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Kings fire Dave Joerger, reportedly interested in Lakers coach Luke Walton

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Update: Kings release:

Today, Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac announced that Dave Joerger has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the team.

“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” said Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”

 

Kings coach Dave Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams feuded.

Who won the power struggle?

General manager Vlade Divac, who got a long-term contract and is ousting both Joerger and Williams.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Divac has made the decision that Williams will not return next season.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

The Kings just had their best season in 13 years. And this is how they follow it?

This organization is so dysfunctional.

Maybe getting rid of Joerger and Williams is a step toward fixing the dysfunction. Or maybe it’s a symptom of persistent dysfunction.

Divac has earned some leeway to build the franchise, but these moves add pressure.

Joerger did an excellent job this season. He helped Sacramento form an identity as a fast-paced team. He helped players develop. He found just enough balance on a team overflowing with young players looking to establish themselves.

Perhaps, there’s good reason to fire Joerger. When the Grizzlies fired Joerger a few years ago, Memphis general manager Chris Wallace said, “The decision was not about Dave’s in-game coaching.  Dave did an admirable job managing games. However, being an NBA head coach is about more than just coaching a 48 minute game.” We don’t know everything about Joerger’s performance.

But replacing him won’t be easy. This brings up memories of the Kings firing Michael Malone, who coached well then got dumped anyway.

It puts only more scrutiny on the replacement.

Luke Walton could be fine, but he isn’t necessarily available. The Lakers are in limbo. And it’s not as if Walton coached so well in Los Angeles that he clearly warrants another NBA head-coaching job. Walton’s time with the Warriors could help him appeal to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, though.

Monty Williams, who coached well in New Orleans, would be a solid choice. Ettore Messina brings credentials from San Antonio and internationally.

This will be a big hire for the (still?) ascending franchise.

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.