Willie Green

Pacific Notes: Henry, Suns, Landry, Buss

Pierria Henry, the most recent EuroCup regular season MVP winner, worked out for the Suns today, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). Henry has plans to work out for at least two additional teams over the weekend.

The 6’5″ combo guard spent four years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, becoming the school’s all-time leader in assist and steals. Henry didn’t hear his name called in the 2015 Draft and ended up carving out a career overseas. Henry has had stops in Georgia, Germany, Israel, Turkey, and Russia.

Henry is now a candidate for an NBA roster spot next season. As the West Virginia native attempts to make it in the league, let’s take a look at some notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Coach Monty Williams has finalized his staff, as he announced on the Suns‘ podcastWillie Green, Darko Rajakovic, Mark Bryant, Randy Ayers, Larry Greer, and Steve Blake will all serve as assistant coaches in Phoenix.
  • Landry Shamet has been invited to participate with the Select Team at Team USA’s National camp, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. The Clippers guard will join Zion Williamson in the younger group come August.
  • Lakers owner Jeanie Buss admits that Magic Johnson’s resignation caught her off-guard, as Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register relays. Buss added that once the executive stepped down, she needed time to “figure out what the process was going to be.” Los Angeles decided that Rob Pelinka leading the front office would be best for the franchise.

Coaching Updates: Grizzlies, Kidd, Suns, Sixers, Bulls, Thibodeau

The latest round-up of NBA rumors from Shams Charania of The Athletic features a handful of coaching-related notes, including an update on the Grizzlies‘ head coaching search.

According to Charania, Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins, whose interview with Memphis was previously reported, met with the Grizzlies for a second time last week. Jenkins is one of at least six candidates to interview for the position, but the fact that he got a second meeting may signal that he’s receiving serious consideration.

Elswhere in Charania’s story, he notes that Jason Kidd‘s contract with the Lakers will make him the highest-paid assistant in the NBA and reports that Warriors assistant Willie Green has been offered a leading assistant coach job with the Suns. Phoenix is hopeful that Green, who played for new Suns head coach Monty Williams in 2010/11, will accept that offer.

Here are a few more coaching-related items from around the NBA:

  • Former Brooklyn and Dallas head coach Avery Johnson is interviewing with the Sixers for a job on Brett Brown‘s staff, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Johnson spent the last four seasons coaching at Alabama.
  • Not long after parting ways with the Rockets, Roy Rogers has agreed to a three-year deal to become an assistant for the Bulls, tweets Wojnarowski. K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, who tweets that Rogers’ interview with the team was described as “impressive,” points out that the three-year term lines up with head coach Jim Boylen‘s new extension.
  • Appearing on The Zach Gelb Show, Tom Thibodeau confirmed that he’s not eager to rejoin the assistant coaching ranks anytime soon (link via CBS Sports Radio). The Lakers were rumored to have interest in Thibodeau as a lead assistant when they appeared to be nearing a deal with Tyronn Lue, but Thibs says the position probably wouldn’t have appealed to him. “I’ve known Ty for a long time. I coached him in Houston, and when he first got into coaching, we were in Boston together, so I consider him a really good friend,” Thibodeau said. “But I still have some time on my contract. I’ll be patient and just wait for the right opportunity to come along.”

Central Notes: LaVine, Pacers, Cavaliers, Calderon

Fresh off the Bulls officially matching the Kings’ fully guaranteed, four-year $78MM offer sheet to Zach LaVine, the 23-year-old combo guard says he is ready to prove all of the doubters wrong who wonder whether he is worth the nearly $80MM in guaranteed money that he will earn from the Bulls, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“I’m my hardest critic,” LaVine said Sunday during the Bulls’ summer league game against the Lakers in Las Vegas. “There’s nothing that any of you guys can say to me that I [don’t] take harder upon myself. I go back and critique my game every year. I’m used to people sleeping on me, and I’m also used to waking them up as well. I’m happy that I have this contract, and I’m happy that I have a little extra motivation to go out there and prove it to some people that don’t believe in me.”

“At the end of the day, I believe in myself, I believe in my work, and I’m going to show the city of Chicago it’s a good choice and I’m here to stay. I’m going to be their guy, and I’m ready to do whatever to help this team get back to that spot.”

And despite saying publicly that he was disappointed the Bulls hadn’t done more to lock him in as a restricted free agent when the free-agency period opened, LaVine backtracked from those comments after the deal with the Bulls became official, saying that he simply meant he never wanted to sign an offer sheet because he wanted to stay in Chicago so badly.

“I think a lot of that got taken out of context,” LaVine said. “The main thing that I wanted to get my point across was I wanted to just deal with Chicago. I never wanted to get [to] a point of [having to sign] an offer sheet. Regardless of whatever happened, I’m going to put that behind us. I’m happy as hell that I’m going to be able to play for the team that I want to play for.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers found unexpected success this past season and the front office deserves credit for avoiding complacency, Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com opines. Indiana brought in Kyle O’Quinn, Tyreke Evans, and Doug McDermott on mid-sized deals, all moves designed to help them compete in a now-weakened Eastern Conference.
  • The Cavaliers, who are still searching for another assistant coach on head coach Tyronn Lue‘s bench, interviewed Warriors assistant coach Willie Green and Sixers assistant coach John Bryant recently, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Green has since re-upped with Golden State.
  • Because he signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, Jose Calderon likely could have chosen to play wherever he wanted to this upcoming season, opines Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. But he ended up picking the Pistons simply because he believes they can be a good team. And although he’ll likely slot in behind Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith on the depth chart, it’s possible new coach Dwane Casey could play two point guards at the same time, thereby opening up playing time for Calderon.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Warriors, Thunder, Price, Spurs

The Warriors have officially confirmed the hiring of former NBA veteran Willie Green as an assistant coach/player development on Steve Kerr‘s staff, the club announced today in a press release. Green, who last played for Orlando during the 2014/15 season, could take over some of Luke Walton‘s responsibilities in Golden State, as Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News tweets. His hiring was first reported last month.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

And-Ones: Butler, White, McRoberts

Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler told reporters that he had no influence on the roster moves the team made this offseason, ESPN.com relays. “That has nothing to do with me. I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “It’s like I always say: People are going to think what they want to think. That doesn’t bother me. I know where I stand. I know who I am.”

Butler also noted that he’s happy for former teammates Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, telling reporters, “I’m happy for (Rose). He’s happy for me,” Butler said. “I’m glad we get to go against each other whatever day that may be when the season rolls around. I talked to Jo. We texted a few messages. Nothing too serious, but we’re always going to have love for each other because we’re always going to be teammates. We were in those trenches together.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Aaron White, a 2015 second round pick of the Wizards, signed a two-year deal to play in Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic.com reports. The second year is a team option and the pact includes an NBA-out clause, Michael adds. White recently played for Washington’s squad in the Las Vegas summer league where he averaged 7.2 points and shot 29.4% from three-point range.
  • The Warriors have hired former NBA player Willie Green as an assistant on coach Steve Kerr‘s staff, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter).
  • The Heat‘s roster currently stands at 18 players, which is three over the regular season maximum. One player the team would like to move is Josh McRoberts, but thus far have found no takers this offseason despite trying to “give him away,” Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel noted in his recent “Ask Ira” column. Miami may consider waiving the forward, but his player option worth $6,021,175 for 2017/18 complicates matters because the team would be on the hook for that amount if it cut him, Winderman notes.

Eastern Rumors: Jackson, Knicks, Smith

Reggie Jackson shakes off skepticism about the contract he agreed to with the Pistons and believes he’ll prove to be a bargain, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports. Jackson will become the highest-paid player in team history when he signs the five-year, $80MM contract that was hammered out on Sunday night. He was a backup behind Russell Westbrook with the Thunder until the Pistons acquired him as their starting floor leader at the trade deadline. “It’s a small sample size; I understand people see the small size and all that,” Jackson said to Ellis. “A lot of these players getting deals have been starters their whole career and are hitting game-winning shots and other things like that. In about two or three years I hope everybody says Reggie Jackson is underpaid.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Knicks may offer their $2.814MM room exception for teams under the cap to Alexey Shved, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. According to the source, Shved, who played 16 games with the Knicks last season, has two other NBA teams interested as well a handful of European offers, a source told Berman. Veterans Caron Butler and Willie Green are two other players that the club is considering with its room exception, Berman adds.
  • J.R. Smith wants a three-year commitment from the team on his next deal, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Haynes seconds the notion that Smith is unlikely to end up re-signing with the Cavs, as it seems like Cleveland doesn’t want to invest long-term in him. The Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto wrote earlier that Smith “pretty much signed his exit papers” from Cleveland when he opted out. But Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets that the team has not abandoned its pursuit of Smith and desires to keep the 2014/15 core intact.
  • Bucks coach Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond denied a report that Kidd would take over the team’s operations, Tamira Madsen of the Associated Press reports. The report from onmilwaukee.com also claimed Hammond would be reassigned within the Bucks organization or possibly leave the team but Kidd told the AP that was false. “There is no friction, there is no announcement,” Kidd said.

Knicks Rumors: Free Agents, O’Quinn, Anthony

This year’s top free agents had no interest in the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman reports that team president Phil Jackson canceled a meeting last week with LaMarcus Aldridge — not the other way around, as widely reported — after he was informed that Aldridge wouldn’t be signing with New York. With roughly $28MM in cap space heading into free agency, the Knicks wound up with Robin LopezDerrick Williams, Arron Afflalo and Kyle O’Quinn, but didn’t come close to landing a star. Berman notes that New York still has a $2.814MM room exception available and has inquired about Caron Butler and Willie Green. The team is hoping to keep Jason Smith and Alexey Shved, but that may not happen if they get offers from other teams that exceed the room exception. Jackson also would like to re-sign Louis Amundson and Lance Thomas for the veterans’ minimum, according to Berman.

There’s more this morning from the Big Apple:

  • O’Quinn, whom the Knicks are obtaining through a sign-and-trade with the Magic, should bring some needed toughness, Berman writes in a separate story. O’Quinn’s numbers in Orlando weren’t impressive — averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 51 games — but Berman believes he may contend for the starting power forward slot in New York. “He’s a very underrated player, solid,” said Tobias Harris, O’Quinn’s former teammate. “He’s a tough player who doesn’t back down, good individual off the court. He is a very good pickup for the Knicks.”
  • O’Quinn’s passing abilities could be a good fit in the triangle offense, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Begley said the Knicks’ latest free agent addition came at a “reasonable” price of $16MM over four years and could be a major bargain when the salary cap soars next summer. He adds that New York is hoping to keep Langston Galloway, who has a partially guaranteed contract, on its roster for next season. Galloway, due to make more than $845K next year, is already guaranteed $220K and will receive $440K if he is waived after September 15th [salary guarantee dates]. Ricky Ledo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo also have a shot at earning roster spots.
  • The Knicks’ free agent failings make Carmelo Anthony more important to the franchise than ever, writes Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. New York needs Anthony to play at an All-Star level so it will be more attractive to free agents like Kevin Durant next summer.

Pacific Notes: Davis, Shumpert, Brewer, Hill

The Clippers are set to ink Paul Pierce to a three year, $10MM deal, which will eliminate a major roster weakness of a season ago. Los Angeles is also looking at Wesley Johnson, Jeremy Lin, Corey Brewer, and Willie Green, Sam Amick of USA Today notes (on Twitter). Though it’s not clear if the addition of Pierce will end the Clippers’ potential pursuit of Brewer and Johnson, both of whom can man the three spot.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers were one of the first teams to reach out to restricted free agent Iman Shumpert, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. Shumpert is set to ink a four-year, $40MM deal to return to the Cavaliers.
  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers has reached out to representatives of free agent Glen Davis, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets. Davis appeared in 74 games for Los Angeles in 2014/15, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per contest. Rivers also has been in contact with Caron Butler‘s representatives, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times adds (via Twitter).
  • If the Kings are unable to land Rajon Rondo, the team could look to sign Brewer, Chris Mannix of SI.com relays (Twitter link). There is some measure of support to ink Brewer within Sacramento’s front office, Mannix adds. Two other teams have contacted Rondo, Mannix adds, though Sacramento still is the frontrunner.
  • The Clippers’ hope was that re-signing center DeAndre Jordan would aid the team in landing Pierce, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). It’s unclear if the team promised Pierce that Jordan would return, prompting him to sign, or if the veteran decided to join L.A. regardless of whether or not the big man will be his teammate next season.
  • The Lakers have expressed interest in re-signing center Jordan Hill, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. Hill’s representatives also fielded several calls from other interested teams, Medina adds. Los Angeles declined its $9MM team option on Hill for 2015/16.
  • The Clippers had checked with Brewer’s representatives if the mini-mid level amount would be enough to sign him, and were told they had no shot at that amount, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • The Kings, Clippers, and the Knicks have all expressed interest in free agent forward Dahntay Jones, Kennedy tweets.
  • In addition to the Lakers, teams showing interest in free agent Ed Davis are the Knicks, Pistons, Trail Blazers, and Celtics, Medina relays (Twitter link).
  • Free agent Leandro Barbosa said that he and the Warriors have mutual interest, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group tweets, translating a story from from Folha da Região in Barbosa’s native Brazil.

Free Agent Rumors: Gasol, Carroll, Green, Lin

The Grizzlies and Marc Gasol are likely to reach a deal, as long expected, today or Thursday, as TNT’s David Aldridge hears (Twitter link). Gasol and Grizzlies owner Robert Pera are both in Spain today, working out the details on a new deal, a source tells TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link). While we wait for what appears to be an inevitable conclusion for the Arn Tellem client, here’s more from the first day of free agency:

  • The Pistons are believed to have spoken to DeMarre Carroll overnight, according to Terry Foster of the Detroit News.
  • New York would reportedly like to meet with Danny Green, and that interest appears mutual, as “anybody turning down a meeting with them would be crazy,” Green said to Marc Berman of the New York Post“I don’t think people are scared of the Knicks,’’ Green said. “They’re rebuilding. … Some guys want to go where they’re already winning. They get a couple of good pieces this summer, I’m sure it’ll attact more guys.’’
  • Jeremy Lin heard from the Lakers overnight, and the Mavericks, Grizzlies, Pacers, Bulls and Clippers, a league source told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Still, Lin appears unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers, Media opines on Twitter.
  • The Lakers reached out to Wayne Ellington overnight, and the Cavaliers, Warriors, Wizards, Spurs and Hawks also showed interest, Medina reports in a separate piece.
  • Willie Green and the Knicks have engaged in preliminary discussions, speaking twice since free agency began overnight, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.
  • Mike Dunleavy had no shortage of interest from others, but he’s quite pleased about his new deal with the Bulls, as he expressed to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). “I’m thrilled to be back,” Dunleavy said. “It’s a really fair deal. I’m looking forward to playing for [coach Fred Hoiberg] and love our team.”
  • The Magic‘s apparent four-year, $80MM offer to Paul Millsap has executives more optimistic that Orlando won’t match offers for restricted free agent Tobias Harris, reports Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). Marc Stein of ESPN.com had speculated as much earlier.

Southeast Notes: Carroll, Green, Wall

DeMarre Carroll‘s play for the Hawks this season has likely tripled the value of his next contract, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes. But the forward’s age, 28, and his lack of a solid performance track record prior to this season could complicate the market for the unrestricted free agent, Powell adds. Interested franchises will need to determine if Carroll’s best years are ahead of him, or if he is a role-player who took advantage of the Hawks’ system, the NBA.com scribe opines. Powell also believes that the Lakers, Knicks, and Mavs will be competitors for Carroll’s services this summer.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Willie Green, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, wants to return to the Magic next season, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel relays. “I feel like I still have a good maybe three or four years — who knows? — or even more,” Green said. “It’s no secret that I met with [GM] Rob [Hennigan] and I met with the coaches and stuff here, and I expressed to them that I’m definitely open to being back here in Orlando. I like the foundation that the team has. I like our young fellas, and I think I can help them on and off the floor. So if the possibility is open, then I’m definitely open to exploring it.
  • Wizards point guard John Wall‘s elevated play this season is a result of a commitment to film study and a year round fitness regimen, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today notes. “It took us a year or two,” athletic trainer Rob McClanaghan said. “I was straight up with John. I can’t have him come to L.A. for four weeks and say, ‘See you next summer.’ It has to be all year. He loves the film and he loves the extra work. All the work he has put in has made him a much more confident player.
  • Injuries derailed what was a promising first season with the Magic for Evan Fournier, Ken Hornack of FOX Sports Florida writes in his profile of the player. The 22-year-old was acquired last June in a deal with the Nuggets. Fournier appeared in 58 contests this season, averaging 12.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 28.6 minutes per night.