Josh Longstaff

Bucks To Hire Josh Longstaff As Assistant Coach

Josh Longstaff is nearing a deal to become an assistant with the Bucks under new head coach Mike Budenholzer, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Longstaff, who is currently head coach of the Hawks’ G League affiliate in Erie, has served as a player development coach with the Knicks and Thunder. He also took a position with the Latvian national team last summer so he could work with Kristaps Porzingis.

Longstaff is currently serving as an assistant to Jeff Van Gundy with USA Basketball.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Sixers, Hornacek, Longstaff, Knicks

Celtics guard Marcus Smart will miss two weeks after he suffered a hand laceration after he punched a picture frame in frustration. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has more information on Smart’s injury and how the 23-year-old could face discipline from the team.

Per Bulpett, Smart’s story about the incident taking place inside a Beverly Hills hotel room checks out. Smart was reportedly frustrated over a social media post of a female acquaintance, which has since been deleted.

A source tells Bulpett that it is within the organization’s right to issue a fine and/or a suspension to Smart due to the incident. However, head coach Brad Stevens downplayed the situation and said the matter will be handled “internally.”  In 46 games (10 starts) this season, Smart is averaging 10.1 PPG and 4.7 APG.

Check out other Atlantic Division news and notes below:

  • Mike Schmitz of ESPN Insider (Subscription required and recommended) writes that while the Sixers possess an impressive young core headlined by Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, their future franchise star may be 22-year-old Australian Jonah BoldenBolden was Philadelphia’s second-round pick (36th overall) in the 2017 NBA Draft; he currently suits up for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League
  • While the Knicks went 3-4 on their recent road trip, head coach Jeff Hornacek took several positives out of the stretch, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. With the trade deadline approaching, several Knicks may be on the move, but Hornacek was pleased with Lance Thomasdefense, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke‘s tenacity, and Enes Kanter‘s toughness.
  • With the deadline close, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes that the organization should learn from former president Phil Jackson‘s past mistakes. Instead of trying for a quick attempt at competing with a patchwork roster, the team should stick with its build-and-grow approach.
  • The Knicks cut ties with assistant coach Josh Longstaff (a personal favorite of Kristaps Porzingis) in the offseason and he is now finding G League success as the head coach of the Erie Bayhawks, Bondy writes in a separate story.

Knicks Part Ways With Assistant Coach Josh Longstaff

Despite the fact that the Knicks’ relationship with Kristaps Porzingis is already tenuous, the organization chose not to renew the contract of an assistant coach that he’s particularly close with, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes.

The second-year big man had bonded with Josh Longstaff through his first two years in the league, the pair even training overseas together last summer.

The Knicks didn’t specify why they decided to part ways with the 34-year-old player development specialist, one of several holdovers from Derek Fisher‘s coaching staff prior to the 2016/17 campaign, but the decision is curious. Per Bondy, the Knicks are said to be moving forward with a heavy focus on the triangle all throughout the organization.

Knicks fans have already seen their front office clash with the 7’2″ budding star this offseason. Porzingis ditched his exit meeting with the team last month to head back to his native Latvia. Just this week, team president Phil Jackson and Porzingis’ brother supposedly connected to discuss the apparently strained relationship but the sit down isn’t said to have been very effective.

All told, the move is the latest questionable one out of a front office that has spent the better part of the past year denigrating Carmelo Anthony, though a top-down effort to more seriously implement the triangle may put things in perspective.

Rumored to be a candidate to fill the vacancy is former Knick Pablo Prigioni. The 40-year-old played in Europe this season but served with the Knicks for three seasons ending in 2014/15.