Brad Jones

Southwest Notes: Westbrook, Vasquez, Grizzlies

Following up on his recent report that Russell Westbrook amended the payment schedule on his contract upon being traded to the Rockets, Marc Stein of The New York Times provided some additional details in his newsletter this week.

According to Stein, Westbrook’s contract previously called for 25% of his $38.5MM salary to be paid on August 1 and again on October 1. As part of his trade to the Rockets, those installments were adjusted downward to 12.5% of his salary, meaning they’re now worth $4.8MM apiece instead of $9.6MM, Stein writes.

The changes will allow Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta to avoid paying half of Westbrook’s $38.5MM salary by October 1. Under Fertitta, the club has been averse to making significant upfront payments in a variety of transactions — when Houston traded cash in three separate deals during the 2018/19 league year, it always sent that cash in many installments, rather than in a single lump sum.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Former NBA point guard Greivis Vasquez, who played for six teams over the course of seven seasons from 2010-17, has been named the associate head coach of the Pelicans‘ new G League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. Vasquez will work under Ryan Pannone, the head coach of the expansion Erie BayHawks.
  • New Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins spoke to Peter Edmiston of The Athletic about how he filled out his coaching staff and what traits he and the front office prioritized as they hired assistants. According to Jenkins, Brad Jones will be his lead assistant.
  • Boban Marjanovic had his best NBA season in 2018/19, averaging 7.3 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 58 games (11.7 MPG) for the Clippers and Sixers. Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News looks at what sort of role Marjanovic might have with the Mavericks after signing a two-year contract with the club.

Grizzlies Announce New Coaching Staff

After hiring first-time head coach Taylor Jenkins to replace J.B. Bickerstaff in June, the Grizzlies have officially announced Jenkins’ staff, which features a series of new hires.

According to a press release, Niele Ivey, Brad Jones, David McClure, James “Scoonie” Penn, Vitaly Potapenko, and Neven Spahija will serve as Jenkins’ assistants for the 2019/20 season. Of the six, only Potapenko was on the team’s staff last season.

Ivey, who has spent the last 12 seasons at Notre Dame, including the last four years as the associate head coach of Fighting Irish’s women’s team, is the first female assistant in Grizzlies history, as David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal notes.

Jones, a veteran of the NBA and G League, most recently served as the head coach of the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ NBAGL affiliate. The team has named Jason March as its new G League head coach.

McClure spent the last three seasons as a player development coach for the Pacers; Penn comes to Memphis from Ohio State, where he was the director of player development since 2017; Spahija has coached internationally in a handful of countries since the mid-1980s, and was a Hawks assistant from 2014-17, working alongside Jenkins under Mike Budenholzer.

“Their experiences at the collegiate, international, G League and NBA levels will benefit everyone in our organization,” Jenkins said of his new assistants. “Above all else, I am thrilled to work with great people who will help build a competitive, unselfish, development-focused, and positive environment for our players.”

Southwest Notes: Davis, Ariza, G League, Spurs

After making it back to the playoffs last year, the Pelicans are about to enter a crucial season for the future of the franchise, writes Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate. The organization may need a strong follow-up to its second-round ouster to ensure a long-term future with star big man Anthony Davis.

Davis will be eligible for a super-max contract next offseason worth up to $230MM. If he doesn’t agree to the deal, speculation will immediately begin about his impending free agency and he could be the top name on the market in 2020. Davis’ current contract includes a $28.75MM player option for 2020/21.

Although Davis has said repeatedly that he enjoys playing in New Orleans, he may not be convinced that the Pelicans will be an annual contender. There was a bit of a roster upheaval over the summer as the team lost DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo in free agency and found younger replacements in Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Trevor Ariza may not be gone from the Rockets for good, suggests Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Ariza agreed to a one-year, $15MM contract with the Suns in the early hours of free agency last month, but Bontemps doesn’t see that developing into a long-term relationship. If the Suns remain near the bottom of the West, Ariza could become a buyout candidate in February. The Rockets, who are still short on defensive-minded wings after losing Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, could see a reunion with Ariza as an easy solution.
  • Brad Jones has been named as the new head coach of the Grizzlies‘ G League affiliate, the team announced today. He won a G League title in 2012 as head coach in Austin and led Utah to the finals in 2009. In his last job, Jones served as general manager for the G League Iowa Wolves and as a scout for the Timberwolves.
  • The Spurs are the latest organization to have an official corporate partner, according to a release posted on the team website. The Spurs will team up with Frost Bank, a prominent banking, investment and insurance company in Texas, and will wear the company’s logo on their jerseys.

Western Notes: Randolph, Sterling, Jazz

Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com explains the odd circumstance concerning Zach Randolph‘s player option with the Grizzlies next season. According to the current CBA, a player cannot earn less money in a player option year relative to how much he made in the previous season. As it currently stands, Randolph will make $16.5MM if he decided to opt in for 2014/15, which is considerably lower than the $17.8MM he made in 2013/14.

Tim Duncan had a similar issue in his contract with the Spurs, as his player option for the upcoming year was initially less than what he made this past season. While Duncan’s contract was ultimately modified to address the error, Randolph’s remains unchanged simply because the contract had been signed too long ago, Deeks hears. Randolph and Memphis reportedly are moving toward a multi-year deal, but if he opts in and the deal winds up coming in the form of an extension, Randolph’s missing money will come into play.

Here are more noteworthy links to pass along tonight:

  • A Los Angeles Superior Court judge said that the terms of the Sterling family trust may give Donald Sterling little room to challenge the finding that he is mentally incapable of continuing as co-owner of the Clippers, writes James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times. This would appear to give Shelly Sterling the advantage in her case to affirm both her control of the trust and sale of the team.
  • The Jazz announced the additions of Brad Jones, Antonio Lang, Alex Jensen, Mike Wells, and Johnnie Bryant to Quin Snyder’s coaching staff. Jones will be Snyder’s lead assistant, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link).
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv has opted out of its contract with Joe Ingles, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Back in March, we passed along that Ingles was considering a move to the NBA this summer. The Grizzlies and Jazz were among the Western Conference teams reported to have interest in the Australian-born forward.

Jazz Hire Quin Snyder As Coach

6:53pm: The team has officially announced the deal. CEO Greg Miller expressed optimism regarding Snyder’s potential at the helm of the Jazz.

“On behalf of the Miller family, I welcome Quin Snyder as the new head coach of the Utah Jazz,” said Miller.  “He has an impressive basketball pedigree, including more than a decade of head coaching experience that positions him well to succeed in the Jazz organization.  We look forward to Quin’s contributions both on the court and in the community.”

5:42pm: The team will hold a press conference to introduce Snyder as coach tomorrow, a source tells Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

4:41pm: Quin Snyder will be the next head coach of the Jazz, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). This report has also been confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The deal will include three guaranteed years, plus a team option for a fourth, tweets Wojnarowski. Financial terms have not been disclosed. This will be Snyder’s first time as an NBA head coach. He previously served as head coach for Missouri from 1999 to 2006, and complied a career record of 128-96 for the Tigers.

Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey has worked previously with Snyder when Lindsey was assistant GM for the Spurs and Snyder was the coach of San Antonio’s D-League affiliate from 2007 to 2010. Snyder was one of four rumored finalists for the position along with Adrian Griffin, Alvin Gentry, and Jazz assistant coach Brad Jones. Jones is expected to be retained and promoted to assistant head coach, reports Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link). Former University of Utah player Alex Jensen will also be promoted from his position as player development coach to become a full-time assistant on Snyder’s staff, writes Genessy in a separate article.

Snyder was a candidate for the Sixers, Bobcats and Suns last summer, and was also a candidate for the Bobcats job back in 2012, when he was also among those in the running for the Magic’s vacancy.

Coaching Rumors: Jazz, Fisher, Cavs, Lakers

It’ll be a long time, if ever, before we see Coach Cal back in the NBA.  John Calipari‘s new contract with the University of Kentucky, which takes him through 2021, doesn’t have a buyout, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (on Twitter).  Calipari coached the Nets to a 72-112 record over three seasons in the late 90s but has found himself linked to several high-profile jobs thanks to his success at UK. Here’s more from the coaching front:

  • Brad Jones will be hired as an assistant on Quin Snyder‘s coaching staff for the Jazz, tweets Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Jones’ hiring was expected when news of Snyder landing the job surfaced earlier today.
  • While Alex Jensen is set to move up as an assistant with Snyder, Jody Genessy of Deseret News is hearing that other teams might make a play to hire Jensen away from the Jazz (Twitter link).
  • Right now, it seems like Knicks president Phil Jackson is only interested in coaching candidates who come from his inner circle, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.  Steve Kerr, of course, was Phil’s first choice and the current presumed frontrunner, Derek Fisher, has a long history with the Zen Master.
  • The Knicks hope to secure Fisher for head coaching duties next week, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
  • Stein adds that the Cavs are likely to make the next coaching hire after the Knicks, and that the Lakers are still “in no rush” to fill their vacancy.
  • Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders runs down the Lakers coaching candidates and attempts to identify the best fit for the job.  Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins, in his view, should be considered strong candidates.
  • Jeff Van Gundy told KFAN 1003 that while he would have “loved to work for [Flip Saunders]” and live and coach in Minnesota, he couldn’t get past the idea that Saunders was the best coach for the Wolves, according to the T’Wolves PR Twitter account.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Jazz Notes: Jones, Vonleh, Favors, Kanter

Jazz assistant Brad Jones is indeed a candidate for the head coaching position, but he could also be in line for an assistant job on the team’s new staff if they go with Alvin Gentry, Quin Snyder, or Adrian Griffin as the hire, tweets Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune.  After having spent the 2012-13 season in charge of player development, Utah promoted Jones to a full fledged assistant in July of last year.  Being appointed as head coach would mark a very rapid climb up the organizational ladder for Jones.  The latest out of Utah..

  • A source tells Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link) that the Jazz saw Indiana big man Noah Vonleh workout privately last week in New York.
  • After attending Utah’s pre-draft workout yesterday, Jones learned (link) that the organization sees Derrick Favors as a center, not as a power forward.  Because of that, the Utah front office is confident that Vonleh can come in and play alongside Favors without any trouble (link).  Meanwhile, if the Jazz see Favors as a five, that raises some questions about how they view Enes Kanter (link).
  •  Utah State big man Jarred Shaw and Weber State guard/forward Davion Berry are among the 12 players working out for the Jazz this morning, tweets Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune.  Neither player is featured on DraftExpress’ Top 100.

Four Favorites Emerge For Jazz Coaching Job

3:00pm: Snyder appears to be the front-runner, but the team likes Gentry, Griffin and Snyder, too, Genessy tweets.

THURSDAY, 2:48pm: Jazz assistant Brad Jones is also on the team’s “short list” for its head coaching job, along with Gentry, Griffin and Snyder, Genessy hears (Twitter link). Presumably, Jones is the unknown candidate whom Genessy referred to on Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY, 4:20pm: Gentry, Griffin and Snyder remain the top candidates for the job in the wake of their second interviews, while Boylen is no longer a candidate, reports Jody Genessy of the Salt Lake Tribune. There is an unknown fourth candidate in the mix, too, Genessy says (All Twitter links).

MONDAY, 10:43pm: Clippers associate head coach Alvin Gentry will have a second interview with the Jazz on Tuesday, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

SATURDAY, 5:18pm: Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin and Hawks assistant Quin Snyder will both interview a second time for the Jazz head coaching vacancy, sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Snyder was already believed to be a front-runner for the job, and Griffin now joins him at the front of the pack. A third, unnamed candidate could also still be in the running, sources tell Jones.

Griffin, also linked with the Cavs opening, is gaining steam toward landing his first head coaching gig. Jones adds that the Knicks are now apparently interested in the defensive specialist’s services for their head coaching position. Snyder hasn’t been reported as a candidate for any other NBA teams.

This presumably leaves one or both of Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry and Spurs assistant Jim Boylen out of the running for Utah’s vacancy, depending on whether either represent the unnamed candidate still under consideration. Both Grififin and Snyder are young, up-and-coming coaches, and if the Jazz are narrowing their search to meet that profile, Gentry wouldn’t fit the bill. Boylen is working within the highly successful and respected coaching corps of Gregg Popovich, but there is some antipathy for him in Utah due to his unsuccessful run as head coach at the University of Utah. Other names that have been linked as potential candidates include Jazz assistant Brad Jones and European coach Ettore Messina.

Latest On Jazz Coaching Search

APRIL 28TH: Genessy has received further indication that Boylen is the lead candidate for the job (Twitter link). That’s in spite of a comment from Jazz president Randy Rigby last week asserting that the club had yet to identify any potential replacements for Corbin.

APRIL 23RD, 4:21pm: Hawks assistant Quin Snyder is also a candidate, Stein hears (Twitter link). Snyder worked with Lindsey in San Antonio, as Stein points out via Twitter, noting that he also spent time in Russia as an assistant under Messina.

TUESDAY, 1:59pm: Current Jazz assistant Brad Jones has also drawn mention as a potential candidate, Stein writes, though the ESPN scribe casts Boylen and Messina as the favorites. Still, neither Boylen nor Messina is likely to become available until June as their respective teams play on in the postseason. If Lindsey decides Boylen is the right choice, he wouldn’t allow the sentiment of locals turned off by Boylen’s poor performance at the University of Utah to dissuade him, according to Stein.

9:30am: Rumored candidate Jim Boylen is indeed in the running for the Jazz head coaching job, tweets Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, and the Spurs assistant is at the top of the list, a source tells Mike Monroe of the San Antonio-Express News. The Jazz will also consider longtime European coach and former Lakers assistant Ettore Messina, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Jazz are perhaps more open to hiring a European coach than any other NBA team, a source tells Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link). The name of Bulls lead assistant coach Adrian Griffin has come up in regard to the Jazz as well as other teams of late, Genessy tweets. Griffin was a candidate for the Sixers and Pistons last year and the Blazers in 2012.

Utah GM Dennis Lindsey and assistant GM Justin Zanik are well-known fans of Messina, who’s apparently itching to come to the NBA, Stein says in a pair of tweets. Messina is the coach of CSKA Moscow, though his roots are in Italy, where he coached for more than a decade and a half and established himself as one of Europe’s top sideline bosses. Critics say he’s too tough on players to succeed as an NBA coach, though proponents point to his year of experience as an assistant in the NBA with the Lakers 2011/12, when the team had plenty of title-winning veterans, to suggest that he can succeed, Stein tweets. Messina was a candidate for the Hawks head coaching job last year.

Boylen’s connection to Lindsey dates back to their time together in the Rockets organization. They share the same agent and have a close relationship, Jones tweets, though Boylen’s time as coach of the University of Utah, a tenure marked by back-to-back losing seasons in his final two years, would be viewed as a negative, according to Jones, as well as Stein (Twitter link).

It’s unlikely that the Jazz’s next coach will be a retread, Jones says via Twitter. Lindsey insisted that the team hadn’t considered any candidates before announcing Monday that Tyrone Corbin wouldn’t be back, as fellow Tribune scribe Aaron Falk observes. Lindsey didn’t rule out the idea of Corbin remaining with the organization in a different capacity, Jones tweets.

Coaching Rumors: Jazz, Knicks

The Jazz do not currently have a timeline set for finding their new head coach, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Genessy adds that GM Dennis Lindsey is entering uncharted territory, as the only time he had been involved in a head coaching search was in 2003 with the Rockets, when he assisted then-GM Carroll Dawson as vice president of basketball operations. Despite his inexperience, Lindsey insisted that the search will be conducted with the “right professional decorum” and later added:

“…we’ll meet quickly, internally…We’ll set some criteria. We’ll look at some objective measures. We’ll look at some subjective measures about coaches and who’s going to be the new leader of the Utah Jazz and define some timelines about who we’re going to interview.”

According to Genessy, the new coaching hire will be decided on as a group that includes Lindsey, Jazz owner Gail Miller, CEO Greg Miller, Miller Sports Properties president Steve Miller, team president Randy Rigby, executive VP of basketball operations Kevin O’Connor, and CFO Bob Hyde.

You can read more coaching-related links below:

  • Genessy mentions that in addition to Jazz assistant Brad Jones, Lindsey has close ties with Jeff Van Gundy (who the Rockets ultimately hired to succeed Rudy Tomjanovich in 2003), Suns assistant Mike Longabardi, and Bulls assistant Andy Greer. Along with Jones, Genessy lists Jim Boylen and Ettore Messina as possible candidates, just as we had noted from Mike Monroe of the San Antonio-Express News and ESPN’s Marc Stein earlier today.
  • Former Bulls player Bill Wennington tells Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson would fit together well in New York: “Their history together and just the way they work together and have worked together in the past with the offense and everything is a good combination…To me it’s a no-brainer.” Though Wennington admits that he has an interest in coaching, he tells Iannazzone that he hasn’t spoken to Jackson about possibly joining the Knicks.
  • Iannazzone lists Frank Hamblen, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright, Scottie Pippen, Kurt Rambis, and Derek Fisher as a few names who could join the Knicks in some capacity at some point. As Marc Berman of the New York Post mentioned earlier, Ron Harper could surface on the team’s radar as well.