Zach Guthrie

Wizards Notes: Dinwiddie, Beal, Coaching Staff

Spencer Dinwiddie is excited for his future with the Wizards and for how he expects to fit with star backcourt mate Bradley Beal, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. According to Hughes, Dinwiddie isn’t phased by the uncertainty surrounding Beal’s long-term status with the Wizards.

I spoke to him and obviously he’s his own man and his decisions are his own,” Dinwiddie said. “So, I can’t talk about his plans or what he’s going to do. I think that we have a chance to have a (good thing together). If that’s not what comes to fruition then it’s not.” 

Dinwiddie added that part of his job is to help Beal by knowing when to get out of the way and let the star shooting guard go to work, as well as knowing when it’s on him to help carry the load.

We have more from the Wizards:

  • Dinwiddie had previously been cleared from his ACL recovery, but was unable to start five-on-five activity because the Nets were eliminated just before he was able to get back on the floor, Hughes tweets. Dinwiddie had been vocal about being ready to return to the court if the Nets were able to last to the Finals, but after Brooklyn’s loss to the Bucks in the Eastern Semifinals, those plans were thwarted.
  • New head coach Wes Unseld Jr. will be retaining assistant coach Ryan Richman, reports Fred Katz of The Athletic (via Twitter). Richman was an assistant coach with the team last season, and the G League affiliate head coach the year before that. Richman will be a second-row assistant, Katz writes.
  • The Wizards also announced the hiring of four assistant coaches to join Unseld and Richman, according to a team statement. Pat Delany, Mike Miller, Joseph Blair and Zach Guthrie will join the Wizards’ bench this season. Washington also announced that in addition to Richman, the team retained assistant coach Dean Oliver and promoted Alex McLean to assistant coach/Director of Player Development.

Eastern Notes: Mobley, Gores, Wizards, Bonner

The Cavaliers fielded calls for over a month regarding the No. 3 pick in the draft. However the team’s brass was more excited about adding a rookie with a very high ceiling than reconstructing the roster, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. The Cavs selected USC big man Evan Mobley with the pick. “We were able to draft a transformative talent, whose versatility, athleticism and physical gifts are qualities we covet in a player. Evan Mobley checks each of those boxes,” GM Koby Altman said.

We have more from the Eastern Conference

  • Pistons owner Tom Gores calls top pick Cade Cunningham a natural leader and feels giddy about the team’s future, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com“I’ve never felt better,” Gores said. “I woke up this morning and felt like we won already. We haven’t won a game yet. We felt like we won. I feel excited about where we’re at, but I also know through my life experiences we’ve got to go to work. We’ve got a great foundation.”
  • Zach Guthrie and Mike Miller will be part of Wes Unseld Jr.‘s staff with the Wizards, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets. Guthrie worked under Rick Carlisle in Dallas last season, while Miller is the former coach of the G League’s Westchester Knicks. Former Magic assistant Pat Delany had already agreed to join the Wizards.
  • Becky Bonner is expected to be a bench coach on Jamahl Mosley‘s Magic staff, Fischer adds in another tweet. She’s already the team’s Director of Player Development and Quality Control. Nate Tibbetts, Dale Osbourne and Kaleb Canales are expected to be on the front of Orlando’s bench assisting Mosley, according to Fischer (Twitter link).

Southwest Notes: Holiday, Brewer, Spurs, Guthrie

Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday has continued to register league-wide interest, with several teams looking to acquire a top-10 draft pick in hopes of flipping it in a deal for the 30-year-old, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

Several rival executives have mentioned the Nuggets as a strong threat to acquire Holiday, Mannix adds. Denver has a unique combination of veterans and young talent that could be used in a potential deal, with Holiday holding a $27.1MM player option in his contract after next season.

Holiday, an 11-year NBA veteran, is known for being one of the league’s most accomplished defenders. In addition to his impressive defensive play, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds last season, shooting a respectable 45.5% from the floor.

Here are some other notes from the Southwest Division:

  • Veteran forward Corey Brewer is joining the Pelicans in a player development role, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 (Twitter link). Assuming this is it for Brewer’s playing career, the 34-year-old spent 13 seasons with eight different teams, most recently with the Kings. Brewer held career-averages of 8.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 22.9 minutes per game, appearing in a total of 819 contests.
  • A potential shake-up would make sense for the Spurs, a team that last won an NBA championship during the 2013/14 season, Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News writes. The Spurs have fielded interest for both DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge in recent weeks after finishing with a 32-39 record last season.
  • The Mavericks have hired Jazz assistant Zach Guthrie as part of Rick Carlisle‘s staff, replacing Stephen Silas, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Silas recently left Dallas to accept a head coaching position with the Rockets, the first of his professional career. Guthrie had been an assistant with the Jazz since 2015, previously serving as an assistant video coordinator with the Spurs and advanced scouting manager with the Magic.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, ‘Melo, Nuggets, Wolves, Jazz

Star point guard Damian Lillard attempted to recruit Carmelo Anthony to the Trail Blazers before the 10-time All-Star was traded to Oklahoma City in 2017 and then again before ‘Melo signed with Houston in 2018.

With Anthony once again on the lookout for a new team, Lillard has made peace with the fact that the veteran forward probably isn’t coming to Portland, as he said during an appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast (video link via ESPN). After Lillard detailed his previous recruiting efforts, he was asked if he’s “not putting [his] hand out again.”

“The team or me,” Lillard responded. “I’m like, ‘He ain’t coming here.’ He deserves to be in the league, but he ain’t coming here.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Free agent point guard Isaiah Taylor is working out for the Nuggets in Denver this week, league sources tell Harrison Wind of BSN Denver (Twitter link). After spending the 2017/18 season with Atlanta, Taylor was pushing for a spot on Cleveland’s roster last fall when he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and was subsequently waived. Now healthy, Taylor has also worked out for the Suns and Celtics, according to Wind.
  • The Timberwolves announced this week in a press release that Sam Newman-Beck will assume head coaching duties for their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Newman-Beck, who was an assistant for the Erie BayHawks last season, previously spent eight years (2010-18) in Minnesota as a coaching associate/video scouting director.
  • Bryan Bailey, who was previously on the Salt Lake City Stars’ staff in the G League, has been hired as an assistant by the Jazz, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jones adds (via Twitter) that Johnnie Bryant and Alex Jensen will continue to be Utah’s lead assistants, with Lamar Skeeter, Zach Guthrie, and Vince Legarza sharing the third assistant role and rotating on the bench.

Jazz Announce Coaching Staff Changes

The Jazz have finalized their coaching staff for the coming season and have also announced some changes to their basketball staff, the team announced in a pair of press releases. Most notably, assistant coach Igor Kokoskov has received a promotion to lead assistant in Utah, as he prepares for his second year with the club. Kokoskov previously served as an assistant for five other NBA teams, including a Pistons squad that won the 2004 NBA Finals.

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In other coaching staff moves, Zach Guthrie was elevated from manager of basketball strategy/technology to assistant coach/basketball strategy, while Lamar Skeeter was promoted from player development/video analyst to assistant coach/player development. Guthrie, Skeeter, and Kokoskov will join five other returning Jazz assistants on Quin Snyder‘s staff.

In the scouting department, Richard Smith was promoted to executive director of international scouting. Elsewhere in the front office, Bart Taylor was named the Jazz’s director of scouting and the VP of basketball operations for the D-League’s Salt Lake City Stars.

While Snyder is just 78-86 in his two years with the Jazz, the team heads into the 2016/17 season with increased expectations, having added some veteran talent to a young roster in the offseason. Although Utah missed the postseason this spring, many fans and observers expect the club to take a step forward and compete for a top-five seed in the Western Conference.