Stan Van Gundy

And-Ones: Yabusele, British League, Jones, NBCA

Former NBA forward Guerschon Yabusele has signed a one-year contract with LDLC Asvel, according to a press release from the French club (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Yabusele appeared in four games for Asvel before the pandemic suspended play after beginning the season in China. Yabusele was drafted in the first round by the Celtics in 2016 and played 74 games over two seasons with Boston.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The British Basketball League has canceled the remainder of its season, according to a statement from the league. “We looked at every option, including playing behind closed doors or restarting the season in the summer, in order that we could get to a league and playoff winners, but with the continued uncertainty, we just ran out of time and options,” BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker said. “The clubs were united that now was the right time to bring the current season to a close.”
  • Veteran NBA forward Terrence Jones has signed with Team Washington for TBT 2020, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. The Basketball Tournament is a 5-on-5, winner-take-all event with a grand prize of $2MM. Jones has played with Houston, New Orleans and Milwaukee since being drafted 18th overall back in 2012.
  • A number of prominent coaches have been selected by the National Basketball Coaches Association for a committee on racial injustice and reform to pursue solutions within NBA cities, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, David Fizdale and Stan Van Gundy were among the coaches selected to a committee in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a continuing pattern of violence and intolerance toward African Americans in the U.S.

Atlantic Notes: Van Gundy, Sixers, Smart, Barrett

Stan Van Gundy calls the Knicks organization “extremely dysfunctional” and has no interest in becoming their head coach, The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov tweets. However, he hinted that former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy might have some interest in a second stint. Speaking on ESPN radio, the former Miami, Orlando and Detroit head coach said, “I’m not really interested in the New York Knicks, no. If anyone would be interested in that — and I’m not sure he is either — it would be my brother.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The extended layoff will definitely help the Sixers, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Ben Simmons will have ample time to heal the lower back injury that sidelined him shortly after the All-Star break. Coach Brett Brown will have more time to solve the spacing issues created by playing Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Al Horford together. It also allows Josh Richardson time to rest his hamstring injuries and be further removed from the concussion he suffered, Pompey adds.
  • All of the other Celtics players and staff have tested negative for COVID-19, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. Guard Marcus Smart is one of 14 NBA players/personnel who have tested positive. Smart revealed his test result on Thursday.
  • Despite mediocre efficiency ratings, Knicks guard RJ Barrett flashed All-Star potential in his rookie season, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Barrett, who has posted averages of 14.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG, has a knack for getting to the basket, a consistently high motor and a strong work ethic. NBA talent evaluators are confident Barrett can significantly improve his perimeter and free throw shooting.

Southeast Notes: Satoransky, Sibert, Clifford, McRae

Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky has become a starter due to John Wall‘s injuries but he still envisions returning to Spain later in his career, as he told in a story relayed by Sportando. Satoransky played for two Spanish teams before joining the NBA.

“I have a lot of goals to accomplish in the NBA, but I always think that I would love to return to Spain,” the Wizards guard said. “I grew up there, I love the people and Spanish basketball. I love Spanish life and, one day, I would love to return to Liga Endesa (the Spanish league).”

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Shooting guard Jordan Sibert always believed he’d get an NBA contract, as he told Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Sibert, who went undrafted out of Dayton in 2015, finally got his chance when the Hawks offered a 10-day deal last week. He played in Greece and Germany along with the G League the last few years before Atlanta came calling. “I believed that I was talented to get it done,” Sibert said. “I just wanted to work every day, and if it happened, it happened. I get on my knees every day, and I thank God just for my daily blessings. This is just another one that I am thankful for.”
  • Magic coach Steve Clifford follows the coaching philosophy of former Pistons coach and executive Stan Van Gundy, according to John Denton of the team’s website. Clifford was an assistant when Van Gundy was head coach in Orlando. “Stan used to say, and we do this all the time, ‘We prepare for every game like it’s a playoff game.’ We go over 10 plays every game, while a lot of teams wait until the playoffs,” Clifford said. “Sometimes people want to say, ‘It’s a big game,’ but you prepare to play important games in September. … That’s the approach we’ve had all the way through.”
  • Wizards guard Jordan McRae is nearing the end of his 45-day NBA clock as a two-way player and he’s likely to spend more time in the G League to avoid reaching the limit, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington explains. The franchise would risk losing him or be forced to sign him to a standard contract if he doesn’t spend most of the next four weeks with the Capital City Go Go, Hughes continues. The team wants to retain McRae but it’s barely under the luxury tax threshold and doesn’t want to go over it by converting McRae’s contract, Hughes adds.

Stan Van Gundy To Join ESPN As Analyst

Less than five months after being let go by the Pistons, Stan Van Gundy has reportedly lined up a new gig. According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, Van Gundy has reached an agreement to become a studio analyst for ESPN’s NBA coverage.

As Marchand notes, Van Gundy nearly joined ESPN several years ago but had that deal fall apart at the 11th hour, so it’s worth mentioning that the former Pistons head coach has yet to officially sign his contract with the network. Still, it appears he’ll be joining his brother Jeff Van Gundy at the Worldwide Leader for the upcoming NBA season — while Stan will be a studio analyst, Jeff is on ESPN’s top broadcasting team alongside Mike Breen and Mark Jackson.

Van Gundy, who was also serving as the Pistons’ president of basketball operations before he was dismissed by the club, was disappointed by the decision and said in the wake of his firing that he wanted to coach again. Last month, after he failed to secure a coaching job for the 2018/19 season, Van Gundy admitted that he wasn’t sure about his future plans

“I want to do something, but if I’m not coaching, I don’t want to work too hard,” he said at the time.

Given the research and preparation required for a TV analyst role, presumably Van Gundy has changed course on that stance, but we’ll have to see what he sounds like on the air to be sure.

Central Notes: Lopez, Butler, Wood, Van Gundy

Robin Lopez is among several Bulls players reporting for training camp who may not be with the team all season, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times. The veteran center is an attractive trade chip with a $14.3MM expiring contract. First-rounder Wendell Carter seems destined to become the starting center at some point, and Lopez doesn’t fit in with Chicago’s rebuilding project at age 30.

Lopez was sent to the bench late last season as part of the Bulls’ tanking effort. Cowley relays that he was upset about the move, but refused to complain publicly about not playing.

“It was rough for me, but I get it, I understood it,’’ Lopez said. “I always want to be out there playing on the court. I want to be playing obviously, but we’ve got a great group of guys here. I think the future is bright and I think I can be a part of it in some way.’’

Cowley identifies free agent addition Jabari Parker as another player who could be moved by the trade deadline. With a $20MM team option for next season, Parker could be seen as a low-risk addition for a contending team.

There’s more today from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks shouldn’t be overlooked as a possible destination for Jimmy Butler, tweets Darren Wolfson of Eyewitness 5 News in Minneapolis. Butler went to Marquette and still has ties to the Milwuakee area, Wolfson notes, plus the Bucks are moving into a new arena and would have a shot at winning the East with Butler on board.
  • Christian Wood received a $100K guarantee in his training camp deal with the Bucks, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Milwaukee already has 14 players with guaranteed contracts, so Wood will be competing for the final roster spot with Tyler Zeller, Shabazz Muhammad and Tim Frazier.
  • At age 59, Stan Van Gundy doesn’t feel ready to retire, but his wife doesn’t want him to coach anymore, relays Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Van Gundy is without a job as training camp opens after the Pistons fired him as head coach and president of basketball operations in May. “I don’t care who you are, what job you are in, when you’ve worked at something for a long time and tried to become good at it and everything else, it’s not easy to walk away — particularly when it’s not on your own terms,” Van Gundy said. “Kim’s major thing is that I’m not happy [during seasons]. You don’t need to do it, so why are you going to do something that doesn’t make you happy.”

Stan Van Gundy Uncertain About Coaching Future

Having been dismissed by the Pistons earlier this year, Stan Van Gundy went from holding two key roles with the franchise – president of basketball operations and head coach – to being out of work. Van Gundy still had one year left on the lucrative five-year contract he signed with Detroit back in 2014, so it won’t hurt him financially to sit out the 2018/19 season, but he admits he’s not sure what his next move will be.

As Rod Beard of The Detroit News details, Van Gundy recently appeared on Real Talk Basketball on The Pros Club Podcast Network, telling former assistant coach Rex Walters that he’s as “lost” as he’s ever been. Van Gundy said that when he’s been ousted from jobs in the past, he had a “pretty good idea” that he was still going to continue coaching elsewhere. This time around, he’s less certain.

“If I could get a job (for next season), I had planned to coach. Now, I really don’t know. I’m really lost right now — I don’t have an idea. My wife wants me to retire,” Van Gundy said. “I have people looking into some media things and I’m looking into some teaching opportunities in college, sports management programs and things like that.

“I want to do something, but if I’m not coaching, I don’t want to work too hard,” Van Gundy continued. “If I’m going to be grinding, then I want to coach; if I’m not going to be coaching, I want to be semi-retired, at least. I really don’t know (what I’m going to do).”

The Pistons made the decision to part ways with Van Gundy several weeks after the regular season ended, by which point two teams had already hired new head coaches and multiple other teams were nearing the end of their respective searches. That prevented him from becoming a legit candidate for other NBA coaching openings this spring.

Still, Van Gundy remains well-respected around the NBA and is a good bet to draw interest from teams that make coaching changes during or after the 2018/19 season, assuming he’s decides he’s still interested in returning to the NBA sidelines.

Pistons Part Ways With GM Jeff Bower

The Pistons have decided to cut ties with GM Jeff Bower, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Bower was hired to be Stan Van Gundy’s right-hand man when he took charge four summers ago. Owner Tom Gores fired Van Gundy last month and is currently conducting a search for a coach and front-office executive.

Ed Stefanski was hired last week as a senior advisor in charge of overhauling the team’s basketball operations. Van Gundy served as both head coach and president of basketball operations but Gores now wants separation between the two jobs.

Bower had continued his duties after Van Gundy’s departure but his contract was expiring at the end of June and Gores had to make a decision whether to retain him or move on.

Searches to fill the coaching and front office vacancies are ongoing.

On the coaching front, the team has lined up or already interviewed TNT analyst Kenny Smith, Heat assistant Juwan Howard, Spurs assistant Ime Udoka, Michigan coach John Beilein and former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey.

Nets assistant Trajan Langdon , TNT analyst Brent Barry, Hawks executive Malik Rose, Grizzlies assistant Tayshaun Prince and ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups are among the candidates for the front-office job.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Haslem, Van Gundy

According to general manager Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets have no immediate plans to blow up their roster. As Steve Reed of The Associated Press writes, recently appointed head coach James Borrego will approach his first season with the team under the assumption that there is no dramatic overhaul right around the corner.

I’m excited about that current group as it stands right now. I think our biggest room for growth is the internal development piece,” Borrego said. Given the Hornets’ lack of financial flexibility – they have $120 already tied up for next season – they may not have any other choice.

There were several calls for dramatic action last season as a short-staffed Hornets team limped its way to a second consecutive lottery appearance. In fact, things were so dire that mid-season the club’s previous executive team even said the franchise would consider trading star guard Kemba Walker.

Among the young players that could be developed by Borrego and the rest of the Hornets staff in 2018/19 are 2017 lottery pick Malik Monk, as well as other established rotation players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 24, and third-year big man Frank Kaminsky.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards signed forward Otto Porter to a four-year, $107MM contract last offseason. With that increased salary has come increased scrutiny, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post writes. Porter excelled as a three-point shooter in 2017/18 but was criticized for lacking aggressiveness in the fourth quarter.
  • Veteran Heat big man Udonis Haslem hasn’t made a decision about retirement yet but he does know that when that time comes, he has no interest in coaching. He would, however, be open to serving in Miami’s front office, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes.
  • Some Magic fans have contemplated the idea of bringing back former head coach Stan Van Gundy. David Whitley of The Orlando Sentinel writes that a reunion with the bench boss who led Dwight Howard and company to the Finals back in 2009 would not be a good idea.

Pistons Notes: Van Gundy, Jackson, Coaching Search, Izzo

Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons parted ways this week, putting the organization in the market for a head coach. As for Van Gundy, he still had one year left on his contract with the Pistons. However, that does not put him out of running for other coaching opportunities, per Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

“If the right situation came along, I wouldn’t dismiss it,” Van Gundy said. “I’m not going out on the terms I would like.”  

Ellis notes that there no restrictions on Van Gundy pursuing other opportunities as a head coach, even though there’s still one year left on his Pistons contract. Van Gundy has an extensive coaching resume, which includes stints with the Heat, Magic, and Pistons. Van Gundy led the 2009 Magic to the NBA Finals but lost to the Lakers. During his stint with the Pistons, the team only made the postseason once, which prompted Detroit to explore making changes.

Check out more Pistons notes down below:

  • Reggie Jackson has not been healthy the past two seasons, missing 30 games last season and 37 games this season due to injury. In an interview with Rod Beard of the Detroit News, Jackson expressed regret for not being able to help his team and former head coach by being healthy and effective on the court. “Being injured the past few years, I wish I could have done more and been healthy more to help us win games and to secure our future as a whole and (Van Gundy’s) future,” Jackson said. “I wish we could have been better the past few years and not have to get to this point.”
  • Michigan State president John Engler said that Tom Izzo, the school’s basketball head coach, will remain a Spartan for life and will not pursue the Pistons’ head coaching vacancy, tweets David Jesse of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Keith Langlois of breaks down the upcoming NBA calendar and how it will impact the Pistons’ search for a head coach.

Pistons Notes: Van Gundy, Bower, Billups, More

In the wake of his dismissal by the Pistons on Monday, Stan Van Gundy indicated that he wouldn’t dismiss the idea of returning to coaching in “the right situation.” He reiterated that stance in a text message to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel, but stressed that his interest in landing another job with an NBA team doesn’t extend beyond coaching.

“[I’m] not interested in a front office role,” Van Gundy wrote.

Let’s round up a few more notes on the Pistons, with a focus on SVG…

  • A source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that GM Jeff Bower, whose contract ends on June 30, will run the front office on an interim basis. Only one member of the coaching staff and front office – assistant coach Rex Walters – has a contract that extends past June 30, according to Ellis.
  • Multiple sources tell Ellis – within that same story – that it wasn’t quite right to say Van Gundy was resisting a change to his role, as ESPN reported last week, since specific changes hadn’t yet been discussed. For his part, SVG said on Monday that he would’ve been interested in continuing to coach the Pistons without the president of basketball operations title.
  • Four years after they hired Van Gundy to run the show in Detroit, the Pistons should be able to make a stronger pitch to front office and coaching candidates this time around, in the view of Keith Langlois of As Langlois notes, in 2014, the Pistons were coming off a five-year run in which they hadn’t surpassed the 30-win mark — the current squad has immediate playoff potential.
  • The Pistons’ decision to wait until nearly four weeks after the 2017/18 regular season ended to move on from Van Gundy is a reflection of the club’s poor leadership at the top, says Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports.
  • Ansar Khan of explores whether hiring Chauncey Billups to a key front office role is the right move for the Pistons.