Chris Mullin

And-Ones: Nets, Mullin, Stoudemire

Current St. John’s coach and former Warriors GM Chris Mullin, who is from Brooklyn, is a name that Ohm Youngmisuk of has heard in regards to the Nets’ new head coaching vacancy (Twitter link). This is the first mention of Mullin in connection to the Nets that we’ve learned of and it is not yet known how serious a candidate he is to consider.

In other news regarding the Nets’ shakeup today, Mike Mazzeo of hears reports that claim former GM Billy King will advise in the search for his successor are “totally true” (Twitter link).

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire considered signing with the Suns, which is one of his former teams, over the summer before he joined the Heat, opting to instead play on a title contender, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports (scroll down). The Suns drafted Stoudemire in 2002. He captured the Rookie of the Year award and made five All-Star teams with the Suns. “That’s why I chose Miami, but Phoenix is still not ruled out,” Stoudemire said. “I have a lot of basketball left in me.” Stoudemire, 33, will be a free agent again this summer.
  • Point guard Jordan Farmar, who last played in the league in 2014/15 for the Clippers and is mostly known for his time with the Lakers, wants to be back in the NBA and would not turn down a 10-day contract, international journalist David Pick reports (on Twitter). Farmer parted ways with Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv today after signing overseas in July, according to the team’s Twitter (h/t Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Tyson Chandler‘s four-year, $52MM pact with the Suns was one of the summer’s worst free agent deals because the 33-year-old has struggled mightily with his new team, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders opines. Omer Asik‘s contract with the Pelicans and Kyle Singler‘s deal with the Thunder also made Basketball Insiders’ list.
  • After making the playoffs last season and then signing Greg Monroe, the Bucks are a disappointing 15-24, but with young stars on the roster, Milwaukee’s position is still an enviable one going forward, Ian Thomsen of writes. There is still a lot of hope that the Bucks can contend beyond this season because Jabari Parker is 20, Giannis Antetokounmpo is 21 and Monroe is 25, Thomsen adds. With another top-10 pick likely coming in June, the Bucks remain in good shape for the long-term, Thomsen contends.

Fallout From Pete D’Alessandro’s Kings Depature

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier today that Pete D’Alessandro is leaving the Kings to accept a front office post with the Nuggets. He’ll be working in a supporting role under team president Josh Kroenke with both the Nuggets and the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche. D’Alessandro’s impending departure from Sacramento will end a tumultuous tenure that began with high hopes when new Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive brought him aboard back in June 2013, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. In the article, Jones relays a number of details regarding D’Alessandro’s tenure with the Kings. Jones’ meticulously reported piece is worth a full read, especially for Kings fans, but we’ll pass along some highlights here:

  • D’Alessandro fought for the firing of coach Michael Malone last December, Jones writes. Parting ways with Malone sent the team into a tailspin and angered a number of the players on the roster, as Jones details. Ranadive said it was D’Alessandro and former Kings adviser Chris Mullin, who is now head coach at St. John’s University, who insisted that firing Malone was best for the team. This conflicts with Wojnarowski’s report, which indicated that Ranadive forced D’Alessandro into firing Malone.
  • The GM alienated some Kings players when he publicly relayed that Malone would have been fired even if the team had a winning record, according to Jones. The players viewed the termination of Malone as a personal vendetta that D’Alessandro acted on regardless of the effect it would have on the team, the Bee scribe adds.
  • D’Alessandro told center DeMarcus Cousins that he was against the hiring of George Karl as coach, multiple sources told Jones. Cousins later became upset when reports surfaced indicating that he was the one who was against Karl being named coach because of his loyalty to Malone.
  • D’Alessandro was the primary reason that former director player pro personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim left the team before this past season, Jones reports. Abdur-Rahim disagreed with the GM’s decision to select Nik Stauskas in the 2014 draft, and he believed that Elfrid Payton would have been a better fit for the team, Jones relays.
  • Ranadive hired Vlade Divac, against D’Alessandro’s wishes, in order to add a basketball voice whom the owner believed wouldn’t allow personal feelings to impact his professional decisions, Jones adds.

Voisin On Cousins, Ranadive, D’Alessandro

A few trade rumors have surrounded DeMarcus Cousins of late, and while the noise surrounding the All-Star isn’t at a high level, he’d be the league’s most prominent trade candidate, if he could indeed be considered a trade candidate. Cousins has complained publicly and privately about Sacramento’s fast-paced system, but the Kings have no plans to move him, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacrameno Bee. Vlade Divac, the Kings front office chief who’s apparently enchanted with the talent of the former fifth overall pick, wants Cousins’ tenure in Sacramento to endure, as Voisin details.

“DeMarcus is here,” Divac said forcefully, according to Voisin. “It’s a process of growing up. And I really believe that, behind that shield of his, he is a really good guy. I want to create a healthy environment where we trust each other, and I want to see him in a situation when he’s winning games. What, five losing seasons? Winning changes everything. Like I told DeMarcus, he played so great for coach George [Karl]. It will only get better when we get him more help.”

Voisin’s latest column has more insight on the seemingly ever-changing dynamics of the Kings front office and roster, and we’ll hit the highlights here:

  • Owner Vivek Ranadive has been less of a hands-on presence in recent weeks, allowing Divac and coach George Karl to perform their respective duties without undue influence, Voisin writes.
  • Divac replaced GM Pete D’Alessandro as head of the basketball operations, but the subsequent departure of former adviser Chris Mullin for the head coaching job at St. John’s has helped restore some power to D’Alessandro, according to Voisin. Some perceived Mullin, who was eminently powerful within the organization, as the team’s de facto GM, Voisin explains.
  • It’s uncertain whether D’Alessandro will remain with the Kings now that he reports to Divac, but Divac, in his comments to Voisin, seemed to make an appeal of sorts to the GM. “When I first came here,” Divac said of joining the front office in February, “I just observed everything and listened. I wasn’t sure [the front office] was going to work. But Vivek trusted me, trusted coach. I called everyone into a meeting and said, ‘If you want to be here, forget the past. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future. We need everyone’s help.’ Pete can be a big part of this. And these last two weeks, I see tremendous progress. We are getting along, functioning. Slowly we are fitting in together.”
  • Divac will prioritize the acquisition of a “lanky frontcourt defender” this summer, followed by shooting, playmakers and depth, Voisin writes.

Latest On Kings Front Office

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive indeed sees vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac as the team’s primary basketball decision-maker instead of GM Pete D’Alessandro, league sources tell Marc Stein of The team put Divac above D’Alessandro on its organizational chart when it hired its former center in March, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether Divac would be at the controls. D’Alessandro’s future with the club is unclear, as Stein and Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link) write. Sacramento is looking to hire another front office executive to support Divac whether or not D’Alessandro remains with the Kings, Stein hears.

Former Kings adviser Chris Mullin, who left the team a week ago to coach at St. John’s, his alma mater, was D’Alessandro’s closest ally, according to Stein. Mullin lost influence with Ranadive when he refused to coach the team immediately after the midseason firing of Michael Malone rather than wait until next season, sources tell the ESPN scribe. Mullin and D’Alessandro resisted the hiring of Divac, though D’Alessandro said last month that he and others were pleased to have Divac aboard, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee reported then.

Ranadive’s appointment of Divac atop the basketball power structure means the owner has once more hired a top hoops executive after hiring a coach, since George Karl joined the team in February, though Divac has made it clear that he likes Karl, Stein notes. Divac worked in the Lakers scouting department after his retirement in 2005, and he served as president of Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade and as an adviser to Spain’s Real Madrid, as Stein points out. He’s also done Olympic and FIBA administrative work and has a reputation as a unifying force, according to Stein. That jibes with a recent report from The Bee’s Jason Jones that Ranadive has wanted to end the discord that’s marked the front office of late. Ranadive had lost faith in the front office’s plan, Jones tweets.

D’Alessandro came aboard shortly after Ranadive bought the team in 2013. The GM had been former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri‘s chief aide, and Denver was reportedly leaning toward hiring D’Alessandro for its own GM vacancy in 2013, when Ujiri left to head the Raptors. D’Alessandro’s tenure in charge of Sacramento’s basketball operations was marked by an aggressive posture toward trades, particularly in his first season, when the team acquired Rudy Gay from Ujiri and the Raptors. The Kings under D’Alessandro pushed Gay to opt in for this season and signed him to an extension this past fall, and they gave DeMarcus Cousins a max extension the previous offseason.

Chris Mullin Leaves Kings For St. John’s

TUESDAY, 3:42pm: The hiring is official, the school announced.

MONDAY, 3:41pm: Mullin has accepted the St. John’s job, report Roger Rubin and Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

SUNDAY, 4:37pm: Chris Mullin, who has been an adviser in the Kings’ front office since September 2013, is expected to accept an offer from St. John’s to be its next men’s basketball head coach, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports writes. Mullin would lead his alma mater following the school’s firing of Steve Lavin on Friday.

Mullin quickly emerged as a favorite for the Red Storm’s coaching job soon after the vacancy arose. If there are no late obstacles during the negotiations, the school’s administration is hoping to have a press conference Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Rothstein. Mullin, a two-time inductee of the Hall of Fame who retired after the 2000/01 season, is a former general manager of the Warriors. He has no head coaching experience.

It was reported earlier this month by Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee that Mullin, who was a candidate for the Kings’ coaching position earlier this season, resisted the recent hirings of coach George Karl and vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac. Tom Ziller of SB Nation tweeted that it was rumored Mullin wanted former Kings coach Michael Malone out of the way, but didn’t want to take over in the middle of a season and instead wanted to start before training camp and with a new staff.

Pacific Rumors: Robinson, Kings, Bhullar

Nate Robinson‘s sore left knee is improving and he could return to the Clippers since coach Doc Rivers was pleased with what he saw from him, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Robinson was not signed for the remainder of the season after his two 10-day contracts expired because of the injury but he’s expected to be cleared to play by week’s end, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets. Rivers indicated to Bolch that Robinson’s return was a strong possibility when he’s ready to play. “I liked what Nate brought us,” Rivers said “I liked his energy.” However, Robinson’s return could be delayed until Lester Hudson‘s 10-day contract expires. Hudson was signed on Sunday to take the roster spot vacated by Robinson, whose last 10-day contract expired on Thursday. The 30-year-old Hudson was the Chinese Basketball Association MVP the last two years before joining the Clippers.

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive wants to put an end to the discord in the team’s front office, league sources tell Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Jones writes about Chris Mullin, the Kings adviser who is reportedly expected to accept an offer to instead become the coach at St. John’s University and who, according to fellow Bee scribe Ailene Voisin, opposed the hirings of coach George Karl and new Kings exec Vlade Divac.
  • The Kings are also hopeful Sim Bhullar will eventually make their NBA roster as his conditioning improves, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee reports. Bhullar, a 7-foot-5, center, has been playing for the Kings’ D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, after getting waived by Sacramento during training camp. Bhullar came to camp at nearly 400 pounds and has since shed approximately 45 pounds, according to Voisin. Ranadive is intrigued by Bhullar’s skill set but feels Bhullar still needs to drop another 40-50 pounds, Voisin adds. “He needs to get in much better shape,” Ranadive told Voisin. “That will help him get up and down the floor, and he’s been working on that.”

Western Notes: Mullin, Capela, Nelson

Steve Lavin was fired as coach of St. John’s University today after five seasons on the job, Adam Zagoria of reports. “A national search is underway for a candidate who possesses the characteristics to give our program an opportunity to successfully compete at the national level,” St. John’s AD Chris Monasch said. “We will be aggressive in our search for a coach who has a track record of success, understands all the requirements of running a high major basketball program in New York City, including the media demands within this market. We are seeking someone who embraces the St. John’s mission and tradition, including the ability to attract the top talent both nationally and internationally.”

One candidate already being mentioned as a possibility to replace Lavin is Kings adviser Chris Mullin, Zagoria notes. St. John’s has already expressed interest in the former player, Jeff Goodman of reports (Twitter link). “He’s the most famous person in the school history, he’s going to have a decided edge on whatever name comes up,” a source told Zagoria. “Whether he takes it or not, I don’t know. At one point there was mutual interest but that guy’s got a pretty good [expletive] life.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets have recalled rookie Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Capela has averaged 16.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in 37 D-League contests this season.
  • Point guard Petteri Koponen‘s contract with the Russian team Khimki contains NBA out provisions, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. David Pick of (Twitter link) confirms that Koponen’s pact includes an NBA out clause that can be exercised as early as this summer. The 26-year old was originally selected with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft by the Sixers and his rights are now held by the Mavericks.
  • Jameer Nelson likes the situation that he has with the Nuggets, but the veteran isn’t sure if he will exercise his $2,854,940 player option this summer and remain in Denver, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes. “I wouldn’t mind staying here,” Nelson said. “I’m not ready to make that decision just yet. I’ll make that decision with my agency and my family first and foremost when the time comes.”

Western Notes: Gasol, Kings, Jazz, Messina

“The understanding is” that Marc Gasol will indeed be the No. 1 target of the Spurs this summer, depending on the fates of fellow soon-to-be free agents Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobilia Western Conference GM told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Gasol has given plenty of signals that he prefers to stay in Memphis, and if he were to leave, he would likely move only to a team that would give him a better chance to win a title, sources also tell Deveney. The Spurs would conceivably fit that bill, but even if they don’t end up with Gasol, one GM expects San Antonio to make a surprise move this summer and hints that it’ll come at draft time, as Deveney details. There’s more on the Spurs amid the latest from around the Western Conference:

  • Kings adviser Chris Mullin, reportedly a candidate for the team’s coaching position earlier this season, resisted the recent hirings of coach George Karl and vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac, high-ranking team execs tell Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. GM Pete D’Alessandro also resisted the hiring of Divac, who’s technically atop him in the organization, according to Voisin, though D’Alessandro said to Voisin on Tuesday that he and others are pleased to have the former center around.
  • The Hornets have three prominent former members of the Jazz, and Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Mo Williams all expressed fondness for their time in Utah when their new team came to Salt Lake City for Monday’s game, observes Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Mo Williams will hit free agency again this summer, and Jefferson can, too, if he turns down a $13.5MM player option.
  • Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina would like to become a head coach in the NBA someday, but he’s content with the Spurs and said he’d ask Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford for advice before pursuing a head coaching job, as Messina told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

Latest On Kings Coaching Search

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro, advisor to the chairman Chris Mullin, DeMarcus Cousins and rumored coaching candidate Mark Jackson visited in private for more than an hour and a half late Tuesday, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports. D’Alessandro downplayed any significance to the affair, insisting that “it was not a meeting,” instead calling it a reunion of old friends and reiterating that Tyrone Corbin is the team’s head coach, as the GM said to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Jackson was in Sacramento to broadcast Tuesday’s Kings-Thunder game for ESPN. D’Alessandro, Mullin and Jackson have longstanding connections to each other, but Cousins doesn’t share much history with the group, and he had expressed a desire to meet with Jackson prior to the visit, Amick writes.

The connection between Mullin, another apparent Kings coaching target who’s reportedly reluctant to take over head coaching duties at midseason, and Jackson dates back to their high school days, and they were teammates in college and the NBA, Amick notes. D’Alessandro was a video coordinator at St. John’s after Mullin had left but while Jackson was still there, and the three always meet when they have the chance, according to Amick. Jackson also has ties to owner Vivek Ranadive, who owned a minority stake in the Warriors while Jackson was coaching at Golden State.

Ranadive said D’Alessandro and Mullin had given full-throated support to Corbin when they suggested that Michael Malone be let go, though the owner left the door open for another change at any time as he spoke with Sean Cunningham of News10 in Sacramento (video link; hat tip to Spears).

“I sat down with Pete D’Alessandro and Chris Mullin when they recommended that we make this change at this time,” Ranadive said. “I asked them, ‘What are all the options?’ and “Who should we consider?’ and while we’re always looking at options, they were very emphatic that Tyrone Corbin had earned the right to be the head coach of the Sacramento Kings at this time, and that we all needed to get behind him and support him. So we’re going to put all the wood behind the Ty Corbin arrow, and we’re going to support him to our fullest.”

Ranadive also made a tangential reference to Ray Allen in his chat with Cunningham, saying that, “Just because you win 16 games in a row, it doesn’t mean that you don’t try to get Ray Allen on your team to make your team even better.” However, that appears to be a reference to the Warriors, who had their 16-game winning streak snapped Tuesday and have recently been identified as a suitor for the free agent shooting guard, and not an indication that Sacramento is making any sort of push to sign Allen.

Mullin Not Planning To Coach Kings This Year

6:00pm: The Kings have contacted Vinny Del Negro about their head coaching vacancy, Chris Mannix of reports (Twitter link). If Sacramento is indeed still searching for candidates to take the reigns of the team it would conflict with the earlier report that Corbin would likely finish out the season as head coach. Del Negro’s last stint as a head coach was during the 2012/13 season with the Clippers. His career coaching record is 210-184.

1:44pm: Corbin would have to “fall on his face” not to survive the season as coach, Amick tweets, adding that Karl is not in the team’s plans. Mullin will take a more active role in practices, planning and other duties as he works to enhance Sacramento’s offense, but he has no plans to coach the team, Amick also reports (Twitter link).

1:30pm: Mullin won’t coach the Kings this season, sources tell Chris Broussard of (Twitter link). If he does become Kings coach, he would start at the beginning of 2015/16, Broussard adds. Corbin will likely remain in the position for the balance of this season.

11:12pm: Mullin has expressed interest in coaching someday, but the Kings are concerned that it will be difficult to convince him to jump into coaching in the middle of the season, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter links). Karl, too, said it would be difficult to come in midseason when he spoke Monday to Tom Byrne on SiriusXM Radio, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee transcribes.

9:01am: The notion of Chris Mullin taking over as Kings coach continues to grow on owner Vivek Ranadive, leaving one-time front-runner George Karl as a secondary candidate at this point, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Mullin, who serves the Kings in a consultant’s role as advisor to the chairman, is far from sold on the idea of coaching, but he’d have the backing of ownership and GM Pete D’Alessandro if he chose to move to the bench, Wojnarowski hears. D’Alessandro and assistant GM Mike Bratz like Karl, but D’Alessandro would be on board with Mullin, sources tell Wojnarowski.

Some in the Kings organization consider Mark Jackson a compelling candidate, too, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. It’s unclear if the Kings have reached out to Jackson, but they haven’t reached out to Karl, Amick hears, adding that Sacramento doesn’t appear interested in doing so at this point.

The action comes after the Kings formally dismissed Michael Malone on Monday, replacing him, at least for now, with Tyrone Corbin. The Kings front office was weary of Malone’s resistance on several matters, Amick writes. Malone was hesistant to support extensions for DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay and wanted the team to re-sign Isaiah Thomas, according to Amick.

“I don’t know if there was a point in time when you could say, ‘Yeah this isn’t [working],'” D’Alessandro said to Amick. “The respect always was there, but I just think we both knew that the vision for how to play wasn’t the same. … You start to see it evolve, and then you say, ‘Let’s just be honest about it then. Let’s just be honest, and agree to disagree.’ But then something has to happen. That’s the league we’re in.”