Week in Review

Six Key Stories: 6/8/19 – 6/15/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Pelicans and new head of basketball operations David Griffin have begun to provide teams in pursuit of Anthony Davis with an idea of the package they’re seeking in return for the All-Star big man. As of now, it appears as though a three-team trade may be necessary for the Pelicans to obtain the package they seek – an All-Star, a young player with All-Star potential, and multiple first-round picks. Davis is reportedly interested in joining the Lakers or the Knicks, with agent Rich Paul even publicly proclaiming that should another team (like the Celtics) trade for AD, it would be for a one-year rental. Despite Paul’s remarks, the Celtics (and the Lakers) are currently engaged in trade talks with New Orleans, with L.A. thought to be the current leader for Davis’ services.

Warriors’ All-Stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both suffered serious injuries during this year’s NBA Finals, with Durant suffering a ruptured right Achilles tendon and Thompson suffering a torn ACL in his left knee. However, neither injury is expected to deter the Warriors’ pursuit of their stars, with GM Bob Myers saying that the team will do everything in their power (i.e. offer max-contracts) to keep both Durant and Thompson in San Francisco. Durant’s injury will will likewise not deter other teams from pursuit of the all-time great, with reports indicating that the KnicksNetsLakers, and Clippers would likely all still offer the forward a max-deal knowing he likely won’t play next season.

As expected, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving plans to decline his player option for the 2019/20 season. In what ended up being a busy week for Irving, it was also reported that he and his longtime agent Jeff Weschler parted ways, with Irving planning to sign with ROC Nation Sports. This decision, of course, fueled rumors that Irving plans to sign with the Nets this summer, and just one day after the ROC Nation report, it was reported that Irving does indeed plan to sign with Brooklyn this summer. Interestingly, this will likely signal the end of D’Angelo Russell‘s tenure with the Nets, as he is unlikely to remain in Brooklyn should Irving sign.

Jimmy Butler will likewise turn down his player option for the 2019/20 season and hit the free agent market. The Sixers remain adamant about retaining Butler long term, but the Lakers are reportedly interested in Butler also, and there have been rumors about a potential pairing on Butler and Irving in Brooklyn. Regardless, it’ll likely take a maximum-salary offer to sign Butler this offseason.

There are conflicting reports about whether the Wizards are preparing a massive contract offer to Raptors head of basketball operations Masai Ujiri. An initial report indicated that Washington was willing to pay upwards of $10MM per season over six years to poach Ujiri, with owner Ted Leonis planning to reach out to Raptors’ ownership for permission to speak with Ujiri. Then, one day later, the Wizards denied that there were any imminent plans to make an offer to Ujiri, with Raptors’ majority owner Larry Tanenbaum telling reporters there is no chance Ujiri will leave Toronto.

Eligible for a super-max contract with the Hornets this summer, All-NBA point guard Kemba Walker wants to stay in Charlotte long term. Walker’s first priority during free agency will be to sit down with Hornets brass and try to get a deal done. Walker even said he’d potentially be willing to take less money to stay. But, Walker will still meet with other teams, and teams like the LakersMavericks, and Knicks are still interested in signing the point guard this offseason despite his interest in remaining with the Hornets.

Here are 12 more noteworthy headlines from the past week:

  • Heat point guard Goran Dragic has picked up his $19.2MM player option for the 2019/20 season.
  • In a somewhat surprising move, Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas has decided that he won’t opt into the final year of his contract. He’ll instead become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Hornets forward Marvin Williams has exercised his player option for the 2019/20 season, thereby locking in a salary of just over $15MM for next season.
  • Celtics center Aron Baynes also exercised his player option for the 2019/20 season. The big man is contracted to make just under $5.5MM.
  • The Knicks exercised rookie Allonzo Trier‘s team option for next season. The guard will make $3.5MM.
  • Longtime NBA point guard and Spurs all-time great Tony Parker is retiring from basketball after 18 seasons.
  • The Grizzlies have hired longtime Mike Budenholzer assistant Taylor Jenkins as their new head coach.
  • Sixers forward Tobias Harris, a Long Island native, is interested in meeting with the Nets during free agency this summer.
  • Top prospect Ja Morant planned to meet with the Knicks in New York City on Friday less than a week after meeting with the Grizzlies. The teams hold the No. 3 and No. 2 picks, respectively.
  • Big man Deyonta Davis, armed with a non-guaranteed salary of just over $1.6MM for next season, was claimed by the Rockets after he was released by the Hawks.
  • The NBA officially announced its complete list of early entrant prospects eligible for the 2019 NBA draft.
  • Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina has agreed to a deal to become president of basketball operations and head coach for Italian club Olimpia Milano

Six Key Stories: 6/1/19 – 6/8/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Nets and Hawks agreed to a trade which will occur after the new league year begins. The deal will send Allen Crabbe, the player picked at No. 17 in this month’s draft, and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick. It allows the Nets to clear enough cap space to go after two maximum-salary free agents this offseason, assuming they renounce D’Angelo Russell‘s $21.1MM cap hold. As a result, Kyrie Irving is now being strongly linked to Brooklyn. The Hawks continue to acquire assets as a part of their rebuild, likely gaining two additional first-round picks in back-to-back years.

The Bucks signed general manager Jon Horst to a contract extension that will keep the executive in Milwaukee through the 2022/23 season. A frontrunner for this season’s executive of the year award, Horst has improved the Bucks from a middle-of-the-pack team to a legit championship contender. Financial details of the new deal aren’t yet known, but it should all but assuredly come with a significant raise, as Horst was the NBA’s lowest-paid general manager during his first two years on the job.

Mavericks’ big man Dwight Powell plans to pick up his player option for next season and sign a contract extension to stay in Dallas. An earlier report indicated that Powell would turn down his player option, but multiple outlets have since confirmed Powell’s plans to opt in and sign an extension. Exercising the option will earn Powell just short of $10.3MM next season, and the extension is reportedly planned for 2 or 3 additional seasons after next.

League executives largely expect the Sixers to make a maximum-salary offer to Jimmy Butler upon the opening of free agency on June 30. Butler is all but assured to turn down his player option for next season, making himself one of the more sought after players on the market. The Sixers can offer Butler a deal worth as much as $189.7MM over five years.

The Suns, long in pursuit of a higher caliber starting point guard to play alongside franchise cornerstone Devin Booker, are interested in free-agent point guards Cory JosephPatrick BeverleyDarren Collison, and T.J. McConnell. Phoenix is also reportedly open to trading the No. 6 overall pick in this month’s draft for the “right” veteran point guard. It’s unclear who that specific player or players may be, or if they even exist, but Mike Conley is a possibility if the Suns agree able to put together enough salary-matching pieces and other assets to interest the Grizzlies.

Veteran guard Vince Carter recently confirmed that he will be calling it quits after next season, his twenty-second in the NBA. A free-agent this summer, Carter found himself to be a production rotational piece for the Hawks this past season. For his illustrious career, Carter has averaged 17.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.2 APG with a .437/.374/.798 shooting line in 1,481 games.

Here are 10 more noteworthy headlines from the past week:

  • While he’s sure to have interest from other suitors, the Hornets remain the “first priority” for Kemba Walker during free agency this summer.
  • Potential Grizzlies head-coaching target Sarunas Jasikevicius may elect to stay in Lithuania over accepting an NBA-coaching gig.
  • Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio does not expect to be back in Utah next season, saying that the Jazz have not made him a priority among other free agent pursuits.
  • Former NBA guard Nando De Colo is considering leaving CSKA Moscow to return to the NBA next season.
  • It’s still not a foregone conclusion that Anthony Davis will be traded, but new Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin has begun listening to inquiries on the perennial All-Star.
  • Veteran free agents Marcus Morris (KnicksLakersKingsClippers, and Bulls) (link) and All-Star D’Angelo Russell (Jazz, Magic, Wolves, and Pacers) (link) already have a list of potential suitors this offseason.
  • Rockets forward P.J. Tucker is interesting in discussing a contract extension this offseason.
  • The Wizards delay in hiring a new head of basketball operations may be linked to the team’s reported interest in Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
  • Warriors’ minority owner Mark Stevens has been banned from the NBA for one year and fined $500K for pushing and directing obscenities toward Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
  • The Sixers are hiring longtime Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka as head coach Brett Brown‘s lead assistant in Philadelphia.

Five Key Stories: 5/25/19 – 6/1/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Rockets are said to be making any player or draft pick besides James Harden available in trade talks. Clint Capela, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon are among the players who could apparently be had in the right deal as GM Daryl Morey aggressively looks to upgrade his roster.

The Rockets also played hardball with Mike D’Antoni, who ended contract extension talks with the team. Subsequent reports indicated that Houston had offered D’Antoni a one-year extension that was heavy on incentives. He’s planning to coach out the final year of his current contract, which expires in 2020.

Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin met with Anthony Davis in Los Angeles. While the All-Star big man still seems unlikely to relent on his trade request, the meeting was described as respectful and productive, and discussions between Davis and the Pels are expected to continue.

Top prospect R.J. Hampton announced he’ll play overseas rather than go to college next season. Hampton, a five-star recruit, is considered a potential top-five pick in the 2020 draft, but rather than heading to Kansas, Memphis, or Texas Tech, he’ll play for the New Zealand Breakers before becoming draft-eligible.

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for early entrants in the 2019 NBA draft has passed. Of the 177 college underclassmen who originally entered the draft pool, 89 withdrew their names by Wednesday night. We have the full list right here.

Here are 10 more noteworthy headlines from the past week:

Five Key Stories: 5/18/19 – 5/25/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Magic Johnson went on the offensive and ripped the Lakers’ organization. Johnson said in an ESPN interview that GM Rob Pelinka backstabbed him by badmouthing him to other league executives. Johnson also revealed that he decided to step down from his post as president of basketball operations when owner Jeanie Buss wouldn’t let him fire then-coach Luke Walton during the season.

The Timberwolves removed the interim tag from Ryan Saunders and named him their head coach. Saunders had a losing record after replacing Tom Thibodeau but he formed a strong bond with star Karl-Anthony Towns and impressed new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas during extensive talks. Many of the assistant coaches were not retained.

The league revealed its All-NBA Teams. Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden led the way as the two unanimous selections for the First Team. Kevin Durant was relegated to the Second Team while teammate Stephen CurryPaul George and Nikola Jokic grabbed the other First Team spots. Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker became eligible for super-max extensions while Bradley BealKlay Thompson and Nikola Vucevic failed to reach that status because they didn’t make the cut.

The league moved up the start of free agency to the evening of June 30. Instead of starting free agency at the stroke of midnight ET on the first day of July, negotiations can begin at 6 p.m. the previous night. The change, which was agreed upon by the league and the players’ union, will also allow teams to communicate and schedule meetings with free agents or their agents at 6 p.m. ET on June 29. Those meetings can’t take place before free agency officially opens on the evening of June 30.

The Trail Blazers handed coach Terry Stotts a two-year contract extension. The Blazers reached the conference finals despite the late-season loss of center Jusuf Nurkic and rewarded their coach for the accomplishment. Stotts is the fourth longest-tenured coach in the NBA.

Here are 10 more top headlines worth passing along this week:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Key Stories: 5/11/19 – 5/18/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Pelicans won the draft lottery, putting them in position to select Zion Williamson. The NBA’s new lottery format helped generate some surprises on draft night, as New Orleans landed the No. 1 pick despite just a 6.0% chance. The Grizzlies moved up from No. 8 to No. 2, the Lakers moved up from No. 11 to No. 4, and the Knicks (No. 3) were the only bottom-four team to receive a top-four pick.

The Lakers hired Frank Vogel as their head coach as Jason Kidd as an assistant. The moves capped off an eventful search process that saw the team miss out on initial targets Monty Williams (hired by the Suns) and Tyronn Lue (negotiations fell apart). With Vogel only getting a three-year contract, there’s speculation that Kidd could be laying in wait as his eventual replacement.

Tyreke Evans was dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug program. The shocking news ensures that Evans will miss at least the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, since he’s not eligible to apply for reinstatement for two years. Like O.J. Mayo and Chris Andersen before him, Evans’ violation is believed to be related to a “drug of abuse.”

The Cavaliers hired John Beilein as their new head coach. After an interview process that focused almost exclusively on NBA assistants, Cleveland surprised league observers by turning to the NCAA ranks for Beilein, who had coached the Michigan Wolverines for more than a decade. The two sides agreed to a five-year contract.

The Wizards have reportedly offered Tim Connelly a position as their head of basketball operations. Connelly, a Baltimore native who is the president of basketball ops for the Nuggets, is said to be weighing a four-year offer which is more lucrative than his current contract in Denver.

Here are 10 more top headlines worth passing along this week:

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Five Key Stories: 5/4/19 – 5/11/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Lakers failed to reach an agreement with Tyronn Lue, throwing their coaching search into turmoil. Negotiations between the two parties broke down, reportedly because the Lakers only offered Lue a three-year deal. Lue also wanted to pick his coaching staff. Subsequently, the Lakers conducted interviews with former Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff and former Pacers and Magic coach Frank Vogel.

Warriors superstar forward Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain during Game 5 against the Rockets. The Warriors managed to win Game 6 in Houston and wrap up their series with the Rockets without Durant. It’s unknown how many more games Durant will miss during Golden State’s drive for a third consecutive title. Durant’s injury shouldn’t have an impact on his free agent status.

The Grizzlies interviewed Jarron Collins for their head coaching position. The Warriors assistant is just the second known candidate to be interviewed for the job. The Grizzlies previously spoke to Jazz assistant Alex Jensen. Bickerstaff was let go after the season but the front office isn’t in any rush to make a hire.

The Jazz plan to make a run at Sixers free agent forward Tobias Harris. The Jazz know they have to upgrade the roster to become serious playoff contenders. The addition of Harris would be a major boost to their underwhelming offense. According to the report, Harris will consider Utah if Philadelphia doesn’t offer him a full maximum-salary, five-year contract.

LeBron James confirmed that Magic Johnson didn’t give him advance notice he was stepping down from his post. James revealed on his HBO show that he had no idea Johnson was going to leave his post as the Lakers’ president. James said he was going through pre-game stretching exercises when he heard the news. He was disappointed that Johnson didn’t give him a call or send a text before telling the media he was resigning.

Here are 10 more headlines worth passing along this week for the NBA:

  • Warriors owner Joe Lacob vows to do whatever is necessary to re-sign Klay Thompson, who will be a free agent after the season.
  • Hornets guard Tony Parker doesn’t plan to announce a decision on whether he’ll continue playing until next month.
  • Veteran center Marc Gasol isn’t sure what his future is with the Raptors. Gasol has a $25.6MM player option should he decide to stay in Toronto.
  • Thunder power forward Patrick Patterson decided to exercise his $5.7MM player option for next season. The creates even more salary-cap issues for the tax-paying club.
  • Bucks reserve center Pau Gasol underwent foot surgery and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs.
  • The Raptors seem to be making progress in their quest to re-sign Kawhi Leonard.
  • The Warriors are hopeful both DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Jones will return this postseason.
  • Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta vows to make roster upgrades after his team was eliminated by the Warriors on Friday.
  • The Jazz promoted GM Dennis Lindsey to executive vice president of basketball operations and assistant GM Justin Zanik to the GM post.
  • Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is unlikely to back off his trade demand despite recent developments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Key Stories: 4/27/19 – 5/4/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Suns have agreed to hire Sixers’ assistant coach Monty Williams as the franchise’s next head coach. Williams, who first interviewed with the Suns on April 26, was the first candidate that Phoenix brought in after parting ways with Igor Kokoskov. He was also reportedly always the Suns’ prime candidate for the job. Williams will stick with Philadelphia until the end of the club’s playoff run before officially making the move to Phoenix and signing a five-year deal. Williams, 47, previously served as head coach for the Pelicans from 2010-2015 where he posted a modest record of 173-221.

In other head coaching news, the Lakers have no plans to interview any other candidates and will reach out to Tyronn Lue in the coming days to offer him the team’s head coaching position. Lue, who met with Lakers’ brass for a second time last week, has not yet heard from L.A., but reports suggest it’s only a matter of time. The hire will reunite Lue with Lakers’ forward LeBron James, a coupling that brought the Cavaliers their first-ever NBA championship back in 2016.

The Timberwolves plan to hire Rockets’ executive Gersson Rosas as their new president of basketball operations. Rosas, who has spent the better part of two decades with the Rockets under Daryl Morey, has been a popular target in recent years for teams with openings in their front office. He was reportedly considered by the Hornets, Pistons, and Sixers in 2018 and he interviewed with both the Pelicans and Wizards this spring. It remains to be seen whether or not Rosas will retain GM Scott Layden and/or head coach Ryan Saunders.

Nets’ shooting guard Allen Crabbe has exercised his player option for the 2019/20 season, thereby locking in his $18.5MM salary for next year and putting the 27-year-old veteran on track to reach unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2020. Crabbe, whose cap hit could derail some offseason free agency plans for the Nets, may find himself on the trade block, or the Nets could waive and stretch his salary over the next three seasons. Doing so would create dead cap hits of $6.17MM for the 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22 seasons.

Veteran NBA shooting guard Gerald Henderson has ended his comeback effort and officially announced his retirement. Henderson  underwent multiple surgical procedures on his hip last summer to treat ongoing arthritis and when he was finally able to work out again, he tore his Achilles tendon during a pickup game. Henderson, still only 31, joined the Hornets’ broadcast team at FOX Sports Southeast in January for the second half of the 2018/19 season.

Here are 10 more NBA-related headlines worth passing along this week:

  • The Grizzlies, continuing to revamp their front office, promoted former NBA champion Tayshaun Prince to the title of Vice President of Basketball Affairs within the franchise’s basketball operations department.
  • Head coach Doc Rivers officially signed his long-term contract extension with the Clippers after hinting at the same in March in an effort to quell rumors that had begun to swirl about his interest in the Lakers.
  • Despite a relatively disappointing 2018/19 season, the Thunder have no plans to move on from head coach Billy Donovan, with general manager Sam Presti telling reporters that he expects Donovan to be back in Oklahoma City for the 2019/20 season.
  • While it remains to be seen for what team, veteran shooting guard Vince Carter, now 42, has confirmed that he intends to continue his playing career into the 2019/20 season.
  • It’s looking more and more likely that Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich will return next season, and if he does, he is expected to sign a three-year contract that will ensure he remains the NBA’s highest-paid coach.
  • The Wizards, looking for a someone to replace Ernie Grunfeld atop the front office, met with former Pelicans’ interim GM Danny Ferry on Tuesday to discuss the opening. They also met with Rosas before he took the head position in Minneapolis and with Troy Weaver, the VP of basketball operations for the Thunder.
  • The Mavericks plan to target both Kemba Walker and Bucks’ swingman Khris Middleton in free agency this summer to solidify the team’s starting lineup around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
  • Beginning as early as the 2021/22 season, the Pistons’ G League franchise will begin playing in Detroit at a new $25MM athletic facility that will house the Wright State University basketball teams.
  • Celtics’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack on Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Ainge, 60, has since returned to Boston and is expected to make a full recovery.
  • The Bulls and head coach Jim Boylen agreed to terms on a deal that will extend Boylen’s contract beyond the 2019/20 season. Despite a rough year record-wise, Chicago’s front office views Boylen as the teacher that the club’s young roster needs, and love the way he was able to build relationships with his players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Key Stories: 4/20/19 – 4/27/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Recently hired Kings head coach Luke Walton has been sued by former Spectrum Sportsnet LA reporter Kelly Tennant for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in a Santa Monica hotel room back in 2014. The suit alleges that Walton forcibly kissed Tennant and rubbed his body against her despite her pleas to stop. The Kings and the NBA have since announced a joint investigation into Tennant’s allegations against Walton. Meanwhile, the Kings have maintained that until the investigation uncovers more facts, they will take an “innocent-until-proven-guilty” approach with Walton.

The Suns parted ways with head coach Igor Kokoskov after he led Phoenix to a conference-worst record of 19-65 in his first season at the helm. The first ever European-born head coach in the NBA, Kokoskov was hired last May after an extensive hiring process by former GM Ryan McDonough. While it’s not clear exactly what prompted the Suns’ change, the team just revamped its front office yet again and it’s possible new GM James Jones wanted to make his own hire.

Pistons’ All-Star forward Blake Griffin underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Griffin, 30, had the procedure done to address the issue that caused soreness in the knee late in the regular season and the playoffs. He is not expected to miss any planned offseason training for next season, but this continues a pattern of left leg injuries for Griffin. He has also suffered a sprained MCL, broken kneecap, meniscus tear, partially torn quadriceps and bone bruise in the same leg during his career.

Celtics’ all-time leading scorer John Havlicek passed away at the age of 79 after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. The Celtics have since announced their plan to memorialize Havlicek with a black patch on the team’s jerseys with the No. 17 on them. Havlicek’s eight NBA Championships are third all-time, but he’s perhaps best known for his game-clinching steal and the resulting iconic broadcast line, “Havlicek stole the ball” at the close of Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals.

Trail Blazers’ big man Enes Kanter is questionable to appear in the team’s second-round series against the Spurs or Nuggets after suffering a separated left shoulder in Portland’s Game 5 win over the Thunder. Game 1 is not until Monday night, so the team has some time to treat the injury, and the Blazers remain hopeful that Kanter will be able to go.

Here are 9 more headlines worth passing along in what was a busy week for the NBA:

  • Despite suffering a torn ACL in Auburn’s Sweet 16 win over No. 1 seed North Carolina in this year’s NCAA Tournament, sophomore forward Chuma Okeke has entered his name into the 2019 NBA Draft pool.
  • Clippers’ general manager Michael Winger has decided to withdraw his name from consideration for the role of president of basketball operations with the Timberwolves, opting instead to remain in Los Angeles.
  • ESPN’s No. 19 ranked prospect, Georgian center Goga Bitadze, has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. Bitadze broke the record for best PER by a teenager in EuroLeague history this season, breaking the record set by Luka Doncic last year.
  • Nets’ general manager Sean Marks was fined $25K and suspended for Brooklyn’s Game 5 loss to the Sixers after going into the referees’ locker room following the team’s Game 4 loss.
  • The Lakers currently have no plans in place to hire a replacement for former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson. GM Rob Pelinka is currently leading the franchise’s search for a new head coach.
  • The Lakers and head coaching candidate Tyronn Lue met for a second interview earlier this week. The Lakers are also considering Monty Williams and Juwan Howard to be the team’s next head coach.
  • In addition to the aforementioned candidates, the Lakers also interviewed former Bucks’ head coach Jason Kidd. Reports suggest he’s not as serious of a candiate as the other three, however.
  • 233 early entrants declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. The prospects, 175 from college and 58 international players, have until May 29 and June 10, respectively, to pull their name from the draft pool.
  • Jazz sharpshooter Kyle Korver, now 38, will once again consider retirement this offseason after going through the same decision last summer. His $7.5MM 2019/20 salary is only partially guaranteed for $3.44MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Key Stories: 4/6/19 – 4/13/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Magic Johnson abruptly announced that he was stepping down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations. The Tuesday announcement was one of the most surprising developments of the year, particularly since Johnson hadn’t informed owner Jeanie Buss – or anyone else – of his decision before he announced it to the press.

The Lakers announced that they’d “mutually” agreed to part ways with head coach Luke Walton. While Johnson’s departure initially looked like it might give Walton unexpected life in Los Angeles, the team confirmed late in the week that it would be in the market for a new head coach. Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams are said to be frontrunners.

Future Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement. Unlike Dwyane Wade, who confirmed at the beginning of the season that this year would be his last, Nowitzki had been considering playing one more season. He ultimately decided to call it a career after an incredible 21 years with the Mavericks, which included 12 All-NBA nods and a championship in 2011.

The Grizzlies shook up their organization, firing head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and demoting GM Chris Wallace. The news broke just hours after Wallace had addressed the media in his end-of-season press conference, telling reporters that Bickerstaff would return and that he wasn’t concerned about his job security.

The Kings fired head coach Dave Joerger shortly after signing GM Vlade Divac to an extension. Despite posting a 39-43 record, their best mark since 2006, the Kings decided Joerger wasn’t the right man for the job, and have reached an agreement with Luke Walton to take over the position. Assistant GM Brandon Williams was also dismissed.

Here are 10 more headlines worth passing along in what was a busy week for the NBA:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Key Stories: 3/30/19 – 4/6/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Ernie Grunfeld’s long tenure as GM of the Wizards came to an end Tuesday night. Washington got an early jump on the offseason by dismissing Grunfeld, who had been running the team since 2003. The Wizards will be among several organizations looking for a new GM this offseason.

A rape allegation against Kristaps Porzingis was made public. The incident allegedly occurred in New York City on the same day that Porzinigis suffered the ACL tear that ended his season last February. Mavericks officials said they were aware of the accusation when they traded for him in January.

The Lakers shut down LeBron James for the rest of the season to prevent any more damage to the injured groin that has been bothering him. James played just 55 games in his first year in L.A. and wasn’t able to end the team’s streak of non-playoff seasons that now stands at six.

Ja Morant of Murray State, one of the top prospects in college basketball, officially entered this year’s draft. The sophomore guard, who has been grabbing the attention of scouts all season, has been projected as high as No. 2 on many draft boards.

The status of another potential first-rounder is uncertain as Auburn’s Chuma Okeke suffered a torn left ACL in the NCAA Tournament. Okeke had been projected as a possible late first-round pick.

Here are more headlines from the past week:

  • The Sixers added a big man for the postseason by signing Greg Monroe. He became available when his 10-day contract with the division rival Celtics expired.
  • Michael Carter-Williams signed with the Magic for the rest of the season after impressing the organization with his performance on a pair of 10-day contracts. Isaiah Briscoe was waived to make room on the roster.
  • Free agent center Tyler Zeller found a new home with the Grizzlies. He had been searching for an opportunity since being waived by the Bucks in the preseason and had spent 10 days with the Hawks.
  • The Wizards decided to waive Wesley Johnson, who was acquired in a deadline deal with the Pelicans. The move allows Washington to get rid of his $9.2MM cap hold.
  • The Nets gave extensions to GM Sean Marks, along with coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff. This has been a turnaround season for Brooklyn, which is in the midst of a battle for the playoffs after years of losing.
  • The Pelicans started interviews for their open GM position, bringing in former Cavaliers GM David GriffinDanny Ferry, currently serving as interim GM in New Orleans, is also among the candidates, along with Warriors assistant GM Larry Harris, Nets assistant GM Trajan LangdonRockets VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and Wizards interim GM Tommy Sheppard.
  • Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse accepted a job as the new head coach at Vanderbilt. Stackhouse was in his first season with Memphis and interviewed for three NBA head coaching positions last year.
  • The NBA reduced its projected salary cap for the 2020/21 season. The new projections of a $116MM cap and a $141MM tax level are $2MM less than the original figures.
  • Chris Boucher of Raptors 905 was named Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in the G League. Boucher collected the awards despite playing in just 28 of his team’s 50 games.

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