With the pace of the Cavaliers’ coaching search, you’d almost think they’re slow-playing to let LeBron James make the decision.
Just when it appeared Cleveland might have narrowed the field – with Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue interviewing with Dan Gilbert – new names have begun to surface. Mark Price interviewed, and Nate McMillan was contacted.
Now, add Mark Jackson to the list of potential targets.
Joe Kotoch of Pro Basketball Draft:
Before the Warriors hired him, Jackson was notoriously choosy about accepting a job. Now that he actually has coaching experience – and a strong record of success, at that – I don’t see Jackson becoming any less selective. Like the situation a few years ago, Jackson has a cushy ESPN job that makes coaching a lower-rung franchise less appealing.
The Cavaliers will have the opportunity to hire a good coach, though it might take keen talent evaluation by Gilbert and general manager David Griffin. There are just too many quality candidates on the market for Cleveland, or any team, to get shut out (unless they needlessly limit their pool to only those with previous ties to the team, but that’s their own doing).
However, Cleveland might have more trouble than most.
John Calipari turned down a ton of money work for the Cavaliers, and other coaches must be turned off by the franchise’s dysfunction. It’s a hard sell at this point.
I don’t know whether Jackson is the best fit for the Cavaliers, but if they can convince him – with his high standards for jobs – to even consider them, that would be a victory. It might even urge other potential coaches to give Cleveland a second look.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).