Keyon Dooling

And-Ones: Hinkie, Mental Health Program, RFAs, Wear

Sam Hinkie, who is often credited for the current success of the Sixers, has reportedly landed a consultation role with the Denver Broncos of the National Football League, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (subscription required). Hinkie served as the Sixers’ general manager from 2013 until 2016 when he stepped down from the role.

Hinkie is viewed as a pioneer for analytics use in the NBA and using data to build a team. The 40-year-old was at the helm for several poor seasons for Philadelphia but his strategy helped the organization stockpile several top picks, which led to a rejuvenation, culminating this season with a 52-30 regular season. Hinkie previously was the youngest vice president in NBA history when he landed the title with the Rockets in 2007.

In his role with the Broncos, Hinkie will be an analytics consultant that helps with the team’s strategy for years to come. Jhabvala examines all of the top Broncos personnel Hinkie met with and their expectations from his respected acumen.

Check out more news and notes from around the basketball world:

  • The National Basketball Players Association announced a new Mental Health and Wellness program on Friday. The program will be available to all NBPA members to assist with any mental health issues. Former NBA player Keyon Dooling, who has served as a mental health counselor since January, will oversee the program.“I am thrilled to be a part of this new program within the NBPA,” Dooling said in a statement. “I look forward to serving the needs of our players and to continue normalizing the conversation around mental health in the NBA.”
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders looks at which upcoming restricted free agents will be impacted this summer due to the NBA’s salary cap situation. Rodney Hood, Marcus Smart, and Julius Randle are among the players who could be affected, in Greene’s view.
  • Former Kings player David Wear has signed with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League (via Sportando). Wear appeared in two games with the 2014/15 Kings team. He is the twin brother of Travis Wear, who played for the Lakers this season.

Pacific Notes: Jones, Russell, Chalmers, Grizzlies

Tyus Jones has already played in more games since the All-Star break than he played before it, as the Timberwolves have decided it’s time to let last year’s 24th overall pick learn on the court. Ricky Rubio, a subject of deadline trade talk whom Jones is trying to eventually replace as Minnesota’s starting point guard, sees “great things” ahead for the rookie, observes Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.

“He can really score the ball. I think he’€™s learning how to control, and play in this league,” Rubio said. “€œIt’€™s not like college. He’s learning how to play and he’s not afraid. That’€™s one of the main things you ask of a rookie. Don’€™t be afraid.™”€™

See more from the Western Conference:

  • Much consternation has surrounded the limited playing time Lakers coach Byron Scott has given No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell this season, but the combo guard is seeing 31.4 minutes per game since the All-Star break compared to 27.1 minutes per game before it, and he’s upbeat about the future, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “€œIt’€™s all about the opportunity,” Russell said. “€œEverybody has a different route toward reaching their potential. Some people bloom early and some people bloom late. If I’€™m a late bloomer and I’€™m around this league for a long time, I would prefer that.”€
  • Mario Chalmers was popular within the Grizzlies organization, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal, who believes his early-season acquisition was a plus for the team, writes in his Pick-and-Pop column. Chalmers cleared waivers after tearing his Achilles tendon last week.
  • The Grizzlies have filled gaps in their roster with such wizened veterans as Gilbert Arenas, Jason Williams and Keyon Dooling in past years, so the recent signings of Ray McCallum, Alex Stepheson and Briante Weber represent a shrewd pivot toward finding stopgaps with potential future value, Herrington argues in the same piece.

And-Ones: Fisher, Vaulet, Rasheed, Huestis

Derek Fisher admits to feeling more comfort as a coach this season, though Knicks team president Phil Jackson hasn’t been working more closely with Fisher, as Jackson said before the season that he would. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has the details.

“Maybe a couple times earlier in training camp, we had some kind of sat down and talked about some things visually at the same time. So far, it’s our typical mornings-after-the-game conversations or email exchanges,” Fisher said. “Sometimes before practice we’ll visit for a few minutes. But not really any hardcore film sessions together. Although when those opportunities do present themselves, I’ll definitely be happy to participate.”

The Knicks are 6-6, a significant improvement on last season’s 17-65 mark, though Fisher cautions that .500 isn’t the team’s goal. See more from around the NBA:

  • Draft-and-stash prospect Juan Vaulet is pleased that the Nets own his NBA rights, citing the way team doctors cared for the stress fracture in his leg, as he said in an interview with ESPN Argentina earlier this month (YouTube link), as NetsDaily relays. Still, the 6’6″, 19-year-old Argentian, who fashions himself a point guard, believes he’s a ways off from signing to play in the NBA.
  • Rasheed Wallace, Al Harrington and Keyon Dooling are among the 60 players who’ve so far committed to The Champions League, an upstart minor league circuit with plans to play in the summers beginning in 2016, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports. The league intends to pay annual player salaries that average around $200K, league chairman and CEO Carl George told Amick.
  • The Thunder have assigned Josh Huestis to the D-League, the team announced via press release. It’s the second trip to the D-League this season for the small forward, who averaged just 7.0 points in 28.4 minutes per game across two appearances in his first D-League stint this year.

Keyon Dooling Retires

Keyon Dooling has completely retired as an NBA player and has moved on to the next phase of his career, he tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (all Twitter links). According to Spears, Dooling is now a certified life coach, subcontracted through the NBA to mentor troubled NBA and D-League players, and is also writing a book.NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder

If word of Dooling’s retirement sounds familiar, it may be because he made a similar announcement in September 2012. The 33-year-old eventually decided to return to the NBA and signed with the Grizzlies last spring, before reportedly drawing interest as a free agent over the summer. It seems unlikely that another comeback is on the offing this time around, however.

In 13 NBA seasons, Dooling served primarily as a backup guard for the Clippers, Heat, Magic, Nets, Bucks, Celtics, and Grizzlies. The former 10th overall pick averaged 7.0 PPG and 2.2 APG in 728 overall contests (19.4 MPG). His best season probably came in 2008/09 in New Jersey with the Nets, when he recorded career-highs in PPG (9.7), APG (3.5), and 3PT% (.421) to go along with a 13.6 PER, the second-best mark of his career. According to Basketball-Reference, Dooling earned more than $30MM over the course of his playing career.

While Dooling’s on-court numbers may not have been exceptional, his story off the court qualifies as such. Following his initial retirement, the longtime point guard opened up to Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com about the “meltdown” he experienced in the summer of 2012 that led to his decision, as well as the adversity he’d overcome in his life, including emotional, mental, and sexual abuse. At the time, Dooling indicated that he wanted to share his story as a way of helping others in similar situations cope, so his new career path doesn’t come as a surprise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: Maggette, Blair, Telfair, Tinsley

Restricted free agents like Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Jennings, and Gerald Henderson represent the most intriguing names left on the free agent market, but in his latest piece for HoopsWorld, Alex Kennedy takes a look at a few unrestricted free agents who have flown more under the radar. Here are some highlights from Kennedy:

  • Corey Maggette considered retiring to pursue a front office job, but it looks like he'll postpone that plan for at least a year. Maggette would like to play for a contender, and could likely be had for a one-year, minimum-salary deal.
  • Although more than a dozen teams, including the Bulls and Clippers, have expressed some level of interest in DeJuan Blair, the big man still hasn't been able to secure the sort of multiyear offer he's seeking.
  • There continues to be mutual interest between the Knicks and Sebastian Telfair, who has also attracted some interest from contenders like the Heat and Thunder.
  • The Nets nearly signed Jamaal Tinsley earlier in the offseason, but opted for Shaun Livingston instead. Tinsley is now considering teams like the Mavericks, Rockets, Bobcats, and Suns.
  • Keyon Dooling still appears likely to make a decision on a team within the next week, and he figures to land a one-year contract worth the veteran's minimum.
  • After turning down the Bobcats last summer to join an apparent contender (the Lakers), Antawn Jamison could end up returning home to Charlotte this time around, according to Kennedy.

Odds & Ends: Kleiza, Iguodala, Dooling, Knicks

Let's round up a few Friday odds and ends from around the Association….

  • After being amnestied by the Raptors, Linas Kleiza is drawing interest from several European teams, including CSKA Moscow, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, passing along a report from Djordje Matic.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today spoke to Andre Iguodala about his free agency, and some drama along the way related to the Kings and Nuggets.
  • Keyon Dooling is receiving "serious interest" from two teams and will likely decide next week where he'll sign, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, who adds that a reunion with the Grizzlies is unlikely.
  • There's nothing new on the Raja Bell front, tweets Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com, noting that the Knicks no longer have any interest in Bell after signing Metta World Peace. The Knicks remain in the market for a point guard and a big man though, says Zwerling.
  • Tom Ziller of SBNation.com explains why he finds it unusual that the NBA decided to compensate the Thunder for a portion of Kevin Durant's contract.
  • Multiple teams have inquired on undrafted free agent Khalif Wyatt, according to agent Stephen Pina. Wyatt played for the Sixers' Summer League squad in Orlando, but hasn't talked to Philadelphia yet about a more permanent contract (Twitter links via Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com).

Odds & Ends: Ujiri, Oladipo, Dooling, Grizzlies

Earlier in the day, we heard that a decision from Masai Ujiri on whether he'll be running the Raptors or Nuggets could come as early as today. But according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter links), Ujiri won't decide whether or not to accept the Raptors' offer until he meets with Denver ownership. That meeting could happen today or tomorrow, says Berger, so we may be waiting one more day to get closure on the Ujiri saga. In the meantime, let's round up a few odds and ends from across the NBA:

D-League Moves: Dooling, Wroten, Varnado

The biggest D-League news of the day came when the Warriors inked Scott Machado to a 10-day deal, giving the Iona guard another crack in the NBA for the 2012/13 campaign.  We'll keep track of today's call-ups and assignments in this thread.  If you want to take a look back at all of the D-League assignments and recalls from this year, check out Hoops Rumors' running log.  Here's the latest..

  • The Grizzlies announced that they have recalled Keyon Dooling and Tony Wroten from the Reno Bighorns.  Dooling had six points and two steals in his D-League debut.  Wroten, making his fourth D-League appearance of the year, had 30 points and eight assists.
  • The Heat announced that they recalled Jarvis Varnado from the Sioux Falls Skyforce.  Varnado averaged 18.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.75 blocks, and 1.75 steals in his eight game stint.

Grizzlies Send Dooling, Wroten To D-League

We’ll track today’s D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves added to the top throughout the day.

  • The Grizzlies have sent point guards Keyon Dooling and Tony Wroten to the D-League’s Reno Bighorns, tweets Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Both will be back with Memphis in time for Sunday’s game against the Kings, Tillery adds. The team had to get the consent of Dooling to assign him to the D-League, since he’s a 13th-year veteran and league rules only allow players with less than three years of experience to be assigned freely. Dooling briefly appeared in one game for Memphis this week after the team signed him to take some of the backup point guard burden off Wroten, a rookie.

Grizzlies Sign Keyon Dooling

WEDNESDAY, 11:49am: The Grizzlies have officially signed Dooling, the team announced today in a press release. The release didn't specify that the deal was a 10-day contract, so I'd assume it's for at least the rest of this season.

MONDAY, 11:12am: The Grizzlies will sign Keyon Dooling today, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, formalizing a move that had been rumored since Wednesday, when former New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey originally reported the story. The Grizzlies had been looking at other options in their search for a point guard, including Jonny FlynnScott MachadoCourtney Fortson, and Sundiata Gaines.

According to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the move has been held up as the team waited on the results of physical and psychological tests on Dooling, who retired after a nervous breakdown this past summer (Twitter link). Dooling had originally wanted to return to the Celtics, with whom he spent last season, but since Boston waived him following his retirement, the team wasn't allowed to bring him back.

The 32-year-old Dooling, who's averaged 7.0 points and 2.2 assists per game over his 12-year career, will give the Grizzlies some more depth at point guard. Memphis has been using rookie Tony Wroten as a backup to Mike Conley. The signing will bring the team's roster to 14 players, leaving room for one more.