It’s been fun to speculate about whether Phil Jackson would take over as the head guy in the Toronto front office. Jackson has ties to the new man overseeing the Raptors organization (and the Maple Leafs), Tim Leiweke, who was a force in Los Angeles sports before. Leiweke said he wants to have a conversation with the guy with 11 rings, but Jackson has ties to the Seattle group trying to buy the Kings and he is waiting for that drama to play out.
So early this week expect the Raptors to just decide to keep Bryan Colangelo around another year as GM. That according to the Toronto Sun.
There are those who believe a decision will be made official by as early Monday.
Unofficially, Colangelo’s option year is expected to be picked up, a route many in basketball circles had anticipated in the days leading up to the Raptors’ season finale.
That would mean you could expect Dwane Casey back as the Raptors coach.
Colangelo made it abundantly clear in his media availability following the Raptors’ season that Dwane Casey would be back, assuming Colangelo would be back.
The franchise has seemed like a rudderless collection of talent — even when they get good players there is a question of fit. Like how DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay really fit together… unless you’re a fan of inefficient slashers.
I haven’t seen a vision, and the defensive foundation Casey had seemed to put in place his first year crumbled amid rumors of poor communication with players.
Colangelo has had his chance. But without a replacement lined up it looks like he will get one more year.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”