Tony Ronzone

Southwest Notes: S. Brown, Mavs, Louzada, Eubanks

Rockets wing Sterling Brown was jumped outside of a club in Miami late on Sunday night, according to Shams Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who say Brown was hit in the head with a bottle and required medical attention into Monday. Brown, who was admitted to a local hospital early Monday morning, suffered facial lacerations in the incident and was discharged later in the day, per Charania and Iko. The 26-year-old didn’t know the assailants.

While Brown was ruled out of the Rockets’ game on Monday in Miami, that was the fifth straight game he has missed due to left knee soreness, unrelated to Sunday’s incident. It’s not clear whether the attack will push back his potential return date at all.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Mavericks have fired director of player personnel Tony Ronzone, sources tell Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. It’s unclear when the dismissal occurred, per Townsend. However, Ronzone was accused of sexual assault in 2019 and that allegation became public last year. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Mavs fired Ronzone after learning new information related to that allegation.
  • While signing draft-and-stash prospect Didi Louzada to a rest-of-season contract will benefit the Pelicans from a cap perspective, allowing them to fill their 14th spot while remaining out of tax territory, John Hollinger of The Athletic questions whether the 2019 second-rounder is ready for the NBA. Louzada, 21, has struggled with his shot in Australia’s NBL and signing him now will make him a little more expensive in 2021/22, when New Orleans will likely be up against the tax line once again.
  • Several members of the Spurs‘ young core are thrilled to see big man Drew Eubanks thriving in an increased role lately, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Eubanks has averaged 10.6 PPG and 9.2 RPG in just 19.8 MPG in his last five games, including his first career start on Saturday. “He’s out there killing it,” Keldon Johnson said after Eubanks put up 13 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday’s win. “I can’t be any happier for Drew. He works so hard.”

West Notes: Hayward, Nuggets, Spurs

Does the success of the Warriors impact Gordon Hayward‘s fate? Randy Hollis of the Deseret News suggests as much, noting that the reality of living in Golden State’s shadow may slightly reduce the forward’s chances of returning to the Jazz.

Hollis argues that the Jazz “probably won’t” win a title over the course of Hayward’s career and that the Warriors’ youth and makeup could result in some rather moot battles for conference supremacy over the course of the next half decade.

The scribe adds that a move to the Eastern Conference, then, could be more appealing for Hayward (or any free agent in a similar situation) where he wouldn’t need to worry about plateauing somewhere before the Finals as he may with the Jazz. Hollis does, however, recognize that winning the East still results in a seven-game showdown with the Warriors.

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • A quick look through some of the big men the Nuggets have worked out reveals that the team could be aiming to improve their sub-optimal interior defense, Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post writes.
  • The Mavs aren’t afraid to search the globe for talent, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. In the past month alone, team president Donnie Nelson and scout Tony Ronzone have been everywhere from Las Vegas to Iceland and Serbia.
  • The Spurs face a series of questions this offseason, Bobby Marks of the Vertical writes in his breakdown of the team’s summer agenda, including what to do with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Latest On Olshey Move, Clippers GM Search

The Clippers were offering former vice president of basketball operations Neil Olshey a one-year contract worth $750K when the Blazers countered with the three-year, $3.6MM offer to become their general manager, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The Blazers deal, which Olshey took last week, includes team options for two additional seasons. Olshey had been making $450K per year on a month-to-month deal with the Clippers since August.

Read more