the Bucks this offseason, including who will be calling the shots on personnel decisions.

Southeast Notes: Wizards’ Bench, Hawks’ FO, Winslow

The Wizards fell just shy of the Celtics in their Eastern Conference Semifinal showdown and now must look at ways to improve if they hope to take the next step as a potential contender. One place they can start, point guard John Wall tells Chris Miller of CSN Mid-Atlantic, is with their bench.

I think we have to add pieces to help our bench,” the Wizards All-Star said. “Just to be honest I think that’s been our downfall.

While Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27.2 and 24.8 respective points per game this postseason, mid-season trade acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic was their most potent reserve averaging a modest 8.8 points per game.

Brandon Jennings, another mid-season Wizards target charged with the task of jump-starting the second unit, posted averages of just 2.8 points and 1.8 assists per game in the playoffs.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks have interviewed Wizards VP of basketball operations, Tommy Sheppard and Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk in their ongoing search for a new executive, Marc Stein of ESPN writes.
  • A recent profile from the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman features Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon‘s and his background scouting internationally.
  • The Celtics may have offered a first-round pick to the Heat in exchange for Justise Winslow back on draft night in 2015 but it wasn’t the Nets pick, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel clarifies.
  • A column by George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel draws comparisons between Lonzo Ball and Shaquille O’Neal, citing the overbearing presence of their respective father figures.
  • The Magic have several options that could realistically be available to them at the No. 6 pick, including De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel breaks them down.