Chris Quinn

Latest On Pistons’ Decision To Move On From Monty Williams

The Pistons parted ways with Monty Williams on Wednesday morning following the franchise’s worst-ever season after signing him to a six-year, $78.5MM deal just one year ago.

The decision to move on from Williams came soon after hiring Trajan Langdon as president of basketball operations. According to reports, owner Tom Gores indicated Williams’ remaining money wouldn’t be an issue if Langdon ultimately decided to let him go, and the decision to move on from Williams came within the last 24 hours.

Pelicans assistant James Borrego, Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney, Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, former Pistons assistant Jerome Allen, Heat assistant Chris Quinn and former Nets assistant Will Weaver are among the candidates for the Pistons’ head coaching vacancy, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic writes. In a tweet, Edwards added that he believes Borrego, Sweeney and Bryant are the three primary names to watch for the position.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show (Twitter link), Shams Charania suggested Borrego remains the favorite for the Cavaliers‘ vacant head coaching position. Borrego has also drawn interest from the Lakers, though it’s worth noting that the Pistons hired Langdon from New Orleans, where Borrego coached last season.

Sweeney served as an assistant on Dwane Casey‘s staff for three years in Detroit and helped develop Giannis Antetokounmpo while with Milwaukee. Helping the Mavericks to an NBA Finals appearance aids Sweeney’s case. Meanwhile, Bryant has been an assistant under Tom Thibodeau in New York since 2020 following a stint with the Jazz.

We have more from the Pistons’ decision to move on from Williams:

  • According to Edwards (Twitter link), the firing of Williams has no impact the team’s decision to bring in Fred Vinson as an assistant for next year’s staff. Vinson will be on the Pistons next season.
  • In order to fight to keep his job, Williams essentially went through an interview process with Langdon, Edwards writes in a separate story. The team was searching for complete synergy from its front office to its coaching staff, and wanted to know for certain if Williams was committed to coaching a rebuilding team. Ultimately, Langdon was given free rein, via Gores, to make whatever decision he saw fit, and the pair opted to clean house in tandem.
  • Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press echoes Edwards’ reporting in that Langdon and Gores were on the same page in regard to firing Williams (Twitter link).
  • Williams and Weaver aren’t solely to blame for Detroit’s woeful season, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports writes. There were “four factions” in the Pistons organization, with chairman Arn Tellem also serving as a prominent voice, according to Goodwill, who says that objective No. 1 this offseason should be getting everyone on the same page.
  • J.J. Redick could be a name to watch, Goodwill writes, but it’s unclear how much traction Detroit could gain with him since he’s widely viewed as the favorite for the Lakers’ position. Redick and Langdon have a Duke connection and crossed over briefly in New Orleans, though Redick’s time with the Pelicans didn’t end well. Tellem is also reportedly a fan of Redick’s.

Latest On Cavaliers’ Head Coaching Search

The Cavaliers‘ lengthy head coaching search appears to be nearing a resolution, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscription required), who reports that the team has narrowed down a group that initially consisted of about 10 candidates to four or five finalists who will have in-person interviews.

Fedor doesn’t name all four (or five) of those finalists, but confirms that Pelicans assistant James Borrego met with head of basketball operations Koby Altman and other Cavaliers officials on Tuesday and that Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson will follow suit this week, likely either Wednesday or Thursday.

While Atkinson was identified as the potential frontrunner early in the process, Fedor says Borrego has been considered the “leader in the clubhouse” since last week. A Tuesday report out of New Orleans suggested the Pelicans are bracing for the loss of Borrego, who is also a candidate for the Lakers.

Borrego and Atkinson both check two important boxes for the Cavaliers, Fedor notes — they have prior head coaching experience and they’re more offensive-minded coaches. Maximizing the club’s offensive production is a priority after its offensive rating (114.7) ranked just 16th in the regular season and plummeted in the playoffs (104.7).

However, Cleveland isn’t simply zeroing in on offensive specialists. A source tells Fedor that at least one of the team’s finalists is better known for his defensive acumen, signaling that management is focused on finding the best overall fit, regardless of a candidate’s specific strengths and weaknesses.

Here’s more from Fedor on the Cavs’ search:

  • Although Cleveland would like to have a new head coach in place before the June 26 draft, that’s considered a “moving target,” according to Fedor, who says the primary goal is to simply get the hire right, no matter how long it takes.
  • There are several ties between the Pelicans and Cavaliers, with top executive David Griffin and big man Larry Nance Jr. among those in New Orleans who have roots in Cleveland. Those links have made it simpler for the Cavs to gather first-hand reports on Borrego. Everyone has spoken positively about the Pelicans assistant, Fedor writes, citing sources who have described Borrego as “humble, innovative, engaging and diplomatic” and as someone who is willing to “learn and listen.” Those qualities have come across in the Cavs’ multiple meetings with Borrego.
  • Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, who played for Atkinson in Brooklyn, have shared “approving” feedback with the Cavaliers about their former head coach, per Fedor.
  • Dave Joerger, Micah Nori, David Adelman, Johnnie Bryant, and Chris Quinn are among the other candidates who have been involved in the Cavaliers’ search, though it’s unclear which of them are finalists. As Fedor points out, Joerger is the only one in that group with period head coaching experience, which could be a factor given the pressure to win right away.

Cavs To Interview Johnnie Bryant, Chris Quinn For Head Coaching Job

4:10pm: Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com confirms the Cavaliers have been granted permission to interview Bryant and Quinn. Sources tell Fedor that Cleveland could interview about 10 candidates for the head coaching vacancy, describing it as an “extensive process that may take weeks before completion.” One rival executive views Atkinson as the frontrunner for the position, Fedor adds.


3:40pm: After securing permission to meet with Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego about their head coaching opening, the Cavaliers have been given the green light to speak to two more NBA assistants, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Cleveland will interview Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant and Heat assistant Chris Quinn.

Multiple reports had stated that the Cavs were interested in Bryant, so it comes as no surprise that Cleveland asked for and received permission to meet with him. Bryant was an assistant coach with the Jazz from 2014-20 before joining the Knicks’ staff, overlapping with Cavs star Donovan Mitchell in Utah from 2017-20. Bryant also interviewed for the Jazz’s job back in 2022 before the team hired Will Hardy.

Quinn has been connected to a handful of head coaching vacancies this offseason, but wasn’t hired by Brooklyn, Charlotte, or Washington and doesn’t appear to be a frontrunner in the Lakers’ search. The veteran assistant and former NBA player has long been one of Erik Spoelstra‘s top lieutenants, having been with the Heat since 2014.

A recent report indicated that the Heat are working on a new deal for Quinn, with Spoelstra looking to keep his coaching staff intact, so if he doesn’t end up being the Cavs’ or Lakers’ top choice, he’ll almost certainly continue on in his role as Miami’s lead assistant.

In addition to the four candidates they’ve been granted permission to speak to so far, the Cavaliers have also been linked to Dave Joerger, Micah Nori, and Terry Stotts as they seek a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff. With the team apparently in the process of scheduling and beginning its first round of interviews, we should know soon whether those coaches – or others – will formally meet with the team.

Heat Notes: J. Butler, C. Butler, Quinn, Allen, Martin

The Sixers aren’t the only team that would be willing to give Jimmy Butler a maximum-salary extension if they could acquire him from the Heat. League sources tell Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald that two other clubs have “made it known in league circles” that they’d also be open to trading for the star forward and then signing him to a max deal.

Butler remains under contract with the Heat for 2024/25 and holds a $52.4MM player option for ’25/26. A maximum extension would cover two years, replacing the ’25/26 option with a new $54.3MM starting salary and tacking on an extra year worth $58.6MM for ’26/27.

Heat president Pat Riley was noncommittal when asked earlier this month if the team would offer that deal, pointing out that no decision has to be made yet and hinting that Butler’s history of injury issues would make the front office wary about such a significant investment.

“It’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources, unless you have someone who is going to be available every night,” Riley said at his end-of-season press conference.

The Heat have shown no interest in moving Butler and he has shown no signs that he wants out of Miami — in fact, he has spoken multiple times about wanting to finish his career with the franchise. However, as both Chiang and Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel write, these rumors and leaks – which seem designed to let Butler know he has options if the Heat aren’t willing to give him the kind of deal he wants – could put added pressure on the club to address the 34-year-old’s contract situation sooner rather than later.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Caron Butler, who has been an assistant coach on Erik Spoelstra‘s staff since 2020, has agreed to a new four-year deal to remain in that role, agent Raymond Brothers tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). As Chiang writes for The Miami Herald, Butler spoke last summer about having fallen in love with coaching and aspiring to become a head coach at some point down the road.
  • Miami is also working on new contracts for two other top assistants, Chris Quinn and Malik Allen, with Spoelstra having expressed a desire to keep his staff intact, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Quinn has been linked to several head coaching openings this spring, but wasn’t hired by Brooklyn or Charlotte and doesn’t appear to be a frontrunner in the Lakers’ or Wizards’ searches.
  • In another story for The Miami Herald, Chiang takes a closer look at Caleb Martin‘s free agency, exploring what kind of deal the swingman might be in line for and whether it’s viable for the club to retain him. Martin is expected to turn down his $7.1MM player option for 2024/25 and could receive a salary in the neighborhood of the full mid-level exception ($12.9MM+), Chiang writes. Accommodating that sort of raise would likely push the Heat’s team salary above the second tax apron unless they cut costs elsewhere.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Lakers’ Coaching Search, M. Brown, Suns

After being eliminated in the play-in tournament, the Warriors know they’ll have to improve their defense to get back into title contention, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. That may include roster changes to bring in players who are more defensive-minded.

“It’s not just about scheme and personnel,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s also about how much better the rest of the league is. And how much different things are with the shooting and the pace. It’s just much, much harder to guard. There’s a reason the offensive ratings have skyrocketed. But there’s no doubt we’ve got to be better defensively. We were good at a lot of things. We were. We were, not surprisingly, excellent when Draymond (Green) was healthy.”

Suspensions and injuries caused Green to miss 27 games this season, which had a sharp impact on the team’s defensive numbers. Poole points out that the Warriors had a 113.5 defensive rating with Green, which would have ranked 11th in the league. It fell to 121.1 when he wasn’t available, the worst mark in the NBA.

“But we can’t just say, ‘Well, as long as Draymond’s healthy we will be fine defensively,'” Kerr added. “We’ve just got to be better. I’ve got to do a better job. Our staff has got to do a better job. We have to assess everything.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are moving slowly in their head coaching search and are getting acquainted with several candidates they didn’t interview before hiring Darvin Ham two years ago, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link). He cites examples such as Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, Heat assistant Chris Quinn, Pelicans assistant James Borrego and ESPN broadcaster J.J. Redick. Wojnarowski expects a lengthy hiring process, saying, “There’s no obvious choice, there just isn’t. There’s no star coach out there available.”
  • Mike Brown has proven he deserves an extension in his first two seasons as head coach of the Kings, contends James Ham of The Kings Beat (subscription required). Brown is entering the last year of his contract, and Ham believes the team should take care of him soon to avoid any speculation about his future.
  • Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein, who played a role in purchasing the franchise’s former G League affiliate when he was working for the Pistons, helped to unveil its replacement today, notes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. The Valley Suns give Phoenix a G League partner for the first time since 2021 when the Northern Arizona Suns were sold to Detroit and renamed the Motor City Cruise. “Ironically enough, I was the one on the other side buying the team from the Suns and getting it to Detroit, and now three years later, I’m here,” Bartelstein said. “It’s really, really important. I mean, the G League is a staple of many NBA franchises.”

Lakers Meet With J.J. Redick, James Borrego, Sam Cassell

The interview portion of the Lakers‘ head coaching search is underway, according to Jovan Buha and Shams Charania of The Athletic, who report that the team has had formal meetings in recent days with ESPN analyst J.J. Redick, Pelicans assistant James Borrego, and Celtics assistant Sam Cassell.

The Lakers also intend to meet with Micah Nori (Timberwolves assistant), David Adelman (Nuggets assistant), and Chris Quinn (Heat assistant), per Buha and Charania.

Of those three, Nori is the only one whose team’s season isn’t over. He has also taken on a larger role on Minnesota’s bench during the postseason due to a knee procedure that has rendered Wolves head coach Chris Finch immobile during games, so scheduling an interview with him will be a little trickier than lining up meetings with Adelman and Quinn.

The Athletic previously referred to Redick, Borrego, and Cassell as the Lakers’ “initial leading targets” in their head coaching search. Since then, multiple reports have indicated that people around the NBA view Redick as the frontrunner for the job.

League sources tell Buha and Charania that the Lakers are “infatuated” with Redick’s potential as a head coach, despite his lack of experience. They view him as a “Pat Riley-like coaching prospect” who could thrive both in the short and long-term, The Athletic’s duo adds.

Redick co-hosts a podcast with Lakers star LeBron James, resulting in speculation that his relationship with LeBron is driving his candidacy in Los Angeles. However, James’ agent Rich Paul has insisted that’s not the case, as we relayed this morning. Redick also reportedly received consideration for the Hornets’ coaching job earlier this spring and interviewed with the Raptors in 2023.

Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney have also been mentioned as possible Lakers candidates in recent weeks, but neither was mentioned in The Athletic’s latest report.

Latest On Lakers’ Head Coaching Search

The Lakers have received permission to interview several assistants from around the NBA for their head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Wojnarowski reports that Los Angeles has been granted permission to talk to the following candidates:

  • Nuggets assistant David Adelman
  • Pelicans assistant James Borrego
  • Celtics assistant Sam Cassell
  • Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori
  • Heat assistant Chris Quinn

A report on Tuesday from The Athletic indicated that Borrego, Cassell, and J.J. Redick are the “initial leading targets” in the Lakers’ search for Darvin Ham‘s replacement. Because Redick is working as an analyst at ESPN/ABC, L.A. obviously wouldn’t need to seek permission from a rival team to meet with him.

Kenny Atkinson of the Warriors and Sean Sweeney of the Mavericks are the other assistants who have been linked to the Lakers’ open head coaching position. Their omissions from Wojnarowski’s report don’t necessarily mean they’re no longer on Los Angeles’ radar, since Woj’s list isn’t necessarily exhaustive. But Atkinson and Sweeney don’t appear to be among the frontrunners at this point.

Of course, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has been mentioned as the candidate who would be atop the Lakers’ wish list if he were available, but there’s still no indication that the Clips will grant their cross-town rivals permission to talk to Lue, who is under contract for one more year and is expected to discuss an extension this offseason.

In his latest Substack story, Marc Stein also checks in on the Lakers’ coaching search, writing that he’s gotten the “distinct vibe” from insiders gathered at the draft combine in Chicago that if there’s an early favorite for the job, it’s Redick. Several people in coaching circles, Stein says, believe it will be Redick’s job to lose in the interview process.

However, Stein has also heard from league sources that Cassell is a “legitimate candidate to watch.” Like Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Cassell is represented by Klutch Sports. Additionally, Stein notes, the veteran assistant has a reputation for connecting with star players.

If Cassell doesn’t get the Lakers’ job or another head coaching position, the belief is that Doc Rivers will aggressively push to bring him to Milwaukee to join his Bucks coaching staff, Stein reports. Cassell previously served as an assistant under Rivers with both the Clippers and 76ers.

With only one other team (the Wizards) currently in the market for a head coach and Redick expected to finish out the playoffs with ESPN/ABC, there’s an expectation that the Lakers’ search may end up extending well into June, Stein adds.

Woj: James Borrego, J.J. Redick “Names To Watch” In Lakers’ Coaching Search

The Lakers will intensify their search for a new head coach at this week’s Draft Combine in Chicago, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link), who identifies James Borrego and J.J. Redick as “names to watch” in that process.

Borrego currently serves as lead assistant for the Pelicans and helped the team develop a top-10 offense by utilizing Zion Williamson as a point forward, Wojnarowski notes. Borrego was the head coach in Charlotte from 2018-22, compiling a 138-163 record in four seasons. He also went 10-20 as interim coach in Orlando at the end of the 2014/15 season and spent time as an assistant to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio as well.

Redick is a member of ESPN/ABC’s top broadcasting team and has become a prominent media figure since retiring as a player in 2021. Although he doesn’t have any coaching experience, he benefits from a close relationship with Lakers star LeBron James, who serves as his co-host on the “Mind of the Game” podcast.

Lakers officials are expected to begin contacting rival teams this week to request permission to interview their assistant coaches, Woj adds. A report on Saturday identified Timberwolves assistant Micah NoriNuggets assistant David AdelmanMavericks assistant Sean Sweeney, and Heat assistant Chris Quinn as potential candidates, but Nori, Adelman and Sweeney are all still involved with playoff teams.

L.A. will likely conduct a “long search” and interview numerous candidates before hiring its next coach, according to Wojnarowski.

Lakers Eyeing Nori, Adelman, Sweeney, Quinn In Coaching Search

The Lakers, who are in the process of searching for a new head coach, have interest in a handful of veteran assistant coaches around the NBA, Jovan Buha of The Athletic stated within a mailbag video (YouTube link; hat tip to Lakers Nation).

According to Buha, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, Nuggets assistant David Adelman, Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney, and Heat assistant Chris Quinn are among the head coaching candidates that intrigue the Lakers.

Nori has been with the Timberwolves since 2021, having previously served as an assistant in Detroit, Denver, Sacramento, and Toronto. Adelman, who has been an assistant under Michael Malone in Denver since 2017, was on the Wolves’ staff from 2011-15 and was with the Magic in 2016/17. Sweeney’s stint with the Mavericks, which began in 2021, was preceded by assistant jobs in Detroit, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn. Quinn has been on Erik Spoelstra‘s staff in Miami since 2014.

“To my knowledge, the Lakers are not at the stage of interviewing coaches yet, but that will be happening soon,” Buha said. “It’s a little tricky timing-wise because you have Adelman, Nori, and Sweeney all in playoff series right now. You have J.J. Redick who is on the top broadcast team at ESPN and is supposed to be calling the Finals, which would be about a week or so before the draft.

“So it’s going to be interesting to see how the Lakers end up doing their interviews and just the timing of it and if they request certain guys while they’re still in the playoffs, how that process works with the teams.”

[RELATED: 2024 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

As Buha observes, the logistics may be especially challenging with Nori, who is essentially functioning as a co-head coach for the Timberwolves in their series vs. Denver due to the knee injury that has affected Chris Finch‘s ability to occupy his usual spot on the sidelines. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like the Lakers are in a rush to make a hire within the next week or two, so if Nori is one of their top choices, they could be willing to wait for him.

“From what I’ve been told, the Lakers’ plan is to have a coach in place by the NBA draft, which is June 26,” Buha said.

According to Buha, Tyronn Lue is probably the Lakers’ top choice, but there has still been no indication that the Clippers‘ head coach will become available this offseason. Redick, Kenny Atkinson, and James Borrego have also been mentioned as possibilities for the Lakers; Charles Lee and Mike Budenholzer were too, but they’ve since taken head coaching jobs with other teams.

Appearing on ESPN’s NBA Countdown on Saturday (Twitter video link), Adrian Wojnarowski described Redick as a candidate that the Lakers have been “drilling down on” in their initial research. Woj adds that L.A.’s search is expected to be “wide-ranging” and “lengthy.”

Brian Keefe Top Candidate For Wizards’ Coaching Job?

The Wizards are expected to start interviewing candidates for their head coaching vacancy within the next few days, a team source told Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Brian Keefe, who finished out the 2023/24 season as interim head coach, is viewed by sources from three rival teams as the top candidate for the job, they told Robbins.

Robbins’ sources also speculated that the Wizards might be eyeing Heat assistant Chris Quinn, Rockets assistant Royal Ivey, and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney as potential candidates.

Washington’s coaching search has been very quiet since the regular season concluded. Multiple staff members were reportedly let go three weeks ago, but the Wizards retained Keefe and assistant coach David Vanterpool.

Multiple reports have stated Keefe will be in the running for the permanent job despite compiling a 8-31 record in his 39 games. He has a “strong player-development background,” Robbins writes, and players were very supportive of Keefe when the season ended. Jordan Poole, for instance, performed much better after Keefe decided to bring him off the bench to be a primary ball-handler and play-maker, Robbins notes.

I can really only just really speak on the stuff that B.K. has brought since he’s been here, and I think he’s been really good for our young team: the detail-orientedness that he brings, the structure that he brings,” Poole said after the regular season ended. “He loves the game, and that’s something that goes a really long way, especially at the highest level. And he’s willing and very genuine and authentic about putting our team (and) putting guys in positions to be successful and play to their strengths and really unlocking them because he cares about them as individuals. He’s done a really good job.”