Portland, coach Terry Stotts reach deal on multi-year contract extension

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UPDATE 6:05 pm: And it’s official.

The Portland Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts have reached a three-year contract extension, the team announced (this is reportedly a three-year deal, with a team option for the fourth).

“Terry has done an outstanding job during his first two years with the organization,” team GM Neil Olshey said in a released statement. “This extension illustrates our confidence in him as our head coach as well as the Portland Trail Blazers’ continued commitment to building a model of consistency and stability.”

“Portland is a unique and special place and I’m very proud to be the head coach of the Trail Blazers,” said Stotts in the same statement. “We started the process two seasons ago and laid the foundation for success. I look forward to the possibilities of the upcoming seasons.”

4:51 pm: Coach your team to a 21-game improvement, win 54 games and get to the second round of the playoffs with one of the most entraining teams in the league and you deserve a contract extension.

That’s what Terry Stotts did — and he’s about to get that payday.

Stotts was about to enter the third year of a three-year deal but he’s going to get a little more job security, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

After a remarkable franchise turnaround, Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is nearing agreement on a multiyear contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Blazers hold an option on the third and final year of Stotts’ contract for 2014-15, but that’ll likely be torn up and replaced with the new deal.

Blazers general manager Neil Olshey and Stotts’ agent, Warren LeGarie, have been working on the deal, and it’s expected to be finalized in the near future, league sources said.

Stotts has developed an offense around LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard that is one of the best in the league (fifth best in the league at 108.3 points per 100 possessions in the regular season). That offense got them past the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.

There is a need for a better defense (16th in NBA) and more depth, but Stotts has earned the right to guide the team through that and see if he can help lift them to the next level (in a very deep West that t will not be easy).

Unstoppable Meyers Leonard drops 25 on Warriors in first half (VIDEO)

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Stephen Curry had an I-don’t-want-to-play-Game-5 kind of first half for Golden State, scoring 25 points and hitting 5-of-7 from three.

However, he was the second best player on the court because Meyers Leonard held that crown.

Yes, Meyers Leonard.

He had 25 points of his own on 10-of-12 shooting.

Fans broke out a “Mey-ers Leon-ard” chant.

All that had Portland up 69-65 at the half in a defense-optional Game 4 where it is win-or-go-home for the Trail Blazers.

Knicks Frank Ntilikina reportedly wants to be traded, switches agents

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When the Knicks acquired Emmanuel Mudiay last season — a player Denver just released outright — Mudiay instantly jumped past Frank Ntilikina on the point guard depth chart. Then, when the Knicks traded for Dennis Smith Jr. at the deadline (part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal), the future of Ntilikina in New York was thrown into uncertainty.

Ntilikina sees that, wants out, and is getting a new agent as well, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina dropped CAA as his agency last season and planned to sign with French agent Bouna Ndiaye, the Daily News has learned.

Ntilikina, who was drafted eighth overall by Knicks in 2017, is on the trading block and desires a relocation, a source told the News. The Knicks declined offers to move Ntilikina at the trade deadline in February, acquired another point guard in Dennis Smith Jr., and Ntilikina quickly decided to change agents.

Ndiaye represents several French players in the NBA, including Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier.

The Knicks are expected to try to trade Ntilikina, either at the draft or next summer. Mostly other teams will view him as a way to save money — if teams do not pick up his 2020-21 option by Oct. 31 he comes off the books after this next season — but also Ntilikina played good defense and other teams may try to take a flier on him.

Andre Iguodala out for Game 4 against Portland with sore calf

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Andre Iguodala was limited in Game 3 in Portland, playing just 18 minutes Saturday night, none after he was taken out with 7:49 left in the third quarter. An MRI on his left calf Sunday came back clean, but he was questionable with leg tightness, officially. Call it a sore calf if you prefer.

Up 3-0 in the series, there was no reason to risk something worse in Game 4, so Iguodala is out, coach Steve Kerr announced pregame.

Alfonzo McKinnie will start in place of Iguodala.

Iguodala joins Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins on the Warriors bench for Game 4.

If there is a Game 5, it will be Wednesday night in the Bay Area.

With the NBA Finals not starting until May 30 — a week from this Thursday — the Warriors have plenty of time to rest and get their starters healed before taking on a serious challenger from the East (whether that is Milwaukee or Toronto). The Warriors have used their depth against Portland to help keep minutes down for their starters and Kerr will lean on that bench to close out the series in the next couple of games.

Report: Rockets, Mike D’Antoni talking contract extension

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Mike D’Antoni, the father of the seven seconds or less system that started a revolution of NBA style, has changed in recent years. In Houston, with James Harden at his peak and this specific roster around him, D’Antoni now coaches an isolation-heavy team that has pushed the NBA envelope in other ways, particularly in trusting the three ball.

D’Antoni fits with Daryl Morey, and the sides have started talking contract extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Houston Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni have had preliminary discussions about the framework of a contract extension that would keep the two-time NBA Coach of the Year from entering the final year of his deal…

“I’ve let [general manager] Daryl [Morey] and [team owner] Tilman [Fertitta] know that I’m energized to keep coaching — and believe that I can continue to do this at a high level for at least another three years,” D’Antoni, 68, told ESPN on Sunday night.

“I want to be a part of a championship here.”

This is the smart move, he is a part of what has made the Rockets such a success in recent years.

The Rockets should look for roster upgrades this summer but they should not be blowing things up. The Rockets were the second best team in the NBA last season and may have been again by the playoffs this season (it depends on where you want to put Milwaukee and Toronto in that ranking, but the Rockets were in the mix). Houston’s problem has been a historic dynasty in Golden State, but that could look very different next season. If the Warriors take a step or two back, for whatever reasons, Houston is poised to pounce. They will be contenders.

D’Antoni is a part of that, and the Rockets need to keep one of the best coaches in the game in house.