Archive for May 17th, 2018

Will Thunder keep Corey Brewer?

The Thunder face major decisions this summer. Their roster could shake up pretty dramatically, depending on what happens with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Looking beyond those players, here’s the Oklahoman with a glance at all that is Corey Brewer:

A breakneck pace on offense. Dribbling that tenses up the muscles. Corner 3-pointers galore. Welcome to the Corey Brewer Experience.

Was the acquisition of Brewer worth it for the Thunder, and worth enough to bring back the veteran swingman for another season?

“I think the pickup of Corey late gave us some added length and size on the wing, and he did a really good job for us,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

When the Thunder acquired Brewer on March 3, it was searching for a replacement for Andre Roberson. In the 12 days following Roberson’s season-ending knee injury on Jan. 27, Thunder general manager Sam Presti and the front office didn’t make a deal before the trade deadline. For many contending teams, the price of business at the deadline was too much. First-round picks were hoarded like water in a drought, only three changing hands in a three-month span from early November to the Feb. 8 deadline.

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The Milwaukee Bucks today named Mike Budenholzer as the team’s new head coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mike Budenholzer as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “Mike has played a key role in building successful teams throughout his career. He’s widely respected and has shown a special ability to teach and develop players. His leadership, basketball intellect, championship-level experience and communication skills make him the right fit to take our team to the next level.”

“After a thorough coaching search, it was clear that Mike was the ideal choice as we enter into a new era of Bucks Basketball,” said Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan. “Mike has demonstrated the ability to lead and communicate, and understands what it takes to build a winning culture. This move puts our organization in a terrific position as we work together toward our collective goal of sustained success and winning championships.”

Budenholzer, 48, most recently served as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks where he guided the team to a 213-197 (.520) record over the last five seasons, including four playoff appearances and a franchise best 60-22 record in 2014-15. He was named NBA Coach of the Year following the 2014-15 campaign that saw the Hawks reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Bucks ownership group and Jon Horst to be named the next head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” Budenholzer said. “There are terrific people throughout the organization and together we have a tremendous opportunity to take the Bucks to the next level. I look forward to working with our group of young and exciting players and helping us evolve in many ways to succeed on the court. The venues are also in place with an incredible, new state-of-the art arena and first-class Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center. The tremendously supportive fans in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin are waiting and ready. Now it’s up to us to put all the pieces together, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Prior to joining the Hawks, Budenholzer spent the previous 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, including the final 17 seasons as an assistant coach. During his time with the Spurs he was part of one of the most successful eras in NBA history. As an assistant coach, he helped lead San Antonio to a league-best 908-438 (.675) regular season record and four NBA Championships (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007). Budenholzer spent his first two seasons with the Spurs as a video coordinator and also served as the team’s summer league head coach on numerous occasions. He served as an advance scout for Team USA for the 2004 Olympics.

A native of Holbrook, Ariz., Budenholzer is a 1993 graduate of Pomona College where he received a bachelor’s degree in politics, philosophy and economics and was a four-year letterman in both basketball and golf. Following college, he played professionally in Denmark for the Vejle Basketball Klub, averaging a team-high 27.5 points per game during the 1993-94 season and getting his start in coaching, serving as the head coach for two different teams in the Vejle system.

We’re down to four teams still alive in the 2018 playoffs. Every possession matters. Does every heckle matter? Depends how strong the material is, and who the target is. CJ Paul, the brother of Rockets guard Chris Paul, appears to be refining his heckling skills, in Kevin Durant’s direction. Here’s the SF Chronicle reporting:

When cameras caught Kevin Durant shouting at a fan during Wednesday’s Western Conference finals game against the Rockets, it took the announcers a moment to recognize what was happening.

“Don’t wake a sleeping giant when he already has 36,” TNT announcer Chris Webber cautioned the fan.

“That’s C.J. Paul,” commentator Reggie Miller realized. “That’s Chris’ brother.”

Indeed, the man heckling Durant was the older brother of Houston star Chris Paul. And it’s not the first time he’s been caught in a court-side controversy.

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Draymond Green reportedly has a bit of business on his mind during these basketball playoffs. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

Nice to see that Draymond Green is getting some down time during the most intense portion of the Warriors schedule.

As the NBA’s MVP — Most Versatile Player — Green is pretty busy during the late regular season and the playoffs.

His versatility extends beyond the basketball court, by the way. Recently, according to TMZ Sports, Green applied to trademark the phrase “Hampton 5.” Not surprising, considering Green fancies himself an entrepreneur-in-training and has set a goal of being a billionaire before he’s 40.

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The NBA front office world centers around Chicago right now — that’s the location of the 2018 Draft Combine. The Heat, however, face challenges, in that they lack draft picks. Which makes it hard to actually draft anybody. Here’s the Sun Sentinel reporting:

Getting into the room with free agents hasn’t been a problem for the Miami Heat in recent years, even if the results with Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward have. Over the next month, the Heat face an even greater challenge — getting into the room with NBA draft prospects.

Not only do the Heat stand with the Toronto Raptors at the only teams without a selection in either round of the June 21 draft, but the Heat also lack the funds — at the moment — to buy their way into the draft, with all $5.1 million of their allowable spending money through June 30 sent to the Dallas Mavericks in the July salary dump of Josh McRoberts.

Against that backdrop, the Heat front office is in Chicago for the annual draft combine, still afforded the ability to interview up to 20 participating prospects…

Although the Heat cannot complete a “purchase” transaction at the draft, having reached the limit of cash included in 2017-18 transactions because of the McRoberts move, the Heat can work with a team to select for them and then purchase the rights to that player after July 1, when next season’s “Maximum Annual Cash Limit” becomes available.

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