Report: Ainge considering McHale as backup plan to Rivers, might be gone himself

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The Celtics’ Finals loss to the Lakers has hit the team hard. In its wake, there’s uncertainty at every level. Ray Allen is a free agent. Kendrick Perkins may not be back in time for the start of the season. The team needs a younger roster infusion. And most notably, Doc Rivers may be moving on as head coach. Rivers retreated to his home in Orlando, Florida, with no indication of what he’s planning on doing career-wise. There’s growing confidence that he’ll stick around, but you never know.

Which is why, according to the Boston Herald, General Manager Danny Ainge has begun exploring options for his replacement. And they’re not the names  you’d expect. 
The Herald says that new Bull’s head coach Tom Thibodeau was not strongly considered for the on-deck position if Rivers walks, but a former Celtic great was. The report states that Kevin McHale, currently working as a television analyst for TNT, is being considered for the position if Doc decides he’s had enough.
McHale floundered as a general manager in Minnesota, but his work as a coach actually wasn’t half-bad. He’s got strong ties to the team and the respect of its players. 
Of course, it would sure look bad for Minnesota, having had their GM trade their biggest franchise star in team history to a team he eventually took the reigns for, but then, Garnett isn’t the player he was three years ago, either. 
Perhaps most interesting in the report is a discussion of whether Ainge himself might decide to call it quits, which would definitely signal the closing of the C’s window. Ainge suffered a heart attack last year, and there’s talk that he might be considering stepping away if the job isn’t “fun” anymore. 
And one thing’s for sure. The last 48 hours has not been fun. 
Rivers’ impact may be the biggest consideration the Celtics have to deal with this summer, but they’ve already apparently started looking at options that reach back through their storied history to try and return to the top. 

Thunder renounce Derek Fisher

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 25: Oklahoma City Thunder Derek Fisher #6 runs up the court against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 25, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Derek Fisher is already stumping for his second head-coaching job.

Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.

All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.

Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.

Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:

This is one of my favorite salary-cap quirks, explained in further detail here.

These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.

There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)

Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.

Report: Las Vegas also in contention for 2017 NBA All-Star game

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 25:  Bushwacker, a world champion bucking bull, appears at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign prior to the final ride of his legendary career on October 25, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Professional Bull Riders)
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Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game?

Charlotte? No.

New Orleans? Probably.

New York/Brooklyn or Chicago? Maybe.

One more maybe: Las Vegas.

Scott Kusher of The Advocate:

The NBA held All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2007. By all accounts, it was wild.

I’d be surprised if the league returned the event to Las Vegas, but at this point, I’d really be surprised by any option besides New Orleans.

Report: 76ers, Sam Hinkie’s ‘handpicked analytics crew’ splitting up

Ben Mikesell/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
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The 76ers hired Bryan Colangelo, and Sam Hinkie bounced.

Now, much of Hinkie’s front-office is also heading out the door.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

that regime — including deposed GM Sam Hinkie’s handpicked analytics crew — will be mostly gone by the end of August, league sources say.

If Colangelo hires his own analytics staff and integrates numbers into his decision-making, this is no big deal.

If Colangelo leaves those positions vacant, Philadelphia will be working from behind.

I’m betting on the former. He isn’t Hinkie, but Colangelo has discussed the importance of analytics. Let Colangelo hire his own staff, and everything might even flow more smoothly.

Mike Krzyzewski: Team USA having too much fun, needs to tone it down

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 26:  DeMar DeRozan #9 of the United States Men's National Team looks on during a break in the action against the China Men's National Team during the second half of a USA Basketball showcase exhibition game at ORACLE Arena on July 26, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Mike Krzyzewski hates fun (even more than he admits).

So, the coach wasn’t thrilled after Team USA’s exhibition win over China, which included DeMar DeRozan nearly 360-degree dunking on someone.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

I want to see Team USA make highlight plays. Dunk from the free-throw line. Shoot from halfcourt. Throw behind-the-back passes. Show up weaker competition.

So, it’s hard for me to get behind Coach K’s criticism.

But I also want to see the Americans win gold medals in the Olympics, and I’ll blame Krzyzewski if they’re not adequately focused.

Fair? Not one bit.

Doesn’t change what I want, though.