Nate Tibbetts

Grizzlies To Interview Tibbetts For Coaching Job

The Grizzlies have been granted permission to interview Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts for their head coaching vacancy, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Tibbetts has been on other teams’ lists recently during their head coaching searches. He was expected to be interviewed by the Cavaliers, but they chose Michigan coach John Beilein before that potential meeting. Tibbetts interviewed with the Suns before they selected Monty Williams. He was also one of four finalists for the Hawks job last summer that went to Lloyd Pierce.

Memphis, which parted ways with J.B. Bickerstaff after the season, has already interviewed at least three other candidates for the job — former Suns coach Igor Kokoskov, Jazz assistant Alex Jensen and Warriors assistant Jarron Collins. Memphis is also believed to have interest in Lithuania’s Sarunas Jasikevicius.

The Grizzlies are the only team that hasn’t filled its head coaching vacancy.

Cavaliers Hire J.B. Bickerstaff As Associate Head Coach

The Cavaliers have hired J.B. Bickerstaff as associate head coach, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. A target of multiple franchises this offseason for a coaching role (including the Sixers, Celtics, Lakers and Kings), Bickerstaff will be tasked with helping new head coach John Beilein make the transition to the NBA.

Bickerstaff, who will now be one of the league’s top paid assistant coaches, is a former head coach of both the Rockets (interim) and Grizzlies. He is also the son of former NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who now serves as a Senior Basketball Advisor for the Cavaliers.

As we relayed last week, the Cavaliers also still plan to hire at least one other person to join Beilein’s staff, potentially from the pool of other candidates that interviewed for the head coaching position, including Alex Jensen (Utah), Jamahl Mosley (Dallas), Jordi Fernandez (Denver), and Nate Tibbetts (Portland).

Bickerstaff, Other Candidates Could Join Beilein’s Staff

New Cavaliers coach John Beilein is expected to meet with former Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff to gauge Bickerstaff’s interest in becoming his associate head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Bickerstaff met with Cleveland’s front office and was also a candidate for the Lakers job before they hired Frank Vogel.

Bickerstaff may not be the only candidate the Cavaliers interviewed who could potentially join Beilein’s staff. They will likely hire at least one other from that pool, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports.

Cleveland stunned the basketball world on Monday by plucking the 66-year-old Beilein out of the college ranks and naming the University of Michigan head man as its head coach.

GM Koby Altman conducted an extensive search, interviewing at least 10 other candidates, mostly NBA assistants. Among that group, Alex Jensen (Utah), Jamahl Mosley (Dallas) and Jordi Fernandez (Denver) are candidates to wind up on Beilein’s staff, as is Nate Tibbetts (Portland), who was expected to get an interview until the Cavs focused on the Wolverines coach.

Beilein is on board with having seasoned NBA assistants on the bench, Vardon continues, but wants to chat with potential candidates to find out which would be the best fits.

Vardon also added these nuggets in his story:

  • There was already mutual interest between the Cavs and Beilein when assistant GM and West Virginia alum Mike Gansey visited his former college coach at the Final Four in Minneapolis on April 6. Beilein was not viewed as a leading candidate for the job at the time mainly because the Cleveland brass doubted Beilein would leave Michigan.
  • Altman and his staff quietly interviewed Beilein last week. Later in the week, Beilein met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who lives in suburban Detroit. Beilein emerged as the Cavs’ choice after that meeting.
  • The youth and fluidity of the Cavs’ roster intrigued Beilein. It gives Beilein a chance to mold the team to his liking, as he’s done previously in his college stops.

Cavaliers Interview More Coaching Candidates

Members of the Cavaliers‘ front office are meeting with four candidates for their head coaching vacancy today in Denver, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

We told you earlier that Magic assistant coach Steve Hetzel had an interview, but GM Koby Altman and his staff also talked to Nuggets assistants Jordi Fernandez and Wes Unseld Jr.

Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool will interview tonight, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, while fellow Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts had a scheduling conflict and will hold his interview sometime after tomorrow’s Game 7. That will wrap up the first round of the coaching search, Fedor adds (Twitter link).

Cleveland has conducted the most wide-ranging interview process among the teams looking for a head coach. Spurs assistants Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina, former Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Jazz assistant Alex Jensen and Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley have all interviewed for the job.

Monty Williams Interviews With Suns

The Suns met with Sixers assistant Monty Williams on Friday, but didn’t make a job offer, reports Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The meeting was described as “very positive,” Rankin adds, and Williams remains a top contender for the position.

He was the first candidate the Suns have interviewed since firing first-year coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday. The meeting was held in Toronto because the Sixers are there for the first two games of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Lakers also interviewed Williams this week, along with former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Williams, 47, has head coaching experience in New Orleans, where he worked for new Suns VP of basketball operations Jeff Bower. Williams compiled a 173-221 record in five seasons. Phoenix GM James Jones also has experience with Williams, who was an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers during the three seasons that Jones played there.

The Suns were scheduled to meet today with Portland assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool.

Suns Get Permission To Interview Vanterpool, Tibbetts

A pair of Trail Blazers assistant coaches continue to receive interest from teams with head coaching vacancies. A day after word broke that Portland had granted permission to the Cavaliers to interview David Vanterpool and Nate Tibbetts, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that the Suns have also received permission to meet with the duo.

Vanterpool had previously been mentioned as a candidate to replace Igor Kokoskov in Phoenix, but this is the first we’ve heard of Tibbetts’ spot on the Suns’ list of potential targets.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Sixers assistant Monty Williams remains the focus of the Suns’ coaching search, after the team received permission earlier this week to meet with him. However, both Vanterpool and Tibbetts are in position to become serious candidates for the head coaching openings around the NBA.

Vanterpool, who played basketball professionally up until 2007, became an assistant on CSKA Moscow’s staff following his retirement as a player. He joined the Blazers’ staff when Terry Stotts was hired in 2012.

As for Tibbetts, he joined Stotts’ staff in 2013 after spending two years as an assistant for the Cavaliers. Before his time in Cleveland, Tibbetts served as the head coach for the Tulsa 66ers and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League.

Cavs To Interview Pair Of Blazers Assistants

The Cavaliers have received permission from the Trail Blazers to interview Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool in their search for a new head coach, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Both Tibbetts and Vanterpool were previously mentioned as potential targets for the role, as our Head Coaching Search Tracker shows.

Cleveland plans to conduct an interview with each candidate, but the franchise will be sensitive to Portland’s playoff run in the scheduling, writes Tom Withers of The Associated Press.

Tyronn Lue, who is in the running for the Lakers’ gig, began the season as the Cavs’ coach before the team fired him and handed duties over to Larry Drew. Drew was always seen as a stopgap coach, guiding the team through a season of injuries.

Heat assistant Juwan Howard and Mavs assistant Jamahl Mosley are among the candidates Cleveland is considering for the position. The franchise has no timetable to make a hire.

Cavs Notes: Smith, Coaching Search, Expiring Deals, Draft

Cavaliers GM Koby Altman told reporters Friday that he has already been contacted by a team interested in trading for J.R. Smith, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The interest isn’t so much in Smith as a player – he parted ways with the team in November and only appeared in 11 games this season – but in his contract, which is valued at $14.72MM but carries only a $3.87MM guarantee.

[RELATED: Why J.R. Smith May (Or May Not) Be A Valuable Offseason Trade Chip]

A team looking to unload salary could deal for Smith and be on the hook for just $1.29MM annually if he is waived and stretched over three seasons. The Cavaliers showed a willingness this year to take on unwanted contracts in exchange for draft picks, trading for Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, Matthew Dellavedova and Nik Stauskas.

“We are actually the only team in the NBA that can provide guaranteed cap relief from teams or salary relief until July 1,” Altman said. “We can guarantee that right now and we actually had a phone call yesterday on that (Smith) trade chip, so, we’re going to keep on being aggressive adding those assets because we do eventually want to consolidate and be really good at some point.”

There’s more from Cleveland, all courtesy of Vardon:

  • Altman promised an “open-minded” approach to the team’s coaching search and brought up the possibility of making history by hiring a woman for the job. Though he couldn’t mention her by name because she’s under contract, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is an obvious candidate if Altman wants a female coach. Hammon interviewed for the Bucks’ head-coaching job last year, ran the Spurs’ summer league team and has a player development background, which Vardon states is important to the Cavaliers.
  • Other coaching possibilities that Cavs players mentioned to Vardon include the Nets’ Bret Brielmaier, the Mavericks’ Jamahl Mosley and the Trail Blazers’ Nate Tibbetts. All three have previous experience in Cleveland. Altman said interviews will begin soon with candidates whose teams aren’t in the playoffs.
  • The Cavaliers believe their expiring contracts for next season might generate some interest on the trade market this summer. Knight and Dellavedova will both be free agents in 2020, along with John Henson, Jordan Clarkson and Tristan Thompson.
  • Cleveland won a tiebreaker with the Suns for second place in the draft order heading into next month’s lottery. If they Cavs do wind up with the No. 2 pick, Vardon notes, their view of what type of player Collin Sexton will develop into may determine whether they opt for a point guard in Ja Morant or a wing player in R.J. Barrett.

Hawks Narrow Coaching Search To Four Finalists

MAY 7, 10:44pm: Pierce’s previously-reported second interview with the Hawks will take place on Tuesday, Marc Spears of The Undefeated tweets.

MAY 6, 6:39pm: The Hawks have narrowed down their list of head coaching candidates to four finalists, reports Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to Cunningham, Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce, Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, Hornets assistant Stephen Silas, and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga remain in the running.

[RELATED: 2018 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Pierce has emerged this weekend as a frontrunner for the position, with a Saturday report indicating he’d get a second interview for the job. Earlier today, we heard that Pierce would meet with Hawks ownership early this week, and could receive a job offer if that meeting goes well.

However, the Hawks are considering three other assistants from around the NBA, including Tibbetts, who has already met with team owner Tony Ressler, according to Cunningham. A source with knowledge of the Hawks’ plans tells Cunningham that Pierce’s own meeting with Ressler hasn’t yet been officially scheduled, adding that it’s premature to view him as a lock for the job over Atlanta’s other finalists.

As Cunningham details, David Fizdale interviewed with the Hawks and met with Ressler as well, but reached an agreement on Thursday to become the Knicks’ new head coach, taking him out of the mix for Atlanta.

Shortly after the Hawks parted ways with Mike Budenholzer, a report indicated that the team was looking to find an up-and-coming coach who could evolve along with Atlanta’s young roster. As such, it’s perhaps no surprise that none of the team’s finalists – Pierce, Tibbetts, Silas, and Larranaga – have held a permanent head coaching job in the past.

Hawks To Interview Nate Tibbetts, Jarron Collins

The Hawks have interviews set today with a pair of Western Conference assistants, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Nate Tibbetts of the Trail Blazers and Jarron Collins of the Warriors will both interview for Atlanta’s head coaching spot, which was opened when the organization parted ways with Mike Budenholzer this week.

The Hawks’ interest in Tibbetts has been known since Friday when Portland granted permission for an interview, but Collins’ candidacy is new, notes Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Darvin Ham, who has been an assistant to Budenholzer for the past five seasons, will interview tomorrow.

Other identified candidates are David Fizdale, who interviewed Saturday, as well as Stephen Silas, James Borrego and Ime Udoka.

Collins, who played 10 NBA seasons, spent two years as a scout with the Clippers before joining Golden State as a player development coach in 2014/15. He was promoted to an assistant the following year.