Veteran NBA assistant Nate Tibbetts, who had been employed by the Magic as part of Jamahl Mosley‘s staff, is finalizing an agreement to become the new head coach of the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, the deal will make Tibbetts the highest-paid coach in WNBA history.
Tibbetts, who was hired Orlando in 2021, previously served as the associate head coach in Portland and was also an assistant for the Cavaliers. He has head coaching experience at the G League level and has interviewed for the top coaching job for several NBA teams over the years.
Interestingly, one of those NBA head coaching interviews that Tibbetts received was from the Suns back in 2019, before the team hired Monty Williams. Four years later, with the Suns and Mercury under ownership, Tibbetts will be the named the head coach of Phoenix’s other basketball franchise.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Veteran NBA forward Josh Jackson, the No. 4 pick in the 2017 draft, has been accused of raping a woman and then sending two other women to break into apartment to threaten her, according to Shreyas Laddha and Luke Nozicka of The Kansas City Star, who share details from a federal lawsuit filed by Jackson’s accuser. The former Kansas Jayhawk last played in the NBA in 2021/22, when he appeared in 51 games for Detroit and Sacramento.
- While Joe Dumars and the NBA have publicly stated that their data doesn’t support the benefits of “load management,” some coaches around the league are skeptical of that conclusion, according to Joe Vardon and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “It’s just PR,” one coach told The Athletic. “There are plenty of other studies that prove load management makes sense from an injury and recovery standpoint.”
- Australian guard Dejan Vasiljevic signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Wizards in September and was waived a couple weeks ago, but it seems he won’t be joining the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate. Olgun Uluc of ESPN reports that Vasiljevic is headed back to his home country and is set to officially sign with the Adelaide 36ers after the Sydney Kings renounced their right of first refusal.
- In a pair of features for The Athletic, John Hollinger makes win-loss predictions for the eight teams he projects to finish at the bottom of the West and his bottom eight teams in the East. Of note: Hollinger has the Kings (39-43) and Bulls (33-49) finishing out of the play-in picture in their respective conferences.