Nate Tibbetts

Warriors To Interview Tibbetts For Top Assistant Job

The Warriors will interview Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts today for their top assistant coaching job, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Tibbetts and Hornets assistant Stephen Silas are two of the serious candidates to replace new Lakers coach Luke Walton as Steve Kerr’s right-hand man, Wojnarowski continues. Silas will also be interviewed by the Warriors today during their stay in Oklahoma City for the Western Conference Finals.

Tibbetts interviewed for the Grizzlies head coaching job, while Silas is under strong consideration for the Rockets’ head coaching opening. Tibbetts has been an assistant with the Blazers since 2013 under coach Terry Stotts. He was also an assistant coach with the Cavaliers, as well as head coach of the D-League’s Tulsa 66ers for two seasons.

The Rockets are mulling a coaching partnership with Silas in the top spot and former Grizzlies and Nets head coach Lionel Hollins as associate head coach, Wojnarowski adds. The Rockets are interviewing Magic assistant Adrian Griffin and Spurs assistant James Borrego today, and Sixers assistant coach Mike D’Antoni is also a prime candidate for that job.

Portland also was granted permission Sunday to talk to Silas about being its top assistant, league sources told Wojnarowski.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Anderson, Terry

The Grizzlies spoke with at least two candidates today as their search for a new coach heats up. Heat assistant David Fizdale came to Memphis for an interview, tweets Marc J. Spears of, as did Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Both had been previously named as candidates for the job.

Spurs assistant James Borrego impressed Grizzlies officials during his interview earlier this week, tweets Marc Stein of Memphis has also held interviews with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing and recently fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel (Twitter link). The Grizzlies have significant interest in Vogel, according to ESPN, but so does Orlando (Twitter link).

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans free agent Ryan Anderson says he was nearly traded to Cleveland at the deadline, relays Brett Dawson of The Advocate. Appearing on “The Vertical Podcast,” Anderson contends the Cavaliers were trying to work out a deal for him before they picked up Channing Frye from Orlando. “There was a very last-minute phone call that I could have gone to Cleveland,” Anderson said. “I would be playing for the Cavs right now.” Anderson said he didn’t ask the Pelicans to trade him because he wants to have the option in free agency of staying in New Orleans. Anderson’s last experience as a free agent came in 2012 when he was restricted and Orlando swung a deal to send him to the Pelicans. This time, he likes the feeling of being in complete control. “I want to enjoy this process and see where New Orleans is at this summer,” Anderson said. “I want to see where, I don’t know, Houston is at or Sacramento or Washington.”
  • The Spurs could be interested in power forward Thomas Robinson if he opts out of his deal with the Nets, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Robinson would give up a little more than $980K by opting out, but he stands to make much more on the open market with the expected jump in the salary cap. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has talked about the need to rebuild the bench with younger players, and the 25-year-old Robinson, a former teammate of LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland, could be a possibility.
  • Rockets point guard Jason Terry thinks Dwight Howard would be a “great fit” with the Mavericks, but only if he adapts to coach Rick Carlisle, according to The Dallas Morning News“Whatever [Howard’s] role is, he would have to be the one to buy in first, and then you go from there,” Terry said on ESPN Radio’s Cowlishaw and Mosley show. “But he and Dirk [Nowitzki] together? That’s a powerful combination.” The 38-year-old Terry adds that he hopes to play one more season before retiring.

Grizzlies Talk To Spurs Assistant James Borrego

The Grizzlies met with Spurs assistant James Borrego today about their head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Borrego spent 30 games as interim head coach in Orlando last season before joining the Spurs at the start of this season.

Wojnarowski notes that Borrego is among several assistants the Grizzlies are considering, along with Charlotte’s Patrick Ewing, Miami’s David Fizdale, Portland’s Nate Tibbetts and San Antonio’s Ettore Messina. A source says Memphis is going through initial meetings with candidates and the list could get even larger.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger was fired eight days ago after requesting permission to interview for other coaching jobs. The Kings hired him Monday, giving him a four-year deal worth $16MM.


And-Ones: Dunn, Murray, Coaches

Former Providence point guard Kris Dunn has hired Ty Sullivan of the Creative Artists Agency to represent him, as Dunn told Jeff Goodman of (Twitter link). Sullivan represents Elfrid Payton, among other NBA players. Jamal Murray, Dunn’s primary competition to become the first point guard drafted this year, has hired Mike George of Excel Sports to be his agent, sources told Goodman (Twitter link). International journalist David Pick reported earlier that Excel was the overwhelming favorite to land Murray, the former Kentucky standout. George has recently drafted standouts Tyler Ennis and Dwight Powell among his clients. See more on the representation for some of this year’s draft prospects amid a look at other future-focused NBA items:

  • Former St. Joseph’s small forward DeAndre’ Bembry has hired Pensack Sports, which has also partnered with former Iowa combo forward and fellow second-round prospect Jarrod Uthoff, Goodman reports (Twitter links). Adam Pensack will represent Uthoff, though it’s unclear who’ll be the primary agent for Bembry. N.C. State point guard Cat Barber is going with Sunny Shah of Paramount Sports (Twitter link) and former Iowa State combo forward Georges Niang will sign with Thad Foucher and Makhtar Ndiaye of Wasserman (Twitter link), Goodman also reports, while Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal hears former Syracuse swingman Michael Gbinije has signed with Rich Kleiman of Roc Nation Sports (Twitter link).
  • Swingman Josh Jackson, who chose Kansas for his college this week, tops the early look at 2017 draft prospects that Chad Ford of compiled for an Insider-only piece. Incoming Duke power forward Harry Giles is No. 2 and soon-to-be Washington point guard Markelle Fultz is No. 3. Jayson Tatum, a small forward who’s headed to Duke, is No. 1 on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress 2017 mock draft but No. 4 on Ford’s list.
  • A panel including GMs, coaches, veteran players, agents, scouts and executives named assistant coaches Nate Tibbetts of the Trail Blazers, Jarron Collins of the Warriors, Nick Nurse of the Raptors, Chris Finch of the Rockets, Stephen Silas of the Hornets and Sean Sweeney of the Bucks as strong candidates to eventually become NBA head coaches, as Kevin Arnovitz of details.

Blazers Links: Waters, Tibbetts, Leonard

The Oregonian's Mike Tokito takes a look at Dominic Waters, who after participating in summer league play with the Trail Blazers is preparing for the next chapter in his career – whether it be in an invitation to an NBA training camp, playing in the D-League, or returning to Europe. Waters had opened some eyes at the team's four-day mini-training camp this year, earning a spot on the team's summer roster as a result of his performance. Though Waters played sparingly, assistant coach Nate Tibbetts (who led the summer team this year) had some good things to say about the NBA hopeful: “I really liked working with him because to me, as a point guard, you’re like a quarterback out there…You have to direct, and he did a really good job with that.”

Here are more links to relay along out of Portland tonight:

  • In this video interview, Tibbetts offered his thoughts on the summer league performances of several young players who have guaranteed contracts with Portland next season (via Molly Blue of the Oregonian).
  • Though Meyers Leonard could figure to be a backup to Robin Lopez this year, John Canzano of the Oregonian sees the former University of Illinois standout as a future NBA star and franchise center with a "barrel of upside." 
  • Mike Acker of the Williamette Week believes that Neil Olshey's work this summer has put the team in a flexible position to compete for a playoff spot or rebuild quickly if things don't go so well next season (hat tip to Ben Golliver of the Blazers Edge). 

Central Notes: Bulls, Robinson, Cavs, Handy

A spring evening without an NBA playoff game is like a day without sunshine for many of us, but tomorrow, the Central Division champion Pacers will try one more time to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the Reggie Miller era. If they get there, they'll try to avoid becoming the third straight Central team eliminated by the Heat, who already knocked out the Bucks and Bulls. Here's the latest from the division:
  • Aggrey Sam of figures Nate Robinson has played his last game for the Bulls. Derrick RoseKirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague will all probably be around to play point guard, and Robinson's performance will likely make him too pricey for Chicago.
  • Bulls GM Gar Forman addressed the specter of a missed season for Rose with Adam Fluck of, and in spite of an offseason of personnel decisions ahead, Forman identifies simply getting healthy as the team's primary goal this summer.
  • Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf praised the work of Forman and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson, as Fluck passes along in a separate piece.
  • If the Cavaliers wind up picking third, their current position in the pre-lottery order, Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer expects the team to target a small forward, and take a backup big man with the 19th selection. 
  • Boyer also reports in her piece that the Cavs have hired Phil Handy, an assistant coach with the Lakers, to serve as an assistant under head coach Mike Brown. The Cavs have yet to make an official announcement.
  • Former Cavs assistant Nate Tibbetts joined the Blazers staff this week, a move one executive classifies as a "home run hire" for Portland, notes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The Bobcats had been interested in Tibbetts for their head coaching job.

Coaching Rumors: Bucks, Pistons, Bobcats, 76ers

Earlier this morning, we passed along word that the Sixers have received permission to interview Michael Malone and Jeff Hornacek for their head coaching position. Philadelphia is currently one of four teams actively seeking a new coach, but that number figures to increase in the coming weeks. Ken Berger of has a little more on the Sixers and other teams exploring the coaching market, so let's round up the highlights from his piece:

  • Nate McMillan, who has met with the Pistons twice, is also near the top of the Bucks' list of targets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • After the Bucks parted ways with Jim Boylan yesterday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Stan Van Gundy and Kelvin Sampson were expected to be among Milwaukee's top targets. According to Berger, both Van Gundy and Sampson will interview with the Bucks. Lakers assistant Steve Clifford is also expected to be considered for the position.
  • Bucks GM John Hammond is seeking a defensive-minded coach who can "control the locker room," says Berger.
  • Pistons owner Tom Gores is taking a lead role in in the club's coaching search, with one source telling Berger that Gores is "looking to put his stamp on this one." Sampson and Nate McMillan are among the Pistons' potential candidates.
  • Sampson, McMillan, Nate Tibbetts, and Quin Snyder will likely all be considered by the Bobcats, according to Berger.
  • In addition to the Philadelphia targets we've already heard about, the Sixers are eyeing Heat assistant David Fizdale, says Berger, adding that the team is also doing its homework on potential GM candidates.
  • Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni would like to add a defense-first assistant to his staff, and McMillan may be his first choice. However, with McMillan a decent bet to land a head coaching job this summer, D'Antoni may turn to former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, according to Berger.
  • Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times also provides a coaching update this morning, tweeting that he has been told Jerry Sloan is "seriously considering" returning to the sidelines.

Latest On Pistons, Bobcats Coaching Searches

3:21pm: The Bobcats have also requested permission to interview Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Sampson's Rockets remain active in the postseason, though the team is one loss away from elimination.

2:19pm: According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), Pistons GM Joe Dumars met with McMillan last week. Ownership is expected to be involved in today's formal interview, says Wojnarowski.

1:02pm: While the Cavaliers struck quickly to fill their head coaching opening, two other Eastern Conference lottery teams appear to be moving at a more deliberate pace. The Pistons have begun to interview candidates, according to Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News, who tweets that Lindsey Hunter interviewed with the team yesterday, while Nate McMillan will do so today.

McMillan and Hunter appear to be the early favorites for the Pistons' coaching job, but they're unlikely to be the only candidates interviewed by the club. With 14 teams still alive in the postseason, teams searching for a new head coach may have to wait until later in the spring to seek permission to interview assistants on those playoff clubs.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats have asked for the Cavaliers' permission to talk to assistant coach Nate Tibbetts, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). If that story sounds familiar, it may be because the Bobcats interviewed the Cavs assistant a year ago, before eventually hiring Mike Dunlap.

The Bobcats seem to be revisiting a number of past candidates, having also been linked this month to Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder, both of whom were interviewed by Charlotte last spring.

The Bobcats’ Head Coach Search

It's been about a month since the Bobcats announced they wouldn't be bringing back Paul Silas to coach the team next season. Since then, the Bobcats have conducted an extensive search for their new head coach that has seen them interview eight candidates, with more to come. In case you've lost track of all the names in the running for the Charlotte job, here's a round-up of what we've heard to date:

  • Mike Dunlap, St. John's assistant: Interviewed on May 16th. Dunlap is probably a long shot for the Bobcats' job.
  • Patrick Ewing, Magic assistant: Interviewed on May 17th. A source told Marc Berman of the New York Post shortly after Ewing's interview that it was hardly a courtesy meeting and that Ewing has a "good chance" of becoming Charlotte's next coach.
  • David Joerger, Grizzlies assistant: Interviewed on May 18th. We haven't heard much about how his meeting went, so I wouldn't think he's a frontrunner.
  • Michael Malone, Warriors assistant: Interviewed on May 8th. Malone is considered one of the top potential head coaches available, and also has has some interest in the Trail Blazers job.
  • Nate McMillan, former Trail Blazers coach: Interviewed on May 22nd. One of the more high-profile candidates, McMillan has ties to the Charlotte area, having played college ball at NC State.
  • Brian Shaw, Pacers assistant: The Bobcats are in the process of setting up an interview with Shaw, who wanted to wait until the Pacers' season ended to explore coaching opportunities. The Magic also figure to have strong interest in the Indiana assistant.
  • Stephen Silas, Bobcats assistant: Interviewed on May 21st. Paul Silas was hoping his son would take over for him, but I'd be pretty shocked if the Bobcats went in this direction.
  • Jerry Sloan, former Jazz coach: Interviewed on May 25th. Sloan said his interview went well but that he didn't receive an offer and he expected the Bobcats to meet with more candidates.
  • Quin Snyder, Lakers assistant: The Bobcats plan to meet with Snyder sometime before the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago.
  • Nate Tibbetts, Cavaliers assistant: Interviewed on May 14th. Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving had high praise for the Cavs assistant, which suggests Tibbetts is adept at working with young talent.
  • Stan Van Gundy, former Magic coach: The Bobcats are expected to at least reach out to Van Gundy, if they haven't already. However, it continues to look like the ex-Magic coach will take a year off.

In McMillan and Sloan, the Bobcats have interviewed a pair of respected veteran coaches, but the team has also sought out under-the-radar options and up-and-coming assistants. I expect the search to wrap up sometime in mid-June, and considering their wide list of candidates, it'll be interesting to see which direction Michael Jordan and the Bobcats go.

Odds & Ends: Kings, Batum, Bird, Ewing, Spurs

Let's keep track of some Thursday night odds and ends here as Heat-Pacers gets underway.  The Clippers will look to rebound from a dissapointing game one loss later tonight in San Antonio.

  • Aaron Bruski of NBC Sports writes a piece providing great detail about the unfortunate business practices of the Maloofs with regard to the NBA franchise situation in Sacramento.  Bruski says the Maloofs actions could lead the NBA to force them into selling.
  • The agent of Nicolas Batum will have all the leverage in negotiations with the Blazers this summer, writes John Canzano of the Oregonian.  Batum will become a restricted free agent in the offseason.
  • Conrad Brunner from extols Larry Bird in an in depth look at the Pacers' President.  In light of Wednesday's announcement that Bird won the 2012 NBA Executive of the Year award, Brunner says that the former Celtic great is as discreetly brilliant as a roster builder as he was as a player and coach.  He credits Bird with changing the organizational culture by drafting wisely with middle of the first round picks and carefully managing the salary cap.
  • As we mentioned yesterday, Patrick Ewing interviewed for the vacant Bobcats' job today.  Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer says that Ewing, a prototypical NBA big man as a player, would be a coaching rarity should be get the job. 
  • According to the New York Post, Charlotte owner and Ewing friend Michael Jordan did not plan to sit in on the interview.  The Post adds that the Bobcats will also interview Memphis assistant Dave Joerger on Friday and have already interviewed Michael Malone, Nate Tibbetts, Mike Dunlap, Stephen Silas and has expressed interest in Brian Shaw.
  • A group of writers offered their take on the greatness of the San Antonio Spurs.  The three popular picks for the biggest reasons for the organization's success are Tim Duncan, Greg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford, with honorable mention going to Tony Parker and owner Peter Holt. Teams should look no further than San Antonio for a blueprint on how to build a team. 
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