Jud Buechler

Atlantic Notes: Baynes, Trade Talks, Knicks Coaches

Aron Baynes, who is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer, has previously declared his interest in returning to the Celtics. Baynes once again reiterated that desire, but said he understands that the business side of the game may prevent a reunion, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes.

“I always want a big role. I want more of a role and I want to be able to contribute to the team more. That’s always one of those big things. That was one of the big reasons for coming here. And then how the family is. You definitely have to look out for them. And also just the living situation,” Baynes said. “Money comes into it. That’s the business side of things, but I don’t think it’s the only side of things either. So I think I showed that when I came here at the start of the season as well. I’m looking forward to it, but at the end of the day my agent is going to be doing most of the work and it’s not on me.”

Baynes signed a one-year deal with Boston last summer and produced a solid 6.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 81 games for Boston. However, with a healthy Daniel Theis expected to return and the Celtics possibly wanting to allocate his potential salary elsewhere, Baynes is not a lock to return.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:
  • The Celtics enter this summer with just one pick in the draft and no cap room. As Himmelsbach writes, that reality has the Celtics preparing for a calmer summer after a couple eventful offseasons. The team is expected to enter next season with a roster similar to the one that almost made the NBA Finals.
  • Jud Buechler, a former part of the Bulls’ 72-10 season and an assistant coach with the Lakers, has agreed to join David Fizdale‘s Knicks coaching staff, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.
  • In addition to Buechler, Keith Smart, Pat Sullivan, and Royal Ivey have all been brought in as assistant coaches, the Knicks confirmed with a press release. Their hirings were previously reported.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Larkin, Zizic, Raptors

The Knicks are in the process of filling out David Fizdale‘s new coaching staff, and are engaged in serious talks with Lakers assistant Jud Buechler about a move to New York, sources tell ESPN’s Ian Begley. Buechler, who played in the NBA for 12 seasons and won three titles with the Bulls, has worked in a player development role on Luke Walton‘s staff since 2016. He also coached the Lakers’ Summer League squad to a championship victory in Vegas last summer.

Meanwhile, the Knicks are also in advanced discussions with Clippers assistant Pat Sullivan about joining Fizdale’s staff, says Begley. A veteran assistant, Sullivan has worked for the Wizards, Pistons, and Nets, and was in Detroit at the same time that current Knicks GM Scott Perry worked in the Pistons’ front office.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said on Tuesday that there’s a chance injured guard Shane Larkin could return before the end of the Eastern Conference Finals, but Larkin is doubtful to play in Game 5 (Twitter link). Larkin, who is battling an injured shoulder, went through an individual workout on Sunday and said at the time that he felt like he was getting “pretty close,” per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. “The biggest part is just being able to protect the shoulder from another blow like that,” Larkin said. “Because another blow like that means more severe injury and surgery and all that.”
  • Despite barely spending any time under contract with the Celtics, Cavs center Ante Zizic says he felt like he was with the club for “a year or two” before being traded to Cleveland, he tells Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Zizic also spoke to Bulpett about being drafted and stashed by the C’s, and being included in last year’s Kyrie Irving blockbuster.
  • Sean Deveney of The Sporting News spoke to a league executive about the trade value of the Raptors‘ four highest-paid players, with that exec suggesting that Kyle Lowry would probably be the most appealing trade chip of the bunch.

Western Notes: Lakers, Jianlian, Singler

The Lakers have hired Jud Buechler, Brian Keefe and Theo Robertson as player development coaches, BA Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Casey Owens has also been hired as an assistant coach/advance professional scout, while Will Scott has been named a video coordinator to round out Luke Walton’s staff. Brian Shaw, Jesse Mermuys and Mark Madsen had previously been named as assistants by Walton.

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Veteran coach Del Harris believes Yi Jianlian’s second foray into the NBA will go much more smoothly than his first one, Kevin Wang of ESPN.com reports. Jianlian signed a one-year deal with the Lakers this week that could be worth as much as $8MM. Yi bounced around the league for five seasons before returning to China in 2012. Harris, who is familiar with Yi after coaching the Chinese national team, said Yi’s style of play fits Walton’s offensive scheme. “I think that is the right team for him,” Harris told Wang. “He should be able to play for them and will really fit the style Luke employed so well last year [with the Warriors].”
  • Mavs guard Deron Williams believes LeBron James solidified his legacy by winning a championship with the Cavaliers, he said in an NBC Radio interview that was excerpted by the Dallas Morning News. James formed a “super team” with the Heat but proved he could win it all with an arguable lesser cast, according to Williams. “He went back to a team that won – what? – 20 games before he got there, and took them to the Finals, and now they won a championship,” Williams said. “And if you take him off that team, I don’t know where they’d be, they’d still be a good team, but they wouldn’t be competing for a championship.”
  • Thunder small forward Kyle Singler is preparing himself for a much larger role in the wake of Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Warriors, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. Singler got in the gym right after the season and worked out with the summer league team, Horne continues. “When I was trying to think about how I want to maximize my summer, my first thing I wanted to do was play as much basketball as possible,” Singler told Horne. Oklahoma City doesn’t have another small forward with Singler’s combination of size, length and shooting ability, making him a prime candidate to receive the bulk of Durant’s minutes, Horne adds.