David Vanterpool

Wolves Hire David Vanterpool As Associate Head Coach

JUNE 19: The Timberwolves have officially hired Vanterpool, the team announced today in a press release.

“We are thrilled to add someone with David’s coaching acumen and resume to our staff,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in a statement. “David brings an impressive skillset that will be a great complement to Ryan and the rest of our coaching staff. He played an integral role in Portland’s success, earning a strong reputation as a people connector and relationship builder. In partnership with Ryan, we are confident they will create the best possible environment for our players to succeed on and off the floor.”

JUNE 6: The Timberwolves are hiring David Vanterpool away from the Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Vanterpool will be Ryan Saunders‘ new associate head coach.

As Wojnarowski explains, Vanterpool will play a key role on Saunders’ new staff and will be in charge of running the team’s defense.

Vanterpool, who played basketball professionally up until 2007, became an assistant on CSKA Moscow’s staff following his retirement as a player. He joined the Blazers’ staff when Terry Stotts was hired in 2012 and played a role in the development of Portland’s star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Long viewed as an NBA head coaching candidate, Vanterpool reportedly met with the Suns and Cavaliers about their open positions this spring before they hired Monty Williams and John Beilein, respectively. The Timberwolves also reportedly had some interest in Vanterpool as a possible head coach before they decided to retain Saunders.

Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News first reported last week that the Wolves were eyeing Vanterpool as a lead assistant.

Wolves Notes: Vanterpool, C. White, Doumbouya, Terrell

The Timberwolves hired David Vanterpool as associate coach to improve the defense and motivate Andrew Wiggins, which might be the toughest jobs in the organization, suggests Michael Rand of The Star-Tribune. Team president Gersson Rosas interviewed Vanterpool for the head coaching slot before deciding to stick with Ryan Saunders, so the former Trail Blazers assistant obviously made a good impression.

However, Rand points out that Vanterpool will be taking over a defense that has ranked in the bottom third of the league for the past five seasons and that even defensive specialist Tom Thibodeau couldn’t fix. Vanterpool has a solid relationship with Wiggins from coaching him with Team Canada in 2015, but raising his level of play has been a concern even before the club signed him to an extension two years ago.

There’s more news out of Minnesota:

  • North Carolina guard Coby White held an individual workout for the Wolves Friday, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. White is listed at No. 8 in the list of top 100 prospects compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, and Minnesota doesn’t pick until No. 11, so the Wolves may be thinking about trading up. The team held a separate six-player workout yesterday that included Rayjon Tucker (Arkansas-Little Rock), Amir Coffey (Minnesota), Dedric Lawson (Kansas) and Kris Wilkes (UCLA) (Twitter link).
  • French standout Sekou Doumbouya held a pro day today and will pay a visit to Minnesota for a workout early next week, according to Wolfson (Twitter link). The 6’9″ forward comes in ninth on Givony’s list .
  • Aaron Brooks, who ended his playing career with the Wolves during the 2017/18 season, attended a free agent camp with the team this week as a coach, Wolfson adds. At age 34, Brooks is hoping to make the transition into coaching. He played for seven teams in an 11-year career.
  • Two-way player Jared Terrell did well in the G League, but didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his skills at the NBA level in his rookie season, writes Kyle Ratke of NBA.com. Terrell, who averaged 7.9 minutes in 14 games with the Wolves, will now wait for an invitation to be part of Minnesota’s Summer League team.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Wolves, Forcier, Vanterpool, Thunder

With Ricky Rubio set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, the Jazz could be in the market for a new starting point guard moving forward, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News writes.

Rubio made a rather interesting comment this weekend, sharing that Utah won’t be aggressively trying to re-sign him when he reaches the open market. “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” he said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio.

The Jazz could pursue other available point guards in free agency such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Malcolm Brogdon, D’Angelo Russell or Derrick Rose if the franchise mutually agrees to part ways with Rubio, who has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons. However, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey went on the record to state that Ricky could still re-sign on a new contract.

“He’s got a decision to make on his end and we’ve got a decision to make on our end, but there’s a lot of scenarios I can see Ricky back. … We really appreciate who he is and we think we can get him better from a health perspective and skill standpoint,” Lindsey said, according to Upstill. “We know who he is — he has Jazz DNA. So he’ll have options, we’ll have options and we’ll talk to him and his agent.”

Rubio’s name surfaced in rumors around this season’s February 7 trade deadline, likely causing some trust issues between him and the organization. He holds career-averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 assists and 30.9 minutes across his eight NBA seasons.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division tonight:

Wolves Begin Head Coaching Search; Saunders Still ‘Prominent’ Candidate

Having settled into his new role in Minnesota, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has decided to launch a search for the club’s head coaching position, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Interim coach Ryan Saunders, who had widely been viewed as a strong bet to keep the job, will remain a “prominent” candidate, according to Wojnarowski, but the team will interview outside candidates as well. League sources tell Woj that Heat assistant Juwan Howard and Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool are among those will meet with the Wolves about the position.

Howard and Vanterpool have been popular targets so far this spring for teams making head coaching changes. Howard interviewed with the Lakers and Cavaliers, while Vanterpool has met with the Cavs and Suns.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Wojnarowski reports that Howard is expected to meet with Rosas during this week’s draft combine, while Vanterpool will likely connect with Rosas later in the week.

As for Saunders, he has made a strong impression on team ownership since taking over for Tom Thibodeau on Minnesota’s bench during the 2018/19 season, according to Wojnarowski. Saunders has also impressed Rosas, having met with him for “a dozen or so hours” since the former Rockets exec was hired. Nonetheless, the Wolves want to consider all their options before simply handing the reins to Saunders on a permanent basis.

Cavaliers Interview More Coaching Candidates

Members of the Cavaliers‘ front office are meeting with four candidates for their head coaching vacancy today in Denver, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

We told you earlier that Magic assistant coach Steve Hetzel had an interview, but GM Koby Altman and his staff also talked to Nuggets assistants Jordi Fernandez and Wes Unseld Jr.

Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool will interview tonight, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, while fellow Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts had a scheduling conflict and will hold his interview sometime after tomorrow’s Game 7. That will wrap up the first round of the coaching search, Fedor adds (Twitter link).

Cleveland has conducted the most wide-ranging interview process among the teams looking for a head coach. Spurs assistants Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina, former Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Jazz assistant Alex Jensen and Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley have all interviewed for the job.

Monty Williams Interviews With Suns

The Suns met with Sixers assistant Monty Williams on Friday, but didn’t make a job offer, reports Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The meeting was described as “very positive,” Rankin adds, and Williams remains a top contender for the position.

He was the first candidate the Suns have interviewed since firing first-year coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday. The meeting was held in Toronto because the Sixers are there for the first two games of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Lakers also interviewed Williams this week, along with former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Williams, 47, has head coaching experience in New Orleans, where he worked for new Suns VP of basketball operations Jeff Bower. Williams compiled a 173-221 record in five seasons. Phoenix GM James Jones also has experience with Williams, who was an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers during the three seasons that Jones played there.

The Suns were scheduled to meet today with Portland assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool.

Suns Get Permission To Interview Vanterpool, Tibbetts

A pair of Trail Blazers assistant coaches continue to receive interest from teams with head coaching vacancies. A day after word broke that Portland had granted permission to the Cavaliers to interview David Vanterpool and Nate Tibbetts, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that the Suns have also received permission to meet with the duo.

Vanterpool had previously been mentioned as a candidate to replace Igor Kokoskov in Phoenix, but this is the first we’ve heard of Tibbetts’ spot on the Suns’ list of potential targets.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Sixers assistant Monty Williams remains the focus of the Suns’ coaching search, after the team received permission earlier this week to meet with him. However, both Vanterpool and Tibbetts are in position to become serious candidates for the head coaching openings around the NBA.

Vanterpool, who played basketball professionally up until 2007, became an assistant on CSKA Moscow’s staff following his retirement as a player. He joined the Blazers’ staff when Terry Stotts was hired in 2012.

As for Tibbetts, he joined Stotts’ staff in 2013 after spending two years as an assistant for the Cavaliers. Before his time in Cleveland, Tibbetts served as the head coach for the Tulsa 66ers and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League.

Cavs To Interview Pair Of Blazers Assistants

The Cavaliers have received permission from the Trail Blazers to interview Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool in their search for a new head coach, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Both Tibbetts and Vanterpool were previously mentioned as potential targets for the role, as our Head Coaching Search Tracker shows.

Cleveland plans to conduct an interview with each candidate, but the franchise will be sensitive to Portland’s playoff run in the scheduling, writes Tom Withers of The Associated Press.

Tyronn Lue, who is in the running for the Lakers’ gig, began the season as the Cavs’ coach before the team fired him and handed duties over to Larry Drew. Drew was always seen as a stopgap coach, guiding the team through a season of injuries.

Heat assistant Juwan Howard and Mavs assistant Jamahl Mosley are among the candidates Cleveland is considering for the position. The franchise has no timetable to make a hire.

Suns Look To Interview David Vanterpool, Monty Williams

2:11pm: The Sixers have granted the Suns permission to interview Williams, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the former Pelicans coach is Phoenix’s top target (Twitter links).

8:37am: Having dismissed head coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday, the Suns will start their search for a new coach by requesting permission to interview a pair of veteran assistants, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). League sources tell Charania that Phoenix is eyeing Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool in addition to Sixers assistant Monty Williams.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the Suns’ interest in Williams shortly after Kokoskov’s dismissal on Monday. The former Pelicans head coach, who also served as an assistant in Portland and Oklahoma City, has emerged as one of the most popular targets this spring for teams in search of a head coach. The Lakers have interviewed him already, and the Kings were said to have him on their list before they hired Luke Walton.

As for Vanterpool, his name has been connected to multiple job openings in recent years, as he has long been viewed as one of the assistant coaches most prepared for a head coaching position. He reportedly met with the Magic and Hornets last spring, and the Cavaliers are expected to interview him after Portland’s playoff run ends.

I expect the Suns’ list of targets to continue to grow in the coming days, but the fact that Williams and Vanterpool have emerged as the first names on that list suggests that the club thinks highly of them.

Cavs To Interview Juwan Howard, Jamahl Mosley, Others

1:32pm: The Cavs also plan to interview Utah’s Alex Jensen and Portland’s David Vanterpool when their teams are done with the playoffs, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter link).

12:55pm: Heat assistant Juwan Howard and Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley will be the first two candidates to interview for the Cavaliers‘ head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Both interviews are expected this week.

Cavs GM Koby Altman plans to go through a long list of candidates before hiring a replacement for Larry Drew, Woj adds. The team will start with assistant coaches on teams that didn’t reach the playoffs.

Howard has been part of Erik Spoelstra’s staff in Miami since retiring from the NBA in 2013. Mosley was an assistant in Cleveland for four seasons before leaving for Denver in 2014.