Report: Wolves targeted Coach K for coaching position until they remembered they’re the Wolves

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It’s not like they’re going to have trouble getting a coach. Any head coaching position will draw interest, and will draw qualified candidates. There are only 30 NBA head coaching jobs, so most people if offered one will take it, no matter the circumstances. But the Minnesota Timberwolves are damaging their future ability to get qualified applicants.

It’s June 26th, and Kurt Rambis is still the head coach of the Wolves. This despite not having been given any support since season’s end from management or ownership. This despite having not been invited to draft workouts. This despite being instructed to put together a report on the team like he’s a fifth grader. It’s been a disgraceful way to treat a professional, no matter how bad a job he did, especially considering how prolifically they set Rambis up to fail with their decision making. Give Rambis this, he hasn’t quit in a huff. He’s going to make the Wolves fire him and pay him every penny they owe him on his contract.

But where do they go from there? The New York Daily News says the Wolves have aimed high… by about two miles over a reasonable distance for a target.

Timberwolves GM David Kahn, made a run at Mike Krzyzewski.

Talk about a waste of time. Coach K once turned down a chance to go to the Lakers and coach Kobe Bryant in his prime. Did Kahn really think that he could get Krzyzewski to leave his Duke kingdom? He did.

“He tried to get him,” said one Kahn confidante.

via Timberwolves GM wanted to lure Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski to Minnesota to coach Ricky Rubio project.

Now that’s the best gag I’ve heard all week. It’s worth a shot, obviously, but the only way Krzyzewski is leaving Duke is if he’s walking into a surefire championship situation and he feels like it. Neither of those conditions apply in Minnesota. It’s a pipe dream. And if the Wolves are wasting their time trying for the hole-in-one instead of just trying to get it on the green, it’s yet another example of how flawed the decision making is from top-down.

Meanwhile, people like Jeff Van Gundy, members of the coaching fraternity, are openly criticizing the move in public regarding how they’ve treated Rambis. This isn’t just about doing the right thing. It’s about not putting yourselves in a position to be regarded as a place where coaches are mistreated. Yes, you’ll always be able to get someone to take the job. But the most qualified applicants, like Coach K? They care about how you treat your coaches. And the Wolves are doing themselves a disservice.

You want to bring in one of the best? Try handling your in-house business with class and dignity first.

Lakers fans give Dwyane Wade standing ovation, check out L.A. tribute video

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Lakers fans take a lot of abuse from other fan bases, some of it well deserved, but the core fans know the game.

And they know how much Dwyane Wade has meant to it.

Which is why they gave him a standing ovation when he checked into the game Monday night in Los Angeles.

The Lakers also put together a tribute video that played in the arena.

Classy move, Lakers. Well done.

Pacers’ Myles Turner shuts down Bradley Beal at the rim (VIDEO)

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Myles Turner owned the paint in the first half — the Pacers’ center had five blocked shots in the first 24 minutes.

The big shut down was on Bradley Beal, this is how a big man recovers and goes after it.

Then later there was this play leading to a bucket on the other end.

Turner has had a strong defensive season in the paint so far for the Pacers, a big step for him. He’s sixth among centers in ESPN’s defensive real plus/minus stat (which has its flaws but is a good snapshot).

Washington learned that the hard way.

 

Report: Houston kicking tires on J.R. Smith trade with Cavaliers

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The Houston Rockets desperately need help on the wing (among other things, but wing is the personnel focus). The Rockets would also like to have less salary on the books next season, giving them some flexibility and lowering the tax bill.

J.R. Smith fits both of those bills, so Houston and GM Daryl Morey are at least taking a look at a potential trade, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.

While there is some logic to this, we are a long way from it being a reality. Smith does not exactly have a positive trade value, at least as a player right now.

Smith was part of the rotation that helped the LeBron-led Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals last season, but he will be best remembered for the Game 1 blunder in the Finals that deflated the Cavs. Without the playmaking of LeBron, Smith struggled to start this season, shooting 34 percent for the Cavaliers in limited minutes, before going on hiatus from the team. That said, in a better situation where he was asked to play a small and specific role, maybe he could still help.

Smith is guaranteed $18.59 million this season but only $3.87 million of his $15.68 million salary for next season is guaranteed.

Houston seems a logical fit. Money wise, a Brandon Knight for Smith trade works, but the Rockets will have to throw in picks or other sweeteners to get the Cavaliers interested. Cleveland also likely will be patient, hoping that as the deadline gets closer there is a little bidding war for Smith.

Still, the Rockets are active on the trade market (as always), and they need wings, so this is worth keeping an eye on.

Lakers’ Rajon Rondo has fluid drained from hand slowing his recovery from surgery

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Rajon Rondo has been out more than three weeks following surgery to repair the third metacarpal bone in his shooting hand (his right hand), and while there has been no official timeline he was expected back in the next week or two. He’s been out on the court before recent Lakers’ games getting in some work.

But he has now hit a bit of a setback, Lakers’ coach Luke Walton said on Wednesday. Here is what Walton said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“There’s a little bit of swelling,” Walton said at Lakers shootaround on Monday in advance of his team’s game against the Miami Heat. “We’re going to shut him down for a few days then get back out after it again.”

It’s not clear when Rondo will return. He was averaging 8.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds a game before the injury.

The Lakers have gone 8-4 since Rondo went to the bench with his fractured hand. Without the veteran point guard, LeBron James has had the ball in his hands more as a playmaker (to Magic Johnson’s frustration at times), paired with Lonzo Ball (who has started to show some real chemistry with LeBron). The Lakers offense hasn’t been particularly good in these past dozen games, bottom 10 in the league, but they have balanced that with a top 7 defense. The Lakers are getting wins thanks to that defense and enough LeBron shot creation to get it done.

The Lakers are going to have to keep getting it done and now without Brandon Ingram, too, who is expected to miss a few more games with a sprained ankle.