Wednesday began with such promise in Dallas, but ultimately ended in some level of disappointment.
The Mavericks began the day meeting with free agent big man Andrew Bynum. The club had its medical staff do some evaluations, and there was a lunch with Bynum’s agent and team executives where the early stages of contract negotiations had begun to be initiated.
Whether due to advice from the team’s doctors or an unwillingness to match the offer on the table from Cleveland in terms of either guaranteed money or total compensation, Dallas lost out on the chase for Bynum, who had decided to sign with the Cavaliers before the day was finished.
With limited options left available on the market at the center position, Dallas has now turned its attention to journeyman free agent Samuel Dalembert.
From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Dalembert will be the Mavs’ primary target after their pursuit of Andrew Bynum fizzled. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Bynum decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There simply aren’t many other quality alternatives in free agency to fill the Mavs’ massive void at center, considering that it’s pretty much a given that restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic will return to Minnesota.
It’s an underwhelming option, but it might be all the Mavericks have left if they’re determined to go with a veteran to fill this role. Dallas began the summer as one of five teams that entered the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but were eliminated by Howard fairly early in the process.
Dalembert has played for four different teams the last four seasons, and averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocked shots in 16.3 minutes per game for the Bucks most recently — but appeared in just 47 contests for them last season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Dalembert will meet with the Mavericks Thursday in Dallas.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.