Report: Lakers eliminate Derek Fisher from coaching search

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Phil Jackson might gets his man this time.

After waiting for Steve Kerr to coach the Knicks only to see the Warriors poach him, Jackson faces less competition for his backup candidate.

Derek Fisher – once believed to be a Kobe Bryant-approved choice for the Lakers – is out of the running in Los Angeles.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers have decided they need a coach with previous NBA coaching experience, which means one thing for Derek Fisher: He isn’t a candidate.

I’ll admit, as a lover of chaos, I wanted to see Jackson wait all this time and then strike out with Fisher like he did with Kerr. Then what would the Knicks do? There seemed to be no plan B after Kerr, and now there might be no plan C after Fisher.

Fisher hasn’t announced his retirement from playing, so there’s still a chance he spurns Jackson for another contract with the Thunder or other team.

Or he could simply choose to do something other than playing or coaching the Knicks next year. Though he was confident in his ability to coach Kobe, Fisher might not rush to oversee J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton.

As for the Lakers, their decision eliminates pure college coaches – though the two they’ve been linked to have already essentially recused themselves from the search. North Carolina’s Roy Williams denied interest, and Kentucky’s John Calipari just signed a monster contract extension.

The Lakers have interviewed five veteran coaches, and though their search could still expand, predicting their next coach should probably start with this list:

NBA head-coaching experience is important, and candidates with it should receive credit for it. But I don’t understand why Rambis going 56-145 in Minnesota gets his foot in the door when so many other potentially worthy candidates are shut out by the line the Lakers are setting.

Of those five, Hollins is a quality coach, and Gentry would be fine. The other three are pretty underwhelming.

The Lakers seem to be narrowing their options – but that will at least help the team with the narrowest search of all.

PBT Extra: One last mock draft of NBA lottery

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DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).

After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.

Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.

Report: Dewayne Dedmon opts in for $6.3 million with Hawks

AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
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The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.

And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.

He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.

Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.

If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.

Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.

Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.

Young, via TMZ:

“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”

Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.

Report: 76ers trade No. 39 pick to Lakers

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.

Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.

So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.

Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.