Hornets are not waiting in coaching search

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There are a lot of teams looking for a head coach for next season, and most are taking their time. Chicago Bulls staff said as much, while the Los Angeles Clippers have been stone silent.

Not the New Orleans Hornets. They are on it. Five interviews in three days, including two more on Thursday, according to the Times Picayune.

New Orleans Hornets owner Gary Chouest and his search team interviewed Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau and former NBA player Mark Jackson on Thursday in Boston as they continue to search for a head coach.

Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman confirmed Thursday’s interviews in Boston and said more are forthcoming with other candidates. The Hornets are expected to interview Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams next week, and possibly former NBA coach Doug Collins. Utah assistant Tyrone Corbin also could be interviewed if the Jazz is eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers next week in the Western Conference semifinals.

Avery Johnson, the Mavericks coach who is a Louisiana native, is considered the front-runner.

Smart strategy by the Hornets — if you’re the first team to make a decision and an offer to whomever, you stand a better chance of getting your man. Is someone going to turn down the chance to coach Chris Paul for what maybe will come down the road later?

Also, good to see the new owner getting involved. They postponed the formal transfer of ownership press conference so he could interview coaches — I like this guy already.

Jaylen Brown’s #drivebydunkchallenge video is awesome

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I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.

But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’

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The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.

Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.

He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):

We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.

The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.

But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.

Not that Lin cares what I say.

Check out Top 10 blocks from Summer League (VIDEO)

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When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.

But there were some great blocks.

Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.

 

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.