Patrick Ewing is reportedly on the Magic’s list of coaching candidates. But as that search gets underway in the wake of Scott Skiles’ resignation, Ewing is making more headway elsewhere.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
Ewing is on track to become an NBA head coach. He had a great playing career, and he’s putting in work as an assistant. I think he’ll break through eventually.
I don’t know whether it will be in Memphis, but it appears he at least has a chance.
Mike Krzyzewski has used his status as Team USA coach to his advantage.
That means former Duke players like Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker get the benefit of the doubt with the American basketball program.
Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times:
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:
Hood, Parker and Gary Harris join known select–team members:
I’m more bullish on Hood’s chances of someday making an Olympic team than anyone else on that list. A quality outside shooter, he has developed impressively as a playmaker. His 6-foot-8 frame gives him immense defensive potential.
Harris was one of the NBA’s most improved players. The Nuggets guard is absolutely on the right track.
Parker had a nice second season to follow his injury-shortened rookie year. If he expands his shooting range beyond the arc, he’ll really be onto something. That could be the difference between Parker being a solid NBA player and someone who deserves legitimate national-team consideration.
France is the highest-ranked men’s basketball team that hasn’t already clinched a berth in the 2016 Olympics.
Now, its chances of winning its Olympic Qualifying Tournament have taken a major hit.
Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier and Ian Mahinmi won’t play, according their agent Bouna Ndiaye on France TV Sport (via E. Carchia of Sportando). Rudy Gobert is also out.
O. Cauchi of Sportando:
Jazz big-man Rudy Gobert said in an interview that he won’t play with France at the Pre-Olympic tournament in Manila. Gobert had several injuries this season and the Jazz want to keep him in Salt Lake in June to work on his body.
Batum, Fournier and Mahinmi are free agents – and will get major offers as the salary cap skyrockets. France’s qualifying tournament begins July 5, and free agents can’t sign until July 7. So, sitting out is the prudent financial move.
France still has a large pool of talent to draw from, including Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Joffrey Lauvergne and Nando de Colo. But that might not be enough in the toughest qualifying tournament.
This opens the door a little wider for Canada and Turkey.
DeMar DeRozan said he wants to spend his whole career with the Raptors, and he said he’d let teammate Kyle Lowry dictate his free-agent decision.
But sometimes players get caught up in the moment and express loyalty to their team in a way that doesn’t reflect reality.
How does DeRozan really feel?
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, as transcribed by Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation:
“He’s made it very, very clear that he wants to be in L.A.,” Smith said of DeRozan’s intentions in free agency. “He has family out there. He’s from out there. He wants to be in L.A. He wants to wear the purple and gold, and if there’s a way for it to happen, again he’s restricted, if there’s a way for it to happen, DeMar DeRozan will be in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform next season.”
When DeRozan opts out this summer, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. So, if you want to dismiss the rest of Smith’s report because he got that fact wrong, I wouldn’t blame you. That might be the prudent approach.
But if Smith got the rest of this right, DeRozan will probably sign with the Lakers.
The Lakers were reportedly set to offer DeRozan a max contract – at least before his his playoff struggles, Game 5 notwithstanding. I’d guess DeRozan’s rough postseason won’t dissuade the Lakers, at least if they can’t lure bigger stars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James. DeRozan became a legitimate star during the regular season (a bigger sample), and Jim Buss needs a quick upgrade to keep his job.
Marcus Smart helped Team USA prepare for the 2014 World Cup.
He did so well, for the 2016 Olympics, he’ll… get to help Team USA prepare.
Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told the Globe on Thursday that Smart, who just completed his second NBA season, will be invited to join the Select Team for a second time.
Smart joins the list of known select–team members:
This was a fairly disappointing season for Smart. After really digging into opponents defensively as a rookie, Smart fell too in love with flopping this year. His 3-point percentage also dropped form 33% to 25%. That outweighs his moderate gains as a passer and in the mid-range.
The 22-year-old Smart is still a nice young player, but his chances of someday making an Olympic team don’t look as promising as when he was on the Americans’ under-18 and under-19 teams and on the select team two years ago.
That said, Smart is still in the pipeline, and this an opportunity for him to impress.