Michael Winger

Assistant GM Trent Redden To Remain With Clippers

After taking over as the head of basketball operations in New Orleans, new Pelicans executive David Griffin had reportedly hoped to reunite with Trent Redden, who worked with him in Cleveland’s front office. However, Redden – now an assistant general manager for the Clippers – has opted to remain in Los Angeles, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Redden met with Griffin earlier this month to discuss a front office role, as we relayed a week and a half ago. With Redden no longer in the mix for a job in New Orleans, it remains to be seen which direction Griffin will go to fill out his front office.

This is the second time this month that a top Clippers executive has turned down the opportunity to either interview for – or accept – a job in another front office that would ostensibly represent a promotion. Previously, Clips GM Michael Winger opted to withdraw his name from consideration for the Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations position.

In Redden’s case, there were rumblings that New Orleans was interested in making him the club’s general manager under Griffin. However, as Wojnarowski explains, despite a “great belief” in Griffin, Redden still has a strong connection to the Clippers’ group and wants to see the club’s unfinished business through.

Wolves Notes: POBO Search, Saunders, Wiggins

The importance of making the right president of basketball operations hire cannot be overstated for the Timberwolves, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. As Krawczynski details, after the team took a step backward during the 2018/19 season, the next steps in Minnesota are critical, and finding the right person to run the show will be the franchise’s top priority this spring.

The Timberwolves’ search has centered on ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups, Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon, Nuggets assistant GM Calvin Booth, and Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas. While the club’s list of targets may expand beyond that group, it seems likely that one of those four execs will ultimately land the job.

Clippers GM Michael Winger initially seemed interested in the position, and was prepared to “plunge into the process” last week, according to Krawczynski. However, after a conversation with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and the rest of the staff, he decided to remove his name from consideration and remain in L.A.

That leaves four candidates, all of whom are in their early-40s, Krawczynski notes. With the exception of Billups, they all have strong backgrounds in player development too. In addition to targeting a younger executive who has the ability to identify emerging talent, the Wolves are also prioritizing hiring someone who is willing to communicate and cooperate, Krawczynski writes.

As Krawczynski observes, communication wasn’t necessarily a strong suit for former head of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau, so the club will be looking for an executive who is more interested in “building bridges” across the organization.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • The Timberwolves have conveyed a desire to retain head coach Ryan Saunders, who took the reins from Thibodeau during the 2018/19 season. However, it’s common for a new head of basketball operations to pick his own head coach. Michael Rand of The Star Tribune digs into whether candidates for the open front office job are expected to keep Saunders, and how that would impact the Wolves’ search.
  • The Timberwolves’ new president of basketball operations will immediately face a major question on what to do with Andrew Wiggins, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. With the former No. 1 overall pick on track to earn $122MM+ over the next four seasons, the Wolves need to find a way to get more out of him — or to explore whether there’s any realistic way to get out from under his contract on the trade market.
  • For all the latest out of Minnesota, be sure to check out our Timberwolves team page.

GM Michael Winger To Stay With Clippers

Clippers GM Michael Winger has taken his name out of the running for a front office position in Minnesota, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

Winger had been a candidate to fill the president of basketball operations role with the Timberwolves, but sources tell Krawczynski that he has elected to stay in L.A. and continue the work he started there. He was reluctant to leave an already competitive team that will have the cap room to offer at least one max contract this summer (Twitter link).

Winger has served as GM of the Clippers since 2017 and previously worked as an assistant GM to Sam Presti in Oklahoma City. The Wolves haven’t started formal interviews yet, so Winger didn’t have more than preliminary contact with them (Twitter link).

With one candidate off the list, Minnesota still appears to have a strong group to choose from, with ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups, Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon, Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and Nuggets assistant GM Calvin Booth as the other reported candidates.

Wolves Expected To Meet With Clippers’ Winger, Rockets’ Rosas

2:59pm: The Timberwolves have also requested and been granted permission to speak to Rockets VP Gersson Rosas, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Rosas has also been linked to the Pelicans and Wizards this spring.

2:30pm: The Timberwolves have received permission to speak to Clippers general manager Michael Winger about a potential president of basketball operations role in Minnesota, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

It’s not clear when the meeting will take place, but Wolves owner Glen Taylor has targeted a short list of potential candidates to become the club’s head of basketball operations, and Winger appears to be emerging as one of the favorites in that group, as Wojnarowski tweets.

Taylor and the Wolves announced last Wednesday at the end of the regular season that they were formally launching a search for a new president of basketball operations. While general manager Scott Layden has been running the club’s front office for most of the season and may ultimately be retained, Minnesota wants to bring in someone who can oversee the team’s basketball operations, filling Tom Thibodeau‘s old role.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported last week that the Wolves are targeting a strong communicator who places high value on the draft and player development.

For Winger, the Timberwolves’ position would represent a promotion, since he currently serves under head of basketball operations Lawrence Frank in Los Angeles. Before he was hired by the Clippers as their general manager in 2017, Winger worked in the Thunder’s front office as an assistant GM under Sam Presti.

Pacific Notes: Knight, Clippers, Lakers

As expected, Suns guard Brandon Knight will miss the entirety of the 2017/18 NBA season. The 25-year-old underwent successful ACL surgery on Friday, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops writes, after initially tearing the ligament last month.

While Knight’s name has been a mainstay in trade rumors over the course of the past few seasons, he remains a relatively valuable reserve asset. Last year Knight posted 11.0 points per game, shy of the 15.2 point career mark he’s posted across stints with the Pistons, Bucks and Suns.

Per Amico, the Suns could look to apply for an injury exception in order to free up room for a new backcourt option behind Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers have shuffled around their executive team this summer. Most recently, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets, the Clips have named Michael Winger their new general manager and Dave Wohl (their previous GM) a special advisor to the team.
  • The Suns have doubled down on their young core but aren’t exactly sure what they’re going to get out of it, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes. The scribe also wonders if the club may have put too much stock in fourth-overall pick Josh Jackson, refusing to include him in a possible Kyrie Irving trade package.
  • The Lakers had a productive summer, NBA.com’s Shaun Powell writes. The club did well to position itself for the future by scrubbing Timofey Mozgov‘s contract off their books and, of course, drafting Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Clippers To Hire Michael Winger As GM

After having offered their general manager position to Michael Winger several days ago, the Clippers have now reached an agreement to bring the Thunder executive aboard as the team’s new GM, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, Winger will get a multiyear contract from Los Angeles.

[RELATED: Jerry West talks Clippers, Steve Ballmer, more]

Winger’s hiring is one move in a series of changes to the Clippers’ front office this month. The overhaul began in early August when the team announced that it was removing Doc Rivers‘ president of basketball operations title, allowing him to retain a voice in the front office but to focus primarily on coaching.

Executive VP of basketball operations Lawrence Frank was elevated to the top front office role to replace Rivers, and the Clips have since committed to filling out the front office with more seasoned executives. Winger, who will report to Frank, was the assistant general manager in Oklahoma City, where he worked closely with GM Sam Presti over the last several years. The Clippers have also agreed to hire former Cavaliers executive Trent Redden, who will be L.A.’s new assistant GM.

Winger had been a key voice in the OKC front office under Presti, along with Troy Weaver, so the Thunder figure to promote or hire a replacement to fill his role in the not-too-distant future.

Clippers Offer GM Post To Michael Winger

Thunder executive Michael Winger has received an offer to become the new GM of the Clippers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who adds that the deal is expected to be finalized soon.

Winger, 37, currently serves as both assistant GM and team counsel for Oklahoma City and has been with the organization for the past seven years. He also spent five years with the Cavaliers and is viewed as one of the league’s top young executives, Wojnarowski adds.

As Clippers GM, Winger would report to Lawrence Frank, who was appointed president of basketball operations in a front office shakeup ealier this month that saw Doc Rivers reassigned to strictly coaching duties.

Western Notes: Thunder, Pelicans, Wolves

Two members of the Thunder front office made the list of a dozen potential candidates for future GM openings that SB Nation’s Tom Ziller compiled. Assistant GM Troy Weaver, who excels in scouting and relationships, and Michael Winger, a salary cap expert, have already drawn interest from other teams, as their respective rumors pages show. Many believed that Winger would have been in line for the Cavs GM job if the team had decided against retaining David Griffin this summer, Ziller adds. While we wait to see if the presence of Sam Presti and perhaps two other future GMs gives Oklahoma City the necessary edge to get over the hump and win this year’s title, here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans considered waiving and stretching Austin Rivers in addition to the notion of trading the former No. 10 overall pick as they sought to clear room to acquire Omer Asik this summer, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Still, the Pelicans held on to Rivers, and they demanded “real assets” in any trade that would involve him, Lowe writes, adding that New Orleans regarded waiving him as the least desirable option. The Grantland scribe suggests that ties between coach Monty Williams and the Rivers family complicate the team’s decision about whether to pick up the fourth-year option on Rivers’ contract by the October 31st deadline.
  • The Wolves offered 40th overall pick Glenn Robinson III a four-year contract, but he turned it down for his partially guaranteed one-year pact, similar to the dynamic between No. 32 pick K.J. McDaniels and the Sixers, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Alonzo Gee‘s deal with the Nuggets is non-guaranteed for the minimum salary and covers one season, but it becomes guaranteed if he remains on the roster through October 29th, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The team’s non-guaranteed contract with Pops Mensah-Bonsu is of the identical structure, except his wouldn’t become guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date in January, Pincus adds.
  • Ronnie Price‘s non-guaranteed deal with the Lakers becomes partially guaranteed on November 15th, Pincus writes for the Los Angeles Times, though he doesn’t say just how much Price would be assured of that day. In any case, the veteran point guard has picked up a key supporter, since Kobe Bryant likes what he sees from his teammate so far, as Pincus details.

Chris Wallace To Remain As Grizzlies GM

4:28pm: Winger is satisfied with his job in Oklahoma City and has turned down the Grizzlies’ request for an interview, sources tell Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

4:18pm: Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace will continue as GM of the team for the “foreseeable future,” tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The Grizzlies’ search for a GM has “evolved” into a search for a player personnel director, the role Stu Lash held when he acted as second in command to CEO Jason Levien in the front office before both were let go last month, Amick reports (Twitter links). The team has asked for permission to interview Thunder assistant GM Michael Winger for the job, according to Amick. Wallace assumed “interim responsibility” for the Memphis front office when Levien and Lash departed, according to the team’s press release, and today’s news appears to signal that he’s likely to remain in charge of the Grizzlies on a more permanent basis.

Wallace maintained his GM title even as his role was marginalized under Levien, but Amick seems to indicate that he’ll remain in control of the team’s front office in addition to retaining his title. Wallace’s continued employment with the Grizzlies in some form or fashion has long appeared safe, and the mutual willingness of Wallace and the Grizzlies to continue their association even as Wallace spent a year without setting foot in his office supports that. The general sentiment is that whomever the Grizzlies hire as player personnel director will be on a fast track to become a GM, according to Amick, though it’s not clear whether that person would be a GM-in-waiting of sorts for Memphis.

Winger hasn’t drawn much mention in connection to jobs since assuming his role with the Thunder in 2010, though that might have more to do with Oklahoma City’s guarded nature with information. Amick’s tweets indicate that the Grizzlies are vetting other candidates for the player personnel director position, too.