Roy Rogers

Eastern Notes: Lawson, Bulls, Collison, Sirvydis, Magic

The Celtics announced three additions to their coaching staff today, including the official hiring of Kara Lawson as their first-ever female assistant. A 13-year WNBA veteran and Olympic gold medal winner, she spent the past two seasons as the primary television analyst for the Wizards and covered games for ESPN Radio.

“This was a good fit,” Lawson said to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be challenged, I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be allowed to coach, and I wanted to go to an organization that was going to be playing in big games to be able to get a sense of that last frontier of coaching, which is being able to do it in pressure situations in the regular season and the playoffs.”

Also added to coach Brad Stevens’ staff were Brandon Bailey, who served as coach of the Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine the past two seasons, and Joe Mazzulla, a former assistant with the Red Claws.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • It got lost in the shuffle of this week’s free agency frenzy, but according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), there was a belief in league circles that the Bulls were the frontrunners to sign Darren Collison before the free agent point guard unexpectedly announced his retirement.
  • The Bulls have added two new assistants to head coach Jim Boylen’s staff, according to a press release from the team. Chris Fleming announced in May that he was leaving the Nets to come to Chicago, and Roy Rogers, who recently parted ways with the Rockets, officially joined the team Wednesday. In addition, Karen Stack has been elevated to assistant coach, Paul Miller was named assistant to the head coach and former intern Chris Kent is the new video coordinator.
  • Deividas Sirvydis, who was selected by the Pistons with the 37th pick in the draft, will likely spend the upcoming season in Europe, tweets international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas. Rytas Vilnius GM Rolandas Jarutis expects to have the 6’8″ shooting guard back next season unless he has an outstanding performance with Detroit’s Summer League team. Sirvydis, 19, was MVP of the EuroLeague Basketball Next Generation Tournament in 2018.
  • The Magic have probably given up on Fran Vazquez ever coming to the NBA, but there was news this week on their 2005 draft pick, whose draft rights they still retain, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. The 36-year-old re-signed with his Zaragoza team in Spain, so his cap hold will be removed from Orlando’s books for another season.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Coaching Updates: Grizzlies, Kidd, Suns, Sixers, Bulls, Thibodeau

The latest round-up of NBA rumors from Shams Charania of The Athletic features a handful of coaching-related notes, including an update on the Grizzlies‘ head coaching search.

According to Charania, Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins, whose interview with Memphis was previously reported, met with the Grizzlies for a second time last week. Jenkins is one of at least six candidates to interview for the position, but the fact that he got a second meeting may signal that he’s receiving serious consideration.

Elswhere in Charania’s story, he notes that Jason Kidd‘s contract with the Lakers will make him the highest-paid assistant in the NBA and reports that Warriors assistant Willie Green has been offered a leading assistant coach job with the Suns. Phoenix is hopeful that Green, who played for new Suns head coach Monty Williams in 2010/11, will accept that offer.

Here are a few more coaching-related items from around the NBA:

  • Former Brooklyn and Dallas head coach Avery Johnson is interviewing with the Sixers for a job on Brett Brown‘s staff, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Johnson spent the last four seasons coaching at Alabama.
  • Not long after parting ways with the Rockets, Roy Rogers has agreed to a three-year deal to become an assistant for the Bulls, tweets Wojnarowski. K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, who tweets that Rogers’ interview with the team was described as “impressive,” points out that the three-year term lines up with head coach Jim Boylen‘s new extension.
  • Appearing on The Zach Gelb Show, Tom Thibodeau confirmed that he’s not eager to rejoin the assistant coaching ranks anytime soon (link via CBS Sports Radio). The Lakers were rumored to have interest in Thibodeau as a lead assistant when they appeared to be nearing a deal with Tyronn Lue, but Thibs says the position probably wouldn’t have appealed to him. “I’ve known Ty for a long time. I coached him in Houston, and when he first got into coaching, we were in Boston together, so I consider him a really good friend,” Thibodeau said. “But I still have some time on my contract. I’ll be patient and just wait for the right opportunity to come along.”

Rockets Notes: D’Antoni, Harden, Paul, Staff Changes

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said talks regarding a contract extension are in an advanced stage, he told Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports. D’Antoni, who has one season left on his four-year, $16MM contract, believes he can go an additional two or three years.

News that the two parties were negotiating an extension came to light last weekend.

“I don’t do it (negotiate). That’s my agent. He takes care of that stuff,” D’Antoni said. “They’ve been discussing it for a long time now. It just hasn’t been a couple weeks. It’s been awhile that they’ve been talking. So they’ll figure it out.”

We have more on the Rockets:

  • D’Antoni was caught off-guard by a report that James Harden and Chris Paul had a verbal altercation in the locker room after the team was eliminated by Golden State, he told Berman. “It was definitely blown out of proportion,” D’Antoni said. “Those are discussions that (happen with) every good team that has a lot of alpha dogs and we do. Those are things that (happen) in the locker room and on the floor, time outs and everybody’s trying to compete and win a championship. That happens all the time. So it was nothing out of the ordinary at all. It kind of took me a little bit by surprise. I was shocked. Just wow, okay, it just didn’t happen.”
  • The Rockets fired player development assistant coach Irv Roland, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. That’s quite significant, since he has been Harden’s trainer since 2016 and also has a tight relationship with Paul, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets.
  • The organization also mutually parted ways with assistant Roy Rogers, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Rogers wanted more than a one-year offer, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Assistant Mitch Vanya and video coordinator John Cho were also let go, Feigen adds.
  • Despite the extension talks, the staff shakeup has made some people in the coaching community wonder if the team’s brass is trying to convince D’Antoni to leave, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The Rockets also parted ways with associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik last week.

Coaching Notes: Frank, Iske, Lucas, Pistons

The Clippers and assistant coach Lawrence Frank have reached an agreement that will see him promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations, reporting directly to team president and coach Doc Rivers, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Frank will be tasked with reorganizing the franchise’s front office, including building out the infrastructure of its scouting, sports science and long-term strategic planning, Wojnarowski notes.

Frank, 45, has been a two-time head coach in the NBA with the Nets and Pistons, and had been working toward a transition to the front office in recent years, the scribe notes. As Nets coach, Frank reached the Eastern Conference semifinals three out of his first four seasons on the job. He won 279 games as a head coach, including an 18-20 (.474) playoff record. Frank has been an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for the past two seasons with Los Angeles.

Here’s more coaching news from around the league:

  • The Pistons announced via press release that the team has named Jon Phelps as GM and Rex Walters as head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s D-League affiliate. “We’re fortunate to be able to fill these two positions with guys we feel very comfortable with,” said coach/executive Stan Van Gundy.  “Jon was in Grand Rapids with the Drive the last two years so there’s familiarity and continuity there.  We’re confident he will continue to do a good job and transition well into this new role.  “Rex Walters brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and experience and has a passion for developing young players.  He’s spent some time with us here and already has a good understanding of how we operate.  We look forward to working with both of them.
  • The Wizards will be adding former Kings assistant Chad Iske to Scott Brooks‘ coaching staff in Washington, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post relays (on Twitter).
  • Former Wizards assistant coach Roy Rogers has reached an agreement to join Mike D’Antoni‘s staff with the Rockets, Wojnarowski tweets.
  • Former NBA player and coach John Lucas is joining the Rockets‘ staff as the head of player development, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays.

Rockets Hire Mike D’Antoni As Head Coach

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 1, 2:10pm: The Rockets formally introduced D’Antoni as their head coach at a news conference this afternoon, and confirmed his hiring in a press release. As Calvin Watkins of ESPN tweets, the team introduced Jeff Bzdelik and Roy Rogers as assistant coaches on D’Antoni’s staff.

MAY 26, 4:54pm: The deal will pay D’Antoni approximately $4MM per season, Wojnarowski writes in a full-length piece.

4:22pm: The Rockets and Mike D’Antoni are finalizing a agreement that will make him the team’s new head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reports (Twitter links). It will be a four-year pact that includes a team option for the final season, Wojnarowski adds. Houston is the only team remaining in the NBA with a head coaching vacancy.

The 65-year-old has an overall record of 455-426 in the regular season as a head coach and was named as the 2004/05 Coach of the Year. With D’Antoni’s forte clearly on the offensive end, the team is looking to bring in a strong defensive coach and is eyeing  Memphis assistant Jeff Bzdelik and former Wizards assistant Roy Rogers, Wojnarowski relays (Twitter links).

The addition of D’Antoni likely spells the end of center Dwight Howard‘s tenure in Houston, with the big man widely expected to opt out of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The two reportedly did not get on well when both were with the Lakers and its unlikely Howard would want a repeat of their spotty history, though that is merely my speculation.

The Rockets also met with former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, who is reportedly close to joining the Knicks, former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, Clippers assistant Sam Cassell and Rockets assistant Chris Finch. Former Pacers coach Frank Vogel and Spurs assistant Ettore Messina are also part of the process, with Messina having interviewed with the team last Saturday. Former interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff and former Rockets guard Kenny Smith were also interviewed, but Bickerstaff withdrew from consideration and Smith was told he was no longer a candidate as the Rockets decided to focus on coaches with either head coaching experience or extensive experience as an assistant. Jeff Van Gundy was also mentioned as a candidate, but he and the team never formally spoke about the post.

And-Ones: Gay, Clippers, Monroe, Rogers

It’s been a rough week for Team USA following the gruesome injury sustained by Paul George and the subsequent withdrawal of Kevin Durant. However, help is on the way in the form of Kings forward Rudy Gay, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Gay was a reserve on USA’s 2010 title squad and joins Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward this time around as the team’s only true small forwards. At tonight’s Hall of Fame ceremony, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told’s David Aldridge that a repeat gold medal performance this summer would be the “sweetest win because of the circumstances.” (via Marc Stein on Twitter).

Here is what else is happening around the league on Friday night:

  • The official transfer of the Clippers could happen at any moment, as attorneys for Donald Sterling claimed in a request for a stay of a probate court decision that affirms Shelly Sterling’s right to sell the team to Steve Ballmer, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. The judge in the probate trial signed the final statement of decision Thursday, clearing the way for Donald Sterling to file the request, as Fenno explains. The sale may proceed once the judge issues a final order, which could come at any time, Fenno adds.
  • There is a very good likelihood that Greg Monroe is in a Pistons uniform next season according to David Mayo of (via Twitter), who puts the chances at 85 to 90 percent. With the sign-and-trade market for Monroe now essentially non-existent, Mayo believes the sides will either come to an agreement on a longer-term deal or that Monroe will sign his one-year qualifying offer. Monroe would become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he chooses the latter route.
  • The Wizards have added Roy Rogers as an assistant coach, the team announced on their website today. Rogers has six years experience as an NBA assistant under his belt, previously working with the Nets (twice), the Celtics and the Pistons. Prior to reaching the NBA ranks, Rogers coached in the D-League for four years after a seven-year playing career. He joins fellow assistant David Atkins, hired in July, as a newcomer on the staff of head coach Randy Wittman.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Sixers, Nets, Deng, Webster

Based on the direction in which the Sixers are heading, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel doesn't expect the Heat to ever see the lottery-protected first-round pick they acquired a year ago for Arnett Moultrie. With Jrue Holiday on his way to New Orleans and the Sixers not expected to re-sign Andrew Bynum, the young roster is unlikely to earn a playoff spot in 2014, thereby keeping its first-rounder. If Philadelphia's first-rounder lands in the lottery in '14, the Sixers will instead convey their 2015 and 2016 second-rounders to Miami.

Here are a few more Friday updates from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets have agreed to terms with three assistant coaches, the team announced today in a press release. Lawrence Frank, Roy Rogers, and Eric Hughes will join Jason Kidd's staff.
  • Scott Gleeson of USA Today has an interesting behind-the-scenes look of draft day from Nerlens Noel's perspective, including Noel's reaction to slipping to No. 6 and being traded to the 76ers. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News has a similar look at Thursday's events from the perspective of Philadelphia's other first-round pick, Michael Carter-Williams.
  • Trade rumors have swirled around Luol Deng in recent weeks, but Bulls GM Gar Forman says Deng remains a "big piece of what we're doing moving forward," as Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald writes.
  • After the Wizards drafted a pair of wings last night, J. Michael of wonders if there will be room for the team to bring back Martell Webster.

Odds & Ends: Billups, Cavs, Felton

Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida spoke with the ClippersChauncey Billups, who said the Pistons might have won consecutive titles after their surprise victory over the Lakers in 2004, if they had drafted more wisely in the acclaimed 2003 draft, in which they picked second. 

Pistons general manager Joe Dumars famously drafted Darko Milicic with their second pick (LeBron James was number one, obviously), and bypassed future stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Milicic was a bust, and doesn't want to return to the NBA after leaving the Celtics in November of last year.

Despite pushing the Spurs to a game 7 in 2005, and making six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals dating from 2002 to 2008, those early- and mid-2000s Pistons teams never again won the title. Said Billups (Sulia link):

If he had drafted either Melo or Bosh, I think maybe that whole team would still be together. We probably would have more championships down the road. But this is the NBA and things happen. But, of course, I always think about that.’’

Dumars took a risk drafting the Serbian Milicic that year, and that's what every general manager is fretting about right now as we come up on the last four days before the 2013 draft. Here's what else is happening around the league before Thursday's action-packed night.  

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Nets, Ujiri, Raptors

While the trade talk involving the Celtics has dominated the NBA rumor mill for the past few days, the C's are not the only team in their division with decisions to make.  Here is what is happening in the rest of the Atlantic:

  • According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), it shouldn't come as a surprise if the Sixers don't name a head coach until after Summer League play in July, since all of their assistants remain under contract for another season.
  • Nets head coach Jason Kidd has interviewed Lawrence Frank and Roy Rogers for potential spots on his staff, but there's nothing firm yet in either case, tweets Fred Kerber of the New York Post.
  • Raptors GM Masai Ujiri spoke to Jay Satur of about his first few weeks back in Toronto, preparing for the draft despite not having a pick, and his front office and scouting staff.

Odds & Ends: Brewer, Shaw, Larkin

Despite his limited role in Oklahoma City, Ronnie Brewer sounded open about a possible return to the Thunder"I'm still very young and still have a lot of basketball left in me so if it's here or somewhere else I'll continue to play basketball. This is a great organization and (has) great players, great coaches, great fans. So hopefully I can continue to play here” (Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman reports). Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes:

  • Though George Karl's coaching style may fit well with GM Sam Hinkie's focus on analytics, Grantland's Zach Lowe says that one name to look out for with regard to the 76ers' head coaching vacancy is Chris Finch, who is currently an assistant to Kevin McHale with the Rockets and the head coach of Great Britain's national team. Lowe gets the sense that Hinkie is looking to build a strong relationship with a first-time NBA coach, and Finch – who also served as a coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers – was reportedly able to develop a good working relationship with Houston team brass while handling his responsibilities in the NBDL.  
  • As far as the Nets' coaching search goes, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News cites a source who says that Brooklyn is seeking a "fresh face," which may indicate that Brian Shaw is ahead of Lionel Hollins on their wish list. 
  • When it comes to Kris Humphries and the Nets, Roderick Boone of Newsday tweets that both parties would welcome a trade. 
  • Shane Larkin looked very impressive in his workout with the Jazz today, according to Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune writes that center prospect Jason Washburn made an impression during his visit with Utah as well. 
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee says that one name to look out for as a possible assistant coach for Michael Malone's staff is Roy Rogers, who worked as an assistant for Lawrence Frank on the Pistons last season and is credited for playing a vital role in Andre Drummond's development. 
  • Marcus Thompson II of Mercury News notes that Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes of the Warriors will participate in Team USA's minicamp in July. 
  • Sean Deveney of the Sporting News opines that the era of retread coaches in the NBA is over.
  • Gene Wang of The Washington Post briefly profiles Khalif Wyatt following the 6'4" guard's workout with the Wizards earlier today.