Spurs keep Austin Daye, make you re-think Austin Daye

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Who am I to question the Spurs’ brain trust of Executive of the Year R.C. Buford and Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich, but I really didn’t understand the Nando de Colo-Austin Daye trade. San Antonio and Toronto swapped the marginal players in February, and I guess I could see Daye making Spurs a little more balanced on the backend of their roster. I guess.

But de Colo had an expiring contract, and $250,000 of Daye’s $1,063,384 2014-15 salary was guaranteed. In the grand scheme, $250,000 was unlikely to matter, but why risk that for practically no on-court gain?

Daye is a poor defender and streaky shooter whose good runs aren’t even that good.

If I didn’t think a $250,000 cap hit was worth it, I really don’t see the point of taking the full $1,063,384 hit to keep Daye. But the Spurs will do just that.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The San Antonio Spurs will keep forward Austin Daye beyond Monday’s contract guarantee deadline, a league source told RealGM.

Because these are the Spurs, who do everything right, I’m already going to declare myself wrong. They deserve all the benefit of the doubt, and I deserve none.

If I squint really hard, I can see the potential.

Daye made 41 percent of his corner 3s his first two seasons with the Pistons. Bouncing between Detroit, Memphis, Toronto and San Antonio the previous two years, he shot 25 percent from the corner. Maybe the Spurs believe they can repair his shot and train him to use his lengthy wingspan to become a 3-and-D player.

Right now, Daye is neither a 3-nor-D player, but if anyone can salvage his NBA career, it’s the Spurs.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.

LeBron James: Reporter warned me about question on Gregg Popovich’s wife before live TV interview

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In her on-court interview with LeBron James following the Cavaliers’ Game 2 win over the Pacers last night, TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce asked him about the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife.

LeBron appeared emotional as he gathered his thoughts.

That prompted some to criticize LaForce for ambushing LeBron on a sensitive subject on live TV. But that’s not what happened.

Uninterrupted:

LeBron:

I’m not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends through texts that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel I was blindsided. That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask the question and if it was OK.

And once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions kind of took over. And that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich.

It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers, once again goes out to the Popovich family, to Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base.

And also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’ back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. So, get off her back, man. She’s very professional, and she does a great job at her work.

Like I said, thoughts and prayers to the heavens above. We all know the man above never makes mistakes, even when we question it. But it’s a sad, tragic time right now for the NBA family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.

It would have been surprising if LaForce hadn’t done that. Somewhere between nearly nobody and absolutely nobody in her position is trying to embarrass players.

PBT Extra: If Portland is going to turn series around it starts with Damian Lillard

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This was the year the Trail Blazers were going to break through. They were defending better as a team. There was some depth on offense. And Damian Lillard was playing at a level that will get him on many voters’ MVP ballots.

Instead, they are down 0-2 to Anthony Davis and New Orleans, having dropped both games at home to open the series. Portland is on the verge of being bounced in the first round for the third time in four years.

If Portland is going to turn this series around, it starts with Lillard, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. C.J. McCollum needs to get more buckets, Jusuf Nurkic needs to contribute more on both ends, but for Portland it all begins and ends with Lillard and it’s on him to start the turnaround.