In G League, Santa Cruz Warriors name new GM and head coach

Some Golden State G League news came out yesterday. Via the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

The Santa Cruz Warriors, the NBA G League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, announced Friday that David Fatoki has been named general manager and Seth Cooper will serve as head coach for the 2021-22 season.

Additional basketball operations staff roles, including the assistant coaching staff and training staff, will be announced at a later date.

In G League, Iowa Wolves name Jeff Newton new head coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today named Jeff Newton as Head Coach of the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate. Newton spent the last two seasons as the offensive associate/player development coach for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota also announced the hire of Scott Thom as athletic performance coach.

“Jeff has proven throughout the last couple years that he is dedicated to the Timberwolves’ overall mission, including developing our young players, which makes him a natural choice as the Wolves head coach,” said Timberwolves Assistant General Manager Gianluca Pascucci. “We feel that Jeff will continue to succeed and grow in his role in Iowa, just as he has excelled here in Minnesota. We are also excited to welcome Scott into the Timberwolves and Wolves family.”

“I am proud to see the progression Jeff has made in his role throughout this summer, especially with the development he made with our Summer League roster,” said Timberwolves Head Coach Chris Finch. “Jeff has proven in his daily work with the Timberwolves that he is prepared and deserves this next step in his career. His coaching philosophies align with what we are building here in Minnesota and his groundwork will serve as a great foundation for our two-way players and those in Iowa making the transition to Minnesota throughout the season. I believe in his ability to encourage our players to improve based on his passion for the game and his dedication every step of the way. We are excited about him leading our program down in Iowa and to continue supporting his professional advancement and success.”

“I am thrilled to continue my professional career with the Timberwolves organization as I step into this new role with the Iowa Wolves,” Newton said. “I have been dedicated to the vision and future goals for the Timberwolves and will carry those same principles in my role as head coach of the Iowa Wolves.”

Newton showcased his head coaching acumen as he took the helm of the 2021 Timberwolves Summer League team in Las Vegas, leading the group to a 4-1 finish. Prior to joining the Wolves, Newton served as an assistant video coordinator for the Sacramento Kings for three seasons. Prior to that, he was with the Houston Rockets for three seasons, spending one year each as a personnel scout, assistant video coordinator and basketball operations intern. Newton got his start in the NBA as a basketball operations intern with the then Charlotte Bobcats. A native of Barrington, Rhode Island, Newton graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Sports Management.

Thom joins the Wolves after serving as the College of Marin men’s basketball head coach and director of strength and conditioning since 2016. Thom led the Mariners to the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 1989. The Napa, Calif. native brings more than 19 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach and player development coach, including stints at University of California, Berkeley, Washington State University and his alma mater Vintage High School.

In G League, South Bay Lakers name Miles Simon as new head coach

The South Bay Lakers have named Miles Simon as head coach, it was announced today by team President/CEO Joey Buss and General Manager Nick Mazzella. Simon will be the ninth head coach in franchise history and will continue to serve as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Simon joins the South Bay organization after spending four seasons as an assistant coach with Los Angeles, having been a member of the 2020 NBA Championship staff under Head Coach Frank Vogel. Simon has twice led the charge for the Lakers summer league teams, leading the team to a championship game berth for the second consecutive summer in 2018, after taking home the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League title as an assistant on the staff. Since joining the Lakers, Simon has at times been responsible for the pre-draft workout process and has assisted with the offseason development programs for current Lakers players.

“We are extremely excited to have Miles lead the South Bay Lakers as our new head coach,” Buss said. “His vast experience as a coach and player will be invaluable to the organization as we look to establish a winning culture in our pursuit of a championship.”

“I couldn’t be happier to continue my career with the Lakers organization as South Bay’s head coach. It is an honor to lead such a successful franchise and I look forward to working with our team both on and off the court,” Simon said “South Bay has a strong track record of developing NBA talent and I can’t wait to build upon our history as one of the top teams in the NBA G League. After winning the NBA world championship in 2020 with the Lakers, I expect to bring that pedigree to South Bay as well. I want to thank Jeanie, Rob, Kurt, Frank, Joey and Nick for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Simon first joined the Lakers organization after serving as head coach of the 2017 USA Junior National Select Team for the Nike Hoops Summit, leading the USA to a victory over the World Select Team. Simon won gold medals as an assistant for the 2016 USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team, as well as the 2015 USA Men’s U16 National Team. In addition to his work with USA Basketball, Simon has also served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN.

“Miles has been an integral member of the Lakers organization for many years, both as an assistant coach on a championship team and as the leader of our summer league rosters,” said Mazzella. “His ability to develop players will be vital to our franchise and we know that he will build a winning and positive atmosphere around our organization.”

The Arizona alumnus was the 1997 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player after leading the Wildcats to a National Championship as a junior. Upon graduation, Simon played one season for the Orlando Magic before spending time overseas and in the CBA. After his playing career, Simon spent three seasons (2005-08) as an assistant coach at Arizona on Lute Olson’s staff.

In G League, Stockton Kings make multiple hirings

The Stockton Kings, NBA G League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, announce the completion of Bobby Jackson’s coaching staff and multiple hirings within the Basketball Operations group.

Will Scott is tabbed as the Associate Head Coach after spending the past two seasons as the Head Video Coordinator and Player Development Coach under Kings Head Coach Luke Walton. Prior to joining the Kings, Scott served as the Head Video Coordinator with Coach Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers (2016-19). The Indiana University alum began his NBA career with the Lakers in 2011-12, starting in the video room with the L.A. and South Bay Lakers, going on to serve eight seasons with the organization in several capacities.

Jimmy Alapag is named an Assistant Coach after most recently serving as the head coach for Alab Pilipinas of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) in the Philippines. Alapag, a Filipino-American native of San Bernadino, Calif., played 14 seasons in the Philippines and enjoyed a storied career as a six-time Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) champion, two-time PBA Finals MVP, PBA MVP in 2011 and an 11-time PBA All-Star. As a head coach, Alapag won the ABL championship in 2018.

Akachi Okugo joins the Stockton Kings as an Assistant Coach after spending the past four seasons in the player development department with the Sacramento Kings and was most recently named the Player Development Manager during the 2020-21 season. Okugo is a graduate of California State University, San Marcos where he was a basketball standout, ranking second in school history for threes made. He garnered Honorable Mention All-Conference as a senior.

Sydney Haydel will serve as Director of Basketball Operations for the Stockton Kings and Player Development Coordinator for Sacramento. Haydel will assist Paul Johnson, Kings Vice President of Player Development and General Manager of the Stockton Kings, and joins the Kings after spending the past five years at the NBA league office in the Basketball Strategy and Analytics department where she played a key role in the completion of the NBA restart bubble. Haydel, a former Division 1 athlete at the University of Hawaii, also taught basketball at the grassroots level around the globe working with the Jr. NBA teaching in India, China and Leading Youth Sports and Development (LYSD) while in West Africa.

Kaiti Jones will serve as the Performance Coach and Sport Scientist for the Kings. Jones arrives in Stockton after spending the previous five seasons at the University of Louisville and four of the five seasons as the women’s basketball strength and conditioning coach. At Louisville, Jones led the development, implementation and analysis of sport-specific preparation, training, assessment, testing, screening and monitoring for athletes. Jones will join Katie Babcock, who is returning to the Stockton Kings for her fourth season as the Head Athletic Trainer.

In G League, Grand Rapids Gold hire Jason Terry as new head coach

The Grand Rapids Gold, the G League affiliate of the Denver Nuggets, have hired Jason Terry as their new head coach.

The 19-year NBA veteran appeared in 1,410 career games, the ninth most in NBA history. The sharp-shooting NBA Champion owns career averages of 13.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists while connecting on 2,282 career three-pointers, the seventh most all-time. After wrapping up his prolific playing career in 2018, Terry spent the 2019-20 season as the Assistant General Manager for the G League’s Texas Legends and the 2020-21 season as an assistant coach with his alma mater Arizona Wildcats.

Terry was drafted 10th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks where he was named to the All-Rookie Second Team in 1999-00. Terry spent the first five years of his career with the Hawks before being traded to Dallas where he spent the next eight seasons and helped the Mavericks earn an NBA Championship in 2011. Terry appeared in all 21 playoff games during the championship run while averaging 17.5 points (second to Nowitzki), 3.2 assists and shot a scorching 44.2% from beyond the arc. He enjoyed one of his most successful individual seasons in 2008-09 when he was named the Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 19.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 33.7 minutes per game.

The Seattle, Washington native entered the NBA after spending four years at the University of Arizona, including a senior season where he averaged 21.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists and shot 40% from three-point range. Terry was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, All-Pac-12 First Team and Consensus All-American First Team his final season at Arizona.

Timberwolves sign Nathan Knight and McKinley Wright IV to two-way contracts

Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas today announced the team has signed forward Nathan Knight and guard McKinley Wright IV to two-way contracts.

Knight, 23, most recently played for the Atlanta Hawks last season where he saw action in 33 games while averaging 3.8 points on 37.0% shooting and 2.2 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per game. He appeared in six playoff games with Atlanta in 2020-21, totaling four points and six rebounds. His best game of the season came on Dec. 26 at Memphis, when he scored 14 points in nine minutes of action, becoming the first rookie in Hawks franchise history to total at least 14 points in nine minutes or less. He is the third NBA player from William & Mary, where in four years, he averaged 17.1 points on 56.0% shooting and 7.7 rebounds. Knight became just the second player in league history to be named both the CAA Player and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season in 2020.

Wright IV, 22, averaged 14.2 points on 46.7% shooting, 4.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game during his four-year career at the University of Colorado Boulder. He finished his college career as Colorado’s all-time leader in assists with 683 and owns school career records for double-figure scoring games (109), double-figure assists games (10) and points-assists double-doubles (10). The North Robbinsdale, Minn. native became the only men’s basketball player in Pac-12 Conference history with 1,800 points, 600 assists and 600 rebounds and one of just seven to reach that mark in NCAA Division I (since 1985-86). He was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team for the third-straight year his senior season, becoming the first Buffalo in the Pac-12 era to garner three all-conference first team honors.

In G League, Long Island Nets name Adam Caporn new head coach

The Long Island Nets, the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, have named Adam Caporn as the fifth head coach in franchise history.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Adam and his family to Long Island,” said Long Island Nets General Manager Matt Riccardi. “Adam’s accomplished record of developing players and driving culture on the international, professional and amateur levels has prepared him well to lead the Long Island Nets. We look forward to seeing how his extensive knowledge of the game and focus on individual development will shape the team’s promising talent on and off the court.”

Caporn joins the Nets after spending the last seven seasons (2014-21) as head coach of Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, the country’s leading player development program. He currently serves as an assistant coach for the Australian National Team, a position he has held since 2017, and will help lead the Boomers in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Australian native previously served two years (2014-16) as head coach of Australia’s U19 National Team and was an assistant coach at Saint Mary’s College of California for four seasons (2010-14). He also spent one season (2010-11) as a scholarship assistant coach at the Centre of Excellence, one season (2009-10) as head coach of the East Perth Eagles in Australia’s NBL1 and one season (2007-08) as an assistant coach for the Willetton Tigers in Australia’s NBL1 while still in the midst of his playing career.

Prior to pursuing coaching, Caporn played two collegiate seasons (2001-03) at Saint Mary’s and six professional seasons in Australia and New Zealand’s National Basketball League with the Illawarra Hawks (2003-06), Wellington Saints (2004) and Perth Wildcats (2006-09).

A look how how the Miami Heat use their G League affiliate team

Here’s the Sun Sentinel on how the Miami Heat have made use of their G League affiliate squad, the Sioux Falls Skyforce:

The Heat have taken a mixed approach with their two two-way slots since the inception of the program in 2017-18, sometimes with an eye toward added depth to the NBA roster, other times for full developmental-league immersion.

The Heat in 2017-18 opened with Matt Williams Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. as their two-way players, before replacing Williams in that role with Derrick Jones Jr.

In 2018-19, the Heat’s two-way players were Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten.

In 2019-20, when the G League shut down for the season in March due to the pandemic, the Heat opened the season with Daryl Macon and Chris Silva as their two-way players, before moving on to Gabe Vincent and Kyle Alexander.

This past season, Vincent and Max Strus held the team’s two-way slots.

In G League, Stockton Kings name Bobby Jackson new head coach

The Sacramento Kings today named assistant coach and Kings legend Bobby Jackson as head coach of the team’s NBA G League affiliate, Stockton Kings.

Jackson becomes head coach having spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach/player development coach for the Sacramento Kings under head coach Luke Walton. Jackson spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant player development coach and the previous three seasons as a collegiate scout for the organization. He has also served as a regional scout and player development coach for the Kings (2010-2012) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2013).

“We are thrilled to have Bobby lead our G League team and continue its development towards our future,” said Sacramento Kings General Manager Monte McNair. “Bobby has been a mainstay in the Kings organization for more than two decades contributing his relentless hard work, valuable knowledge and mentorship over time.”

“I am excited to be in lockstep with Bobby in the development of the Stockton Kings,” said Sacramento Kings Director of Basketball Operations and Stockton Kings General Manager Paul Johnson. “Bobby is a consummate professional and we are looking forward to getting to work.”

As a member of the Kings, the Salisbury, North Carolina native played six seasons accruing averages of 10.6 points (.440 FG%, .356 3pt%, .810 FT%), 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 22.7 minutes per game through 365 career games in the Capital City, punctuated by winning the 2003 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Over the course of 12 seasons in the NBA, Jackson posted averages of 9.7 points (.417 FG%, .354 3pt%, .793 FT%), 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.98 steals and 22.2 minutes per contest in 755 games (started 143), for six teams: Denver (1997-98), Minnesota (1998-2000), Sacramento (2000-05 & 2008-09), Memphis (2005-06), New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2006-08) and Houston (2008).

Prior to his professional career, Jackson led the University of Minnesota to the school’s only Final Four appearance, posting 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists en route to earning 1997 Second Team All-American and Big 10 Player of the Year honors.

Michael Foster Jr. signs to play with G League team Ignite

Forward Michael Foster Jr., a five-star prospect, has signed to play with NBA G League Ignite next season, NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim announced today. Foster, ranked by ESPN as the No. 7 prospect in the Class of 2021, is the first player to sign with NBA G League Ignite for its second season.

“I’m super ready to learn the NBA game and train like an NBA player from NBA guys while playing for NBA G League Ignite,” Foster said.

A 2021 McDonald’s All-American, Foster spent his last two high school seasons at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, where he averaged 32.2 points and 18.4 rebounds as a senior and 26.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.1 blocks as a junior.

In his first two high school seasons, Foster led Washington High School of Information Technology in his native Milwaukee to back-to-back Division 2 state runner-up finishes. He earned All-State and All-Area First Team honors as a sophomore.

NBA G League Ignite is a first-of-its-kind program that gives top young prospects a chance to begin their professional careers while receiving mentorship and life skills training and preparing for the NBA Draft. Coached by five-time NBA champion Brian Shaw, Ignite recently completed a successful inaugural season that featured elite prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd, and international standout Princepal Singh.