After being let go by the Rockets this spring, veteran assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik is generating significant interest from one of Houston’s division rivals. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link), The Pelicans have offered a spot on Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff to Bzdelik, who is weighing his options after leaving Houston.
While nothing has been finalized yet, David Aldridge of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that Bzdelik and the Pelicans are “close” to a deal. The longtime NBA and college coach, who previously had a stint as Denver’s head coach is one of the most highly-regarded defensive coordinators in the league, as both Stein and Aldridge note.
If the Pelicans finalize an agreement with Bzdelik, he could step into the role vacated by former assistant Darren Erman, who recently left the club’s coaching staff.
Here’s more from around the Western Conference:
- Shortly after word broke that the Thunder had agreed to trade Paul George to the Clippers, Shams Charania of Stadium (video link) said that George had “a little bit of buyer’s remorse” after agreeing to a long-term extension in Oklahoma City last summer. Bill Simmons of The Ringer used the same phrase (“buyer’s remorse”) on a recent podcast when describing what he had heard about PG13 over the last couple months.
- At the press conference to announce Damian Lillard‘s new super-max extension on Saturday, Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey called the move a “no-brainer,” while Lillard explained why his top priority has always been winning a championship in Portland. “In the end, I know that if it gets done, it will feel much better to know that I did it in a solid way,” Lillard said, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I didn’t have to go and play with the best players just to get it done. For me, this is the way I want to do it. And I know that if it doesn’t happen I can live with it because I know the route that I chose.”
- While Jerami Grant is unlikely to start over Paul Millsap, the Nuggets will continue to be “judicious” with Millsap’s playing time moving forward, giving Grant plenty of opportunities in Denver, writes Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. In his analysis of the Nuggets’ latest acquisition, Kosmider suggests that Grant projects as an ideal floor spacer next to Nikola Jokic.
- In a court brief filed last week in response to sexual assault allegations by former sportscaster Kelli Tennant, new Kings head coach Luke Walton claimed that those allegations aren’t backed up by facts and are designed to attract media attraction. Stefanie Dazio of The Associated Press has the full story.