Jordan Ott

Pacific Notes: Ayton, Williams, Nunn, Lakers’ Staff, Vezenkov

The Suns matched the Pacers’ four-year, $133MM offer sheet for Deandre Ayton but there’s still some lingering tensions between the center and coach Monty Williams. Ayton said on Tuesday he still hasn’t spoken with Williams since he was benched during the Game 7 conference semifinals loss to the Mavericks in the spring.

“I haven’t spoken to him at all, ever since the game,” Ayton told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and other media members. Asked what he plans to say to Williams when they do speak, Ayton replied, “I can show him better than I can tell him. It’s life. Nobody cares about the uncomfortable nature of it, it’s how you perform and what you bring to the table. What’s said is already said.”

Williams believes he’ll be able to mend fences with Ayton.

“I think 1-on-1s are always needed between guys I’ve been around for awhile,” Williams said. “Some guys need it and some guys don’t. I’ll identify that as the season progresses. I’ll talk to everybody as I always do during camp and it won’t be an issue at all.”

If things can’t be worked out, Phoenix will have to wait before finding a new home for Ayton. He’s not eligible to be dealt until January 15.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • After missing all of last season due to a knee injury, Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn was a full participant in the team’s first practice on Tuesday, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets“Getting the rhythm back and feeling good on the floor with no injuries, feeling pain-free and able to play is everything for me,” he said. “So today was a good day for me.”
  • The Lakers officially announced Darvin Ham‘s coaching staff in a press releaseChris Jent, Jordan Ott, J.D. DuBois, Schuyler Rimmer and Zach Peterson are the newcomers, joining Phil Handy, Dru Anthrop and Jon Pastorek.
  • The Kings expressed some interest in European star Sasha Vezenkov this offseason but he decided to stay at least for one more season with Greece’s Olympiacos. Vezenkov, a 2017 second-round pick, believes he made the right move, according to Achilleas Mavrodontis of “It was the first summer in a long time that there was some solid talk, and the Kings showed interest,” he said. “Based on the information, what I heard, and what I had on the table, I decided that the best option for me was Olynpiacos. I don’t look back. I always stand by my decisions. I’m trying to prove that it was the best choice.”

Los Angeles Notes: Ott, Westbrook, Brogdon, Swider, Clippers’ Targets

Darvin Ham‘s Lakers staff is starting to take shape. Nets assistant Jordan Ott will join him on the West Coast and move into a more prominent role in front of the Lakers’ bench, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Ott has been with Brooklyn since 2016. He served as Steve Nash’s offensive coordinator this past season.

We have more from the Los Angeles teams:

New York Notes: Beauchamp, Noel, Draft, Ott

The Knicks aren’t expected to take MarJon Beauchamp with the 11th pick in Thursday’s draft, but they like the G League forward enough to bring him in for an individual workout, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Beauchamp also had dinner with coach Tom Thibodeau and team president Leon Rose, and he believes he could be an immediate asset if he winds up in New York.

“I feel like I’m in consideration with them,” Beauchamp said. “I think I can come in right away and play good minutes and learn from the vets that they have. I really, really feel I can grow with that team, especially on the defensive side. You know, with coach Thibs, he’s about defense, and I feel like that’s going to be my role in the NBA.” 

Beauchamp is projected as a mid to late first-round pick, so it would likely take a trade for the Knicks to have a selection in his range. After the No. 11 choice, they won’t pick again until No. 42.

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks are considering trades involving center Nerlens Noel, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said on his latest podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype). Noel, who played just 25 games this season, has a $9.24MM contract for 2022/23, along with a $9.68MM team option for the following year.
  • The Nets are continuing with draft preparations even though they currently don’t have any picks, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn decided to defer the selection owed by the Sixers until next year, but the scouting process hasn’t stopped. “We’re not going to spend a ton of time on the top of the draft right now because we don’t have a way to get there,” assistant general manager Jeff Peterson said. “[But] you’ve got to be prepared. … On draft night we could get a call from a team that wants to trade us the 15th pick. … Just because we don’t have a pick right now, that doesn’t mean we can stop continuing with our video studies and our draft calls and draft workouts and just overall background information.”
  • Nets assistant coach Jordan Ott is being considered for Darvin Ham‘s staff with the Lakers, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. They previously worked together under Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta.

Nets Officially Announce Coaching Staff

The Nets have officially announced the coaching staff for new head coach Steve Nash, confirming in a press release that Mike D’Antoni and Ime Udoka will be assistants, while Amar’e Stoudmire is coming aboard as a player development coach. Those hires were all previously reported.

In addition to the newcomers, Nash will retain former interim head coach Jacque Vaughn, as expected. Assistant coaches Adam Harrington, Jordan Ott, and Tiago Splitter will also remain with the team, as will player development coordinator Ryan Forehan-Kelly.

“We’ve assembled an experienced staff of high-character individuals with varied backgrounds, both on and off the court, that will help create a solid foundation for me and our players,” Nash said in a statement. “When I set out to build this staff, I wanted to put together a committed group that would connect with our players and help put them in the best position to succeed as a team. With coaching and playing experience at the highest level and a deep background in player development, I’m confident that we’ve put the right people in place to lead us forward.”

Nash, a first-time head coach, has plenty of veteran experience on his new staff, including a pair of former head coaches in D’Antoni and Vaughn. He’ll likely lean on D’Antoni to help run the offense, while Udoka focuses primarily on Brooklyn’s defense, as Chris Milholen of NetsDaily writes.

Nets Notes: Atkinson, Assistants, Free Agency

Kenny Atkinson’s obsessive focus on individual player development led to his contract extension, Michael Scotto of The Athletic reports. ESPN reported on Monday that the Nets head coach would receive an extension, which Scotto confirms. Brooklyn is in playoff contention after winning 20 and 28 games the last two seasons.

“He has done arguably as good of a job as any coach in the league when you look at his improvement each year,” swingman Joe Harris said. “Obviously, I’m again biased just because I’m around him day in and day out and I see his approach and his competitiveness, his toughness, what he’s preached to us has trickled down to each one of the guys. He embodies what we are as an organization. We’re obviously not getting to this point without a leader like that.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • Members of Atkinson’s staff received two-year extensions, Scotto tweets. Atkinson’s staff include Bret Brielmaier, Chris Fleming, Jordan Ott, Pablo Prigioni, Jacque Vaughn, Adam Harrington and Travon Bryant.
  • The Nets will be an attractive free agent destination even if their playoff bid comes up short, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Kyrie Irving will give them consideration, a source told Lewis. There’s also a general feeling that free agents respect what Brooklyn has built and the culture around the franchise. “We’ve competed and won enough games this year that they know that all we need is another All-Star, another dynamic player to take the franchise over the top,” forward Ed Davis told Lewis. “I think that’s what those top-tier free agents that’s what goes through their minds. That’s how they think.”
  • Allen Crabbe underwent knee surgery on Thursday, likely ending his disappointing season.

Coaching Notes: Wizards, Nets, Grizzlies

The Wizards announced today that the team has named Tony Brown, Sidney Lowe, Chad Iske, Mike Terpstra and Maz Trakh as assistants on head coach Scott Brooks’ staff. Eric Sebastian, director of coaching operations, and Kamran Sufi, advance scout, were also named by the team while David Adkins will stay on as the team’s director of player development, according to the press release.

The staff we have put together here in Washington is an impressive group of basketball minds with extensive coaching experience and knowledge of the game,” said Brooks. “I look forward to working alongside this versatile group every day in our quest to bring the best out of our players.

Here’s more of the latest from the NBA’s coaching ranks:

  • The Grizzlies announced via press release that the organization has hired Keith Smart and Adam Mazarei as assistant coaches on head coach David Fizdale’s staff. Smart spent the last two seasons working with Fizdale as an assistant coach for the Heat, while Mazarei was a player development assistant for Memphis the past three years.
  • The Nets officially announced their coaching staff for the 2016/17 season. Joining new head coach Kenny Atkinson’s staff as assistant coaches are Jacque Vaughn, Chris Fleming and Bret Brielmaier, Adam Harrington as assistant coach and director of player development, Jordan Ott as assistant coach and manager of advance scouting and Mike Batiste as player development assistant.
  • The Timberwolves are bringing in Brian Pauga to serve as player personnel director, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. Pauga previously worked with GM Scott Layden when both were members of the Spurs organization, Wojnarowski adds.

Atlantic Notes: Hornacek, Noah, Bender

The biggest beneficiaries from the Knicks hiring of Jeff Hornacek may be the team’s young point guards, Jerian Grant and Tony Wroten, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Hornacek, whose offense depends on strong point guard play, should immediately improve the team’s woeful backcourt production, Lewis notes. “Jeff played in the league for years, coached in Phoenix,” Grant’s father, Harvey, said of the new coach. “His system was mostly pick-and-roll. Jerian, once he learns the system, he can flourish in that system. And Jeff can tell him the ins and outs of being a guard in this league.

Jerian, this guy gets in the gym and he puts the work in,” the elder Grant continued. “You have to be on the floor, you have to be on the floor and you’ve got to work through your mistakes and get that confidence. The last 12, 14 games, the fans in New York got to see what Jerian can do.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jordan Ott, an assistant coach with the Hawks and former assistant at Michigan State, is joining new Nets coach Kenny Atkinson‘s staff as an assistant coach and manager of advanced scouting, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.
  • If Joakim Noah decides to leave the Bulls this summer, the Knicks would have interest in signing him, provided it was at a discounted rate, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report relays (Twitter links). Beck points to Noah’s New York roots and the mutual respect between the big man and team president Phil Jackson as reasons the two parties could come together, but adding that Noah’s potential desire to start could prove problematic.
  • Celtics personnel, including president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, took a recent trip to Israel to scout potential top three pick Dragan Bender, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). In a recent poll, Hoops Rumors readers predicted that Boston would select Bender with the No. 3 overall pick.