Calvin Booth

Timberwolves Nearing End Of Front Office Search?

The Timberwolves‘ interview with Chauncey Billups for their president of basketball operations position will take place on Monday, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Wojnarowski, the meeting with Billups will be Minnesota’s final interview. So far, the club has met with Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon, Nuggets assistant GM Calvin Booth, and Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas about the job. The Wolves also wanted to interview Clippers GM Michael Winger, but he opted to remain in his position with Los Angeles.

While there was speculation that the Timberwolves could further expand their list of candidates to replace Tom Thibodeau atop the front office, Wojnarowski’s reference to Billups being the “final” interview suggests that the club will ultimately offer the job to one of the four current candidates.

There’s been little indication of which direction the Wolves may be leaning, but Billups’ and Booth’s names came up most frequently throughout the season in the wake of Thibodeau’s dismissal. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders recently suggested (via Twitter) that Booth may be the frontrunner.

Besides preparing for the Timberwolves’ upcoming offseason roster decisions, the club’s new president of basketball operations will have to make decisions on GM Scott Layden and head coach Ryan Saunders. As Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic explained last week, both Layden and Saunders appear to be in good position to return, but the new head of basketball operations will have the opportunity to consult with owner Glen Taylor on their respective futures.

GM Michael Winger To Stay With Clippers

Clippers GM Michael Winger has taken his name out of the running for a front office position in Minnesota, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

Winger had been a candidate to fill the president of basketball operations role with the Timberwolves, but sources tell Krawczynski that he has elected to stay in L.A. and continue the work he started there. He was reluctant to leave an already competitive team that will have the cap room to offer at least one max contract this summer (Twitter link).

Winger has served as GM of the Clippers since 2017 and previously worked as an assistant GM to Sam Presti in Oklahoma City. The Wolves haven’t started formal interviews yet, so Winger didn’t have more than preliminary contact with them (Twitter link).

With one candidate off the list, Minnesota still appears to have a strong group to choose from, with ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups, Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon, Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and Nuggets assistant GM Calvin Booth as the other reported candidates.

Front Office Notes: Pelicans, Redden, Wolves, Lakers

Could the hiring of David Griffin as the Pelicans‘ new head of basketball operations change how Anthony Davis views his situation in New Orleans? That’s the question Joe Vardon explores in his latest article for The Athletic, noting that the former Cavaliers GM earned LeBron James‘ respect in Cleveland and oversaw a Cavs roster that featured three Rich Paul clients.

While there has been no indication yet that Davis is willing to change his mind on his desire to get out of New Orleans, Griffin is likely to make a “direct appeal” to the All-Star big man in an effort to get him to reconsider, Vardon writes. Ultimately, Vardon expects Griffin to have to move Davis, but the veteran exec figures to enter the situation with an open mind.

Within his article on Griffin, who will be formally introduced by the Pelicans today, Vardon adds that the team’s new executive VP of basketball operations will be given permission to hire a new general manager. According to Vardon, former Cavs executive Trent Redden is a strong candidate to fill that role. Redden caught on with the Clippers as an assistant GM in 2017 after being let go by Cleveland along with Griffin.

Here are a few more front office notes from around the NBA:

  • In addition to reaching out to Clippers GM Michael Winger and Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, the Timberwolves also contacted Nuggets assistant GM Calvin Booth about their president of basketball operations job, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Krawczynski takes a closer look at those candidates, observing that the initial list should reassure Wolves fans that owner Glen Taylor won’t just “revert to his buddies” during the search process.
  • In an article for ESPN.com, Kevin Arnovitz makes the case for why the Lakers need to hire an outside to run their front office following Magic Johnson‘s departure from his president of basketball operations role.
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst identifies Jon Horst (Bucks), Masai Ujiri (Raptors), Sean Marks (Nets), Daryl Morey (Rockets), and Tim Connelly (Nuggets) as strong candidates for this year’s Executive of the Year award. We made our picks for Executive of the Year on Monday.

Northwest Notes: McCollum, Layden, Wolves, Craig

The Trail Blazers may have injured guard C.J. McCollum back in their lineup tomorrow, tweets Jason Quick of The Athletic. McCollum is listed as probable for a second straight division showdown with the Nuggets. He hasn’t played since suffering a left knee strain on March 16.

The return of McCollum, who is second on the team in scoring at 21.3 PPG, comes at an opportune time for Portland, which is trying to hold onto home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. After last night’s loss to Denver, the Blazers stand at 50-29, just one game ahead of the fifth-place Jazz.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves will decide the fate of GM Scott Layden after the season ends, with ESPN broadcaster Chauncey Billups and Nuggets assistant GM Calvin Booth among the top candidates if Minnesota decides to make a change, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Wolves owner Glen Taylor was reportedly unhappy with Layden and former coach/executive Tom Thibodeau over the way they handled Jimmy Butler‘s trade request. Thibodeau was dismissed in early January.
  • A $9.2MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception will provide the Timberwolves with their best chance to improve this summer, writes Danny Leroux of The Athletic. All five starters will be under contract if Jeff Teague opts in to his $19MM salary, so Minnesota can use the MLE to try to fortify its reserves. Leroux suggests Marcus Morris, Tyreke Evans, Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Terrence Ross as possible targets.
  • Torrey Craig has become the Nuggets‘ most disruptive force on defense, observes Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post. The second-year forward has increased his stats across the board this season and is a valuable part of the rotation heading into the playoffs. “I hate to see guys comfortable, just dribbling easy getting to their spots,” Craig said. “So I make sure they try to feel me all the time no matter what, coming off screens or bringing the ball down court. I just want to be a physical presence on them the whole time.”

Latest On Wolves’ Coaching, GM Positions

Ryan Saunders, who replaced Tom Thibodeau as Minnesota’s coach in early January, appears likely to return to the position next season.

Marc Stein of The New York Times (via newsletter, which you can subscribe to here) writes that “all signs” point to the Timberwolves retaining the 33-year-old first-time head coach, citing the strong bond between Saunders and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns’ co-sign and improved performance may overshadow the fact that Saunders underperformed from a win-loss perspective during his limited time in the role. The team has gone 14-19 since he took over duties.

Stein adds that there is uncertainty around general manager Scott Layden‘s future. Owner Glen Taylor is fond of Chauncey Billups and has interest in hiring the ESPN analyst for the GM role. However, there’s pessimism within league circles about Taylor being able to put an attractive enough offer together for it to make sense for both sides.

Billups has previously expressed a desire to lead a front office. He’s interviewed with the Hawks and Cavaliers in recent years.

Nuggets executive Calvin Booth should be considered a strong candidate for the position if Taylor dismisses Layden, Stein adds. Booth previously played in the NBA and he worked in Minnesota’s front office before moving on to Denver.

Nuggets Officially Hire Assistant GM, Assistant Coach

The Nuggets fortified both their front office and their coaching staff today, according to a pair of press releases from the club. Denver has officially hired former NBA big man Calvin Booth as its new assistant general manager and formally added veteran coach Bob Weiss to Michael Malone‘s staff as an assistant.

The hiring of Booth was first reported two weeks ago by The Associated Press. The 41-year-old arrives in Denver after having spent the last four seasons with the Timberwolves as their director of pro personnel.

Booth has an existing relationship with Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, having played for the Wizards on two separate occasions in the 2000s when Connelly worked for Washington. The duo also worked in the Pelicans’ front office together during the 2012/13 season, with Connelly serving as New Orleans’ assistant GM while Booth was a scout.

As for Weiss, he played in the NBA for more than a decade, but his coaching résumé is far more extensive. Weiss has served as a head coach for the Spurs, Hawks, Clippers, and SuperSonics, and has spent time with six separate clubs as an assistant since joining the NBA coaching ranks back in 1978. Weiss, who was an assistant with the Hornets for the last four years, also spent multiple seasons as a head coach in China from 2008 to 2011.

Nuggets Notes: Booth, Beasley, Sponsor

Earlier today, the Nuggets agreed to terms with Calvin Booth, making the former decade-long NBA veteran the team’s assistant general manager, according to

Booth played for seven teams during his 10-year NBA career, which included a stint with the Wizards while current Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly worked there, Krawczynski notes. It has been a season of turnover in the Denver front office as several notable hirings, promotions, and departures transpired.

Owner Josh Kroenke promoted Arturas Karnisovas to general manager and Connelly to president in mid-June; the Magic lured Pete D’Alessandro out of Denver; and the Pelicans hired assistant coach Chris Finch away to serve in the same capacity.

The Nuggets are a young team with a bright future and the clear direction has been to set up for the future with solid talent and an incumbent front office staff.

Below are additional tidbits surrounding the Nuggets:

  • The Nuggets announced a three-year partnership with Western Union to feature the company’s logo on the team’s uniform, Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post writes. With the deal, Western Union becomes the 11th company to be featured on an NBA team’s uniform. Per Kosmider’s report, the Nuggets also said another major announcement is coming next week, which could be related to Nike’s new deal with the league.
  • Nuggets guard Malik Beasley joined The Hoops Hype Podcast with Alex Kennedy to discuss his career, summer league play, the team’s offseason moves and more.

Northwest Notes: Bennett, Waiters, Leonard

The Timberwolves shopped Anthony Bennett all around the league, even offering him in exchange for a top-55 protected second-round pick that would be unlikely ever to end up in Minnesota, but nobody had interest, several league sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. A trade would have put a team on the hook for his entire salary of nearly $5.804MM for this season, and the same would be true if a team claims him off waivers. However, if the former No. 1 overall pick hits free agency, he would be a worthwhile investment on the minimum salary, Lowe argues. See more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Royce Young of Daily Thunder transcribes several key comments that Thunder GM Sam Presti made Wednesday, including a hint that he sees Steven Adams as a long-term core player and his thoughts on extension candidate Dion Waiters“This is a guy that at 23 years old has some tools that are not easily found,” Presti said of Waiters. “That is one of the reasons that we went to acquire him. At the same time, he has got work to do and he will be the first to tell you that. Some slight adjustments with this guy’s game could lead to some pretty significant impact. I think he has the tools to be an impact player.”
  • Meyers Leonard, another extension-eligible player, is in line for a starting spot with the Blazers, or at least a significant rotation role of the sort he’s yet to have since he became the 11th overall pick in 2012, as The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman examines. His rookie scale contract is set to expire at season’s end.
  • The Wolves officially hired Bryan Gates as an assistant coach and promoted Calvin Booth, who had been a scout and director of player programs, to player personnel director, the team announced along with other staff moves. Shooting coach Mike Penberthy, whom Flip Saunders had said would continue with the team, instead decided to leave, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link), though he’ll still work with Ricky Rubio, with whom he was close, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.