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.
A couple years ago, Knicks owner James Dolan said there was no scenario Isiah Thomas would return to the Knicks.
But Dolan also said a few months ago he’d keep Phil Jackson for the duration of Jackson’s five-year contract.
With Dolan effectively firing Jackson today, could Thomas become the Knicks’ next president?
Marc Berman of the New York Post:
The Post also learned Liberty president Isiah Thomas would not be considered for Jackson’s successor.
It’s sad that this needs to be reported. It’s even sadder that, even if this the Knicks’ plans right now, there are no assurances Dolan holds steady.
Dumping Jackson is a reason to celebrate. But as long as Dolan owns the team, it must be a reserved celebration.
At least the Knicks’ next step won’t include Thomas. Probably.
TORONTO (AP) — With rumors swirling about the Knicks chasing Raptors president Masai Ujiri, the Raptors have promoted Bobby Webster to general manager.
Webster, 32 years old assistant the youngest GM in the NBA, replaces Jeff Weltman, who left Toronto in May to become president of the Orlando Magic.
A former staffer at the NBA league office in New York, Webster joined the Raptors in 2013 and was named assistant GM in 2016.
He’ll help decide what to offer All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who opted out of the final year of his contract last month after Cleveland swept Toronto in the second round of the playoffs.
Forwards Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson are all unrestricted free agents.
Also Wednesday, Toronto promoted Dan Tolzman to assistant general manager.
The Raptors have posted consecutive 50-win seasons and made four straight playoff appearances.
NEW YORK (AP) — Former NBA point guard Jason Williams will miss six to eight months after suffering a knee injury in the opening game of the Big3.
Corey Maggette, also injured in the opening week of Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players, had surgery for a leg injury. There is no timetable for his return.
The injuries were announced Wednesday during a conference call with Cube and Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, who also detailed a couple rules changes starting with this weekend’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Games will be played to 50 points, instead of 60, with halftime coming when the first team reaches 25 points. Cube said that would help the four games per day move more quickly.
Phil Jackson’s exit is already opening doors for the Knicks.
No position differs more in the triangle from modern spread NBA offenses than point guard. But without Jackson demanding his point guard fit such a narrow profile, New York can pursue greater talents – like Jeff Teague.
Ian Begley of ESPN:
With Phil Jackson out and the triangle de-emphasized, the Knicks, under general manager Steve Mills, have interest in free agent point guard Jeff Teague, league sources told ESPN. League sources say the interest in Teague is mutual.
The Knicks aren’t as desperate at point guard after drafting Frank Ntilikina, but Ntilikina probably isn’t ready to run an offense full-time yet. Teague could be a stopgap – which might be necessary considering New York can’t easily pivot into rebuilding with Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee locked up.
Teague’s future with the Pacers appears uncertain with Paul George on the trade block. A key part of Larry Bird’s retooling last summer, Teague and Indiana might be headed in different directions now.
The Knicks make as much sense as anywhere for Teague – now that Jackson is gone.