Nate Reinking

Central Notes: Bulls, Bucks, Cavs Coaches, Pistons

The Bulls made a splash in free agency this summer, signing several new veteran players. Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago breaks down the specific ways that costly new additions Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, and Alex Caruso can help Chicago earn its first postseason berth in five years.

Schaefer notes that DeRozan boasted the 21st-best offensive rating in the league last season (110.4) and can help boost the Bulls’ offense in a variety of ways. DeRozan’s ability to get to the free throw line, protect the ball, and create offense when Bulls All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine sits will all help Chicago win, Schaefer contends. Ball should help expedite the pace of Chicago’s offense. On the other end, stingy pick-and-roll defender Caruso should help the team limit opponents at the point of attack.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks‘ offseason earned a B grade from Zach Harper of The Athletic. The Bucks upgraded their backcourt depth in signing veteran point guard (and former Milwaukee reserve) George Hill, as well as Tremont Waters. Harper suggests that Milwaukee also improved on the wing by adding solid veterans Grayson Allen and Rodney Hood, who should be able to recover still-injured swingman Donte DiVincenzo. Harper opines that the Bucks regressed in the frontcourt after letting defensive-minded forward P.J. Tucker walk in free agency. Meanwhile, the Bucks stayed the same while preserving their 2020/21 center rotation.
  • The Cavaliers have made some new coaching adjustments, according to Chris Fedor of Dan Geriot, formerly an assistant on head coach J.B. Bickerstaff‘s bench, will become the head coach of the club’s NBAGL affiliate, the Cleveland Charge. Recent Charge head coach Nate Reinking, meanwhile, will join the Cavaliers as an assistant.
  • The rebuilding Pistons have some intriguing rotation decisions that could be informed by training camp performance, writes Keith Langlois of Langlois recognizes that Detroit’s top six players appear to be fairly established, but that there is room for minutes for the club’s developing young players beyond that.

Cavs Notes: Anthony, Smith, Dunleavy, D-League

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is hoping his friend J.R. Smith can work out his contract situation in time to receive his championship ring on opening night, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York will be the opponent when Cleveland starts its season October 25th, but Smith’s presence is far from guaranteed. The veteran shooting guard has been in a contract impasse with the Cavaliers all summer, reportedly wanting a $15MM annual salary, while the team wants something in the $10MM to $12MM range. Word broke this week of an “aggressive” offer by the Cavs, but the situation remains unresolved. “I don’t know what’s going on over there with that,” Anthony said. “I hope they don’t prolong the situation. He helped them win that championship. He was a major part of that team, and I hope they can get something done. If not, we’ll see him somewhere else.’’

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • After being with four other teams in his 14 NBA seasons, Mike Dunleavy is overjoyed to wind up with the Cavaliers, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Cleveland acquired Dunleavy in a deal with the Bulls when Chicago was trying to clear cap space to sign Dwyane Wade. The veteran swingman described the trade as “Christmas in July.” The Cavs plan to use him as a shooter to stretch the floor alongside LeBron James, and in combination with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye to have three tall shooters on the floor at the same time. “I see myself being involved in whatever way, shape or form we need,” Dunleavy said. “It’s as simple as that. I can play a lot of different roles, anything necessary to get these guys back to the mountain top. Basically, Coach [Tyronn] Lue can use me however he wants. I’m just happy to be here.”
  • James can expect to see reduced minutes this season, as well as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, according to Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. After two consecutive seasons that stretched into late June, the Cavaliers will be emphasizing rest. Measures will include monitoring players’ energy levels and staying longer in cities after road games. “My thing is just making sure guys are healthy, continue to limit LeBron’s minutes … watch Kyrie’s minutes because we know we’re playing for something big,” Lue said. “We know when we get to the playoffs it’s going to require a lot of minutes so with those guys and with Kevin [Love], just have to watch guys getting to the red zone.”
  • Nate Reinking was named coach of the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate in Canton, according to D-League Digest (Twitter link). He has been an assistant with the team since 2013.

Stacey Augmon To Join Bucks’ Coaching Staff

The Bucks are close to finalizing an agreement with former NBA swingman Stacey Augmon to join their coaching staff, reports Marc Stein of According to Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter), Augmon will sign a deal with the team soon.

Augmon last played in the NBA during the 2005/06 season before joining the Nuggets as a player development coach. For the last several years, the former ninth overall pick – known as “Plastic Man” during his NBA career – has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater of UNLV. As Stein notes, Augmon expressed disappointment at being passed over for the head coaching job at UNLV earlier this year.

In addition to Augmon’s hiring in Milwaukee, there are a couple other minor coaching notes from around the NBA to pass along. Let’s round them up…

  • The Cavaliers‘ D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, is expected to promote assistant Nate Reinking to head coach for the upcoming season, league sources tell Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Reinking has been on the club’s staff since the 2013/14 season.
  • As Derek Bodner of tweets, the Sixers‘ D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, also announced some coaching changes today. Former Villanova forward Curtis Sumpter is among the coaches on Delaware’s staff.