Igor Kokoskov

Atlantic Notes: Boeheim Brothers, Knicks, Horford, White, Kokoskov

The Knicks recently worked out a pair of brothers — Buddy Boeheim and Jimmy Boeheim — ahead of the NBA draft, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Boeheim brothers are the sons of Jim Boeheim, who’s served as head coach at Syracuse since 1976.

“They’re getting an opportunity,” Boeheim said of his sons. “They worked hard all their life. They’ll do workouts and see where they stand in the whole picture. It’s fun for them.

“We’ll see where they can go — anywhere from the NBA to G-League to overseas. Nobody knows. I told them: Just keep your head down, work hard, go through workouts and get on a summer league team and see what happens there.’’

Both Boeheims played for their father at Syracuse last season. Buddy averaged 19.2 points per game on 41% shooting last season, while Jimmy averaged 13.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest. The Knicks own the No. 11 and No. 42 picks in the draft this year.

Here are some other notes from around the Atlantic:

  • Jayson Tatum praised veteran big man Al Horford for his leadership with the Celtics this season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets. Horford is in his 15th NBA campaign. “Al is the best teammate ever, just a consummate professional,” Tatum said. Horford also made the NBA Finals for the first time in his career this year.
  • Celtics guard Derrick White briefly responded to Draymond Green‘s comments following Game 1, as relayed by Brian Robb of Masslive.com. Green pointed out that White, Marcus Smart and Horford combined to shoot 15-of-23 from deep in the game and seemed confident it wouldn’t happen again. “I mean, we knew what their game plan was going in, so it’s just up to us to make shots,” White said. “I mean, it is what it is. He said what he said. Just going into Game 2, just have the right mindset and whatever it takes to help us win games.” Green turned out to be right in Game 2, as White, Smart and Horford combined to shoot just 2-of-7 from deep.
  • Brian Lewis of the New York Post explores what Igor Kokoskov could bring to the Nets. Brooklyn is expected to hire Kokoskov, who holds a relationship with Steve Nash and recently coached with Dallas, as an assistant coach.

Kokoskov Expected To Join Nash’s Staff With Nets

Former NBA head coach Igor Kokoskov is apparently on the move again.

The Nets are expected to hire Kokoskov as one of Steve Nash’s top assistants, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link). Kokoskov was on Jason Kidd‘s staff with the Mavericks this season.

Brooklyn is looking to change things up after its first-round flameout.

Kokoskov was hired in September to join Kidd in Dallas. He was coming off a stint as the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahçe. Kokoskov has served as an assistant for eight different NBA teams over the last two decades and was the Suns’ head coach for the 2018/19 season.

Mavs Officially Announce Jason Kidd’s Coaching Staff

The Mavericks issued a press release on Tuesday evening officially announcing Jason Kidd‘s coaching staff, confirming a handful of previously-reported hires.

Igor Kokoskov is perhaps the most noteworthy addition, fresh off a stint as the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahçe. Kokoskov has served as an assistant for seven different NBA teams over the last two decades and was the head coach in Phoenix for the 2018/19 season. Reports in July indicated that Kokoskov was expected to join Kidd’s staff.

Fourteen-year NBA veteran Jared Dudley, whose agreement with the Mavs was reported last week, was also officially announced as an assistant coach.

Kokoskov and Dudley will be joined by Sean Sweeney, who worked with Kidd during his previous head coaching stints in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, and Greg St. Jean, who worked alongside Kidd with the Lakers over the last two seasons.

Kristi Toliver, fresh off her 12th season as a WNBA player, will also be an assistant coach on Kidd’s staff, with Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton rounding out the group. Armstrong, Shammgod, and Patton are holdovers from Rick Carlisle‘s coaching staff.

Coaching/Front Office Notes: Watson, Raptors, Kokoskov, Mavs, More

Former Suns head coach Earl Watson appears set to return to the sidelines for an NBA team, as Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter) that Watson is finalizing a deal to join the Raptors. Watson – who was pursued by multiple teams, according to Haynes – would be an assistant on Nick Nurse‘s staff. Watson hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2017, but Devin Booker has credited the former Phoenix coach for his accelerated development at the NBA level, Haynes notes.

Here are a few more notes on coaching and front office hires from around the NBA:

  • Veteran assistant Popeye Jones, who spent over a decade in the NBA as a player, will leave the Sixers to take a job on Michael Malone‘s staff with the Nuggets, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). Marc Stein first reported (via Twitter) that Jones – a former Nuggets player – was emerging as a strong candidate to be hired by Denver.
  • Turkish club Fenerbahce officially announced today that head coach Igor Kokoskov won’t return to the team next season. As previously rumored, the former Suns coach is on track to take a job on Jason Kidd‘s staff with the Mavericks, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. In Dallas, Kokoskov will get the opportunity to reunite with Luka Doncic, whom he coached on the Slovenian national team in 2017.
  • Speaking of the Mavericks, they’ve hired Nets salary cap strategist Andrew Baker for a senior role in their front office under new president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
  • Fischer also identifies Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Pelicans assistant GM Bryson Graham as two potential targets for the Celtics as they seek a general manager under new president of basketball operations Brad Stevens.

Mavericks Notes: Kokoskov, St. Jean, Front Office, Porzingis

The Mavericks are working on adding former Suns head coach and current Fenerbahce coach Igor Kokoskov to Jason Kidd‘s staff as an assistant, according to multiple reports. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) first reported that Dallas was targeting Kokoskov, while Marc Stein (Twitter link) said there’s “tangible optimism” the Mavs will be able to hire him.

As Stein explains (via Twitter), Kokoskov is technically still under contract with Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, so the Mavs and the Turkish club would have to come to some sort of agreement releasing him from that deal.

In addition to coaching the Suns for one season (2018/19), Kokoskov has worked as an assistant for seven other NBA teams. He and Kidd never overlapped at any of those spots, but Kokoskov does have one noteworthy connection to the current Mavs — he was the head coach of the Slovenian team that won gold in the 2017 EuroBasket tournament, led by Luka Doncic.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • The Mavericks are also expected to hire Greg St. Jean to their coaching staff, Stein reports (via Twitter). As Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group observes (via Twitter), St. Jean has been a player development coach and advance scout for the Lakers for the last two years and is tight with Kidd.
  • At a Mavs’ press conference on Thursday, Nico Harrison was introduced as both the team’s general manager and president of basketball operations, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News notes (via Twitter). However, team owner Mark Cuban said he’ll still be the one making the final call on basketball decisions, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. I always do because it’s a lot of money,” Cuban said.
  • Cuban declined to say whether Haralabos Voulgaris is still with the Mavs, according to Caplan (Twitter link). A report last month indicated Voulgaris had gained an outsized influence within the team’s front office but wasn’t yet under contract beyond 2020/21.
  • While there has been speculation that the Mavs may explore trading Kristaps Porzingis this offseason, the team gave no indications on Thursday that such a move is in the cards. Kidd raved about Porzingis’ fit in Dallas and said he expects to see “a different KP” going forward, while Cuban said the big man has been “unfairly maligned” (Twitter links via Caplan).

Nets Notes: Coaching Staff, Arena Workers, J. Smith

It has been five weeks since the Nets hired Steve Nash as their new head coach, but there haven’t been many updates since then on who will be part of Nash’s coaching staff beyond Jacque Vaughn, who is expected to remain in Brooklyn as the associate head coach.

According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, current Nets assistant Adam Harrington is also likely to be retained, given his connection to Kevin Durant — Harrington briefly served as the Thunder’s shooting coach during Durant’s time in Oklahoma City.

A source tells Schiffer that the Nets had some interest in trying to add former Suns coach Igor Kokoskov as an assistant. However, Kokoskov recently agreed to become the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahce and prefers to remain with his new club in Turkey, per Schiffer.

Schiffer also names Jay Triano, Royal Ivey, and Phil Handy as possible candidates for the Nets’ staff, though Ivey has received interest from multiple teams. As for Handy, Schiffer recently heard from a source that the veteran assistant is happy working on Frank Vogel‘s staff with the Lakers, but would be open to other opportunities.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Nets owner Joseph Tsai intends to pay his Barclays Center employees – who lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic – through the rest of the year, Brian Lewis of The New York Post confirms. The decision, originally reported by The Atlantic Yards Report, may cost Tsai in the neighborhood of $10MM.
  • Maryland power forward Jalen Smith is the No. 20 prospect on ESPN’s big board, which could put him in play for the Nets at No. 19 in this year’s draft. As Lewis relays in a separate story for The New York Post, Smith is intrigued by the idea of being selected by Brooklyn and becoming teammates with a superstar he grew up watching. “Just being able to play with KD, that’s a dream come true,” Smith said. “Obviously growing up watching him so much and pretty much just learning from him, being the same size as him, just being able to get so much from him that he’s done in the league and continue to work and just compete against him would be tremendous and a good thing for me and my skills.”
  • In case you missed it, we previewed the Nets’ upcoming offseason in a feature last week.

Pacific Notes: Payne, Lecque, Kokoskov, Len

Cameron Payne recalls a brief conversation during his rookie year with Thunder assistant Monty Williams that led to his latest NBA opportunity, writes Gina Mizell in her Valley Tales Newsletter. Williams, now the head coach of the Suns, decided to take a chance on Payne when the team had a roster spot to fill prior to the restart.

“That (discussion) played into … my talks with (general manager James Jones about signing him),” Williams said. “I saw a young man who’s really talented, comes from a really good family and he takes coaching well.”

Payne’s career has featured a lot of disappointment after Oklahoma City made him a lottery pick in 2015. He battled through injuries and ineffective performance with the Thunder and Bulls, and had been out of the league since signing a pair of 10-day contracts with the Cavaliers last January. He had a brief stay in China this season, then joined the G League to help get his game back on track.

“I don’t want to see myself outside of this league again,” Payne said. “And the biggest way for me to do that is to be consistent, be on time and outwork the next guy. My whole thing is I want to leave on the court that I played my hardest. I gave my all. I never want to take no shortcuts anymore, because it’s not worth it. It’s not worth being on the outside looking in when you feel like you should be in there.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jalen Lecque participated in practice Saturday, giving the Suns a full roster for the first time since arriving in Orlando, Mizell tweets.
  • Assistant Igor Kokoskov left the Kings Saturday to begin his duties as head coach of Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, the team announced in a press release. The former Suns head coach joined Luke Walton’s staff last summer. “I’d like to congratulate Igor on his promotion to head coach of Fenerbahce and thank him for his dedicated time with the Kings,” Walton said. “He has been a valuable member of my coaching staff and his natural ability to guide our players will continue to inspire the team as we move forward in Orlando. We wish him all the best.” 
  • Kings center Alex Len won’t play in Sunday’s game against the Magic because of conditioning issues, tweets Sean Cunningham of KXTV. Len was late reporting to the Walt Disney World campus after contracting COVID-19.

International Notes: Dekker, Kokoskov, Crawford, P. Jones

Panathinaikos is targeting former NBA forward Sam Dekker for next season, according to Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops. The Greek club is under new management and is considering Dekker as a possible replacement for Deshaun Thomas.

Dekker, 26, played for Lokomotiv Kuban this year, averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in the EuroCup and 11.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in the VTB League. It was the first season outside the NBA for the former first-round pick after spending time with the Rockets, Clippers, Cavaliers and Wizards.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov was introduced today as the new head coach of Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, according to EuroHoops. He reportedly received a three-year deal to take over the Turkish team. “I feel obligated to the Fenerbahce fans and the people who brought me here to give them the best of my abilities, experience and knowledge to help this club keep being successful as it is,” he said. “Fenerbahce fans love their basketball team, so we will give our best to keep them happy by winning lots of basketball games and trophies.” Kokoskov, who spent a season as head coach of the Suns, also coaches the Serbian National Team.
  • Jordan Crawford has signed a one-year deal with Lokomotiv Kuban, Barbarousis writes in a separate story. Crawford, 31, played for five teams in eight NBA seasons before moving overseas early last year. He played in Israel and China before spending part of this season with Brose Bamberg in Germany.
  • Former NBA first-round pick Perry Jones III will continue his career with Bursaspor in Turkey, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The 28-year-old spent three seasons with the Thunder.

Kings Assistant Igor Kokoskov To Coach Fenerbahce

Former Suns head coach and current Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov has agreed in principle to become the new head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahce, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ismail Senol of beIN Sports, who first reported the agreement, tweets that the two sides agreed to a three-year deal. Kokoskov will replace longtime Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic, a three-time EuroLeague Coach of the Year who parted ways with the Turkish club last week.

Kokoskov became the NBA’s first European-born head coach when he was hired by Phoenix in 2018 to replace Jay Triano. However, he lasted just a single season with the Suns before being replaced by Monty Williams. After interviewing for the Grizzlies’ head coaching vacancy in 2019, Kokoskov ultimately landed in Sacramento as the top assistant on Luke Walton‘s staff.

A native of Serbia, Kokoskov is currently the head coach of the country’s national team and will look to lead Serbia to a spot in the Tokyo Olympics next summer. He previously coached the Slovenian National Team, leading that club to a 2017 EuroBasket victory, and was also the head coach of the Georgian National Team from 2008-15.

Despite his agreement with Fenerbahce, Kokoskov will join the Kings in Orlando this summer and finish out the season with the team, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic.

Pacific Notes: Bradley, Horton-Tucker, Evans, Kokoskov

Lakers guard Avery Bradley has been cleared for full contact, the team’s PR department tweets. Bradley started 10 games for the streaking Lakers, averaging 9.8 PPG, before suffering a lower right leg injury. He had a hairline fracture in a non-weight bearing bone. Bradley’s two-year, $9.8MM contract includes a $5MM player option.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers second-round pick Talen Horton-Tucker is trying to make the most of his G League appearances, he told David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders. Horton-Tucker is averaging 11.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.2 APG in 11 games with the South Bay Lakers. “I understand that I’m probably not going to get minutes with the Lakers right now,” Horton-Tucker said. “I feel like the G League has been great. It helps us get our reps in and it helps our careers get started.”
  • Warriors guard Jacob Evans is available to play on Monday after missing 21 games with an adductor strain, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Evans appeared in three games this season prior to the injury, averaging 6.0 PPG in 14.3 MPG. The former Cincinnati standout had his 2020/21 option picked up by Golden State in late October.
  • Former Suns coach and current Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov has no regrets about his draft input with Phoenix, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. “I will tell you that I sleep peacefully and peaceably,” Kokoskov said to Index regarding his recommendation for the Suns’ No. 1 overall pick in 2018. Kokoskov is believed to have wanted Luka Doncic, whom Kokoskov coached on the Slovenian National Team, but Suns owner Robert Sarver pushed for Deandre Ayton, Feldman adds.