J.R. Holden

Central Notes: Holden, Kennard, Holiday, Bulls

As the Pistons close in on a GM, they are also looking at Nets director of player personnel J.R. Holden and Warriors assistant GM Mike Dunleavy as potential front office additions, SNY’s Ian Begley tweets. Presumably, Detroit would consider Holden and Dunleavy as candidates as assistant GMs.

However, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets that the Pistons plan to hire a GM first and allow that person to fill out the staff. Thunder executive Troy Weaver has reportedly emerged as the leading candidate in their GM search, though Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes and Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson are also in the mix.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Pistons swingman Luke Kennard is confident the knee tendinitis that cut short his season is no longer an issue, as he told Keith Langlois of the team’s website. Kennard didn’t play after Christmas but was just about to return when the pandemic struck  in March. The Pistons, who are not part of the league’s restart plan, may have to wait until December to play again. “I’m not really nervous about the time off,” Kennard said. “I know what I’m doing right now is going to allow me to stay healthy and get through a full season and be ready to go for all 82 games or whatever they decide.”
  • Pacers guard Aaron Holiday has signed with BDA Sports and will be represented by veteran agent Bill Duffy and Nima Namakian, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal tweets. Holiday is signed through at least next season. The Pacers hold an option worth approximately $4MM on his contract for the 2021/22 season.
  • Jim Boylen’s status as the Bulls coach remains up in the air even though front office changes have been made and Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times believes the franchise’s reputation has something to do with it, he said on 670 The Score (hat tip to NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman).(Rick) Carlisle, the Dallas coach, has made it very clear the disdain the Coaches Association and a lot of coaches have for the Bulls and the practices they have toward coaches. … They’re buying time because they have time to buy, but also I think it’s also a perception thing that they’re looking to change.”

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Adel, Raptors, Nets Staff

Frank Ntilikina‘s last coach in the French Pro A League told the enigmatic Knicks guard that he must build off his strong showing the FIBA World Cup, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports. Vincent Collet knows this could be a make-or-break year for the lottery pick. Ntilikina helped Team France win a bronze medal in the tournament. “I told him he must keep going,” Collet told Vorkunov. “He must take advantage of the World Cup. When you start the camp, you must show them you are not the same Frank anymore.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets’ G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, acquired the returning player rights to Deng Adel from Raptors 905, according to a team press release. Brooklyn had already signed the small forward to an Exhibit 10 contract. Adel played on a two-way contract with the Cavaliers during the second half of last season, then became a free agent. Long Island also acquired the returning player rights of JaKarr Sampson from the Windy City Bulls in the three-team G league swap. Sampson signed with the Pacers in August.
  • The five players who have partially guaranteed contracts with the Raptors will likely compete for three roster spots, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic details in an examination of the team’s salary cap situation. A dozen players have fully guaranteed deals and will almost assuredly make the squad. That leaves Cameron Payne, Isaiah Taylor, Dewan Hernandez, Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller vying for the remaining spots on the 15-man opening night roster. Hernandez might have the biggest edge because he has the most guaranteed money and the most team-friendly contract long-term, Murphy adds.
  • Former NBA center Tiago Splitter has been promoted by the Nets to player development coach, according to a team press release. Splitter joined the organization after retiring in February 2018. The other staff additions or promotions included J.R. Holden (director of player personnel), Daniel Jones (physical performance coach) and Ryan Forehan-Kelly (player development coordinator).

Nets Notes: Holden, Chandler, Harris

The Nets are expected to hire Sixers international scout J.R. Holden to serve as the team’s new director of player personnel, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Holden, who played overseas from 1998-2011, winning a pair of EuroLeague championships during that time, has also scouted for the Pistons since retiring as a player.

Holden will inject some more new talent into a front office that lost multiple key executives this offseason. Gianluca Pascucci joined the Timberwolves, while Trajan Langdon headed to New Orleans. The Nets have also hired Andy Birdsong and Jeff Peterson as assistant GMs to help replenish the group around Sean Marks.

Michael Scotto of The Athletic has updates on a couple more changes by the Nets, reporting (via Twitter) that the club will name Ryan Forehan-Kelly as its player development coordinator, with Shaun Fein set to assume head coaching duties for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Tom Noie of The South Bend Tribune profiled new Nets forward Wilson Chandler, who recognizes that he’s not being brought in to have the same sort of impact as fellow free agent signees like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. “I’m one of the soldiers who goes out there for the generals and the captains. I’m on the support team and rightfully so,” Chandler said. “Whenever they need my help, they know they have a warrior besides themselves.”
  • As Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily relays, Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris recently appeared on Barstool’s Pardon My Take podcast to discuss how he ended up in Brooklyn, the Nets’ outlook, and the club’s free agency success. While Harris is looking forward to playing with his new star teammates, he declined to take any credit for their decisions to sign with the team. “I didn’t take any part in the recruitment,” Harris said. “I let the other guys kind of the bulk of that stuff.”
  • Sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is looking to sell off NYCB Live, the home of the Nassau Coliseum. Prokhorov is expected to cede control of the Nets to minority shareholder Joseph Tsai within the next year or two and may also look to sell ownership of Barclays Center at some point.