Quin Snyder

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Porter Jr., Clarkson, Prigioni

Adding a new starter to the Nuggets lineup via a trade is an unlikely scenario, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. Continuity has been one of Denver’s strength and a big trade would force the team to make the pieces fit at a time when other contenders are finding their footing, Kosmider continues. Playing Michael Porter Jr. remains a priority for the organization, Kosmider adds, and in a way he can be considered that major new addition.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Porter got his first start on Sunday due to injuries and thrived, posting 19 points and six rebounds. Porter has already seen action at shooting guard and both forward spots and is learning the plays from all three positions, Christopher Dempsey of the team’s website notes. “It’s tough, but that’s what the great players do,” Porter said. “LeBron (James) knows where everybody on the court is supposed to be at all times, offensively and defensively. So, that’s where I want to be.”
  • Jazz coach Quin Snyder had inquired about and expressed interest in obtaining Jordan Clarkson during the offseason, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune relays. Snyder was intrigued by Clarkson’s shot-making and playmaking despite the guard’s  penchant for freelancing out of the system, Walden adds. Clarkson was acquired from Cleveland a week ago in the first NBA trade since mid-July.
  • Assistant coach and former NBA player Pablo Prigioni has made his mark with Timberwolves players due to his frenetic style, as Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. “He takes Red Bull out there or something,” guard Jeff Teague told Hine. “He’s always up and at it, running around. He can run all day, doesn’t get tired. … He’s crazy.”

Western Notes: Crowder, Lakers, Holiday, Bates-Diop

Former Jazz forward Jae Crowder took time this week to discuss his time with the team, detailing the close friendships he made and the impact head coach Quin Snyder had on him.

Crowder, who was acquired by the Grizzlies last July, also discussed Memphis’ slow start to the 2019/20 season in an interview with Aaron Falk of Jazz.com.

“We’ve come out on the losing end, so obviously we’re not where we want to be but we’re figuring it out,” Crowder said. “We’re competing at a high level and trying to do what it takes to win games. At this level, with a young team, it’s just hard to win games. We’re learning from our losses and wins and trying to build every day.”

The Jazz traded for Crowder in February of 2018, giving the 29-year-old roughly one-and-a-half seasons with the franchise. He averaged 11.9 points in 80 games for the team last season, quickly gaining respect from the fans and confidence from the coaching staff.

“He just gave me a mindset that added on to fueling my fire,” Crowder said of Snyder. “To always compete at a high level and always embrace wherever you’re at in life. He gave me a role on that team and I’m appreciative of him. I’ve told him that personally. I appreciate him believing in me, believing in my effort and coaching me the way that he coached me.”

There’s more from the Western Conference today:

  • The Lakers tied a team record on Friday for the best start in franchise history, extending their current record to 17-2. The team recorded their 10th straight win with a victory over Washington, led by the likes of Anthony Davis (26 points, 13 rebounds) and LeBron James (23 points, 11 assists). “Obviously, this is a historic franchise; they have done so many great things,” Davis said, as relayed by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “To be a part of a franchise like this is definitely amazing. I just want to leave my mark here and just keep it going. Obviously, our goal is to add another banner here. It’s something we feel like we can do, and if we do that, to be a part of that would be nothing but great.”
  • Andre Iguodala, one of the league’s all-time great defenders, has tabbed Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday as the best defensive player in the NBA today. “Best defender in the league… @Jrue_Holiday11”, Iguodala wrote on social media. Holiday is consistently mentioned as one of the toughest defenders in the NBA, with the 29-year-old making the All-Defensive Second Team in 2019 and All-Defensive First Team in 2018.
  • Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop is slowly but surely forcing his way into the team’s rotation, Chris Hine writes for the Star Tribune. Bates-Diop, 23, was drafted 48th overall in 2018 by the Wolves after spending four seasons at Ohio State. He’s averaged 8.9 points in seven games (17.9 MPG) this season.

Jazz, Quin Snyder Agree To Long-Term Extension

The Jazz have reached an agreement with Quin Snyder on a long-term contract extension for their head coach, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

While the exact terms of the new deal aren’t known, Wojnarowski hears from sources that Snyder still had two years left on his current contract and that his new extension will tack on multiple years beyond that.

Snyder, who took over as Utah’s head coach before the 2014/15 season, has guided the team to a playoff spot in each of the last three seasons, winning two postseason series during that stretch. In total, he has a 227-183 (.554) regular-season record with the Jazz.

Having traded for Mike Conley and signed Bojan Bogdanovic during the offseason, the Jazz are looking to make a deeper playoff run next spring. After upgrading their roster, locking up Snyder to a longer-term deal was a “top organizational priority,” according to Wojnarowski.

Dwane Casey Chosen Coach Of Year

Dwane Casey was named the league’s Coach of the Year at the NBA’s second annual awards show.

This continues the awkwardness of Casey getting a top coaching award for his efforts with a franchise that fired him after the playoffs. He was let go by the Raptors after they were swept by the Cavaliers. His peers at the National Basketball Coaches Association also named him their Coach of the Year days before he fired.

He was named the Pistons’ new head coach earlier this month.

The Jazz’s Quin Snyder and Celtics’ Brad Stevens were the other finalists. The Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni earned the honor the previous season.

Finalists For NBA Awards Announced

The top three finalists for each of this year’s NBA awards are being released on tonight’s TNT pre-game show. The trophies will be presented June 25 at the league’s official awards show.

Here’s an ongoing list that we will update as the candidates are announced, along with links to our staff’s picks for each honor:

Rookie of the Year

Hoops Rumors Analysis: ROY


Most Improved Player

Hoops Rumors Analysis: MIP


Sixth Man of the Year

Hoops Rumors Analysis: Sixth Man


Coach of the Year

  • Dwane Casey (Raptors)
  • Quin Snyder (Jazz)
  • Brad Stevens (Celtics)

Hoops Rumors Analysis: COY


Defensive Player of the Year

Hoops Rumors Analysis: DPOY


Most Valuable Player

Hoops Rumors Analysis: MVP

Northwest Notes: Anthony, Presti, Crawford, Snyder

Carmelo Anthony joined the Thunder last September as both a star in decline and a valuable piece for a team hoping to contend for a championship. A disappointing regular season and early postseason exit later, Anthony’s future in Oklahoma City is murky and he lacks self-awareness of his own decline, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes.

“I think everybody knows that I’ve sacrificed kind of damned near everything … sacrificed my game for the sake of the team and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out,” Anthony said at his end of season media session. “So it’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to … finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”

The reality is, Anthony shot a career-worst 40.4% from the field, averaged below 20.0 PPG for the first time in his career, and was a virtual non-factor in the playoffs. Anthony also vocalized that he will not take a bench role next season. With declining skills paired with the belief he is still elite, Anthony could be suiting up for a new team next season if he agrees to a buyout or declines his $28MM option.

Check out more Northwest Division notes below:

  • In a separate column, Tramel writes about Anthony’s time with the Thunder, suggesting that – despite a few notable contributions – it’s likely over for him in Oklahoma City.
  • Erik Horne of The Oklahoman examined four pressing questions that Thunder general manager Sam Presti will have to address this offseason. Among those is Anthony’s future, Billy Donovan‘s coaching, Paul George‘s future in Oklahoma City, and how much better Russell Westbrook can be.
  • Brad Rock of The Deseret News writes that Jazz coach Quin Snyder is further cementing his case as one of the NBA’s smartest coaches as Utah spars with the Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.
  • Michael Rand of the Star Tribune writes that Jamal Crawford opting out of his deal with the Timberwolves was likely the best-case scenario for both sides. The 38-year-old, Rand writes, is neither an efficient player or a defensively strong one. Conversely, Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune ponders whether Crawford opting out signals trouble for Minnesota’s efforts to attract solid bench options.
  • While the Timberwolves ended a 13-year postseason drought this season, things were not all that great behind the scenes, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Minnesota reached the playoffs, has several star players, and revenue is up from previous seasons but that hasn’t helped matters. “There should be a ton to celebrate, right? Just on the surface. You look at those things. But I’m telling you, there is so much angst, and I’m telling you, disconnect behind the scenes,” Wolfson said.
  • Sean Deveney of Sporting News previewed the Timberwolves‘ offseason, which will include decisions on current players and possible free agents.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Westbrook, Hood, Nelson

In a conversation with The New York Times’ Marc Stein, Carmelo Anthony explained that his decision not to waive his no-trade clause for the Trail Blazers was rooted in logistics, not basketball, reports John Canzano of The The Oregonian/OregonLive.

“We had a fair bit of discussion about Portland…,” Stein said of his talk with Anthony. “… He did say that it meant a lot to him how badly those guys wanted him. I think it really was the distance (that caused him to not be interested). I don’t think it was about Portland, the place… I don’t think it was about Portland, I think it was about family… presumably his wife and son are going to stay in New York for the bulk of the year. He was in constant contact with (Damian) Lillard and (C.J.) McCollum.”

Here’s more news from the Northwest:

  • The Thunder’s Russell Westbrook scored only six points on 2-of-11 shooting to go along with seven turnovers in Saturday night’s 96-87 loss to the Utah Jazz.  As reported by ESPN’s Royce Young, Westbrook appears to still be adjusting and adapting to the acquisitions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony; however, Westbrook insists that this season is no different than any other. “It’s the same thing [as last season],” Westbrook said. “Basketball’s been the same for years. It’s still the same game. Obviously different players, but the game still tells you what to do. If you need to score, you score, if not, you don’t. It’s very simple.”
  • Despite not playing Saturday night against Oklahoma City as the result of a calf injury, Rodney Hood of the Jazz is primed to make his return to the court sooner than originally feared, as reported by Jody Genessy of The Deseret News.  Despite the initial concern after Hood had to be helped off the court by teammates, Jazz coach Quin Snyder was apparently never too worried. “I’ve kind of conditioned myself to not jump to conclusions about those things one way or the other,” Snyder said when asked about being relieved the injury wasn’t worse. “Sometimes when they don’t look as bad, you kind of feel like, ‘Oh, it’s not that bad,’ and then it ends up to be worse.”
  • Jameer Nelson tweeted out a thank you to the City of Denver and the Nuggets early Friday morning after being released by the team on Wednesday. The Nuggets would have been on the hook for the entirety of Nelson’s $4.74MM salary if he had remained on the free agent market. However, as noted by Bobby Marks of ESPN, Denver will have the right to set-off approximately $470K at season’s end as a result of Nelson signing a pro-rated minimum salary contract with the Pelicans on Saturday.

Jazz Possible Frontrunners For Teodosic

The Jazz could be the frontrunners to land the services of international free agent Milos Teodosic, Jody Genessey of the Deseret News writes. A Serbian publication recently declared as much and Genessey suggests that the point guard’s ties to head coach Quin Snyder could help facilitate a deal.

As we wrote about last week, Teodosic is said to be seeking a three-year contract worth between $25MM and $30MM. That’s a considerable raise over what he would likely receive from his current CSKA Moscow squad in Russia.

In addition to the fact that Snyder was CSKA Moscow’s assistant coach in 2012/13, the Jazz boast another connection in current assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, a native of Teodosic’s Serbia.

Finally, Genessey notes that of the three teams previously linked to Teodosic by ESPN – Utah, Brooklyn and Sacramento – the Nets have since traded for a point guard in D’Angelo Russell. Similarly, it’s worth noting that the Kings drafted point guard De’Aaron Fox fifth overall in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Northwest Notes: Hayward, Jazz, OKC, Gibson

Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward has earned a max contract, according to Randy Hollis of The Deseret News. Hollis admits that he had been wrong about Hayward and hopes that Hayward elects to return to the Jazz in free agency in a fascinating piece that touts the budding star’s basketball brilliance.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Northwest…

  • Alec Burks has had a difficult past few years as a result of injury, but he’s poised for a comeback, reports Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News. “It’s frustrating,” Burke said to Sorensen. “My (latest) injury was way more serious than I thought. But I’m a soldier and I learned a lot about my body and the game of basketball during the time out.”
  • While Trey Lyles suffered through a disappointing sophomore campaign, Jazz coach Quin Snyder is certainly not giving up on his forward, per Randy Hollis of The Deseret News. “I think, for Trey, like a lot of young players, it’s more about him taking stock and looking at the year, figuring out he can use it to improve,” Snyder said. “Sometimes you have to go through some things like that in order to get a good gauge on where you are. I expect Trey to have a terrific summer and look forward to him leveraging some of that adversity to make himself a better player.”
  • Taj Gibson would love to return to the Thunder, but he will have many suitors, writes Erik Horne of NewsOK.com. Horne’s piece discusses Gibson’s success in Oklahoma City after being traded from Chicago and names the power forward as likely the team’s best option in free agency.
  • Although the Thunder are locked into the 21st overall pick in the draft, Tuesday night’s lottery may very well have implications for the team, as the draft ordering could affect which players are available on the trade market, writes Brett Dawson of NewsOK.com.
  • Marcus Smart, who played his college ball at Oklahoma State, would fit in very well with the Thunder, writes Berry Tramel of NewsOK.com. Smart remains under contract with Boston for one more year.

Northwest Notes: Eighth Seed, Denver’s Defense, Towns

Jazz coach Quin Snyder is receiving contributions from seldom-used players Jeff Withey and Raul Neto, Jody Genessy of Deseret News writes.

“To be honest, we’ve been in these situations a lot, so there are different guys each night,” Snyder said. “When you have the right spirit, the game rewards you and that’s what happened with those two guys tonight. It’s easy to say, ‘Stay ready,’ and we say that stuff as coaches, but it’s hard to do. For those guys to literally be ready and contribute like they did, it was pretty good.”

The Jazz have won seven of their last 10, enjoying a successful 2016/17 campaign despite occasional injuries to George Hill, Derrick Favors, and Gordon Hayward.

“It’s tough because you never know when your name will be called, so you have to be ready,” Withey said. “On days off, I’m always in the gym running, trying to stay in shape, get shots up and stuff. It’s tough mentally also. It’s part of the business. It’s part of the job.”

More from the Northwest…

  • The Nuggets still hold the eighth seed of the Western Conference, but the team’s defense must improve to sustain a playoff run, Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post writes. Denver’s opponent field goal percentage ranks 28th in the league since the All-Star break, Kosmider writes, and 24th in defensive rating. Coach Michael Malone is well-aware of the problem. “You go back to the start of the regular season, and we were playing good defense the first 10, close to 15 games. Obviously, the wheels have fallen off,” Malone said. Interestingly, Darrell Arthur was hesitant to blame his teammates for the defensive shortcomings: “We’re still learning. We’ve got a young team. It takes a while to go from a mediocre team to a good team to a great team. We’re trying to be great. We’re right there around good, but not so consistent.”
  • Karl-Anthony Towns has taken charge of the “desperate” TimberwolvesJon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. Towns has been the key to Minnesota’s recent playoff push; winning seven of their last 10, climbing to within two games of the eighth seed. Following tonight’s crucial win over the Warriors, hopes are high for the young Wolves. “Desperation makes you do a lot of things you couldn’t normally do,” Towns said. “Being so close to the playoffs, I have a lot of desperation trying to play the best that I can so I can try to help us get to the playoffs and get that eighth spot.”
  • Tom Thibodeau praised his team’s defensive improvements, saying they’ve taken a “quantum leap” in the right direction. “We’re not where we need to be, but when you look at the past couple of years and where we are now, (the point differential) says we’ve made a big jump,” Thibodeau told AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today. “I believe we’re down to 13th now in points allowed (on the season), so that’s a quantum leap, and it’s still not where it needs to be, and we have to understand that.”