The musical chairs in NBA coaching and front office circles continues at full speed during the NBA Finals.
We’ve done a couple of notebook-style updates. Here’s another:
• Sam Cassell is headed to Boston to be one of the new key assistants for Joe Mazzulla with the Celtics, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and confirmed by Chris Forsberg at NBC Sports Boston. Cassell had been on Doc Rivers’ bench in Philadelphia the past few seasons and the Los Angeles Clippers before that. This is as close to bringing in a head coach as you can get without hiring a former head coach, plus he had a 15-year NBA career players’ respect.
Cassell can also teach the players a dance that can get them fined.
• Marc Stein reports that the Mavericks are testing the waters to see if former Knicks head coach turned lead broadcaster for ABC/ESPN Jeff Van Gundy — who is currently working the NBA Finals — might want to return to the bench on Jason Kidd’s staff. That seems an incredible long shot, but it never hurts to ask.
• If they can’t get Van Gundy, the Mavericks may turn to former Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, Stein reports.
• Stein also reports these are the four finalists for the still-open Toronto Raptors head coaching job: Kenny Atkinson (former Nets head coach who is on Steve Kerr’s staff in Golden State), Jordi Fernández (Kings lead assistant), Darko Rajaković (Grizzlies assistant coach) and Sergio Scariolo (Italy’s Virtus Bologna and the Spanish national team head coach). Scariolo will not fly to Toronto for another interview because Virtus Bologna starts the Italian league finals this week.
• Former Rockets head coach Stephen Silas will join the staff of Monty Williams in Detroit as an assistant coach, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
• As expected, the Los Angeles Clippers have promoted from within to replace former GM Michael Winger, who left to become the head of Wizards basketball operations.
LA Clippers promote Redden and Hughes.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 5, 2023
The Clippers are considered one of the league’s smarter and more stable front offices, one built on collaboration, so it makes sense to promote from within.