The Magic have been much busier in the days leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline than they’d like to be, thanks to Dwight Howard’s uncertain future in Orlando and the many teams interested in offering a collection of less talented players in exchange for the league’s best big man. But he’s not the only player that teams are calling about.
The Timberwolves have been in talks with the Magic about a deal involving Jason Richardson, reports Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, and Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld says the proposed deal would send Michael Beasley back to Orlando in return.
Minnesota has been looking to deal Beasley, likely due to the fact that the team’s frontcourt is overloaded with talent. Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, and rookie Derrick Williams are all producing, and the biggest weakness the Timberwolves have right now is a lack of consistent production from their wing players.
Richardson is aging, but he’s still proven to be a capable scorer. And clearly, he’d be a huge upgrade over the likes of Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson, and Wayne Ellington. There’s a slight salary cap concern here for Minnesota, if only because Richardson has two years left on his current deal, and a player option for a third year in the neighborhood of $6.6 million.
The dollars are by no means outrageous for a legitimate scoring threat of 15-20 points per game, but being locked in with him for the next three seasons might not be all that appealing from a flexibility standpoint.
As is the case with many of these reports this time of year, nothing is imminent. This is especially true in Orlando, where the team is not likely to do anything until right at the deadline, and only after weighing every last one of its options when it comes to what they want to do with Dwight Howard.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.