Darren Erman

Knicks Hire Aaron Brooks, Others

The Knicks have hired longtime NBA point guard Aaron Brooks, announcing in a press release that he’ll act as the team’s “two-way liaison.” Based on his title – and a story from Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who first reported the hiring – it sounds like Brooks will be primarily responsible for working with New York’s two-way players, Jared Harper and Theo Pinson.

Brooks, who spent 10 seasons in the NBA, played for current Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago and Minnesota. He also shares a relationship with team president Leon Rose, who served as his agent at CAA Sports.

Brooks, 35, appears to be transitioning to a new phase in his career. He suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon last October in Australia, making past stops with the Rockets, Suns, Kings, Nuggets and Pacers. The Oregon product hinted at retirement shortly after suffering the injury.

The Knicks have also announced a series of other hires, including Darren Erman as an assistant coach, Larry Greer as an advance scout/assistant coach, Richard Williams as the strength and conditioning coach, and Reggie Johnson and TJ Zanin as scouts.

Most of those moves had been previously reported — Zanin’s hiring was even announced by the Knicks once before, way back in June.

JD Shaw contributed to this story.

Eastern Notes: Dellavedova, D’Antoni, Erman, Pistons

The Cavaliers are close to finalizing a deal to bring back Matthew Dellavedova for another season, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who reports that the veteran guard has agreed to the parameters of a one-year contract. The agreement will give Dellavedova $2.1MM for the upcoming season, along with a one-year Bird restriction and the option to veto any trade.

Dellavedova, 30, is expected to serve as a back-up point guard and a veteran leader on a youthful team. Fedor states that several other teams expressed interest, including the Lakers, but Dellavedova opted for Cleveland, where he has spent most of his seven-year NBA career.

The signing will give the Cavaliers 14 players under contract, and the final roster spot may not be filled right away, Fedor adds. The team will explore potential signings heading into training camp, but may opt for the flexibility of keeping a spot open.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Mike D’Antoni considered retirement after leaving the Rockets following their playoff exit, writes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. D’Antoni was convinced to keep coaching when he got an offer from the Nets to join the staff of first-time head coach Steve Nash, who orchestrated D’Antoni’s offense when they were together in Phoenix. “He’s going to make it easy for Steve,” said Warriors assistant Leandro Barbosa. “Mike is one of the best coaches that I ever played for. He’s also one of the best from an offensive standpoint. He knows a lot of plays, he knows a lot of tricks, I think he’s going to be awesome for Kyrie (Irving) and (Kevin) Durant.”
  • Darren Erman, who coached the Celtics’ G League affiliate last season, will join the Knicks as an assistant to Tom Thibodeau, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Erman spent four years as associate head coach with the Pelicans.
  • The Nuggets will receive $110K from the Pistons in the sign-and-trade that sent Jerami Grant to Detroit, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). The Pistons shipped $250K to the Jazz in the deal for Tony Bradley, Pincus adds (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lin, Poirier, Erman

Raptors center Marc Gasol is thankful that the Grizzlies didn’t agree to his request not to be traded, relays Alex Madrid of Eurohoops. Gasol had been with Memphis for more than a decade before the team committed to rebuilding and sent him to Toronto in a deadline deal. The move led to Gasol collecting his first NBA championship ring.

“There have been few players that haven’t been traded over the years in the NBA,” Gasol said. “If it had been dependent on me, I wouldn’t have been traded. I always thought I could reverse the situation there (in Memphis) and bring the team to the top. But, thank God, they ignored me.”

Gasol will be part of the remaining foundation as the Raptors try to stay in contention without Kawhi Leonard. The 34-year-old will earn $25.6MM this season in the final year of his contract.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jeremy Lin appears distraught about his free agency situation in a video tweeted by Daily Sports Dosage. “Free agency has been tough,” Lin says. “Because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kind of given up on me.” The Raptors signed Lin in February to provide backcourt depth, but he shot just 37% in 23 games and was barely used during the playoffs.
  • French center Vincent Poirier could have made more money in Europe, but he wanted the challenge of playing in the NBA, tweets Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. Poirier was the EuroLeague’s top rebounder last season, and the Celtics believe his athleticism will translate well.
  • Former Celtics assistant Darren Erman will become head coach of the organization’s G League affiliate in Maine, according to Jay King and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Known as a defensive specialist, Erman has spent the past four seasons with the Pelicans.

Southwest Notes: Chandler, Conley, Mavericks, Erman, Turner

Sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN that veteran big man Tyson Chandler is a likely target for the Rockets in their search for a center to backup starter Clint Capela.

Chandler, who turns 37 later this year, had an effective 2018/19 season with the Lakers as a defender, rebounder, and veteran mentor. Per MacMahon, he is known as a good locker room guy and has a strong relationship with Rockets’ point guard Chris Paul from their days as teammates with the New Orleans Hornets.

There’s more from the Southwest Division this afternoon:

  • The Grizzlies will retire No. 11 in honor of longtime franchise point guard Mike Conley, per an official release from team owner Robert J. Pera.
  • After missing out on Danny Green, owner Mark Cuban says that the Mavericks 2019 free agency is probably done except for an opportunistic situation like a potential offer sheet to restricted free agent Delon Wright, reports Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.
    • The Mavericks have since agreed to acquire Wright via S&T.
  • Should they change their mind about free agency, the Mavericks no longer need to worry about the cap hold for Petteri Koponen after the league office permitted Dallas to remove the hold amount for the 2019/20 season (per RealGM transactions log).
  • According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate, associate head coach Darren Erman is leaving the Pelicans coaching staff. Per Kushner, Erman remains a candidate for other NBA coaching jobs.
  • Elston Turner has officially been hired as the Rockets new lead assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni, per a press release from the team. Turner previously worked for the Rockets under Rick Adelman and has spent the last three seasons in Sacramento working for the Kings under former head coach Dave Joerger.

And-Ones: Amerileague, Fredette, Draft, Coaches

The viability of the Amerileague plunged further into question Wednesday as a former spokesperson for the league revealed to freelance journalist Erin Ashley Simon that the league’s CEO was using a fictitious name and is actually Glendon Alexander, a former McDonald’s All-American with multiple fraud convictions. Amerileague operations manager Marcus Bass confirmed the news to Jeff Goodman and Paula Lavigne of ESPN’s Outside the Lines. Alexander has resigned as CEO, reports Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter link), ending a trail of suspicion about his involvement that Kami Mattioli of The Sporting News first detailed in May. Henry Walker recently became the first player who appeared in the NBA during the 2014/15 season to sign with the Amerileague, but Walker’s agent, Mike Naiditch, tells Hoops Rumors that, “If there was never a league, then [there] was never a deal.” 

The Amerileague draft was to take place today, but Bass tells Johnson that the event is on hold (Twitter link). See more from around basketball:

  • An unwillingness to adjust his freewheeling college game to the NBA style of play led to Jimmer Fredette‘s lack of success in the league, one of his former NBA assistant asserts to Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports. The Spurs waived Fredette on Wednesday, though four other NBA teams still reportedly have some level of interest in him.
  • Vanderbilt junior center/forward Damian Jones says he plans to enter the 2016 draft, as Adam Sparks of The Tennessean relays. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks the 6’10” Jones as the 14th-best draft prospect, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him at No. 16.
  • Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson, Magic assistant Adrian Griffin and Pelicans assistant Darren Erman are future head coaching candidates to watch, according to Chris Mannix of SI.comHeat assistant David Fizdale draws an honorable mention on Mannix’s list.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Williams, Nash, Payne

Five second-round picks will give Sixers GM Sam Hinkie a lot of flexibility on draft night, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. In addition to the third pick overall, Philadelphia owns picks number 35, 37, 47, 58 and 60. Hinkie also had five second-rounders entering last year’s draft and came out of it with K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant, Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic, Jordan McRae, the rights to guard Pierre Jackson and cash considerations. Moore expects the Sixers to be dealing on draft night, possibly trading two of the second-round choices for a late first-rounder. Or they could deal some of them for future picks and a chance to control the second round again next year.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Reports that the Raptors were trying to lure former Pelicans coach Monty Williams to their staff as an assistant were incorrect, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. He adds that Williams just called the team to recommend another coach, and although nobody is saying who it was, Wolstat notes that former Williams assistant Bryan Gates has a long player development background and coaching success in the D-League (Twitter link). Wolstat also reports that the Celtics refused to allow lead assistant Darren Erman to go to a division rival (Twitter link).
  • Celtics guard Marcus Smart is helping former Oklahoma State teammate Le’Bryan Nash prepare for the draft, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Nash worked out for Boston earlier this week, and Smart paid a visit to his hotel the night before to help Nash prepare. “I just try to take advice from him, asking him so many questions — how are practices, how are road games — so many questions I think he got tired of me asking him so many questions,” Nash said.
  • Murray State point guard Cameron Payne has a scheduled workout with the Knicks, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. He will also work out for the Lakers.

Atlantic Notes: Clark, Cauley-Stein, Erman

Earl Clark‘s future with the Nets still remains unclear even after the forward spoke with GM Billy King, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter links). The 27-year-old wishes to remain with Brooklyn, but realizes his non-guaranteed salary for next season could make him expendable, Kennedy notes. Clark, who is scheduled to earn $1,185,784 during the 2015/16 campaign, indicated he would likely play in an NBA summer league if he is let go by the Nets, the Basketball Insiders scribe adds.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters, including Rod Boone of Newsday (on Twitter), that he has talked to Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov about how to drum up more interest in the NBA over in Russia.
  • Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has a workout scheduled with the Knicks on June 16th, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets.
  • Celtics assistant coach Darren Erman departed for a post on Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff in New Orleans because the Pelicans offered him a spot as a member of the bench staff, something Boston could not, Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald writes. “We heard rumors about the connections Erman had made in Golden State, where Alvin is now, though Alvin wasn’t in Golden State with Erman,” Celtics executive Danny Ainge said. “The people at Golden State, including a few of the players, were encouraging Alvin that if he got the job, Erman was the guy he needed to hire. . . . We didn’t want to lose him. We just didn’t have a spot on the bench for him here.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Mavs, Grizzlies

The Pelicans and Celtics assistant coach Darren Erman have an agreement in principle for Erman to join Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff in New Orleans, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported overnight that the Pelicans were aggressively pursuing Erman, a detail-oriented defensive whiz who complements Gentry’s offensive acumen. The Raptors also recently made a run at Erman, sources told Wojnarowski. New Orleans is poised to hire Thunder assistant coach Robert Pack for Gentry’s staff, too, as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times hears (Twitter link). However, Wojnarowski, whose story appeared later, writes that the Pelicans and Pack are in talks but makes no mention of a deal. Regardless, new Thunder head coach Billy Donovan is unlikely to keep Pack on his staff, Wojnarowski adds. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • San Diego State small forward Dwayne Polee worked out for the Mavericks late last month, as he tells Zach Links of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Michigan State’s Travis Trice, Stanford’s Chasson Randle, Dayton’s Jordan Sibert and Harvard point guard Wesley Saunders showed off for Dallas today, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.
  • Big men highlight the Grizzlies workout scheduled for Wednesday, with Kentucky center Dakari Johnson and French center Mouhammadou Jaiteh on the docket, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal in a subscription-only piece. Centers Youssou Ndoye from St. Bonaventure and Charles Jackson from Tennessee Tech, Connecticut point guard Ryan Boatright and Boise State shooting guard Derrick Marks are the others in the workout, as Tillery details.
  • Florida’s Michael Frazier is auditioning for the Spurs today, Scotto reports, and the team will also get a look at North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto, according to Pincus (Twitter links).
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders adds the Rockets to the list of teams working out N.C. State shooting guard Trevor Lacey (Twitter link).

Coaching Rumors: Jackson, Kerr, Karl, Izzo

Mark Jackson addressed the circumstances regarding his former Warriors assistant coaches Brian Scalabrine and Darren Erman in an interview with the NBA’s Sirius XM radio station earlier today (hat tip to Ben Golliver of SI.com). Of Scalabrine, Jackson said, “The one that was demoted [Scalabrine], I would have had handled it six weeks, a month, two months earlier. The things that took place from his side, I would have nipped it in the bud initially. That’s my fault for allowing it to go on. I’m pretty much a guy, just like ministry, I try to show you a different way of handling it. Hope that seeing me handle your disrespect, you’ll come around and realize this isn’t the way to handle it. Fortunately for me, it works for a lot of folks, there are some folks that just won’t get it and you have to handle them differently. I would do that differently.”

In regards to Erman, Jackson said, “As far as assistants, you have to pick people who are loyal and dedicated. It’s inexcusable what the second assistant [Erman] did. That cannot be tolerated. For folks to say, two situations, it’s obviously documented that they both were 100 percent wrong. The only fault I got is hiring those guys. I would use wisdom in who is around me.”

More from around the league:

  • Steve Kerr is only focusing on the Knicks and Warriors and isn’t thinking about the Jazz, who reportedly have interest, or other openings, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, who also reiterates his earlier report that Kerr prefers to stay close to his home on the West Coast.
  • George Karl said he felt bad about what happened to Jackson with the Warriors, tweets Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. Karl said he’s interested in any other team with an opening, and mentioned the Pistons and Knicks specifically, according to Amico’s tweet.
  • Karl was roommates with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak in college, and though he hasn’t heard from the team yet, he expects to, reports Amico (Twitter link).
  • The Timberwolves first choice to become their next head coach is Tom Izzo, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The team is waiting for a definitive no from Izzo before looking at other candidates, reports Wolfson.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

More Fallout From Mark Jackson’s Firing

Mark Jackson said in a radio appearance this morning on The Dan Patrick Show that if the Warriors hadn’t fired him, he would have resigned or demanded changes, as Sports Xchange notes. Here’s more on the reaction to Jackson’s ouster in Golden State:

  • Former assistant coach Darren Erman was worried that Jackson was speaking ill of him behind his back, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes, which suggests that was the reason that Erman reportedly taped the conversations of other coaches. The Warriors are investigating allegations that another assistant coach was also recording conversations within the organization, Lowe reports.
  • Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob doesn’t think that the decision to fire Jackson will cause Stephen Curry to sour on the organization, and Lacob says he took the star point guard’s support for the coach under consideration. Lacob made those comments and more to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle and Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com, and Kawakami provides a transcription.
  • Lacob also told the reporters that GM Bob Myers made the decision to fire Jackson, though he admits that he had the power to overrule him. Myers said he didn’t consult with Curry before he pulled the plug on Jackson, reports Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
  • Criticism that the team should have given Jackson an extension last summer is “unfair,” in Lacob’s eyes. Still, it appears the dissolution of extension talks proved pivotal to Jackson’s future with the Warriors, Kawakami tweets.
  • Lacob told the reporters that he didn’t require Jackson, who commuted to his job from Southern California, to move to the Bay Area, but he thinks that he’ll insist that his next coach live close to work. On-court expectations will be high for the next coach of the team, Lacob asserts.
  • Lacob suggests that while Jackson succeeded in connecting with his players, the coach could do a better job of “managing up and sideways,” seemingly pointing to Jackson’s tension with management and much of the Warriors organization. Still, he insists his relationship with Jackson was generally friendly.
  • Jackson and Kings coach Michael Malone, Jackson’s former assistant, used to share the same agent, who negotiated the title of Warriors associate head coach for Malone behind Jackson’s back, according to Kawakami. When Jackson found out, he took the title away and changed agents. That begat the tension between Jackson and Malone, Kawakami says (All Twitter links).