Tayshaun Prince

Western Notes: Paul, House, Prince, Favors, Suns

Rockets point guard Chris Paul was fined $35K for “aggressively confronting and recklessly making contact with a game official” but was not suspended, according to a league press release relayed by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Paul was ejected with 4.4 seconds left in Game 1 of the Rockets’ conference semifinal series with Golden State on Sunday. He was whistled for his second technical foul when he made contact with referee Josh Tiven while arguing that Warriors guard Klay Thompson committed a loose-ball foul against him. The non-call on Thompson was correct, according to the NBA’s last two minute report, MacMahon notes. Paul said the contact was accidental.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Rockets reserve forward Danuel House harbors no ill will toward the Warriors for cutting him loose during training camp, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. “I was just trying to secure a job, show people my potential. I just needed an opportunity,” House said. “Those guys didn’t see me fit for it. I’m just grateful my hometown team took me in. It’s business. I respect the nature of the business. But of course I want to win.” House had three points and three rebounds in 21 minutes during the series opener. He had his two-way contract converted into a standard deal in mid-March.
  • Grizzlies executive Tayshaun Prince was promoted to “special advisor” to vice president of basketball affairs but his role won’t change much, as Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian explains. He’ll remain a crucial link from the front office to the players and coaches, though now with more empowerment, Herrington continues. Rich Cho, who was earlier named vice president of basketball strategy, will lead the analytics/research/systems staff while Chris Makris will continue to lead the traditional scouting staff, Herrington adds. Prince will also help evaluate professional, college and G League personnel.
  • Derrick Favors‘ chances of remaining with the Jazz hinge on what happens in the early days of free agency, as Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News explains. Favors’ $16.9MM salary for next season, which could total $18.8MM if he reaches incentives in the contract, becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster past July 6. If Utah is able to secure a commitment from a free agent power forward, Favors won’t get the guarantee. If it can’t find a suitable replacement by then, the team will likely retain Favors.
  • The Suns are close to hiring Gonzaga assistant coach Riccardo Fois for a major player development role within the organization, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Fois is current the Zags’ coordinator of analytics and video operations.

Grizzlies Promote Tayshaun Prince

As part of their continued effort to revamp their front office, the Grizzlies have promoted Tayshaun Prince to Vice President of Basketball Affairs within the franchise’s basketball operations department, according to an official release from the team.

In his new/enhanced role, Prince will “facilitate alignment between the front office, coaching staff and locker room and participate in the evaluation of professional, college and G League personnel.” So, it sounds like he’ll have several roles, both in scouting and in acting as a bridge between the players and front office on a day-to-day basis.

“We are excited to establish Tayshaun as a core member of our front office,” Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman said. “His knowledge of the game is exceptional and we are thrilled he will continue providing valuable contributions to the organization on a day-to-day basis.”

As we’ve noted before, the Grizzlies have been searching for some more experienced basketball executives to join the front office ever since re-assigning Chris Wallace and promoting Kleiman, and this latest move certainly fits that narrative.

[RELATED: Grizzlies hire Rich Cho, Glen Grunwald]

Prince, who joined the Grizzlies’ front office in 2017 as Special Advisor to Wallace, also played for the Grizzlies for three seasons, from 2013 to 2015. He helped Memphis reach the Western Conference Finals in 2013 alongside Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Tony Allen.

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.

Pistons Hire Ed Stefanski As Senior Advisor

The Pistons have begun to shape their new-look front office, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that the team has hired Ed Stefanski as a senior advisor responsible for overhauling the team’s basketball operations. Stefanski, cited last week as a candidate to join the Pistons, had been working in Memphis as the Grizzlies’ executive VP of player personnel, and had a previous stint as the Sixers’ general manager.

The Pistons have confirmed the hiring in a press release.

According to Wojnarowski, Stefanski will take stock the Pistons’ current front office and will oversee the process of hiring a new general manager and head coach. Woj adds (via Twitter) that former Raptors coach Dwane Casey will be a primary target in Detroit’s search for Stan Van Gundy‘s replacement on the sidelines, with the Pistons intending to engage Casey “immediately.” Stefanski and Casey worked together in Toronto from 2011 to 2013.

Hiring Stefanski as an advisor responsible for leading the general manager search suggests that the Pistons may not formally name a president of basketball operations above the GM in the hierarchy, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. It’s not clear how much influence Stefanski, who received a three-year deal, will have over basketball decisions once a new GM is hired, but Wojnarowski notes that the former Grizzlies exec will report directly to owner Tom Gores.

Among Stefanski’s first tasks will be assessing the work of current Pistons executives, including GM Jeff Bower, whose contract expires on June 30. Stefanski will also focus on separating the basketball operations department from the coaching staff, Wojnarowski writes. With Van Gundy having previously held the head coach and president of basketball ops titles, those areas were intertwined during his tenure.

According to Wojnarowski, the Pistons will strongly consider hiring a “rising” executive for a GM-type role, with Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon considered a serious candidate for such a position. Per Woj, TNT analyst Brent Barry remains a frontrunner for a complementary job in Detroit’s front office. Both Wojnarowski and Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) also mention Tayshaun Prince as a strong candidate to join the Pistons’ management group.

The Pistons were also said to be impressed by Shane Battier after interviewing the Heat executive, though it’s not clear how he’d fit into the team’s front office picture.

Tayshaun Prince To Join Grizzlies’ Front Office

Longtime NBA forward Tayshaun Prince will be transitioning to a front office role for the upcoming season, according to Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who reports that the Grizzlies will soon name Prince a special assistant to general manager Chris Wallace.

According to Tillery, the Grizzlies think that Prince will bring a “unique” perspective to the club’s decision-making process. The Commercial Appeal report notes that the veteran forward has long been considered a strong influence in NBA locker rooms, and was a “calming voice” during his time as a player for the Grizzlies.

Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press had initially reported last month that Prince was mulling the possibility of joining the Grizzlies in a front office or coaching capacity. At that time, the 37-year-old was also said to be holding out hope for a possible on-court return, but it appears a comeback wasn’t in the cards for the 14-year veteran.

Prince, the 23rd overall pick in the 2002 draft, spent nearly a decade with the Pistons after breaking into the NBA, winning a title with the franchise in 2004. After his time in Detroit, Prince had stints with the Grizzlies, Celtics, Timberwolves, and Pistons (again). However, he didn’t play last season, having last appeared in an NBA game in 2015/16 for Minnesota.

If Prince doesn’t play another NBA game, he’ll finish his career having averaged 11.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.4 APG in more than 1,000 career games, including 792 with the Pistons.

Southwest Notes: Davis, Cousins, Miller, Prince

After the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans last season, New Orleans’ new big man and incumbent big man, Anthony Davis, did not have much time to establish an on-court chemistry. This offseason, however, Davis and Cousins have spent a lot of time working out together in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Jim Eichenhofer of NBA.com writes.

“We’ve just tried to get in as much work as possible this summer,” Davis said to Eichenhofer. “We didn’t have that much time last season to work out with each other, because we didn’t have training camp or (many practices). So we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, where we had time in the summer in the same city and can get in some work together, because we’ll be playing with each other a lot.”

The Pelicans have been active this offseason, inking Jrue Holiday to a long term extension and adding another backcourt upgrade in the form of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. Davis also gave his candid thoughts on Cheick Diallo‘s play in the Summer League and his expectations for the 2017/18 season.

Below are additional notes around the Southwest Division:

  • Darius Miller signed a two-year deal with the Pelicans yesterday and it was the opportunity that enticed the 27-year-old forward. Per Scott Kushner of The Advocate (via Twitter), Miller chose the Pelicans over the Magic and Rockets because of the opportunity to “contribute to winning.”
  • The Mavericks may not be in position to contend for a championship but an exciting core with first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr. and a slew of veterans should make the team interesting, Dallas News’ Eddie Sefko writes. With Dirk Nowitzki back in the fold, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews still in Dallas and a variety of veteran point guards, the Mavericks could surprise many next season, Sefko adds.
  • In a separate post, Sefko answers several questions pertaining to the Mavericks. In regard to Kyrie Irving‘s trade request, the scribe believes the Cavaliers All-Star heading to Dallas is a long shot as the Mavericks likely do not have the assets to swing a deal.
  • In a series of tweets, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press says former NBA champion Tayshaun Prince is pondering a possible front office or coaching gig with the Grizzilies. However, the 37-year-old — who did not play last season — is also weighing a possible on-court return.

Tayshaun Prince Looking To Continue NBA Career

While most of 2016’s NBA free agents have either signed a contract or at least been linked to some potential suitors, there hasn’t been much chatter surrounding Tayshaun Prince over the last few months. Nonetheless, Prince tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that he hasn’t thought about retiring, and wants to continue his playing career in the NBA.

According to Spears, Prince has received some interest – but no concrete offers – from NBA teams. The veteran forward would like to join a contender, and doesn’t have interest in heading overseas to continue his career, so he’s still hoping to hear from a team soon — perhaps once the dust settles after teams make preseason cuts.

“The hardest part about the wait is that there are a lot of teams out there that know what I bring to the game,” Prince said. “I know I have good leadership, and they know I’m a great locker room guy. Obviously, some of the assistant coaches that you’ve played for are dispersed around the league. A lot of them are accustomed to what I do and what I bring to teams.

“Now is the time where teams are checking out their roster with 18 or 19 guys,” Prince continued. “They are trying to see if some of these guys can make the roster. After all that settles, I hope to hopefully hear something.”

As Spears writes, Prince has been working out and staying in basketball shape, so he’d be ready to contribute if he got a call. However, after posting double-digit scoring averages during the prime of his career, Prince has seen his production dip in recent seasons. In 2015/16, he set new career lows in PPG (2.9) and 3PT% (.174), though he did still appear in 77 games for the Timberwolves, starting 44 of them and averaging 19.0 minutes per night.

You can check out our full list of 2016 NBA free agents, including Prince, right here.

Wolves Notes: Prince, Bjelica, Olympics, Mitchell

The Wolves’ Tayshaun Prince surprised even himself by playing 78 games and averaging 19 minutes a night, relays Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. The 36-year-old says he feels good and has no plans to retire. The only question for Prince, who is headed toward free agency, is whether to come back to Minnesota or try to sign with a contender. “It’s all up in the air,” he said. “I really can’t speculate. I would love to see some of the things they do here and what opportunities would present themselves. Definitely it’s a possibility to come back, but it’s a crazy business.”

There’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Nemanja Bjelica‘s rookie season wasn’t what he expected, but he ended it with a flourish, Zgoda writes in the same story. The Wolves reached agreement with the draft-and-stash player last summer and watched as Bjelica struggled though his first NBA season, averaging 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 60 games. However, he raised his scoring average to 12.5 points per night and shot 68% over the final four games. “At the end of the day, I’m happy to be here,” Bjelica said. “I belong in this league. I compete with the best players. Of course, I have some up and downs. This is normal. I’m just happy because I finish season in good way, like positive.” Bjelica, 27, has two years and $8MM left on the contract he signed in July.
  • Wolves management is asking players to do more of their offseason workouts in Minnesota, Zgoda continues in the same piece, but the Olympics could get in the way. Possible Wolves Olympians include Ricky Rubio with Spain, Bjelica with Serbia, Gorgui Dieng with Senegal and Andrew Wiggins with Canada.
  • Former coach Sam Mitchell deserved the chance to build on the work he did with the young core in Minnesota, contends Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. Mitchell, who was dismissed after the season’s final game Wednesday, took over the team on an interim basis in September after Flip Saunders encountered health problems that proved fatal. Continuity is important to a young team, Hartman argues, and there will be an adjustment process even if the Wolves are able to hire an experienced coach like Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks or Jeff Van Gundy, who have drawn mention as candidates. They will also expect a higher salary and more control over personnel decisions than Mitchell would have, Hartman notes.

Western Notes: Bickerstaff, Prince, Carlisle

If the Rockets are able to clinch a playoff berth this evening, it would greatly enhance the chances of interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff earning the post on a full-time basis, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays in a series of tweets. Houston does have interest in Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau, who are likely to be two of the more sought-after coaches this offseason, Stein adds. The Rockets are intrigued by the discipline and structure that Thibodeau could bring, but Brooks, who played for the Rockets, has an excellent familiarity with James Harden from their time spent together with the Thunder, Stein notes.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Wolves small forward Tayshaun Prince intends to play next season, telling reporters, “I’m not going to retire,” Kyle Ratke of NBA.com tweets. The 36-year-old, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, appeared in 77 games and averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per outing for Minnesota on the season.
  • Rick Carlisle, who is in his eighth season as Mavericks coach, has given the organization an uncommon stability during his tenure, Colin McGowan of RealGM writes. Carlisle deserves credit for making the most out of the talent he has been afforded, and the organization also deserves praise for sticking with the coach despite a few rocky seasons, McGowan adds.
  • Brandan Wright was limited to just 12 games for the Grizzlies this season, which likely diminishes his value as a potential trade chip and increases the likelihood Wright will be on Memphis’ roster next season, opines Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. The big man inked a three-year, $18MM with the Grizzlies last summer.
  • The Pelicans will finish the 2015/16 campaign with 351 games missed due to injury and illness, the most in the NBA in the past six years, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Parsons, Speights, Miller, Harris

It’s a long shot, but it’s possible that Chandler Parsons returns to play this season, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revealed Wednesday, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “If we make a run and get to the second round [of the playoffs], there’s a chance,” Cuban said. The team’s press release that followed the right knee surgery Parsons had last week referred to the procedure as a season-ender, but Chandler shared Cuban’s optimism Wednesday, saying on the team’s television broadcast of Wednesday’s victory over the Knicks that rehab will be a “piece of cake,” as Townsend also relays.  Parsons said he’d be in a brace for two or three weeks and made reference to a four-to-six week timetable for his recovery. Still, he laughed when told of Cuban’s remark and said he wouldn’t count on his return at any point in the playoffs, Townsend tweets.

See more from the Western Conference: