Joe Mazzulla

Northwest Notes: Hyland, Beverley, Mazzulla, Thunder

The Nuggets‘ decision to part with Monte Morris and Will Barton in the trade for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope creates a larger opportunity for second-year guard Bones Hyland, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

Hyland made an immediate impact with Denver, averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 69 games and earning a second-team spot on the All-Rookie Team. His strong first season gave the front office confidence to make the deal with Washington.

“I knew what the move was,” Hyland said. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Patrick Beverley, who was shipped from the Timberwolves to the Jazz in the Rudy Gobert trade, disagrees with anyone who believes he was disrespected in Minnesota. Many observers were surprised to see the veteran guard moved after he helped to install a culture of toughness that enabled the Wolves to reach the playoffs, but Beverley is at peace with his time in Minnesota. “It took me five months to make $13MM,” said Beverley, who got that amount on a one-year extension in February. “Y’all can say they did me wrong. I say they did me right.” (video link from Pro City Hoops).
  • Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla seemed like an unusual choice to be among the finalists for the Jazz head coaching job, but he told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that it’s how Utah CEO Danny Ainge operates. Mazzulla didn’t have a role on the front of Boston’s bench before being promoted this summer, but Ainge sees potential in him. “It was definitely surprising, but I think because Danny is Danny and a creative guy in how he thinks outside the box, that made it less surprising,” Mazzulla said. “Not many people think the way he does.”
  • Travis Roach of The Oklahoman warns that the Thunder‘s desire to build a new arena doesn’t come with guaranteed economic benefits.

Eastern Notes: Martin, Beauchamp, Mazzulla, Parker, Celtics

Rookie Tyrese Martin signed a two-year contract with the Hawks over the weekend. The second-round selection out of UConn signed for the minimum of $1,017,781 and the contract is only partially guaranteed for $450K, Hoops Rumors has learned. The second year of the contract ($1,719,864) is non-guaranteed.

Martin averaged 13.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 2.2 APG in five games at the Las Vegas Summer League.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Bucks rookie MarJon Beauchamp delivered some solid Summer League performances, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes, with his 3-point shooting standing out. However, it’s not always indicative of what will happen in the regular season, he adds. Nehm also breaks down the performances of two-way players Sandro Mamukelashvili and AJ Green.
  • The Jazz hired Celtics assistant Will Hardy as their new head coach but Joe Mazzulla, another Boston assistant, was also a finalist for the position, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe notes. He’ll now have a front-of-the-bench role due to Hardy’s departure. Jazz CEO and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hired Mazzulla in 2018 out of the Division II ranks. “I just liked his presence,” Ainge said. “He just had a good way about him and how he developed players. … He just has a great way about him of pushing guys, holding them accountable, and letting them know this is a serious time.”
  • The Spurs bounced back from losing the 2013 Finals to Miami to win the championship the following season. Retired Spurs star Tony Parker told The Athletic’s Jay King that the Celtics can use their loss in this year’s Finals as a motivational tool. “For me, the way we lost in 2013, it created what happened in 2014,” Parker said. “Maybe one of the best finals in NBA history. Maybe the best Spurs basketball that we played. In 2014, the way we played, the passing game, everything, we were maybe at the highest level of my whole career. It started with a tough loss in 2013.”

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Sumner, Sims, Mazzulla

There will be quite the competition for the Raptors‘ final roster spots, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Although rookie Christian Koloko still hasn’t been signed, he seems like a safe bet to be the 13th player on a standard deal, per Lewenberg.

He does what he does very well and we probably don’t need him to do much more than that,” head coach Nick Nurse told TSN. “I love the way he runs, his feet are great, he’s blocking shots, screening OK and he’s got a pretty decent, safe pair of hands. And it’s probably a good roster fit.”

The 7’1″ center was the 33rd pick of last month’s draft. Second-year guard/forward Dalano Banton also has a good chance to be on the opening night roster, Lewenberg writes.

That leaves Justin Champagnie, D.J. Wilson, Armoni Brooks, David Johnson and Ron Harper Jr. battling it out for the final few roster spots. Toronto is expected to sign Harper to a two-way deal but he could earn a promotion if he impresses in training camp, according to Lewenberg, who notes that there’s also a chance the Raptors could waive Svi Mykhailiuk, who exercised his minimum-salary player option last month, in order to keep more than one of that group on a standard deal.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently reported that guard Edmond Sumner signed a two-year, minimum-salary deal with the Nets, and the second year is non-guaranteed. Ian Begley of SNY.tv provides more details about Sumner’s contract (via Twitter), reporting that the first years isn’tfully guaranteed either. Sumner’s 2022/23 guarantee will increase from $250K to $500K if he’s on the opening night roster, and the second season becomes fully guaranteed once the free agency moratorium lifts in 2023. That typically occurs on July 6.
  • As Fred Katz of The Athletic recently relayed, Jericho Sims‘ new contract with the Knicks is fully guaranteed at $2K above the minimum in ’22/23, the second year is at the minimum and partially guaranteed for $600K, and the final year is a team option for the minimum with a $651,180 partial guarantee. Begley reports (Twitter link) that the $600K in year two increases to $1.2MM if Sims is still on the roster by mid-July 2023, and the deal becomes fully guaranteed in mid-August ’23. The same structure applies to the third year, with the $651,180 increasing to $1.3MM in mid-July ’24 and a full guarantee in mid-August ’24.
  • Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said he will be promoting Joe Mazzulla to a role on the bench in place of Will Hardy, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Mazzulla recently interviewed for Utah’s head coaching vacancy, which ultimately went to Hardy. He also interviewed for Boston’s job last summer.

Latest On Jazz’s Head Coaching Search

The Jazz have been given the green light to talk to several well-regarded current assistant coaches about their head coaching vacancy, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Several of the names Woj and MacMahon mention had been floated as possibilities in reports earlier this week, but Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla joins an expanding list of assistant coaches under consideration by Jazz brass.

As Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets, Mazzulla worked as an assistant coach under both Brad Stevens and now Ime Udoka in Boston, and has assumed a more significant role while on Udoka’s bench this season. Mazzulla interviewed for the head coaching position with Boston in 2021 after Stevens moved into a front office role with the franchise and will get an opportunity to meet with the Jazz this spring.

Woj and MacMahon indicate that Utah is also set to interview current Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, who served on the staff of departed head coach Quin Snyder, along with former Blazers coach Terry Stotts, Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Celtics assistant Will Hardy, and Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee. These five candidates had been included on the team’s preliminary list.

Suns assistant coach Kevin Young and Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin were previously cited as possible candidates, but they weren’t mentioned in today’s ESPN report.

The other key piece of new information from Wojnarowski and MacMahon is that the coaching search is anticipated to expand further to include both assistants and recent NBA head coaches. According to ESPN’s duo, the team will cast a wide net and move gradually in its search.

In eight seasons with Snyder at the helm, Utah never advanced beyond the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. This year, the Jazz finished with a 49-33 regular season record and lost 4-2 in the first round to the Mavericks.

Jamie Young, Jay Larranaga Won’t Return As Celtics Assistants

Longtime Celtics assistant coaches Jamie Young and Jay Larranaga won’t be part of Ime Udoka‘s new staff, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Both coaches told Himmelsbach that their contracts won’t be renewed for next season.

A league source confirms the rumor that Spurs assistant Will Hardy will join Udoka in Boston, and assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is expected to be retained.

Young started with the Celtics in 2000 and became an assistant coach in 2011. He served as an advance scout and video coordinator prior to the promotion. Larranaga, who has been with the team since 2012, was the top assistant under Brad Stevens.

“The experience was incredible,” Young said. “You don’t usually get to be in one place this long in this business. It was everything anybody could’ve wished for.” (Twitter link)

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.

Eastern Notes: Lawson, Bulls, Collison, Sirvydis, Magic

The Celtics announced three additions to their coaching staff today, including the official hiring of Kara Lawson as their first-ever female assistant. A 13-year WNBA veteran and Olympic gold medal winner, she spent the past two seasons as the primary television analyst for the Wizards and covered games for ESPN Radio.

“This was a good fit,” Lawson said to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be challenged, I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be allowed to coach, and I wanted to go to an organization that was going to be playing in big games to be able to get a sense of that last frontier of coaching, which is being able to do it in pressure situations in the regular season and the playoffs.”

Also added to coach Brad Stevens’ staff were Brandon Bailey, who served as coach of the Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine the past two seasons, and Joe Mazzulla, a former assistant with the Red Claws.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • It got lost in the shuffle of this week’s free agency frenzy, but according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), there was a belief in league circles that the Bulls were the frontrunners to sign Darren Collison before the free agent point guard unexpectedly announced his retirement.
  • The Bulls have added two new assistants to head coach Jim Boylen’s staff, according to a press release from the team. Chris Fleming announced in May that he was leaving the Nets to come to Chicago, and Roy Rogers, who recently parted ways with the Rockets, officially joined the team Wednesday. In addition, Karen Stack has been elevated to assistant coach, Paul Miller was named assistant to the head coach and former intern Chris Kent is the new video coordinator.
  • Deividas Sirvydis, who was selected by the Pistons with the 37th pick in the draft, will likely spend the upcoming season in Europe, tweets international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas. Rytas Vilnius GM Rolandas Jarutis expects to have the 6’8″ shooting guard back next season unless he has an outstanding performance with Detroit’s Summer League team. Sirvydis, 19, was MVP of the EuroLeague Basketball Next Generation Tournament in 2018.
  • The Magic have probably given up on Fran Vazquez ever coming to the NBA, but there was news this week on their 2005 draft pick, whose draft rights they still retain, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. The 36-year-old re-signed with his Zaragoza team in Spain, so his cap hold will be removed from Orlando’s books for another season.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Celtics Notes: Ainge, Mazzulla, Smart

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is back to work after suffering a second heart attack, and while he’s apparently no worse for the wear, the experience seems to have reawakened him to how precious life can be and how lucky he is, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

“You just move on,” says Ainge. “I just had some chest pains and went to the hospital and, you know, had a heart attack and had a stent put in… it’s just… it’s just a wake-up call… I’m at the stage in my life where I’m attending way too many funerals, so I’m just happy to be here and excited for our upcoming season. I love my job. I love the people I work with. I love the players. They keep me young. They’re a lot of fun to be around, as you can see by the four guys we just drafted.”

Ainge says he wasn’t scared when the incident happened, but he now realizes that he needs to treat himself better moving forward.

“I’m scared enough to the point where I want to eat better and I want to be healthier, and I’m listening to my doctors a little more diligently and taking better care of myself. So, yeah, I wouldn’t say that I was unhealthy, but I would say that I didn’t do what I needed to be doing, and I should have shown from having an episode 10 years ago. So, you know, you get really motivated for six months and then you sort of feel great again. I feel great now. I feel as healthy as I’ve felt.”

Ainge also spoke on the topic of whether the stress of being the head of an NBA team’s basketball operations department factored into his health issues.

“You wonder how much of it is work and stress and those things but, you know, everybody has to manage challenges, health challenges and stress challenges. I would say that there are stressful days, but the job overall is not high stress, in my opinion. There are stressful moments, (but) coaching is much harder. I’ve done that job. But my job is more to keep people in a good frame of mind, keep people positive through the adversity of a season. And just my nature, I’m more positive and see the bright side in things, and I think that eliminates a lot of stress.”

There’s more news out of Boston tonight:

  • Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Celtics are hiring Fairmont (WV) State coach Joe Mazzulla as an assistant coach. Mazzulla, who made a strong impression with the Celtics G League staff a few years back, played for new Cavs’ head coach John Beilein at West Virginia.
  • Despite the fact that the Celtics are likely losing both point guard Kyrie Irving and big man Al Horford to free agency, incumbent guard Marcus Smart is optimistic about the team’s prospects for the 2019/20 season, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Hey, the thing is, the Raptors just won the championship, right? But they’ve got to start back over from the beginning just like we do… so everybody’s starting over, regardless if they have the same team or not, they’ve all got to start from the beginning. That’s how we take it. We take it as we come in, and we have an opportunity to do something special, and we get another chance to do it.”
  • In another story for ESPN, Bontemps adds that with free agency right around the corner, Ainge finds himself with holes at point guard and center and with a roster that features 11 players who are 25 or younger, just one season after being a team that seemed destined to compete for championships right away.