Sean Sweeney

Western Notes: Kerr, Vincent, Reaves, Kidd, Holmgren

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr suggested on a press call with international media on Thursday that he’d consider the idea of taking a sabbatical from the NBA if the longtime core players of his championship teams – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green – were no longer the roster, according to Leonard Solms of ESPN.

“With the core group of Steph, Klay and Draymond, we’ve been together now almost a decade. If they were not here, I could see [myself] maybe taking a sabbatical,” Kerr said. “It might be refreshing and recharging to do so in some ways, but I love these guys and this team so much and we have this window and I’m not going anywhere for the time being. I want to be with them and continue to coach them [for] the next few years.”

Wary of burnout for both himself and his team, Kerr indicated that he plans to manage the workloads of the Warriors’ top players carefully this season in order to avoid fatigue and to keep them fresh. That could provide an opportunity for young players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to play more significant roles on a more regular basis.

“I think the players will enjoy it, and I know the coaches are excited about it,” Kerr said. “We’re not going to treat it like the NBA Finals — I’m not going to play Steph Curry for 45 minutes because we have to think of the long-term health of our team — but we definitely want to win, and we’re going to be very competitive.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Lakers guard Gabe Vincent has been diagnosed with left knee effusion and will miss at least two weeks of action before being reevaluated, the team announced on Thursday night (Twitter link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times). With Vincent unavailable, more minutes should open up for reserve guard Max Christie behind starters D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves.
  • In Vincent’s absence, the Lakers will also need more from Reaves, who got off to a slow start this season following a big summer that saw him sign a four-year, $54MM contract and represent Team USA in the World Cup. The club is optimistic that a solid game against the Clippers on Wednesday will be a jumping-off point for Reaves, writes Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times.
  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is battling a non-COVID illness and didn’t travel with the team to Denver for Friday’s game, sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). Assistant coach Sean Sweeney will be Dallas’ acting head coach for the team’s first in-season tournament game, Stein adds.
  • Following a lost rookie season, Thunder center Chet Holmgren is healthy again, and the way he’s playing on both ends of the court has clarified the team’s playing style, according to Zach Kram of The Ringer, who says the big man is also capable of accelerating Oklahoma City’s contention timeline.

Central Notes: Pistons, Williams, Holiday, Antetokounmpo

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is expected to talk to two former Thunder assistant coaches he worked with in Oklahoma City — the Bulls’ Josh Longstaff and the Nets’ Brian Keefe — for Detroit’s head coaching job, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Dwane Casey announced after the Pistons’ season finale that he would be moving to the front office.

Bucks assistant Charles Lee, former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, Heat assistant Chris Quinn and Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse have already been mentioned as potential targets for the Pistons’ job.

Former Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie, Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney, Pistons assistant Rex Kalamian and former Villanova coach Jay Wright are some other potential candidates that may intrigue Weaver, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic speculates.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls big men Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic did something that has become an increasing rarity in the league. They appeared in all 82 regular season contests. Williams, who was injured most of last season, said he takes pride in being available, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “It’s a blessing to play all 82,” Williams said. “It was something that I definitely wanted to do and something I want to continue to do throughout the course of my career.”
  • Bucks guard Jrue Holiday achieved all of his regular season bonuses, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. He earned a total of $1.65MM for reaching incentives in minutes played, games played, rebounds and assists, as well as making the All-Star team. He still has a chance make an additional $4.1MM in bonuses, ranging from making the All-Defensive team to postseason team success, Marks adds.
  • While team goals means more to him, Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo believes he deserves the Most Valuable Player award, he told Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. “Look, I will never try to create a narrative about the work I put in and maybe that might hurt me because I believe the last five years I’ve been the MVP,” he said. “Do I want a third MVP? Hell (bleeping) yeah I want a third one. I am extremely competitive. I try to make my team successful. …. I’m never going to be one who discredits anybody else’s work. That’s not who I am as a person. And I will never beg for an MVP award that I believe I deserve.”

Jazz Request Interview With Mavs’ Sean Sweeney

The Jazz have requested permission to meet with Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney to discuss their open head coaching job, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Wojnarowski’s report doesn’t indicate that Utah’s request has been granted, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t be. Sweeney also interviewed this spring for the Hornets’ head coaching position, as our tracker shows.

A veteran assistant known for his defensive acumen, Sweeney was named an assistant on Jason Kidd‘s staff in Brooklyn in 2013. He followed Kidd to Milwaukee, then served as an assistant coach in Detroit for multiple seasons before reuniting with Kidd when he was hired by the Mavs in 2021.

The Jazz are casting a wide net as they seek a replacement for Quin Snyder, who coached the team for the last eight seasons and stepped down from the role on Sunday. With Sweeney now in the mix, the list of coaches expected to interview with Utah is up to a dozen.

Terry Stotts, Frank Vogel, Johnnie Bryant, Will Hardy, and Adrian Griffin are some of the notable candidates the Jazz are reportedly considering. The full list can be found here.

Hornets Notes: Hayward, Bridges, Coaching Search, Harrell, Washington

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward is a name to watch in the trade market, though injuries limit his value, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, who conducted a podcast with Charlotte Observer beat reporter Rod Boone.

Hayward is regarded as a “neutral asset” that the Hornets can move. However, it’s unlikely they’ll benefit much in terms of cap space if they deal the veteran, who has two years and $61.5MM remaining on his contract. One executive told Scotto they might be able to move him for two players making around $10-15MM apiece.

The Pacers are an unlikely destination after trading away Domantas Sabonis and building around younger pieces.

More highlights from the podcast:

  • Both Scotto and Boone anticipate Miles Bridges will get $25MM or more annually in restricted free agency. Scotto sees Bridges as being coveted due to his status as a young, two-way, big wing. The Trail Blazers could pursue him if they can’t trade for Jerami Grant and teams with cap space, like the Pistons, could also be a factor. Boone believes he’ll return to the Hornets due to unfinished business with an improving team. The fact that he’s close with LaMelo Ball also works in Charlotte’s favor.
  • Neither Scotto nor Boone believe Mike D’Antoni is a viable option in the search for a head coach. Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney are names to watch there. However, D’Antoni could wind up in Philadelphia if the Sixers let Doc Rivers go, according to Scotto.
  • Free agent Montrezl Harrell generally enjoyed playing with Charlotte this season and could return to the Hornets, depending upon the coaching hire. Harrell probably wouldn’t command more than the taxpayer mid-level on the open market, according to Scotto.
  • P.J. Washington, who is extension-eligible, is a movable piece and his name will pop up in trade rumors.

Hornets To Interview D’Antoni, Atkinson, Ham, Sweeney

The Hornets have begun the initial interview process for their head coaching vacancy, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), who states that the team’s initial list includes former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, current Warriors assistant and former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks lead assistant Darvin Ham, and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney.

As Wojnarowski observes (Twitter link), D’Antoni worked with Hornets president of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak while the two were with the Lakers, and they “had a good working relationship.” D’Antoni holds 16 seasons worth of head coaching experience with Denver, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles and Houston, compiling a regular season record of 672-527.

The 70-year-old interviewed for the Kings’ head coaching job, but isn’t a finalist. D’Antoni is renowned for his offensive acumen and helped get the best from a couple of elite offensive players in Steve Nash and James Harden. Clearly, Charlotte thinks he might help with LaMelo Ball‘s development.

Atkinson was an assistant with the Knicks and Hawks prior to becoming Brooklyn’s head coach from 2016-20, where he compiled a 118-190 record. Those numbers are a bit deceiving, because he inherited a young, flawed roster that he helped lead to the playoffs in his third year at the helm. He has been an assistant with the Clippers and the Warriors the past two seasons.

Ham has been very busy recently. In addition to serving as Mike Budenholzer‘s top assistant with the Bucks as they try to defend their title, Ham has also interviewed for the lead coaching jobs in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Ham has been an NBA assistant for 11 years; he started with the Lakers for a couple seasons prior to working under Budenholzer in Atlanta and now Milwaukee.

Sweeney is in his ninth season as an assistant coach, having spent time with Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Detroit and now Dallas. He has worked under Mavs head coach Jason Kidd with the Nets, Bucks and Mavs.

Sweeney has been credited with leading the team’s defensive turnaround — after ranking 21st in defensive rating last season, Dallas was seventh this season. The Mavs went 3-1 with Sweeney serving as acting head coach when Kidd was in the health and safety protocols back in January.

COVID-19 Updates: Pacers, Kidd, Fultz, Tre Jones, Daigneault, A. Brooks

Justin Anderson and Torrey Craig have become the latest Pacers players to enter the league’s health and safety protocols, per James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter). The Pacers now have six players in protocols. Craig signed a two-year, $10MM deal with Indiana last summer, while Anderson just signed a 10-day hardship contract with the team last week.

On the bright side, Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce has cleared the protocols and has returned to the team, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files.

Here are some more COVID-related updates:

  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has entered the protocols, with assistant coach Sean Sweeney set to take over his duties Friday night in Houston, sources tell Marc Stein of Substack (Twitter link). Kidd is the 13th head coach to enter the protocols.
  • Markelle Fultz isn’t ready to return from his torn ACL yet, but he has exited the protocols for the Magic, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).
  • The Spurs‘ outbreak continues, with Tre Jones being the sixth player currently in the protocols, tweets Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault has cleared the protocols and will resume his duties Friday vs. Minnesota, the team tweets.
  • Rockets guard Armoni Brooks has exited the protocols and is listed as available for Friday’s game against the Mavs, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 (KRIV) relays (Twitter link).

Mavs Officially Announce Jason Kidd’s Coaching Staff

The Mavericks issued a press release on Tuesday evening officially announcing Jason Kidd‘s coaching staff, confirming a handful of previously-reported hires.

Igor Kokoskov is perhaps the most noteworthy addition, fresh off a stint as the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahçe. Kokoskov has served as an assistant for seven different NBA teams over the last two decades and was the head coach in Phoenix for the 2018/19 season. Reports in July indicated that Kokoskov was expected to join Kidd’s staff.

Fourteen-year NBA veteran Jared Dudley, whose agreement with the Mavs was reported last week, was also officially announced as an assistant coach.

Kokoskov and Dudley will be joined by Sean Sweeney, who worked with Kidd during his previous head coaching stints in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, and Greg St. Jean, who worked alongside Kidd with the Lakers over the last two seasons.

Kristi Toliver, fresh off her 12th season as a WNBA player, will also be an assistant coach on Kidd’s staff, with Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton rounding out the group. Armstrong, Shammgod, and Patton are holdovers from Rick Carlisle‘s coaching staff.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Sweeney, THJ, SVG, Grizzlies, Rockets

The Mavericks are in advanced talks to hire Sean Sweeney as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd‘s new staff, according to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link).

Sweeney, who has been on Dwane Casey‘s staff in Detroit since 2018, was said last month to be in talks with the Pistons on a new deal. However, as Stein points out, Sweeney worked on Kidd’s staff during his time in Brooklyn and Milwaukee. Once Kidd was hired by the Mavericks, it seems Sweeney’s focus shifted to a reunion with the veteran coach.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. will make the final decision on his destination in free agency this summer, but his father would vote for him to remain in Dallas. As Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweets, Tim Hardaway Sr. said on the 1 Star Recruits Podcast that he thinks the Mavericks are “a very good fit for my son” and that the decision to hire Kidd was a good one.
  • Appearing on the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz, former Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy spoke more about his exit from the organization, suggesting that he was more focused on what was happening on the court, while executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin was more concerned with “the atmosphere around the team and the happiness of people.” Christian Clark of has the full quote from Van Gundy.
  • Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal evaluates whether the Grizzlies could – and should – make a strong play for Bradley Beal should the All-Star guard become available in a trade before his current contract ends.
  • Within his latest mailbag, Kelly Iko of The Athletic discusses the No. 2 pick, Eric Gordon‘s trade value, and several more Rockets-related topics.

Pistons Adding Three Assistants To Dwane Casey’s Staff

The Pistons are finalizing deals to add three new assistant coaches to Dwane Casey‘s staff, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Detroit is expected to hire Jerome Allen, Bill Bayno, and Rex Kalamian.

Allen, who recently interviewed for the Celtics’ head coaching job and has been linked to the Trail Blazers’ vacancy as well, has been an assistant on Brad Stevens‘ staff in Boston since 2015, but appears set for a change of scenery.

Bayno, who previously worked on Casey’s staff in Toronto, was a Pacers assistant from 2016-21 before resigning due to mental health issues earlier this year. Kalamian was also a Raptors assistant under Casey until 2018. He joined the Clippers for two years, then the Kings for the 2020/21 season.

A recent report suggested that Pistons assistant Micah Nori may leave Detroit for a job with the Timberwolves, so it seems safe to assume Casey’s staff will look much different in 2021/22 than it did this past season.

At least one familiar face is expected to be back, however. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Detroit is currently negotiating a new contract with assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who has been on the staff since 2018.

Sean Sweeney Agrees To Join Pistons’ Staff

The Pistons have reached an agreement with Bucks assistant Sean Sweeney to join Dwane Casey’s staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Detroit had been making a hard push to convince Sweeney to make the switch. Sweeney has worked closely with Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

One of the concessions the Pistons made in negotiations with the former Raptors head coach was that he could pick his own assistants.

Sweeney was one of the candidates for the Nets’ head coaching job two years ago when they wound up hiring Kenny Atkinson.