Jerome Allen

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Hayes, Coaching Staff

Figuring out how to maximize the backcourt of lottery picks Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham may be most important element of Cunningham’s integration into the league, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. That process will start in training camp and Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is known for preferring multiple ballhandlers on the court. Cunningham’s versatility makes it both easier and more challenging to find the right balance between the two young backcourt partners, Langlois adds.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • The team has officially named Rex Kalamian, Jerome Allen, Jim Moran and Bill Bayno as assistant coaches, and Andrew Jones as a player development coach in a press release. The news that the club was hiring Kalamian, Allen and Bayno was reported in June. Allen was on Brad Stevens’ Celtics staff, while Bayno had been on Indiana’s staff. Kalamian worked the Kings last season. A report surfaced in July that Moran, a former Portland assistant, would be joining Casey’s staff. Jordan Brink and Austin Dufault have been promoted to player development coaches, the release adds.
  • Hayes may not be a legitimate building block, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic opines in a Q&A session with colleague James Edwards III. His struggles to gain separation make it very difficult for him to create anything as a lead guard and he’s always been turnover-prone, according to Vecenie, though it would unfair to give up on him too quickly. Vecenie does believe the club is being built the right way, though it needs a couple more elite players to be a true contender.
  • In case you missed it, there’s been speculation that second-round rookie Luka Garza, who has signed a two-way deal, could be promoted to a standard contract. Get the details here.

Pistons Adding Three Assistants To Dwane Casey’s Staff

The Pistons are finalizing deals to add three new assistant coaches to Dwane Casey‘s staff, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Detroit is expected to hire Jerome Allen, Bill Bayno, and Rex Kalamian.

Allen, who recently interviewed for the Celtics’ head coaching job and has been linked to the Trail Blazers’ vacancy as well, has been an assistant on Brad Stevens‘ staff in Boston since 2015, but appears set for a change of scenery.

Bayno, who previously worked on Casey’s staff in Toronto, was a Pacers assistant from 2016-21 before resigning due to mental health issues earlier this year. Kalamian was also a Raptors assistant under Casey until 2018. He joined the Clippers for two years, then the Kings for the 2020/21 season.

A recent report suggested that Pistons assistant Micah Nori may leave Detroit for a job with the Timberwolves, so it seems safe to assume Casey’s staff will look much different in 2021/22 than it did this past season.

At least one familiar face is expected to be back, however. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Detroit is currently negotiating a new contract with assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who has been on the staff since 2018.

Outside Names Emerge In Celtics’ Coaching Search

New Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has begun reaching out to other organizations for permission to interview coaching candidates, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojanarowski.

The early group of candidates will likely be expansive, according to Woj. A few names he has heard from sources include Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley, and Nets assistant Ime Udoka.

Billups and Udoka have been mentioned before in relation to Boston, but the other three names are new. Ham, who played 12 NBA seasons, has been an assistant coach for the past decade, starting with the Lakers and then working under Mike Budenholzer in both Atlanta and Milwaukee. Lee is also a former NBA player with seven years as an assistant, all under Budenholzer. Mosley started his coaching career with the Nuggets in 2005 and has been with Dallas since 2014.

Stevens, who is in the unusual position of hiring his own replacement, recently completed interviews with several assistants who were on his staff this season. Prominent names in that group include Jay Larranaga, Scott Morrison, Jerome Allen, and Joe Mazzulla.

Follow the developments on all the coaching vacancies throughout the league with our Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Pistons Notes: Joseph, Draft, Beilein, J. Allen

The Pistons‘ luck in the draft lottery could determine whether Cory Joseph returns next season, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. If Detroit takes Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs, the front office may decide it has too many point guards on the roster to keep Joseph. He has a $2.4MM guarantee on his $12.6MM contract for next season that kicks in if he’s still on the roster August 1.

Joseph will turn 30 in August and he slipped into a veteran mentor’s role after being acquired from the Kings at the trade deadline. He put up career-best numbers in 19 games with the Pistons, averaging 12.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night, and Beard believes the chances are “a little above 50-50” that the team will keep him.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Former G League Ignite star Jalen Green might be the best option for the Pistons in the draft if they don’t land the top pick, Beard adds in the same piece. He sees Suggs as similar to incumbent point guard Killian Hayes — a good lead guard but not an exceptional shooter. Cunningham’s mix of both skills makes him the ideal choice, Beard states.
  • The Pistons hired former Cavaliers head coach John Beilein as a senior advisor last week to oversee the team’s six development coaches and ensure a consistent message throughout the organization, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. With 11 players age 24 or younger, Detroit is counting on individual improvement as the most likely way to become a contender again.
  • Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen met today with the Pistons about an offer to join Dwane Casey’s staff, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Allen reportedly interviewed for the head coaching job in Boston and may get an interview in Portland as well.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Simmons, Celtics, Lowry

Joel Embiid has been listed as questionable for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Sixers center will undergo further treatment and workouts before his status is determined for the Sunday afternoon game, Charania adds.

Embiid hasn’t played since suffering a small meniscus tear in his right knee on Monday. He is considered day to day, and his availability will depend on how the knee responds.

Embiid was limited to individual workouts during practices today and Friday, according to Ky Carlin of USA Today’s Sixers Wire. Embiid didn’t join his teammates for any live-ball activities at either session.

“The same,” coach Doc Rivers said when asked for an update on Embiid’s condition. “He did a little bit on the floor, no live, I can say that today. Just he did what he could do.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The uncertainty surrounding Embiid gives Ben Simmons a chance to cement his legacy with the Sixers, writes Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons helped close out the Wizards with a triple-double in Game 5, but the Hawks should be a more difficult challenge. Hayes points out that Rivers and first-year president of basketball operations Daryl Morey inherited Simmons from the previous regime and may not hesitate to move on from him if they don’t believe he can help them win a title.
  • Celtics assistant Scott Morrison will interview for the team’s head coaching vacancy, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The 43-year-old Morrison earned G League Coach of the Year honors in 2015 with the Maine Red Claws and has been part of Brad Stevens’ staff since 2017. Fellow Boston assistant Jerome Allen, who has also been confirmed for an interview with the Celtics, will interview for the Trail Blazers’ head coaching spot as well, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • The Raptors will have plenty of competition for Kyle Lowry in free agency this summer, with the Lakers, Heat, Knicks and Sixers all expected to pursue him, writes Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star. He notes that Lowry said, “Money talks, and years talk” in his postseason press conference, indicating the veteran point guard will be looking for a multiyear offer.

Celtics Notes: Allen, Stevens, Lawson/Hammon, Ainge

Current Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen will interview for the vacancy left by Brad Stevens when the latter opted to step into a front office role with Boston, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Allen has been an assistant on Stevens’ staff for the last six seasons. Stevens will be leading the search for his replacement.

Pompey notes that Allen had an opportunity to become an assistant coach with the Mavericks during the 2020 offseason, but opted to remain in Boston, hoping to one day become the next Celtics head coach.

“For six years, I either sat behind [Stevens] or next to him and watched him not only work, I watched him prepare,” Allen said. “I watched him show-in to other people. Watched how he operated.”

Pompey writes that Allen has developed strong relationships with current Celtics Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams, and Marcus Smart. Before transitioning to the NBA, Allen was previously the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania.

There’s more out of Boston:

  • In a new piece, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe details how Brad Stevens emerged as the replacement for departing Celtics team president Danny Ainge. Ainge officially informed Celtics ownership of his intentions after the March 2021 trade deadline. Upon hearing this, owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca approached then-head coach Stevens about transitioning into the team president role.
  • There are several viable female candidates who could become the Celtics’ next head coach, writes Steve Buckley of The Athletic. Buckley examines the potential fits of former Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson, as well as longtime Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon.
  • Outgoing Celtics team president Ainge has outfitted the team with plenty of promising players, but new president Stevens will need to make some key adjustments to bring Boston back to title contention, writes Jay King of The Athletic“These last two years have been tough,” Ainge acknowledged. “In the [2020 NBA restart] bubble and all the rules and scrutiny and protocols that we had to go through has not made the job as much fun.” King notes that the 62-year-old Ainge may yet join another team’s front office in some capacity. Ainge drafted current Boston All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but Stevens will need to figure out how to navigate his way around the league’s luxury tax while improving the roster around the Celtics’ two best players, writes King.

Celtics Will Start Coaching Search With Internal Interviews

The first step in the Celtics‘ search for a new head coach to replace Brad Stevens will begin with several internal candidates, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Chris Mannix of SI.com suggested as much earlier today.

Boston’s head coaching position opened up this morning when Danny Ainge resigned as president of basketball operations and Stevens was chosen to replace him.

Weiss notes that Stevens’ staff has several strong candidates. Jay Larranaga interviewed for the Hornets’ head coaching spot before James Borrego was hired, and Scott Morrison and Brandon Bailey both coached at the team’s G League affiliate in Maine. Jerome Allen is a former NBA player with college head coaching experience at the University of Pennsylvania, while Jamie Young has been with the team since 2008.

Among external candidates, the most interesting name is Kara Lawson, who would become the first female NBA head coach if she gets the job. Lawson spent a year as an assistant in Boston before leaving in 2020 to become head coach of the women’s team at Duke. Others to watch, sources tell Weiss, include former Celtics players Sam Cassell, currently an assistant with the Sixers, and Chauncey Billups, who is on the Clippers‘ staff.

Weiss also expects interest in former Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, Timberwolves assistant David Vanterpool, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Nets assistant Ime Udoka, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee. According to Weiss, another potential outsider is Juwan Howard if he’s willing to leave Michigan.

Celtics Rumors: Kemba, Fournier, Coaching Search, Ainge, Stevens, More

As he transitions from the sidelines to the front office, new Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will have some immediate decisions to make on the roster this offseason as he considers how to improve a group that finished seventh in the East in 2020/21.

Trading Kemba Walker is one path the Celtics figure to consider this summer, but the point guard still has two years and nearly $74MM left on his contract and his value is down after an injury-plagued season. While Walker is viewed as a player capable of having a strong comeback season, he’s not considered a positive asset at this point, given his injury history and contract situation, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps and Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

“They’ve been trying to move Kemba Walker for a year now and no one is touching that,” one NBA executive told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “Their best bet would be to move (Marcus) Smart, but I don’t know what his market is. They could trade (Jaylen) Brown to try to fill a different position, but that would be a bad move.”

Evan Fournier‘s unrestricted free agency is another issue looming over the Celtics. One league executive who spoke to Scotto estimated that the veteran wing will be seeking a deal worth $15-20MM annually, though another predicted a cool market for Fournier.

“The issue will be what teams with room are going to target him?” that exec asked. “San Antonio might, but if not, who else will give him north of $10 million? If Fournier can be kept at a price around the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, I think Boston would re-sign him.”

Here are several more Celtics rumors and updates on an eventful day in Boston:

  • The Celtics’ head coaching search will likely start with internal candidates before they move outside the organization, sources tell Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). Current assistant Jerome Allen is one in-house candidate likely to get an interview, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Mannix (via Twitter) adds Nets assistant Ime Udoka to the list of probable external candidates for the Celtics’ head coaching job, while Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) says Chauncey Billups will likely receive consideration as well.
  • Asked today whether he intends to retire or seek another job, Danny Ainge was noncommittal, telling reporters that he’s not sure what his future holds and he’s focused for now on getting his successor Stevens up to speed (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN).
  • Jared Weiss of The Athletic hears that in-season comments by Ainge and team owner Wyc Grousbeck about the Celtics’ shortcomings may have contributed to the club’s chemistry issues. Ainge said in February that he didn’t view the roster as championship-caliber and echoed that point multiple times later in the season.
  • One prominent member of the Celtics organization wanted to fire Stevens as the team’s head coach during the 2020/21 season, but Ainge and others in the organization were against that idea, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
  • Speaking to reporters following the Celtics’ elimination from the postseason, Jayson Tatum said he doesn’t feel the need to get involved in the front office’s personnel decisions, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston takes a look at five key roster-related questions facing the Celtics this offseason.

Atlantic Notes: Fizdale, Thomas, Redick, Stevens

The Knicks have started their preseason on a high note, winning each of their three games under new head coach David Fizdale. Fizdale is known for his high energy, positive attitude and veteran mindset, with each of these habits quickly rubbing off on some of his players.

“Absolutely, heck yeah. I want to win everything,’’ Fizdale said after team’s victory over the Pelicans on Friday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I want to win every game. These guys are building habits right now. And winning is a habit. Anytime we step on the court, if they decide to play checkers together, pool, ping-pong, I want them competing to win. We have to get that really rooted deeply into who we are.’’

Fizdale is well-respected across the league and has two NBA titles under his belt as an assistant with Miami. The Knicks hired him this past offseason as head coach, and he’s quickly made his mark on changing the overall culture of the organization.

Fizdale’s decision to bring in Hall of Famers Walt Frazier and Patrick Ewing to discuss what it means to play for the Knicks was praised this week, with the second-year head coach now focused on getting his team ready for the regular season.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Lance Thomas is working hard to maintain his status as the Knicks’ starting power forward, Berman writes in a separate story. “Lance is just … man is he a good leader,’’ Fizdale said. “He’s just a really good leader. Those guys respect him big time. When he speaks, the gym shuts down and everybody listens.”
  • J.J. Redick has provided some much-needed firepower off the bench for the Sixers, as detailed by NBA.com’s Brian Seltzer. Redick shot a perfect 10-of-10 against the Mavericks on Friday.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered strong words of support for assistant Jerome Allen this week, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports. Allen pled guilty to accepting a $18K bribe from the parent of a prospective recruit when he coached for Pennsylvania in 2014.

Celtics Assistant Allen Faces Suspension

Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen faces a suspension after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to accepting an $18K bribe when he was Penn’s head coach in 2014, according to an ESPN report.

Allen has been on Brad Stevens’ staff since 2015, months after he was fired by Penn. He will likely retain his current job but receive punishment for his actions, the story continues. The suspension will likely be in the two-week range, according to a Boston Herald report. The plea agreement requires him to repay the $18K in addition to a $200K fine.

Allen accepted the bribe from the father of a prospective student in order to get the teenager admitted to the university as a listed recruit.

Allen issued a statement on Friday which read in part, “I am heartbroken that my players — current and former — will know that I broke the law. But, I do hope that some good may come out of this I wish to model to my young players how one accepts responsibility for wrongdoing, including the consequences that come from unlawful behavior.”

Allen coached the Quakers for five-plus seasons and failed to win more than nine games in any of his last three seasons.