Joel Abelson

Atlantic Notes: Marks, Hodges, Hollis-Jefferson

The Nets and assistant GM Bobby Marks have parted ways, as Marks confirmed via his Twitter account (hat tip to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports). It’s believed the Nets are set on cutting costs across the board and staff cuts are underway, Wojnarowski tweets. Indeed, the austerity measures have been ongoing for months and the Nets progressively reduced their player payroll throughout the season, NetsDaily’s Tom Lorenzo writes. Brooklyn is poised to pay the luxury tax for the fourth straight season, triggering repeater penalties, if it keeps Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young as GM Billy King has said the team wants to do.

The team appears ready to explore moves to reduce salary elsewhere on the roster, as Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo of wrote earlier today. The well-respected Marks, who drew praise today from agent Brian Bass (Twitter link), among others, was a Nets employee for two decades. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks interim D-League coach Craig Hodges is expected to be back with the Westchester team as an assistant coach next season, returning to the role in which he spent most of this past season under now-fired head coach Kevin Whitted, reports Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Still, there’s been no formal decision, a league source tells Johnson. Hodges, who spoke with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors this past fall, would like to come back, and the ball is in the Knicks’ court, a source tells Links (Twitter link). The name of Joel Abelson, director of basketball ops for New York’s D-League affiliate, keeps coming up as a potential head coaching candidate for the team, Johnson adds.
  • Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brazilian point guard George Lucas are among the draft prospects to whom the Nets have spoken, notes Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (Twitter link).
  • Maryland shooting guard Dez Wells has worked out for the Celtics, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Bighorns Name Abelson Head Coach

According to a team press release, the Reno Bighorns – which serve as the D-League affiliate to the Kings – have officially named Joel Abelson as their head coach. This figures into being one of the first major moves of newly appointed general manager Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Abelson, who will usher in the first season of a single affiliation partnership between the Kings and Bighorns, brings experience as head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce and had previously served as an assistant for the Idaho Stampede. Two days ago, we relayed that he had reached an agreement with the team. 


Pacific Notes: Suns, Beasley, Fredette, Kings

When Ryan McDonough was hired as the Suns' new general manager earlier this offseason, he didn't exactly have a low bar to clear, writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Coro's latest column examines the track record of McDonough's predecessor, Lance Blanks, noting that many of the players acquired by Blanks have since departed for little or no return.

Even the successful signings and acquisitions made during Blanks' tenure can often be attributed to someone else in the front office, according to Coro, who says that owner Robert Sarver was more responsible for the addition of Goran Dragic than Blanks, who wanted Raymond Felton.

Here's more on the Suns, plus a couple other links from around the Pacific Division:

  • Because the Suns didn't waive Michael Beasley on or before August 31st, the team will now pay off his $6MM salary for this season at normal intervals, but would still be able to stretch the $3MM he's owed for 2014/15, as Randy Hill of FOX Sports Arizona details.
  • Jimmer Fredette is among the "make-or-break" players highlighted by Zach Lowe in his latest piece for Grantland. Fourth-year option decisions are due on Fredette and others before the end of October, and if the Kings decide not to pick up that 2014/15 option, the 2011 lottery pick would hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
  • The Kings have agreed to hire Joel Abelson to coach their D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Abelson was the head coach of the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce last season.
  • Despite his recent off-court issues, former Clipper Lamar Odom deserves more than to be written off as an NBA player, says Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times.