Jim Moran

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.

Central Notes: Turner, Pacers, Moran, Pistons

The Pacers have talked about a deal that could send center Myles Turner to the Warriors, Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer said in a recent podcast with Chris Vernon (h/t BasketballNews.com).

The Warriors possess two lottery picks in this Thursday’s 2021 NBA draft, the No. 7 and No. 14 selections. A mobile, defensive-oriented center who can guard multiple positions and is a career 35.2% shooter from deep, Turner could be an excellent fit in Golden State. The 25-year-old big man averaged 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 3.4 BPG across 47 games during the 2020/21 season.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will be holding their eighth pre-draft workout on Monday, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. The Pacers have the No. 13 pick in the upcoming draft. The players set to partake are Marcus Burk of IUPUI, Trevion Crews of Bethel College, Kyle Mangas of Indiana Wesleyan, Matt Mitchell of San Diego State, Jordan Schakel of San Diego State, and Aaron Wiggins of Maryland.
  • The Pistons intend to hire former Trail Blazers assistant Jim Moran to Dwane Casey‘s coaching staff for the 2021/22 season, tweets James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Moran served under former Portland head coach Terry Stotts from 2015/16 through this past season.
  • Beyond the top selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Pistons also have three second-round picks. In a recent column, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines some options for Detroit while conducting a mock draft.

Western Notes: Russell, Suns, Beverley, Kings, Rivers, Blazers

The Timberwolves, led by D’Angelo Russell‘s close friend Karl-Anthony Towns, were confident about their ability to get a commitment from Russell in free agency and went into their Sunday meeting with him ready to make the trades necessary to make a deal work, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota was just waiting for the green light from D-Lo to move forward on those trades, but the All-Star point guard instead opted to join the Warriors.

The Suns were viewed as a team that might try to get into the mix for Russell, who has another good friend – Devin Booker – in Phoenix. However, despite Booker’s campaign, Phoenix chose not to pursue the RFA guard, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. According to Rankin, the Suns “apparently felt Russell wouldn’t have been a good influence on Booker off the court.”

The Warriors, with their veteran leaders, apparently had no such qualms about D-Lo, who – by all accounts – matured considerably during his time in Brooklyn.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After agreeing to sign a three-year, $40MM deal with the Clippers, Patrick Beverley tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times that he turned down a more lucrative offer from the Kings to return to L.A. “I got a bigger offer from Sacramento and I took $9-10 million less to come here,” Beverley said. “… It was the right decision. Of course, the human part of you wants to take as much money as you see, but all money isn’t good money. I did what was best for me and my family and I did what was best to stay on a winning team, and I feel like I made the right decision.”
  • Despite Beverley’s comments, Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link) hears that the Kings offered the veteran guard a guaranteed total of $35MM over three years, with a partial guarantee in year three. Theoretically, it’s possible that Beverley’s claim could still be accurate if that third-year partial guarantee was very small and he’s including the non-guaranteed money as part of Sacramento’s bid.
  • Before he agreed to return to the Rockets for the veteran’s minimum, Austin Rivers had offers in the range of the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “Now that the league is wide open, I just saw an opportunity,” Rivers said. “You can’t really put a price on happiness. The goal was to come back to Houston all along. I think we have the team to beat.”
  • The Trail Blazers have announced Terry Stotts‘ coaching staff for the upcoming season, with Nate Tibbetts replacing David Vanterpool as the team’s associate head coach. Portland has also promoted Jim Moran to the front of the bench and hired former NBA guard Jannero Pargo as an assistant.

Northwest Notes: Gallinari, Davis, Thunder

The Grizzlies looked into trading for Danilo Gallinari around the trade deadline this past season, several league sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe, advancing a report from June indicating that Memphis was pursuing the combo forward as the draft approached. The Nuggets instead held on to him, even though they “absolutely could have” scored first-round picks for Gallinari or Wilson Chandler, Lowe writes, citing league sources. Both signed renegotiations-and-extensions this summer with Denver, a place Gallinari loves, according to Lowe, making him a relative rarity among top-level players and extra valuable to the Nuggets, who aren’t eligible to trade him until February even if they so desired because of the terms of his new deal.

The Kroenke family, which owns the team, has never wanted to strip down the roster, Lowe adds as he examines a Nuggets team stuck far from contention but too talented to bottom out. See more from the Northwest Division:

  • Ed Davis received the second most lucrative deal that the Blazers handed out this summer, at $20MM spread over three years, and while the former 13th overall pick is anxious to become a full-time starter for the first time since entering the league in 2010, it not a given that will happen this season, as The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman examines.
  • Susan Bible of Basketball Insiders, writing in the site’s preview of the Thunder‘s season, likes what extension candidate Dion Waiters and Oklahoma City’s new coaching staff can contribute to the team as it approaches a pivotal year ahead.
  • Thunder director of strategic planning Jason Ranne is headed back to the Wasserman Media Group, which used to employ him, for an executive position within the agency, as Wasserman announced and as Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal details.
  • The Blazers have promoted associate video coordinator Jim Moran to assistant coach, the team announced.
  • See the details on Anthony Bennett‘s buyout deal with the Timberwolves right here, and check out the news on the teams in the running for the former No. 1 overall pick, including the Blazers, in this post.

Western Notes: Aldridge, Chandler, Booker

Blazers executive Neil Olshey said the team found out LaMarcus Aldridge was signing with the Spurs after his second meeting with San Antonio on July 3rd, Mike Tokito of The Oregonian writes. Olshey also took offense to the suggestion that he and the Blazers were trying to hide Aldridge’s pending departure from fans and the media, calling it “patently false,” Tokito adds. “More than anything, what was the upside to lying? What? What did we buy? Five days of peace? I can guarantee you there was no peace,” Olshey said. “What was our motivation to lie for 96 hours? It wasn’t like there was some big season ticket holder push during that 96 hours. There wasn’t some sponsorship that was up, it wasn’t that we were recruiting some other free agents that were only going to come if LaMarcus was going to be here.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • Olshey also fielded questions regarding whether or not the team considered trading Aldridge last season, Tokito tweets. The GM relayed that it would have been extremely difficult to trade Aldridge in final year of his contract, and that teams wouldn’t be willing to deal for the forward without knowing if he’d re-sign with them, Tokito adds.
  • The Mavericks have expressed interest in former Wizards big man Kevin Seraphin, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops reports (Twitter link).
  • The Suns are thrilled with their signing of center Tyson Chandler to a free agent deal, Matt Petersen of NBA.com writes. “The first thing I think of when I think of Tyson Chandler is a winner and winning,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “His teams in New York won a lot. His teams in Dallas won a lot, including a championship. The World Championship [with USA Basketball] in Istanbul when I was there five years ago won the gold. He’s always won everywhere he’s gone.”
  • The Blazers have promoted Jim Moran to assistant coach to replace the recently fired Kim Hughes, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian tweets.
  • The Jazz are likely to keep Trevor Booker on the roster for next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune relays (on Twitter). Only $250k of the $4,775,000 Booker is set to earn in 2015/16 is guaranteed.