Mike Malone

Report: Warriors’ Malone, Pacers’ Shaw interview with Bobcats


UPDATE 8:52 pm: You can add another of the elite assistant coaches to the Bobcats list — Brian Shaw of the Indiana Pacers. So reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, however that interview may take a while.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, permission was neither granted nor denied for Shaw to speak with Charlotte because he prefers to focus on the playoffs at the moment. The Pacers, who finished third in the Eastern Conference at 42-24 this season with second-year head coach Frank Vogel and Shaw at the helm, are currently up 3-1 on the Magic in their first-round matchup.

Shaw is best remembered as a former NBA player and lead assistant to Phil Jackson — he was the guy Kobe Bryant wanted to get the Lakers job after Phil Jackson. He is a guy who players love, who has a good offensive mind and has experience beyond just the triangle offense. He would be a good hire as well.

3:16 pm: Mike Malone has been one of the hottest names among NBA assistant coaches for years — his experience is why Golden State made him the highest paid NBA assistant coach at $750,000 to come in and be on the bench with the inexperienced Mark Jackson last year (and he reportedly turned down being a Lakers assistant to take the Warriors money).

But it’s very possible his time to move to the big seat will come this summer. And maybe with the Bobcats, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone is scheduled to interview for the Charlotte Bobcats head-coaching vacancy on Tuesday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Malone will meet with Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho.

This would be a good hire for Charlotte.

First, Malone a defense first coach and the Bobcats need that. (They need offense, too, but one step at a time.) He was the lead defensive assistant in New Orleans and Cleveland when they locked teams down. Secondly, reports are that players respect and will play for him. Finally, he will take what is not going to be a high-paying or highly coveted job — for your first NBA gig you can’t be picky.

There are likely other interviews in the pipeline — Nate McMillan will listen — but Malone would be a good hire if Cho and owner Michael Jordan choose to go that way.

Pelicans signing center Jerome Jordan

Marc Gasol, Jerome Jordan
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Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:

Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.

Kevin Love unsure about opening-night return

Kevin Love
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He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.

Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:

“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”

Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.

“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”

At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.