Tyronn Lue

And-Ones: Coach Contracts, Options, Star Trades, Glickman

Monty Williams‘ record-setting six-year, $78.5MM contract with the Pistons will have a major impact on some of the league’s top coaches, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on NBA Countdown (YouTube link).

It’s going to significantly impact the head coaching landscape for high-level coaches, including (the Heat‘s) Erik Spoelstra and (the Warriors‘) Steve Kerr,” said Wojnarowski (hat tip to RealGM). “Both of those coaches have one year left, next season, on their deals. Both, I’m told, in the $8 million annual range right now. Both coaches, when you talk to owners and executives around the league, if they were on the open market might be able to get what (Denver Broncos coach) Sean Payton got: in the neighborhood of $20 million per year.

It’s hard to imagine Erik Spoelstra leaving a Miami organization where he started 28 years ago as a video intern, where he’s spent 15 years as a head coach with two championships.

Steve Kerr is going to be a different situation. His president/GM Bob Myers announced last week that he’s leaving. This is an aging roster. The worldview for Steve Kerr may look different. Watch his negotiations this summer on an extension.

One other coach who is going to benefit from Monty Williams changing the pay structure of NBA head coach is Clippers coach Tyronn Lue.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Which players are likely to exercise their player options? Which teams will exercise their options on players’ contracts? Which players on partially guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts will be waived before free agency? John Hollinger of The Athletic predicts all of those decisions. The former Grizzlies executive believes Jazz guard Talen Horton-Tucker ($11MM) will decline his option and test free agency, writing that his age (22) could help him get a new contract for the full mid-level exception or better. According to Hollinger, the Lakers will likely decline their $16.6MM team option on guard Malik Beasley, while the Magic will retain Gary Harris‘ $13MM deal, which is currently non-guaranteed (it will become guaranteed if he’s still on the roster July 1).
  • Mike Vorkunov, Fred Katz and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic draft the NBA teams they think have the top assets to offer in hypothetical trades for star players this offseason, with two caveats: The team’s best player cannot be included for the star, and the outgoing pieces will be both players and draft picks. The Thunder are selected No. 1 by Vorkunov, followed by the Magic at No. 2 (Katz), and surprisingly the Trail Blazers at No. 3 (Edwards).
  • Marshall Glickman, the acting CEO of the EuroLeague, announced he will step down from his post when his contract expires at the end of July, tweets Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com. As BasketNews relays, a previous report indicated that Glickman’s work relationship with EuroLeague president Dejan Bodiroga was strained, which made have contributed to the decision. Glickman has been acting CEO since last September.

Coaching Rumors: Nurse, Bucks, Lue, Young, Stackhouse

Nick Nurse has been busy interviewing this offseason after being dismissed from the Raptors, and is reportedly a finalist for a couple different coaching vacancies, including Milwaukee’s.

While Nurse has “strong support” within the Bucks, Ian Begley of SNY.tv hears from sources who say that support isn’t unanimous among the “key stakeholders” in the organization.

Nurse, who won a championship with Toronto in 2018/19, is also a finalist in Phoenix and interviewed with Philadelphia. The other two reported finalists for the Bucks are Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin.

Here are a few more coaching rumors from Begley:

  • Begley is the latest to report that Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, who is still under contract, is expected to stay with L.A. and not be made available for any openings this spring. The Suns were among the teams rumored to be interested in Lue, which Begley confirms.
  • Assistant coach Kevin Young is considered a strong candidate for the the Suns‘ coaching vacancy after an impressive interview, per Begley. Marc Stein previously reported that Young had a legitimate chance to be promoted, with an endorsement from star guard Devin Booker. Aside from Nurse and Young, Jordi Fernandez, Frank Vogel and Doc Rivers are considered by some reporters to be finalists for the Suns.
  • According to Begley’s sources, the Pistons did background research on Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse, but Begley doesn’t specify whether or not he actually interviewed. Stackhouse was rumored to be a coaching candidate for the Raptors and was mentioned as possible candidate for Detroit. A longtime former NBA player and assistant coach, Stackhouse has been with Vanderbilt since 2019. Kevin Ollie, Charles Lee and Jarron Collins are reportedly the finalists for the Pistons’ coaching job.

Coaching Rumors: Lue, Popovich, Pistons, Raptors, Udoka

The Bucks and Suns are rumored to be interested in Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, but he’s still under contract for two more seasons, though only one of those is thought to be guaranteed.

There’s growing skepticism among those close to the coach and the Clippers that a rival team would be able to poach Lue away, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The Clippers still hope to contend for championships going forward despite another disappointing playoff exit in 2022/23, and owner Steve Ballmer is known to be a “huge fan” of Lue. As Fischer observes, the Bucks and Suns also don’t have much in the form of future first-round picks, which would likely be necessary to acquire Lue — assuming the Clippers would even permit a rival to interview him, and there’s no indication they would — while he’s still under contract.

The Bucks do have their 2029 first-rounder available, but Fischer suggests they’ll likely use it to acquire a player — either this offseason or in the future. Sources tell Fischer that Milwaukee contemplated dealing the pick to try to land Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic ahead of the February trade deadline.

Here are some more coaching rumors from around the NBA:

  • Gregg Popovich, the longest-tenured head coach in the league, is expected to stay with the Spurs for as long as he wants to continue coaching, and there’s no indication that the Hall-of-Famer plans to retire next season, especially after San Antonio won the draft lottery. However, Popovich’s contract expired at the end of the season, and he hasn’t signed a new deal yet, sources tell Fischer.
  • The fact that the Pistons have yet to hire one of their three coaching finalists has left coaching agents around the league wondering if they’ll reopen their search and consider more candidates, Fischer writes. The three finalists — Kevin Ollie, Charles Lee and Jarron Collins — met with owner Tom Gores last week, Fischer confirms. Detroit is thought to have interest in Monty Williams, who was fired by the Suns last week, so that might explain the holdup. That said, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com hears from sources that the job is expected to come down to either Ollie or Collins (Twitter link).
  • According to Fischer, the Raptors hope to be “blown away” in an interview with one of their long list of coaching candidates. Toronto is believed to be open to an “unconventional” choice. Assistant coaches Jim Sann and Rico Hanes are expected to be retained regardless of who is named head coach, sources tell Fischer.
  • Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated hears (via Twitter) that Ime Udoka “wants to do right” by his former Celtics assistants, and will extend those interested an invitation to join him with the Rockets after his unceremonious departure from Boston. Royal Ivey, who worked with Udoka on the Nets, recently joined his staff in Houston.

L.A. Notes: Russell, LeBron, Lue, Leonard

After getting badly outplayed in the first half of Tuesday’s series opener, the Lakers made enough adjustments to cut the lead to three points in the final minute, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The Nuggets were able to hold on, but L.A. turned the game around by switching to a bigger lineup. Coach Darvin Ham assigned Rui Hachimura to guard Nikola Jokic, which allowed more freedom for Anthony Davis to roam around and challenge Denver’s shooters.

“You have to switch up matchups at times and you have to switch up coverages,” Ham said. “Gave us a chance to get back into the game.”

While it makes sense to go with that same approach from the start in Game 2, it may not be an easy decision for Ham. Multiple team sources told McMenamin that there’s concern the team could “lose” D’Angelo Russell if he’s moved to the bench after starting every game so far in the playoffs. Russell got off to a terrible start Tuesday, posting a minus-23 in the first half and playing only nine minutes after the intermission. He’s headed to free agency this summer, so Ham’s decision could affect his long-term future with the team.

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers‘ offense found success by having LeBron James target Jamal Murray after he got in foul trouble in the second half, McMenamin adds. That will likely be the approach again when the series resumes Thursday night. “We’ll be better,” James promised. “We know we didn’t play up to our capabilities in the first half. … But you know we’ll be better in Game 2, that’s for sure.”
  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue has two years remaining on his contract, but only one of those is guaranteed, a source tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. That explains why Lue’s representatives reportedly met with the team this week to discuss an extension or an entirely new deal. Greif notes that the contract Lue received when he became head coach lined up with the deals given to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who will both be eligible for extensions this summer that could be worth up to $220MM over four years. As Greif points out, the Clippers’ offseason decisions will provide a window into their level of trust in the current foundation of the team.
  • Leonard hasn’t decided whether to have surgery for the meniscus tear he suffered in the playoffs, but Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank believes he’ll be ready for the start of next season with or without the operation, Greif adds.

Haynes’ Latest: Lue, Suns, CP3, K. Young, Blazers

The Clippers met this week with representatives for head coach Tyronn Lue to discuss his future with the team, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

With rumors circulating that the Suns are interested in hiring Lue away from their division rivals, there have been some questions about the coach’s future in Los Angeles. According to Haynes, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is a “huge fan” of Lue and has a great relationship with him, so there’s certainly no indication that the team wants to move on from Lue.

As Haynes writes, Lue has two years remaining on his contract with the Clippers, which pays him about $7MM per year. If the two sides decide they want to amend that agreement, they would likely work out an all-new deal rather than negotiating a contract extension, Haynes adds.

Here’s more from Haynes:

  • The Suns are considered likely to guarantee Chris Paul‘s salary for 2023/24, league sources tell Haynes. Paul’s $30.8MM cap hit is currently partially guaranteed for $15.8MM. The 38-year-old is considered a trade candidate, but Haynes hears that Phoenix is “currently of the mindset” that CP3 will be the team’s starting point guard when the ’23/24 season gets underway.
  • Kevin Young will interview for the Suns‘ head coaching job as early as next week, according to Haynes, who says Young – an assistant on Monty Williams‘ staff for the last three seasons – appears to have the backing of several Phoenix players.
  • Confirming prior reports, Haynes says the Trail Blazers are expected to make the No. 3 overall pick available for trade, though the club is also examining the players who may be available at that spot in the draft. Damian Lillard has let the front office know that he wants the focus to be on acquiring veterans who can help Portland win now, and he and the front office seem to be on the same page, Haynes adds.
  • In case you missed it, Haynes also reported that James Harden intends to decline his player option with the Sixers in search of a long-term deal.

Lowe’s Latest: GM Meetings, Wizards, Blazers, Lue, Kuminga, Harden

The NBA’s general managers held their annual meeting in Chicago on draft lottery day and the discussions among those GMs about a handful of competition-related issues were “lively,” according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link).

One of the topics the GMs talked about on Tuesday, according to Lowe, was the idea of turning the NBA draft into a two-day event. They also discussed whether the modern game has tilted too far toward offensive production and considered what could be done to help defenses. Additionally, sources tell Lowe that some executives in attendance suggested bringing back escalating fines as a penalty for players who flop.

Much of the general managers’ conversation revolved around the issue of load management, and Lowe hears from sources that there may be more load management-related rules implemented as soon as next season. According to Lowe, some in attendance at the meetings believe the NBA may revisit its guidelines on when teams are permitted to rest players, as well as the penalties for clubs that violate those guidelines.

Here’s more from Lowe, who was in the drawing room for Tuesday night’s lottery:

  • Before the fourth and final lottery ball was drawn for the No. 1 pick, the Wizards had six of the 11 available combinations, according to Lowe and other reporters who attended the drawing. The Magic, Pacers, and Trail Blazers were also still alive for the top pick at that point, but it was the Spurs who lucked out and held the winning combination: 14-5-8-2.
  • Rival executives are expecting Portland to re-sign Jerami Grant this offseason, according to Lowe, who says he believes the Trail Blazers will also look into renegotiating the protections on the lottery-protected first-round pick they owe to the Bulls. Removing or reducing the protections on that pick would give the Blazers more flexibility to trade future first-rounders.
  • The Clippers love having Tyronn Lue as their head coach and are “happy to remind” teams with interest in Lue that he remains under contract, Lowe reports. The Suns are said to have legitimate interest in hiring Lue away from their division rivals, but it sounds like Los Angeles would make that very difficult. As Lowe notes, it’s still unclear whether or not that’s even something Lue would want.
  • Executives in Chicago are “buzzing” about what the future holds for the Warriors and Sixers. Based on his conversations, Lowe says there’s a strong level of interest in Golden State forward Jonathan Kuminga around the NBA. Lowe adds that, while the Rockets and James Harden have mutual interest in a reunion, league sources made it clear that Harden’s return to Houston is no lock after the dismissal of Doc Rivers in Philadelphia.

Bucks, Pistons, Raptors Interested In Monty Williams

After being fired by the Suns Saturday night, Monty Williams is attracting interest from the other three NBA teams with head coaching vacancies, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. Sources tell Charania that the Bucks, Pistons and Raptors all plan to pursue Williams in their coaching searches.

Charania hears that Williams will “take time to himself” after his surprising ouster in Phoenix, but opportunities will be available if he decides he wants to coach next season. Even though Detroit scheduled interviews with its three finalists last week, it appears the team will delay a decision until it finds out if Williams is interested. The Raptors, who fired Nick Nurse on April 21, and the Bucks, who dismissed Mike Budenholzer on May 4, are both in the early stages of their coaching searches.

[RELATED: 2023 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Despite an early report that new Suns owner Mat Ishbia was responsible for firing Williams, sources tell Charania that it was an organizational decision that involved “all segments of team leadership.” Charania adds that Phoenix will look for “a respected program builder” who will demand accountability from players and bring a creative approach to an offense built around Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The Suns may interview six or seven candidates before making a decision, Charania adds.

Charania also confirms a rumor that emerged Saturday night that Phoenix considers current Clippers coach Tyronn Lue to be its “ideal No. 1 target.” However, Lue is still under contract and there hasn’t been any indication that L.A. is considering a coaching change.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM points out that if Lue does want to come to the Suns, he would have to be the one who asks the Clippers for permission to interview (Twitter link) and Phoenix would likely be required to send some form of compensation if Lue is hired.

Charania’s sources identify Nurse as another desirable target for the Suns.

The Bucks are continuing to expand their list of coaching candidates, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that the team has received permission to interview Heat assistant Chris Quinn. The Pistons reportedly interviewed Quinn early in their search, and he’s considered to be a candidate for the Raptors’ job as well.

Budenholzer, Nurse, Young Among Suns’ HC Candidates

Following their dismissal of head coach Monty Williams on Saturday, the Suns are putting together a list of candidates for the vacancy that includes Mike Budenholzer, Nick Nurse, and Kevin Young, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). According to Haynes, that list of candidates will continue to grow.

[RELATED: 2023 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

It’s unclear whether Phoenix has lined up interviews yet with Budenholzer, Nurse, or Young, but the team won’t need to seek permission to speak to any of them. Budenholzer and Nurse were recently let go by their teams, while Young is the associate head coach on the Suns’ own staff, having served as Williams’ top assistant.

Budenholzer has a career regular season record 484-317 (.604) as a head coach, with a 56-48 (.538) mark in the playoffs. He coached the Hawks from 2013-18 and the Bucks from 2018-23, winning a title in Milwaukee in 2021 and earning Coach of the Year honors in both 2015 and 2019.

Nurse, who is coming off a five-year stint as head coach of the Raptors, won a championship in 2019 and was named Coach of the Year in 2020. He had a 227-163 (.582) regular season record and a 25-16 (.610) postseason mark in Toronto.

Young coached multiple G League teams and was an assistant coach with the Sixers before joining the Suns in 2020.

Marc Stein reported on Saturday that the Suns will also look into the possibility of trying to lure Tyronn Lue away to the Clippers, but it’s unclear if Phoenix will have any success on that front, Stein writes in his latest Substack story.

Lue remains under contract with Los Angeles and reportedly has the support of team owner Steve Ballmer, according to Stein. As such, it seems unlikely that the Clippers would let him leave for a division rival without receiving some form of compensation. For what it’s worth though, there has been chatter in league circles about the Suns’ interest in Lue for several days, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

Monty Williams Out As Suns’ Head Coach

MAY 14: The Suns made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve parted ways with Williams. Jones issued a statement accepting responsibility for the decision, despite reporting indicating that it was Ishbia’s call (as detailed below).

“Monty has been foundational to our success over the past four seasons,” Jones said in a statement. “We are filled with gratitude for everything Monty has contributed to the Suns and to the Valley community. While it was difficult for me to make this decision, I look forward to continuing the work to build a championship team.”

Williams could become a “prominent candidate” in the Raptors‘ coaching search, Wojnarowski writes in a full story.

MAY 13: The Suns have decided to make a coaching change after their second-round loss to Denver, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The team has dismissed Monty Williams, who had served as head coach since 2019.

New owner Mat Ishbia made the decision to fire Williams, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). As first reported by John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 and confirmed by Wojnarowski, Williams still had three years and more than $20MM left on his contract.

Williams compiled a 194-115 record in his four years in Phoenix and took the team to the 2021 NBA Finals. He also earned Coach of the Year honors in 2022.

However, Ishbia opted to go in a different direction after the team was eliminated from the playoffs in embarrassing fashion in back-to-back second rounds. The Suns lost their last game of the season at home by 25 points this spring and by 33 points last year.

With Kevin Durant and Devin Booker under long-term contracts, Charania believes the Suns’ vacancy instantly becomes the most attractive in the league (Twitter link). Ishbia and general manager James Jones are focused on building a championship roster this summer, and they want to find the right leader to guide it.

The Suns will explore whether it’s possible to land current Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, tweets Marc Stein. Lue stated that he wants to return as the team’s head coach after L.A. was knocked out of the playoffs last month, and the organization hasn’t indicated that it’s considering a change. Lue signed a five-year deal when he joined the Clippers in 2020, so he’s under contract for two more years.

One potential candidate to replace Williams is Mike Budenholzer, who was dismissed by the Bucks earlier this month after his team’s first-round loss, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. A report on Friday from Jake Fischer indicated that Milwaukee was closely monitoring Williams’ status in Phoenix, so it’s possible that the two NBA Finals coaches from 2021 will end up exchanging teams.

Toronto and Detroit are the other franchises currently in the market for a head coach, and Williams may emerge as a candidate for those jobs as well. The Pistons reportedly scheduled interviews with their three finalists this week, but James L. Edwards of The Athletic suggests that the team may reach out to Williams before making a decision (Twitter link).

Fischer’s Latest: Bucks, M. Williams, Lue, Ayton, Suns

Monty Williams‘ name has been “gaining steam” when rival personnel discuss possible candidates for the Bucks‘ head coaching vacancy, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. League sources tell Fischer that Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is also on Milwaukee’s radar.

Previous reporting from Adrian Wojnarowski and Eric Nehm indicated that the Bucks are keeping an eye on coaches currently employed by rival franchises, a point which Fischer reiterates. This is the first time we’ve heard which specific targets Milwaukee may be eyeing.

Williams remains under contract with the Suns for multiple seasons and Lue isn’t a free agent either, so if the Bucks hope to get an opportunity to hire one of those coaches without sending out some form of compensation, they’ll have to hope they part ways with their respective clubs this spring.

Here’s more from Fischer, with a focus on the Suns:

  • In a look at Deandre Ayton‘s possible market, Fischer names the Mavericks as a team that’s frequently mentioned as a potential suitor for the Suns center. While the Pacers, who signed Ayton an offer sheet last summer, have since extended center Myles Turner, Turner’s new contract is considered one of the more movable deals in the NBA due to its declining salary structure, Fischer observes.
  • Even before they acquired Kevin Durant at the in-season trade deadline, the Suns gave rival teams the impression they were seeking a long-term replacement for Chris Paul at point guard, per Fischer, who adds that Phoenix has been linked to veterans like Fred VanVleet and Terry Rozier.
  • One rival team strategist is skeptical that the Suns have a path to make major roster upgrades this offseason, given their cap position and lack of valuable trade assets. “I think they’ll have to leverage veteran minimums and hope they can get something good in return for Ayton,” the strategist told Fischer.
  • Suns associate head coach Kevin Young is viewed as a strong candidate to get a head coaching job with an NBA team sooner or later, according to Fischer, who notes that Young has received consideration from Houston and Toronto this spring.