Ed Pinckney

Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Pinckney, Zipfel, Payne

Tom Thibodeau was officially hired as the Knicks’ head coach on Thursday and calls it his “dream job,” according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. Thibodeau was an assistant coach with New York under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996-2003.

“I think I experienced it during the ’90s that there’s no better place to be than Madison Square Garden,” he said. “And so I love challenges, I love that city, I love the arena, I love the fans and I’m excited about the team.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Thibodeau gained a reputation of riding his star players but he’s more open now to keeping them fresh, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. It’s easier to do that with so many teams employing load management strategies for their top players. “Those numbers (minutes) have gone down now. So you won’t be at that disadvantage where they have the best player out there and you don’t,” Thibodeau said. “Talking with sports scientists and athletic trainers, you’re always are monitoring that.”
  • Ed Pinckney, an assistant coach under Thibodeau with the Bulls and Timberwolves, is getting strong consideration to join the Knicks’ staff, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. He would be the team’s “big man” coach if hired. Pat Zipfel could be hired as an advance scout or bench coach, Berman adds. Zipfel also worked for Thibodeau in his previous head coaching stints.
  • University of Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne is under consideration as a potential addition to the coaching staff, Ian Begley of SNY reports. There are also discussions within the organization to hire a significant number of player-development coaches, according to Begley.

Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Van Gundy, Miller, Woodson

Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy believes the organization is making the right choice in Tom Thibodeau, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Thibodeau, who is close to finalizing a five-year agreement with the team, was brought to New York as an assistant by Van Gundy in 1996.

“I’m extremely happy for Tom and equally happy for the Knicks as they hired an elite coach who will give everything he has to turn the Knicks around,” the ABC/ESPN broadcaster said.

New York began its search June 4 and talked to 11 candidates. However, many were considered to be courtesy interviews as Thibodeau was reportedly a strong favorite all along. Berman points out that five of the candidates — Ime Udoka, Wes Hardy, Chris Fleming, Pat Delaney and Jamahl Mosley — have no experience as NBA head coaches.

“Tom has always been their guy,” a source told Berman.

There’s more news on the Knicks:

  • The Knicks first offered the job to Thibodeau on Thursday morning, Berman tweets. He responded with a counter offer later in the day, but they didn’t make significant progress toward an agreement until Saturday.
  • Thibodeau should have plenty of time to prepare for a proposed group workout next month involving the eight teams not in Orlando, Berman writes in a separate story. Knicks president Leon Rose supports the idea of the gathering so the young roster can learn the new coach’s system, but isn’t in favor of scrimmages with other teams.
  • Interim coach Mike Miller and former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson both have “strong internal support” to be part of Thibodeau’s staff, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Among those conducting the interviews along with Rose were executive vice president and senior advisor William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, general manager Scott Perry, and vice president of basketball and strategic planning Brock Aller.
  • The Knicks’ new management team has long supported Thibodeau, and the only real alternative would have been John Calipari if he had been willing to leave Kentucky, a source tells Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • Ed Pinckney, Andy Greer and Rick Brunson served as assistants to Thibodeau in both Chicago and Minnesota and should be considered candidates to join his staff in New York, notes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who also hears that Miller may be retained to provide some continuity. Vorkunov speculates that the hiring of Thibodeau means the Knicks aren’t interested in a long rebuilding process.

Rockets Notes: Bennett, Pinckney, Anderson

While outside shooting was always part of Anthony Bennett‘s game, he has spent the past few seasons refining his three-point shot in preparation for his next NBA opportunity. That opportunity has come with the Western Conference contender Houston Rockets.

Bennett will have to wait to showcase the improvements he’s made to his game, however. As Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes, the 26-year-old will begin training camp on the sidelines recovering from left knee tendinitis.

The Rockets currently have just 11 fully guaranteed contracts on their roster, which leaves ample room for a player like Bennett to stick with the squad when the regular season begins. If Bennett’s impact when he returns to health is anything like it was in the G League when he shot 45.3% from beyond the arc last season, there’s a good chance that he does just that.

There’s more out of Houston today:

  • The Rockets came up with a creative way of structuring big man Nene‘s contract to increase his potential trade value but the NBA threw a wrench their plans. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, franchise owner Tilman Fertitta respects the league’s decision and doesn’t intend to question it.
  • The Rockets have hired former NBA assistant coach Ed Pinckney as a scout, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.
  • Not only has the offensive system not changed since Ryan Anderson last donned a Rockets jersey, but he still owns the same condo that he used to live in. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes about Anderson’s smooth transition back to Houston.

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.