Joe Wolf

Southeast Notes: Iguodala, Beal, Magic, Hornets

Andre Iguodala turned 36 years old in January, but that didn’t stop him and the Heat from agreeing to a contract extension when he was dealt to Miami at the February trade deadline. Speaking to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, Iguodala said that the new deal, which provides a $15MM guarantee for 2020/21 and a $15MM team option for ’21/22, was something both sides pushed for at the time of the trade.

“Both sides knew the window we have — my window and the team’s window,” the Heat forward said. “We all know about when teams want cap space. It’s hard to get acclimated with a group of guys in two months. The locker room is a special place. I wanted to be somewhere where I could grow with the guys, a lot of the young talent that I have a good impression of, help them grow, especially Bam (Adebayo), Kendrick Nunn, Tyler (Herro) and Duncan (Robinson). I didn’t want it to be a two-, three-month thing.”

As Jackson points out, the Heat hadn’t expected to be a major player on the 2020 free agent market, so adding $15MM for Iguodala to next season’s books shouldn’t hurt the team. And in the 2021 offseason, the $15MM team option can be turned down with no penalty if the club needs to create cap room.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • General manager Tommy Sheppard said this week that the Wizards will be “very protective” of star guard Bradley Beal during the NBA’s restart, but there’s no indication Beal won’t play as the team pushes for the final playoff spot in the East, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford still isn’t committing one way or the other on whether Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu will be available this summer, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Asked today about the two injured forwards, Clifford replied, “They’re both in here working every day. … I just think it’s really early to try to make an intelligent decision on anything like that.”
  • Joe Wolf, who has been the head coach of the Hornets‘ G League affiliate for the last two seasons, won’t have his contract with the Greensboro Swarm extended, the club announced today in a press release.

Southeast Notes: Borrego, Swarm, Howard, Rivers

New coach James Borrego will emphasize ball movement in an effort to improve a Hornets team that ranked 24th in assists last season, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The former Spurs assistant wants players to make quick decisions with the ball and not let the offense slow down, which led to the trade of Dwight Howard this summer.

“When the ball is just being pounded and one guy has it in his hands for five or six seconds – when we’re just seeing him dance with the ball – the rest of the defense just gets to relax and load up,” Borrego said. “You’re not going to be perfect all the time, but let’s put pressure on the defense constantly. … We demanded it in San Antonio. My job is to sell that to the players to do what’s best for the team.”

Faced with a roster that was hard to revamp because of so many large contracts, new GM Mitch Kupchak hired Borrego to bring a fresh approach to the team, which will include playing at a faster pace. Former Spurs point guard Tony Parker was signed to help implement Borrego’s philosophy on the court, and Nicolas Batum will have a larger role in running the offense while moving from the backcourt to small forward.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets‘ G League affiliate in Greensboro has hired Joe Wolf as its new coach, the team announced on its website. A former assistant with the Nets and Bucks, Wolf comes to the Swarm after serving as an assistant at UNC Wilmington.
  • A pair of Wizards top the list of the list of the most underrated offseason acquisitions compiled by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Howard occupies the No. 1 spot, signing a two-year deal in Washington after being traded by the Hornets and bought out by the Nets. He provides a huge defensive upgrade from Marcin Gortat, O’Connor notes, and could develop into an effective pick-and-roll partner with John Wall. Austin Rivers, who was acquired from the Clippers in the Gortat deal, ranks second on the list and should provide backcourt depth the Wizards have needed behind Wall and Bradley Beal.
  • Wizards rookie Troy Brown has signed a multi-year shoe deal with Nike, tweets Nick DePaula of ESPN.

Southeast Notes: Ross, Hawks, Wolf, Maten

Magic guard Terrence Ross is about to enter the final season of a three-year, $31.5MM rookie contract extension that he signed in November, 2015. And according to Dan Savage of, Ross, 27, is intent on improving upon an injury-riddled 2017/18 season that limited him to 24 games.

“It’s always a big year any time your contract is coming to an end,” Ross explained. “You just want to go out there know that you’re 100 percent and play as well as you can, play with confidence and more importantly, help the (Magic) win.”

Regardless of his motivation, both Magic High Performance Director David Tenney and new head coach Steve Clifford appear to be satisfied with what they’re seeing out of Ross so far this offseason.

“He’s done a consistent amount of work this entire offseason, not just with (the Magic), but with his personal trainers as well,” said Tenney. “The consistency of doing stuff multiple times per week, coming here at night and doing stuff on his own, the consistent workload from the beginning of June until now, is really starting to pay off and you can see that he’s really looked a lot sharper.”

According to Savage, Ross’ conditioning and strength-training efforts are paying off on the court. In a recent pick-up game with Magic teammates and other NBA players, Ross knocked down six consecutive shots from various parts of the floor.

“Every day – he’s (even) come in on a couple of Saturdays,” Clifford said. “He’s really committed himself. I think his conditioning level is good, but his game is getting into rhythm, you can see it when he works out and you can see it when they (he and his Magic teammates) play.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat power forward Yante Maten is excited to show people what he can do after signing a two-way contract with Miami this summer, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. The 2018 SEC Player of the Year believes his ability to stretch the floor and play hard on both sides of the court will help find him success in the NBA.
  • The Hornets plan to name Joe Wolf as the new head coach of their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, per a report from Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. A University of North Carolina alum, Wolf spent last season serving as an assistant coach for UNC Wilmington after spending multiple years as a coach in the G League beforehand.
  • The Hawks have announced a 20-year collaboration with State Farm that includes naming rights for the Hawks’ newly-renovated arena. Per principal owner Tony Ressler, Our ownership group considers the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club a community asset, and we are excited to have found a partner that shares our vision and has committed to working with us to expand on the community engagement and philanthropic initiatives we do that benefit the many communities that make up this great metropolitan area.”

New York Notes: Anthony, Porzingis, McCullough

As the Knicks slide further out of the playoff race, speculation is growing that Carmelo Anthony may start looking elsewhere, writes Ian Begley of Anthony met recently with team president Phil Jackson to discuss where the franchise is headed. The 31-year-old combo forward declined to offer many details of the get-together, but with the 28-41 Knicks about to miss the postseason for the third straight year, it’s clear that Anthony wants to see major changes this summer. “It’s in their court. The ball is in their court,” Anthony said of New York’s front office. “They have an opportunity, we have an opportunity to do something this offseason. We gotta do something. It’s there.” Begley says many in the organization are concerned that Anthony will consider waiving his no-trade clause if the team fails to make a splash in free agency.

There’s more tonight out of New York:

  • Kristaps Porzingis needs to overcome the “rookie wall” and finish the season strong to boost the Knicks‘ case in free agency, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman believes New York’s pitch to free agents is going to focus on the chance to play with Anthony and the 7’3″ Porzingis, who was an early-season front-runner for Rookie of the Year. However, the Latvian big man has regressed noticeably as the season has worn on. He posted 18 double-doubles before Kurt Rambis replaced Derek Fisher as head coach in February, but he hasn’t had any since. “I don’t want to finish the season with regret and then have five months of offseason work,” Porzingis said. “I want to give my all. When the offseason starts, I’ll put in more work and prepare myself for next season.’’
  • The Nets have only seen brief flashes of Chris McCullough‘s talent because of a minutes restriction, but so far they’re encouraged, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The Syracuse freshman was considered a possible lottery pick last year before tearing his right ACL. The Nets scooped him up at No. 29, knowing he would need to time to heal. “In the short amount of time he’s been playing, I think he’s had more success on the defensive end of the floor,” said interim Nets coach Tony Brown. “And offensively it’s just time. He needs to get experience.’’
  • Nets assistant coach Joe Wolf is “keenly interested” in becoming the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

Nets Notes: Free Agents, Brown, Wolf, Zanin

Thaddeus Young said he and Brook Lopez have already begun trying to recruit free agents to the Nets, hinting that they’re trying to get in the ear of some superstars, notes Andy Vasquez of The Record (Twitter link). It figures to be a tough sell, given Brooklyn’s poor on-court performance this season and lack of a 2016 first-round pick. The team was reportedly eyeing DeMar DeRozan and Nicolas Batum, both of whom appear in line for max deals, though those reports emerged before the Nets reassigned former GM Billy King. Young could also try to convince John Calipari to come to Brooklyn, since the power forward has a relationship with the college coach who made a strong push to recruit him before he went to Georgia Tech instead, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), though it’s unclear if Young will indeed make such an effort. Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Owner Mikhail Prokhorov doesn’t see the Nets as being that far away from the top, touting Lopez, Young and the team’s developing players and saying “we need one or two players to make a championship contender” in a televised interview with YES Network’s Sarah Kustok (transcription via NetsDaily).
  • Prokhorov wants interim coach Tony Brown to “find out what we have,” Brown said to reporters, indicating that the young players will get plenty of chances to play, Vasquez tweets.
  • Assistant Joe Wolf will serve as Brown’s primary aide, notes Mike Mazzeo of
  • Nets assistant GM Frank Zanin is a quiet type with close ties to King and was a strong advocate for acquiring the rights to draft-and-stash prospect Juan Vaulet, as NetsDaily writes in a profile of the man who’s in charge of the front office while the team searches for King’s replacement.
  • TNT’s David Aldridge, writing in his Morning Tip column for, wouldn’t be surprised if King recommends former Cavs and Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who was King’s teammate at Duke, for the GM job with the Nets. King will reportedly have input on his successor, though Prokhorov downplayed the idea.

And-Ones: Union, Douglas, Nets, Moreland

The contracts for six NBA players will become fully guaranteed if their teams don’t waive them by the end of Friday, and two more players will earn partial guarantees if they avoid getting cut. Draymond Green and Khris Middleton almost certainly won’t be cast aside between now and that deadline, but for the rest, the summer temperatures won’t be the only reason to sweat out the next few days. Here’s more from the NBA:

  • Players association VP Roger Mason Jr. insists that union leadership addressed concerns from membership regarding the hiring process for a new executive director and the departure of search committee leader Kevin Johnson, as Mason tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling. Discord had marked the union’s Monday meeting in which Michele Roberts handily won a vote to fill the executive director vacancy.
  • The Bulls had been targeting free agent Toney Douglas, but they’ve abandoned their pursuit after signing Aaron Brooks, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Former NBA head coach Paul Westphal highlights the assistant coaching hires that the Nets officially announced today. Brooklyn also brought on Joe Wolf, Jay Humphries and Mavs assistant Tony Brown. John Welch and Jim Sann are the only holdovers from last season.
  • The Warriors and Knicks were interested in undrafted forward/center Eric Moreland, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. Charania reported Tuesday that Moreland had agreed to join the Kings instead.
  • The Hawks invited summer league guard Stephen Holt to fall training camp, but he instead signed a deal with a German team, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.