Russell Byrd

Western Notes: Brooks, Dumars, Bonner, Draft

The Nuggets are intensifying their search for a new coach this week after having spent the past few weeks focused on scouting and the draft, reports Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. They’ll likely chat with former Thunder coach Scott Brooks, among others, Dempsey writes amid a mailbag column, though it’s unclear if he’ll receive a formal interview. The hiring process is expected to last most if not all of May and GM Tim Connelly will collaborate with team president Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan Kroenke, on the decision, as Dempsey details in his first piece. There’s more on the Nuggets amid the latest from around the Western Conference:

  • New rumors have surfaced suggesting that the possibility of the Pelicans hiring Joe Dumars remains in play for what would be a supervisory role above GM Dell Demps, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher first linked the former Pistons exec to New Orleans in January.
  • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News lists Matt Bonner among the Spurs contemplating retirement. Bonner, who turned 35 last month, signed a one-year deal for the minimum to return to San Antonio last summer.
  • Dempsey believes that if Nuggets end up with the No. 7 pick, their likeliest first-round position as the lottery odds show, they’d try to trade it for a pick higher in the order or attempt to deal for a second top-seven pick, as the Post scribe writes in the mailbag column linked above.
  • Former Michigan State swingman Russell Byrd will be among the draft prospects at a workout the Jazz will hold Wednesday, sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Byrd is unlisted in the rankings that Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and Chad Ford of compile.

Draft Notes: Jones, Turner, Winslow

South Korean prospect Jong-Hyun Lee intends to enter the 2015 NBA draft, David Pick of reports (Twitter links). The 6’9″ forward led the 2014 World Cup in blocks per game with 2.6, and he also added 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds on 54.5% shooting. The 21-year-old isn’t currently projected to be selected in June’s draft, and he is the No. 47 ranked international prospect according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

Here’s the latest NBA draft news:

  • Duke point guard Tyus Jones is expected to ink a deal with agent Rob Pelinka of the Landmark Sports Agency, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. Jones is the No. 20 overall prospect according to DraftExpress and comes in at No. 22 on Chad Ford of‘s (Insider subscription required) rankings.
  • Myles Turner has hired agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports to represent him, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). slots the center as the No. 9 prospect and DraftExpress ranks him 11th. You can check out my full prospect profile for Turner here.
  • Projected lottery pick Justise Winslow has decided on agent Joe Branch of Roc Nation Sports, the agency announced via Twitter (hat tip to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal). DraftExpress rates the forward as the No. 5 overall prospect and slots him at No. 6.
  • Hazan Sports Management has signed on to represent University of Houston guard Jherrod Stiggers and Michigan State guard Russell Byrd, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets. Neither player is currently projected to be taken in June’s draft.