Will Weaver

And-Ones: Coach K, Fan Conduct, Williams-Goss, Coaching Candidates

Longtime Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski has decided to retire following the upcoming 2021/2022 college basketball season, reports Jeff Goodman of Stadium (via Twitter). Coach K has helmed the Duke program since 1980, and has been key in ushering in the era of one-and-done college players and collegiate recruiting battles.

During his tenure as head coach, Krzyzewski led the team to five national titles and 12 Final Fours, and with two potential top freshman on next year’s roster in Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, he will look to end his storied career with one final title run.

Goodman also reports that assistant coach Jon Scheyer is the leading candidate to replace Krzyzewski. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter) that Scheyer is considered Duke’s coach-in-waiting.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • As fan-related incidents continue to occur around the league, the NBA has instituted new measures in an attempt to prevent fan misconduct, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. These policies include: encouraging teams/arenas to pursue legal recourse against such actions, enhanced security, and a “code of conduct” message to be broadcast multiple times throughout the game.
  • Former Jazz point guard Nigel Williams-Goss has agreed to a two-year deal with Real Madrid, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6’2″ point guard played 15 games for PBC Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia this season, averaging 17 points and 5.9 assists while shooting 46% from three.
  • Although the Celtics are the only team with a head coach vacancy so far this summer, there are plenty of enticing first-time head coach options available, writes Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN. Among them: Patrick Ewing, Chauncey Billups, Will Weaver, and Darko Rajakovic. Arnovitz uses present success stories to detail what front offices are looking for in a first time head coach and what attributes can make them successful.
  • Now that the first season of the Basketball Africa League has ended and Egypt’s Zamalek has been crowned champions, the league is looking ahead and planning its 2022 season, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.  “The biggest triumph? Maybe it was just making it to reality,” BAL President Amadou Fall said, regarding the first season of the new league. “Just a long time coming and just being the culmination of many decades of work and engagement by the NBA across the continent, committed to growing the game. And now, it has established a complete pathway for basketball development from grassroots to elites and just league.” Those in and around the league are hoping that as the BAL grows, it will attract more and more viewers and participants from around the country. Though none of the players this season are expected to draw attention from NBA teams, Fall expects that to change soon. “This is the first time that this league is here,” Zamalek’s Walter Hodge said upon receiving the Hakeem Olajuwon MVP award. “And it’s going to be here for a long time.”

Rockets Add Hornacek To Silas’ Coaching Staff

The Rockets have hired Jeff Hornacek as an assistant on Stephen Silas’ staff, according to a team press release.

Hornacek was the head coach in Phoenix for 2 1/2 seasons from 2013-16 and in New York for two seasons from 2016-18. Previous reports indicated Houston was close to an agreement with Hornacek and now it’s official.

John Lucas, who was reportedly one of the finalists to replace Mike D’Antoni as head coach, will remain in the organization as an assistant. Will Weaver, Rick Higgins, and DeSagana Diop will also join Silas’ staff.

Weaver was the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia after being named NBA G League Coach of the Year for the 2018/19 season with the Long Island Nets. Higgins spent the past two seasons with the Magic as associate coach/player development, while Diop spent the past four seasons on the Jazz’s staff.

Texas Notes: Walker, Austin Spurs, Assistant Coaches

Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV has new representation. Rich Paul and Lucas Newton of Klutch Sports are Walker’s new agents, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link). Klutch also represents Walker’s teammates Dejounte Murray and Trey Lyles.

Walker remains on his rookie contract with the Spurs. He will become eligible for a rookie scale extension in 2021 and – if he doesn’t sign a new deal early – would reach restricted free agency in 2022.

There’s more from the Lone Star State:

  • The Spurs‘ G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, have promoted assistant Matt Nielsen to head coach, and named former assistant general manager Tyler Self the new GM, according to a team press release.
  • The Rockets continue to remake their personnel beyond the hardwood. New head coach Stephen Silas has added Magic player development coach Rick Higgins, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), and former Sydney Kings head coach Will Weaver, per Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link).
  • Per a team press release, the Spurs have promoted Mitch Johnson to fill Tim Duncan‘s role on Gregg Popovich‘s bench and have also named Darius Songalia an assistant coach. Duncan, a Hall of Fame power forward and five-time champion with the club, will return to his more informal player development duties with the team for 2020/21.

Thunder Expected To Interview Will Weaver For Head Coaching Job

Will Weaver, the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League, has traveled to the United States and is currently in quarantine in Oklahoma City, writes Olgun Uluc of ESPN. The Kings issued a statement confirming that their head coach was given permission to fly to the U.S. to participate in in-person interviews for an NBA job.

“Will has kept us informed in an ongoing basis in regards to the recent discussions he has been involved in,” Kings owner Paul Smith said. “We support Will in this process. It is implicit to our vision for the Sydney Kings, a club that helps ambitious people move forward in their careers. Be it a player, coach or a member of our management team, my greatest thrill is seeing people achieve their ambitions.”

While neither the Kings nor ESPN explicitly confirms that Weaver is interviewing with the Thunder, it certainly appears that’s what happening. Weaver, who also received consideration from the Pelicans during their head coaching search, was identified last month as a candidate for Oklahoma City’s vacancy.

The Thunder are the only NBA team making a head coaching change this year that has yet to finalize a hire. And while Weaver has been cited as a potential assistant coaching candidate for certain NBA teams – including the Rockets – it seems unlikely that he would travel across the world for an in-person interview unless he’s being seriously considered for a head coaching job. The fact that he’s quarantining in OKC further suggests a meeting with the Thunder is on tap.

Before moving to Australia in 2019 to coach the Kings, Weaver served as the head coach of the G League’s Long Island Nets and held assistant roles in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Weaver, who led Sydney to a league-best 20-8 record and an appearance in the NBL’s Grand Final series last season, is “held in high esteem” in the NBA’s coaching community, writes Uluc.

Rockets Notes: Harden, Silas, Diop, Higgins, Weaver, McMillan

New Rockets general manager Rafael Stone says he’s committed to building a championship team around James Harden, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. There has been speculation former Rockets GM and newly-hired Sixers executive Daryl Morey would try to acquire the former MVP.

“We’ve still got James Harden. Our goal is still to win a championship, and if you’ve got him, you’re halfway there,” Stone said. “It’s incumbent on me and (new coach) Stephen (Silas) and the whole team to figure out the rest of the whole, but the key piece is there.”

Silas embraces those expectations and the pressure that comes with it. “I’m a win-now coach,” he said. “To not have to deal with growing and all that type of stuff, to think championship right away, is exciting for me. And I’m prepared for it and ready for it.”

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Silas’ contract is a four-year deal, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston tweets. Silas was officially hired on October 30 after being one of the presumed finalists along with Jeff Van Gundy and John Lucas, who has decided to remain in Houston and join Silas’ staff.
  • As previously reported, the team has talked to former Suns and Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek about joining their coaching staff. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has uncovered a few other candidates that the Rockets are interested in hiring. Jazz assistant DeSagana Diop, Magic assistant Rick Higgins and former Sixers and Nets assistant Will Weaver are also possible additions to the staff, though Weaver is also a candidate for the Thunder’s head coaching job.
  • The front office aggressively pursued former Pacers head coach Nate McMillan to join the staff but he opted to instead join the Hawks’ staff under Lloyd Pierce, Berman adds in another tweet. Atlanta is close to hiring McMillan, though no official announcement has been made.

Western Notes: Lakers, Silas, Weaver, Nuggets

The Lakers will have to navigate a difficult and tricky offseason in order to construct a long-term dynasty, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes.

Los Angeles is coming off its first championship in a decade and could have nine players entering free agency this year. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis naturally played the biggest roles in the team’s title run, having a deep bench and productive supporting cast remains essential for the club’s chances of competing in the future.

“This is a historic franchise and to be a part of this is something that I’ll be able to talk about and my grandkids and kids will be able to talk about: Their paw-paw played for the Los Angeles Lakers,” James said after winning his fourth ring. “It’s like playing for the Yankees and winning or playing for the Cowboys and winning a Super Bowl, or the Patriots. It’s like playing for the Red Sox. So to be able to win with a historical franchise is something that, no matter if your mind wavers away, you can always remember what you’re doing it for.”

Assuming Davis re-signs with the franchise, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will be tasked with filling the holes around his two superstars in order to keep the team at the forefront of contention next season.

There’s more from the Western Conference tonight:

  • Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman lists five things to know about Stephen Silas, a possible candidate for the Thunder‘s vacant head coaching job. Silas has served in various scouting and assistant coaching roles since 2000, spending the past two seasons as an assistant with the Mavericks under Rick Carlisle.
  • Mussato examines five things to know about Will Weaver in a separate article for The Oklahoman. Like Silas, Weaver is also a candidate for the Thunder’s head coaching vacancy. The 36-year-old coached the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League last season and also holds experience as an assistant with the Sixers (2013-16) and Nets (2016-18).
  • Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic examines the rebranding of the Nuggets’ arena, which was formally re-named from Pepsi Center to Ball Arena. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment announced a naming rights partnership with the Ball Corporation last week, explaining the new arena name change.

Thunder Notes: Weaver, Gallinari, Coaching Search

The Thunder‘s head coaching search now includes former Sixers and Nets assistant Will Weaver, sources tell Mitch Lawrence of SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link). Weaver, who coached the Long Island Nets in 2018/19, currently serves as the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League.

In an episode of his Hoop Collective podcast earlier this month, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst linked Weaver to the Pelicans‘ head coaching search, noting that the veteran coach has a working relationship with New Orleans’ general manager Trajan Langdon. As Windhorst explains, the Pelicans’ decision to send 2019 second-round pick Didi Louzada to Sydney was related to Weaver’s presence there.

Relaying Windhorst’s comments last week, Matt Logue of The Australian wrote that “it is understood” that Weaver will interview for the Thunder’s open head coaching job.

While we wait to see if anything more concrete materializes between Weaver and two of the teams still seeking head coaches, here are a few more Thunder-related items:

  • An unrestricted free agent this fall, Danilo Gallinari published a tweet on Tuesday asking, “Where to next?” There’s still a chance Gallinari could return to the Thunder for the 2020/21 season, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. However, Oklahoma City is believed to be mulling a rebuild and Gallinari’s Tuesday tweet suggests he’s preparing to play elsewhere next season.
  • Elsewhere at The Oklahoman, Mussatto continues to profile coaches who he believes could become candidates for the Thunder’s head coaching vacancy. In recent days, he has taken a closer look at Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Sixers assistant Ime Udoka, and Dayton head coach Anthony Grant.
  • In case you missed it last week, we previewed the Thunder’s major upcoming offseason decisions, including the possibility of a Chris Paul trade.

Eastern Notes: Durant, Nets, Pistons, Rivers

Nets superstar Kevin Durant is hopeful to retire with the organization, though he cautioned it’s only his mindset in the present day, as relayed by the Players’ Tribune Text Message Talk Show with former NBA player Dorell Wright.

“As of today, this second, yes…” Durant texted when asked if Brooklyn would be his final stop.

Durant has previously hinted his willingness to step away from the game around age 35, though these comments were made over two years ago. His current contract with the Nets carries into the next two seasons with a $43.9MM player option for the 2022/23 campaign.

Brooklyn is expected to be at the forefront of title contention next season, sporting a core group of Durant, Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert and others. The team recently hired Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash as head coach, a decision approved by Durant himself.

“I’m excited about Coach Nash…I think he’s gonna build a fun culture in Brooklyn….having a former player walk the sidelines is always dope to see,” Durant texted.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Former Long Island head coach and Nets assistant Will Weaver is picking Brooklyn to come out of the East next year, praising the team’s hiring of Nash and the well-put-together roster, he said on the Wingspan Podcast (as relayed by Chris Milholen of NetsDaily). “How can you not feel like that group is the odds on favorite to win the East next year,” Weaver exclaimed as part of a larger quote. “I think the work that has been going on there for years and the building of equity, processes, and culture will allow someone like Steve [Nash] to step in and inherit a lot of that.”
  • Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press examines a number of Pistons-related topics in his latest mailbag, including the pros and cons of a potential Blake GriffinBuddy Hield trade. Detroit accrued just a 20-46 record on the season, the third-worst in the Eastern Conference and fifth-worst in the league.
  • Derek Bodner and Rich Hofmann of The Athletic discuss the Sixers’ hiring of Doc Rivers in their latest Sixers Beat podcast. Rivers has proven he can lead a locker room with star-studded players, previously coaching the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and others. He’s set to inherit a roster featuring Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid next season with Philadelphia.

Nets Face Management Makeover

Trajan Langdon’s decision to become the new GM in New Orleans represents the third major off-court loss for Brooklyn since the season ended, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Langdon, the Nets’ former assistant GM and the reigning G League Executive of the Year, has been a popular candidate to move up the management ranks. He recently interviewed for jobs with the Timberwolves and Wizards, as well as the Pelicans.

The time Langdon spent as a player in Europe only adds to his value, Lewis notes. He has wide-ranging contacts throughout the continent and speaks five languages. He also has a scouting background with the Spurs and was responsible for assembling the Nets’ draft board.

Lewis sees Gianluca Pascucci, who serves as the Nets’ director of global scouting, as the leading choice to step into Langdon’s role. However, he is also reportedly a candidate to become GM at Olimpia Milano in the EuroLeague.

Brooklyn’s other offseason losses were  G League coach Will Weaver, who left for a job with Sydney in the Australian League after leading Long Island to the championship game, and Chris Fleming, who left the Nets’ coaching staff to become the lead assistant to Jim Boylen in Chicago.

Lewis mentions ex-Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek as a possibility to replace Fleming. Hornacek joined the Nets for training camp, practices and some road trips and may be interested in taking an official position with the team.

Nets Notes: Mozgov, Sullinger, Trimble, G League

When the Nets acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Lakers last June, veteran center Timofey Mozgov was a piece the team had to accept for salary purposes, rather than a centerpiece of the deal. As such, it’s perhaps not surprising that Mozgov sounds a little frustrated with his role in Brooklyn.

As Net Income of NetsDaily relays, Mozgov expressed that frustration in a print interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia and in a conversation on Russia’s Radio Mayak. According to Mozgov, he’s not sure why he lost his spot in the starting lineup and fell out of the rotation early in the 2017/18 season. The 31-year-old started the first 13 games of the year for the Nets, but appeared in just 18 contests (8.7 MPG) the rest of the way.

While Mozgov didn’t express a desire to leave Brooklyn, he did say he hopes to receive more playing time going forward, either for the Nets or another team. Given where the Nets are in their rebuilding process, that probably isn’t likely — the club prefers to give its younger players those minutes up front, and would be unable to flip Mozgov to another team in a trade without attaching assets.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Jared Sullinger and Melo Trimble were among the participants at a veteran mini-camp hosted by the Nets this week, tweets Ben Stinar of Hoops Habit. Sullinger was linked to the Nets last summer, while Trimble was in camp with the Timberwolves in the fall.
  • In addition to working out some NBA free agents, the Nets are also taking a look at international players, according to a NetsDaily story. Nicolas Brussino, who spent time in the NBA over the last two seasons with the Mavericks and Hawks, is the most notable name on the list.
  • Will Weaver, an assistant on Kenny Atkinson‘s staff for the last two years, appears poised to become the head coach of the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Weaver and the NBAGL squad are nearing an agreement on a contract, per Begley. Former Long Island coach Ronald Nored joined James Borrego‘s staff in Charlotte last month.