Vince Legarza

Pacific Notes: Legarza, Nurkic, Clippers’ Offseason

The Suns have added Vince Legarza as an assistant coach, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic reports.

Legarza has a history with new head coach Mike Budenholzer. He was an assistant in Milwaukee in Budenholzer’s final season there in 2022/23 but wasn’t retained when the Bucks hired Adrian Griffin as their new head coach going into this past season.

Legarza was an assistant with the Jazz for four seasons (2018-22) and a player development coach with the Timberwolves for three seasons (2015-18).

The Suns didn’t retain any assistants from Frank Vogel’s staff and are having a tough time filling out a new coaching staff, Rankin adds.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • With severe cap limitations, Jusuf Nurkic may be the Suns’ most likely trade candidate, according to Gerald Bourguet of Nurkic has two years left on his four-year, $70MM contract. By attaching draft assets, Bourguet writes, the Suns might be able to find an upgrade at his position. Bourguet explores 20 potential trade ideas involving Nurkic.
  • In his first mailbag since the beginning of the season, The Athletic’s Law Murray answers a number of questions involving the Clippers. Among the topics are free agency, Kawhi Leonard‘s health, James Harden‘s free agency, whether Joshua Primo could return, and the usage of the team’s younger players going forward.
  • In case you missed it, J.J. Redick has some prominent assistants in mind if he gets the Lakers’ head coaching job.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, ‘Melo, Nuggets, Wolves, Jazz

Star point guard Damian Lillard attempted to recruit Carmelo Anthony to the Trail Blazers before the 10-time All-Star was traded to Oklahoma City in 2017 and then again before ‘Melo signed with Houston in 2018.

With Anthony once again on the lookout for a new team, Lillard has made peace with the fact that the veteran forward probably isn’t coming to Portland, as he said during an appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast (video link via ESPN). After Lillard detailed his previous recruiting efforts, he was asked if he’s “not putting [his] hand out again.”

“The team or me,” Lillard responded. “I’m like, ‘He ain’t coming here.’ He deserves to be in the league, but he ain’t coming here.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Free agent point guard Isaiah Taylor is working out for the Nuggets in Denver this week, league sources tell Harrison Wind of BSN Denver (Twitter link). After spending the 2017/18 season with Atlanta, Taylor was pushing for a spot on Cleveland’s roster last fall when he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and was subsequently waived. Now healthy, Taylor has also worked out for the Suns and Celtics, according to Wind.
  • The Timberwolves announced this week in a press release that Sam Newman-Beck will assume head coaching duties for their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Newman-Beck, who was an assistant for the Erie BayHawks last season, previously spent eight years (2010-18) in Minnesota as a coaching associate/video scouting director.
  • Bryan Bailey, who was previously on the Salt Lake City Stars’ staff in the G League, has been hired as an assistant by the Jazz, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jones adds (via Twitter) that Johnnie Bryant and Alex Jensen will continue to be Utah’s lead assistants, with Lamar Skeeter, Zach Guthrie, and Vince Legarza sharing the third assistant role and rotating on the bench.