From the start of the process it seemed like Nate McMillan was the lead guy to get the Detroit Pistons job — he had meetings with both GM Nate McMillan and owner Tom Gores.
But the Pistons are not just focused on the former Sonics and Trail Blazers head coach, they looking up and down the coaching ranks — separate reports have them talking to top assistants Brian Shaw, Kelvin Sampson, and Miami assistant David Fizdale.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Lindsay Hunter — the interim coach of the Suns everybody (including Hunter) knows will be fired when the pick a new GM — also interviewed. That report also said don’t expect this to go too fast.
But remember one thing when reading about coaching search news — the process is just beginning. The Pistons are believed to be casting a wide net, which includes Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, Heat assistant David Fizdale and others.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com mention Sampson — the lead Rockets assistant to Kevin McHale — but ads this is an owner-driven process.
The Pistons are pursuing Sampson and McMillan, the former Trail Blazers coach, sources said. Team president Joe Dumars has long admired McMillan, and owner Tom Gores is taking a leading role in the search. “He’s looking to put his stamp on this one,” a person familiar with Gores’ approach said.
Shaw also is interviewing with the Sixers. Any discussions with Shaw, Sampson and Fizdale need to be worked around their current teams’ playoff schedules.
Mike D’Antoni is looking to add a defensive-minded assistant to his staff and is interested in McMillan, Berger reports. (That seems an odd pairing, even though they worked on Team USA together under Mike Krzyzewski, because McMillan’s teams were slow, grind-it-out style teams).
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.
Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game?
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.
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 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.