Royal Ivey

New York Notes: Knicks, Greer, Nets, Ivey, Stoudemire

Three Knicks employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the team to temporarily shut down its practice facility while the building gets a “thorough cleaning,” the team announced on Tuesday night in a press release.

The NBA recently allowed teams to begin conducting group workouts at their facilities, though players who are participating in those group activities must return daily negative coronavirus tests. There’s no indication that the Knicks employees who tested positive for COVID-19 were players. However, the temporary shutdown of the team’s facility is an early sign of the challenges the league will face in the coming weeks as teams all over the U.S. ramp up for the 2020/21 season without the safety of a bubble.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Larry Greer, who was an assistant coach in Phoenix last season, is joining the Knicks as an advance scout, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Marc Berman of The New York Post first reported that the Knicks may hire Greer, whose brother Andy Greer joined the team as an assistant coach in the summer.
  • The Nets have added another coach to Steve Nash‘s staff, announcing (via Twitter) that they’ve hired Royal Ivey as an assistant. Formerly a Knicks player development coach, Ivey is good friends with Brooklyn forward Kevin Durant.
  • Alex Schiffer of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at another Nets assistant, exploring why Amar’e Stoudmire is getting into coaching and why he should be a good fit in Brooklyn.
  • News that the 2020/21 NBA season will start next month comes at a good time for Nets owner Joe Tsai, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who writes that Tsai recently lost over $1 billion in net worth due to the impact of new China regulations on the value of his company Alibaba.

Nets Notes: Coaching Staff, Arena Workers, J. Smith

It has been five weeks since the Nets hired Steve Nash as their new head coach, but there haven’t been many updates since then on who will be part of Nash’s coaching staff beyond Jacque Vaughn, who is expected to remain in Brooklyn as the associate head coach.

According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, current Nets assistant Adam Harrington is also likely to be retained, given his connection to Kevin Durant — Harrington briefly served as the Thunder’s shooting coach during Durant’s time in Oklahoma City.

A source tells Schiffer that the Nets had some interest in trying to add former Suns coach Igor Kokoskov as an assistant. However, Kokoskov recently agreed to become the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahce and prefers to remain with his new club in Turkey, per Schiffer.

Schiffer also names Jay Triano, Royal Ivey, and Phil Handy as possible candidates for the Nets’ staff, though Ivey has received interest from multiple teams. As for Handy, Schiffer recently heard from a source that the veteran assistant is happy working on Frank Vogel‘s staff with the Lakers, but would be open to other opportunities.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Nets owner Joseph Tsai intends to pay his Barclays Center employees – who lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic – through the rest of the year, Brian Lewis of The New York Post confirms. The decision, originally reported by The Atlantic Yards Report, may cost Tsai in the neighborhood of $10MM.
  • Maryland power forward Jalen Smith is the No. 20 prospect on ESPN’s big board, which could put him in play for the Nets at No. 19 in this year’s draft. As Lewis relays in a separate story for The New York Post, Smith is intrigued by the idea of being selected by Brooklyn and becoming teammates with a superstar he grew up watching. “Just being able to play with KD, that’s a dream come true,” Smith said. “Obviously growing up watching him so much and pretty much just learning from him, being the same size as him, just being able to get so much from him that he’s done in the league and continue to work and just compete against him would be tremendous and a good thing for me and my skills.”
  • In case you missed it, we previewed the Nets’ upcoming offseason in a feature last week.

Western Notes: Pelicans, Nuggets, Jazz, Ivey

The Pelicans are hiring former Cavaliers director of coaching analytics Michael Hartman to lead their analytics department, according to Shamit Dua of Bourbon Street Shots (Twitter link).

Hartman was promoted last summer after spending the previous two seasons as the Cavaliers’ basketball analytics coordinator. Under his new title, he helped the Cavs with player development and coaching strategy using a data-driven approach. He also worked with current Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin in Cleveland.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Kendra Andrews of The Athletic opines that the Nuggets need to stay patient in their pursuit of an NBA championship. Denver had a magical run in the bubble that saw the team overcome two separate 3-1 deficits (Jazz and Clippers) and ultimately fall a few games short of an NBA Finals appearance. Andrews observes that the Nuggets’ roster-building approach has them on the same trajectory that helped Golden State become a dynasty.
  • In her latest mailbag, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News explores which free agent reunions with former Jazz players are realistic this offseason. One player frequently mentioned is Derrick Favors, who was traded away last summer to the Pelicans. However, Todd believes that – despite there being a mutual interest between Utah and Favors – he could be out of their price range. Jae Crowder, Justin Holiday, Wesley Matthews, and Jevon Carter are among the other free-agent options mentioned.
  • As the Thunder begin their head coaching search, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman makes a case for why Knicks player development coach Royal Ivey deserves consideration. He notes that Ivey is a former player for OKC and spent a few seasons as an assistant coach with their G League affiliate and the Thunder. Along with Ivey, Mussatto also makes a case for former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie to be the next head coach in Oklahoma City.

Atlantic Notes: Hayward, Lowry, Ivey, Gasol

The Celtics’ Gordon Hayward has cleared the quarantine process in Orlando, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets, but it’s uncertain whether he’ll be able to play in the conference finals if his team advances on Friday. Hayward suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain in the first round of the playoffs last month against the Sixers. He averaged 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 4.1 APG during the regular season.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Kyle Lowry doesn’t need any added incentive after leading the Raptors to a Game 7 showdown with Boston, but he’ll benefit monetarily if the Raptors reach the conference finals for the second consecutive season. Lowry will earn a $500K bonus if Toronto advances, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.
  • Knicks player development coach Royal Ivey is drawing interest from other teams, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. The Knicks aren’t sure whether they want to hold onto Ivey and it’s likely he’d be allowed out of his contract to pursue another job. At least one team was interested in giving Ivey a more prominent assistant’s role last season but the Knicks’ previous regime wouldn’t allow an interview. New York had plans to add a sixth assistant, but it’s unclear if that will happen, Begley adds.
  • Marc Gasol‘s stint with the Raptors is heading toward an unceremonious end, Michael Grange of Sportsnet Canada writes. The impending free agent center is averaging just 5.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 2.0 APG in the conference semifinals against Boston. Gasol is making $25.6MM in the final year of his contract.

Knicks Notes: Barrett, Ivey, LaMelo, Morris

Steve Nash didn’t get to watch his godson, RJ Barrett, play last night because of an injury, but he has faith that Barrett will develop into a franchise cornerstone for the Knicks, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

“(Barrett’s) shown very much of what I thought he’d show. He’s an incredibly talented, well-rounded basketball player. He does a bit of everything. I think he will evolve into a great playmaker because that’s a natural ability for him that he doesn’t necessarily get to shine in at this stage of his career and on this stage of this team,” Nash said. “That’s exciting for Knicks fans that he still produces, he’s versatile, he can score. He’s growing defensively. And for me, he’s a natural playmaker and that hasn’t been a part of his upside yet that’s highlighted. So for the franchise, that’s exciting.”

Barrett was a primary ballhandler in college, but the Knicks quickly gave up on their experiment of using him at point guard, Bondy notes. Still, his usage rate is high at 23.2% and he is often utilized as a secondary initiator of the offense.

There’s more Knicks news to pass along:

  • The Sixers expressed interest in hiring New York assistant Royal Ivey after the end of last season, but the Knicks blocked the move because they thought Ivey might help attract Kevin Durant in free agency, Bondy adds in a separate story. Ivey is a close friend with Durant and was a former teammate in Oklahoma City. A source tells Bondy that the Knicks refused to allow the Sixers to interview Ivey, but did give him a pay raise.
  • The Knicks never made it to Australia to see LaMelo Ball in person before he was shut down for the season with a foot injury, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The front office was planning a trip this month, but Berman points out that it might not matter because president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry may not be with the team by draft time.
  • The Knicks will be wasting an opportunity if they don’t trade Marcus Morris by the deadline, contends Tommy Beer of Forbes. Morris is enjoying his best statistical season, averaging 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 3-pointers per game, but may not be a long-term fit at age 30. Not only would the Knicks be better off with whatever assets they can obtain in return, Beer adds, trading Morris takes away any chance they will overpay to re-sign him this summer.

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 ESPN.com 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 ESPN.com (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.