Report: Nets negotiating with Kidd to be coach but no deal yet; Nets meeting with Shaw

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It’s not a done deal yet.

It’s close, the Brooklyn Nets are deep in negotiations with Jason Kidd on a three-year contract, something reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Brian Geltzeiler of SheridanHoops.com. While both of them say a contract has been offered, the negotiations are still ongoing and nothing is locked in yet.

The Nets are not acting like it is done — as of 11 a.m. Eastern the Nets were sitting down with Brian Shaw, who they flew out to the East Coast, to talk about their head coaching job, according to several sources.

Shaw has interest from the Clippers (where he interviewed Tuesday) and the Nuggets as well.

Still, things seem to be moving fast with Kidd and an announcement could come in the next day or two.

Kidd would be jumping straight from a Hall of Fame NBA career into coaching. No doubt Kidd the player has a great basketball IQ and understanding of the game and how to play it well.

But that is different than coaching — a lot of great players find it hard to pass along what they knew and understood instinctively to players who lack their gifts.

That is why Kidd, if hired, will have a staff headed by former NBA coach Lawrence Frank. A guy who has experience and understands the details of drawing up game plans, setting strategies then imparting that info on to players. But you can bet Frank doesn’t want to do all the work and get none of the credit.

This is going to be a big change for Kidd — much longer hours, much more dealing with the media and less time for play. Kidd has had the lifestyle of an NBA player for 19 years, a guy who had the kind of talent that meant teams overlooked indiscretions. That isn’t happening as a coach. Especially not with an owner who wants to win now.

This could work out — Mark Jackson, Doc Rivers, Pat Riley all made the leap without real coaching experience. But it is a risky move by the Nets that seems to be more about going after the name and making a splashy hire.

Josh Jackson’s first pitch is… just a bit outside

Associated Press
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Josh Jackson is not going Bo Jackson on us and playing baseball in the offseason.

The highly-rated forward out of Kansas who was the No. 4 pick of the Phoenix Suns was invited to throw out the first pitch before Friday night’s Diamondbacks game.

To quote Bob Uecker, he was just a bit outside. He tried the corner and missed.

Lonzo Ball was able to make his first pitch, ergo, he will turn out to be a much better NBA player. Obviously, these skills correlate.

Report: Re-signing Nerlens Noel Mavericks’ top off-season priority

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This is a Mark Cuban owned team, you don’t think the Mavericks are going to make a serious run at a free agent come July 1? Pelicans’ point guard Jrue Holiday has long been known to be a target, but there will be others.

But keeping their new core together, including restricted free agent Nerlens Noel, is the top priority, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Rumors like this are out there in part from Dallas to hope to chill the market for Noel. While he could be a defensive force who provides some scoring around the rim, with Noel’s injury history they may be able to get him at less than max money — because if he’s at the max the Mavericks are flirting with the luxury tax (and Cuban isn’t going to want to pay the tax for a borderline playoff team at best).

What Dallas fears is what Brooklyn did last season to Allen Crabbe in Portland and Tyler Johnson in Miami — some team to come in with a max or near-max offer sheet that drives up the price. Dallas will match, they will keep the young core together, it just gets more expensive.

Next season in Dallas will be a deserved big farewell to Dirk Nowitzki. He will be the focus, but behind him Dallas will try to be building for the future. They made the trade deadline move to make sure Noel is a part of that, the only question now is how much it costs them.

Magic Johnson on drafting Lonzo Ball: “what I needed was a leader”

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Nobody, not even his critics with the Lakers, question that D'Angelo Russell had talent. What they questioned from the start was his work ethic and maturity. I was told by sources with the team he often was the last one to team meetings, often one of the first out of the gym, and the whole Nick Young thing spoke to the maturity question. Byron Scott took a lot of heat as Lakers’ coach for benching him, and Scott’s communication skills were lacking, but he had reasons. Russell also just 21 and maybe he finds his way, but the Lakers weren’t willing to wait anymore.

Which is why the Lakers were willing to move him to Brooklyn in the Brook Lopez trade, and why the Lakers went after Lonzo Ball in the draft, Magic Johnson said, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN.

Is Lonzo Ball a leader? Only time will tell, he has the potential.

Will players want to play with him? Yes, if the passing skills he showed in college transfer to the NBA. If guys know they will get the rock if they run/cut, then they will do just that. It’s some simple B. F. Skinner stuff here — if players are rewarded they will keep doing it. Get them the rock in transition and they will get out there every time.

Ball has flaws in his game, there are certainly questions about his defense, and how that awkward shot translates remains to be seen (it goes in but his time to get it off will decrease at the NBA level)? Will he be a scoring threat in the half-court? He’s got work to do. But answer those questions and the Lakers may have the key piece to help anchor a franchise he’s been looking for.

Sacramento Kings waive guard Arron Afflalo

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento Kings have waived guard Arron Afflalo one year after signing him as a free agent.

The Kings cut ties with Afflalo on Friday before his entire $12.5 million contract for 2017-18 would become guaranteed. Afflalo will get $1.5 million instead.

Afflalo averaged 8.4 points and 2 rebounds in 61 games this past season for Sacramento. He has averaged 11.3 points per game in his 10-year career.