Ed Pinckney

Timberwolves To Make Sweeping Staff Changes

The Timberwolves will be making extensive changes to their coaching staff, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reports.

Every assistant with an expiring contract — Ed Pinckney, Jerry Sichting, Larry Greer, John Lucas III and Dice Yoshimoto — will not return on Ryan Saunders’ staff as the organization distances itself from the Tom Thibodeau era. Saunders had the interim tag removed on Monday. The only assistant with a year left on his contract, Malik Allen, will be retained.

New president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas wants to split up duties more like a football staff. “We’re going to get the best offensive coordinator. We’re going to get the best defensive coordinator. We’re going to get the best player development coordinator,” Rosas said. “They’re going to execute our vision together. And Ryan will manage that program as a whole.”

We have more on the Timberwolves:

  • Adding players with a defensive mentality is a priority, Krawczynski adds in the same story. The team wants to utilize a more switch-heavy scheme to defend 3-point shooters. “I’ve got to help (Saunders),” Rosas said. “We’ve got to surround our team, our best players with personnel that will be complementary to them and we need more defenders.”
  • The team’s most notable players, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, attended Saunders’ press conference and gave him ringing endorsements. “I think this is a very positive change,” Wiggins told Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other media members. “You can see the fresh air, you can see the faces and the positive energy in the air. Everyone is happy for Ryan — you don’t see negative faces, everyone is happy and we’re supportive.”
  • The decision to retain Saunders was a bow to Towns and his importance to the franchise’s long-term future, Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune writes. Towns respects and trusts Saunders and feels rejuvenated about the franchise’s direction, Scoggins notes. That’s crucial, because the Timberwolves can’t afford to alienate their best player to the point where an ugly divorce becomes inevitable, Scoggins adds.

Pinckney Joins Timberwolves’ Coaching Staff

The Timberwolves have added Ed Pinckney to their coaching staff, the team announced today (Twitter link). Pinckney had served as an assistant under new Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau during his five seasons as head coach in Chicago.

Pinckney spent last season as a lead assistant to Michael Malone in Denver, but resigned from that position in July. Pinckney started his coaching career in Minnesota, serving as an assistant to Randy Wittman and Kevin McHale from 2007 to 2009.

Pinckney had been a guest at the Wolves camp this week, so his addition to Thibodeau’s staff was expected.

 

Wolves Notes: Rubio, Lucas, Pinckney, Newton

Ricky Rubio is clarifying remarks he made to a Spanish radio station over the summer that led many to believe he wants to be traded, writes Kent Youngblood of The Star-Tribune. In the June interview, Rubio noted that he had been in the league five years without making the playoffs, adding that he would have to “start thinking about teams that can get into the playoffs and win in the finals” if the Timberwolves don’t make the postseason this year. Minnesota’s best record in the five seasons Rubio has been with the team is 40-42 in 2013-14. “I didn’t say I wanted to get traded,” Rubio explained. “I want to play with a winner. I think we have the right mentality. It’s changing.”

  • Veteran point guard John Lucas III sounded very confident at today’s practice and clearly expects to win a roster spot, tweets John Krawczynski of the Associated Press. Lucas, who played 21 games with the Pistons in 2014/15, signed with the Wolves in August.
  • Ed Pinckney is attending the Timberwolves’ camp as a guest, but he is likely to be added to the coaching staff by the end of the week, according to Krawczynski (Twitter link). Pinckney served as an assistant with the Nuggets last season.
  • Former Minnesota GM Milt Newton hopes to eventually hold that job again with another organization, relays Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Newton, who was let go as part of a front office shakeup in May, said he believes race is a factor in a league that now has just two black GMs. “I would be naïve to think that it’s not a problem,” said Newton. “At the end of the day, I don’t want to concern myself with that. I know it’s difficult for us African-Americans to have opportunities to interview for these jobs, to have opportunities to be part of these management teams.”

Western Notes: Crawford, Ellis, Durant

Jamal Crawford wanted to remain with the Clippers all along, saying Los Angeles feels like home to him, Rowan Kavner of NBA.com relays. “I’ve said it the whole time, I wanted to come back here,” Crawford said. “My wife, we’ve been together 10 years now, but we’ve been in one place the longest here, so this is where she kind of knows from a team aspect. This is kind of like our home as well.” Crawford also noted that the unity throughout the team separated the Clippers from other places in the NBA – from the front office down to the locker room, which is another reason he re-signed with the club, Kavner relays. “That’s kind of unusual in this business,” Crawford said. “I’m not saying everything’s perfect or we don’t have our ups and downs or see things from different points of view; but overall, it’s a family.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Suns are closing in on hiring Ty Ellis as the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter). Ellis spent the 2015/16 campaign as an assistant on Phoenix’s D-League squad in Bakersfield.
  • Nuggets assistant coach Ed Pinckney is no longer with the team, having resigned from his post, and Wes Unseld has been promoted to lead assistant, Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post relays (on Twitter). A team source disputes that Pinckney resigned, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets, but that source did confirm that Pinckney was no longer with Denver.
  • Small forward Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors this offseason to compete for an NBA title, but he’ll likely see his off the court earnings increase as a result of the move, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. “It’s a huge move for Kevin,” said Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Organization and the chairman of ReputationManagementConsultants.com. “It’s going to be amazing for him from a financial standpoint. I think he is going to give LeBron James a run for his money there once he gets into the Bay Area. It gives him an almost unfair advantage in terms of marketing. It gives advertisers and brands who want to align with greatness further reason to invest. It’s going to be an economic earthquake. He can really change things there.

And-Ones: Dellavedova, Kidd, Draft

The Pistons and the Bucks are both interested in Cavs unrestricted free agent Matthew Dellavedova, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst relayed during an appearance on ESPN colleague Zach Lowe’s podcast. “They [Cleveland] could’ve signed Matthew Dellavedova to a $2MM or $3MM a year contract and now I think someone is coming in with a $10MM offer sheet. For some reason, and I got a pretty good idea why, the Milwaukee Bucks attended Cavs games in the playoffs like they were a fan of the team. They had scouts there…[coach] Jason Kidd came to one of the games. I think the Bucks have zeroed in on Dellavedova. I think they intend to offer him a bunch of money. The Detroit Pistons were hanging around in the playoffs a lot, sending scouts. They weren’t sending scouts to evaluate J.R. Smith, I think they intend to go after Dellavedova,” Windhorst opined.

Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Kidd’s contract extension with the Bucks is worth $16.5MM in guaranteed money over three years and there are performance bonuses included in the pact that could increase that amount, Charles F. Garnder of The Journal Sentinel relays.
  • Nuggets assistant coach Ed Pinkney is expected to remain in Denver despite garnering interest from the Timberwolves and new coach/executive Tom Thibodeau, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • The Blazers, Rockets and Nets are without first-rounders this year and all three teams are trying to acquire one via trade, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical relayed during his podcast earlier today.
  • Serbian point guard Milos Teodosic, who went undrafted back in 2009, said he would like to join the NBA if he could play for either the Spurs or the Jazz, Miloš Jovanović of Vice.com (translation via Eurohoops.net) relays.

Western Notes: Cuban, Stoudemire, Aldridge

The NBA has fined Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban $25k for publicly confirming the team’s pending free-agent deals with DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, Marc Stein of ESPN.com writes. Under league rules teams and players are allowed to strike verbal agreements on new contracts during July’s moratorium period, but team officials are not allowed to openly discuss those deals until July 9th, when the moratorium concludes, Stein adds. Cuban has accumulated over $2MM in league fines since becoming the Mavs’ owner back in 2000.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Unrestricted free agent Amar’e Stoudemire is talking with the Clippers regarding a deal, but Los Angeles’ difficult salary cap situation is complicating matters, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times relays (on Twitter). The Clippers are also floating the idea of signing free agent center Cole Aldrich, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register tweets.
  • Ed Pinckney will serve as the lead assistant on coach Michael Malone‘s staff with the Nuggets, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun tweets.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t officially inform the Trail Blazers that he was leaving Portland until last Friday, though the team likely knew the forward wouldn’t be returning, Jason Quick of The Oregonian notes (via Twitter). The big man agreed to a four-year, and approximately $80MM deal with the Spurs.
  • Veteran Kevin Garnett may end up transitioning into a front office position during the second season of his new deal with the Wolves if he isn’t healthy enough to play in 2016/17, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes (on Twitter). KG agreed to a two-year pact with the team earlier today.
  • Despite all of the roster additions the Mavericks have made this offseason, the team still may have lost ground to the other teams in the West who have also improved, especially the Spurs, who landed Aldridge, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. But even if the team does regress in 2015/16, the additions of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews give the franchise two important building blocks for the future, Sefko adds.

Western Notes: Lyles, Cole, Suns

Trey Lyles has yet to sign his rookie contract with the Jazz and Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (on Twitter) hears that he expected to hit some road bumps on that front after being drafted No. 12 overall.  Lyles is still on target to get 120% of the rookie scale, but Genessy (Twitter links) believes that the minor details/complications to be hammered out are probably bonus-related.  GM Dennis Lindsey previously indicated that there some details would have to be ironed out in relation to cap holds.

  • Guard Norris Cole is the top remaining free agent the Pelicans are making a push to re-sign, sources tell John Reid of The Times-Picayune.  New Orleans can match any offer the restricted free agent receives, but Reid also hears that they’re only willing to go so far.
  • Now that LaMarcus Aldridge has chosen the Spurs over the Suns (and his other suitors), Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic looked at what might be next for Phoenix.  The Suns, he writes, are looking to add shooting, experience, frontline help, and a third point guard in free agency.  Coro surmises that targets could include a free agent power forward like Brandon Bass, Jordan Hill, Darrell Arthur or Andrea Bargnani and even sentimental free agency options, like a return for Amar’e Stoudemire.
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone has hired well-regarded Ed Pinckney as his top assistant, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  Pinckney was previously with the Bulls.
  • Heat D-League head coach Phil Weber is finalizing a deal to join Alvin Gentry‘s staff with the Pelicans, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets.  The two worked together with the Suns.

And-Ones: Celtics, Bulls, Rodriguez, Frazier

The Celtics are reportedly trying to move out of the No. 28th spot in the draft in an effort to gain more cap flexibility, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter Link). Earlier today, it was reported that the team would like to move up in the draft in order to select Myles Turner. Boston also owns the No.16 overall pick, so perhaps it could dangle both picks to a team drafting in the back-end of the lottery, which is where Turner is expected to be selected.

Here’s more from around the league on the last day of spring:

  • Sergio Rodriguez is not contemplating the possibility of making the jump to the NBA, barring an offer he cannot refuse, according to Marca.com (Translation by HoopsHype.com). It was previously reported that the point guard planned to try and secure an NBA deal this summer.
  • Tom Thibodeau and his coaching staff reportedly lobbied for Draymond Green to be the No.29 overall selection in the 2012 draft instead of Marquis Teague, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Since taking over for Thibodeau, Fred Hoiberg has immersed himself in the Bulls’ draft process, according to Johnson in the same piece. Hoiberg is also working finalize his staff with Pete Myers, Ed Pinckney, Mike Wilhelm and video coordinator Charlie Henry.
  • Michael Frazier will work out for the Sixers, Hawks and Rockets, according to Antonya English and Bob Putnam of the Tampa Bay Times. The former Gator has previously worked out for 11 other  teams.

Central Notes: Shumpert, Turner, Johnson

Iman Shumpert has been a significant factor in the Cavaliers‘ success since he was acquired in what was a season-altering trade for Cleveland, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. With the guard averaging 12.6 points in the series against the Bulls, Shumpert is dispelling notions that he’s strictly a defensive player, Zillgitt adds. “As long as we win, I don’t really care,” Shumpert told Zillgitt about being overlooked as a scorer. “I feel like the right people see what’s going on. Everybody around the league knows what’s going on. If you really understand basketball, you know what’s going on. I don’t take it personally, and I don’t search for credit. I just search for wins.” Shumpert is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks interviewed Texas big man Myles Turner, who is a potential lottery pick, Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Regarding Milwaukee, Turner said, “They’re long and athletic right now, they’re young. They’ve got coach [Jason] Kidd and I like his plan and his vision in place. Everything I just said describes me — young, long, athletic. So I’d fit well.”
  • The 6’11” Turner met with Pistons team executives today as well, Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press reports (Twitter link). Turner also interviewed with the Pacers, notes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter). The big man said that the Pacers told him they were focused on changing their style of play, Buckner notes.
  • The Pacers interviewed Arizona freshman forward Stanley Johnson today, Buckner tweets. Johnson calls Pacers forward, and former Wildcat Solomon Hill, one of his closest friends in the NBA, Buckner adds. Johnson also sat down with representatives from the Pistons, Ellis tweets.
  • All signs are pointing to Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney leaving Chicago after the season to join coach Chris Mullin‘s staff at St. John’s University, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets.

Coaching Rumors: Jazz, D’Antoni, Boylen

Executives, coaches and other league insiders struggle to come up with names of intriguing coaching candidates after last year’s record volume of new hires, but Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com was able to pry the identities of a few well-regarded potential hires. Some of them have been in rumors in recent weeks, but University of Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney, and Blazers assistant David Vanterpool are the names we haven’t heard. Potential head coaches with ties to the Spurs were already popular, and they’ve grown even more so this year, Arnovitz hears. Here’s more from the coaching rumor mill:

  • The Jazz plan to interview more than 20 candidates fitting virtually every description, team president Randy Rigby said Wednesday on The Zone Sports Network radio, notes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Though a few candidates have reportedly emerged, Rigby insists the club hasn’t identified any potential targets. He also said the decision will be a group effort and won’t lie solely with GM Dennis Lindsey.
  • Mike D’Antoni won’t be coaching Marshall University next season, but his brother Dan D’Antoni will be, the school announced. Dan D’Antoni is leaving his job as a Lakers assistant coach to take the new gig.
  • The Pacers weren’t pleased when former assistant coach and current Jazz head coaching candidate Jim Boylen left last year to become a Spurs assistant, tweets Scott Agness of Pacers.com. “He did us dirty,” one Pacers player told Agness.
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson said Wednesday that his coaching search could extend into July, but he adds that it’s not because he’s waiting around to see which, if any, coaches working in the playoffs become available, notes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter).
  • Nets GM Billy King said on NBA TV that he, and not coach Jason Kidd, made the decision to reassign assistant coach Lawrence Frank earlier this season, fellow ESPNNewYork.com scribe Mike Mazzeo observes.