Coach K concerned about how lockout impacts Olympic team

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Right now, Mike Krzyzewski is thinking and talking Duke hoops. That and how to keep the pesky father of Austin Rivers (some guy everyone calls “Doc”) from butting in at team practices.

But a few weeks ago he was in Las Vegas with some fellow coaches thinking 2012 London Olympics. Coach K, head coach for Team USA, met with his staff to do a little advanced planning.

The games tip off next July 27, and the NBA lockout could throw a wrench into his plans for a roster loaded with NBA stars. Krzyzewski was on ESPN’s Mike and Mike and talked about this, as transcribed by USA Today.

“We’re obviously really concerned,” the Duke Blue Devils’ coach said… “What if there isn’t a season? What if they expand (the season past June) if they start playing?

“We begin (Olympic) practice the 4th or 5th of July. The gold medal game is Aug. 12. If the NBA has to go into July, what does that do for us? If they don’t have a season, will they play (in the Olympics)?”

“The main thing we’re worried about is just the game. NBA basketball is the highest level in the world. … The thing I would worry about is injuries … the conditioning,” Krzyzewski said. “So you worry about that, just, would anybody get hurt?

“We’re going to wait until spring to announce who the 12 players will be on the team. We have a great pool, because everyone wants to play. … We have the world championship team (from last summer), plus (New York Knicks forward) Amar’e Stoudemire and (Los Angeles Clippers forward) Blake Griffin. … It will be a good, tough decision to make.”

He is right to be concerned. But as we’ve said, the top players that are healthy will be there — these guys are international brands and they are not going to miss out on a showcase on the biggest of international stages. This is huge for them, he will have his players. Which ones are left standing is another question.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

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The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.