Michael Finley

Southwest Notes: Spurs, Batum, Finley, Kerr, Green

The five-team trade the Spurs are involved in continues a trend of the teamstockpiling draft picks, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News notes. The Spurs will gain a 2022 second-round pick along with Chandler Hutchison from the Wizards in the agreed-upon multi-team swap, highlighted by the Lakers’ acquisition of Russell Westbrook. San Antonio is also acquiring three picks – a first-rounder and two second-rounders – in the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade with the Bulls.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks were among the teams interested in Clippers forward Nicolas Batum before he agreed to re-sign with Los Angeles, Marc Stein of Substack tweets. The Warriors also checked in on Batum before he chose to take a two-year deal with a player option from the Clippers.
  • The Mavericks have officially announced the promotion of Michael Finley to assistant GM/VP of basketball operations, the team’s PR department tweets. Finley will work under new president of basketball operations Nico Harrison in his expanded front office role.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr is ecstatic that one of his former assistants, Willie Green, got the Pelicans‘ head coaching job and believes he’ll have little trouble growing into the role, Kerr told William Guillory of The Athletic. “There’s just kind of this quiet dignity and intelligence about him that the players will really appreciate,” Kerr said. “And then I think, like all coaches, he’s going to have to find his voice and find his style. I’m sure he’s going to hire a great staff to help him do that. And he’ll grow into the job, but I think he’ll be fantastic.”

Western Notes: Pelinka, Hetzel, Finley, Brunson, Rockets

Mental toughness is one of the things the Lakers focus on regarding draft prospects, Jovan Buha of the Los Angeles Times writes. They have devised a 90-second shooting drill, among others, to help determine how well players can perform under pressure.

“It’s really a test of, ‘OK, it’s one thing to walk in the gym fresh and move and shoot and be effective. But how are you playing basketball once you’re exhausted, once you’re past your limits?’” president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said. “Because that’s the fourth quarter. That’s when the game’s on the line. Can you perform at a high level when you’ve spent everything you have? And that’s the mentality that we know Kobe (Bryant) always played with. And so we have drills that test that fortitude.”

The Lakers hold the No. 22 pick, though they might trade it to help improve the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Buha adds.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Steve Hetzel is expected to join Chauncey Billups’ Trail Blazers’ staff, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets. Hetzel had been on the Magic’s staff under former head coach Steve Clifford.
  • Michael Finley is finalizing a new contract with the Mavericks which will give him a larger role in their front office as assistant GM and VP of player personnel under new president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, Marc Stein of Substack tweets. Finley had been Dallas’ VP of basketball operations for the past six seasons.
  • Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, who could become an unrestricted free agent next summer, might be part of any major trade the team makes in the coming days, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Brunson, whose $1.82MM salary must be guaranteed on August 1st, is a valuable asset the Mavs could use to reel in a bigger target, Townsend notes.
  • The Rockets have forged a partnership with Credit Karma Money as their new uniform patch sponsor, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The Rockets played last season without a uniform patch sponsor after the agreement with ROKiT cell phones ended before the 2020 summer restart.

Kidd Emerges As Top Candidate For Mavs’ Coaching Job

7:45pm: The Mavs have had discussions with longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison about joining the front office, MacMahon tweets. Harrison has been pursued for front office jobs by other teams, MacMahon adds. He would work in tandem with current front office exec Michael Finley.


6:35pm: The Mavericks have begun contract negotiations with Kidd, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.


6:00pm: Jason Kidd has emerged as the strong frontrunner for the Mavericks’ head coaching job, Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweet. Dallas is also close to hiring a new president of basketball operations, Woj adds.

The New York Times reported earlier in the day Kidd was a prime candidate to replace longtime coach Rick Carlisle.

The Mavs are expected to name a replacement for former president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson before hiring a head coach. Owner Mark Cuban and his unnamed choice to replace Nelson have held in-depth discussions about the coaching job and Kidd’s candidacy is supported by Dirk Nowitzki and others advising Cuban, MacMahon tweets. Nowitzki was recently named a special advisor to Cuban.

Kidd received an endorsement on Thursday from Carlisle, who coached Kidd from 2008-12. Carlisle, who was named the Pacers’ head coach on Thursday, believes there are many similarities between Kidd during his playing days and current star Luka Doncic.

Kidd interviewed for the Magic head coaching job after pulling himself out of the running for the Trail Blazers’ job.

Kidd’s record as a head coach — one season with the Nets and three-plus seasons with the Bucks — is 183-190. He was fired by Milwaukee midway through the 2017/18 campaign. He’s been one of the Lakers’ top assistants under Frank Vogel the last two seasons.

Mavs Notes: Finley, Front Office Search, Carlisle

Former Mavericks champion Michael Finley has emerged as a strong candidate to be named the team’s new head of basketball operations, writes Marc Stein of the New York Times. Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News also believes Finley is likely to become Dallas’ new president of basketball ops.

Finley spent eight seasons in Dallas as a player and was a two-time All Star for the Mavs. He’s currently the team’s VP of basketball operations, and Stein and Townsend both suggest that team owner Mark Cuban is more likely to stay in-house to replace longtime executive Donnie Nelson than to bring in someone new with the draft and free agency around the corner.

Stein also reports that the Mavs aren’t pursuing veteran executives such as Danny Ainge and Masai Ujiri for their front office opening. There’s an expectation that – even if Finley is promoted – the team would make at least one outside addition to its front office, but execs like Ainge and Ujiri would likely expect more autonomy than Cuban is willing to cede, Stein writes.

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Tim Cato of the Athletic provides a post-mortem on the Rick Carlisle era with the Mavericks, highlighting the coach’s adaptability as a tactician and thinker of the game, as well as his abrasive personality, including his rocky relationship with star Luka Doncic. Both star and coach seemed at times to bristle at each other, as Carlisle felt Doncic publicly showed him up and Carlisle was known for lashing out at players verbally, including several Doncic was close with. The piece also discusses more about his contentious give-and-take towards the end with Mavericks executive Haralabos Voulgaris. Cato concludes that the era was a successful one, culminating in a championship with longtime Mav Dirk Nowitzki, but in the end, it was time for both sides to move on.
  • The Mavericks will not seek any compensation from the team that hires Carlisle, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Carlisle still had two years on his deal when he stepped down, but MacMahon writes that owner Cuban has no interest in complicating Carlisle’s job search and drawing out what has already been an ugly process. Carlisle and Cuban have a long-standing relationship and Cuban has expressed nothing but gratitude to Carlisle for his time as Mavericks head coach.
  • In case you missed it, a report earlier this week indicated that the Mavericks kicked the tires on Kelly Oubre at the trade deadline and could have interest in the forward again in free agency.

Mavericks Notes: Carlisle, Doncic, Nelson, Forde, Finley, Green

There are quite a few head coaching jobs Rick Carlisle could pursue after parting ways with the Mavericks on Thursday. He may even wind up with a team that still has a head coach. There have been rumblings that if the Bucks fire Mike Budenholzer, Carlisle could be his replacement, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The rumors about Carlisle taking over an Eastern Conference playoff contender and becoming Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s coach have been circulating for weeks, Stein adds.

We have more info on the Mavs:

  • Prior to the news of Carlisle’s departure, Luka Doncic addressed the organization’s decision this week to remove Donnie Nelson as president of basketball operations and expressed his disappointment, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News relays. “It was kind of tough to me,” Doncic said during a press conference in Slovenia. “I really like Donnie. [I’ve known] him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me. It was tough to me, seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.” Doncic is practicing with his national team for the Olympic qualifying tournament later this month.
  • Despite Nelson’s dismissal, Doncic still intends to sign a super-max extension before next season, Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic hear. Doncic strongly hinted after the season he would sign his rookie scale extension, which would be worth a projected $201.5MM over five years after making the All-NBA team two straight years.
  • The Mavericks have hired Mike Forde’s Sportsology, a consulting firm frequently used by NBA teams, to assist in the search for a new head of basketball operations., Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Nine NBA teams have either hired or promoted from within a new chief basketball executive in the past two seasons and three of those searches— Pelicans, Wizards, and Kings —were led by Forde, Yaron Weitzman of The Ringer noted earlier this year.
  • Former Mavericks All-Star Michael Finley, currently the team’s VP of basketball operations, has emerged as a candidate to replace Nelson, Stein tweets.
  • The team’s decision to take Josh Green over Saddiq Bey in last year’s draft frustrated a number of key executives and scouts., Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman tweets. Green was selected at No. 18 and the Pistons snapped up Bey, who was named to the All-Rookie First Team, with the next pick. The Mavs’ analytics team wanted Green and won the debate.

Bulls Notes: GM Search, Finley, Boylen

The Bulls remain on the hunt for a new general manager, and Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times writes that the interview process may carry through next week.

A since-deleted report on Thursday suggested that CAA agent Austin Brown was in serious talks to become Chicago’s next GM, but a source tells Cowley there’s no frontrunner at this point. Brown’s name is in the mix, per Cowley. Still, there has been no confirmation that he has even interviewed for the job yet.

Although no one has emerged yet as an obvious favorite – as new executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas did during his own interview process with the Bulls – Cowley’s source says that Mavericks VP of basketball ops Michael Finley “made a great impression” on Karnisovas. Finley reportedly interviewed for the GM position last week.

Here’s more out of Chicago from Cowley:

  • Since being hired by the Bulls, Karnisovas has spent plenty of time reaching out to as many of the club’s current players as possible, as well as meeting with “what’s left” of the scouting departments, says Cowley. Karnisovas is collecting information and opinions on what he has to work with in the front office and on the roster, a source tells The Sun-Times.
  • While many Bulls fans are impatient to learn the fate of head coach Jim Boylen, a decision on Boylen’s future is further down on Karnisovas’ list of priorities, Cowley writes. As Cowley has previously reported, Boylen remains optimistic that he’ll retain the job. He has been staying in touch with his players for updates and to have them study film clips and has “regularly” met with Karnisovas this month.
  • While letting go of Boylen and letting one of his assistants finish the season – if it resumes – could be one path Karnisovas considers, Cowley suggests it’s not likely. A source tells The Sun-Times there’s no obvious candidate to replace Boylen on an interim basis, since the assistants are “all viewed to have equal footing from an experience standpoint.”

Mavs Exec Michael Finley Interviews For Bulls’ GM Job

Mavericks vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley has interviewed for the Bulls’ general manager job, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets.

Finley is a Chicago native who has spent the last seven seasons in the Dallas front office after a long playing career. Mavs owner Mark Cuban indicated in a radio interview this week he’d allow Finley to talk to the Bulls.

Chicago’s newly-hired head of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has promised an “extensive and diverse search” for a GM. Chicago had already been granted permission to speak to Sixers senior VP of player personnel Marc EversleyClippers assistant GM Mark Hughes, and Magic assistant GM Matt Lloyd.

Thunder executives Troy Weaver and Nazr Mohammed have also had their names bandied about as potential GM targets for Chicago. However, based on a subsequent report, it would be a surprise if Weaver has interest in the job. Karnisovas has already added J.J. Polk and Pat Connelly in the first steps toward assembling a new front office.

Southwest Notes: Aldridge, Finley, Rockets, Cash

Asked earlier this week by a fan which former teammate he’d like to add to the Trail Blazers‘ current roster, Damian Lillard named Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge. That tweet – sent from Portland’s official Twitter account – was soon deleted, but not before Aldridge replied to it with an eyeballs emoji.

Speaking to Michael C. Wright of NBA.com, Aldridge downplayed the significance of his response, but acknowledged that he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to the idea of returning to Portland and finishing his career with the Trail Blazers. He also diplomatically didn’t rule out the idea of remaining with the Spurs for the remainder of his career.

“I think either one would be fine with me. I feel like I’ve made some good memories in San Antonio. I feel like I’m in a really good family in San Antonio. They understand me. I understand them. So, I like that,” Aldridge said. “I feel I have a lot of history in Portland. So, going back there to finish would be fine also. I’m perfectly fine with finishing my career in San Antonio riding it out until my next chapter, or if things have to change there, and if (the Spurs) decide to go young, then I wouldn’t mind going to (the Trail Blazers).”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Appearing on the McNeil & Parkins Show on 670 The Score in Chicago, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was evasive when asked whether the Bulls have asked to interview Michael Finley for a front office position. However, he said he’d grant Chicago permission to speak to Finley if asked. Finley was identified last week as a potential candidate for the Bulls’ GM opening.
  • As Kelly Iko of The Athletic details, the Rockets only played 14 games after trading away Clint Capela before this year’s trade deadline. That small sample size could be problematic, especially if the season doesn’t resume, since the Rockets will have to make offseason decisions based on whether or not they feel the center-less lineup is a viable approach going forward.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic examines the role that Pelicans vice president of basketball operations Swin Cash has played in her first year with the franchise and the impact she has had on the team’s young players.

Bulls Eye Several Assistant GMs For Their GM Job

Arturas Karnisovas, who is expected to be named the Bulls’ executive VP of basketball operations, will conduct interviews with a number of general manager candidates in the near future, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

The Nuggets’ Calvin Booth, the Sixers’ Marc Eversley, the Clippers’ Mark Hughes and the Magic’s Matt Lloyd are among several assistant GMs around the league under consideration, Wojnarowski adds. The Bulls’ office will start seeking permission from other teams to conduct interviews with everyone on their list, Wojnarowski reports in another tweet.

However, Booth could be promoted by Denver to replace Karnisovas, who emerged as Chicago’s choice as its top front office executive on Wednesday.

The Thunder’s Troy Weaver and Nazr Mohammed and the Mavericks’ Michael Finley are also candidates for the GM job, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets.

No matter which executive that Karnisovas chooses, current GM Gar Forman will lose his title. It’s uncertain whether Forman will be reassigned or simply let go by the organization. Karnisovas will decide Forman’s future, according to another Cowley tweet.

Longtime Bulls executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson is expected to remain in an advisory position with Karnisovas and ownership making the final decisions.

The Bulls were reportedly denied permission by the Thunder to speak with Weaver, OKC’s VP of basketball operations, during the search process for an executive VP. Whether the Thunder have changed their stance on Weaver remains to be seen. The Bulls did hold an informal interview with Mohammed recently for another front office job.

And-Ones: Wiseman, Schwartz, Andrews, Hall Of Fame

It’s unlikely that James Wiseman will fall below the top five in the June draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reports. The freshman center decided to leave Memphis on Thursday and sign with an agent to prepare for the draft.

Wiseman could have solidified his draft stock had he finished the college season on a high note after his 12-game NCAA suspension ended. However, he could have also slipped some if the Tigers had started losing games with Wiseman in the lineup. Givony continues. The lack of quality big men in a draft and the need of several lottery teams to add an impact big man could also help him, Givony adds.

We have more from around the basketball world: