Brian Shaw

Nets get permission to speak to Brian Shaw, report says he is frontrunner


Suddenly, Brian Shaw is a very popular man.

With the Pacers eliminated from the NBA playoffs, the lead assistant to Frank Vogel — and for seven years before that the lead assistant to some guy named Phil Jackson — is free to talk to other teams about becoming their head coach. The Clippers are relatively early in the process but he is considered a leading candidate there.

We told you yesterday the Nets were doing their homework, on Shaw as well, now comes word they have been granted permission to speak to him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. And Woj adds Shaw is their top target.

Nets president Billy King is expected to meet with Shaw shortly to discuss the job and an offer could be forthcoming, sources said.

Pacers officials say that King has done an inordinate amount of research on Shaw over the past several weeks. Pacers president Donnie Walsh worked with King years ago with Indiana and has kept a close relationship with him.

It will be interesting to see how Shaw plays this. He is a guy that has been around title teams since he was drafted (the Larry Bird era Celtics) and he wants to land in a place he can win.

The Clippers offer some of that opportunity, although there are roster questions and some really good teams in the West ahead of them. The Nets have talent on the roster as well but need a coach to really elevate them because that roster is pretty locked in and it’s hard to see how they compete with Miami, Indiana, or Chicago with Derrick Rose back.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.