Elston Turner

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.

Western Notes: Lakers, Katsikaris, Sikka, Turner, Samanic

After re-adjusting the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers find themselves with approximately $32MM to spend in free agency. With Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and others available, Los Angeles figures to use the newfound space to pursue one of those premier players.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus examined how the team may approach free agency with $32MM at their disposal. Pincus labeled Leonard as the only player who may be worth the sizable investment for the Lakers. Otherwise, the team would be better off spreading the available money around to create a more balanced roster.

Among Pincus’ breakdown includes hypothetical deals – mimicking the 2017 Heat’s trick of signing several players to unlikely incentives – for D’Angelo Russell and a slew of veterans. Whichever way the Lakers elect to go, Pincus notes that pursuit, and possible acquisition of Leonard, remains a realistic outcome.

Check out more Western Conference notes below:

  • After spending one season with the Jazz as an assistant coach, Fotis Katsikaris is headed to Spain to become the new head coach of Herbalife Gran Canaria, as first reported by Eurohoops. Katsikaris is the second Jazz assistant coach to depart this offseason as Antonio Lang recently joined the Cavaliers’ staff.
  • The Spurs are set to bring their 2019 first-round pick, Luka Samanic, stateside after reaching an agreement with his former team Petrol Olimpija Lubiana to release him, according to Sportando. The Croatian forward averaged 8.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG last season.
  • Elston Turner is set to return to the Rockets as a lead assistant coach, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Turner previously spent four years as an assistant with the Rockets under Rick Adelman.
  • The Timberwolves announced the hiring of Robby Sikka as vice president of basketball performance and technology. Per ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter links), Sikka is giving up consulting gigs to focus solely on Minnesota. “Robby’s background and skillset strongly aligns with our desire to be a modern, player-centric organization,” said Timberwolves’ president Gersson Rosas said. “In his new position, Robby will play a key role in the integration of medical, technology, analytics and player development with the goal of improving basketball performance and player wellness.”

Western Notes: Capela, Brunson, Kings, Roberson

Clint Capela‘s thumb injury could cost him a $2MM bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. The Rockets center has a 2,000-minute criteria tied into the team reaching the Western Conference Finals and for a defensive rebounding percentage above 30%. He has another bonus for attempting 150 or more free throws and a free throw percentage above 65%. He is currently shooting 62.6% from the line. Through 42 games, Capela has played 1,436 minutes. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks rookie Jalen Brunson and veteran Devin Harris will pick up the minutes vacated by backup point guard J.J. Barea, who suffered a torn Achilles on Friday, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Brunson played 30 minutes against the Warriors on Sunday but Harris will see his role expand as well. “He’s going to be ready and he’s going to be there for us,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Harris.
  • Kings assistant coaches under Dave Joerger are having their options for next season picked up by the front office, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. That group includes Bryan Gates, Elston Turner, Bob Thornton, Jason March, Duane Ticknor, Larry Lewis, Bobby Jackson, Phil Ricci and Dan Hartfield. It’s a way of aligning the contracts of the staff with Joerger’s deal. The surprising Kings are currently a game above .500.
  • Kings GM Vlade Divac warned members of the executive board to stop meddling in the team’s affairs, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. Divac made the pronouncement during a conference call with 13 members of the  executive board, along with lead owner Vivek Ranadive. Divac has been frustrated by internal complaints and used the forum to demand respect, Amick adds.
  • Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson remains sidelined indefinitely, coach Billy Donovan told Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman and other media members. “He’s worked hard, he’s doing all he needs to do but he’s still in the rehab process.”  Roberson suffered a season-ending left knee injury last January and suffered a setback in late November when an MRI revealed an avulsion fracture in the knee.

Dave Joerger To Resume Coaching Kings Within Week

After suffering a health scare during Sunday’s game in San Antonio, Kings head coach Dave Joerger has been cleared to return to the team’s sideline, the team announced today in a press release. Joerger is expected to resume coaching the Kings sometime within the next week.

Joerger experienced some light-headedness during the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Spurs and had to take a knee on the sideline. He returned home to Sacramento and underwent a series of precautionary medical evaluations and tests this week, with the results suggesting that he’s in “fine health,” according to the Kings.

Assistant coach Elston Turner will assume interim head coaching duties until Joerger is ready to return, beginning with Tuesday night’s game in New Orleans. Sacramento’s next game will be at home on Friday, so it’s possible Joerger will be good to go for that contest.

Western Notes: Caldwell-Pope, Wolves, Bertans

The Lakers were motivated to sign shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope because he shares the same agent as LeBron James, sources indicated to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. Caldwell-Pope was inked to a one-year, $18MM contract after the Pistons cut ties with the restricted free agent this summer. Rich Paul represents both Caldwell-Pope and James. Signing Caldwell-Pope allows the Lakers to keep the lines of communication open with Paul and show how they run their organization, among other benefits, McMenamin continues. James is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent.

In other nuggets regarding the Western Conference:

  • The Timberwolves will host some free agents this week, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Wolfson didn’t name the free agents who are visiting but added that the club has grown antsy waiting on decisions from free agents Shabazz Muhammad and Dante Cunningham. Muhammad is reportedly mulling a contract offer from the Lakers, while the Pelicans and Bucks are also pursuing Cunningham.
  • Spurs forward Davis Bertans suffered a finger injury in Latvia’s loss to Serbia during the Eurobasket tournament, Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com tweets. Bertans’ finger isn’t broken, according to X-rays, so it shouldn’t affect his status for the NBA’s regular season.
  • Kings assistant Elston Turner and his family were displaced from their suburban Houston home by Hurricane Harvey, Ailene Voison of the Sacramento Bee reports. Turner gives his account of evacuating his home and describes the havoc and damage caused by the hurricane. He’s been uplifted by the support of the Kings’ brass and coaches, Voison adds.

Coach Rumors: Rockets, Borrego, Pacers, Kings

As the Rockets continue to scour the market for their next head coach, Spurs assistant James Borrego appears to have emerged as a serious candidate for the job. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter), Borrego, who interviewed with Houston on Monday, will have a second meeting with the team later this week. That second interview will include owner Les Alexander, Stein reports.

Borrego’s second meeting with the Rockets doesn’t come with any guarantees, as Houston is also believed to be considering Magic assistant coach Adrian Griffin, Sixers assistant Mike D’Antoni, and Hornets assistant Stephen Silas for its head coaching opening. Still, Borrego remains in the mix for now.

Let’s check in on a few more coaching updates from around the NBA, courtesy of Stein…

  • After promoting Nate McMillan from an assistant coach job to replace Frank Vogel as head coach, the Pacers will have at least one opening on their bench, and the team is in pursuit of Bill Bayno, says Stein (Twitter link). A longtime coach at a variety of levels, Bayno most recently served as an assistant for the Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, and Raptors.
  • Bayno isn’t the only potential assistant being targeted by Indiana. Sources tell Stein (Twitter link) that the Pacers have also expressed interest in hiring Nick Van Exel. The former NBA guard, who coached the D-League’s Texas Legends this past season, is believed to be drawing interest from teams besides Indiana, Stein adds (via Twitter).
  • Dave Joerger is attempting to put together his staff for his first year as the Kings‘ head coach, and Stein tweets that the ex-Grizzlies head coach is targeting Elston Turner and Bryan Gates. Turner, who was mentioned as a candidate early in Sacramento’s coaching search, was a part of Joerger’s staff in Memphis, while Gates spent the 2015/16 season as a Timberwolves assistant.

Latest On Kings, Dave Joerger

12:48pm: The deal would indeed be a four-year arrangement with a team option on the fourth season, sources tell Wojnarowski, so the reports on contract length now align (Twitter link).

11:29am: The Kings hope they’ll finalize a deal with Joerger today, Stein hears (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 7:56am: Joerger is just one of three finalists, Divac said, according to Voisin (Twitter link). The identity of the other finalists is unclear. The Kings plan to meet with each of the finalists in the coming days and hope to make a decision by the end of the week, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

The deal the Kings and Joerger are discussing involves a team option on the fourth season, Stein writes. That would seem to account for the difference between the three- and four-year offers Stein and Wojnarowski referred to earlier.

SUNDAY, 11:55pm: A meeting with owner Vivek Ranadive set for Monday is the last obstacle between Dave Joerger and a deal to become Kings coach, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The team flew Joerger and his family to Sacramento, and the sides have made significant progress toward a three-year deal worth about $4MM a year, Wojnarowski hears, though sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com that they’ve been discussing a four-year arrangement for the same annual salary (Twitter link).

Regardless, GM Vlade Divac still plans to compose a list of finalists, and that’s the message that the team has communicated to its candidates even since Joerger’s arrival for today’s face-to-face with Divac, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee, (Twitter links). That suggests Sacramento hasn’t ruled out hiring someone other than Joerger just yet. Joerger, too, has held mutual interest with the Rockets, as USA Today’s Sam Amick noted earlier, and his plan was to wait to hear from Houston before making a decision, according to TNT’s David Aldridge, but whether the Rockets are still in the picture for him after today’s meeting with Divac is unknown.

Joerger spoke at length with Divac today and would have the authority to hire his own assistants, though doubt exists about whether he wants to bring his Grizzlies staff with him, as Wojnarowski details. Still, it’s expected that Joerger would hire Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner, and he’d also likely to bring aboard Bill Bayno, a longtime college and NBA assistant who wasn’t with the Grizzlies, according to Wojnarowski. Turner has already interviewed with the Kings, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee noted earlier, but it’s unclear if that was for an assistant job or the head coaching job.

Kings Rumors: Blatt, Turner, Messina, Cousins

The Kings plan to speak with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina this week, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). It’s not entirely clear whether it’ll be a formal interview, as San Antonio has just begun its second-round series against the Thunder, though the series will be in hiatus between tonight’s Game 2 and Friday’s Game 3. Sacramento reportedly reached out to Messina weeks ago, suggesting that the Spurs have granted Sacramento permission to at least contact their assistant. San Antonio granted the Lakers permission for an interview, and one was scheduled for the gap between Games 2 and 3 of the Spurs-Thunder series before the Lakers called it off and hired Luke Walton instead, a league source told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. The European coaching legend apparently holds particular appeal to Kings GM Vlade Divac.

See more from the California capital:

4:06pm update:

  • David Blatt‘s interview with the Kings is today, as USA Today’s Sam Amick hears, advancing a Sunday report from Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
  • Elston Turner is a candidate for the job of lead assistant for the Kings, Amick tweets, which suggests that he isn’t in the running for the head coaching job. Turner, a Grizzlies assistant, emerged among the many in the mix for Sacramento last week, and Memphis has reportedly granted the Kings permission to interview him.

10:26am update:

  • DeMarcus Cousins indicated that he’d prefer to stay with the Kings as he spoke in an interview with Carmichael Dave of CBS Sacramento (audio link; scroll to 6:24 mark). People in the Kings organization reportedly believe Divac will test the trade market for Cousins this summer. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve grown an attachment to the city, like, the way these people treat me, the love they give out to me, and vice versa,” Cousins said to Dave. “I feel like I have an attachment, and it’s something that I do owe to this city. I want to be the person to bring this city back to the glory days. I want to grow myself and this city all together. I want to bring us back to those glory days. So, that’s where I’m at with it. This is like a personal vendetta for me.”
  • Seth Curry said he wants to return to the Kings next season and that it would be difficult to do otherwise, but he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of moving on as he spoke at a basketball camp in India to Akash Khanna of Follow Your Sport. Curry reportedly intends to turn down his player option and hit free agency this summer.
  • Curry also told Khanna that he doesn’t want to sign with the Warriors and play with brother Stephen Curry, preferring to compete against him instead. The Currys were teammates with Golden State during the 2013 preseason.

Kings To Interview David Blatt

The Kings have scheduled an interview for early this week with former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Blatt was one of the first names connected to the Sacramento coaching vacancy and has been a rumored candidate for several jobs since Cleveland fired him in January.

Blatt met with the Knicks this week to discuss the possibility of replacing interim coach Kurt Rambis and was believed to be a candidate for the Lakers’ job before they hired Luke Walton. During his brief stay in Cleveland, Blatt led the Cavaliers to the 2015 NBA Finals and compiled an 83-40 record.

Blatt will be at least the fifth candidate to interview for the head coaching position, according to James Ham of CSNBayArea. Ham reports that Sam Mitchell, Mike Woodson, Kevin McHale and Vinny Del Negro have all gone through formal interviews.

Indiana assistant Nate McMillan may soon join that group, Ham reports, depending what the Pacers do in tonight’s Game 7 with the Raptors. McMillan has a 266-269 career record in 12 years as head coach of the SuperSonics and Blazers.

The Kings are also planning to interview Charlotte assistant Patrick Ewing, whose team was eliminated from the playoffs today. Ham says Mark Jackson of ESPN and Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner are also on the list to be interviewed.

Once the interviews are complete, GM/executive Vlade Divac plans to whittle the list down to three finalists that he will present to Sacramento management. Despite earlier reports that the Kings wanted to find a coach this week, Ham says there is no timetable. The organization has been without a coach since it fired George Karl after the season ended.

Latest On The Kings’ Coaching Search

9:42pm: The Kings have been granted permission to speak with McMillan, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays, though the coach wants to wait until the Pacers’ postseason is complete before speaking with the team. Sacramento has also had extensive discussions with McHale to gauge his interest in the vacant post, Jones adds, and that dialogue is expected to continue, reports Sam Amick of USA Today. Additionally, the team plans to interview Messina in the near future, Amick relays.

1:55pm: Sacramento would like to talk to Walton, but no indications exist that the feeling is mutual, Amick tweets.

12:06pm: The Kings have received permission to interview Grizzlies assistant coach Elston Turner for their head coaching vacancy, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Northeast Ohio Media Group (Twitter link). GM Vlade Divac has reportedly been expected to meet with Warriors assistant Luke Walton, but Sacramento has yet to get Golden State’s permission to do so, as USA Today’s Sam Amick hears (Twitter link). Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee reported earlier this week that Turner would receive consideration for the Kings job.

The 56-year-old Turner has been with the Grizzlies since 2013, but his time as an NBA assistant dates back much farther. He was on Rick Adelman‘s coaching staff in Sacramento from 2000-06, when Turner was primarily responsible for the team’s defense, Jones tweets. Turner’s first gig as an NBA assistant was with the Trail Blazers from 1996-2000, and he’s also been an assistant for the Rockets, from 2007-11, and Suns, from 2011-13. He spent eight seasons as a player in the NBA from 1981-89, teaming with Michael Jordan on the Bulls from 1986-88.

Sacramento reportedly wants to hire a coach by sometime next week, but that seems far-fetched given the broad scope of the team’s search. The Kings have asked the Pacers for permission to interview assistant Nate McMillan, as Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported just hours ago. They’ve interviewed Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson and would like to do so with Kevin McHale and Jeff Hornacek, according to earlier reportsMark Jackson, Brian Shaw, Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, Monty Williams, Jeff Van GundyPatrick Ewing, David Blatt, Jay Larranaga and Henry Bibby are the other names the team is apparently considering.