Matt Brase

Northwest Notes: Beverley, Billups, Brase, Thunder

Patrick Beverley hasn’t missed the playoffs since his NBA career began in 2012, and he’s determined to keep his postseason streak alive in his first season with the Timberwolves, writes Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune. Beverley was traded from the Clippers to the Grizzlies and then from Memphis to Minnesota this summer, winding up with an organization that only been to the playoffs one time since 2004.

“My biggest focus is seeing how locked in we can be each and every night consistently, over a preseason, a season and eventually if we’re doing the right things getting to the playoffs,” Beverley said today during his introductory press conference. “Basketball is basketball. That won’t change. But everything else in the middle, I think you can control that to put yourself in a position to win a lot of games.”

Team president Gersson Rosas sees Beverley as a player who “can change the whole defense,” which will be a priority for a Wolves team that was 28th in defensive rating last season. Beverley will also be a veteran leader on a team filled with young players.

“Understand what’s going on. Understand positioning. Understand spacing. Understand timing and once you understand those things, you’re a student of the game and then you’re able to become a teacher,” Beverley said. “When … you’re able to teach the defense or teach that position, you put yourself in the position to be successful defensively.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Tutoring sessions with Tyronn Lue during last year’s COVID-19 hiatus convinced Chauncey Billups to try coaching, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Billups, who was an announcer for the Clippers at the time, learned the game from a different perspective during that makeshift coaching camp, which routinely lasted four to five hours a day. Billups spent a season as an assistant with L.A. before being hired as head coach of the Trail Blazers this summer.
  • Matt Brase is the newest addition to Billups’ staff with the Trail Blazers, per Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. Brase was an assistant to Mike D’Antoni in Houston from 2018-20.
  • The Thunder and their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, will share the Paycom Center as their home arena this season, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. They are scheduled to play home games on the same day 15 times.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Brase, Harden

It’s not fair to saddle a 19-year-old rookie with the responsibility of turning the Mavs‘ franchise around. Fortunately, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes, Luka Doncic won’t have to.

Although Doncic will face pressure as a highly touted European charged with the task of at least symbolically replacing Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, he’ll get substantial help from incoming veteran DeAndre Jordan.

Jordan, along with young players like Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes, should give the Mavs considerably more bite in 2018/19 after a down season last year.

Sefko writes that he thinks Mavs fans can expect the Doncic trade to pay dividends but they may not come for a year or two.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets will add former Rio Grande Valley Vipers coach Matt Brase to head coach Mike D’Antoni‘s staff this season, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets. Joseph Blair is a favorite to replace Brase in the G League.
  • A city prosecutor is reviewing an allegation against James Harden, an Associated Press report states. The Rockets star allegedly grabbed a woman’s wrist and threw her cellphone on the roof outside of a nightclub when she was recording a fight.
  • The Spurs will roster a team without several major contributors to their last championship, this season. A Basketball Insiders report breaks down their chances of being relevant in 2018/19 and the new challenges ahead.

And-Ones: Extensions, Kentucky, Lakers

The Pistons do not seem overly concerned about maximizing on cap space and waiting to the summer to strike a deal with Andre Drummond and it’s more likely than any other potential extension other than Harrison Barnes that the center secures a lucrative extension this month, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. Stein adds that Barnes is also likely to receive a large extension from the Warriors before the league’s deadline for rookie-deal extensions on November 2nd. Stein points out — as we at Hoops Rumors have consistently mentioned where applicable as well — that the window has been pushed back two days (it usually is October 31st).

The Wizards have an opposite approach from the Pistons and instead are hoping to convince Bradley Beal to hold off on a new deal until next summer because the delay could lead to Washington having nearly $10MM in additional salary cap space next summer when it intends to make a run Kevin Durant.

You can view our Extension Candidate series by clicking here.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Rasual Butler likely must beat out Jimmer Fredette and Reggie Williams, among others, for the Spurs‘ final regular season roster spot, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio-Express News writes. Butler, 36, knew what the odds were when he signed with the Spurs last month, McDonald adds. Butler, as McDonald points out, has played for five teams since the start of the 2010/11 season.“Some of us have to work a little harder, and you have to be OK with that,” Butler said. “You have to pick your lunch pail up and go to work if this is what you love do to.”
  • All 30 teams scouted Kentucky’s pro day, Adam Zagoria of SNY.TV reports.
  • Matt Brase will finish the preseason with the Rockets before taking over as coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their NBA D-League affiliate, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes in a worthwhile profile. Brase was announced as the Vipers’ new coach in August.
  • The Lakers are hopeful rookie Marcelo Huertas, whose $525,093 contract isn’t guaranteed, can stabilize the second unit, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times details. Huertas has been unable to practice because of a hamstring strain, Pincus adds. “He’s a very, very good floor leader,” Lakers head coach Byron Scott said. “He’s a gutsy, pesky-type guy.  He doesn’t back down.  He’s going to try to guard you to the best of his ability, and he’s a guy that can make plays for you.”

And-Ones: Turner, Vandeweghe, Horford

Hawks big man Al Horford is entering the final season of his current deal and will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. But Horford’s eye is on the coming season, and he won’t discuss his future until next summer, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution relays.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The NBA officially announced today that Kiki Vandeweghe has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations for the league, a move that had seemed likely for months. He moves up from vice president of basketball ops and replaces the retiring Rod Thorn. Vandeweghe’s new position puts him in charge of player discipline, among other duties. “Kiki is one of the sharpest basketball minds in the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “In addition to his storied UCLA and NBA playing career plus his extensive experience as a general manager, coach, and TV analyst, he has most recently helped drive innovations in analytics that are reshaping the league in areas such as scheduling, game statistics, and player health.”
  • Myles Turner has transformed from an injured high school junior who was an afterthought to college recruiters into a candidate to start at center for the Pacers this season, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. This year’s No. 11 overall pick performed well at summer league, leading to some thought of him as a Rookie of the Year contender, but coach Frank Vogel has reminded the big man not to get carried away, as Turner tells Kennedy.
  • The Rockets have officially hired Matt Brase as the coach of Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced (via Twitter). Brase replaces former coach Nevada Smith, who spent two seasons with the Vipers and compiled an overall record of 60-46, including a mark of 27-23 last season.

Western Notes: Morris, Brase, Arthur

Markieff Morris, who has reportedly cut off contact with the Suns and supposedly wants out of Phoenix in the wake of his twin brother, Marcus Morris, being dealt to the Pistons, is considered a good teammate, according to Phoenix guard Archie Goodwin, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio on Monday, Goodwin said, “I can’t speak too much on that situation but I can say that the last couple years I’ve been with [him], Markieff is a great guy, one of my favorite guys to be around. He’s a really positive guy to me and for everybody else. He’s always been a team-first guy. I love Markieff. I love Marcus. I hope [Markieff] stays with us. I don’t know what’s going to happen with that situation. That’s why I really can’t speak on it. I really enjoy being around him and I wish the best for him whether he is with us or another team.” Coro recently chatted with Hoops Rumors about a number of topics regarding the Suns, and you can read the full interview here.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • Matt Brase is expected to be named head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets‘ NBA D-League affiliate, sources have informed Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Brase is currently the director of player personnel for Houston, and was a former assistant coach for the Vipers, Johnson notes. Brase replaces former coach Nevada Smith, who spent two seasons with the Vipers and compiled an overall record of 60-46, including a mark of 27-23 last season, Johnson adds. The Rockets organization cut ties with Smith at the end of 2014/15.
  • Samuel Dalembert received a fully guaranteed minimum salary on his one-year deal with the Mavericks, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Dallas will pay $947,276 and the league will cover the rest of the $1,499,187 tab for the 14-year vet. The club currently has 15 guaranteed contracts and 19 players overall, Pincus adds.
  • The Nuggets used their room exception to re-sign Darrell Arthur to a two-year pact, and the forward’s deal includes a player option worth $2,940,630 for the 2016/17 season, Pincus tweets.

Chuck Myron and Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.