Rick Carlisle

Pacers Notes: Fizdale, Collins, Pritchard, Turner, Sabonis, Workouts

David Fizdale turned down more money from the Pacers to be one of Rick Carlisle’s lead assistants in order to take a similar job with the Lakers, according to Marc Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). Indiana’s interest in Fizdale was previously reportedFormer Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins is being considered for an assistant coaching position with the Pacers, Spears adds.

We have more on the Pacers;

  • President of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said the hiring of Carlisle is a signal that the franchise is intent on winning a title, according to Michael Marot of The Associated Press“We’re in a win-now mode, we’re trying to win and so we identified some traits or characteristics we wanted in a coach,” Pritchard said. “Those characteristics were first of all multiyear experience, we really wanted to have someone who had a championship pedigree and that can be challenging to find all of them in one person. What happened in this year’s search is Rick became available.”
  • Myles Turner‘s name has often been tossed into trade rumors but Carlisle believes he can get more out of the frontcourt duo of Domantas Sabonis and Turner, Wheat Hotchkiss of Pacers.com writes. “When my teams have played them over the last few years, we’ve always felt like it was a physical beating that we were taking with them, both defensively and offensively,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of making it work.”
  • The team is bringing in Brandon Boston Jr. (Kentucky), Matt Coleman III (Texas), EJ Onu (Shawnee State), Austin Reaves (Oklahoma), Jaden Springer (Tennessee) and Moses Wright (Georgia Tech) for pre-draft workouts on Thursday, according to a team press release. Springer, a point guard, is ranked No. 27 on ESPN’s Best Available list. Shooting guards Boston (No. 41) and Reaves (No. 44) are also ranked in the Top 50.

Central Notes: Mobley, Rose, Bulls’ Draft, McDermott, McConnell, Carlisle

Drafting Evan Mobley with the No. 3 pick wouldn’t necessarily mean the Cavaliers would let restricted free agent Jarrett Allen walk, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. The USC big man is widely considered one of the top four prospects in the draft, and sources tell Fedor the Cavs believe he could thrive at the four or the five, so he should be able to share the frontcourt with a center like Allen. Mobley could also slide over to the middle in some lineups, and his versatility would provide head coach J.B. Bickerstaff with more flexibility.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls ought to consider re-signing unrestricted free agent Derrick Rose, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Rose is coming off a strong season and if he’d be willing to accept some or all of their mid-level exception, it would energize the fan base.
  • The Bulls don’t have a first-round pick but they’re approaching the draft with the idea that they could seize an opportunity to move into the first round, Johnson adds. They were also a presence at the combine, searching for a diamond in the rough with the No. 38 overall pick.
  • Re-signing unrestricted free agents Doug McDermott and T.J. McConnell is a major focus for the Pacers this offseason, coach Rick Carlisle said on Tuesday, per Scott Agness of FieldhouseFiles.com (Twitter link). “The priority is to get the new staff in here, work towards good health as much as we can, try to get McConnell and McDermott re-signed if we can do that,” Carlisle said.
  • Carlisle has yet to officially sign his contract but he plans to do so when he arrives in Indiana on July 5. He’s eager to work with the roster and find ways to make the current group better, according to Agness (Twitter links). “Whatever players are presented to me by management or ownership, I really take a great deal in pride and love the challenge of molding that group into the right kind of system,” he said.

Central Notes: Cavs’ Lottery Pick, Buford, Diallo, Carlisle

The Cavaliers will not just limit their interview and workout list for the No. 3 pick to USC’s Evan Mobley, the G League Ignite’s Jalen Green and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Those players are widely considered the next three prospects beyond Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, who is only expected to visit Detroit

Duke’s Jalen Johnson, who is ranked No. 9 by ESPN, was scheduled to meet with the Cavaliers on Friday. The Cavs are also expected to look at the G League Ignite’s Jonathan Kuminga (rated No. 5) and Florida State’s Scottie Barnes (No. 6). The latter met with Cleveland’s brass on Thursday, Fedor adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Chase Buford is leaving his post as the Wisconsin Herd’s head coach in order to become the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, according to a team press release. “We are excited for Chase to pursue this opportunity with one of the best clubs in Australia,” said Herd GM Dave Dean. Buford, 32, led the Bucks’ G League team to a league-best 33-10 record before the 2019/20 season was suspended due to the pandemic.
  • Along with mulling what to do with the top pick, the Pistons must decide how high they’re willing to go on restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) writes. Diallo is projected to command somewhere in the neighborhood of the mid-level exception, which the Pistons could easily match. Marks also explores the team’s other pending decisions and its cap situation.
  • With his long track record and a four-year contract, Rick Carlisle will command respect in the Pacers’ locker room, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star (subscription required) writes.

Coaching Rumors: Wizards, Morrison, Cassell, Pelicans, Vaughn, Carlisle

We haven’t heard about many candidates linked to the Wizards‘ head coaching job since the team announced Scott Brooks wouldn’t be returning for the 2021/22 season. However, it sounds like Washington’s search is moving forward.

Celtics assistant Scott Morrison told Peter Yannopoulos of RDS (Twitter link) that he has interviewed for the Wizards’ head coaching job. Morrison also interviewed for the open position in Boston before the team decided to hire Ime Udoka. With Udoka likely to bring in some new assistants, Morrison’s future with the C’s is unclear.

Meanwhile, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on his Hoop Collective podcast that Sam Cassell and Wes Unseld Jr. are considered two of the leading candidates for the Wizards’ job (hat tip to RealGM). Cassell is currently an assistant with the Sixers, while Unseld – who has previously been mentioned as a contender for the Washington job – is a Nuggets assistant.

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

  • Windhorst also said on his latest Hoop Collective podcast that Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn has emerged as a legit contender for the Pelicans‘ head coaching vacancy. “I’m not saying he’s going to get (the) job, because Charles Lee on the Bucks‘ staff is also going to be a strong candidate,” Windhorst said, per RealGM. “The word coming out of Chicago at the draft combine is that Jacque Vaughn, who is close to (Pelicans GM) Trajan Langdon… Jacque Vaughn is going to get a real serious look.” ESPN reported earlier in the week that both Vaughn and Lee were interviewing with New Orleans.
  • On that same Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon suggested that former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle may have felt threatened in Dallas by assistant Jamahl Mosley‘s close relationship with Luka Doncic (hat tip to RealGM). Carlisle’s endorsement of Jason Kidd for the job could be viewed through that lens. “I think Rick understood the perception of how (the endorsement of Kidd) might impact who he didn’t endorse,” MacMahon said, adding of Carlisle and Mosley: “I don’t think those guys will necessarily send each other Christmas cards.”
  • Carlisle spoke to other teams with coaching openings before finalizing a deal with the Pacers, but Indiana was where the mutual interest was strongest, says J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscriber-only article). According to Michael, Carlisle and the Pacers didn’t even meet face-to-face, completing their four-year deal over the phone.

Pacers Hire Rick Carlisle As Head Coach

3:50pm: The Pacers have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Carlisle.

“Rick is a proven winner with a championship and will be a Hall of Fame coach,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “He has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to build something with sustainable success. He has great respect for our franchise and our fans from his previous times here. We are very happy to welcome him back to Indiana.”


10:13am: The Pacers are hiring Rick Carlisle as their new head coach, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Carlisle will sign a four-year contract worth $29MM.

It’s a reunion for the Pacers and Carlisle. He was an assistant coach on Larry Bird‘s staff in Indiana from 1997-2000 and became the team’s head coach from 2003-07 before moving on to Dallas.

For the last 13 years, Carlisle has been the Mavericks’ head coach, leading the team to a title in 2011 and compiling an overall regular season record of 555-478 (.537). Taking into account previous head coaching stints in Detroit and Indiana, Carlisle has an overall regular season mark of 836-689 (.548), putting him 15th in career wins among all NBA head coaches.

Carlisle stepped down from his position as the Mavs’ head coach earlier this month and there was a sense at the time that he might have another opportunity lined up. Given his history with the Pacers, a return to Indiana makes sense — especially since the organization was seeking an experienced leader after its experiment with first-time head coach Nate Bjorkgren failed after just one year.

Steve Clifford, Brian Shaw, and Terry Stotts were among the other candidates considered by the Pacers, who will pay a premium to bring in Carlisle. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files notes (via Twitter) that the new coach’s reported salary will be about twice what Frank Vogel and Nate McMillan received during their stints as Indiana’s head coach. The club is also still paying Bjorkgren for another year.

Although Carlisle still had two years left on his contract with Dallas when he resigned, the Mavs had indicated they wouldn’t seek compensation from a team that hired him, so the Pacers won’t have to give up any assets to finalize the deal.

Carlisle will be tasked with turning a veteran-heavy Pacers squad that missed the playoffs this year into a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. While the team may shake up its roster a little this summer – a Myles Turner trade remains a possibility – there’s an expectation that most key players, including Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, and T.J. Warren, should be back.

Now that the Pacers and Celtics (Ime Udoka) have made decisions on new head coaches, there are five teams still conducting active searches. Those teams are the Wizards, Pelicans, Magic, Mavericks, and Blazers.

Central Notes: Pistons, Cavs, Pacers, Bulls

Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham has long been considered the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, and the most likely outcome is that the Pistons will select him. However, we shouldn’t set that pick in stone yet, says Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, who said he got texts from multiple sources after the lottery saying that Detroit is thought to be very high on G League Ignite wing Jalen Green.

James L. Edwards III of The Athletic conveys a similar sentiment, citing sources who say that Green and USC big man Evan Mobley will get “heavy consideration” from the Pistons for the No. 1 pick. General manager Troy Weaver stated following the lottery win that the team will likely look at five players with that selection.

Rumors of the Pistons’ interest in Green or Mobley doesn’t mean the team won’t end up simply drafting Cunningham. But it’s a reminder that the pick isn’t necessarily considered a foregone conclusion like some past No. 1 selections have been. If they like Green or Mobley enough, perhaps the Pistons would even mull the possibility of shaking up the draft by trading down a spot or two.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Although they didn’t nab the first overall pick like their division rivals, the Cavaliers are in a great spot at No. 3, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Fedor contends there’s essentially no wrong answer with that pick, which could be used to draft a franchise cornerstone or possibly to trade for a star. “If that’s the direction that we want to go with that ammunition, we can certainly get in some (trade) conversations,” GM Koby Altman said. “But we really do like this draft.”
  • In the wake of reports that he has been hired to coach the Pacers, Rick Carlisle offered the following quote to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link): It’s a team of skilled, unselfish guys that play hard. It’s always possible that moves could be made before the season, but I think (president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard) and I are both very excited about getting the roster healthy and seeing what this team can be.”
  • Despite their lack of luck on lottery night, the Bulls believe in the foundation of their roster, says K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. We rounded up several more Bulls-related notes on Wednesday.

Mavs Notes: Finley, Front Office Search, Carlisle

Former Mavericks champion Michael Finley has emerged as a strong candidate to be named the team’s new head of basketball operations, writes Marc Stein of the New York Times. Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News also believes Finley is likely to become Dallas’ new president of basketball ops.

Finley spent eight seasons in Dallas as a player and was a two-time All Star for the Mavs. He’s currently the team’s VP of basketball operations, and Stein and Townsend both suggest that team owner Mark Cuban is more likely to stay in-house to replace longtime executive Donnie Nelson than to bring in someone new with the draft and free agency around the corner.

Stein also reports that the Mavs aren’t pursuing veteran executives such as Danny Ainge and Masai Ujiri for their front office opening. There’s an expectation that – even if Finley is promoted – the team would make at least one outside addition to its front office, but execs like Ainge and Ujiri would likely expect more autonomy than Cuban is willing to cede, Stein writes.

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Tim Cato of the Athletic provides a post-mortem on the Rick Carlisle era with the Mavericks, highlighting the coach’s adaptability as a tactician and thinker of the game, as well as his abrasive personality, including his rocky relationship with star Luka Doncic. Both star and coach seemed at times to bristle at each other, as Carlisle felt Doncic publicly showed him up and Carlisle was known for lashing out at players verbally, including several Doncic was close with. The piece also discusses more about his contentious give-and-take towards the end with Mavericks executive Haralabos Voulgaris. Cato concludes that the era was a successful one, culminating in a championship with longtime Mav Dirk Nowitzki, but in the end, it was time for both sides to move on.
  • The Mavericks will not seek any compensation from the team that hires Carlisle, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Carlisle still had two years on his deal when he stepped down, but MacMahon writes that owner Cuban has no interest in complicating Carlisle’s job search and drawing out what has already been an ugly process. Carlisle and Cuban have a long-standing relationship and Cuban has expressed nothing but gratitude to Carlisle for his time as Mavericks head coach.
  • In case you missed it, a report earlier this week indicated that the Mavericks kicked the tires on Kelly Oubre at the trade deadline and could have interest in the forward again in free agency.

Coaching Rumors: Magic, Carlisle, Mavericks, Celtics

The Magic have requested permission to interview three assistants with no previous NBA head coaching experience, sources tell Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The requests involve Suns assistant Willie Green, Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Nets assistant Ime Udoka.

Orlando may be seeking a younger coach to oversee its rebuilding process after moving many of its veteran players at this year’s trade deadline. Former head coach Steve Clifford reportedly decided to part ways with the team because he didn’t want to commit to a rebuilding situation.

Green, 39, came to Phoenix in 2019 when Monty Williams was hired as head coach. He also served as an assistant coach with the Warriors and finished out his 12-year NBA career with the Magic in 2014/15.

Lee, 36, has been an assistant for seven seasons, working under Mike Budenholzer with the Hawks and Bucks. He has also been mentioned as a candidate for head coaching vacancies in New Orleans, Boston and possibly Milwaukee if the organization decides not to bring back Budenholzer.

Udoka, 43, has been a candidate for several openings in recent years. He is in his first season with Brooklyn after previously serving as an assistant with the Sixers and Spurs. Robbins notes that the Magic interviewed Udoka after Frank Vogel was fired in 2018, but Clifford was chosen for the job.

Orlando has already sought permission to interview Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and Nuggets associate head coach Wes Unseld Jr.

Robbins speculates that Rick Carlisle, who resigned as Mavericks coach on Thursday, could be another name to watch because he and general manager John Hammond spent two years together in Detroit. However, Carlisle is expected to receive offers from teams that are ready to be competitive right away.

There’s more on the NBA’s coaching search:

  • Carlisle could be the Bucks‘ top candidate if they fall short in the playoffs and decide to replace Budenholzer, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on Brian Windhorst’s Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip to Real GM). MacMahon also cites rumors about Carlisle returning to the Pacers, where he coached from 2003-07, and speculates that he never would have left Dallas unless he was sure that another opportunity was awaiting.
  • On the same podcast, MacMahon named Jamahl MosleyTerry Stotts and Kidd as three likely candidates to replace Carlisle with the Mavericks. Mosley, who is also a candidate for other openings, has been an assistant in Dallas since 2014. Stotts served as an assistant to Carlisle with the Mavs before the Trail Blazers hired him as head coach.
  • Zach Harper of The Athletic considers the Celtics‘ job the best one available in his coaching vacancy power rankings. He names Carlisle as the best choice for Boston.

Mavericks Notes: Carlisle, Doncic, Nelson, Forde, Finley, Green

There are quite a few head coaching jobs Rick Carlisle could pursue after parting ways with the Mavericks on Thursday. He may even wind up with a team that still has a head coach. There have been rumblings that if the Bucks fire Mike Budenholzer, Carlisle could be his replacement, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The rumors about Carlisle taking over an Eastern Conference playoff contender and becoming Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s coach have been circulating for weeks, Stein adds.

We have more info on the Mavs:

  • Prior to the news of Carlisle’s departure, Luka Doncic addressed the organization’s decision this week to remove Donnie Nelson as president of basketball operations and expressed his disappointment, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News relays. “It was kind of tough to me,” Doncic said during a press conference in Slovenia. “I really like Donnie. [I’ve known] him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me. It was tough to me, seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.” Doncic is practicing with his national team for the Olympic qualifying tournament later this month.
  • Despite Nelson’s dismissal, Doncic still intends to sign a super-max extension before next season, Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic hear. Doncic strongly hinted after the season he would sign his rookie scale extension, which would be worth a projected $201.5MM over five years after making the All-NBA team two straight years.
  • The Mavericks have hired Mike Forde’s Sportsology, a consulting firm frequently used by NBA teams, to assist in the search for a new head of basketball operations., Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Nine NBA teams have either hired or promoted from within a new chief basketball executive in the past two seasons and three of those searches— Pelicans, Wizards, and Kings —were led by Forde, Yaron Weitzman of The Ringer noted earlier this year.
  • Former Mavericks All-Star Michael Finley, currently the team’s VP of basketball operations, has emerged as a candidate to replace Nelson, Stein tweets.
  • The team’s decision to take Josh Green over Saddiq Bey in last year’s draft frustrated a number of key executives and scouts., Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman tweets. Green was selected at No. 18 and the Pistons snapped up Bey, who was named to the All-Rookie First Team, with the next pick. The Mavs’ analytics team wanted Green and won the debate.

Rick Carlisle Steps Down As Mavericks Head Coach

3:50pm: The Mavericks have confirmed Carlisle’s departure in a press release (Twitter link).


3:10pm: Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is stepping down from his post after 13 years in Dallas, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He had two years left on his current deal with the club.

Carlisle’s crowning achievement in Dallas was leading the club to its only NBA title in 2011 with superstar power forward Dirk Nowitzki.

It appeared that, with the recent ascent of young First Team All-NBA guard Luka Doncic, Carlisle would be well-positioned to lead the club to many future deep playoff runs. During the last two seasons, Carlisle and Doncic led the Mavericks back to the playoffs, where they lost two consecutive hard-fought first-round battles against the Clippers.

In head coaching tenures with the Pistons, Pacers, and Mavericks, Carlisle, 61, has accrued a regular season head coaching win/loss record of 836-689. He was voted the 2001/02 Coach of the Year while with Detroit. His teams have made the playoffs in 14 of his 19 seasons as a head coach.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link), Carlisle had been the third-longest-tenured current NBA head coach, behind only five-time champion Gregg Popovich with the Spurs and three-time champion (twice as the head coach, once as an assistant) Erik Spoelstra with the Heat.

For an organization with the level of relative infrastructural stability the Mavericks had demonstrated for over a decade, this has been an unprecedented few days.

Earlier this week, a report by The Athletic detailed major front office conflict surrounding sports gambler-turned-director of quantitative research and development Haralabos Voulgaris. Yesterday, news became public that the team had parted company with GM Donnie Nelson, who had worked in the Dallas front office for 24 seasons and had held the GM position for 16 years. The decision had actually been reached on Sunday, a day before The Athletic’s scathing story was published.

The Mavericks are now the seventh team to lose a head coach following the 2020/21 season. The Wizards, Trail Blazers, Celtics (the team that drafted Carlisle in 1984), Pacers (the team for which Carlisle served as a head coach from 2003-2007), Pelicans, and Magic also have head coaching vacancies. Should Carlisle want to continue coaching, there are several playoff-caliber rosters among these, sporting six 2021 All-Stars, available as of this writing.

Carlisle released a statement addressing his departure to ESPN (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski):

“After a number of in-person conversations with Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. This was solely my decision. My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city. It has been an honor to work along [with] Mark, [Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall], Donnie, [vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley], [assistant GM Keith Grant], Dirk, [former Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd] and every player and assistant coach I’ve had here. Dallas will always be home, but I am excited about the next chapter of my coaching career.”

Cuban has also weighed in on the news.

“I truly love Rick Carlisle,” he said in a statement to ESPN (Twitter link via Tim MacMahon of ESPN). “He was not only a good coach but also a friend and confidant. Our relationship was so much more than basketball. And I know that won’t ever change.”

As for Dallas’ fresh vacancy, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets that star Doncic is a big fan of assistant coach Jamahl Mosley. “He’s got the things needed for a head coach,” Doncic noted after Mosley subbed in for Carlisle during a 99-86 win over the Knicks this spring.

Mosley has been a Mavericks assistant since 2014. John Hollinger of The Athletic concurred (Twitter link) that Mosley would get significant consideration.

Doncic had still been expected to ink a super-max contract extension once he became eligible later this summer after the news broke of Nelson’s departure, despite a strained relationship with Voulgaris. MacMahon tweets that the relationship between Carlisle and Doncic had also been tense, and that Carlisle may have been coaching for his job during the 2021/22 season.

Cuban informs Marc Stein of the New York Times (via Twitter) that he will look to replace Nelson as the new head of basketball operations before finding a replacement for Carlisle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.