Jarell Christian

Atlantic Notes: Dragic, Christian, Hernangomez, Jordan

The Raptors and Goran Dragic have not engaged in buyout talks, according to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz (Twitter link), who says a report stating the point guard is on track to sign with the Mavericks is inaccurate. Dragic, who was acquired in the sign-and-trade with Miami that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, still has trade value, which gives Toronto less incentive to explore a possible buyout.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics have hired Jarell Christian as the head coach of their G League affiliate in Maine, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. Clevis Murray was the first to report that Christian was expected to fill that position (Twitter link). Christian, 35, has been in the Wizards’ organization since 2019. He spent one season as head coach of the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s NBA G League affiliate, before becoming an assistant coach last season.
  • The pending acquisition of Juan Hernangomez by the Celtics from the Grizzlies is a low-risk move, Jay King of The Athletic writes. Boston gave up two guards who probably wouldn’t have been in the rotation and the pick swap wasn’t a huge sweetener, King continues. Hernangomez could help them space the floor with his perimeter shooting and if he doesn’t pan out, his 2022/23 salary of $7.4MM can be cast off, since it’s not guaranteed.
  • By trading DeAndre Jordan rather than waiving him and using the stretch provision over five years, the Nets made a wise financial move, as Bobby Marks of ESPN’s explains (Twitter link). The agreed-upon trade with the Pistons allows Brooklyn to avoid have dead money on the cap, which is essential for a luxury tax team. They also shed his salary over the next two seasons and acquired players on smaller contracts, which will reduce their tax liability in the short run.

Wizards Announce Changes To Coaching Staff

The Wizards have formally announced a series of changes to Scott Brooks‘ coaching staff, issuing a press release to confirm the moves.

Tony Brown, who has been an assistant on Brooks’ staff since 2016, has been promoted to associate head coach, making him the lead assistant in Washington. The team also hired Mike Longabardi, Corey Gaines, and Dean Oliver as assistants.

Longabardi, a veteran coach who served as an assistant for the Rockets, Celtics, Suns, and Cavaliers, has won titles with Boston and Cleveland. Gaines served as a coaching consultant for the Pistons last season after spending time as an assistant for the Knicks and Suns. Oliver, whom the Wizards call a “pioneer in sports analytics,” comes to D.C. from Sacramento.

Ryan Richman, an assistant coach for Brooks last season, has been named the head coach of the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate. Jarell Christian, the Go-Go’s head coach in 2018/19, has joined the Wizards’ staff as an assistant. Interestingly, the Go-Go’s press release refers to both moves as “promotions.”

Despite all the incoming hires, the Wizards are also bringing back several members of last year’s staff, including assistants Robert Pack and Mike Terpstra, and developmental coach Kristi Toliver.

“Coach Brooks and I worked closely to pinpoint what areas we needed to improve and identify the best candidates, both internally and externally, to make the appropriate changes,” new permanent Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. “We’re very confident that we have a strong staff in place that is in line with the vision we have for our rebuilding our culture and focusing on the overall development of our players.”

Wizards’ G League Affiliate Announces GM, Coach

Twenty-six NBA teams had their own G League squads in 2017/18, and a 27th will enter the league in 2018/19, with the Wizards introducing Capital City Go-Go, their new NBAGL affiliate. Today, the franchise issued a press release announcing that Pops Mensah-Bonsu will serve as the Go-Go’s first general manager, while Jarell Christian will be the team’s head coach.

Mensah-Bonsu, who played his college ball at nearby George Washington University, entered the NBA as a player in 2006 and spent time with the Mavericks, Spurs, Raptors, Rockets, and Pelicans (then the Hornets) over the course of his career. He also had an extensive professional career in international leagues as a player before retiring in 2015 and working for the Spurs and the NBPA.

“I am humbled to be entrusted with this position and would like to thank the Wizards organization for the opportunity,” Mensah-Bonsu said in a statement. “Washington is my second home and the city has embraced me ever since I stepped on the George Washington campus. I am excited to be able to give back by making sure that the Go-Go is a pillar in the community and a team that the city can get behind.”

As for Christian, he has served as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G League affiliate, for the last four seasons. He briefly held the interim head coach position for the club during the 2016/17 season when Mark Daigneault was promoted to the Thunder’s staff.

With the Wizards’ affiliate set to join the G League for the 2018/19 season, only three NBA clubs – the Nuggets, Pelicans, and Trail Blazers – are still without an NBAGL affiliate of their own.