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Report: Lakers agree to terms with Frank Vogel to be next head coach; Jason Kidd to assist

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Frank Vogel is not a bad coach, but this situation has the potential to be a dumpster fire if things start to go sideways. It’s certainly not going to inspire Lakers fans, and it may not inspire key Lakers’ players, either.

Former Indiana and Orlando head coach Frank Vogel will be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, with former Bucks coach Jason Kidd as his lead assistant, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This is the situation Tyronn Lue refused to accept, a three-year contract (the same length as LeBron James‘ contract) and having his potential replacement (and a guy with a reputation for liking power struggles) next to him on the bench. Lue was the Lakers first choice but he walked away from this offer.

Frank Vogel did not.

The Lakers wanted some say over who would be an assistant after concerns about Luke Walton’s staff last season. Kidd, while unimpressive as a head coach in terms of schemes, does have a relationship with LeBron James and his respect. Bucks players also respected him for teaching them about what it takes to win, about sacrifice, even if he couldn’t put them in the best positions to use that knowledge. That said, he was scheming for the Bucks job before he got it and while they already had a coach, he brings some baggage to the bus.

Vogel is not going to attract free agents as a coach, but will not drive them away either (elite free agents tend not to put much weight into coaches in making their decisions). How LeBron feels about Vogel will be interesting to watch unfold, this was not his guy.

Vogel is seen as a good defensive coach who isn’t great on the other end of the floor. He spent eight seasons on an NBA bench as an assistant coach, then was thrust into the big chair as the interim coach in Indiana after Larry Bird fired coach Jim O’Brien mid-season. A team that had been 10-games under .500 with O’Brien but went 20-18 the rest of the way with Vogel, making the playoffs. That got Vogel the job full time.

Vogel coached the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals twice, both times losing to LeBron James’ Heat. Vogel struggled to coach a rebuilding team in Orlando, a squad Steve Clifford did much better with this season.

Minnesota signs undrafted rookie Naz Reid to multiyear deal

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed rookie center Naz Reid to a multiyear contract, upgrading the two-way deal they initially gave him before a strong performance for the team’s entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The new contract, completed Thursday, all but ensures that Reid will be on the regular-season roster, after going undrafted out of LSU.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic broke the story.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Reid averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.6 minutes over seven summer league games against other clubs largely composed of rookies and second-year players. The Timberwolves’ team reached the championship game.

Reid averaged 13.6 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds in his lone season at LSU, which reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Bulls bring back Shaquille Harrison on one-year contract

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Shaquille Harrison started last season as an afterthought at the end of the Chicago Bulls’ bench. Then, because Cameron Payne was not good and Kris Dunn got injured (and was really not that good, either), Harrison got his chance — and took it. He was a defender Fred Hoiberg and then Jim Boylen could trust, and he played in the final 72 Bulls games last season at almost 20 minutes a night.

He will be back with the Bulls next season, the team announced.

While not announced, this is a one-year minimum contract. The Bulls waived Harrison back on July 6 as they remade the roster, but Harrison played one game at Summer League for the Bulls and they decided to bring him back.

Harrison is a Boylen favorite — he plays hard and defends well — and while minutes will be harder to come by behind Tomas Satoransky and Coby White, Harrison is a guy Boylen wants on the bench.

Dunn is on the roster at point guard, too, but the Bulls are rumored to be looking to trade him and his $5.4 million salary. Chicago will likely have to throw in a sweetener, like a decent second-round pick, to make that happen.

Nike countersues Kawhi Leonard over ‘Klaw’ logo

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“My mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
—Snoop Dogg

Nike and Kawhi Leonard are going to court over control of his “Klaw” logo, and it’s all about money and brand.

Leonard left Nike last season, eventually signing with New Balance, and he wants to be able to market his Klaw logo as part of his line with his new company. Leonard and his representatives sued Nike for control of the logo, saying Leonard came up with it in his own drawings.

Nike has countersued and said Leonard did not design the logo. Tim Bontemps of ESPN had these quotes from the countersuit itself.

“In this action, Kawhi Leonard seeks to re-write history by asserting that he created the ‘Claw Design’ logo, but it was not Leonard who created that logo. The ‘Claw Design’ was created by a talented team of NIKE designers, as Leonard, himself, has previously admitted…

“In his Complaint, Leonard alleges he provided a design to NIKE. That is true. What is false is that the design he provided was the Claw Design. Not once in his Complaint does Leonard display or attach either the design that he provided or the Claw Design. Instead, he conflates the two, making it appear as though those discrete works are one and the same. They are not.”

TMZ posted the designs.

I’m not about to guess what a judge would decide in this case. Most likely, this gets settled one way or another.

Meanwhile, New Balance is trying to come up with a new slogan for Leonard and his gear. King of the North is now out after his move to the Los Angeles Clippers this summer.

J.R. Smith reportedly meets with Bucks to talk contract

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After five seasons in Cleveland, the Cavaliers waived J.R. Smith. The 34-year-old veteran wing is not part of the Cavaliers future, and by waiving him before the guarantee date they only had to pay him $4.4 million of this $15.7 million salary.

That makes Smith a free agent.

He sat down with the Bucks on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Bucks can only offer minimum contracts at this point.

Smith will turn 34 before next season starts and his skills are in decline, he shot just 30.8 percent from three last season. The Bucks will likely start Khris Middleton and Wesley Matthews on the wing with Sterling Brown, Pat Connaughton, and Donte DiVincenzo behind them. They have the roster spot to make the addition. The questions are does Smith fit, does he want the small role that’s really available, and how often will he wear a shirt around the facility?