Thunder may hire Monty Williams

Monty Williams may go from Anthony Davis to helping lead Durant, Westbrook

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the OKC Thunder, who reportedly may hire former Pelicans head coach as their new lead assistant coach:

Thunder may hire Monty Williams

Monty Williams appears destined for Oklahoma City.

The former coach for the New Orleans Pelicans is expected to join Billy Donovan’s staff as the lead assistant, according to multiple reports.

Yahoo Sports reported late Tuesday night that Williams, who was fired last month after five seasons with the Pelicans, has agreed to become Donovan’s top assistant. ESPN.com first reported Tuesday night that Williams likely would end up on the Thunder’s bench.

Williams, 43, has 10 years of coaching experience. Prior to joining the Pelicans, he spent five years as an assistant coach with Portland. Williams also served as a coaching staff intern with San Antonio during the Spurs’ championship 2004-05 season. Thunder general manager Sam Presti was a front office executive with the Spurs at the time.

In the upcoming Cavaliers vs Warriors NBA Finals, it’ll be a Warriors team effort to guard LeBron James, but Golden State forward and defensive guru Draymond Green should be a big part of that. On Twitter tonight, we (@InsideHoops) tossed this out there: LeBron James vs Draymond Green, discuss. Here are some of your most interesting responses:

@AJConolly: I think LeBron will cook him but can’t wait to see how Green does.

@seanndebbie: It’s no discussion, last time Green guarded Lebron, Lebron dropped 42.

@josephbacaltos: Warriors players still going help off their man.

@camillasaguin: Uhhh why is this even a discussion? LeBron can’t and won’t be stopped. Draymond Green? Who dat? Who dat? #NoMatch

‏@Max_Atttack: Draymond will be able to hold Lebron better than any other defender he’s gone up against this postseason.

@Lienitis117a: Draymond Green is a lot like Kwahi, so I expect LeBron to have rough games…

@Joshuabehymer: Draymond will play him like Diaw did for the Spurs. Straight up and physical, if he scores, you live with it.

@JdotKimmy: The most physical defender GS can throw at him, but not enough quickness to keep up.

@akunematata: Who will guard Tristan Thompson? Field day on the boards.

@RomeTrav: Somebody hacked yall.

@TravBoll91: That means Barnes on Thompson for the rebounding battle. Good luck with that.

@lfredgarrido: Green’s a good defender but LeBron is strong enough to enforce. Green’s not yet on the Kwahi/PG13 lvl on terms of stopping LBJ.

@rook_js: Livingston would have more success guarding him then anybody else on GS.

‏@8ballSprts: Unless Draymond learns to harness his aggressive and passionate style, he will be in foul trouble often.

@Jmic84: Didn’t @KingJames drop 40 last time? Yea no chance.

Carl Landry undergoes wrist surgery

Carl Landry undergoes wrist surgery, out 4-5 months

Carl Landry undergoes wrist surgery

Sacramento Kings forward Carl Landry underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist, the team announced today. The procedure was performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Landry experienced wrist soreness during the 2014-15 season, missing five games as a result (Jan. 16 – Jan. 23). An initial evaluation at that time by Dr. Carlson indicated surgery was not necessary. When pain in the wrist persisted during the offseason, Landry underwent an MRI early this week which revealed that a procedure was required to repair the injury.

He will begin rehabilitation immediately and is expected to be out approximately four to five months.

Klay Thompson health update: Good to go for NBA Finals Game 1

Klay Thompson health update: OK for NBA Finals Game 1

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who was diagnosed with a concussion after suffering an injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on May 27, has completed the NBA’s concussion protocol and has been cleared to play for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

This was expected, as there was no reason to think the effects of the concussion would linger beyond this year’s lengthy period between the end of the Conference Finals and the start of the NBA Finals.

Thompson’s scoring and outside shooting is a key part of the Warriors offense.

According to CSN Bay Area, “Thompson said after working out each of the past two days, he has lost nothing in terms of conditioning or rhythm. “We’ve had so much time to get it back, I don’t think it really messed with me,” he said, referring to the seven-day layoff between the conference finals.”

Cartier Martin elects to stay with Pistons

Here’s the Detroit News reporting on a member of the Pistons bench who has a limited role on the team. Cartier Martin last season averaged 1.6 points in 8.6 minute per game, and shot just 28% from the field:

Cartier Martin elects to stay with Pistons

Pistons forward Cartier Martin swallowed his pride and took the money.

He complained about his playing time with the Pistons last season but that did not stop him from exercising a player option which will pay him the veteran’s minimum of $1.27 million next season.

Martin, 30, signed a two-year deal with the Pistons last August. He made $1,145,000 last season and was used sparingly.

He appeared in just 23 games, his fewest since the 2011-2012 season with the Washington Wizards. Martin averaged a career low 1.6 points per game.

As expected, Klay Thompson should be ready for NBA Finals

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting good news on the Warriors front:

Warriors guard Thompson expects to play in Game 1

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson returned to practice Monday and expects to complete the NBA’s concussion protocol in the next couple of days, which would make him eligible to play Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

“I knew it wouldn’t take me more than a few days to get back to normal,” said Thompson, who said a concussion he had as a freshman in high school was much worse than the one he endured last week. “To me, I think this one was mild, not really severe. It was perfect, because I got a week off to get fully healthy.”

Thompson went down in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ Western Conference finals-clinching victory over Houston on Wednesday, when a leaping Trevor Ariza hit him with a knee to the side of the head in Game 5.

Expect Klay Thompson to be ready for NBA Finals Game 1

Everyone expects Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (concussion) to be ready for NBA Finals Game 1 on Thursday. Head coach Steve Kerr feels the same way. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Expect Klay Thompson to be ready for NBA Finals Game 1

Eight years after the Warriors snapped a long playoff drought and pulled a shocking first-round upset under the “We Believe” banner, there is a new cause in which they believe.

Shooting guard Klay Thompson, who sustained a concussion in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday, will be fit to return for Game 1 of the NBA Finals next Thursday – or so coach Steve Kerr believes.

“I expect him to be there,” Kerr said after Saturday’s practice, in which Thompson did not participate.

Glancing at Utah Jazz free agency

Glancing at Utah Jazz free agency

Here’s the Deseret News reporting on the Utah Jazz, who played well towards the end of the regular season and must now figure out how to get their squad to the next level:

Before the recently-concluded season ended, most experts figured the Utah Jazz would be signing a free agent or two for next year because of all the extra money they have to spend.

However, after the Jazz played so well down the stretch, going 19-10 after the All-Star break and finishing 38-44, the question became: Should the Jazz basically stand pat with their current young roster and not worry about pursuing any free agents?

Like several other NBA teams, the Jazz are well under the current NBA salary cap of $63 million-plus with an expected payroll of a little over $50 million for next year with their current players. Next year’s cap is expected to be around $67 million before making a major jump the following year when the new TV contracts kick in.

With a few dozen top players around the league available as free agents, either restricted or unrestricted, the Jazz have an opportunity to add a player or two for next season to give their young squad some experience.

Tyler Haws scheduled to work out for Jazz today

Here’s the Deseret News reporting on Utah Jazz pre-draft workouts:

BYU basketball’s all-time leading scorer is getting his chance to audition for the hometown team.

Guard Tyler Haws, an Alpine native, is one of six players the Utah Jazz have invited to a pre-draft workout for the team Monday at Zions Bank Basketball Center.

The news leaked a day before the Jazz made their announcement Sunday, as Haws told KSL Newsradio’s “Cougar Sports Saturday” program he will be working out for the Jazz on Monday morning. He also told the radio program he has upcoming workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.

Once Finals end, Alvin Gentry set to lead Pelicans

Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting on the Pelicans, who have found their new head coach. Alvin Gentry, currently the top assistant with the Golden State Warriors, will begin with the Pelicans after the conclusion of the upcoming Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals series.

Once Finals end, Alvin Gentry set to lead Pelicans

When the New Orleans Pelicans initiated their extensive coaching search, sources confirmed the franchise was willing to spend up to $4 to $5 million for Monty Williams’ replacement.

But the Pelicans hired Golden State Warriors lead assistant Alvin Gentry at a bargain price after he agreed to a four year, $13.7 million contract on Saturday, a league source confirmed Sunday.

Yahoo sports was the first to report Gentry’s contract terms with the Pelicans on Saturday night.

Gentry’s salary will average $3.4 million a season, which includes a $4 million team option in the final year of the deal. Gentry’s deal is higher than Williams’ $2.7 million per season salary he earned after signing a four-year, $11 million extension in 2012.

Donatas Motiejunas expects to be healthy by training camp

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with an update on Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas:

nba blog

The first week of the postseason, Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas watched his team play as he laid in a bed, unable to get around after having back surgery.

As the Rockets continued to play through the playoffs – beating the Mavericks in the first round, then spurring an historic comeback against the Clippers in the semifinals and eventually falling to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, Motiejunas watched from the sidelines, wishing he could be on the floor with them.

Just before the Rockets made the best playoff run they’ve had in recent history, Motiejunas had lumbar microdisectomy surgery, ending his season.

Motiejunas is slowly recovering and said he will be cleared to play by the time training camp starts in the fall. And the forward, who started 62 games for the Rockets this season, can’t wait to be back on the court. “I will just keep working to get better and be better,” Motiejunas said. “No question about it. I will be ready for training camp.”

Fred Hoiberg may become next Bulls coach

Fred Hoiberg may become next Bulls coach

The Chicago Bulls need a new coach now that they’ve decided that Tom Thibodeau, despite his success, isn’t the man for the job. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Saturday that Fred Hoiberg is expected to land the position:

Fred Hoiberg may become next Bulls coach

While the Chicago Bulls were going to great lengths on Thursday to tell everyone that they are the model franchise when it comes to trust, they apparently forgot to mention cutting backroom deals behind Tom Thibodeau’s back.

According to a source, Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg already has a deal in place to become the Bulls’ next head coach. The parameters of the deal were discussed while Thibodeau was still employed by the Bulls.

Hoiberg’s deal is believed to be in the $25 million range over five years. Hoiberg, who recently needed a second heart surgery, is merely waiting to be cleared by doctors before officially accepting the job.

For now, Kevin Love expects to be with Cavs next season

For now, Kevin Love expects to be with Cavs next season

Love can opt out of the one year remaining on his contract by June 30 and either negotiate for a new deal with the Cavs or test the market as an unrestricted free agent. And has been the case all season, the three-time All-Star, whose future has been the subject of speculation almost since the day he was traded to the Cavaliers, indicated he has no plans to leave.

“I expect to be suiting up by Game 1 of next year,” he said.

For the Cavs?

“Yes, sir,” he said.

Noticeably thinner after losing 15 pounds during his recovery, Love said not being on the floor with his teammates has been emotionally difficult. After six seasons in Minnesota, he was finally in the playoffs and appearing to hit his stride after a season in which his role transformed, when Olynyk’s aggressive play ended Love’s season in Game 4.

– Associated Press

Chris Gatling arrested, suspected of running credit card scam

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on some suspected shady activity:

Chris Gatling arrested, suspected of running credit card scam

Former NBA player Chris Gatling was arrested in Arizona on Thursday on suspicion of running a nationwide online scam.

Scottsdale, Ariz., police confirmed the arrest to the Associated Press and said Gatling was released a short time after he was booked. Gatling, who last played in the NBA in 2002, faces charges of fraud, aggravated identity theft and forgery.

Police allege Gatling was operating a scheme that involved multiple online businesses being used to gather credit card numbers. Gatling then allegedly ran the numbers through other businesses for services never authorized by the cardholders. Police claim the operation was being run out of a Scottsdale call center, and it included stolen credit card numbers from people across the U.S.

Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion

Klay Thompson suffers concussion, exact return date unknown

Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion

Following extensive examinations over the last two days – including neurological tests earlier this morning – Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion. He will not return to the court until he is symptom-free and cleared under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines. He will be evaluated daily and there is no timetable for his return.

With the NBA Draft around one month away, teams are conducting pre-draft workouts as they evaluate who to select. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer blog reporting:

Former Delaware State post player Kendall Gray and former Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell are working out for the 76ers on Friday.

Gray and Alan Williams of UC Santa Barbara were the NCAA Division I rebounding co-leaders (11.8 per game) in the NCAA Division I. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Gray also averaged 11.7 points, 2.8 blocks and 1 assist en route to being named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the year.

Bulls fire coach Tom Thibodeau

Chicago Bulls fire successful coach Tom Thibodeau

Bulls fire coach Tom Thibodeau

Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman announced today that Tom Thibodeau will not be retained as the team’s head coach.

Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said, “The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court. These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals. While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone’s ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.”

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Tom Thibodeau is a great coach. He is a better coach than John Paxson is a vice president of basketball operations and Gar Forman is a general manager. That’s not taking anything away from the two front-office people. It’s a recognition that the Bulls are letting go of one of the best pure basketball minds in the NBA. The shame of Thursday’s firing is that it didn’t have to happen, not if clear-thinking, adult-acting adults had been involved. But a clash of personalities and visions made what happened inevitable. Thibodeau does not play well with others. He knows what he knows, and he’ll go to his grave defending it. And what he knows is hard work, followed up by more hard work, followed by an aperitif of hard work. So when Paxson and Forman told him again and again to take his foot off the gas pedal with the players by cutting down on minutes and thus on wear and tear, it was like talking to basketball stanchion.”

Following 21 years in the NBA as an assistant coach (he was an advance scout in 1991-92), Chicago named Thibodeau the team’s head coach on June 23, 2010. During his five seasons at the helm of the Bulls, Thibodeau’s teams compiled an overall record of 255-139 (.647). The Bulls advanced to the playoffs five times during Thibodeau’s tenure, where he posted a postseason record of 23-28 (.451).

“When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed.”

Wednesday night in Oakland, the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets, clinching the series in five games. The Warriors will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals. Enjoy these video highlights from the Warriors’ win:




The AP reports: After a generation of wishing and waiting, the Golden State Warriors have finally arrived on basketball’s biggest stage again. Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 24 points and the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night… The Warriors shook off a slow start and sweated out a shaky finish in Game 5 to close out the Rockets and set up a matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning June 4… Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds. But MVP runner-up James Harden had a forgettable finale, with a playoff-record 13 turnovers and 14 points on 2-of-11 shooting.

The AP reports: Things got tougher on Curry and the Warriors when backcourt mate Klay Thompson faked a shot that drew Trevor Ariza in the air early in the fourth quarter. Thompson absorbed Ariza’s knee to the side of his head, sending him to the floor. Thompson, who finished with 20 points, lay on the ground for a minute before walking to the locker room. He came back to the bench after receiving stitches on his right ear.

AFP reports: Forward Harrison Barnes played a key role, helping Golden State break open a close contest with four straight baskets to cap an 11-2 scoring run that turned a six-point lead into an 87-72 Warriors advantage with 7:07 left to play. Barnes scored nine straight points on a jump shot, a three-pointer, a running basket and a dunk.

AFP reports: The Warriors defense harried Rockets star guard James Harden into a dismal two-for-11 shooting performance. He missed all three of his three-point attempts and finished with an NBA playoff record 13 turnovers.

AFP reports: Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but the Rockets shot just 35.1 percent from the field.

Reuters reports: The Rockets had won Game Four of the series on Monday to avoid being swept, but were outscored 35-24 in the second quarter on Wednesday and played catch up the rest of the way.

Magic may hire Scott Skiles as coach

Magic may hire Scott Skiles as coach

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic, who are in need of a new head coach:

Magic may hire Scott Skiles as coach

If Skiles has maintained that kind of magnetic pull with longtime fans, well, great. Mostly, they should just hope his legendary toughness, intensity and basketball I.Q. as a gritty, sawed-off point guard can be passed down to his next-generation players.

Skiles isn’t big on reliving the old days, anyway. He and the Magic realize this mission is about the present, not the past, on both their parts.

The Magic’s front office believes it has enough talent now to close in on a playoff berth — even if a 25-57 record last season offered little proof — and it expects Skiles to get them there, ASAP.

But eventually he can only take them as far as the personnel allows, meaning GM Rob Hennigan must find Skiles a star or two through trades and/or free agency.

In Year 4 of the Dwight Howard rebuild, the Magic are looking for their coach to make a difference. They’ll replace test pilots Jacque Vaughn and James Borrego with an entirely different bench boss: a no-nonsense, no-excuse veteran who has the license to demand more from players.

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