Ty Ellis

Pacific Rumors: Ellis, Clippers Arena, Cousins, Lakers

The Kings have officially hired Ty Ellis as head coach of their G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, according to a team press release.  Ellis was head coach of the Suns’ G League team in 2016 before being elevated to an assistant coaching position with Phoenix last season. Ellis replaces Darrick Martin, Sacramento’s G League coach the last two seasons.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • A new lawsuit targeting the proposed Clippers arena in Inglewood alleges that two city-linked boards violated state laws governing open meetings, Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reports. The suit also claims those boards also violated the environmental impact of construction projects in June when they approved the disposal of land to clear space for the arena, Fenno continues. The Clippers signed an exclusive negotiating agreement with Inglewood last year for a new arena but the team’s lease at Staples Center runs through 2024, Fenno adds.
  • The Warriors were expecting to use their mid-level exception on a wing player until they got a call from DeMarcus Cousins agent during the second day of free agency, Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. GM Bob Myers revealed his summer plan during a 95.7 The Game interview. “We had been preserving our taxpayer mid-level exception for somebody that might fall through the cracks and not get paid in a very tight free agency market,” Myers said. “But mostly we were thinking wings. I figured if something like that were to happen it would happen July 8th, 9th, 10th.”
  • The Lakers won’t make the postseason, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports predicts. Mannix made the comment during a NBC Sports Boston podcast, believing that the players around LeBron James won’t mesh well. “You have to assume it’s 48 wins to get into the playoffs in the Western Conference,” Mannix said. “I don’t see that team making up that difference.”

Western Rumors: Hart, Bender, Ellis, Artis

The Lakers made some controversial additions after LeBron James committed to them but guard Josh Hart believes they will improve, not disrupt, the chemistry of the team, RealGM’s Keith Smith reports. Hart is especially on board with the signing of point guard Rajon Rondo. “We like the guys we got. Rajon will really help us stabilize the lead guard spot,” Hart said. “Lonzo (Ball) is going to learn a ton from him. Lance (Stephenson) brings toughness and defense from the bench. JaVale (McGee) does the occasional silly thing, but he does so many good things people skip over.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns power forward Dragan Bender struggled mightily in summer league action entering a make or break year, Smith writes in the same piece. Bender had a difficult time defending on the perimeter and couldn’t consistently knock down his 3-point attempts, Smith continues. Overall, Bender shot 37% from the field in Las Vegas. The Suns hold a $5,896,519 team option on his 2019/20 contract and have until the end of this year’s training camp to decide whether to exercise it.
  • The Kings agreed to sign Jamel Artis to a training-camp deal because small forward is a position of need, according to Noel Harris of the Sacramento Bee. Sacramento also has Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Justin Jackson at that spot. Artis played for the Cavs summer-league team against the Kings and posted 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. He saw action in 15 games with the Magic last season.
  • Suns assistant Ty Ellis is expected to be named the head coach of the G League’s Stockton Kings, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days reports. Ellis was the former head coach of the G League’s Northern Arizona Suns before joining Phoenix’s staff after Earl Watson was fired last season. Ellis will replace Darrick Martin, Sacramento’s G League coach the last two seasons.

Suns Notes: Bledsoe, Chandler, Watson, Okur

Although the Suns have been exploring trade options involving disgruntled point guard Eric Bledsoe, the team will likely have to lower its asking price if it hopes to get anything done, one general manager tells Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. While the Bucks, Nuggets, Knicks, and Clippers have all expressed interest in Bledsoe, according to Amico’s sources, that general manager believes Phoenix’s asking price is unrealistic.

“Right now, it’s borderline preposterous,” the GM tells Amico. “It should come down eventually. It has to.”

Bledsoe and his agent Rich Paul expressed a desire for a trade during the offseason, but the Suns have ramped up their efforts this week, with the Nuggets and Bucks among the most viable potential landing spots, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Trade scenarios are still evolving, and it’s not clear how long it will take for Phoenix to find a satisfactory deal, according to Kyler, who adds that the club appears to be looking into moving Tyson Chandler too, perhaps in the same trade.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN chimes in on Bledsoe as well, tweeting that the Suns’ goal of landing a high-upside young player in any deal has been an impediment, since Bledsoe’s value isn’t exactly at its peak.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • In the wake of the Suns’ horrible start to the season and Earl Watson‘s dismissal, Greg Moore of AZCentral.com wonders why owner Robert Sarver hasn’t made any public comments about the team’s situation.
  • In a separate piece for Basketball Insiders, Kyler wonders whether Watson was essentially set up to fail in Phoenix as the club struggles through a rebuilding process.
  • Shortly after Watson was fired, Dan Majerle became the subject of speculation as a possible target for the Suns, but the team hasn’t contacted the Grand Canyon University coach, writes Richard Obert of AZCentral.com. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, according to Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic, who tweets that the Suns haven’t contacted anyone, with Jay Triano expected to run the show for the rest of the season.
  • Ken Berger of Bleacher Report takes a deep dive into the Suns’ situation and passes along a few interesting tidbits. Among them: James Jones, who joined the franchise this offseason as an executive, figures to have “significant input” when Phoenix decides on a permanent head coach.
  • Former NBA big man Mehmet Okur, who was one of multiple assistants let go along with Watson, became the second member of the organization to direct a less-than-flattering social media post at the Suns this week. Chris Cole of AZCentral.com has the details, along with a screenshot of Okur’s since-deleted Instagram post.
  • Speaking of assistants, the Suns have called up multiple coaches from their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, to fill out their NBA coaching staff, per Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link). Northern Arizona head coach Ty Ellis is among the coaches headed to Phoenix.

Western Notes: Warriors, Thunder, Price, Spurs

The Warriors have officially confirmed the hiring of former NBA veteran Willie Green as an assistant coach/player development on Steve Kerr‘s staff, the club announced today in a press release. Green, who last played for Orlando during the 2014/15 season, could take over some of Luke Walton‘s responsibilities in Golden State, as Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News tweets. His hiring was first reported last month.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

Western Notes: Crawford, Ellis, Durant

Jamal Crawford wanted to remain with the Clippers all along, saying Los Angeles feels like home to him, Rowan Kavner of NBA.com relays. “I’ve said it the whole time, I wanted to come back here,” Crawford said. “My wife, we’ve been together 10 years now, but we’ve been in one place the longest here, so this is where she kind of knows from a team aspect. This is kind of like our home as well.” Crawford also noted that the unity throughout the team separated the Clippers from other places in the NBA – from the front office down to the locker room, which is another reason he re-signed with the club, Kavner relays. “That’s kind of unusual in this business,” Crawford said. “I’m not saying everything’s perfect or we don’t have our ups and downs or see things from different points of view; but overall, it’s a family.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Suns are closing in on hiring Ty Ellis as the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter). Ellis spent the 2015/16 campaign as an assistant on Phoenix’s D-League squad in Bakersfield.
  • Nuggets assistant coach Ed Pinckney is no longer with the team, having resigned from his post, and Wes Unseld has been promoted to lead assistant, Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post relays (on Twitter). A team source disputes that Pinckney resigned, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets, but that source did confirm that Pinckney was no longer with Denver.
  • Small forward Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors this offseason to compete for an NBA title, but he’ll likely see his off the court earnings increase as a result of the move, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. “It’s a huge move for Kevin,” said Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Organization and the chairman of ReputationManagementConsultants.com. “It’s going to be amazing for him from a financial standpoint. I think he is going to give LeBron James a run for his money there once he gets into the Bay Area. It gives him an almost unfair advantage in terms of marketing. It gives advertisers and brands who want to align with greatness further reason to invest. It’s going to be an economic earthquake. He can really change things there.