Another report talks “dormant” between Hollins, Grizzlies

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The Memphis Grizzlies had players in for draft workouts on Wednesday and Lionel Hollins was there, part of the evaluation team. He’s also said on multiple occasions he wants to work things out so he can return to coach the Grizzlies next season.

But right now those talks appear stalled. At best.

Here is another report, this one from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, that the talks between Hollins and the Grizzlies are going nowhere.

But negotiations between the Grizzlies and Hollins’ representatives have gone dormant since the team granted him permission Sunday to speak to other teams, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN on Wednesday night, and the longer the situation goes unresolved, the less likely it is the sides will be able to work through the “philosophical differences” that initially caused talks to break down.

The Grizzlies granted permission for Hollins to talk to both the Clippers and Nets (the Nets thing was stalled but is now in place if they ask to speak to him again). In both cases it appears those teams have Brian Shaw in the mix (if not as the outright frontrunner) as well.

Hollins is an old-school coach and the new owner and front office in Memphis are younger and more into new school analytics. That difference was highlighted when the management traded Rudy Gay and sold that as a step forward for the franchise — and it was, they won games at a higher percentage and went farther in the playoffs than they ever have before and would have with him — and Hollins ripped the trade. If you publicly rip what your boss has done, whether you like it or not, you have to know that doesn’t help you get your next contract.

If Hollins is out, look for his assistant Dave Joerger to get the head coaching job.

Hollins will land on his feet. The question is more and more becoming where.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.