Lionel Hollins

Lakers Notes: Trade Obstacles, Hollins, Penberthy, Workouts

The Lakers’ desire to land another big star is well-documented at this point, but their ability to actually make the money work is another matter altogether.

Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register goes through the obstacles facing the Lakers in a variety of different high-profile moves, such as a trade for Russell Westbrook or a sign-and-trade of Dennis Schroder for Kyle Lowry. Goon also discusses the idea of stars like Chris Paul, DeMar DeRozan, or Kyle Lowry taking pay cuts to play with LeBron James, explaining why it’s unlikely.

Lastly, Goon touches on the reports that the Lakers have been shopping a package of Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all over the league, and how poorly that reflects on the strength of that trade offer.

We have more from the Lakers:

  • Lionel Hollins will no longer be an assistant coach for the Lakers, reports Jovan Buha of The Athletic (via Twitter). Hollins’ contract expired without the team and him coming to an agreement on an extension. Kyle Goon tweets that Hollins indicated he would be open to coaching again in the right opportunity.
  • With the departure of Hollins, shooting coach Mike Penberthy is being promoted to a front-of-bench coaching position on head coach Frank Vogel‘s staff, Buha and Sam Amick write in a piece for The Athletic. Penberthy was offered a similar position on Jason Kidd‘s staff with the Mavericks before the Lakers matched their offer. Buha and Amick write that it’s unclear if the Lakers will add another assistant coach this offseason.
  • The Lakers worked out five prospects today, according to Lakers reporter Brad Turner: MaCio Teague, Spencer Littleson, Jose Alvarado, Brandon Boston Jr., and Moses Wright. Of the five, Boston is the highest-ranked, and could be an option either at 22 or if the Lakers look to trade back from 22 into the top of the second round in order to save money.

Del Negro, Brooks, Hollins Candidates To Be Lead Assistant In Portland

Three names have emerged as candidates to be the lead assistant to new Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. They are former Bulls and Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro, former Wizards and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, and Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins.

Del Negro, 54, is an analyst with NBA TV and hasn’t coached in the league since the 2012/13 season. He served as director of the draft combine in 2019.

Brooks, 55, has been head coach of the Wizards for the past five years, but the team decided last month not to extend his contract. He also spent seven years as the head coach in Oklahoma City.

Hollins, 67, is a former head coach with the Grizzlies and Nets and has been with the Lakers since Frank Vogel took over as head coach in 2019. He started his playing career in Portland and was part of the team’s only NBA championship in 1977.

Billups is a first-time head coach, so it makes sense that the Blazers would be looking to pair him with experienced assistants. Del Negro, Brooks, and Hollins all certainly fit the bill.

Western Notes: Beasley, Hollins, Nuggets, Whiteside, Parker

Replacing Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley during his suspension will have to be a team effort, Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes.

Beasley was recently issued a 12-game suspension for conduct stemming from his charges last offseason. He’s averaged 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32 games this season, meaning several players will likely have to step up in his absence.

“I see it as a great opportunity,” guard Jaylen Nowell said. “I’m not going to go out and force anything. I’m not going to go out there looking to put up more shots, just step outside myself. I’m going to keep playing the way I’m playing and make sure I’m not going to overthink it.

“But we’ve got other guys that are trying to step up, too. They’ve got opportunities, too, including myself. So it’s making sure that not just one person picks up the slack, but we all have to do it collectively, as a group.”

Here are some other notes from the Western Conference:

  • Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins isn’t expected to return to the bench until after the All-Star break, according to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Hollins, a former NBA head coach, has missed the past four games due to personal reasons.
  • Mike Singer of the Denver Post explores five players the Nuggets should consider pursuing before the March 25 trade deadline. Singer mentions Magic swingman Terrence Ross, Spurs star DeMar DeRozan and others as potential options for the Nuggets, who currently hold an 18-15 record.
  • Kings center Hassan Whiteside and forward Jabari Parker are still out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (Twitter link). Chimezie Metu also remains out with a broken wrist. Sacramento (13-20) is set to play Charlotte (15-17) on Sunday, having lost nine of its last 10 games.

Western Notes: Porzingis, Spurs, Hollins, Azubuike

Having disputed a Bleacher Report story that indicated the Mavericks have gauged the trade market to get a sense of Kristaps Porzingis‘ value, team owner Mark Cuban also took exception to a specific part of Jake Fischer’s report.

Fischer cited one Western Conference executive who described Porzingis as looking like a “scarecrow” on defense and who added, “I’m not sure the guy can guard anybody.” That quote didn’t sit well with Cuban, who expressed his displeasure to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).

“We are not happy that there is a supposed ‘Western Conference exec’ ripping on one of our players,” Cuban said. “There is no trade discussion. I think they just used it as a way to put out there what they think of KP.”

Here’s more from around the West:

  • There’s no exact timeline for the return of the five Spurs players who are sidelined due to the health and safety protocols, head coach Gregg Popovich said on Monday night. “Each one is a little bit different,” Popovich said, per Tom Osborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). “It depends on the testing they do. So, I think a few more days, the quarantine period ends, but then there are a couple more days of more tests to see how it has affected them.”
  • Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins missed Monday’s game for personal reasons and isn’t traveling to Utah for Wednesday’s game either, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
  • The Jazz have recalled Udoka Azubuike from the G League, according to RealGM’s transactions log. The rookie center recently suffered a severe ankle sprain while playing for the Salt Lake City Stars and isn’t expected to be available anytime soon, so it seems he’ll move to the NBA squad while he continues his recovery.

Pacific Notes: Myers, McGruder, Hollins, Dumars

Warriors general manager Bob Myers admits it’s a little unsettling potentially drafting a player that he may have not seen in person or viewed in an individual workout due to the pandemic. Myers’ comments were posted on the team’s website.

“It’s a rare thing to not have … I would have liked to see more guys than I did, but if you’re talking about me, that’s a possibility,” Myers said. “If you’re talking about our group, I think between us all, somebody will have seen the person at least play.”

Myers also says it’s too early to speculate whether he might trade his first-round pick until the lottery is drawn on Thursday: “Nobody is talking about trades. … Even assuming we had the pick number in hand, it’s premature to even know the value of it, for us or for another team, so we’ll have to wait and see kind of how things go in that direction.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers guard Rodney McGruder has signed with Octagon Sports as his representative, the entertainment management organization tweets. McGruder is signed through next season but his $5MM salary for 2021/22 is not guaranteed.
  • Veteran Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins was not permitted to coach at the Orlando campus but he’s still involved in the team’s planning and preparation, as Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times details. Hollins watches practices live and prepares scouting reports with two other assistants, one of whom is in Orlando. The 66-year-old was deemed a high risk for the coronavirus due to preexisting conditions.
  • Joe Dumars, now the interim GM with the Kings, has a lot on his plate this offseason, as Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee details. Along with the draft, Dumars will try to work out a contract extension with point guard De’Aaron Fox. Bogdan Bogdanovic is headed to restricted free agency, while Kent Bazemore, Harry Giles, and Alex Len will be unrestricted. Dumars could also explore trades involving Buddy Hield, whose large extension kicks in next season after a very disappointing 2019/20 season.

Lionel Hollins Won’t Join Lakers In Orlando

Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins has been “red-flagged” for health reasons and won’t accompany the team to Walt Disney World for the NBA’s restart, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Coaches and team personnel who are deemed to be at higher risk of suffering more serious symptoms if they contract COVID-19 can be medically flagged and prohibited from entering the NBA’s campus. It sounds like that’s the case for Hollins.

[RELATED: Coaches’ Union Expresses Concerns With NBA’s Medical Review Process]

Hollins is 66 years old, but this situation is not age-related, according to Haynes (Twitter link). Haynes adds that the veteran assistant is “disappointed” to not be able to join the Lakers as they pursue a championship, but recognizes that this is the right decision.

Hollins, who previously served as a head coach for Memphis and Brooklyn, is part of a group of Lakers assistants that also includes Jason Kidd and Phil Handy, among others.

Lakers Officially Announce Coaching Staff

The Lakers have officially announced the assistant coaches who will join new head coach Frank Vogel on the team’s bench this season.

As expected, former head coaches Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins are the headliners of the group. Their deals with the team were previously reported, as was Phil Handy‘s. Handy has appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals, having coached in Cleveland before joining the Raptors for the 2018/19 season.

The Lakers also confirmed the previously-reported hirings of former Lakers player Mike Penberthy and former Hornets player development coach Quinton Crawford, both of whom will be assistants. Miles Simon will be the only returning assistant from last season’s staff.

“I could not be more excited about the group we’ve assembled,” Vogel said in a statement. “Each of these guys brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will greatly impact the success of our players, as we look to build a championship-caliber team.”

The Lakers also announced that they’ve hired Greg St. Jean as a player development coach/advance scout and Dru Anthrop as the team’s head video coordinator/player development coach.

Lakers Hiring Lionel Hollins As Assistant Coach

The Lakers will add Lionel Hollins to their staff as an assistant coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. The franchise made it a priority to add head coaching experience under coach Frank Vogel. 

Los Angeles hired Vogel as its head coach last month while also adding Jason Kidd as an assistant. Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link) that Hollins was under consideration for the team’s head coaching gig but ultimately never interviewed with the Lakers for that position.

Hollins has taken both the Grizzlies and the Nets to the postseason as a head coach. He previously served as an assistant coach with the Bucks, Suns, and Grizzlies (one stint in Memphis and one in Vancouver).

Fallout From Failed Negotiations Between Lakers, Lue

Contract length was the main point of contention that prevented Tyronn Lue from becoming the Lakers’ next coach, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. L.A. was offering Lue $18MM over three years, which would line up with LeBron James‘ remaining commitment to the team. Lue was “insulted” that the Lakers viewed him as just a coach for LeBron and was seeking a five-year deal.

A source tells Shelburne that GM Rob Pelinka didn’t believe negotiations would collapse because Lue doesn’t have interest from any other teams (Twitter link). However, the Cavaliers still owe Lue about $10MM and he didn’t want to risk losing money by taking an offer that he considered below his market value. He also believes his experience coaching at a championship level warrants a longer commitment.

There’s more this morning on the Lue situation:

  • Talks also broke down because of the Lakers’ insistence on having the final say on Lue’s assistant coaches, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. Lue was willing to make former Pacers and Magic head coach Frank Vogel his top assistant, sources tell Stein, but management wanted him to put Jason Kidd on the staff as well after he performed well in an interview. Stein also reports that two advisers to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss feared that the team would be giving James too much power by hiring Lue.
  • Former Lakers player Kurt Rambis, who now serves as an adviser, has expanded his power in the organization and is playing a critical role in the coaching search, relays Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
  • Buss made a mistake by letting Pelinka assume too much power after team president Magic Johnson resigned, contends Bill Oram of The Athletic. Lue was the only available candidate who has experience coaching James and was willing to sign up for another round, Oram notes, and Pelinka couldn’t get a deal done. He states that Buss should have found someone to serve as president of basketball operations and let him hire a GM and conduct the coaching search. Instead, she trusted the organization to Kobe Bryant‘s former agent.
  • The new coaching candidates — Vogel, Mike Woodson and Lionel Hollins, won’t inspire Lakers fans or help to satisfy James, who has just two years left before he can opt out of his contract, Oram adds. He also wonders how much ineptitude James is willing to put up with before he demands to be traded to a better-run organization.
  • Lue’s plans for the Lakers would have looked very similar to how he utilized James in Cleveland, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Lue believes LeBron is most effective in a structured offense where he has an order of options to follow depending on how the defense reacts. Under Luke Walton, the Lakers used more of a random approach where four players had the option to push the ball up court, while the others were instructed to fill lanes on the fast break. Lue told management he would have arranged the minutes for James and Brandon Ingram so that one was always on the court.

Tyronn Lue Won’t Be Lakers’ Next Coach

6:19pm: The Lakers will start fresh in their coaching search, with former NBA coaches Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson to be considered, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

5:50pm: After a report of an impasse in contract negotiations between Tyronn Lue and the Lakers, both sides have decided to move on.

A team source tells Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times that the organization has determined Lue isn’t the “right long-term fit” (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times tweets that Lue and his representatives informed the Lakers that he has withdrawn his name from consideration, offering thanks to the team for including him in the interview process.

Lue turned down the Lakers’ offer of $18MM over three years, Turner adds (Twitter link). A source says Lue was asking for a five-year contract. Lue is still owed $10MM by the Cavaliers, points out ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and could lose money by agreeing to a deal that’s below his market value.

Lue was the top choice of Lakers star LeBron James, Wojnarowski adds, but Lakers brass was also sold on Lue for his experience in coaching in three NBA Finals, along with his title history as a player in L.A.

Sources tell Woj that GM Rob Pelinka and front office advisor Kurt Rambis were very impressed with Kidd when they interviewed him and were insisting that he become part of Lue’s staff. They view Kidd as a valuable mentor for Lonzo Ball and liked the way he developed young talent in Milwaukee. Sources don’t believe Lue was opposed to Kidd joining the staff, but the two men hadn’t discussed the possibility.

It’s not clear now if Kidd becomes the favorite to take the head coaching job or if the Lakers will start the interview process again. Along with Lue and Kidd, they talked to Sixers assistant Monty Williams, who will be the next head coach in Phoenix, and Heat assistant Juwan Howard.