Jason Jones

Draft Notes: Giles, Allen, Swanigan

Wondering how many picks your team has? Check out our 2017 NBA Draft Picks page. The Sixers have the most selections with five, though they are looking to deal at least one of their second-rounders. The draft is just two weeks away. As we wait for the big night, check out some notes on some of the prospects expecting to hear their name called on June 22:

  • Harry Giles has plans to work out for the Pistons, Bulls, Heat, and Pacers before the draft, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian tweets. The Duke product has already met with the Kings and Blazers.
  • Jarrett Allen will work out for the Nuggets on Friday, Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post tweets. Allen is the 17th best prospect in the upcoming draft, per Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
  • Allen will go through drills with the Kings on Saturday, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee passes along (Twitter link).
  • Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post chronicles the hurdles that Caleb Swanigan has had to overcome to make his dream of playing basketball professionally a reality. The Purdue big man is expected to be taken in the second round of this year’s draft.
  • Swanigan is scheduled to work out for his hometown Jazz on Saturday, sources tell Tony Jones of the Salt Lake City Tribune (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: J. Jackson, Isaac, Tatum, Thompson

The Suns potentially have a difficult decision to make when they find themselves on the clock with the fourth overall pick, writes Doug Haller of AZCentral Sports. Three talented freshman small forwards could be available: Josh Jackson, Jonathan Isaac, and Jayson Tatum. Defense and three-point shooting are likely the Suns’ two most glaring weaknesses, and one of these athletes could certainly help.

Haller writes that Jackson’s real impact could come defensively. The scribe adds that, while Tatum is nowhere near the defender that Jackson is, the Duke freshman may be the most polished scorer in the draft. As for Isaac, he can play both forward positions, with many believing that he will also be able to man the center position when his body fills out. Furthermore, the departing Seminole would contribute defensive versatility, having defended all over the floor for Florida State.

Here are some more pertinent notes from the Pacific division:

Kings Notes: Point Guards, Bogdanovic, Gay

GM Vlade Divac said it’s “too early to say” whether or not the Kings will try to bring back Darren Collison or Ty Lawson next year, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. Jones adds that the team is stocked at many positions, but point guard is not of them.

Lawson had an uninspiring season in Sacramento, scoring 9.9 points per game while dishing out 4.9 assists per night. He made 24 starts for the club. Collison was suspended for the first eight games of the season because of domestic battery charges. He ended up playing in 68 contests for the Kings, averaging 13.2 points, 4.6 assists, and a steal per game. Both veterans will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

Here’s more from Sacramento:

  • Divac said Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose rights were acquired by the Kings in a 2016 draft night trade, is a “natural shooting guard” and added that the team wants him to come stateside, Jones relays in the same piece. “We would love to have him here. We have his rights, and this summer we’ll talk about it,” Divac said.
  • The Kings added an assistant GM last offseason and they remain open to expanding the front office even further, Jones adds in the same piece. “We’re open, always, to improve,” Divac said. “The team, the front office, everything is always open for improvement. I’m very happy and confident in what we have right now, but we should be open if something can make you better.”
  • Both Divac and coach Dave Joerger would like Rudy Gay to return to the Kings next season, Sean Cunningham of ABC10 tweets. Gay can become a free agent this summer by turning down a player option in his contract, but he remains undecided on whether or not he will do so.

Western Notes: Galloway, Carraro, Mavs, Gasol

Langston Galloway came to the Kings in the DeMarcus Cousins trade and didn’t get much playing time initially, but he’s finding the court now as the team begins to rest its veterans. Coach Dave Joerger credits the point guard for staying ready even though he wasn’t receiving consistent minutes, as Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee relays.

“I think he has a survivor mindset. … That mindset that, ‘you know what, when I get my opportunity I’m going to be ready’ and he’s done that,” Joerger said. “He’s practiced hard, he’s worked hard and he’s been ready, keeping himself ready for whatever minutes may come.”

Galloway is making $5.2MM this season and he can become a free agent during the summer if he turns down his $5.434MM player option for the 2017/18 campaign.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Lakers assistant GM Glenn Carraro has resigned, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Carraro has been with Los Angeles since 2000.
  • It would be shocking if the Mavericks don’t select a point guard in the upcoming draft, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News writes. Dallas currently owns the ninth spot in our Reverse Standings and there should be several point guard prospects worthy of being selected at the top of the draft.
  • Offseason addition Pau Gasol added the 3-pointer to his game and Jeff McDonald of the Express News notes that the big man has made over 54% of his attempts from downtown. That figure, which isn’t likely to decrease severely over the next few games, is by far the best percentage for a 7-footer in NBA history. Gasol has fit in well since coming to the Spurs and he has one more season on his contract after this one.

Pacific Notes: Iguodala, Kerr, Joerger, Rob Pelinka

Andre Iguodala has been assessed a $10K fine for making “inappropriate comments” during a postgame interview, the league announced on its official website (link). Iguodala’s comments came after a 103-102 loss to Minnesota on Friday, when the 33-year-old was venting about not participating in a match-up with the Spurs. Steve Kerr had Iguodala’s back, claiming the 13-year vet likes to mess with the media.

“You guys just got Andre’d,” Kerr said to a group of reporters, including Chris Haynes of ESPN. Andre is one of those guys who likes to stir the pot and has a lot of cryptic messaging at times. [He] jokes around. I didn’t take anything from it. It’s just Andre being Andre.”

Iguodala spoke with the press Monday, expressing regret for the impact of his comments.

“I feel like it’s the wrong time because it puts my team in that situation and coaching staff in that situation,” he told Ethan Strauss of ESPN. “I have a great relationship with Steve Kerr, and he knows that. Steve spoke to you guys about it, you know what I mean. Steve in his words, someone still may not believe him, but he and I are in a great place. We don’t even have to speak about it because he knew that in no way shape or form that I’m talking about him.”

More from around the Pacific…

  • The Kings will be sticking with their veterans despite a losing record, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. Coach Dave Joerger isn’t going to “throw away” the team’s remaining games in 2016/17, Jones writes, and will play veterans (Garrett Temple, Arron Afflalo, Anthony Tolliver) alongside young players. “I’m very happy with coach,” Afflalo said. “Throughout all of this, he’s remained very positive and encouraged us to win games. He’s playing to win, he’s doing the best that he can with our roster. I commend him for that. So, from a veteran perspective, you’ve always got to keep hope alive and to to go out there and take it one game at a time.”
  • New Lakers GM Rob Pelinka plans to conduct individual meetings with his players, Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times writes. “For Earvin [Magic Johnson], Luke and I, we see our fundamental purpose, not just one that’s all about leadership in terms of the front office, but that’s also one about service,” Pelinka said. “When I say that, we want to make sure that we establish a platform of excellence for the players in that locker room. That’s the heartbeat of the team. I think the message to the guys is we want to serve your needs to help you be great.”

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/5/17

Here are the D-League transactions for Sunday:

  • The Mavericks recalled A.J. Hammons and Nicolas Brussino from the Texas Legends, the team announced in a press release. Brussino recorded a double-double last night for the Legends, whereas Hammons recorded 11 rebounds over 23 minutes.
  • The Kings recalled Georgios Papagiannis from the Reno Bighorns, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports (Twitter link). Papagiannis has appeared in six NBA games this season.
  • The Spurs assigned Davis Bertans and Dejounte Murray to the Austin Spurs, the team announced on its official website. Bertans and Murray will each be available for this afternoon’s match-up with the Salt Lake City Stars.
  • The Pelicans recalled Cheick Diallo from the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced in a press release.

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.

Coaching Rumors: Bickerstaff, Messina, McHale

Interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff will be among the coaches the Rockets consider as they seek to formally name a head coach after the season, and he and his staff have the respect of the team’s players, writes Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. Bickerstaff, who took over for the fired Kevin McHale once the team started 4-7, was unable to win at the rate most expected of the Rockets coming into the season, Watkins notes, suggesting that’ll be a stumbling block to the removal of his interim tag. Still, owner Leslie Alexander nonetheless praised Bickerstaff’s winning record of 37-34 during the regular season, and the playoff berth the Rockets snagged on the final night of the regular season was apparently a significant help to Bickerstaff’s chances. Alexander and GM Daryl Morey anticipate James Harden having a role in the team’s decision, though Dwight Howard, whom the Rockets expect to opt out, is unlikely to have a say, according to Watkins.

See more coaching news from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers will give Spurs assistant Ettore Messina strong consideration for their coaching vacancy if they can’t land Warriors assistant Luke Walton, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter links). L.A. has asked for and received permission from San Antonio to interview Messina, a one-time Lakers assistant, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick.
  • Multiple people have told Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee that McHale isn’t fond of California, casting doubt on the idea that he’d take the Kings coaching job, though Jones cautions that he isn’t entirely sure whether McHale indeed holds a low opinion of the location (Twitter link). The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that McHale was on the fence about whether to interview for the gig, though Stein wrote more recently that McHale and the Kings have had exploratory talks.
  • A close friendship with new GM Scott Layden, the potential of Minnesota’s roster and a belief that Glen Taylor is committed to winning are reasons Tom Thibodeau cited to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune as he spoke about his decision to become coach and president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves. Thibodeau said that having the dual coach/executive title the Wolves gave him wasn’t a make-or-break element to the deal. “It wasn’t an absolute must, but I’m glad it has worked out that way,” Thibodeau said. “I just wanted to make sure I had a voice. The person I’m with, I trust Scott. He has great integrity. He’s a great worker and he has great experience.”

Latest On Kings Coaching Search

THURSDAY, 5:34pm: McMillan intends to wait until the Pacers’ playoff run is over before interviewing for the Kings’ post, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.

6:50pm: There has been no official contact yet, but the Kings are also interested in former Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter links). The interest is mutual, Amick says.

WEDNESDAY, 10:19am: Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton and Kings GM Vlade Divac are expected to meet to discuss Sacramento’s head coaching vacancy, likely after Golden State’s first-round playoff series with Houston, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Walton is “extremely fond” of Divac, who was briefly his Lakers teammate, and the location of Sacramento is increasingly appealing to Walton, who is fond of life in Northern California and has several close relatives in the Sacramento area, Voisin writes. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Monday that no team had asked permission to interview his top assistant, but Voisin reported Tuesday that Walton was among the coaches to whom the Kings had reached out.

Divac is especially interested in Walton, Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and NBA coaching veterans Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks, but he’s planned to speak with several others. Divac is inquiring about the interest of Monty Williams, Jeff Van Gundy, Spurs assistant Ime Udoka and at least two college coaches, among other names previously reported as Kings coaching targets, Voisin relays. The Kings are poised to interview Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson, according to reports. Mitchell’s interview is to take place today, a source told The Bee’s Jason Jones.

Sacramento has natural appeal to Brooks, who’s from the nearby city of French Camp, California, but Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported last week that he’s not interested in coaching the Kings, with the Wizards apparently the front-runner for the former Thunder head coach. Thibodeau and Van Gundy, apparent co-favorites for the Timberwolves job, don’t want to coach Sacramento either, according to Wojnarowski.

The Kings have reached out to Messina, as Voisin reported previously, though Messina and fellow Spurs assistant Udoka are busy with the playoffs. Both were reportedly candidates for the Nets vacancy, with Udoka the apparent front-runner at one point before the job instead went to Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson, who also reportedly drew interest from the Kings.

Williams is a Thunder assistant but has been away from the team since his wife died in February. He won’t rejoin the team for the playoffs and, as The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater hears, he’s not expected to return to Oklahoma City for next season, either. Top free agent Kevin Durant has a close bond with Williams, the former Pelicans head coach.

Kevin McHale, Mark Jackson, David Blatt, Jeff Hornacek, Patrick Ewing, Nate McMillan and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga are the other candidates in whom the Kings are reportedly interested. Sources who spoke with Marc Stein of ESPN.com have speculated that Heat assistant David Fizdale and former Cavs and Lakers coach Mike Brown could become Kings candidates as well.

Which of the many names mentioned here do you like best for the Kings? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Kings To Interview Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro

8:05pm: The Kings’ first three interviews for their vacant coaching position will be with Jackson, Del Negro and former Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, 2:50pm: The Kings are scheduled to interview Vinny Del Negro next week, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports, confirming a tweet from Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee that indicated as much. They’d like to interview Kevin McHale, but he hasn’t decided whether he’ll meet with the team, league sources told Wojnarowski, who earlier reported the team plans to interview Mike Woodson. The team is expected to meet with a handful of candidates for initial interviews before moving on to the next stage of its search, Wojnarowski hears.

Del Negro’s name emerged among several in the mix for the Kings job when Wojnarowski reported his candidacy last week. Sacramento reportedly contacted Del Negro for its vacancy in December 2014, shortly after firing Michael Malone, but since then, the Kings have had two head coaches, and Vlade Divac succeeded Pete D’Alessandro as the front office chief.

Sacramento has reached out to Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks, Ettore Messina, Luke Walton and David Blatt in addition to Del Negro and Woodson, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link), though Thibodeau and Brooks appear to be long shots, at best. Jeff Hornacek, Mark Jackson, Patrick Ewing, Nate McMillan and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga are others in whom the team reportedly has interest as it seeks a replacement for the fired George Karl.

Experience appears to be a key for Divac as he looks at candidates, and Del Negro fits that bill. The 49-year-old is 210-184 in five seasons as an NBA head coach, split between the Bulls and the Clippers.

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