Mike Brown

Pacific Notes: Vassell, Brown, Williams, Gentry

The Warriors like Florida State’s Devin Vassell enough to consider him with the No. 2 pick and he would be their likely target if they decide to trade down, writes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Multiple sources tell Letourneau that Golden State views Vassell as the best wing defender in the draft and a long-term replacement for Andre Iguodala.

Vassell is 6’7″ with a 7-foot wingspan and has the versatility to be an effective defender at four positions. Not only does he specialize in forcing turnovers, he’s also a reliable shooter, hitting 41.5% from 3-point range this season. Leonard Hamilton, Vassell’s college coach, compares him to Klay Thompson.

“I always tell people that he’s very similar to Thompson,” Hamilton said. “If you look at his shooting stats at Washington State, they’re similar to Devin’s. He’s long, lean, athletic.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors assistant Mike Brown “made a strong impression” during his interview with the Clippers and has become “an emerging candidate” to be the team’s next head coach, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.
  • The Suns turned out to be the perfect opportunity for Monty Williams, who hadn’t been a head coach since 2014/15, notes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Williams led the team to a 34-39 record, including a perfect 8-0 mark after the restart. “When I got the opportunity in Phoenix, it was a lot of things that went into it,” Williams said. “It wasn’t just a basketball fit for me. It was a fit for my family because I had moved them around from New Orleans to Oklahoma City, back to San Antonio and then we go to Philly and I’m going to move them again. So I was looking for a family fit. I needed, obviously for me, to pray about it and make sure I had the peace that I needed to take on another job because it requires a lot of energy, a ton of time and I had to have a peace about doing it again.”
  • New associate head coach Alvin Gentry fits in perfectly with the Kings‘ up-tempo philosophy, writes Tracee Jay of NBA.com. Under Gentry, the Pelicans led the league in pace in 2017/18 and were second in 2018/19.

Mike Brown Interviewed For Clippers’ Coaching Job

Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown interviewed in recent days for the Clippers‘ head coaching position, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Brown has served as an NBA coach for more than two decades, holding assistant roles in Washington, San Antonio, and Indiana to start his career. He became the Cavaliers’ head coach in 2005 and led the team to a 305-187 (.620) record over the next five seasons, earning a spot in the 2007 Finals and winning a Coach of the Year award in 2009.

After departing the Cavs in 2010, Brown over as head coach of the Lakers for the lockout season of 2011/12, leading the team to a 41-25 (.621) record. He was let go just five games into the following season when L.A. got off to a 1-4 start, and rejoined the Cavs for a single season in 2013/14.

Since 2016, Brown has been a top assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff in Golden State. Brown, who has also interviewed this year for the Knicks’ and Pacers’ head coaching jobs, is set to coach the Nigerian national team that will compete in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The Clippers have also met with Tyronn Lue about their open coaching job. According to Wojnarowski, Lue is still in a strong position to be promoted after serving as an assistant on Doc Rivers‘ staff, but the club is conducting a full search for Rivers’ replacement.

Pacers To Interview Mike Brown For Head Coaching Vacancy

The Pacers will interview Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown for the team’s head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link).

Indiana’s head coaching search has yielded numerous names but Brown, 50, is as experienced a coach available this fall as multiple teams seek to fill openings.

Since 2016, Brown has been an assistant to Steve Kerr, helping the team win three NBA championships. Before that, the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007 during a five-year run as Cleveland’s head coach.

After he was dismissed from Cleveland, Brown replaced Phil Jackson in Los Angeles for the 2010/11 campaign but the Lakers were eliminated early in the postseason his season at the helm. Brown was fired just five games into the 2011/12 season after a sluggish start.

The Cavaliers rehired Brown in 2013 but was fired after just one season following a losing season.

Brown has previous experience in Indiana when he served as an assistant coach to Rick Carlisle from 2003-05. The team made the postseason in both of Brown’s season as an assistant.

Brown joins a long list of names receiving consideration for the Pacers’ opening, which includes a blend of experienced assistants, ex-head coaches and even a potential first-timer in Chauncey Billups. Additionally, now-former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni could be an option for Indiana.

Coaching Rumors: Lue, Pelicans, Nets, Sixers, Ham, Brown

Former Cavaliers coach and current Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue is expected to be one of the NBA’s most popular head coaching candidates this offseason, and he’s unlikely to come at a discount, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Vardon says that when Lue talked to the Lakers about their top job during the spring of 2019, he was seeking $7MM annually on a five-year contract. L.A.’s best offer was $20MM over three years, per The Athletic.

The Lakers won’t be in the market for a head coach this year, but there are several intriguing openings potentially in play for Lue, including the Nets, Sixers, and Pelicans jobs. Vardon notes that the Rockets could also join that list of Lue suitors if they decide to move on from Mike D’Antoni.

According to Vardon, there were frustrations within the Pelicans organization with Alvin Gentry around Christmas time in 2019, and if Lue had been available at that time – rather than working as a Clippers assistant – New Orleans may have moved on from Gentry and hired Lue during the season. However, sources tell Vardon that the Pelicans aren’t looking to spend more than about $5.5MM per year on their new head coach, so the competition for Lue may price them out.

Here are more head coaching notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • Lue expects to receive an offer from the Nets, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). While Gregg Popovich may be Brooklyn’s dream candidate, Lue looks like a better bet to ultimately claim the Nets’ coaching job, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Lue is also viewed as the Sixerstop candidate. However, some agents have wondered if team ownership will be willing to pay big money for Lue while Brett Brown‘s salary is still on the books for two more years, per Jabari Young of CNBC.com. Young adds Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to the list of candidates believed to be in the mix for the 76ers’ job.
  • Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown is receiving consideration from the Sixers for their coaching vacancy, though it remains to seen whether he’ll be interviewed, Pompey reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Knicks To Interview Mike Brown For Head Coach Job

The Knicks will interview Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown for their head coaching vacancy, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). New York’s list of coaching candidates has now cracked double-digits, with Brown representing the club’s 10th known interviewee.

Brown has served as an NBA coach for more than two decades, holding assistant roles in Washington, San Antonio, and Indiana to start his career. He became the Cavaliers’ head coach in 2005 and led the team to a 305-187 (.620) record over the next five seasons, earning a spot in the 2007 Finals and winning a Coach of the Year award in 2009.

After departing the Cavs in 2010, Brown over as head coach of the Lakers for the lockout season of 2011/12, leading the team to a 41-25 (.621) record. He was let go just five games into the following season when L.A. got off to a 1-4 start, and rejoined the Cavs for a single season in 2013/14.

Since 2016, Brown has been a top assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff in Golden State. Brown, who interviewed with the Knicks in 2018 before they hired David Fizdale, is also coaching the Nigerian national team that will compete in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The full list of the 10 known candidates for the Knicks’ head coaching position can be found within our tracker. According to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link), the team started conducting phone calls with those candidates last week.

Knicks To Interview Spurs’ Will Hardy

The Knicks have received permission to interview Spurs assistant Will Hardy for their head coaching position, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Hardy, who has been with the Spurs since 2010, was initially hired as a basketball operations intern before becoming a video coordinator for the team. He was named an assistant coach in 2016 and was promoted to the front of the bench a year ago, following the departures of Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka. The 32-year-old Hardy is “well-regarded” within the Spurs’ organization, per Wojnarowski.

With Hardy joining the Knicks’ list of potential coaching candidates, we’re now up to at least eight who are expected to interview. Tom Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson, and interim coach Mike Miller have long been considered candidates, with Mike Woodson joining the mix a couple weeks ago. On Wednesday, reports indicated that Udoka, Pat Delany, and Chris Fleming are also expected to interview for the job.

Although Ian Begley of SNY.tv has said that the Knicks will likely speak to eight-to-10 candidates during their head coaching search, he doesn’t rule out the possibility that the list of interviewees will continue to grow. Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson have fans within the organization, according to Begley, who says there’s also some interest in meeting with former Cavs and Lakers coach Mike Brown. Spurs assistant Becky Hammon has been identified as a name to keep an eye on as well, as Begley confirms.

Thibodeau has been viewed as the frontrunner for the job for several weeks, and Atkinson also has legitimate support within the organization. However, it’s possible one of the assistants the Knicks are interviewing will make a lasting impression on the club during the interview process.

New York is expected to conclude its search sometime before the season resumes in Orlando at the end of July, says Begley.

Lue, Kidd, JVG, Jackson Among Nets’ Coaching Candidates

Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson are among the names on the Nets‘ developing list of potential head coaching candidates, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). According to Stein, interim coach Jacque Vaughn, who replaced Kenny Atkinson last month, will also receive consideration for the permanent job.

As Stein explains (via Twitter), the Nets aren’t expected to complete their search and name a head coach until the 2019/20 season has been completed or canceled, so presumably this list of candidates is preliminary and figures to evolve in the coming weeks and months.

Still, the names are worth noting, as are the ones noticeably absent. For instance, Stein says that Tom Thibodeau is believed to be “solely a Knicks candidate” for the time being, despite some rumblings linking him to the Nets.

There has been speculation that Brooklyn will target a veteran coach who would be comfortable leading a veteran roster that aims to be a title contender in 2020/21. As such, it makes sense that all the candidates identified by Stein have previous head coaching experience, with Kidd having already served as the Nets’ head coach once, albeit not under the current ownership or management group.

Currently, Kidd works as a Lakers assistant under Frank Vogel, while Lue is on Doc RiversClippers staff. Van Gundy and Jackson are analysts for ESPN and ABC.

Lue, who was said earlier this week to have interest in Brooklyn’s coaching job, would reunite with Kyrie Irving if he were to land the job. Citing that Irving connection, Stein adds (via Twitter) that Warriors assistant Mike Brown – another former Cavaliers coach – is another name to monitor.

And-Ones: Buford, Wiseman, Okafor, Bibby

Wisconsin Herd coach Chase Buford has been suspended two games without pay for a direct and extended public attack on the integrity and credibility of the game officials, according to a league press release. Among other comments, Buford called one of the officials a “clown” after his team, the Bucks’ G League affiliate, got outscored 48-20 in the fourth quarter and lost 126-117 to the Grand Rapids Drive on Sunday. Buford subsequently apologized for his tirade.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Projected lottery pick James Wiseman felt he was treated unfairly by the NCAA before he decided to leave Memphis during his freshman season, as he told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He left the Tigers during a 12-game suspension for rules violations. His family accepted $11,500 in moving expenses in 2017 from Penny Hardaway, who became the team’s coach a year later. “I was really in the middle of a hurricane,” Wiseman said. “That’s like the worst place you could possibly be.” Wiseman is currently rated No. 3 on ESPN’s Best Available list.
  • Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor has agreed to play for Nigeria in this year’s Tokyo Olympics, Marc Spears of The Undefeated tweets. The team will be coached by Warriors assistant Mike BrownOkafor’s grandfather Chicko was born in Nigeria.
  • Mike Bibby will coach the Aliens in the BIG3 this season, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. The former Kings guard was the Ghost Ballers’ team captain last season.

And-Ones: Free Agency, Goodwin, Robinson, Brown

An active 2020 trade deadline has likely watered down the free-agent market this summer, a pattern far from the norm after a combined $4 billion was spent on more than 150 players last July, Bobby Marks of ESPN.com explores.

There were a total of 12 trades within the 48-hour window of the trade deadline this year, with high-profile players such as D’Angelo Russell, Andre Drummond, Andrew Wiggins and Clint Capela switching teams.

As Marks notes, the 2020 free agency class is projected to be mediocre for the most part. The Knicks could have upwards of $50MM to spend (though they’ll likely wait until the following summer for stronger talent), with the Hawks, Pistons, Hornets, Suns, and Heat also set to have north of $20MM.

Beyond Anthony Davis, some of the top unrestricted free agents this summer include Fred VanVleet, Montrezl Harrell, Danilo Gallinari and Serge Ibaka. Drummond ($28.7MM), DeMar DeRozan ($27.7MM) and Evan Fournier ($17MM) all have player options in their contracts, while Brandon Ingram and Bogdan Bogdanovic are set to enter restricted free agency.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent guard Archie Goodwin has signed in Germany with Ratiopharm Ulm, the team announced, as relayed by Sportando. Goodwin, 25, holds NBA experience with the Suns, Pelicans and Nets, most recently playing in Turkey. Goodwin was drafted with the No. 29 overall pick by Oklahoma City back in 2013.
  • Former NBA forward Thomas Robinson has signed in Russia with BC Khimki, the team announced on social media. Robinson signed a one-month deal with an extension until the end of the season. The 28-year-old has played for Sacramento, Houston, Portland, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Los Angeles across his professional career, spending time with the Spurs during summer league in 2019.
  • Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown has agreed to be the head coach of the Nigerian men’s basketball team, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated (Twitter link). Brown will coach Nigeria during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer, with Nigeria BB president Musa Kida reportedly looking for a high-profile coach that holds NBA experience.

Knicks Reportedly “Obsessed” With Masai Ujiri

The Knicks are “obsessed” and “enamored” with Raptors executive Masai Ujiri as the next man to run the franchise, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. A front office shakeup is expected in the wake of yesterday’s firing of head coach David Fizdale, especially considering the poor track record of team president Steve Mills.

Begley speculates it would take “significant money and full autonomy” to land Ujiri, who is already in a comfortable spot after building a championship team. Even if the Knicks are willing to grant that, Ujiri may not want to work for a controversial figure like James Dolan, and he is signed with Toronto until 2021, a contract he said in October that he plans to honor.

Echoing a report we shared last week, Begley states that the Knicks believe Ujiri could be drawn to New York City to provide a larger platform for his charitable work with the Giants of Africa Foundation. However, there was similar speculation about Washington, D.C., a few months ago when the Wizards were restructuring their front office, and Ujiri opted to stay in Toronto.

There’s more Knicks news to pass along:

  • Despite a 4-18 start and six straight losing seasons, the Knicks’ front office job is still viewed as appealing around the league, Begley adds in the same story. The team has drafted well under general manager Scott Perry and has held on to its first-round picks. The Knicks also retained cap flexibility by signing seven players to short-term contracts this summer after failing to land their top targets in free agency.
  • A few players got to say goodbye to Fizdale before he left the team, Taj Gibson tells Begley (Twitter link). Gibson said Fizdale was emotional during the departure, adding, “Guys loved him.”
  • Mark Jackson, a former Knicks guard and ex-head coach of the Warriors, is a 5-1 favorite to be the next head coach, relays Adam Zagoria for Forbes. The oddsmakers at BetOnline.ag have Kenny Smith second at 6-1 and Italian coach Ettore Messina at 7-1. Next in line are three college coaches, Michigan’s Juwan Howard, Vanderbilt’s Jerry Stackhouse and Villanova’s Jay Wright.
  • Interim coach Mike Miller thanked Fizdale and the Knicks organization during today’s pre-game press conference (video link from Vorkunov). Neither Mills nor Perry has addressed the media since the firing became official, and nobody from management has commented apart from an unattributed statement that was released Friday.
  • Former NBA player Keith Bogans has been named to Miller’s staff, the Knicks announced on Twitter.