Dale Osbourne

Eastern Notes: Smart, Jokubaitis, Magic Staff, Aldridge

The Celtics have offered Marcus Smart a four-year extension, longtime beat writer Mark Murphy tweets. The Celtics are awaiting a response from Smart’s agent, Jason Glushonworth, on an extension worth approximately $17MM annually, Murphy adds (Twitter link). The maximum possible extension the Celtics could give Smart would be worth around $77MM, Ryan McDonough of NBC Sports Boston tweets. The extension would kick in during the 2022/23 season. Smart has an expiring $14.33MM contract for next season.

We have more tidbits from the Eastern Conference:

  • The assumption that Rokas Jokubaitis was a draft-and-stash pick by the Knicks last month may not be entirely accurate. The Lithuanian guard, chosen with the No. 34 pick, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing in the NBA this season, Marc Berman of the New York Post tweets. It’s unclear whether New York is on board with that possibility or if the team prefers to stash Jokubaitis for at least a year.
  • The Magic have settled on a number of coaching hires to assist new coach Jamahl Mosley, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweetsNate Tibbetts, Jesse Mermuys, Dale Osbourne, Bret Brielmaier and Lionel Chalmers will join Mosley on the bench. The expected hires of Tibbetts and Osbourne were previously reported.
  • If LaMarcus Aldridge chooses to come out of his health-related retirement, the Bulls could be his destination. Both K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago and Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times report that there could be mutual interest between the club and the veteran big man (Twitter links). Aldridge would require team medical clearance from his heart-related issues in order to sign a contract and take the court again.

Eastern Notes: Mobley, Gores, Wizards, Bonner

The Cavaliers fielded calls for over a month regarding the No. 3 pick in the draft. However the team’s brass was more excited about adding a rookie with a very high ceiling than reconstructing the roster, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. The Cavs selected USC big man Evan Mobley with the pick. “We were able to draft a transformative talent, whose versatility, athleticism and physical gifts are qualities we covet in a player. Evan Mobley checks each of those boxes,” GM Koby Altman said.

We have more from the Eastern Conference

  • Pistons owner Tom Gores calls top pick Cade Cunningham a natural leader and feels giddy about the team’s future, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com“I’ve never felt better,” Gores said. “I woke up this morning and felt like we won already. We haven’t won a game yet. We felt like we won. I feel excited about where we’re at, but I also know through my life experiences we’ve got to go to work. We’ve got a great foundation.”
  • Zach Guthrie and Mike Miller will be part of Wes Unseld Jr.‘s staff with the Wizards, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets. Guthrie worked under Rick Carlisle in Dallas last season, while Miller is the former coach of the G League’s Westchester Knicks. Former Magic assistant Pat Delany had already agreed to join the Wizards.
  • Becky Bonner is expected to be a bench coach on Jamahl Mosley‘s Magic staff, Fischer adds in another tweet. She’s already the team’s Director of Player Development and Quality Control. Nate Tibbetts, Dale Osbourne and Kaleb Canales are expected to be on the front of Orlando’s bench assisting Mosley, according to Fischer (Twitter link).

Northwest Notes: Jokic, Dort, Osbourne, McCollum

Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic did not join the team on its flight to Orlando on Tuesday due to COVID-19 testing protocols, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Jokic, who contracted the novel coronavirus in Serbia, needed two negative tests there and two more in the U.S. before he could join his teammates. Jokic had two negative tests in Serbia but a tight timeline prevented him from meeting those standards, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Jokic can head to Orlando once he passes all those tests.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Luguentz Dort wasn’t sure he’d receive a multi-year deal from the Thunder until shortly before the agreement was reached, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. Dort had his two-way contract converted into a standard four-year, $5.4MM deal late last month. “I had conversations with my agent and everything, but nothing was actually like 100% sure,” Dort said of the negotiations. “It was still unsure until these past couple weeks … and then it happened.”
  • Trail Blazers assistant coach Dale Osbourne did not travel with the team to Orlando, Dan Sheldon of NBC Sports Northwest tweets. No additional details were provided by coach Terry Stotts. Osbourne has been on Stotts’ staff for eight seasons.
  • CJ McCollum believes the Trail Blazers can snare the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Portland enters the restart 3.5 games behind Memphis, which currently has the eighth-best conference record. “I think we have as good a chance as anyone,” McCollum said. “It’s as healthy as we’ve been in a long time … I think we have as good of chance as any of the teams going for that eighth (spot).”

Western Notes: D’Antoni, Arseneault Jr., Spangler

The Rockets officially announced the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as head coach today, a move that team owner Leslie Alexander called a mutual decision between he and GM Daryl Morey, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com relays. “Daryl and I made this choice together,” Alexander said. “I’ve always wanted to play this way.” The team owner is also excited by D’Antoni’s up-tempo style of offense, Watkins notes. “Mike always says players love to play for him,” Alexander said. “Not only because they get better but they get paid. He’ll be a lucrative source for us in free agency.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Kings will not renew the contract of Reno Bighorns head coach, David Arseneault Jr., Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor relays (via Twitter). Sacramento’s D-League affiliate went 33-17 under Arseneault this past season.
  • The Trail Blazers have finalized their coaching staff for the 2016/17 campaign, with the team announcing that Dale Osbourne has been promoted to lead assistant and scout John McCullough has been moved to assistant coach.
  • The Rockets‘ new defensive coach, Jeff Bzdelik, discussing the criticism levied against James Harden‘s defense, noted that the shooting guard is a capable stopper, provided he demonstrates commitment on that end of the court, Watkins relays in a separate piece (ESPN Now link).  “He can defend as all of them can when they want to and that goes back to everybody needs to be committed and there needs to be a trust,” Bzdelik said of Harden.
  • The Timberwolves worked out former Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler today, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). The 24-year-old is a longshot to be selected this June, with Spangler not appearing among the top 100 prospects according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
  • Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t made a decision regarding his player option for 2016/17 yet, but has met with members of the front office to discuss his future, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com tweets.