Royal Ivey

Knicks Notes: Fizdale, Knox, O’Quinn, Durant

David Fizdale enjoyed working as a television commentator and might have stayed in that role longer if not for the opportunity with the Knicks, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. Fizdale called TV work a  “comfortable” job without “the stress of coaching,” but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to build a winner in New York. He had interviews with several teams and turned down a four-year offer from the Suns to take the Knicks’ job.

Fizdale led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in his first year as a head coach, but injuries slowed the team last season and he was fired after 17 games in the midst of a well-publicized clash with Marc Gasol. That led to his job as an ESPN analyst.

“I went in there just force-feeding culture down everyone’s throat,” Fizdale said of his time in Memphis. “I had a small window, I felt, with those guys. So I really tried to fast-track everything. And there’s just some things you can’t rush. You can’t rush relationships, you can’t rush trust, you can’t rush the culture.”

There’s more out of New York:

  • The Knicks are hoping to get injured rookie Kevin Knox back in the lineup soon, possibly by Friday, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Knox suffered a sprained ankle in the third game of the season, and his father says he could be ready to return sometime between Friday and November 10. A tweet from the Knicks yesterday relays that Knox is making “good progress” and has “advanced to participating in shooting drills and non-contact court activity.”
  • Former Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn tells Berman it wasn’t an easy decision to leave New York and sign with the Pacers over the summer (Twitter link). “It’s the biggest decision I’ve ever made as far as making a choice in my career,” O’Quinn said. “I slept on it, prayed on it. I made the decision and I’m sticking with it. It’s no secret I would’ve loved to play for Fizdale or be here. It’s tougher than telling a girl you’re moving on.’’
  • The close relationship between Knicks assistant coach Royal Ivey and Warriors star Kevin Durant may give New York an edge in free agency next summer, Berman suggests in another story. They both went to college at Texas and Durant is the godfather of Ivey’s daughter.

Atlantic Notes: Baynes, Trade Talks, Knicks Coaches

Aron Baynes, who is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer, has previously declared his interest in returning to the Celtics. Baynes once again reiterated that desire, but said he understands that the business side of the game may prevent a reunion, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes.

“I always want a big role. I want more of a role and I want to be able to contribute to the team more. That’s always one of those big things. That was one of the big reasons for coming here. And then how the family is. You definitely have to look out for them. And also just the living situation,” Baynes said. “Money comes into it. That’s the business side of things, but I don’t think it’s the only side of things either. So I think I showed that when I came here at the start of the season as well. I’m looking forward to it, but at the end of the day my agent is going to be doing most of the work and it’s not on me.”

Baynes signed a one-year deal with Boston last summer and produced a solid 6.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 81 games for Boston. However, with a healthy Daniel Theis expected to return and the Celtics possibly wanting to allocate his potential salary elsewhere, Baynes is not a lock to return.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:
  • The Celtics enter this summer with just one pick in the draft and no cap room. As Himmelsbach writes, that reality has the Celtics preparing for a calmer summer after a couple eventful offseasons. The team is expected to enter next season with a roster similar to the one that almost made the NBA Finals.
  • Jud Buechler, a former part of the Bulls’ 72-10 season and an assistant coach with the Lakers, has agreed to join David Fizdale‘s Knicks coaching staff, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.
  • In addition to Buechler, Keith Smart, Pat Sullivan, and Royal Ivey have all been brought in as assistant coaches, the Knicks confirmed with a press release. Their hirings were previously reported.

Royal Ivey To Join Knicks’ Coaching Staff

Thunder assistant Royal Ivey will accept a position on David Fizdale’s coaching staff with the Knicks, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now.

Ivey, who grew up in New York, is in the process of finalizing a deal with the organization. He had interest from other teams, including the Sixers, before the opportunity with the Knicks arose, according to Begley.

Ivey has been part of Billy Donovan’s staff in Oklahoma City for the past two seasons. He played for four teams during a 10-year NBA career, finishing with the Thunder in 2014. He has prior experience with Fizdale, who was an assistant coach in Atlanta when Ivey played there.

Atlantic Notes: Ivey, DiVincenzo, Lin, Bridges

In some similar news for two different franchises from the Atlantic Division, both the Knicks and the Sixers are reportedly interested in hiring Royal Ivey as an assistant coach, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic and Ian Begley of ESPN.

Ivey, who is from New York City, has been an assistant coach for the Thunder for the last two seasons after starting his post-playing career as a coach for their G League team, the Blue, but could perhaps be looking for an opportunity closer to home.

Per Begley, Ivey has already interviewed with the Knicks for a position of new coach David Fizdale’s staff, while the Sixers are reported to simply have interest in the 36 year old at this time.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge is apparently interested in combine standout and Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo, as the former NBA guard and the current Wildcat went to lunch together after DiVincenzo’s workout in Boston, reports Adam Zagoria of SportsNet New York.
  • In a wide-ranging piece for The Athletic, Mike Vorkunov details the return from injury for Nets’ point guard Jeremy Lin, who signed a three-year, $36 million contract in 2016 but has been unable to play very often since signing the deal, appearing in only 37 games in the past two seasons. Lin now says he is nearly ready to play and “pretty much at that point where everything is good to go.”
  • One target and/or option for the Knicks at No. 9 in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft is Villanova swingman Mikal Bridges. Per Ian Begley of ESPN, team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry, and director of scouting Kristian Petesi were all at his pro day today in New York.

And-Ones: Turner, Whiteside, Parsons, Rubio

In an interesting interview with Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, Evan Turner explained how he ended up reaching an agreement with the Trail Blazers earlier today, expressing confidence that he’ll be a great fit in Portland. Turner suggested that he’d “play in Boston every single day of the week” if all other factors were equal, but the Celtics would have only have offered him about half what the Blazers did, and the C’s likely would’ve reduced his role as well.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Hassan Whiteside‘s max salary isn’t set in stone yet, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald, who tweets that the young center would be willing to take a little less if Kevin Durant wants to sign with the Heat.
  • Chandler Parsons called his decision to sign with the Grizzlies the toughest of his life, calling Portland “incredible” and citing Memphis’ coaching staff as a major factor in his choice. Tim MacMahon of has the quotes from Parsons.
  • Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press is skeptical that the Timberwolves will trade Ricky Rubio this summer, tweeting that head coach Tom Thibodeau wants to work with the point guard. Krawczynski expects Rubio to be on Minnesota’s roster when training camp rolls around.
  • Dubbed last week as the favorites to reach a deal with Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez, the Nets are are still trying to get a deal done with Rodriguez, but sources tell Mike Mazzeo and Marc Stein of (Twitter link) that an agreement looks “unlikely.”
  • The Thunder issued a press release today confirming the hiring of Adrian Griffin as an assistant on Billy Donovan‘s staff, as was reported last month. Vin Bhavnani and former NBA guard Royal Ivey also received promotions and are now assistant coaches, per the team.

Western Notes: Papanikolaou, Liz, Ivey, Gay

Kostas Papanikolaou’s two-year deal with the Rockets is non-guaranteed, surprisingly, but this year’s salary of nearly $4.798MM becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through Sunday, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). His second-year salary of almost $4.6MM becomes fully guaranteed if he sticks through September 28th next year, Pincus adds.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Dominican Republic guard Victor Liz is working on a deal to re-sign overseas, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). Liz had reportedly been offered a training camp invite by the Mavericks.
  • Former Hawks player Royal Ivey will be an assistant coach for the Thunder‘s D-League affiliate, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).
  • With Rudy Gay picking up his player option to return to Sacramento, the Kings have stability at the small forward position for the first time in years, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Royal Ivey To Sign With Chinese Team

TUESDAY, 9:02am: Ivey will play with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.

MONDAY, 8:58am: The Thunder’s reunion with guard Royal Ivey was brief, as the 32-year-old is accepting an offer from a Chinese team and won’t sign another 10-day contract with Oklahoma City, reports Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. The 10-day deal he signed with the Thunder on January 16th expired after Saturday’s win against the 76ers.

Ivey appeared in only two games for a total of five minutes in his latest stint with Oklahoma City. The Harlem native also played for the Thunder during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons. The Thunder had ostensibly brought back Ivey to provide depth in the wake of Russell Westbrook‘s injury, though it doesn’t appear they needed to call on Ivey for any significant playing time. It’s unclear whether Oklahoma City had any interest in bringing him back on a second 10-day deal.

Slater doesn’t say which Chinese team Ivey is joining, but he could be eligible to return to the NBA as early as next month if his team in China fails to make the playoffs. Regardless of which Chinese team he signs with, the Jim Tanner client will have a shot at returning to American soil before the NBA regular season is over.

Thunder Ink Royal Ivey To 10-Day Contract

THURSDAY, 11:16am: Oklahoma City has announced the signing of the Jim Tanner client, via press release.

WEDNESDAY, 10:16am: The Thunder will sign Royal Ivey to a 10-day contract pending the results of today’s physical, tweets Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report. The 32-year-old guard was in camp with the Hawks this past fall, and spent the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons with Oklahoma City. The Thunder have two open roster spots, so there’s plenty of room for Ivey.

A second-round pick by the Hawks in 2004, Ivey has managed to spend at least part of every season since then on an NBA roster despite never averaging more than 19.2 minutes per game. He was with the Sixers last season, when he scored 3.2 points in 13.2 minutes a night.

Ivey, familiar with the Thunder’s system, will help shore up a backcourt that’s missing the injured Russell Westbrook. The team reportedly interviewed D-League guard Manny Harris about a week ago, but apparently Ivey’s beaten out the former Cavalier for a spot, at least for now.

Amico On Bynum, Roster Cuts, Hamilton, 76ers

Andrew Bynum represented one of the more interesting free agent cases of the offseason, and his new contract reflects that: Bynum could earn as little as $6MM with the Cavaliers if he’s released on or before January 7th, or as much as $24MM+ if he plays out the two years of his deal. It doesn’t look like the former All-Star will be in Cleveland’s lineup when the regular season gets underway, but he’s making progress, according to head coach Mike Brown, who confirmed today that Bynum has gone through “most of practice.”

Sam Amico of the FOX Sports Ohio has the latest details on the ex-Laker, along with plenty of other tidbits from around the league, so let’s check out the highlights from his piece….

  • Shannon Brown and Kendall Marshall are drawing interest around the league, with clubs expecting them to be waived by the Wizards tomorrow. Marshall could hear from the 76ers, a league source tells Amico.
  • Other recently released players who are receiving some level of interest include Royce White, Josh Childress, Damion James, Vander Blue, Royal Ivey, Jermaine Taylor, and Seth Curry.
  • At least seven teams have inquired on free agent guard Richard Hamilton, a GM tells Amico. The former Bull appears likely to wait until midway through the season to sign with a team, perhaps anticipating that a guaranteed deal or a non-minimum contract will be more attainable at that point.
  • “Scuttlebutt around the league” suggests that there’s a good chance the Sixers move the expiring contracts of Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes by the trade deadline.

Hawks Release Royal Ivey

The Hawks have waived veteran guard Royal Ivey, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). The move reduces Atlanta’s roster to 16 players, so at least one more cut is still on the way.

Earlier this week, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio noted that the Hawks were expected to keep just one of Ivey and Shelvin Mack as their third point guard, but that the player who was released was likely to catch on with another club. That could be good news for Ivey, who has played in the NBA every year dating back to his debut in 2004.

The Hawks only have 12 players on fully guaranteed contracts, so it remains to be seen how many players they’ll carry into opening night. Mike Scott looks like a good bet to be the 13th man, and Mack is presumably safe, but Eric Dawson and Cartier Martin remain on the bubble.