Will Weaver

Nets Officially Announce Changes To Coaching Staff

The Nets were among the teams to make an in-season coaching change this past season, replacing Steve Nash with Jacque Vaughn in November. Even though he spent nearly the entire 2022/23 season running the Nets, Vaughn didn’t get a chance to reshape his coaching staff until this spring.

Vaughn is taking advantage of that opportunity, with the Nets issuing a press release on Tuesday to formally announce several changes to their coaching staff.

The new additions, some of which were previously reported, are as follows:

  • Kevin Ollie (assistant coach), the former head coach of UConn and Overtime Elite.
  • Will Weaver (assistant coach), who has coached the Sydney Kings and (this past season) Paris Basketball internationally. He’s also a veteran NBA assistant who had a previous stint in Brooklyn as a Nets assistant (2016-18) and coach of the Long Island Nets (2018/19).
  • Jay Hernandez (assistant coach), who was an assistant coach and the director of player development with the Hornets for the past five seasons.
  • Ronnie Burrell (assistant coach), the head coach of the Long Island Nets in 2022/23.
  • Corey Vinson (assistant coach/player development), a former player development coach with the Suns.

According to today’s announcement, the Nets will retain assistant coach and director of player development Adam Caporn, as well as assistants Trevor Hendry and Ryan Forehan-Kelly. They all worked under Nash and will be holdovers under Vaughn as he prepares for his first full season as Brooklyn’s head coach.

Bucks To Interview Will Weaver For Coaching Vacancy

The Bucks plan to interview Will Weaver for their head coaching job, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Weaver spent the 2022/23 season as head coach of Paris Basketball of the LNB Pro A, France’s top basketball league. However, after the team’s season concluded, Weaver said he would be departing the organization, according to French outlet L’Equipe.

In March, the club offered me to stay, to become the general manager,” Weaver said, per Google Translate. “I was honored that they offered me a long-term contract but it was not the right time for me and my family. I have opportunities (to join a staff) in the NBA and that’s where I’ll coach next season.”

A former assistant with the Sixers, Nets and Rockets, Weaver has also had previous head coaching jobs with the G League’s Long Island Nets and the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League. He interviewed for the Thunder’s lead coaching job a few years ago.

The Nets and Raptors are among the teams said to have interest in Weaver as an assistant.

According to Fischer, current Portland assistant and former Thunder and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks left a “strong impression” on the Bucks during his interview. Former Lakers coach Frank Vogel is expected to interview for the job this week, sources tell Fischer.

Coaching Rumors: Rivers, Sixers, Rockets, Nets, Vogel, More

As the Sixers enter the offseason, there’s a sense that James Harden‘s and Doc Rivers‘ futures are linked, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne explained during an appearance on NBA Today (podcast link). The star guard will become a free agent if he declines his 2023/24 player option, while the head coach finds himself on the hot seat after another second-round playoff exit for Philadelphia.

“James Harden can become a free agent, which means you have to decide if you want to give him a four-year contract. Do you want to lock this in for the next four years?” Shelburne said (hat tip to RealGM). “That decision, from what I understand talking to people around the (Sixers), also now becomes tied to the decision about Doc Rivers. Because James Harden was not all that supportive of Doc Rivers in his press conference (on Sunday). I think behind the scenes, from what I’m told, one person said, ‘It would be hard for me to see James wanting to come back and play for Doc again.’

“This is going to be a situation where those two decisions are linked. As we go forward into this offseason and you have another second round exit, you have to decide if you want to lock in your future around (Joel Embiid and Harden). And then, if you’re doing that, what does that mean for Doc Rivers? Because the decisions seem to be linked.”

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke to a handful of NBA executives and scouts at this week’s draft combine to get an idea of which head coaching candidates the Sixers might look at if they do decide to move on from Rivers.

Multiple execs identified Nick Nurse as a logical fit, according to Scotto, who says there’s also been a sense for some time that Mike D’Antoni would be an option due to his longtime relationship with Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. A couple sources named Monty Williams as a possible target too, but he’s drawing interest from multiple teams and may have a more favorable opportunity available, Scotto notes.

Here are a few more coaching-related notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • As the Rockets look to fill Ime Udoka‘s coaching staff, it’s worth keeping an eye on Celtics assistants Aaron Miles and Ben Sullivan and Nets assistant Royal Ivey as potential targets, league sources tell Scotto.
  • The Nets are hiring Jay Hernandez as an assistant coach, according to Scotto. Hernandez worked in recent years as an assistant in Charlotte and was previously a member of Jacque Vaughn‘s staff in Orlando.
  • Will Weaver, a former NBA assistant who is currently coaching Paris Basketball, has drawn interest from multiple NBA teams this offseason, including the Nets and Raptors, reports Scotto.
  • If veteran coach Frank Vogel doesn’t get a head coaching opportunity this spring, he’ll be a popular target for teams seeking an experienced assistant. He has received interest from the Mavericks, according to Scotto, who adds that Vogel and Stephen Silas could be targets for the Celtics.

Rockets Notes: No. 3 Pick, Lottery, Hornacek, Weaver

Having snagged the third overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft, the Rockets are in good position to add one of the best prospects in this year’s class without having to worry too much about that player’s fit alongside last year’s No. 2 pick Jalen Green.

As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes, big men Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero are widely considered to be this year’s top three prospects and don’t overlap positionally at all with Green. All three have been mentioned in the conversation for the No. 1 pick and are different from the frontcourt players on Houston’s current roster, Feigen adds.

Still, general manager Rafael Stone isn’t closing the door on the possibility that the Rockets could make a trade involving that No. 3 pick.

“There’s going to be a really good player available at three,” Stone said, per Feigen. “It’s on us to make sure we pick him, assuming we pick it. Nobody ever believes me, but that’s always in the cards: that it might make more sense for us to trade it.”

Here’s more out of Houston:

  • Within that same Houston Chronicle story, Feigen also takes a behind-the-scenes look at the experience Rockets general counsel Clay Allen had in the lottery drawing room on Tuesday. Allen was pleased with the end result, expressing relief that the team didn’t slip to No. 4 or No. 5. “The whole day was nerve-wracking,” he said.
  • Rockets assistant coaches Jeff Hornacek and Will Weaver won’t be returning to the coaching staff for the 2022/23 season, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). Both Hornacek and Weaver were hired as part of Stephen Silas‘ initial group of assistants in the fall of 2020.
  • According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, “early intel” points to the Rockets hanging onto the No. 17 pick, even though it’s their second first-round pick this year and their sixth in the last two years. However, Iko expects that selection to draw interest from rival teams.
  • Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., and Josh Christopher were among the players in attendance last week when the Rockets held an informal workout at their facility, only about a month after their season ended, Iko writes in the same story.

Rockets Notes: Green, Sengun, Wall, Weaver

The Rockets liked what they saw from Jalen Green in Summer League play, and their excitement goes beyond his statistics, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The No. 2 overall pick averaged 20.3 PPG and shot 51.4% from the floor (52.6% from three-point range) in his first two games before getting shut down after reporting hamstring tightness midway through the third game.

Coaches were impressed by Green’s decision making when the Pistons threw traps at him after he crossed half court. Green made the right reads and got the ball where it was supposed to go, rather than focusing on a one-on-one battle with No. 1 selection Cade Cunningham.

“It’s exciting to see him up and close and personal in a Rockets uniform,” coach Stephen Silas said. “Jalen out there making exciting plays but doing it within the context of how we do things.”

There’s more from Houston:

  • All four of the Rockets’ first-round picks looked like legitimate prospects during their first Summer League experience, Feigen adds. Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher may be sent to the G League to get playing time, but Alperen Sengun appears ready to contribute with the NBA team. Feigen notes that Sengun, the MVP of the Turkish League last season, displayed an advanced understanding of the game in Las Vegas.
  • The youth movement in Houston raises questions about the future of John Wall, who will be 31 when the season begins, per Rahat Huq of The Houston Chronicle. Wall had a 31.6 usage percentage last season and figures to have a similar role as long as he remains with the team. There has been speculation of a possible buyout with Wall, who will make $44.3MM this year and has a $47.4MM player option for 2022/23, but the organization’s best move may be to rebuild his value and try to trade him next summer.
  • Summer League coach Will Weaver talks about giving players their first NBA experience, plus several other topics, in an interview with Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

And-Ones: Coach K, Fan Conduct, Williams-Goss, Coaching Candidates

Longtime Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski has decided to retire following the upcoming 2021/2022 college basketball season, reports Jeff Goodman of Stadium (via Twitter). Coach K has helmed the Duke program since 1980, and has been key in ushering in the era of one-and-done college players and collegiate recruiting battles.

During his tenure as head coach, Krzyzewski led the team to five national titles and 12 Final Fours, and with two potential top freshman on next year’s roster in Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, he will look to end his storied career with one final title run.

Goodman also reports that assistant coach Jon Scheyer is the leading candidate to replace Krzyzewski. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter) that Scheyer is considered Duke’s coach-in-waiting.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • As fan-related incidents continue to occur around the league, the NBA has instituted new measures in an attempt to prevent fan misconduct, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. These policies include: encouraging teams/arenas to pursue legal recourse against such actions, enhanced security, and a “code of conduct” message to be broadcast multiple times throughout the game.
  • Former Jazz point guard Nigel Williams-Goss has agreed to a two-year deal with Real Madrid, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6’2″ point guard played 15 games for PBC Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia this season, averaging 17 points and 5.9 assists while shooting 46% from three.
  • Although the Celtics are the only team with a head coach vacancy so far this summer, there are plenty of enticing first-time head coach options available, writes Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN. Among them: Patrick Ewing, Chauncey Billups, Will Weaver, and Darko Rajakovic. Arnovitz uses present success stories to detail what front offices are looking for in a first time head coach and what attributes can make them successful.
  • Now that the first season of the Basketball Africa League has ended and Egypt’s Zamalek has been crowned champions, the league is looking ahead and planning its 2022 season, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.  “The biggest triumph? Maybe it was just making it to reality,” BAL President Amadou Fall said, regarding the first season of the new league. “Just a long time coming and just being the culmination of many decades of work and engagement by the NBA across the continent, committed to growing the game. And now, it has established a complete pathway for basketball development from grassroots to elites and just league.” Those in and around the league are hoping that as the BAL grows, it will attract more and more viewers and participants from around the country. Though none of the players this season are expected to draw attention from NBA teams, Fall expects that to change soon. “This is the first time that this league is here,” Zamalek’s Walter Hodge said upon receiving the Hakeem Olajuwon MVP award. “And it’s going to be here for a long time.”

Rockets Add Hornacek To Silas’ Coaching Staff

The Rockets have hired Jeff Hornacek as an assistant on Stephen Silas’ staff, according to a team press release.

Hornacek was the head coach in Phoenix for 2 1/2 seasons from 2013-16 and in New York for two seasons from 2016-18. Previous reports indicated Houston was close to an agreement with Hornacek and now it’s official.

John Lucas, who was reportedly one of the finalists to replace Mike D’Antoni as head coach, will remain in the organization as an assistant. Will Weaver, Rick Higgins, and DeSagana Diop will also join Silas’ staff.

Weaver was the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia after being named NBA G League Coach of the Year for the 2018/19 season with the Long Island Nets. Higgins spent the past two seasons with the Magic as associate coach/player development, while Diop spent the past four seasons on the Jazz’s staff.

Texas Notes: Walker, Austin Spurs, Assistant Coaches

Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV has new representation. Rich Paul and Lucas Newton of Klutch Sports are Walker’s new agents, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link). Klutch also represents Walker’s teammates Dejounte Murray and Trey Lyles.

Walker remains on his rookie contract with the Spurs. He will become eligible for a rookie scale extension in 2021 and – if he doesn’t sign a new deal early – would reach restricted free agency in 2022.

There’s more from the Lone Star State:

  • The Spurs‘ G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, have promoted assistant Matt Nielsen to head coach, and named former assistant general manager Tyler Self the new GM, according to a team press release.
  • The Rockets continue to remake their personnel beyond the hardwood. New head coach Stephen Silas has added Magic player development coach Rick Higgins, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), and former Sydney Kings head coach Will Weaver, per Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link).
  • Per a team press release, the Spurs have promoted Mitch Johnson to fill Tim Duncan‘s role on Gregg Popovich‘s bench and have also named Darius Songalia an assistant coach. Duncan, a Hall of Fame power forward and five-time champion with the club, will return to his more informal player development duties with the team for 2020/21.

Thunder Expected To Interview Will Weaver For Head Coaching Job

Will Weaver, the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League, has traveled to the United States and is currently in quarantine in Oklahoma City, writes Olgun Uluc of ESPN. The Kings issued a statement confirming that their head coach was given permission to fly to the U.S. to participate in in-person interviews for an NBA job.

“Will has kept us informed in an ongoing basis in regards to the recent discussions he has been involved in,” Kings owner Paul Smith said. “We support Will in this process. It is implicit to our vision for the Sydney Kings, a club that helps ambitious people move forward in their careers. Be it a player, coach or a member of our management team, my greatest thrill is seeing people achieve their ambitions.”

While neither the Kings nor ESPN explicitly confirms that Weaver is interviewing with the Thunder, it certainly appears that’s what happening. Weaver, who also received consideration from the Pelicans during their head coaching search, was identified last month as a candidate for Oklahoma City’s vacancy.

The Thunder are the only NBA team making a head coaching change this year that has yet to finalize a hire. And while Weaver has been cited as a potential assistant coaching candidate for certain NBA teams – including the Rockets – it seems unlikely that he would travel across the world for an in-person interview unless he’s being seriously considered for a head coaching job. The fact that he’s quarantining in OKC further suggests a meeting with the Thunder is on tap.

Before moving to Australia in 2019 to coach the Kings, Weaver served as the head coach of the G League’s Long Island Nets and held assistant roles in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Weaver, who led Sydney to a league-best 20-8 record and an appearance in the NBL’s Grand Final series last season, is “held in high esteem” in the NBA’s coaching community, writes Uluc.

Rockets Notes: Harden, Silas, Diop, Higgins, Weaver, McMillan

New Rockets general manager Rafael Stone says he’s committed to building a championship team around James Harden, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. There has been speculation former Rockets GM and newly-hired Sixers executive Daryl Morey would try to acquire the former MVP.

“We’ve still got James Harden. Our goal is still to win a championship, and if you’ve got him, you’re halfway there,” Stone said. “It’s incumbent on me and (new coach) Stephen (Silas) and the whole team to figure out the rest of the whole, but the key piece is there.”

Silas embraces those expectations and the pressure that comes with it. “I’m a win-now coach,” he said. “To not have to deal with growing and all that type of stuff, to think championship right away, is exciting for me. And I’m prepared for it and ready for it.”

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Silas’ contract is a four-year deal, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston tweets. Silas was officially hired on October 30 after being one of the presumed finalists along with Jeff Van Gundy and John Lucas, who has decided to remain in Houston and join Silas’ staff.
  • As previously reported, the team has talked to former Suns and Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek about joining their coaching staff. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has uncovered a few other candidates that the Rockets are interested in hiring. Jazz assistant DeSagana Diop, Magic assistant Rick Higgins and former Sixers and Nets assistant Will Weaver are also possible additions to the staff, though Weaver is also a candidate for the Thunder’s head coaching job.
  • The front office aggressively pursued former Pacers head coach Nate McMillan to join the staff but he opted to instead join the Hawks’ staff under Lloyd Pierce, Berman adds in another tweet. Atlanta is close to hiring McMillan, though no official announcement has been made.