Chauncey Billups will reportedly become a coach, either with Clippers or Pacers

Chauncey Billups will be moving from the broadcast booth to NBA coaching sidelines. The only question is on which team he’ll be a part of. Here’s the Indianapolis Star with the latest:

Chauncey Billups accepted an assistant coach position with the L.A. Clippers on Thursday, but that doesn’t take him out of the running to be head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

A league source with direct knowledge of the situation told IndyStar that Billups, who has been a TV analyst for the Clippers, will join them on the bench “if he doesn’t get the Indy job.” He’s still a candidate to replace Nate McMillan, who was fired in August after a first-round playoff exit.

Since the Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship last week, the latest NBA news has been all about coaching jobs.

New Raptors uniforms revealed for 2020-21 NBA season

The Toronto Raptors have unveiled three of the five uniforms the team will wear in the 2020-21 NBA season.

The now-familiar “north” pointing chevron remains a key element of the latest editions – it was first introduced on the jersey side panel in 2015-16 as part of the team’s rebrand.

The new Association and Icon Edition jerseys – white and red – both feature a chevron across the chest.

The new uniforms are reminiscent of the red Earned Edition jerseys worn for much of the 2019 postseason season and which the team sported on court the evening they captured the franchise’s first NBA Championship.

“Uniforms do matter to players. Our team made the choice to wear the Earned jerseys during the 2019 Finals, for example,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “We want to give our players – and our fans – jerseys they’re proud to wear not just because they say Raptors on the front, not just because they’re a symbol of our city and country, but because they also look great. I think that’s what we’ve achieved with these.”

The Statement Edition jersey – black with red accents – tips the hat to the Raptors’ original “dinosaur” uniforms by running dark grey jagged pinstripes through the design. It will also be the only one of the five uniforms that has the Jordan Brand Jumpman logo on the right shoulder, replacing the Nike swoosh.

The concept was a collaborative effort between MLSE’s in-house design team and Nike. The new threads are comprised of recycled PET bottles, a combination of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester. Each uniform represents approximately 20 recycled bottles.

“As we began to think about the decade ahead, we aimed to create uniforms that not only reflected our franchise’s historic accomplishment in 2019 but also inspired the pursuit of our next championship,” MLSE Chief Marketing Officer Shannon Hosford said. “Our goal was to continue to evolve our ‘We The North’ Raptors brand identity highlighting our key chevron design, which is synonymous with the North and our championship, while also providing our fans with some added swagger while they show their support.”

The NBA and Nike eliminated traditional “home” and “road” uniform designations prior to the 2017-18 season and created four core uniforms for each team classified as “editions” – Association, Icon, Statement and City. Home teams pick which of their uniforms will be worn at all home games and visiting teams choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment.

Prior to the 2018-19 campaign, the NBA and Nike added the Earned Edition uniform as a fifth option for all 16 teams that made the playoffs from the previous season. The uniforms are colour variations of each team’s Statement or City Edition jerseys.

Sacramento Kings hire Wes Wilcox, Phil Jabour and Paul Johnson to basketball operations group

The Sacramento Kings hired Wes Wilcox, Phil Jabour and Paul Johnson to the team’s basketball operations group today.

Wilcox will serve as Assistant General Manager. He will support General Manager Monte McNair in all facets of front office operations including roster construction, strategy and player evaluation. He joins the Kings organization with nearly 20 years of experience in the NBA, including serving as General Manager (2015-17) and Assistant General Manager (2012-15) of the Atlanta Hawks.

Jabour was named Vice President of Player Personnel. He will be primarily responsible for overseeing the structure and processes of the scouting department. He comes to Sacramento’s front office with 14 years of experience in the league, most recently serving as Director of Scouting for the Philadelphia 76ers where he was heavily involved in day-to-day personnel operations, including talent evaluation, leading intel processes and collaborating with player agents.

Johnson was named Director of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the team’s G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings. He will lead Stockton’s front office and have a hand in multiple aspects of Kings basketball operations. He joins the Kings basketball operations department with seven years of NBA experience, most recently serving as the Assistant General Manager of the NBA G League’s Oklahoma City Blue.

These three executives join Chief Strategy Officer Joe Dumars, Assistant General Manager Ken Catanella, Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Teena Murray and Vice President of Kings Academy and Professional Development Galen Duncan in rounding out McNair’s management team.

“I am excited to have Wes, Phil and Paul join the front office,” said McNair. “Wes’ background as an executive in the league combined with Phil’s veteran leadership through the scouting ranks and Paul’s proven experience in evaluating talent will be strong additions to the basketball operations group. Their diverse skill sets and unique perspectives will add valuable knowledge and innovative thinking as we focus on executing our vision of building a winning culture in Sacramento.”

Will there be a 2020-21 G League season?

Will there be a 2020-21 G League basketball season? Hopefully. But there are rough waters to navigate, due of course to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

According to industry sources, there have been discussions of various scenarios for a G-League campaign, including not holding one at all and expanding NBA rosters instead.

One plan could feature having a handful of week-long G-League showcases in a bubble setting to ensure young players stay active. If a more normalized G-League season is attempted, sources said it would have to be with a regionalized schedule to reduce travel.

Because G-League teams have modest budgets, clubs mostly fly commercial, which is risky amid the COVID-19 crisis. Teams occasionally bus to games against nearby clubs…

There are safety concerns stemming from G-League players intermingling with NBA players, whether through emergency signings or the recently established two-way contracts.

All of these concerns are perfectly logical.

One idea I’m proposing right now is, they could have a G League season that doesn’t involve “call-ups.” Where G League players stay in the G League all season. Which would eliminate two-way contracts for a season. Which solves one issue. Leaving many far more complicated issues left to navigate.

Pelicans reportedly interested in Stan Van Gundy for head coaching job

With the Lakers having won the 2020 NBA championship a few days ago, the next big league event will presumably be next month’s rescheduled draft. But right now, multiple teams are interviewing head coaching candidates. Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune on the Pelicans:

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported [that Stan] Van Gundy met with the Pelicans about their coaching vacancy and is one of four finalists for the job.

The 61-year-old Van Gundy, who worked as a color commentator for TNT during the NBA’s restart, has been a head coach in Miami, Orlando and Detroit. He has a 523-384 record in 12 seasons with those franchises.

Van Gundy’s best work came in Orlando, where he was in charge for five seasons. There, Van Gundy surrounded Dwight Howard with versatile forwards who could shoot and rode that formula to multiple deep playoff runs…

According to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans are also supposed to interview Ty Lue for their head coaching vacancy later this week. Lue, who has been one of the Pelicans’ top targets from the beginning of their search, according to multiple sources, is also being pursued by the Clippers and Rockets.

The Pelicans brought nothing to the table during their play in the Disney NBA bubble, but that aside, they’ve got a compelling roster of young talent built around young stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. The chance to coach them is a very solid opportunity.

I really liked Stan’s recent work as an NBA broadcaster. If he doesn’t return to coaching and sticks with TV, I’d have absolutely no complaint.

Rockets will reportedly interview Jeff Van Gundy for head coaching job

Young NBA fans these days know Jeff Van Gundy as an NBA broadcaster, but anyone who has been around for a while also remembers him as a head coach. He knows the job. Here’s the New York Post on a development:

Jeff Van Gundy hasn’t coached in the NBA since he was fired by the Houston Rockets in 2007, but he is on his former team’s list as a potential candidate to replace Mike D’Antoni.

Van Gundy, who has worked as a game analyst for ESPN since his last coaching gig, will interview with the Rockets on Wednesday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Twitter.

The Rockets already interviewed Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue on Monday, and Houston assistant John Lucas is expected to be brought in next to discuss the opening after Van Gundy meets with GM Daryl Morey. Lue reportedly also remains a candidate for vacancies with the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Van Gundy doing the interview means he’s obviously interested in the position. He has one of the best jobs in NBA broadcasting these days — a spot most people in basketball would not want to give up. Perhaps he truly does miss coaching.

The Rockets are also a fairly unique team, in that they are unbelievably guard-heavy, and have a roster that is currently built to play as they currently play: giving James Harden and sometimes Russell Westbrook the ball and creating three-point opportunities for the entire team. If the roster remains largely the same, what would Van Gundy do differently than former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni? Perhaps we’ll find out.

Many unknowns regarding key NBA calendar dates leading into next season

The NBA just did an amazing job completing a full postseason at the Disney bubble campus. Now, if next season will return to regular home NBA arenas, and include the usual constant travel around the country, and possibly having fans in attendance, then things get a lot more complicated. There is much to figure out. Here’s the New York Times on it:

Now thorny discussions loom between league officials and the players’ union to address an array of unknowns about next season. What is certain is that the players have been promised eight weeks’ notice before they have to start anew.

[NBA commissioner Adam] Silver has said he doesn’t expect the 2020-21 season to start before January. Michele Roberts, the union’s executive director, has said in multiple recent interviews that the delay may stretch into February. While there is a strong desire on both sides to see teams play in their home markets, preferably with at least a small number of fans admitted to games, it remains unclear how soon it will be safe to do so. Sports that have eschewed a bubble concept, such as the N.F.L., lurch from one coronavirus crisis to the next.

The 2020 N.B.A. draft is set for Nov. 18, and the league’s $180 million bubble allowed it to crown a champion for the 74th consecutive year while also satisfying some agreements with television partners. Yet there is much to resolve.

The league and the union must decide when to start free agency and how long they can hold out for a return to home markets before conceding that short-term regional bubbles may be necessary to play. Perhaps most crucially, they must establish a new salary cap and luxury tax amid the pinch of a $1.5 billion shortfall in projected revenue from 2019-20.

For now, basketball websites will primarily focus on what’s known: the upcoming draft, each team’s free agent situation, coaching jobs, possible trades, and other fun stuff.

Knicks reportedly open to trading down in 2020 NBA draft

The NBA draft is rarely a sure thing. And even less so when you’re a team in need of serious talent like the Knicks yet whose lottery pick is only the No. 8 selection. Here’s the New York Post on some possibilities:

According to two league sources, the Knicks are seriously mulling trading back in the Nov. 18 draft unless big man James Wiseman or point guard LaMelo Ball fall back to the eighth spot.

It’s become increasingly clear the Knicks’ top priority, Ball, is unlikely to slide. Wiseman, the athletic 7-foot-1 center from Memphis, has seen some mock-draft fluctuations.

However, most NBA draft sources believe it’s improbable Wiseman will make it to No. 8, leaving the Knicks in a quandary.

One source senses the Knicks have Ball and Wiseman as two players they absolutely “love,” and haven’t been as smitten yet with any other prospect in a consensus weak draft.

The Knicks finished this shortened season with a 21-45 record, which was 12th best in the Eastern conference.

Chicago Bulls part ways with assistant coaches Dean Cooper, Roy Rogers, Nate Loenser and Karen Stack Umlauf

The Chicago Bulls have parted ways with assistant coaches Dean Cooper, Nate Loenser, Roy Rogers and Karen Stack Umlauf.

“I would like to thank Dean, Nate, Roy and Karen for their contributions and dedication to our organization. Decisions like these are never easy, and I wish them well in the future,” said Executive Vice President – Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas.

Per the Chicago Tribune, “it’s the latest signal the Bulls are committed to making wholesale changes and empowering the new regime to do so. They had picked up a contract option for next season on Loenser in May, Rogers signed a three-year contract last offseason and Stack Umlauf, the first female coach in franchise history, had been with the organization since Jerry Krause hired her to the basketball operations department in 1985.”

“I appreciate the time that I was able to spend with Dean, Nate, Roy and Karen. I really want to thank all of them for their service and commitment to the Chicago Bulls,” said Head Coach Billy Donovan. “This is the tough side to our business, and I wish all of them the best moving forward.”

ServiceNow named Official Workflow Partner of the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) today announced a multiyear partnership that makes ServiceNow their inaugural Official Workflow Partner.

ServiceNow, the league says, will deliver the products and technologies needed to create and streamline workflows across the NBA and WNBA.

As part of the multiyear partnership, the NBA and WNBA used ServiceNow’s Employee workflows to manage the complex, manual processes associated with the 2019-20 NBA Season Restart and 2020 WNBA season.

“In the office or on the court, ServiceNow is making returning to the workplace work for everyone,” said Bill McDermott, ServiceNow CEO. “It’s inspiring to become the Official Workflow Partner of both the NBA and WNBA. ServiceNow workflows already have helped keep everyone healthy and safe, enabling the NBA to restart the season and the WNBA to have a season, and giving all of us the chance to once again enjoy this amazing game and its extraordinary athletes. This is the beginning of a multiyear partnership to support the league’s digital transformation journey and create the workflows that keep the league and the game going strong.”

“ServiceNow provided critically-important resources to help us safeguard the health and well-being of everyone on the NBA and WNBA campuses – and we would not have been successful without them,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We look forward to building on our partnership and working together to ensure our organization is well-positioned for whatever lies ahead.”

This month, the NBA and WNBA safely completed seasons in Orlando and Bradenton, respectively. NBA play just wrapped up yesterday with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the 2020 NBA championship.

Using digital workflows, the league says ServiceNow helped the league to facilitate screening for more than 2,600 league staff, vendors and guests who entered the NBA and WNBA campuses in Florida and successfully process more than 13,000 essential documents. Through the use of ServiceNow technology, the league demonstrated that a safe, careful return to play was possible with the right tools and protocols in place.