David Arseneault Jr.

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.

Western Notes: Kerr, D-League, Asik

Steve Kerr dished to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group about the dynamics of the coaching staff he assembled after he took over as head coach of the Warriors last year. The group includes Alvin Gentry, in whom the Bulls reportedly have interest for their head coaching job should Tom Thibodeau no longer be there. The Nuggets and Magic are also reportedly eyeing Gentry.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Sacramento picked up its team option on D-League coach David Arseneault Jr., the Kings announced.
  • Despite his ineffectiveness during the Pelicans‘ playoff series against the Warriors, Omer Asik remains in the organization’s plans, and the team still wishes to re-sign the unrestricted free agent, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. ”It’s not the time to talk about it right now,” Asik said about heading into free agency this summer. “But I think there is good stuff going on here. It’s a young team and the future is good.”
  • If the Clippers advance to the conference finals it would be the first time in the history of the franchise, Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press Telegram writes. But coach/executive Doc Rivers refuses to look ahead, and is instead focused on notching one more victory over the Rockets to close out the series, Morales adds. “No, no, I think that’s a silly thought,” Rivers said. “We haven’t done it, so for us, we’ve gotta stay focused. We’ve gotta win the series, and that hasn’t happened yet. Honestly, they can say nine more wins and one more win. At the end of the day, that’s fine. But once you get to the individual game, to me that’s where you have to have your focus.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Mudiay, TV Deal, D-League

The league had better enjoy the windfall of their TV deal while it lasts, because big money deals like this are likely to disappear in the future, Steve Ginsburg of Reuters writes. Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist warns that the point of sports saturation on television in the United States is rapidly approaching. “At the end of the day, we have a lot more sports programming than we’ve ever had,” Zimbalist told Reuters. “And we’ve had pretty much the same number of household television sets. Ultimately what has to happen is that supply and demand have to meet at a lower price.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • David Arseneault Jr. was officially named head coach of the Reno Bighorns, the Kings‘ D-League franchise, the team announced.
  • With the NBA’s new $24 billion TV deal set to take effect in 2016 player salaries are likely to reach new heights. For now, the league’s star players will have to continue to make ends meet with the current CBA salary structure, and the crew at FOX Sports Ohio runs down the top 25 player salaries for the 2014/15 season. Topping the list are Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, and Amar’e Stoudemire.
  • One prospect who NBA franchises will be keeping an eye on this season is Emmanuel Mudiay, who chose to play over in China rather than attend college this season. Mudiay played his first game yesterday and notched 20 points and five assists in 27 minutes. One of his opponents was former NBA player Pooh Jeter, who relayed his impressions of the 18-year-old phenom to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. Mudiay is currently slotted second in Givony’s prospect rankings.

Western Notes: Nedovic, Gasol, Faried

Nemanja Nedovic said that the Warriors haven’t given him any indication on whether or not the team’s third-year option on his contract will be picked up, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group writes. Golden State has until October 31st to decide on Nedovic’s option.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Pau Gasol doesn’t have fond memories of being a free agent this past summer, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Talking about the process that led him to sign with the Bulls, Gasol said, “It was a difficult decision; it was a difficult process to go through and I don’t wish to go through it again because it was just very stressful. My phone was blowing up. It got to points in the day where I just didn’t want to be by my phone so I just put it away. I don’t know who called at those times. I tried to return the calls and the messages as much as I could, because I was trying to be respectful and appreciative of the people that had interest in me. I did not expect nor anticipate that it was going to be that hectic and that stressful. So first it was hard for me to make the decision to move on from the team that I’ve been a part of and been through so much with – the Lakers. Then, after that, it was, ‘Okay, where do I want to play?’”
  • The Kings have hired David Arseneault Jr. as head coach of the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s D-League affiliate, the team announced via a press release. Arseneault was previously working as an assistant at Grinnell College, a Division III program. The Kings presumably hired him to implement and teach Grinnell’s high-scoring offensive system, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports notes.
  • One of the big worries with signing players to big dollar contracts is if the pressure to live up to the numbers will hamper the player. Kenneth Faried isn’t letting his new windfall from the Nuggets affect him, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. When asked if he was feeling added weight because of the contract extension, Faried said, No, I really don’t care. There’s no pressure, it’s just money. It’s not a big deal. I love the game so I’m going to continue to play the game like I’ve been playing. My mind has been at ease and I’ve been grinding.”