Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is facing a long rebuilding process if he remains with the team, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News writes. The Spurs recently traded Dejounte Murray to the Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari‘s expiring contract, three first-round picks, and a pick swap, choosing to further shift their focus from the present to the future.
As Finger notes, Popovich has expressed reservations in the past about the idea of coaching a losing team, most notably when his former – and newly re-hired – assistant Brett Brown left San Antonio to coach the “Process” Sixers.
“I couldn’t do it,” Popovich said in 2015 when asked about Brown’s new job in Philadelphia. “I’d last a month.”
However, in recent years, Popovich seems to have embraced the concept of coaching a young team without realistic championship aspirations. He recently helped orchestrate the re-hiring of Brown as an assistant coach and appears motivated to return to the sidelines in San Antonio next season.
Here are some other notes from the Southwest Division:
- Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News examines the fit between Luka Doncic and JaVale McGee, who agreed to sign with the Mavericks and can serve as a rebounder, rim-protector and lob threat for Doncic. McGee reportedly expects to start for Dallas, but Caplan isn’t sure the coaching staff has made that decision yet.
- The Grizzlies‘ two-way deal with Vince Williams Jr. covers two years, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Edwards, who was drafted No. 47 overall by Memphis last Thursday, averaged 14.1 points per game at VCU last season, shooting 38.7% from three-point range.
- While it’s a massive investment, Zion Williamson‘s maximum-salary extension with the Pelicans was something the team simply couldn’t pass up, Scott Kushner of NOLA.com writes. Williamson has only played 85 games in his three NBA seasons, but he has shown in his limited NBA action that he’s a special player, says Kushner. It’s still unclear how much of Williamson’s new five-year deal will be fully guaranteed.