Adam Caporn

Wizards Announce Brian Keefe’s New Coaching Staff

While Brian Keefe isn’t technically among this offseason’s new head coaches – he took over Washington’s job midway through the 2023/24 campaign when Wes Unseld Jr. transitioned to a front office role – the Wizards have revamped his coaching staff heading into Keefe’s first full season at the helm.

According to a press release from the team, veteran assistant David Vanterpool is the only member of last season’s staff who is returning for 2024/25. The new additions, some of whom were previously reported, are as follows:

  • Adam Caporn, a former G League head coach for the Long Island Nets who spent the past three seasons as an assistant in Brooklyn.
  • J.J. Outlaw, an assistant coach with the Cavaliers for the past five seasons who also had stints with the Lakers and Grizzlies.
  • Brian Randle, who spent last season as a Pistons assistant and previously worked for the Suns (as an assistant) and Timberwolves (as a player development coach).
  • T.J. Sorrentine, a longtime assistant coach at Brown University.
  • Alexis Ajinca, a seven-year NBA veteran who also played professionally in France and transitioned into coaching in 2023 as an assistant for the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate.

Joseph Blair, James Posey, and Mike Miller (the former Knicks coach, not the former Heat champion) are among the notable assistants who were let go by the Wizards when the club cleaned house back in April.

Southeast Notes: KCP, Fultz, Okeke, Ware, Highsmith, McGowens, Wizards

The Magic‘s promising future played an important role in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s decision to join the team in free agency, tweets Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Caldwell-Pope won titles with the Nuggets in 2023 and the Lakers in 2020, and he likes his chances to pick up a third ring in Orlando.

“I’m always chasing the championship,” Caldwell-Pope said. “… Seeing their progress, they just made it to the playoffs, taking Cleveland to a Game 7. That was enough for me. They got a little bit of a taste of that pressure and what it takes to make it past the first round. I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

Caldwell-Pope will become a veteran leader on a team that has amassed an impressive collection of young talent over the last few drafts. He’s looking forward to playing alongside Paolo Banchero, who became an All-Star in his second NBA season.

“His knowledge of the game,” Caldwell-Pope responded when asked what stands out about Banchero. “Him being patient in certain situations, making plays for his teammates to get his teammates involved. Being so much of a little bit of a leader that I’ve seen from him.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic renounced their free agent rights to Markelle Fultz and Chuma Okeke to clear up cap room for other moves, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Both players are still eligible to sign new contracts with Orlando.
  • The Heat want rookie center Kel’el Ware to gain weight before the start of the season, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). The first-round pick weighed in at 230 pounds when he arrived at Summer League camp, and he said the team would prefer him to be between 240 and 245.
  • Free agent forward Haywood Highsmith still has interest in returning to the Heat, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The Sixers were considered a potential landing spot for Highsmith, Chiang adds, but that seems less likely after Philadelphia signed Caleb Martin.
  • Bryce McGowens, who was waived earlier today, will continue to be part of the Hornets‘ Summer League team, tweets Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer.
  • Brown University assistant coach T.J. Sorrentine was thrilled to get the chance to join Brian Keefe‘s staff with the Wizards, relays Bill Koch of The Providence Journal. “My family was happy. I was in a great spot,” Sorrentine said. “But going through a day with coach Keefe and meeting with people, I left here and I called my wife (Emily) and I was like, ‘Man, it’s going to be really hard to come back to college.’  This was a unique opportunity. That’s when I knew it was time to go. I was ready. I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity.” Adam Caporn, director of development with the Nets’ coaching staff, has also accepted a job with Washington, according to NetsDaily (Twitter link). Caporn’s hiring had been anticipated.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Outlaw, Caporn, Heat, Jovic

Not only did the Hornets have a head coaching change, the entire staff has been overhauled, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer reports.

As previously noted here, Lamar Skeeter, Chris Jent and Josh Longstaff have been hired away from other organizations to head up Charles Lee‘s staff with the Hornets. They’ll be joined by Ryan Frazier, Zach Peterson, Matt Hill and Blaine Mueller, according to Boone. The training staff is also undergoing changes, as the Hornets have decided to part ways with longtime director of health care and sports performance Joe Sharpe.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • In more coaching news, J.J. Outlaw, who spent the last three seasons as a Cavaliers assistant coach, and Adam Caporn, who spent the last two seasons as a Nets assistant, are strong candidates to join Brian Keefe‘s Wizards staff, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets.
  • The Heat own the No. 15 pick in the draft and The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang takes a deep dive into the prospects that might be available at that spot. The list is comprehensive, omitting only those prospects who seems likely to go in the top 10.
  • If finding another shooter is a priority, Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, Duke guard Jared McCain, Colorado’s Tristan de Silva and the University of Miami’s Kyshawn George are potential targets with the Heat‘s first-rounder, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  • In a separate draft-related piece, Winderman notes that virtually every position on the Heat roster could use a boost, with only shooting guard currently having enough quality depth.
  • Nikola Jovic suffered a postseason left ankle sprain and he’s still in recovery mode, which makes the Heat forward’s status for Serbia’s pre-Olympic matchups uncertain. “I’m doing great,” he told Mozzartsport, as relayed by BasketNews. “The injury I got is getting better, the swelling is almost gone. But we’ll wait a few more days for the control scan and after that we’ll see how things are. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure that I’ll play, but I really believe in it.

New York Notes: Nets, Tsai, Brunson, Knicks, Randle

The Nets have formally announced Jordi Fernandez‘s coaching staff for the 2024/25 season, officially confirming (via Twitter) that previously reported names like Steve Hetzel, Juwan Howard, and Jay Hernandez will be among the assistants flanking the first-time head coach.

Hernandez is a carryover from last season’s staff, as are Adam Caporn, Ryan Forehan-Kelly, Corey Vinson, and Travis Bader. Besides Hetzel and Howard, the newcomers include Deividas Dulkys and Connor Griffin, whose hirings were also previously reported.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams, starting with Brooklyn:

  • The Nets don’t publicly share the names of the prospects they’re working out during the pre-draft process, but as NetsDaily relays, a few names are being reported. For instance, Rick Pitino tweeted earlier this month that St. John’s guard Daniss Jenkins “killed” his workout with Brooklyn, while Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Thursday (via Twitter) that the Nets are among the teams that have worked out Adelaide 36ers wing Trentyn Flowers, who has also gotten a look from the Wizards, Bucks, Kings, Rockets, and Spurs, and has workouts on tap with the Lakers, Suns, Hornets, Jazz, Bulls, and Celtics.
  • While New York City has a history of bombastic sports team owners, Joe Tsai of the Nets has made it clear he doesn’t intend to be one of them, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “My first principle is don’t treat yourself too seriously. Don’t become the face of the franchise, because it’s not about you,” Tsai said recently. “Fans don’t care about you: They care about the players. They care about the star players. … You work for the fans. So you have to come in with that mindset, especially when you own a major sports team in a major city. It’s an institution. It’s not about you. It’s something that’s much much bigger than you and I feel like I’m a custodian of the team.”
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Post (subscription required) takes a closer look at Jalen Brunson‘s contract situation, writing that while the Knicks’ point guard may ultimately be willing to sign an extension this offseason, he’d likely be in better position to maximize his long-term earnings if he waits until 2025.
  • Fred Katz and Seth Partnow of The Athletic recently discussed the Knicks‘ offseason. According to Partnow, various analytics models had Isaiah Hartenstein‘s 2023/24 season valued in the range of $28-35MM. The 26-year-old center made $9.25MM this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. New York only holds his Early Bird rights, which means it will be somewhat limited (four years, $72.5MM) in what it can offer him. A recent report said people around the league think Hartenstein could receive $20-25MM annually on his next deal, and potentially losing him would certainly dampen Partnow’s view of the Knicks. Katz and Partnow also discuss the pros and cons of Julius Randle and ways in which the Knicks can improve next season, among other topics.
  • Speaking of Randle, the injured All-Star forward said he’s recovering well from shoulder surgery, though he still isn’t doing on-court work yet, per Bondy of The New York Post. One of New York’s main offseason questions is what to do with Randle, who is eligible for a lucrative extension this summer. For his part, the 29-year-old said he wants to stay long-term. “Yeah, I’ve always said from the very beginning I would love to be here in New York and I would love to continue to add on to what the guys did in the playoffs,” said Randle, who can also become a free agent in 2025. “I feel like that was my personal — biggest personal goal, or I’d say team goal in a sense, was when I got here is to be able to build and compete and to be at the point where we’re at now, where it’s an actual possibility (to win a championship). So really, that’s what my focus is, doing whatever I can to make sure I get healthy and get back and make sure I’m ready whenever we start playing again and contribute to winning. That’s really all my focus is and that stuff always in my career has taken care of itself.”

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Nets To Add Griffin, Dulkys As Assistants

The Nets are adding Connor Griffin and Deividas Dulkys as assistants on Jordi Fernandez’s staff, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports (Twitter link).

Griffin has been on the Nuggets’ staff, where he was originally hired as an assistant video coordinator in September 2021. Dulkys has served as a player development coach with the Kings since the summer of 2022.

Additionally, the Nets will retain Adam Caporn, Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Corey Vinson, but Trevor Hendry is departing, according to Scotto.

The Nets have also reportedly brought in Steve Hetzel from Portland to be one of Fernandez’s top assistants, along with hiring former Michigan coach Juwan Howard. Scotto previously reported that Jay Hernandez would remain on the staff, while Will Weaver and Ronnie Burrell were let go.

Nets Officially Announce Changes To Coaching Staff

The Nets were among the teams to make an in-season coaching change this past season, replacing Steve Nash with Jacque Vaughn in November. Even though he spent nearly the entire 2022/23 season running the Nets, Vaughn didn’t get a chance to reshape his coaching staff until this spring.

Vaughn is taking advantage of that opportunity, with the Nets issuing a press release on Tuesday to formally announce several changes to their coaching staff.

The new additions, some of which were previously reported, are as follows:

  • Kevin Ollie (assistant coach), the former head coach of UConn and Overtime Elite.
  • Will Weaver (assistant coach), who has coached the Sydney Kings and (this past season) Paris Basketball internationally. He’s also a veteran NBA assistant who had a previous stint in Brooklyn as a Nets assistant (2016-18) and coach of the Long Island Nets (2018/19).
  • Jay Hernandez (assistant coach), who was an assistant coach and the director of player development with the Hornets for the past five seasons.
  • Ronnie Burrell (assistant coach), the head coach of the Long Island Nets in 2022/23.
  • Corey Vinson (assistant coach/player development), a former player development coach with the Suns.

According to today’s announcement, the Nets will retain assistant coach and director of player development Adam Caporn, as well as assistants Trevor Hendry and Ryan Forehan-Kelly. They all worked under Nash and will be holdovers under Vaughn as he prepares for his first full season as Brooklyn’s head coach.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Celtics, Moser, Nets, Thomas

After Raptors 905 head coach Patrick Mutombo was hired away by Phoenix, Eric Khoury will take the reins coaching Toronto’s G League team in 2022/23. As Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes, Khoury’s background in academia and analytics is a little out of the ordinary for an NBA coach, but the 33-year-old has been in the Raptors’ organization for nearly a decade and has proven his basketball bona fides.

“I think that shows that you can come from any sort of background, any diverse background and if you show interest in the game, passion for the game, some hard work … you don’t necessarily need to come from the most traditional, ‘Well, I’ve coached at this level, now at this level’ and slowly bring your way up the ranks,” Khoury said.

“If you show that you have a passion for the game and you bring a cool perspective or a different perspective and you’re willing to work hard at it that it’s possible to make it at the next level.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Mike Moser, who spent the 2021/22 season as an assistant for the Oregon women’s basketball team, has accepted a job on the Celtics‘ coaching staff, writes Jarrid Denney of Oregon women’s basketball head coach Kelly Graves announced the news on Twitter.
  • Jared Weiss of The Athletic takes a look at which Celtics Summer League players made the strongest cases for a shot at a regular season roster spot, evaluating Brodric Thomas, Matt Ryan, and Justin Jackson, among others.
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post shares his takeaways from the Nets‘ Summer League performance, including his impressions on Cam Thomas, David Duke, and Alondes Williams. While Thomas had another big Summer League showing as a scorer, he’ll have to continue improving as a play-maker and defender to earn an increased role in Brooklyn’s regular season rotation, Lewis says.
  • In addition to carrying a pair of Australians (Ben Simmons and Patty Mills) on their roster, the Nets now have one on their coaching staff. Alex Schiffer of The Athletic profiles Adam Caporn, the newly-promoted Nets assistant who coached Brooklyn’s Summer League team after spending last season in the G League coaching the Long Island Nets.

New York Notes: Nets Assistants, Grimes, Hartenstein, Brunson

The Nets have added Igor Kokoškov, Adam Caporn and Trevor Hendry as assistant coaches on Steve Nash‘s staff, per a team press release.

Kokoškov has extensive NBA experience, having served as an assistant coach for 20 years with the Clippers, Pistons, Suns, Cavs, Magic, Jazz, Kings, and most recently with the Mavericks last season. He was the head coach of the Suns for one season, in 2018/19.

In addition to his NBA coaching jobs, Kokoškov has also led the Georgian, Slovenian and Serbian national teams. He was the head coach of Turkish club Fenerbahçe in ’20/21. Marc Stein reported last month that Kokoškov was expected to join Brooklyn.

Caporn was the head coach of Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, last season. A native of Australia, Caporn played college ball at Saint Mary’s before joining the NBL for six seasons as a pro. He has extensive experience in player development and is currently an assistant with the Australian national team, helping the Boomers win a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Hendry has been the Nets’ head video coordinator for the past four seasons. He’s been with the organization since 2014, serving in a variety of roles in the basketball operations department prior to becoming video coordinator.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Knicks guard Quentin Grimes has a simple goal for Las Vegas Summer League, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “Really come out here and dominate,” Grimes said after the team’s first practice at Cox Pavillion. “I feel like I played well last year. Just coming in this year being a second-year guy, I know what to expect, I know how the games are. Just go out there and try to dominate every time offensively and defensively.” The 25th pick of the 2021 draft, Grimes averaged 6 PPG and 2 RPG while shooting 38.1% from three-point range and playing solid defense in 46 games (17.1 MPG) as a rookie last season. Grimes dealt with a dislocated knee cap towards the end of last season, but he says he’s fully healthy now, per Braziller.
  • Fred Katz and Law Murray of The Athletic take a look at what the Knicks can expect from center Isaiah Hartenstein, who agreed to a two-year, $16.7MM deal with New York in free agency. A strong passer and play-maker, Hartenstein could unlock easy baskets for players like Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett, according to Murray, who says Hartenstein was underutilized offensively by the Clippers last season. Although he isn’t the most athletic player, Murray notes that Hartenstein rotates well on defense and uses his length to effectively defend the paint. Hartenstein posted impressive per-36 averages of 1.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game last season.
  • Signing Jalen Brunson is a make-or-break move for Leon Rose‘s tenure as president of basketball operations, argues Ian Begley of Begley details Rose’s 2021 offseason moves, which were considered low-risk at the time, yet the Knicks were forced to package various draft assets to move off the salaries of Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks in order to create cap space to sign Brunson. Sources tell Begley that one rival team was willing to trade a second-rounder to acquire Burks, but the Knicks ended up giving away two second-round picks and $6MM to Detroit to move Burks and Noel. Rose’s CAA connections haven’t led to sustained success to this point, per Begley, and signing Brunson needs to work out considering all the assets the Knicks gave up.
  • Part of the reason Brunson decided to sign with the Knicks is because he thought he’d have a better chance at becoming an All-Star in the East than the West, Marc Stein writes in his latest article for Substack. As Stein relays, Brunson is the first player in league history to receive a nine-figure contract from a new club without making an All-Star team, per ESPN Stats & Info (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Siakam, Love, Nets

The Celtics have had a tumultuous start to their offseason, and fans can expect even more changes as the off-season progresses. But their options are limited, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, and making large changes require creativity and precision. President of basketball operations Brad Stevens, for his part, seems to agree.

There are some things that we have to navigate from a financial perspective,” Stevens said. “With our limited ability to sign in free agency. We’re gonna have to be creative, we’re gonna have to continue to work, and we’re gonna have to continue to see what’s out there.”

Forsberg goes step-by-step through how the Celtics will likely approach their non-taxpayer mid-level exception, their trade exceptions, and the other tools they have available this offseason as they try to rebuild this team on the fly.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Following rumors of the Warriors potentially using one or both of their picks along with James Wiseman to add win-now talent, Blake Murphy of The Athletic addresses the notion that the Raptors could move Pascal Siakam in such a deal. It wouldn’t be as simple as it seems, Murphy writes, both from a financial standpoint and from the Raptors’ end, as they would rather not pursue a deal that feels like it’s selling low on their All-NBA talent.
  • With two years and $60MM left on his deal, the Cavaliers would surely rather trade Kevin Love than buy him out, but if no trade materializes and they do end up going the buyout rate, keep an eye on the Nets as a landing spot, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “I understand going into my 14th season that being that No. 1 guy, playing 35 minutes, getting 20 touches a game is probably in my rear view,” Love said after practicing with Team USA on Tuesday. “But how I can affect the team, and feeling how I’m feeling now, I know that I can do it at a very high level.”
  • The Long Island Nets have named Adam Caporn their head coach, according to a team press release. Caporn comes to Brooklyn’s G League affiliate after seven seasons as head coach of Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, the country’s premier player development program. Caporn is also currently serving as an assistant coach for the Australian national team as they compete for a gold medal in Tokyo.