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Rumor: Suns could fire coach Igor Kokoskov


The Suns are losing – and miserable.

Devin Booker said, “We’re not on the same page. It’s the worst I’ve seen it since I’ve been here, and that’s saying a lot.” Rookie Deandre Ayton said his patience has run out and he’s ready to take over.

Phoenix just ended a 17-game losing streak with a win over the Heat last night, but before that victory, Suns coach Igor Kokoskov had his seat warming.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

I do think that this could be it for Igor. I do believe that this could be the last game. They’ve been humiliated. They’re defeated.

Kokoskov looks like one of the worst coaches in the NBA. The Suns stink on both ends of the floor. They’re sloppy and undisciplined. Their chemistry has been awful.

But I’m not certain Kokoskov is a bad coach. Phoenix’s roster is extremely lacking. It’s difficult to isolate coaching ability from team performance.

Kokoskov is also in his first season as an NBA head coach. Even if he’s a bad coach right now, I expect him to improve.

That said, the Suns don’t owe him anything. Kokoskov hasn’t impressed enough to earn this job long-term. On one level, it’d be sad for him if he didn’t get more of an opportunity in Phoenix. But he hasn’t proven he deserves it. The absence of indisputably poor coaching is not enough reason to keep a coach.

The general manager who hired Kokoskov, Ryan McDonough, has since been fired. Replacement James Jones might want to hire his own coach.

The Suns don’t play again until Friday. This could be the window to make a change, as Gambadoro noted. Gambadoro didn’t specifically say why he believed last night’s game could have been Kokoskov’s last, and there can be a thin line between speculation and reporting. But Gambadoro is well-connected in Phoenix. I’d be surprised if his assessment isn’t at least partially based on the feeling within the organization.

If the Suns plan to fire Kokoskov after the season, they might as well do it now. With 20 games left, there’s still ample opportunity to improve player mood and development, especially with Ayton and Booker.

There’s also value in continuing to evaluate Kokoskov. Again, he’s a first-time NBA head coach who should be improving as he goes.

But with this noise already emerging, Kokoskov’s seat will likely be extremely hot this offseason – if he makes it that far.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.