After parting ways with Lionel Hollins earlier this week, there won’t be a shortage of candidates interested in the Grizzlies now vacant head coaching position.
Memphis has a solid roster and reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history this season, and the organization is looking at both veterans of the game and potential first-timers as the one who will be expected to lead the franchise for the next several years.
Former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry will be the next to interview for the position, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Gentry was contacted by the Grizzlies on Wednesday and is expected to interview with owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien in Washington, D.C.. on Friday. Other coaching candidates include Grizzlies assistant coach Dave Joerger, former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ed Pickney, a league source said. Memphis is expected to conduct interviews through next week.
Gentry worked under Mike D’Antoni with the famed Seven Seconds or Less teams in Phoenix, and succeeded Terry Porter to coach the Suns for three full years and parts of two others before being replaced by the franchise once it admitted to itself it was time to start from scratch halfway through last season. He guided the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010.
Memphis struggled on the offensive end of the floor during the regular season, and finished near the bottom of the league in the relevant statistical categories. Gentry’s experience in pushing the tempo and creating quality shots early in possessions for his teams would be an asset to the Grizzlies, as would his ability to command respect from his veteran players.
Gentry has been linked to the Clippers head coaching vacancy, although an interview has yet to be scheduled.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.
After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
The translation of that tweet reads:
Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana
With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.