Ryan Spangler

Draft Notes: Maker, Zimmerman, Richardson

Here’s the latest news and notes regarding the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 23rd in Brooklyn, New York:

  • The Wolves held a workout on Friday for Matt Costello (Michigan State), Ryan Spangler (Oklahoma) and  Mike Tobey (Virginia), Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN relays (via Twitter).
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled for today with Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Damion Lee (Louisville), James Robinson (Pittsburgh), Josh Scott (Colorado), Malachi Richardson (Syracuse) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Grizzlies on Sunday will be Petr Cornelie (France), Julian Jacobs (USC), Alpha Kaba (Mega Leks), Abdel Nader (Iowa State), Josh Adams (Wyoming) and Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), the team announced via press release.
  • The Pistons held workouts on Friday for Thon Maker (Australia), Cornelie, Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State), Isaiah Taylor (Texas) and Cat Barber (NC State), Keith Langlois of NBA.com relays (Twitter links).

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: Scott, Nelson, Draft

Lakers executive Jim Buss was effusive in his praise for the work Luke Walton did while coaching the Warriors in Steve Kerr‘s absence this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays. “He was thrust into a situation. People might say, ‘Anyone could coach Golden State with their roster.’ No you couldn’t have,” Buss told Pincus. “There’s a lot of pressure in that. There’s a lot of preparation for that.”

Regarding the Lakers waiting 11 days prior to making a decision on former coach Byron Scott‘s fate, Buss told Pincus he thought he was simply being fair to Scott. “There was a lot to go through before that decision was made,” Buss said. “I’m not going to have a knee-jerk reaction because everybody says, ‘You won 17 games, he’s got to go.’  I made a promise to sit with him and [GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and give him a fair shake.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Ryan Anderson (Arizona), Trey Freeman (Old Dominion), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Matt Costello (Michigan State) and Andrew White (Nebraska), the team announced.
  • Former Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler has a workout scheduled with the Thunder on Thursday, Royce Young of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The contributions from Festus Ezeli, in particular, and Ian Clark were vital for the Warriors in their Game 2 victory over Portland on Tuesday, observes Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Both are poised for restricted free agency this summer.
  • Jameer Nelson still has two seasons remaining on his contract with the Nuggets, but he isn’t keen on remaining on the bench as the team’s third point guard for another campaign, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post in his analysis of the 12th-year veteran. Nelson wouldn’t hesitate to have his agent ask the Nuggets to trade him if it looks like he won’t get more playing time, Dempsey wrote previously. In 39 appearances, Nelson averaged 7.7 points, 4.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 36.8% from the field overall and 29.9% from beyond the 3-point line.