Chris Makris

Western Notes: Paul, House, Prince, Favors, Suns

Rockets point guard Chris Paul was fined $35K for “aggressively confronting and recklessly making contact with a game official” but was not suspended, according to a league press release relayed by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Paul was ejected with 4.4 seconds left in Game 1 of the Rockets’ conference semifinal series with Golden State on Sunday. He was whistled for his second technical foul when he made contact with referee Josh Tiven while arguing that Warriors guard Klay Thompson committed a loose-ball foul against him. The non-call on Thompson was correct, according to the NBA’s last two minute report, MacMahon notes. Paul said the contact was accidental.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Rockets reserve forward Danuel House harbors no ill will toward the Warriors for cutting him loose during training camp, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. “I was just trying to secure a job, show people my potential. I just needed an opportunity,” House said. “Those guys didn’t see me fit for it. I’m just grateful my hometown team took me in. It’s business. I respect the nature of the business. But of course I want to win.” House had three points and three rebounds in 21 minutes during the series opener. He had his two-way contract converted into a standard deal in mid-March.
  • Grizzlies executive Tayshaun Prince was promoted to “special advisor” to vice president of basketball affairs but his role won’t change much, as Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian explains. He’ll remain a crucial link from the front office to the players and coaches, though now with more empowerment, Herrington continues. Rich Cho, who was earlier named vice president of basketball strategy, will lead the analytics/research/systems staff while Chris Makris will continue to lead the traditional scouting staff, Herrington adds. Prince will also help evaluate professional, college and G League personnel.
  • Derrick Favors‘ chances of remaining with the Jazz hinge on what happens in the early days of free agency, as Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News explains. Favors’ $16.9MM salary for next season, which could total $18.8MM if he reaches incentives in the contract, becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster past July 6. If Utah is able to secure a commitment from a free agent power forward, Favors won’t get the guarantee. If it can’t find a suitable replacement by then, the team will likely retain Favors.
  • The Suns are close to hiring Gonzaga assistant coach Riccardo Fois for a major player development role within the organization, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Fois is current the Zags’ coordinator of analytics and video operations.

Southwest Notes: Barea, Dedmon, Spurs, Mavs

Mavericks guard J.J. Barea aspires to be a basketball coach when his playing career over, and this summer he’ll get a shot to coach a team even before he retires a player. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN details, Barea has been hired as the head coach of Indios de Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican league for the rest of the season, which runs about another month. Barea received clearance from Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle, and the Mavs, and is excited about the opportunity.

“This is my hometown team, where I played when I was getting started,” Barea said. “I think it’s going to be a great experience for myself and see if I really like this and see what I learn and if it can help me out for the future.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Now that Dewayne Dedmon has opted out of his contract with the Spurs, what sort of offers may he be looking at as a free agent? According to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link), he’s hearing from NBA GMs that Dedmon could land something in the range of three to four years at $8-10MM annually.
  • In the wake of last week’s Chris Paul rumors and speculation, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders takes a closer look at the Spurs‘ salary cap situation for this summer, explaining why it will be hard to create a big chunk of space, and identifying alternate targets.
  • A report from French outlet L’Equipe suggests that the Mavericks are exploring the possibility of adding SIG Strasbourg head coach Vincent Collet to their Summer League coaching staff. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando observes, such a union would make a lot of sense if Dallas drafts point guard Frank Ntilikina ninth overall in June’s draft — Ntilikina has played under Collet in France for the last two seasons.
  • The Grizzlies announced today in a press release that director basketball operations Chris Makris will act as the GM for the team’s new D-League club, which will play in Southaven, Mississippi. Glynn Cyprien will coach the squad.

Grizz Eye Grunwald, Dinwiddie For GM-In-Waiting

The Grizzlies have narrowed down their list of candidates for a front office job that could eventually lead to becoming the team’s future general manager, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. At this point, former Knicks executive Glen Grunwald and current Pacers VP of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie are considered to be the leading candidates. Both were interviewed for the position last month, and league sources tell Wojnarowski that they are expected to individually meet with team owner Robert Pera soon. Chris Makris – who currently serves as GM of the Grizzlies’ D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy – is highly regarded within the organization and is also expected to meet with Pera at some point.

Whoever earns the position will be expected to work initially under current GM Chris Wallace, according to sources; however, Wojnarowski adds that the hiring could also ultimately involve a higher-profile decision-making role within the organization.