David Adelman

Northwest Notes: Blazers’ Draft Options, Wolves’ Workouts, Adelman

With the draft just two weeks away, there’s no consensus on which players the Trail Blazers might land with the seventh and 14th picks, writes Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. He examines several mock drafts and notes they have varied widely on Portland’s selections since last month’s lottery.

With a talented backcourt already in place in Portland, Highkin believes the only certainty is that the Blazers won’t take a guard with their first choice. That would eliminate Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, along with Serbia’s Nikola Topic. However, if a recent ACL injury causes Topic to slide down to the end of the lottery, Highkin thinks Portland might be interested.

UConn center Donovan Clingan is a popular projection to the Blazers in recent mock drafts, but there’s also a chance he could be taken in the top three. Highkin doesn’t expect Portland to trade up for Clingan or any other prospect because there’s a strong chance the team can get a player it likes by staying at No. 7.

Highkin observes that the Blazers’ front office typically focuses on potential upside rather than looking for a player with a high floor. He hears Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht had a strong showing when he worked out in Portland.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Trail Blazers are planning to upgrade and expand their practice facility, Highkin adds in a separate story. In February, the team advanced the project by spending $4.6MM to buy a plot of land next to the current facility. The move suggests that owner Jody Allen is in no hurry to sell the franchise, Highkin states.
  • The Timberwolves hosted Texas’ Dylan Disu, Stanford’s Spencer Jones, Serbia’s Bogoljub Markovic, Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves, UConn’s Cam Spencer, and Clemson’s PJ Hall for a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, the team announced (via Twitter). A Sunday workout brought in Utah’s Branden Carlson, Minnesota’s Cam Christie, Serbia’s Nikola Djurisic, Marquette’s Oso Ighodaro, Weber State’s Dillon Jones, and UConn’s Tristen Newton (Twitter link).
  • Bennett Durando of The Denver Post questions why Nuggets assistant David Adelman isn’t getting more consideration from teams that are looking for head coaches. Sources confirmed to Durando that Adelman interviewed this year with the Hornets, Cavaliers and Lakers, but he hasn’t been reported as among the frontrunners for any of those jobs. The Nuggets believe it’s just a matter of time before Adelman gets an opportunity, Durando adds.

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 Receive Permission To Interview David Adelman

The Cavaliers have requested and received permission to meet with Nuggets assistant David Adelman about their head coaching vacancy, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Adelman, 43, is Michael Malone‘s top assistant in Denver and has served as acting head coach in a handful of instances when Malone was unavailable. He has drawn praise from Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon for his coaching acumen.

The son of longtime NBA head coach Rick Adelman, David began his coaching career at the high school level before being hired by the Timberwolves in 2011. He was in Minnesota for five seasons, spent the 2016/17 campaign with Orlando, and arrived in Denver in 2017.

Adelman has received head coaching consideration from the Lakers and Hornets this offseason after having previously interviewed with the Raptors when they were seeking a head coach last spring.

As our head coaching search tracker shows, Adelman is the sixth candidate reported to be interviewing with the Cavaliers, who are conducting a head coaching search after parting ways with J.B. Bickerstaff. Cleveland’s other interviewees include Kenny Atkinson, James Borrego, Johnnie Bryant, Micah Nori, and Chris Quinn.

A recent report stated that the Cavs could end up talking to upwards of about 10 candidates, so additional updates on contenders for the job could still be forthcoming. Former NBA head coach and current Bucks assistant Dave Joerger is expected to meet with the team, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who says Mavericks assistant Alex Jensen could get an interview too.

The Cavs have done plenty of background work on Terry Stotts, but one source describes him as a long shot for the job, says Fedor. Sources also tell Cleveland.com that the club isn’t expected to talk to Frank Vogel, who was dismissed last month by the Suns.

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.”

Coaching Rumors: Hornets, Lakers, Redick, Billups

The Hornets expect to decide on their new head coach within the next seven days, co-owner Rick Schnall told Alex Zietlow of The Charlotte Observer. While playing in the pro-am prior to the PGA’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, Schnall stated that the organization is nearing a final decision, but he wasn’t willing to tip his hand.

“We’re close. You’ll see us announce it certainly in the next week,” Schnall said. “We’re going to hire the best person that we can for our team.” 

The Observer has reported that Celtics assistant Charles Lee is considered the favorite to replace Steve Clifford, who agreed to move into a front office position after the season ended. Lee was one of several assistant coaches that the Hornets received permission to interview in early April. Zietlow notes that Lee is considered one of the best assistants in the league and he has a prior working relationship in Atlanta with Jeff Peterson, the team’s new vice president of basketball operations.

There are more coaching rumors to pass along:

  • The Lakers are moving slowly in their coaching search because two of their preferred options are unavailable, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column (subscription required). Jason Kidd, a former assistant in L.A., signed a multi-year extension with the Mavericks this week. And even if Tyronn Lue‘s extension talks are unsuccessful, the Clippers hold an option on him for next season, so it’s unlikely they’ll set him free to sign with their cross-town rival. Stein adds that the Lakers are conducting internal meetings this week to set their priorities in finding Darvin Ham‘s replacement. However, they’ve yet to request permission to interview any assistant coaches who might be targets, such as Lee, the Warriors Kenny Atkinson or the Nuggets’ David Adelman.
  • In the same column, Stein wonders whether there’s any action ESPN can take to prevent losing J.J. Redick to the coaching ranks before the NBA Finals wrap up. Redick is considered a potential candidate for the Hornets and Lakers, but he’s also a member of the network’s prime broadcast team. Stein points out that Doc Rivers had a featured position with ESPN before leaving in late January to become head coach of the Bucks.
  • Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian adds credence to the claim that Chauncey Billups would have other options if he parts ways with the Trail Blazers. A source told Fentress before the playoffs began that Billups could become a candidate for teams that are eliminated in the early rounds.

Western Notes: Kyrie, Lakers, Hardaway, Mann, Adelman, Warriors

Asked after Game 5 of the Mavericks‘ first-round playoff series whether he considered joining the Lakers and reuniting with former teammate LeBron James when he reached free agency last offseason, Kyrie Irving smiled and said that “everything was considered,” according to Melissa Rohlin of FOX Sports.

“He’s a great friend of mine, a great brother of mine,” Irving told Rohlin. “We obviously played together [in Cleveland]. Everybody knows our history. But there were so many different factors in between. When it comes to business decisions, you have to ask the GMs, the presidents why certain things didn’t work out.” 

The Lakers were rumored as a possible suitor for Irving at the February 2023 trade deadline before he was traded to Dallas. They were mentioned again when Kyrie became a free agent, though by that point Los Angeles seemed more focused on retaining its own free agents. For his part, Irving said he’s happy with his decision to re-sign with the Mavericks.

“I know I can speak for myself that I’m grateful someone took a chance on me,” he said. “Dallas welcomed me with open arms. For me, it wasn’t time to think about the ‘what ifs.’ It was time for me to put my best foot forward. That’s what I did. It’s hard to think of the ‘what ifs,’ the allure, the thoughts of it.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Mavericks will once again be without Tim Hardaway Jr. on Friday, according to the team (Twitter link). Hardaway will miss his fourth consecutive game due to a right ankle sprain. The Clippers, meanwhile, have upgraded Terance Mann (right lower leg contusion) from questionable to available, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Mann averaged just 3.5 points in 21.7 minutes per contest in the two games Kawhi Leonard played, but has scored in double-digits and logged at least 31 minutes in each of the three games Leonard missed — Kawhi remains unavailable for Game 6, as previously reported.
  • In addition to firing head coach Darvin Ham, the Lakers have let go of all their assistants, clearing the way for the new head coach to build an entirely new staff, sources tell Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). That group of new coaching free agents includes veteran assistant Phil Handy, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
  • Woike of The Los Angeles Times and Khobi Price of The Orange County Register each take a look at some potential candidates to replace Ham as the Lakers‘ head coach. Both reporters cite Nuggets assistant David Adelman, with Woike writing that Adelman has fans within Los Angeles’ front office.
  • Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic identifies eight potential big-name trade targets the Warriors could pursue this offseason. Golden State always aims high, but most of the names on the list, including Kevin Durant, Lauri Markkanen, and Paul George, look like long shots, while the most viable option – such as Zach LaVine – doesn’t seem like a great fit.

Hornets To Interview Lee, Fernandez, Young, Adelman

The Hornets have been granted permission to interview a handful of assistant coaches from around the NBA for their head coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that Charles Lee (Celtics), Jordi Fernandez (Kings), Kevin Young (Suns) and David Adelman (Nuggets) will speak to Charlotte.

Additional candidates are expected to be interviewed for the position, Wojnarowski adds.

Lee, Fernandez and Young were cited as possibilities when Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Steve Clifford would be stepping down as head coach and moving into an advisory role with the Hornets. Adelman was later added to the list of potential candidates by Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

Lee, 39, got his start in Atlanta under Mike Budenholzer and later went with him to Milwaukee, winning a championship as a Bucks assistant in 2021. Lee, who has interviewed for several different head coaching jobs, joined Boston last summer after Budenholzer was fired by the Bucks.

Fernandez, who started in Denver before becoming Mike Brown‘s associate head coach in Sacramento, led the Canadian national team to a bronze medal at the 2023 World Cup. He’s another young coach (he’s 41) who has been a popular candidate for head coaching vacancies the past couple years.

Young, 42, has been with Phoenix since 2020 and was a finalist for the team’s head coaching job last year when Monty Williams was let go. The position ultimately went to Frank Vogel, but Young was retained on a deal that made him the highest-paid assistant in the league (he’s technically the associate head coach).

Adelman, also 42, is Michael Malone‘s top assistant in Denver and has served as interim head coach a few times. He has drawn praise from Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon for his coaching acumen. Adelman, who interviewed for Toronto’s vacancy last year, is the son of longtime former NBA head coach Rick Adelman.