Dan Feldman

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 29: Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers talks with his players during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on February 29, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 100-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Frank Vogel: Magic ‘ready to take the next step’

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Three days after the Orlando Magic announced Frank Vogel as the franchise’s new coach, the team formally introduced him.

“The future is bright for these guys,” Vogel said during a news conference on Monday. “In my mind this team is ready to take the next step.”

Vogel, 42, spent the last five-plus seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He replaces Scott Skiles, who abruptly resigned on May 12 after just one season.

“As the process played out, it was obvious to me this was the perfect place for me to continue this journey,” Vogel said. “It also becaome clear to me that this is also a perfect place for my family.”

During his tenure with the Pacers, Vogel guided them to a 250-181 record and five postseason appearances. The Pacers won two Central Division titles and made two trips to the Eastern Conference finals under Vogel. Pacers director of basketball operations announced earlier this offseason that Vogel’s contract would not be renewed after a first-round playoff exit in which the team took Toronto to Game 7 before being ousted.

Vogel becomes general manager Rob Hennigan’s third head coaching hire and the Magic’s third coach in the last three years. But Vogel and his pedigree seems like a huge save after Skiles’ unexpected departure.

“When we started this process days ago it was important for us to find the coach,” Hennigan said. “I think we are very fortunate to get a coach of Frank’s caliber. We’re excited about Frank.”

Vogel was one of the more sought after NBA coaches this offseason, interviewing with Memphis, New York Knicks and Houston before ultimately deciding on the Magic last season.

He inherits a talented young team that seems on the cusp of returning the postseason. The Magic, which made a 10-win improvement to go 35-47 under Skiles this past season, has not made the playoffs in four seasons.

But with a young nucleus that includes Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier (restricted free agent), Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Patyon and Mario Hezonja, there is a strong belief that with a couple of veteran additions this offseason the Magic can contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference next season.

The Magic seemed destined for the postseason after a strong start to the 2015-16 campaign, but a January plagued by injuries resulted in a 2-12 month to make it all but impossible to recover enough to make a playoff bid.

Like Skiles, the Magic have a defensive-minded coach who can relate to the players in Vogel. Ironically, Bird said he did not renew Vogel’s five-year contract because he wanted more offense and felt that the Pacer players made need a new voice to lead them.

Draymond Green frequently kicks his leg out on shots (videos)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 22:  Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors drives against Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second quarter in game three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 22, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Did Draymond Green intentionally kick Steven Adams in the groin?

He says no, and here’s some supporting evidence.

Twitter user @TEN000HOURS:

Apparently, Green is just reckless all the time. That doesn’t excuse his kick to Adams, but it adds context.

I would have no problem with the NBA suspending Green. He kicked Adams in the groin. That’s indisputable. Intent matters, but so does the fact that Green has repeatedly invited this outcome. Just because he never kicked someone in the groin previously doesn’t justify it. He was playing with fire, and his luck finally ran out.

Whether or not the league suspends him, he really needs to stop doing this.

Bradley Beal: ‘I’m a max player’

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 29:  Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards hangs on the rim after dunking the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 29, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Bradley Beal reportedly made clear before the season he wants a max contract.

But Beal, who already faced injury concerns, missed a career-high 27 games this year.

Does that lower his value? Not in his mind.

Beal, via Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:

“I want to be valued the right way,” Beal, 22, said from Japan, where he visited as part of a promotional tour for the NBA. “I feel like I’m a max player and that’s what I’m looking for. If Washington can’t meet that requirement then I may be thinking elsewhere. I’m pretty sure that they probably won’t [let me go]. At the end of the day, that’s where I want to be. I think a deal will probably get done but you just never know.”

Beal is worth a max contract, and it’s not particularly close. With the salary cap skyrocketing and so many players locked into deals signed under a smaller cap, there’s more than enough money to go around. Beal should get multiple max offers, even with his injury risk. He’s an elite shooter, just 22 and has the athleticism to grow into a more well-rounded player.

He’ll be a restricted free agent. So, whether the Wizards sign him directly or match an offer sheet, he’ll likely return to Washington.

The biggest question is whether the Wizards can time it right. He’ll count $14,236,685 against the cap until signed or renounced, and his max salary projects to be $21,579,000. So, Washington could spend the difference (projected to be  $7,342,315) then exceed the cap to re-sign Beal.

But that would require Beal cooperating. Preemptively making a max offer rather than forcing him to sign an offer sheet could be a good way to get him on board.

Warriors interviewing Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts to join staff

Nate Tibbetts
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The Warriors – who must replace Lakers-bound Luke Walton – have established themselves as a great organization for assistant coaches.

But that doesn’t matter much if all the top assistants are off the market before Golden State hires one.

So, the Warriors will continue interviews while playing the Thunder in the Western Conference finals.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts has emerged as a candidate for the Golden State Warriors’ top assistant-coaching job and will meet with Steve Kerr on Monday in Oklahoma City, league sources told The Vertical.

Tibbetts, who’s also up for the Grizzlies’ head job, has impressed with his thorough preparation in Portland. Any team would be lucky to have him as an assistant, where the questions about his ability to serve as a commanding presence are fare less relevant.

Likewise, Hornets assistant Stephen Silas – up for the Rockets’ head job – would do well in Golden State, which has interviewed him.

If the Warriors want to interview others, potential candidates will compete for the opportunity. But even if Golden State is picking between just Tibbetts and Silas, that’s already a strong pool.

LeBron James says he’ll cover Dahntay Jones’ fine

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 17: Tristan Thompson #13, Dahntay Jones #30, Kevin Love #0, J.R. Smith #5, LeBron James #23 and James Jones #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers look on from the bench in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors  in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The NBA suspended Dahntay Jones one game for hitting Bismack Biyombo in the groin, automatically triggering a fine for 1/110th of Jones salary. Jones signed for the prorated minimum on the final day of the regular season to make him eligible for the Cavaliers’ playoff roster.

That means his fine comes to… $80.17.

Yup. Eighty dollars and seventeen cents.

Not that he’ll have to pay it himself anyway.

LeBron James is magnanimously stepping in to handle that monumental amount.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

LeBron James said he intends to cover the fine imposed on Cleveland Cavaliers reserve Dahntay Jones for the one-game suspension he received for punching Bismack Biyombo in the groin at the end of Game 3.

James Michael McAdoo should volunteer to serve Draymond Green‘s potential suspension.