Rex Kalamian

Pistons Adding Three Assistants To Dwane Casey’s Staff

The Pistons are finalizing deals to add three new assistant coaches to Dwane Casey‘s staff, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Detroit is expected to hire Jerome Allen, Bill Bayno, and Rex Kalamian.

Allen, who recently interviewed for the Celtics’ head coaching job and has been linked to the Trail Blazers’ vacancy as well, has been an assistant on Brad Stevens‘ staff in Boston since 2015, but appears set for a change of scenery.

Bayno, who previously worked on Casey’s staff in Toronto, was a Pacers assistant from 2016-21 before resigning due to mental health issues earlier this year. Kalamian was also a Raptors assistant under Casey until 2018. He joined the Clippers for two years, then the Kings for the 2020/21 season.

A recent report suggested that Pistons assistant Micah Nori may leave Detroit for a job with the Timberwolves, so it seems safe to assume Casey’s staff will look much different in 2021/22 than it did this past season.

At least one familiar face is expected to be back, however. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Detroit is currently negotiating a new contract with assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who has been on the staff since 2018.

Coaching Roundup: Kalamian, Foster, Vinson

The Kings are bringing back Rex Kalamian as an assistant coach under Luke Walton, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Sacramento confirmed the hiring in a press release. As James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets, Kalamian was on Reggie Theus’ staff from 2007-09. Kalamian was on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Clippers the last two years and also had stints with the Raptors and Thunder.

We have more coaching news:

  • Greg Foster is joining the Pacers‘ staff under new head coach Nate Bjorkgren, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Foster spent the last two seasons with the Hawks. He also served coaching stint with the 76ers and Bucks.
  • The Pelicans are retaining Fred Vinson despite their head coaching change, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez tweets. Vinson has been in the organization since 2010. He began his coaching career with the Clippers.
  • John Lucas decided to remain with the Rockets. Get the details here.

Thunder Notes: Gallinari, Ferguson, Kalamian

Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari suggests he’s more interested in winning a championship than taking the best offer in free agency, Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays. Gallinari made the comment during Italy’s “Festival dello Sport.”

“At this time, yes,” he said of prioritizing a title over the most lucrative contract he can find. “I’m not 20 anymore.”

Gallinari, 32, made $22.6MM this past season. He’ll be one of the most sought-after unrestricted free agents on the market.

We have more from the Thunder:

  • In April, Oklahoma County prosecutors decided not to charge guard Terrance Ferguson after a rape accusation. However, he now has more legal issues that apparently involve the same case, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman reports. Ferguson has been sued by an Oklahoma City woman who alleges he and his brother raped her in September 2018. The woman, who previously had a consensual relationship with Ferguson, is seeking in excess of $500K.
  • Clippers assistant Rex Kalamian has a strong connection to the Thunder organization, Mussatto writes in a separate story regarding the team’s coaching search. Kalamian was an assistant in Oklahoma City for six seasons, including three years in which he was Scott Brooks’ lead assistant. It’s uncertain whether Kalamian is a candidate for the Thunder’s opening.
  • We noted earlier on Monday that the front office has been tight-lipped about the coaching search even though Billy Donovan was let go more than a month ago.

Clippers Notes: Free Agency, Dunn, Lue, Hiatus

The Clippers have a realistic opportunity to bring back their 11-man rotation next season, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Many of the decisions will come down to whether the organization wants to make a financial commitment to its current players or explore other options.

L.A. has Bird rights on Montrezl Harrell and can offer him a longer and more valuable contract than anyone else. The Clippers have Non-Bird rights on Marcus Morris, who was acquired from the Knicks last month, and can offer a new deal starting at $18MM per season. JaMychal Green has a $5MM player option, and the team might decide to use part of its mid-level exception to re-sign Reggie Jackson.

Buha adds that the loss of revenue from the shortened season could work in the Clippers’ favor by depressing a free agent market that’s already limited by the small number of teams with cap space. Harrell and Morris may not get the offers they would have under normal circumstances, while Green could decide to stick with his guaranteed money.

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • There may be something to the rumors that Doc Rivers would like to add Bulls guard Kris Dunn as a defensive specialist next season, Buha states in the same piece. Dunn will be a restricted free agent if Chicago makes a $4.6MM qualifying offer, and he could be a nice backcourt partner for Lou Williams coming off the bench. The downsides are Dunn’s poor 3-point shooting — 25.9% this year — and his season-ending knee injury.
  • Speculation regarding Tyronn Lue as the next head coach of the Nets has died down while the league has been on hiatus, but Buha understands why Brooklyn would be interested. During his time in Cleveland, Lue proved he could win a title and he developed a strong relationship with Kyrie Irving. Buha identifies two other members of Rivers’ staff, Rex Kalamian and Sam Cassell, who might get head coaching offers soon.
  • The Clippers may benefit as much as anyone from having several weeks off, Buha suggests in a separate column. They are among the league’s oldest teams and injuries have been a concern, particularly for Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley. New additions Morris and Jackson will also get more time to learn Rivers’ system.

L.A. Notes: Gallinari, Kalamian, Berry, Kobe

After being slowed by injuries throughout last season, Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari has proclaimed himself healthy as he prepares for this weekend’s NBA Africa Game, relays Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Hand and glute issues limited Gallinari to 21 games in his first season with the Clippers after being acquired in an offseason trade. It’s a familiar story for Gallinari, who has only reached 70 games in a season twice in his career.

“Of course I will play. I got to show you some of the Gallo magic,” Gallinari joked in Wednesday’s conference call with reporters. “Yeah, yeah, everything is good. I’m very excited. I’m healthy now, body is good. So I can’t wait to start.”

Gallinari still has two years remaining on a three-year, $65MM deal he signed prior to a three-team trade that brought him from Denver to L.A. last summer. He will make $21,587,579 this season and $22,615,559 in 2019/20 with no team or player option on the final year. Gallinari fractured his right hand late in the season, but says it has fully healed.

There’s more this morning from Los Angeles:

  • Former Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian has officially joined the Clippers‘ coaching staff, the team announced on its website. Kalamian, who broke into the NBA as a scout with the Clippers in 1992, worked under Dwane Casey in Toronto for the past three years. L.A. also promoted G League coach Casey Hill to an assistant role with the NBA team.
  • Lakers guard Joel Berry has a huge goal for a player who wasn’t drafted. In an interview with Drew Ruiz of Hoops Hype, Berry said he hopes to be among the contenders for Rookie of the Year and talks about the feeling of being passed over on draft night. “It was pretty tough,” he recalled. “It’s always a dream to hear your name get called, but honestly, I’ve always taken the path where I was always overlooked and my game is not the flashiest – I just win – and that speaks more than being a flashy player.”
  • Kobe Bryant‘s wife is quashing any speculation that he might be thinking of a comeback, according to Alysha Tsuji of USA Today. Shaquille O’Neal sparked rumors of a return in a TMZ interview over the weekend, but Vanessa Bryant made it clear that it won’t happen. “Kobe will not be coming out of retirement to play again,” she wrote on Instagram. “He doesn’t want to play again and frankly we really enjoy spending time together as a family without the crazy game schedule interfering with birthdays, holidays and special events.”

Rex Kalamian To Join Clippers’ Coaching Staff

The coaching shakeup in Toronto continues as assistant Rex Kalamian has agreed to take a job with the Clippers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Kalamian will join Doc Rivers‘ staff after spending three years working under former head coach Dwane Casey with the Raptors.

Kalamian started his NBA career as a scout with the Clippers in 1992 and was promoted to assistant coach three years later. He also spent time with the Sixers, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Kings and Thunder before coming to Toronto in 2015.

Kalamian reportedly interviewed for the Raptors’ head coaching job when Casey was fired last month, but wasn’t among the finalists for the position. The Clippers had an opening after assistant Pat Sullivan left to join David Fizdale’s staff with the Knicks.

Raptors Notes: Nurse, Casey, Messina, Valanciunas

Assembling a staff will be the first priority for Nick Nurse, who was officially hired as the Raptors’ new head coach earlier today, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. With many of Dwane Casey’s assistants possibly following him to Detroit, Nurse, an assistant in Toronto for the past five years, may have to build his staff from scratch.

One possibility, according to Wolstat, is Nate Bjorkgren, a longtime friend who worked on Nurse’s staff at Iowa in the G League. Bjorkgren landed a job as an advance scout with the Raptors last fall after being let go when Earl Watson was fired in Phoenix. Wolstat also cites a report out of Italy that Spanish National team head coach Sergio Scariolo and former German National Team head coach Andrea Trinchieri are being considered. Nurse was a successful coach in Europe for 12 years before coming to the United States.

Current Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian isn’t expected to remain on staff, according to Wolstat, and may take a job with the Clippers if he doesn’t go to the Pistons.

There’s more tonight out of Toronto:

  • The relationship between Nurse and Casey became severely strained after the Raptors were bounced from the playoffs, according to Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star, with a source telling Feschuk there’s “no love lost between ’em.” Casey gave Nurse his first NBA opportunity, hiring him out of the G League in 2013. Feschuk also questions whether it was the right choice to promote one of Casey’s assistants when fellow finalist Ettore Messina could have provided a new direction for the organization.
  • The Raptors’ front office was divided between Nurse and Messina over the weekend, tweets Josh Lewenburg of TSN Sports. Messina, an assistant with the Spurs, reportedly performed well in both interviews.
  • The decision to hire Nurse means center Jonas Valanciunas is unlikely to be traded, relays Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Valanciunas worked frequently with Nurse during the season to try to develop a perimeter game, and that effort figures to expand now that Nurse is in charge.
  • The decision to replace Casey indicates that team president Masai Ujiri is feeling pressure to make changes, Deveney adds in the same piece. Ujiri’s job remains safe, but his preference to avoid major moves in the past hasn’t resulted in playoff success.

Raptors Interview Jerry Stackhouse For Coaching Job

The Raptors interviewed their G League head coach, Jerry Stackhouse, for their head coaching job last week in Chicago, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Familiarity could work in Stackhouse’s favor. He moved into a coaching two years after he retired in 2013, serving as an assistant to former coach Dwane Casey. He took over the head coaching job with Raptors 905 prior to the 2016-17 season and guided them to a championship. They lost in the finals to Austin this past season.

The Raptors were reportedly interested in hiring ex-Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer before he selected the Bucks. Stackhouse is just one of three in-house candidates being considered as Casey’s replacement. Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian also fall into that category.

Stackhouse is also considered a candidate for the Pistons’ head coaching position. Detroit was one of the teams Stackhouse played for during his long NBA career. He was one of many candidates interviewed by the Knicks before they chose former Grizzlies head man David Fizdale.

Budenholzer Was First Choice In Toronto?

Mike Budenholzer, who agreed tonight to be the Bucks’ next head coach, was also the Raptors’ top choice, tweets Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. Budenholzer met with Toronto’s front office on Monday, but no job offer was extended, relays ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Assistant coach Nick Nurse appears to be the current front-runner for the Raptors’ job, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Nurse has spent the past five seasons as part of former coach Dwane Casey’s staff.

Lewenberg describes him as a “forward, innovative thinker,” which is an important quality to the Toronto front office (Twitter link). He adds that there’s a good chance someone else will hire Nurse if the Raptors don’t make him their head coach.

Toronto seems very focused on internal candidates, Lewenberg notes, as fellow assistant Rex Kalamian is being considered for the opening, along with Jerry Stackhouse, head coach of Raptors 905 in the G League (Twitter link). Other than Budenholzer, no one from outside the organization has interviewed for the position.

Stay current with all the latest coaching news with our 2018 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Raptors To Interview Nurse, Kalamian For HC Job

Although the Raptors reportedly have serious interest in Mike Budenholzer as a potential head coach, the club is also doing its due diligence on possible candidates within the organization. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link), a pair of Raptors assistants will interview for the head coaching job on Tuesday, with Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian getting meetings.

Nurse, who has been linked to the Magic, Hornets, and Suns already this offseason, received the most votes in a poll conducted earlier this spring by Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports on the NBA assistants who most deserve a head coaching opportunity. Viewed as an offensive specialist on Dwane Casey‘s staff in Toronto, Nurse received much of the credit for helping to implement the Raptors’ new-look offense during the 2017/18 season.

As for Kalamian, he’s a more defensive-minded assistant, so the Raptors’ regressions on that side of the ball in recent months may hurt his candidacy, as Eric Koreen of The Athletic observes (Twitter link). However, Koreen adds that Kalamian is a smart, capable coach who is respected around the league. Before arriving in Toronto, Kalamian served as an assistant for the Thunder, Kings, Timberwolves, Nuggets, and Clippers.

It’s not clear yet if the Raptors will also meet with Jerry Stackhouse about their coaching vacancy. Stackhouse has received some head coaching buzz after leading the Raptors 905 – Toronto’s G League affiliate – to a G League championship in 2017 and another NBAGL Finals appearance in 2018.