Dennis Lindsey

Pistons To Hire Mavs Exec Dennis Lindsey As Senior VP

The Pistons are hiring Mavericks executive Dennis Lindsey as their senior VP of basketball operations, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Lindsey will serve as one of Trajan Langdon‘s top assistants in the restructured Detroit front office. Langdon was hired away from the Pelicans to become the Pistons’ president of basketball operations.

Lindsey was the other finalist for Detroit’s top executive job, which was previously held by general manager Troy Weaver. That didn’t stop the Pistons from continuing to pursue Lindsey in a secondary role. He met with owner Tom Gores multiple times during the process for hiring a team president. Prior to getting hired by Dallas, Lindsey was Utah’s GM from 2012-19.

The Pistons are also reportedly hiring Michael Blackstone as their executive VP of basketball operations, so it’s unclear when Lindsey or Blackstone will be Langdon’s right-hand man or if they’ll have equal say.

Detroit, of course, is still in the midst of a coaching search after dismissing Monty Williams last week.

Stein’s Latest: Lindsey, Williams, George, Bronny James, Cassell

The Pistons passed on Mavericks executive Dennis Lindsey and hired Trajan Langdon as their president of basketball operations. However, the Pistons would still like to bring in Lindsey for another front office role under Langdon.

Lindsey has been discussed as an ongoing target for the Pistons, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack post. Lindsey was the other finalist for Detroit’s top front office job and met with team owner Tom Gores multiple times before Langdon was offered the position.

The Mavericks don’t want to lose Lindsey, who recently attended the NBA’s European draft combine in Italy with assistant GM Matt Riccardi.

Langdon is still mulling whether to retain head coach Monty Williams, who has five years remaining on his contract, Stein adds.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Paul George is a well-known free agent target for the Sixers if he fails to reach an extension agreement with the Clippers this month. George will have at least one Eastern Conference alternative in that scenario. The Magic will also be in the mix and Orlando additionally has designs on the Warriors’ Klay Thompson. How the Magic would fit George into their frontcourt of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner would be an intriguing side story, while Philadelphia has an obvious frontcourt need with Tobias Harris (and most of the rest of the roster) headed to free agency.
  • Bronny James worked out for the Suns on Wednesday and initially only made plans to visit the Suns and Lakers during the pre-draft process. However, that situation is fluid. Agent Rich Paul told Stein there are “a few more” workout invites under consideration.
  • Reiterating an item from last month, Stein says Bucks coach Doc Rivers will make a push to hire Celtics assistant Sam Cassell after the Finals. Cassell was one of the early candidates for the Lakers’ head coaching job.

Pistons Intend To Hire Trajan Langdon As Head Of Basketball Operations

The Pistons plan to hire Trajan Langdon away from the Pelicans to become their new head of basketball operations, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides are working toward finalizing a deal. That deal likely won’t be completed until next week, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.

Langdon has spent the last five years as New Orleans’ general manager, serving as the second-in-command to executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin. According to Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link), officials within the Pelicans organization “rave about his talent evaluation skills.”

A former standout as a player at Duke, Langdon was drafted with the 11th overall pick in 1999, though he spent just three seasons in the NBA with the Cavaliers. He went on to become a star overseas, winning a pair of EuroLeague titles in 2006 and 2008 with CSKA Moscow. He made multiple All-EuroLeague teams, earned EuroLeague Final Four MVP honors in 2008, and was named top the EuroLeague’s All-Decade team for the 2000s.

After retiring as a player in 2011, Langdon got his first front office role in San Antonio, working as a scout for the Spurs from 2012-15. Before being hired by the Pelicans, he was an assistant general manager with the Nets for three years under Sean Marks.

Long viewed as a candidate to eventually run a front office, Langdon actually interviewed for the Pelicans’ top job in 2019 before being hired under Griffin. He later received consideration for head of basketball operations jobs in Sacramento and Washington.

After finishing the 2023/24 season with a 14-68 record, marking their fourth straight year at or near the bottom of the NBA’s standings, the Pistons confirmed in mid-April that they were seeking a president of basketball operations who would replace Troy Weaver as the front office’s top decision-maker.

Langdon was named last week as one of four frontrunners for the job, along with Scott Perry, Dennis Lindsey, and John Hammond. According to James L. Edwards and Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lindsey was the other finalist, and both he and Langdon met with team owner Tom Gores multiple times in recent weeks before the club made a decision.

The Pistons considered over a dozen candidates during their search process, per Edwards and Charania. Their list of possible targets reportedly included Timberwolves president Tim Connelly, who will have the opportunity to opt out of his contract with Minnesota this offseason. However, Detroit has decided to move forward with Langdon rather than waiting to see if Connelly will be available.

Previous reports indicated that the Pistons’ new front office executive will have the final say on Weaver – who remains with the franchise for now – as well as head coach Monty Williams. Like Langdon, Williams previously spent five years working in New Orleans, though their Pelicans stints didn’t overlap at all. Williams still has five years and $60MM+ left on his contract, but Gores is willing to eat that money if Langdon decides he wants to bring in a new coach, according to The Athletic.

As for the Pelicans, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently reported that assistant general manager Bryson Graham would likely be the top candidate for a promotion to GM if Langdon were to leave the organization.

Pistons Have Four Frontrunners In Search For President Of Basketball Operations

Four candidates stood out in the Pistons‘ first round of interviews as they look for a new president of basketball operations, sources tell Vincent Goodwill and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon, former Knicks GM and current ESPN analyst Scott Perry, Mavericks advisor Dennis Lindsey, and Magic senior advisor John Hammond were all impressive in their meetings with the firm that’s conducting the initial search, according to the authors’ sources. They are considered frontrunners to meet with owner Tom Gores, who hopes to hire someone in advance of the draft.

Goodwill and Fischer suggest that Detroit might be waiting to see if Timberwolves president Tim Connelly becomes available before making a final decision, echoing a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic earlier this week. Connelly’s contract includes an opt-out clause at the end of the season, and he may be tempted to leave Minnesota, given the franchise’s unstable ownership situation.

Whoever takes over the Pistons’ front office will determine whether general manager Troy Weaver and head coach Monty Williams will remain with the team. There are several other important decisions upcoming this offseason, including a possible rookie scale extension for Cade Cunningham and how to spend up to $64MM in cap room.

Several of the top candidates have previous ties to the Pistons organization, the authors note. When Langdon was a player, his agent was Arn Tellem, who now serves as the team’s vice chairman. Perry is a Detroit native who got his first executive job with the Pistons in 2000 and served as vice president of basketball operations from 2008-12. Hammond was formerly an assistant coach and assistant general manager in Detroit.

Pistons Hoping To Hire Tim Connelly As President Of Basketball Operations?

The Pistons appear to be targeting Timberwolves president Tim Connelly in their search for a new president of basketball operations, according to James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Sources tell Edwards and Charania that Connelly is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with Minnesota this summer. Although it seems likely that he’ll sign a long-term deal with the Wolves, the authors speculate that Detroit owner Tom Gores could potentially land him with an aggressive offer in the range of $15MM per year.

The Pistons’ search for someone to run the front office has moved slowly since it was announced. The Bucks reportedly denied permission for Detroit to interview team president Jon Horst, and former Trail Blazers executive Neil Olshey refused an invitation to interview for the job.

The Pistons have moved onto other candidates, with the authors hearing that Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon, Mavericks consultant Dennis Lindsey and Bulls general manager Marc Eversley have become “viable targets” for the role.

In the same piece, Edwards and Charania speculate that falling to No. 5 in the draft lottery may boost leaguewide interest in the Pistons’ first-round pick. Because there’s not a set tier of players at the top of this year’s draft, rival teams may believe the fifth pick could bring a talent similar to the top choice. It also comes at a significant discount, as the authors note that last year’s No. 1 pick, Victor Wembanyama, will earn between $12MM and $16MM for the rest of his rookie contract, while No. 5 pick Ausar Thompson will be paid between $8.3MM and $11.1MM.

Central Notes: Portis, Giannis, Lillard, LaVine, Morris, Pistons

Bucks forward Bobby Portis, who was ejected in the first quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 loss in Indiana, apologized to his teammates prior to Game 5, then matched Khris Middleton‘s game-high 29 points in Milwaukee’s home win on Tuesday, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN.

“I’m an emotional player, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I give my all every night and take pride of being available for my team,” Portis said on Tuesday. “Game 4, little scuffle, maybe crossed the line. I let my team down by getting ejected and not being available for my team. I owed them an apology for sure.”

With Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf strain) and Damian Lillard (Achilles tendinitis) both unavailable for Game 5, the rest of the Bucks’ starters came up big to extend the team’s season. Portis (29 points, 10 rebounds), Middleton (29 points, 12 rebounds), and Patrick Beverley (13 points, 12 assists) each posted double-doubles, while Malik Beasley and Brook Lopez combined for 30 points.

The Bucks are still down 3-2 to the Pacers in the series, but forcing a Game 6 on Thursday gives Antetokounmpo and Lillard another chance to return to the court. Their availability remains up in the air, but head coach Doc Rivers expressed some optimism after Tuesday’s victory.

“I think they’re very, very, very close,” Rivers said of his two stars, per Collier.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Zach LaVine is “well ahead” of the four-to-six month recovery timeline the Bulls set after he underwent right foot surgery in February, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Johnson says LaVine’s goal remains to resume on-court work at around the three-month mark, in the hopes of having a “relatively normal” offseason. Both Johnson and Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times reiterate that trying to make a LaVine trade is the top priority for the Bulls this summer — that task should be less complicated if he’s healthy.
  • After joining the Cavaliers as a free agent in March, veteran forward Marcus Morris didn’t play a significant role down the stretch, averaging 15.0 minutes per game in 12 regular season appearances and sitting out the team’s first two playoff contests. But he was a key contributor off the bench in Tuesday’s Game 5 win, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic, scoring 12 points and grabbing three rebounds in 26 minutes of action. “We knew what he’s capable of,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Morris, who was a +8 in the one-point victory. “He’s just a guy you trust. And he’s been through these battles before. He’s tough as nails. He’s not afraid of s–t.”
  • Within his latest mailbag for The Athletic, James L. Edwards III discusses whether Brandon Ingram is a realistic trade target for the Pistons and checks in on Detroit’s president of basketball operations search. Confirming reporting from Marc Stein, Edwards says Dennis Lindsey is a name to watch for the Pistons. Edwards also mentions Bulls general manager Marc Eversley and Timberwolves executive VP of basketball operations Sachin Gupta as possible candidates to keep an eye on.

Tim Connelly Among Potential Targets For Pistons’ President Opening

The Pistons would be interested in Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly if Connelly exercises the opt-out clause in his contract with Minnesota at the end of the season, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack post.

The dispute between current Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor and minority owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore could cause Connelly to weigh his future in Minnesota. Connelly signed a five-year, $40MM contract with the organization in 2022. The Pistons announced after their season ended that they would hire a president of basketball operations.

Here’s more info on the Pistons’ search for a new president, via Stein:

  • Detroit’s search is expected to ramp up during the second and third rounds of the playoffs, when more potential candidates will be available for interviews. Stein confirms that Bucks general manager – and former Pistons employee – Jon Horst will be a candidate if he is willing to move on from Milwaukee.
  • Mavericks consultant and former Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey is another name to watch for the basketball ops position, per Stein.
  • J.J. Redick, a candidate for the Hornets’ coaching vacancy, could get an interview if he’s interested in a front office job, Stein says. Pistons chairman Arn Tellem represented Redick in his days as a player agent.
  • The new president of basketball operations will have the ability to decide whether current GM Troy Weaver will remain in his position, be reassigned to a different front office role, or get cut loose, according to Stein. The new exec will also determine whether head coach Monty Williams, who just completed the first year of a six-year contract worth nearly $80MM, will remain in his position.

Former Warriors Exec Bob Myers Likely To Get Job Offers

Bob Myers indicated that he wanted some time away from the game when he stepped down as president of basketball operations and general manager of the Warriors, but fans should expect to hear his name mentioned in connection to any openings that arise in the next few months, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The most obvious team for Myers, according to Fischer, is the Clippers because of his longtime association with team consultant Jerry West and the working relationship they developed during their time together with Golden State. Myers spent more than a decade with the Warriors and helped to win four championships, so Fischer believes he’ll be among the first names that any team will call if it decides to shake up its front office.

Fischer identifies a few other former general managers who may be in line for a second chance, including ex-Utah GM Dennis Lindsey, who is currently working in the Mavericks‘ front office, Kings assistant GM Wes Wilcox, who has rebuilt his reputation after his experience in Atlanta, and former Orlando GM Rob Hennigan, who is VP of basketball operations with the Thunder.

Fischer passes along more information about rising stars in NBA front offices:

  • Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon was among the candidates to become the Wizards’ president of basketball operations and he’ll likely be considered for similar jobs in the future, Fischer writes. Raptors GM Bobby Webster, Cavaliers GM Mike Gansey and new Clippers GM Trent Redden all appear headed for team president roles someday, Fischer adds.
  • Jeff Peterson, the Nets‘ assistant GM, is considered one of the league’s best young executives, according to Fischer. Peterson interviewed for the Pistons’ GM slot in 2020, and Fischer hears that he’s viewed as one of the favorites to take over the Hornets if they decide to replace Mitch Kupchak, who’s in the final year of his contract. Pelicans assistant GM Bryson Graham could be first in line to replace Langdon if he leaves, but league sources tell Fischer that he might get an opportunity with another team before that happens.
  • Tayshaun Prince is a valuable member of the Grizzlies‘ front office and has received overtures about running other teams, according to Fischer. Among other former NBA players, Jameer Nelson has built a strong reputation in the Sixers‘ front office for his work with their G League affiliate, and Acie Law appears headed for a promotion with the Thunder after Will Dawkins was hired by the Wizards.
  • Fischer identifies CAA’s Austin Brown as an agent who might move into a front office role, noting that he was a candidate to run the Bulls in 2020. Fischer also singles out agents Jason Glushon and Todd Ramasar, along with Kirk Berger, a legal counsel with the players’ union.

Stein’s Latest: Kings, Vezenkov, Pistons, Ollie, Mavs, Lindsey, Ayton

Kings draft-and-stash prospect Sasha Vezenkov is seriously considering the possibility of making the move to the NBA for the 2023/24 season, reports Marc Stein in his latest Substack story. In fact, Stein says one source believes a deal between the two sides is “trending toward inevitable.”

The No. 57 pick in the 2017 draft, Vezenkov had his NBA rights acquired last offseason by Sacramento. A year later, both the Kings and Vezenkov are coming off hugely successful seasons and may be in a better position to team up than they were in 2022.

The Kings snapped a 16-year playoff drought by posting their best record since 2004/05, while Vezenkov had an MVP-caliber season in the EuroLeague. The 6’9″ forward averaged 17.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on .546/.398/.857 shooting in 33 games (28.7 MPG) for Olympiacos and is attempting to lead the Greek club to a EuroLeague title.

Vezenkov is under contract with Olympiacos beyond this season, but has a buyout clause in his deal that’s believed to be worth approximately 1.5 million Euros.

Stein shared a few more tidbits from around the NBA at Substack. Here are the highlights:

  • Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is believed to be a major supporter of head coaching candidate Kevin Ollie, according to Stein, who says the belief in coaching circles entering this week’s interviews with finalists was that Ollie was the frontrunner for Detroit’s open position. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic first suggested last week that Ollie may be in the lead for that job.
  • After reporting last month that the Mavericks were in advanced negotiations with former Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey, Stein says Lindsey has joined the Mavs as a special advisor to general manager Nico Harrison and will be part of Dallas’ front office contingent at next week’s draft combine in Chicago.
  • In the wake of the Suns‘ elimination from the postseason, a league-wide consensus that Deandre Ayton has played his last game for the team is “quickly forming,” Stein writes. We wrote earlier today about the expectation that the former No. 1 overall pick will be on the trade block this offseason.

Western Notes: Lindsey, Udoka, Borrego, Westbrook, Holmgren, Blazers, Towns

The Mavericks are in advanced discussions with former Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey to join the organization as a special assistant to GM Nico Harrison, Marc Stein of the Stein Line reports (via Twitter). Harrison has been seeking an experienced sounding-board voice to join the front office in a consultant’s role, dating to last offseason.

Following their failure to make the playoffs, the Mavericks have a pivotal offseason that includes trying to re-sign Kyrie Irving and finding ways to improve the roster, despite limited trade assets and salary cap issues.

We have more on the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets will interview former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka for their head coaching job on Wednesday, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tweets. They interviewed former Hornets head coach James Borrego on Monday for their head coaching job, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. The Rockets have already interviewed former Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and are expected to interview a number of experienced head coaches and prominent assistant coaches in their search to replace Stephen Silas.
  • Russell Westbrook is unlikely to be suspended for Game 2 of the Clippers’ series against the Suns, Chris Haynes of TNT tweets. Westbrook had a verbal altercation with a fan during halftime of Game 1 on Sunday.
  • Chet Holmgren missed the entire season due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot but the Thunder big man is ready to get back on the court, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Holmgren, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, says most of the recovery and rehab process is behind him. “I’m pretty much past the rehab part of this journey,” Holmgren said, “and now I’m progressing more into the 5-on-5 stuff and kind of taking away any restrictions that I have to this point.”
  • There could be a major change with the Trail Blazers’ guard rotation, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian notes. General manager Joe Cronin must decide whether Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe are part of the team’s long-term plans. Either or both could be traded for the All-Star level talent that Damian Lillard craves. Conversely, Simons and Sharpe could be the backcourt starters if Lillard is dealt and Portland goes into a full rebuild.
  • The Timberwolves will look to bounce back from their 29-point loss to top seed Denver when they play Game 2 on Wednesday. They’ll need a huge series from Karl-Anthony Towns to have any chance in the series, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic details.
  • The matchup against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets could show just how far the Timberwolves are from becoming a true contender and whether the Towns-Rudy Gobert pairing can get them to that point, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune opines.