Posted on: July 14, 2010 11:15 am
Edited on: July 14, 2010 1:09 pm
Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Billy King has accepted the job of replacing Rod Thorn as president of the Nets, the team announced Wednesday.
King was a finalist for the job along with his former Duke University teammate and former Cavs GM Danny Ferry. CBSSports.com reported Tuesday night that King had emerged as the favorite due to strong support from coach Avery Johnson, who is wielding plenty of power in the Nets' revamped hierarchy. King, who essentially executed Larry Brown's personnel vision during their time together in Philadelphia, will assume a similar role in New Jersey, where Johnson seems to be accomplishing his goal of having organizational control.
David Aldridge of NBA.com first reported the news.
“I am very pleased Billy King is coming on board as Nets President,” Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said. “He has all of the qualities we've been looking for in a candidate: professionalism, good relations with the league, players and agents, and strong communications skills. He will be an excellent fit with Head Coach Avery Johnson. Most importantly, Billy is ambitious. He wants to win. This is what I felt when I met with him and why he will be a strong addition to the Nets organization."
It is likely that King will oversee the Nets' basketball operations as team president, with vice president Bobby Marks to be named GM. An announcement is expected Thursday, Thorn's last day with the team after a 10-year stint that included two NBA Finals appearances.
"I am very excited about joining the Nets organization," King said. "I want to thank Mr. Prokhorov and his executive team for the opportunity to oversee a franchise that has such a vibrant owner, an outstanding coach in Avery Johnson, and possesses the combination of young talent, cap space and draft choices that will allow us to build a squad that will be able to contend for an NBA title."
With Thorn's departure public knowledge entering free agency, the Nets struck out on all their top targets, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer. The team continues to have interest in Rockets restricted free agent Luis Scola, but a person familiar with Scola's situaton told CBSSports.com Wednesday that Scola has yet to receive an offer sheet from any NBA team -- though he has two offers to play in Europe.
The Nets came out of free agency with a modest haul of Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw and Johan Petro, all of whom are being introduced in a news conference at the team's New Jersey practice facility Wednesday.
Posted on: June 26, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2010 4:25 pm
The Clippers, who have moved as deliberately as any team in their offseason coaching search, are leaning strongly toward hiring either Vinny Del Negro or Dwane Casey, three sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.
Unless something goes awry in the interview or negotiating process, the Clippers will be choosing between two former head coaches fired by their previous teams -- and the two finalists for the Bulls' head coaching job when Chicago hired Del Negro two years ago. Del Negro and Casey are expected to interview with team president Andy Roeser and GM Neil Olshey early next week.
Rather than bring in a half dozen candidates for interviews, the Clippers have conducted a thorough background search on candidates before sitting down face-to-face with them. It is anticipated, but not a foregone conclusion, that the Clippers will have a coach in place in time for the start of the free-agent negotiating period that begins July 1. With an attractive young roster including Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and No. 8 pick Al-Farouq Aminu, plus about $27 million in cap space to attract free agents, the Clippers' job actually was one of the better opportunities available on the NBA's coaching merry-go-round this summer.
Besides the deliberative nature of the search, one of the sources with knowledge of the situation said persistent overtures from Bobcats coach Larry Brown have slowed the process. But it appears that Brown will remain in Charlotte -- and, in any event, Bobcats GM Rod Higgins presumably will require a firm commitment from his coach at some point. But Brown's inability to become a significant factor in the Clippers' search was "not for his lack of trying," the person familiar with the matter said. Another person directly involved in the process handicapped Brown's chances of landing with the Clippers as "one in a billion."
Posted on: June 14, 2010 1:45 am
BOSTON -- Dwyane Wade sat courtside Sunday night for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a stage that he desperately wants to revisit. His coach in the 2006 Finals, Pat Riley, recently floated the idea that, if asked, he wouldn't rule out a return to the bench. Wade, for one, isn't planning for such a comeback.
"That’s just something that was said," Wade said after the Celtics beat the Lakers 92-86 to take a 3-2 lead in the Finals. "That’s not anything we’re concentrating on right now in Miami."
Wade said Riley hasn't spoken with him recently about his plans for next season, when it is believed that a request from a marquee free agent would prompt Riley to come down from the executive suite and replace the highly regarded but ringless Erik Spoelstra on the sideline.
"Right now, Spo’s the coach and that’s what I plan for going forward," Wade said.
Wade, one of the top free agents of the frenzied summer that will begin in earnest July 1, prefaced his willingness to answer questions in the hallway leading to the locker rooms with the following caveat: "As long as it's not about free agency." But Wade did confirm a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he spoke last week in Los Angeles with fellow prospective free agents Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson.
"We’re just friends," Wade said. "Just like you talk to your friends, we’re all friends and we all communicate."
Though Wade said he hasn't begun the recruiting process to help lure another star to Miami, the notion of Riley returning to coach could be a big draw. Of the teams with the most cap space to chase free agents, the Nets (Avery Johnson) and Bulls (Tom Thibodeau) have committed to new coaches. The Knicks already have Mike D'Antoni, who is close to several top free agents from his time as an assistant for Mike Krzyzewski with Team USA. The Clippers are holding out hope that they could lure Larry Brown or Phil Jackson, and the Cavs have made a five-year, $30 million play for the top name in college coaching, Tom Izzo.
For now, in Wade's mind, Riley should be excluded from that list. Just know that recruiting season hasn't really begun yet.
Posted on: May 20, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2010 8:49 pm
Former Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey has the inside track for the Atlanta Hawks' job, three sources familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com Thursday.
Casey, an assistant for Rick Carlisle on the Dallas bench who's attracted interest from several teams in the market for a coach, has a strong relationship with Hawks GM Rick Sund from their days in Seattle together. Plus, considering the likelihood that Casey would fit under the Hawks' $2 million annual budget for a head coach, it looks like "his job to lose," one of the sources said. Casey and the Hawks' brass were planning to discuss the opening in Chicago during the pre-draft camp this week.
A second source familiar with the situation, however, noted that Sund is in the process of formulating a list of 4-5 candidates to interview for the position vacated when Mike Woodson's contract was not renewed after an embarrassing second-round sweep at the hands of the Orlando Magic. Mark Jackson, the broadcaster and former player, is one of those expected to be interviewed, the source said. Sund also is interested in speaking with Blazers assistant Dean Demopoulos, among others. Casey, one of the sources said, will have to earn the job.
While the Hawks are expected to target Casey and the Sixers have agreed to terms with Doug Collins, several other teams are in holding patterns in their coaching searches. The Bulls, Clippers and Nets are in no rush to hire a coach, particularly with all that is riding on their pursuit of LeBron James and other free agents when the negotiating period opens July 1. No team in the running for those elite players wants to give up the negotiating power of allowing the player to have input on the coaching hire. The Clippers, sources say, also are holding out hope that Larry Brown could be persuaded to take over a young, talented roster with cap space for a max free agent. And with Phil Jackson's future with the Lakers in limbo, there's a pie-in-the-sky theory that perhaps Jackson could be persuaded to move across the hall at Staples Center and take on a reclamation project -- especially if he can't come to terms with Dr. Jerry Buss on how much of a pay cut he's expected to take.
The other shoe to drop -- and it's a big one-- is Mike Brown in Cleveland. Brown and most of his staff are expected to be fired "sooner than later," according to a person familiar with the Cavs' organizational dynamics. According to that person, letting Brown go will come with a softer-than-expected financial blow because of an unusual circumstance in which Brown's salary for next season is only half guaranteed.
If and when Brown is let go, he immediately would become a candidate for any team with an opening that isn't a realistic destination for James. No team hoping to lure James would hire a coach who was just fired at his behest.
Posted on: May 12, 2010 3:10 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2010 3:13 pm
Making a decision on Mike Woodson's future is the Hawks "No. 1 priority" this offseason, and it will be resolved quickly, a person with knowledge of the team's plans told CBSSports.com.
"With respect to Woody, and in fairness to him, I think it will be resolved soon, one way or another," the person said.
The Hawks won 53 games, their fifth straight regular-season improvement under Woodson, who coached the entire season on the last year of his contract without an extension. Hawks GM Rick Sund has a long-standing policy not to do contract extensions during the season.
But Woodson's legacy has been tarnished by Atlanta's four-game implosion against the Magic, a sweep in which the Hawks were outscored by 101 points. It was the Hawks' second straight season-ending sweep, coming on the heels of last season's 4-0 loss to the Cavaliers in the conference semifinals.
Woodson's salary with bonuses exceeded $2 million this season, and rival executives don't expect the Hawks to offer much more than that on a new deal -- which could be a recipe for Woodson's quick exit. Woodson is represented by Joe Glass, who also represents Bobcats coach Larry Brown -- which essentially means Woodson's future is tied to Brown's.
Woodson has been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers' opening as a package deal with Brown, who would replace Ed Stefanski as team president. To this point, Woodson and Brown are about the only two people in the NBA who haven't interviewed for the Sixers' job. Sources are skeptical of the Sixers' enthusiasm for turning the basketball decisions over to Brown if he isn't coaching. Some executives believe the Clippers remain the most sensible option for Brown as coach and team president, despite Brown's comments in an interview this week that he is having difficulty being away from his family in Philadelphia.
One consideration for the Hawks, sources say, is to make Woodson a firm offer within the next week. If the offer isn't to his liking, "It'll give him an opportunity to get involved for other jobs," said one person familiar with the team's plans.
The other hot-button issue for the Hawks is the future of Joe Johnson, who had a miserable series against Orlando and made it worse with comments critical of fans who had booed the team at home. One person close to Johnson said the circumstances may have made it less likely for Johnson to bolt the placid environment of Atlanta for a pressure-cooker like New York. Going to Chicago to play with Derrick Rose and "let Rose take all the daggers," a source said, might be a more attractive option. But sources say the Hawks' brass haven't ruled out Johnson returning to Atlanta.
Posted on: April 27, 2010 6:58 pm
On the first day the Sixers could reach out to Larry Brown to discuss his interest in returning to the organization he led to the 2001 NBA Finals, all was quiet on the Next Town front. The Sixers, according to sources, were busy little worker bees on Tuesday -- making a list of coaching candidates, checking it twice, doing background checks and the like.
But make no mistake. The Sixers' world as we know it is in the hands of Brown, who continues to artfully dodge the notion that he is angling to return to the city where his wife and children live.
After the Bobcats were swept by the defending conference champion Magic, Brown reiterated Monday night, "I'm not coaching anywhere but Charlotte," and,"I'm not coaching anywhere but for Michael Jordan." These statements were part sincere and part lawyerly. Coaching is one thing. Being in charge of the whole shebang is quite another.
So while the Sixers' basketball staff, led by team president Ed Stefanski, is finalizing its list of coaching candidates to reach out to by the end of the week, sources familiar with the situation say no one's quite sure who will actually be hiring the coach. That's because it's understood that Stefanski is conducting the preliminary search with the understanding that he won't be around if Brown, 70, decides to return to his adopted home as the head of basketball operations.
"It all depends on Larry Brown," a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Sixers chairman Ed Snider fought the good fight Tuesday, blasting a report by Yahoo! Sports that detailed Brown's interest, right down to the coach (Atlanta's Mike Woodson) and GM (Wizards front office man Milt Newton) he wanted to bring with him. But Snider never specified which part of the report he was disagreeing with, saying only that the team hadn't reached out to Brown -- which, technically was true.
Of course, in Brown's case, the idea of contact -- who initiates it, and when -- is largely irrelevant. He has become the Bill Parcells of the NBA -- always denying the obvious. Everybody knows where to find Brown when it's time to do business.
In the meantime, the Sixers have formulated a wide-ranging list of former NBA head coaches, current assistants and current college coaches. Once it's pared down, the team is expected to begin contacting candidates for interviews toward the end of the week. The list includes Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, Sam Mitchell, Mike Fratello and Doug Collins among the former head coaches -- though there's little indication Van Gundy wants to return to the sideline. (Plus, why would any of the above interview for a job that could be decided by somebody else, namely Brown?)
Among the current assistants on the Sixers' list are Tom Thibodeau (Celtics), Dwane Casey (Dallas), Mike Budenholzer (Spurs), Monty Williams (Spurs), and Elston Turner (Rockets). The college coaches that have been discussed internally include all the usual suspects: Tom Izzo (Michigan State), John Calipari (Kentucky), Jay Wright (Villanova) and Rick Barnes (Texas).
But it really only comes down to one name if you're the Sixers. What can Brown do for you?
Posted on: December 4, 2009 11:03 pm
To me, once the Nets had the record for worst start in NBA history at 0-18, it was time to give the national media obsession a rest. I'd be back on the Nets' bandwagon if and when they were going for the record for the longest losing streak in a single season, 23 games.
Won't be necessary.
The Nets won -- I repeat, the Nets won -- Friday night, 97-91 over the Charlotte Bobcats. And it's the Bobcats who are the story as much as the Nets are.
Losing to an 0-18 team is the latest embarrassment added to Michael Jordan's resume as a basketball executive. Bobcats coach Larry Brown, who almost three decades ago left the Nets with two weeks left in the season to take the University of Kansas job, tried to complete 11 trades during the game but was rebuffed by the league office. Then he quit to take the Fordham job, but got cold feet when he heard Rollie Massimino wanted the job.
Kiki Harris is a great coach. So is Del Vandeweghe. Or something like that. Anyway, it doesn't matter. The Nets won. The parade will be at noon Saturday along Paterson Plank Road.
Posted on: December 18, 2008 6:20 pm
This from a person with direct knowledge of the team's thinking: Golden State would not trade a 6-10 forward with huge upside for a point guard. And it doesn't matter whether the 6-10 forward's name is Anthony Randolph or Brandan Wright. The Warriors "wouldn't even consider that in any way, shape or form," the person said.
The thinking is this: The Warriors just made a trade for a combo guard (Jamal Crawford), and if they're trading anybody, it would be an established veteran whose upside is known. Randolph and Wright both have played sporadically, and the Warriors need to see what they are -- especially Randolph, who is only 19.
Once Monta Ellis comes back from an offseason ankle injury, the team's strategy is to see who fits with Ellis rather than start trading for other players -- especially another guard -- and see if Ellis fits with them.
The one caveat when it comes to the Warriors is that nobody is clear on who is making the decisions. Team president Robert Rowell has taken on more personnel authority, and coach Don Nelson has been known to engage in a trade discussion or two. And remember who coaches the Charlotte Bobcats? Larry Brown, who got fired by the Knicks, in part, for agreeing to trades behind team president Isiah Thomas' back.
It is a tangled web being woven in the Bay area, but for now, Felton doesn't appear likely to be ensnared in it.