Hawks draft pick Lucas Nogueira to play in Spain next season

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It was always a possibility that the player the Hawks selected with the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft, Lucas Nogueira, would spend a season developing overseas, and in fact, he told us as much back in June at adidas Eurocamp.

Given his strong showing at Summer League in Las Vegas, however, along with the fact that the Hawks were reportedly moving closer on negotiating a buyout of the contract he has with a Spanish team for next season, there seemed to be a possibility that Nogueira might have ended up playing his rookie season in the states.

After Atlanta loaded up its roster with frontcourt players in free agency, the decision of where Nogueira would spend next season became a little bit easier to make, and one the team finalized on Monday.

From Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Hawks’ first-round draft pick Lucas Nogueira will remain in Spain next season to continue his development. The native of Brazil will play another year with Asefa Estudiantes Madrid while the Hawks maintain his rights.

“We are very encouraged by what we’ve seen from Lucas this summer,” general manager Danny Ferry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday. “Going back to Estudiantes will allow him to continue develop while also playing meaningful minutes against very good competition. We will closely monitor his progress as he works towards his goals as a basketball player.”

Nogueira is an energetic big man who can dramatically impact his team’s chances on the defensive end of the floor, but it’s true that his talent is raw and that he (like most young players) will benefit from the additional minutes he’ll get playing somewhere outside the NBA.

The Hawks added Elton Brand, Paul Millsap, Pero Antic and Gustavo Ayon this summer, and Al Horford remains in place on the roster, as well. That’s a crowded rotation for Nogueira to attempt to crack, so the choice to have him continue to develop overseas makes complete sense.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.