Bill Bayno

Central Notes: Bayno, Hutchison, LeVert, Cavs, Holiday

Pacers assistant coach Bill Bayno has resigned due to mental health issues, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Bayno, 58, took a leave of absence two weeks ago. Both of his parents recently passed away and he needed to step away from the pressures and workload of the NBA grind amid the pandemic, Wojnarowski adds. He could return to coaching at some point. The team confirmed his resignation in a press release.

“I appreciate the impact Coach Bayno has had on our players and the Pacers organization over the last five years,” head coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “All of us at the Pacers wish him the very best as he transitions to his next chapter.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls guard Chandler Hutchison is out indefinitely due to personal reasons, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. He’ll continue to be around the team and on the sidelines. Hutchinson played four minutes against Orlando on Friday but only appeared in one game in January after testing positive for the coronavirus.
  • Caris LeVert is attending Pacers practices two weeks after undergoing surgery for kidney cancer, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. “He’s obviously in all of our film sessions and our team meetings,” coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “He’s getting there, he’s walking around and that’s a good start.” Acquired in the four-team blockbuster deal that sent James Harden to Brooklyn, LeVert is out indefinitely.
  • The Cavaliers’ current road trip could determine the direction of the team for the remainder of the season, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. It could decide their approach to the trade deadline and whether they have a realistic chance at making the postseason.
  • Bucks guard Jrue Holiday was declared inactive on Monday due to the league’s health and safety protocols, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets.

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Knicks, Rondo, Hawks, Magic

The Pacers are adding Calbert Cheaney to Nate Bjorkgren‘s coaching staff as an assistant, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). An Indiana native who played his college ball for the Hoosiers, Cheaney spent 13 years in the NBA as a player. He has been an assistant for Atlanta’s G League affiliate for the last two seasons.

Cheaney is the latest addition to a new-look coaching staff that will also feature Kaleb Canales and Greg Foster, in addition to returning Pacers assistant Bill Bayno. Indiana recently issued a press release confirming that all three of those coaches will be part of Bjorkgren’s staff in 2021.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

Central Notes: Weaver, Bulls Draft, Avdija, J. Holiday

The Pistons hired general manager Troy Weaver because of his reputation for evaluating young talent, so Omar Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press looked into Weaver’s track record with the Thunder to get clues for this year’s draft. Detroit holds the No. 7 pick in a draft that appears unpredictable after the first two or three choices.

Weaver has a history of taking athletic players with long wingspans, Sankofa notes. His standout selection was Russell Westbrook with the fourth pick in 2008, and the pattern extends with first-rounders such as Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Josh Huestis, Terrance Ferguson and Darius Bazley. Weaver also signed Luguentz Dort, a similar player, after he went undrafted last year.

Sankofa believes former Memphis center James Wiseman and Georgia guard Anthony Edwards are the best fits for Weaver’s philosophy, but both are expected to be taken well before the Pistons’ turn. Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, possibly the draft’s best wing defender, could be an alternative, along with guard RJ Hampton and Florida State forward Patrick Williams.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • With the Bulls holding the No. 4 pick, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times looks at four potential selections and their possible impact on the organization. LaMelo Ball would challenge Coby White for the starting point guard job right away and could open the door for a Zach LaVine trade that would create cap room to add a free agent next summer. Edwards could be the future shooting guard, which would also make LaVine expendable, while Wiseman would give the team a true center and leave Wendell Carter and Lauri Markkanen battling to become the starting power forward. Deni Avdija fills the greatest need for Chicago and would eventually take over for Otto Porter Jr.
  • At least one draft expert believes Avdija would be a perfect fit for the Bulls, relays Rob Schaffer of NBC Sports Chicago. Appearing on the Bulls Talk podcast, Spencer Pearlman, a former draft consultant with the Suns, says Avdija is versatile enough to handle either forward slot and plays bigger than his 6’9″ size.
  • Although the Knicks have interest in free agent guard Justin Holiday, returning to the Pacers is his first option, tweets J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star. Michael also states that assistant coach Bill Bayno will remain with Indiana under new coach Nate Bjorkgren (Twitter link) and the organization has hired Ted Wu as a capologist (Twitter link).

Coaching Notes: Warriors, Pacers, Nets, Sixers

Mike Brown has been offered the top assistant position by the Warriors, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The former Cavaliers and Lakers head coach would replace Luke Walton, who was named the Lakers’ head coach, but terms of the deal are still being hammered out, Wojnarowski continues. Brown has remained close to his NBA mentor, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, and spent a considerable amount of time around their organization last season, Wojnarowski adds.

Brown’s ties to the Spurs, affable personality and head-coaching experience tipped the scales in his favor in head coach Steve Kerr’s mind, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link). Former Suns coach Ty Corbin was a finalist for the job before becoming one of Earl Watson‘s assistants with the Suns, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports while also confirming Golden State’s plan to hire Brown. The Warriors also met with the Hornets’ Stephen Silas and the Trail Blazers’ Nate Tibbetts, Stein adds.

In other coaching developments around the league:

  • The Pacers have added Bill Bayno as an assistant coach and David McClure as player development coach, the club announced on its website. New head coach Nate McMillan will retain Dan Burke and Popeye Jones from Frank Vogel’s staff.
  • The Nets have hired D-League assistant and Euroleague legend Mike Batiste as their big man coach, international journalist David Pick tweets.
  • The Sixers have hired John Townsend as their shooting coach, league sources told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He held the same post with the Grizzlies the past two seasons and previously was the shooting coach for the Raptors and Trail Blazers. He replaces Gene Burroughs, who is now the head coach of the Sixers’ D-League team, the Delaware 87ers.
  • The Mavericks have hired Bob MacKinnon to coach their D-League team, the Texas Legends, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. He replaces Nick Van Exel, who is now a Grizzlies assistant.

Coach Rumors: Rockets, Borrego, Pacers, Kings

As the Rockets continue to scour the market for their next head coach, Spurs assistant James Borrego appears to have emerged as a serious candidate for the job. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter), Borrego, who interviewed with Houston on Monday, will have a second meeting with the team later this week. That second interview will include owner Les Alexander, Stein reports.

Borrego’s second meeting with the Rockets doesn’t come with any guarantees, as Houston is also believed to be considering Magic assistant coach Adrian Griffin, Sixers assistant Mike D’Antoni, and Hornets assistant Stephen Silas for its head coaching opening. Still, Borrego remains in the mix for now.

Let’s check in on a few more coaching updates from around the NBA, courtesy of Stein…

  • After promoting Nate McMillan from an assistant coach job to replace Frank Vogel as head coach, the Pacers will have at least one opening on their bench, and the team is in pursuit of Bill Bayno, says Stein (Twitter link). A longtime coach at a variety of levels, Bayno most recently served as an assistant for the Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, and Raptors.
  • Bayno isn’t the only potential assistant being targeted by Indiana. Sources tell Stein (Twitter link) that the Pacers have also expressed interest in hiring Nick Van Exel. The former NBA guard, who coached the D-League’s Texas Legends this past season, is believed to be drawing interest from teams besides Indiana, Stein adds (via Twitter).
  • Dave Joerger is attempting to put together his staff for his first year as the Kings‘ head coach, and Stein tweets that the ex-Grizzlies head coach is targeting Elston Turner and Bryan Gates. Turner, who was mentioned as a candidate early in Sacramento’s coaching search, was a part of Joerger’s staff in Memphis, while Gates spent the 2015/16 season as a Timberwolves assistant.

Latest On Kings, Dave Joerger

12:48pm: The deal would indeed be a four-year arrangement with a team option on the fourth season, sources tell Wojnarowski, so the reports on contract length now align (Twitter link).

11:29am: The Kings hope they’ll finalize a deal with Joerger today, Stein hears (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 7:56am: Joerger is just one of three finalists, Divac said, according to Voisin (Twitter link). The identity of the other finalists is unclear. The Kings plan to meet with each of the finalists in the coming days and hope to make a decision by the end of the week, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

The deal the Kings and Joerger are discussing involves a team option on the fourth season, Stein writes. That would seem to account for the difference between the three- and four-year offers Stein and Wojnarowski referred to earlier.

SUNDAY, 11:55pm: A meeting with owner Vivek Ranadive set for Monday is the last obstacle between Dave Joerger and a deal to become Kings coach, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The team flew Joerger and his family to Sacramento, and the sides have made significant progress toward a three-year deal worth about $4MM a year, Wojnarowski hears, though sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com that they’ve been discussing a four-year arrangement for the same annual salary (Twitter link).

Regardless, GM Vlade Divac still plans to compose a list of finalists, and that’s the message that the team has communicated to its candidates even since Joerger’s arrival for today’s face-to-face with Divac, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee, (Twitter links). That suggests Sacramento hasn’t ruled out hiring someone other than Joerger just yet. Joerger, too, has held mutual interest with the Rockets, as USA Today’s Sam Amick noted earlier, and his plan was to wait to hear from Houston before making a decision, according to TNT’s David Aldridge, but whether the Rockets are still in the picture for him after today’s meeting with Divac is unknown.

Joerger spoke at length with Divac today and would have the authority to hire his own assistants, though doubt exists about whether he wants to bring his Grizzlies staff with him, as Wojnarowski details. Still, it’s expected that Joerger would hire Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner, and he’d also likely to bring aboard Bill Bayno, a longtime college and NBA assistant who wasn’t with the Grizzlies, according to Wojnarowski. Turner has already interviewed with the Kings, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee noted earlier, but it’s unclear if that was for an assistant job or the head coaching job.

Atlantic Notes: Russell, Sixers, Nets

D’Angelo Russell could wind up as a top-two pick if the Knicks or Sixers are that position after the results of the draft lottery on Tuesday, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. While it’s widely assumed that Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor will go 1-2 in the draft, there was some speculation by rival executives at the draft combine that Philadelphia or New York may opt instead to transform to its backcourt with the Ohio State guard, Berger reports.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Michael Qualls (Arkansas), Keifer Sykes (Wisconsin-Green Bay), Ryan Boatright (Connecticut) and Terry Rozier (Louisville) are scheduled to work out with the Sixers on Tuesday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Philadelphia brought in Julian Washburn (Texas-El Paso), Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), Terran Petteway (Nebraska), Marcus Thornton (Georgia), Stanton Kidd (Colorado State), Juwan Staten (West Virginia) and Shannon Scott (Ohio State) for workouts on Monday, Pompey adds.
  • Mike Conley and Kevin Love, if he does not opt out this summer, are potential free agent targets for the Nets in 2016, according to NetsDaily.com. The Nets will undergo many changes this offseason as they try to get under the luxury tax but they need to remain a playoff-caliber team to attract future free agents, the story adds.
  • A shakeup of Dwane Casey’s staff is underway as the Raptors parted with assistants Bill Bayno and Tom Sterner today, sources told Berger (Twitter links).

Western Notes: Blair, Durant, ‘Wolves

With Brandan Wright out indefinitely after a left shoulder injury, free agent signee DeJuan Blair, is learning both the power forward and center assignments with the Mavs, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

The 6’7″ Blair is under-sized for a center, but as he told Sefko, “I’ve been playing five all my life against 7-footers.” Blair was largely relegated to the Spurs bench the last season. He only started 16 games and played only 76 minutes during their run to the Finals last year. So look for him to be extra motivated if given a significant opportunity in Dallas.

Here’s more from around the West tonight:

  • As mentioned previously, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry spoke with Thunder coach Scott Brooks about Kevin Durant‘s minutes with Russell Westbrook expected to miss the first quarter of the season.
  • Assuming Durant appears in at least 79 games this season, at 38 minutes a night, that would have him playing over 3,000 regular season minutes for the fourth time in five seasons. Ben Wallace in 2004/05 was the last player to win a title after playing over 3,000 minutes during the regular season.
  • But it’s a workload Brooks plans to manage with off days and practice time and Durant appears up to the challenge, as long as it helps them win.
  • Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman is looking for more continuity from his starters in preseason despite the second straight game without Kevin Martin, he tells  Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune.
  • But, Zgoda tweets that Adelman has no idea if a week of rest will get Martin back on the court, though he certainly hopes so.
  • Zgoda goes on to say that Othyus Jeffers, A.J. Price, Robbie Hummel and Lorenzo Brown are battling for what will likely be two spots when the team waives Chris Johnson.
  • But Adelman says the Wolves could add players cut from other training camps once teams pare down their rosters in the final week of preseason.
  • Adelman is also happy former ‘Wolves assistant Bill Bayno was hired as lead assistant for the Raptors (Twitter).

Odds & Ends: Hill, Team USA, Cousins

Opting to stick around for youth basketball camps he sponsored in Texas, Pacers guard George Hill understands that his decision to forego his commitment to Team USA training camp on short notice could hurt his chances at future invitations (IndyStar.com). USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo's reacted to Hill's decision: "We expected him here, and he withdrew…Until I really get the answer, I don't know what else to tell you. I just don't think it's fair to comment one way or the other until I have facts, out of courtesy and respect."

Here are a few more miscellaneous rumblings to pass along from tonight:

  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter) hears that the Kings will be meeting with DeMarcus Cousins' agent Dan Fegan in the near future to discuss a contract extension. 
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweets that early next year, Colangelo will announce another pool of 25-28 players for next summer's World Cup competition.
  • Though he almost chose the Mavericks at the request of his son, Jermaine O'Neal passed on the chance to return home and ultimately chose to join the Warriors for the opportunity to be a part of something special (Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News). 
  • Eric Koreen of the National Post introduces us to Bill Bayno, Jesse Murmuys, and Jama Mahlalela – some of the new faces on the Raptors' assistant coaching staff. In another piece, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun gathers some of head coach Dwane Casey's thoughts on Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan and their improvement this summer. 
  • Zach Harper of CBS Sports is puzzled by Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum's statement to Cleveland media that he's never played for a city that really supported their team, coming from someone who developed and enjoyed plenty of success with the Lakers

Atlantic Rumors: Nets, Kirilenko, Kenyon, Knicks

GM Billy King says there's nothing untoward about the Nets discount signing of Andrei Kirilenko, despite whispers about under-the-table dealings, as Newsday's Roderick Boone reports. 

"I can’t control what people think, what they say," King said. "I think some of the same things were said when Miami got the Big 3 together or guys have moved around. When things happen, people are surprised. My conscience is clean. I know in dealing with [Kirilenko's agent] Marc Fleisher and getting this deal done, I can’t control what people think."

There's more on Kirilenko's decision and other Atlantic Division rumblings, as we detail:

  • King said Kirilenko rejected the Nets' pursuit earlier this month, but the forward had changed his mind by the time King checked in with him again, Boone notes in the same piece.
  • The Knicks are eyeing free agent Kenyon Martin as they look for a backup big man, and Martin is keeping the Knicks in mind, guard Iman Shumpert tells Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com
  • Wolves assistant Bill Bayno and Rockets assistant Jesse Mermuys are set to join Dwane Casey's staff with the Raptors, as Eric Koreen of the National Post passes along.
  • Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie held forth on all things Sixers in his interview with HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram, affirming that ownership is on board with the drastic changes he's making to the team.
  • The Sixers' acquisition of Nerlens Noel for Jrue Holiday, Hinkie's first major move, became official today, as did the Celtics/Nets blockbuster. Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press examines Brooklyn's high-priced gamble.