Chris Jent

Larry Drew Unlikely To Coach Cavs Long-Term

The Cavaliers have begun searching for a permanent head coach for 2019/20 and beyond, and Larry Drew isn’t believed to be a serious candidate, according to a report from Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. While Drew has served as Cleveland’s interim coach since Tyronn Lue‘s dismissal earlier this season, he’s unsure he’d want to return next season and doesn’t appear likely to be asked, per Vardon and Lloyd.

“I don’t know if I ever want to be a head coach again after this year,” said Drew, who has dealt with a constant stream of injuries since Lue’s ouster, guiding the Cavs to a 9-34 record.

According to Vardon and Lloyd, the Cavaliers will likely seek a first-time NBA head coach who has experience developing players and/or coaching in the G League. The club hasn’t yet begun reaching out to candidates or their agents, since the search is still in its infancy. However, The Athletic duo identifies six candidates who have ties to the Cavs or GM Koby Altman and could be fits. Those six candidates are:

  • Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez
  • Hornets assistant Steve Hetzel
  • Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin
  • Hawks assistant Chris Jent
  • Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley
  • Jazz assistant Alex Jensen

It’s not entirely clear whether Vardon and Lloyd are just speculating based on the criteria outlined by the Cavs and Altman’s history with those coaches, or if they have inside info on the club’s wish list. Either way, it seems safe to assume that at least a few of those assistants will receive consideration from Cleveland.

For now, Drew is still running the show and the 60-year-old coach admits that he’s happy Lue was let go early in the season — not because he wanted to supplant Lue, but because he believes the Cavs’ struggles this year would have been hard on the team’s former head coach, who battled stress and health issues last season.

“I wouldn’t want to see him go through this,” Drew said. “I wouldn’t want him to go through it from a physical and mental standpoint after some of the things that he went through. He deserves better after having won a championship. He deserves much, much better.”

When the Cavs initially replaced Lue with Drew, he resisted taking on the title of interim head coach until the team gave him a raise and a small financial guarantee for next season. Several months later, he still doesn’t sound like someone who wanted the job to begin with, as Vardon and Lloyd relay.

“I wasn’t looking to do this. I was not looking to do this at all,” Drew said. “But it happened. Ain’t a whole lot you can do about it.”

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Wade, Simons

If the Hornets are going to turn the fate of their franchise around, they’ll have to improve how they handle lottery picks. Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes that only one of their seven different top-11 picks since 2011 has been an All-Star.

Bonnell breaks down ex-general manager Rich Cho‘s underwhelming draft portfolio noting that beyond Walker, only one of the remaining six players they’ve drafted in the top-11 has even gone on to be a consistent starter (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist).

To Cho’s credit, Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky and Malik Monk can all be valuable rotation pieces for the foreseeable future but it’s hard to justify the selections of Bismack Biyombo and Noah Vonleh.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Pending free agent Dwyane Wade has not decided if he’s going to retire or not. If he returns, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports tweets, he’d want to return with the Heat.
  • Not surprisingly, Anfernee Simons was particularly excited to work out for the Magic, the franchise with whom his namesake made his mark. John Denton of the team’s official site writes about the Florida native’s connection to the team and his decision to enter the draft directly out of prep school.
  • It’s official, the Hawks have made Melvin Hunt, Chris Jent, Greg Foster, Marlon Garnett and Matt Hill assistant coaches under new head coach Lloyd Pierce, the team announced on its website.

Chris Jent To Remain With Hawks As Assistant Coach

Hawks assistant coach Chris Jent will remain with the team in that capacity as part of new head coach Lloyd Pierce‘s staff, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Jent joined Atlanta’s coaching staff last season after spending the previous season as an assistant at Ohio State.

Jent, 48, has a history with Pierce as both men were part of former head coach Mike Brown’s staff with the Cavaliers. Jent also served as an assistant coach for the Sixers, Magic, and Kings. Jent was an interim head coach for the Magic for the last 18 games of the 2004/05 season. As a player, Jent played in six NBA games, three with the 1994 NBA championship-winning Rockets and three with the Knicks.

It makes sense for Pierce to retain someone with both a wealth of coaching experience and familiarity with the Hawks as he prepares for his first head coaching job. We passed along earlier this week that Melvin Hunt will join the Hawks as Pierce’s lead assistant, while former Suns assistant Marlon Garnett will also be part of the team’s staff.

Pacific Notes: Kobe, Buss, Casspi, Suns

Lakers Executive VP of basketball operations Jim Buss believes Kobe Bryant is worth his league-high $25MM salary this season after all he’s done for the franchise and said that while the team is operating on the premise that Bryant will retire at season’s end, he’d welcome him back with open arms if he’s willing to accept a role that fits his age and ability. Buss made his comments as part of an interview with Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, adding that he “feels like we’ve righted the ship” with coach Byron Scott and a new cast of key players, even if the team didn’t sign a star free agent this summer.

“It’s just that it takes time to build a core that guys want to play with,” Buss said to Pincus. “I understand a superstar doesn’t want to come in and say, ‘Oh, we still have two or three years of rebuilding.’ I think with Jordan Clarkson, [D’Angelo] Russell, [Julius] Randle, even [Roy] Hibbert … we’re getting a core of seven or eight players.”

See more on the Lakers amid the latest from around the Pacific Division:

  • Buss, also a part-owner of the team, has no regrets about pledging in April 2014 to resign from his basketball operations position if he couldn’t restore the Lakers to contention in three or four years, as he said to Pincus for the same piece. Buss’ sister Jeanie, the primary owner of the franchise, has said she’ll hold him to that pledge if the Lakers aren’t back in the Western Conference Finals by the spring of 2017. Still, the top goal for this season, Jim Buss said to Pincus, is identifying core players for the future, and not necessarily making the playoffs.
  • Omri Casspi cited DeMarcus Cousins, calling him the best center in the league in an interview with James Herbert of, among the reasons why he decided to re-sign with the Kings this summer.
  • The Suns officially named Chris Jent the head coach of their one-to-one D-League affiliate, the franchise announced Thursday. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier this month that the sides were finalizing a deal. Jent had been Michael Malone‘s lead assistant with the Kings.

And-Ones: Heat, Holmes, Jent

No team spent more cash in trades during the 2014/15 season than the Heat did, sending a total of $2,539,424, just shy of last season’s $3.3MM limit, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders examines Conversely, the Pelicans raked in $3,299,959, just shy of the $3.3MM cap on the amount of money teams could receive via trade. Both limits have increased to $3.4MM for this season.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Jonathan Holmes has a $100K partial guarantee on his minimum-salary deal with the Lakers, agent Zach Kurtin of Priority Sports tells Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). The final season on the two-year contract becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through the fourth day after the conclusion of next year’s summer league, Pincus adds.
  • The Suns are close to completing a deal to hire Chris Jent as head coach of the Bakersfield Jam, the franchise’s NBA D-League affiliate, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. Jent had previously been an assistant on former Kings coach Michael Malone‘s staff, and he replaces Nate Bjorkgren, who was promoted to be the Suns’ player development coach, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets.
  • The National Basketball Referees Association has officially ratified its new seven-year contract with the NBA, the NBRA announced (via Twitter). The new agreement takes effect this season, replacing the final year of the existing contract, and runs through 2022. “The NBA takes great pride in our world-class referee program and we are pleased to extend the league’s partnership with the NBRA for another seven years,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement regarding the new pact

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Kings Coaching Rumors: Mullin, Jent, Malone

The Kings’ head coaching job appears to be George Karl‘s if he wants it, and it seems like he does. Still, the job would be Chris Mullin‘s if he wanted to take it, an opposing GM tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), and Mullin is indeed a possibility, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Tyrone Corbin is expected to take the job on an interim basis once the Kings make their decision to fire Michael Malone official. Here’s more on a time of uncertainty in California’s capital:

5:28pm update:

  • Ranadive finds the prospect of Mullin coaching the team “very intriguing,” sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

4:48pm update:

  • It was a mutual parting of ways for Jent and the Kings, D’Alessandro told reporters, including Jones (Twitter link).

4:06pm updates:

  • Jent won’t be on the staff going forward, Corbin confirmed to reporters, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes (on Twitter).
  • Cousins said the news of Malone’s departure, which he heard via Twitter, evoked an emotional reaction among the players and called the day’s rainy weather a fitting backdrop, as Amick and Jones relay (Twitter links).

4:00pm updates:

  • DeMarcus Cousins said the Kings didn’t consult him about the apparent coaching change, but he trusts the team to work it all out, as he told reporters today, including USA Today’s Sam Amick (Twitter link).
  • The Kings and assistant coach Chris Jent are expected to part ways, tweets Marc Stein of, who indicates that the team plans to make its decision to fire Malone official on Tuesday.
  • Sacramento’s front office didn’t believe Jent, who served last season as the team’s top assistant, was the right man for the job, so they interviewed Alvin Gentry and Kurt Rambis for the position, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes in a full piece. Malone suspected at the time that the team was trying to hire his successor, and so he pursued Corbin, who landed the assistant coaching job and has been loyal to Malone. Gentry was uncomfortable with the notion that the Kings were setting him up as a head-coach-in-waiting, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who says the Kings deny that they had that in mind.
  • There’s more than $4MM that Malone is still to receive under the terms of his contract with the Kings, Wojnarowski writes in the same piece.
  • The falling out between Malone and Kings management began late last season when Malone wanted the team to add a point guard and the front office instead signed Royce White to a pair of 10-day contracts and pushed Malone to play him, as Wojnarowski details.
  • GM Pete D’Alessandro was merely the messenger in many cases as he passed along orders from Ranadive that Malone didn’t like, though D’Alessandro and Malone never formed any mutual trust, according to Wojnarowski.
  • People around the team believe the Kings were waiting for an opportunity to fire Malone and used the team’s struggles of late as an excuse to do so, in spite of the absence of Cousins during the team’s 2-7 stretch over the last nine games, Wojnarowski hears.
  • The presence of Malone was a major reason why Rudy Gay signed his three-year extension with the team last month, Wojnarowski also writes.

Odds & Ends: Oden, Celtics, Turner, 76ers

Greg Oden stepped on an NBA court for the first time in nearly four years tonight, throwing down a dunk and grabbing a pair of rebounds in four minutes of preseason action for the Heat tonight. It still doesn’t constitute an official return the way a regular season appearance would, but it’s a positive sign for the Heat as they attempt to turn Oden from a minimum-salary gamble into a bargain of an inside presence. Here’s more from around the Association:

  • The Celtics don’t plan to keep any of their four players on non-guaranteed deals into the regular season, preferring instead to carry a 14-man roster in a money-saving effort, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Timberwolves front office is reportedly high on Evan Turner, but there’s no talk of a deal that would send the former No. 2 overall pick to Minnesota, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link).
  • James Anderson and Daniel Orton have fully non-guaranteed deals, but they’ve all “all but wrapped up” spots on the Sixers opening-night roster, writes Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier TimesKeith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at Orton’s efforts to make the team, which includes losing nine pounds since the Sixers signed him a week ago.
  • The Blazers cut three players yesterday, but coach Terry Stotts was effusive in his praise of E.J. Singler, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian details.
  • Kings lead assistant coach Brendan Malone resigned today, the team announced, with GM Pete D’Alessandro citing “factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA” for why Malone is stepping down after 27 years in the NBA. Malone is the father of head coach Michael MaloneChris Jent will slide up the bench and replace the elder Malone as lead assistant, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • David Stern characterized as “relatively upbeat” a report that the Bucks gave to the league’s owners on the status of the team’s quest to fund a new arena, as Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel reports.

Coaching Updates: Clippers, Jent, Snyder, Kidd

It's already been a busy day when it comes to NBA coaching news and rumors, with the Pistons officially reaching an agreement with Maurice Cheeks, the Grizzlies parting ways with Lionel Hollins, and Jason Kidd emerging as a serious candidate for the Nets. Here are a few more of the latest updates relating to potential head coaches and assistants:

  • The Clippers interviewed Brian Shaw today, and have meetings lined up with Byron Scott on Tuesday, Hollins on Wednesday, and Nate McMillan on Thursday, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard of note that many of those candidates have already spoken to the Clippers at length on the phone, but these are the first in-person meetings scheduled by the team.
  • The Kings have officially hired Chris Jent as an assistant coach, tweets Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. We heard last week that Michael Malone had made Jent a three-year offer to become his top assistant in Sacramento.
  • Just hours after we heard that Quin Snyder had left CSKA Moscow to return stateside for an NBA job, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets that the Hawks have hired Snyder as an assistant on Mike Budenholzer's staff.
  • Josh Newman of spoke to Jeff Van Gundy about whether or not Kidd would make a good head coach for the Nets.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Jent, World Peace, Suns

While we look forward to Game One of the 2013 Finals, let's check in on the NBA's Pacific Division, rounding up the latest news and notes:

  • As they continue to search for their next general manager, the Kings have requested permission to speak to Nuggets assistant GM Pete D'Alessandro, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Denver has yet to grant the Kings permission, which may not be a surprise, considering D'Alessandro is viewed as the frontrunner for the Nuggets' GM job, according to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
  • Following up on a report indicating the Kings have spoken to Larry Bird, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee writes that Bird joining Sacramento's front office is unlikely, but not impossible.
  • One more Kings note from Wojnarowski, who tweets that Michael Malone has extended a three-year offer to Ohio State's Chris Jent to be the top assistant in Sacramento.
  • 14-year NBA veteran Metta World Peace told TWC SportsNet he hopes to extend his playing career to 20 seasons before retiring, according to Dave McMenamin of (Twitter link).
  • Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek and GM Ryan McDonough are on the same page as the draft approaches, writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.