Players News

Tom Thibodeau is a "frontrunner" for the Knicks' head coaching job, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Jun 04   2:43 PM

The Knicks aren't among the 22 teams that will resume play in Orlando in July, so the search can ramp up in a hurry. They reportedly plan to interview Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Woodson, and interim coach Mike Miller. Thibs is the favorite "out of the gate," however, so it sounds like he's a favorite of team president Leon Rose. Thibs alluded in a recent interview to softening his style, as he's known for his hard-nosed approach and willingness to grind on players, so that could be a key factor.

John Wall (left Achilles surgery) "almost certainly" won't play if the Wizards resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando.

Jun 04   1:52 PM

Washington is listed as one of the 22 teams expected to resume play, but chasing the No. 8 seed in the East isn't enough incentive for Wall to take the court. Prior to the season, GM Tommy Sheppard directly said, "I don’t ever wanna say, ‘Let’s go get the eighth spot.’ That’s not the big picture at all." Wall hasn't played in 18 months, so it's not a surprise that he'll sit out a handful of games in which the Wizards are likely to be knocked out early. On a positive note, his relationship with Bradley Beal appears rock-solid and they recently arranged a play-date for their kids.

The Knicks plan to interview Mike Woodson for their vacant head coaching position.

Jun 04   12:29 PM

Interim head coach Mike Miller is in the running for the permanent job, and Woodson joins a list of candidates that includes Kenny Atkinson and Tom Thibodeau. The report by Danny Abriano of SNY adds, "Interviews are expected to begin once New York has clarity on what will happen with the rest of the NBA season." Woodson might be a long shot, though, since sources report that if Miller isn't retained the most likely hire will be Thibodeau.

The Pistons could hire multiple assistant general managers, with candidates including Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince.

Jun 04   11:24 AM

Detroit recently lost assistant GM Malik Rose, who accepted a role with the NBA, leaving the team's patchwork system a bit threadbare (they haven't had a GM since 2018). Billups has reportedly "shown interest only in lead GM jobs," so it's doubtful he'd accept an assistant role. Other candidates include Troy Weaver (OKC) and Wes Wilcox (Atlanta).

The Chinese Basketball Association will resume playing on June 20 to conclude their 2019-20 season.

Jun 04   10:28 AM

Games will be held without fans in the arenas, and the experience could prove instructive for the NBA as they navigate the complexities of playing ball in the midst of a pandemic. Many former NBA players are signed with teams in the CBA, and it remains to be seen whether they travel to rejoin their teams. The list includes Dominique Jones, who ranks first in the CBA in scoring at 37.8 points per game, Antonio Blakeney (second in scoring), and Tyler Hansbrough (32.3 points, 13.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.4 assists and 0.6 blocks).

Derrick Jones Jr., an impending free agent, said his focus isn't on that right now. 

Jun 04   12:12 AM

“I’m just worried about the season being put back on, that’s all,” DJJ said. “I really care about that right now. I want to play basketball.” He's going to be in high demand this offseason and you'd think the Heat will do everything they can to keep him around. DJJ is having his best year as a pro, averaging 8.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks. He makes a living with his dunking ability, cuts to the rim, and spearheading Miami's 2-3 zone with his athleticism, but he still has some untapped upside as his jumper continues to improve. 

According to Ian Begley of SNY, Knicks president Leon Rose would like to add a big who can space the floor this offseason. 

Jun 04   12:12 AM

To be clear, this is in addition to a lead guard that can shoot such as LaMelo Ball for example. And while Begley notes that Julius Randle isn't a lock to be traded, he does see it as a viable possibility. And that makes sense, as Randle is a poor shooter and doesn't mesh well with RJ Barrett. In fact, the Knicks were outscored by seven points per 100 possessions with those two on the floor. This also makes the Knicks' rumored interest in Christian Wood even more legit. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA's planned vote on Thursday to approve the restart format is expected to "overwhelmingly pass."

Jun 04   12:12 AM

Woj added that the NBA will iron out the details this week, but it sounds like the 22-team plan continues to gain steam. That would likely mean we'll see a few regular season games before a play-in tournament for the final playoff spots. As previously reported, the NBA is still targeting July 31 for the resumption of games. 

Jerami Grant said on Chris Haynes' podcast that he'll likely opt out of his player option for 2020-21 

Jun 04   12:12 AM

“Like you said, I feel like I definitely outplayed the $9MM that I’m making each year right now," Grant said. "But at the same time… I’d love to come to a conclusion or something like that with Denver, it just depends what we discuss and negotiate when the time comes.” He got off to a slow start in Denver but an injury to Paul Millsap catapulted him into a lot of success. In his last 20 games, Grant was posting top-60 numbers in 9-cat with 14.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 dimes, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 triples. With Millsap set to hit free agency as well, the Nuggets will likely have to choose between the two, especially with Michael Porter Jr. in need of more minutes.

Pistons assistant GM Malik Rose will leave his position to go work for the NBA. 

Jun 04   12:12 AM

No word on what he'll be doing exactly, but the two-time champion will take his talents to the NBA offices while the Pistons will look for a new assistant GM to work with General Manager Ed Stefanski. 

Brian Shaw has reportedly agreed to become the coach of the new NBA G League elite pro team. 

Jun 04   12:12 AM

He'll coach No. 1 prospect shooting guard Jalen Green, who might be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Congratulations, coach Shaw. 

Chicago native Adam Amin will replace Neil Funk as the Bulls television play-by-play man for the 2020-21 NBA season. 

Jun 04   12:12 AM

Funk is retiring and Amin will work alongside Stacey King on the Bulls broadcasts on NBC Sports Chicago at the start of the new season. 

The Pistons have not ruled out Tayshaun Prince as a candidate for a front office role, according to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

Jun 04   12:12 AM

Per the report, no interview has taken place yet, but if Prince is interested in an assistant GM job and available to interview, he'll be a candidate for it. Prince is the VP of Basketball Affairs with the Grizzlies, so it would likely be a promotion on a team got him to an NBA title.

Several NBA teams are reportedly "discussing how to retain some semblance of the home-court advantage they fought to earn" prior to the shutdown.

Jun 03   2:58 PM

The report by Dave McMenamin on ESPN cautions that any such plan "would be unlikely to pass because it would require a two-thirds board of governors vote in addition to an agreement from the players' union." The ideas being kicked around are wild, including, "The higher-seeded team being allowed to designate one player to be able to be whistled for seven fouls instead of six before fouling out." There's also a proposal for the higher-seeded teams to re-locate their actual court to Orlando, to "preserve the feel of their home playing experience." It's probably an understatement to call these ideas 'unlikely'.

The NBA's plans to re-start the season would reportedly leave out eight teams: the Hawks, Cavaliers, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, Hornets, Warriors and Timberwolves.

Jun 03   1:02 PM

The league is expected to approve a plan with 22 teams resuming play. The move is designed to lessen the health risks in Orlando, where play will resume, while avoiding the necessity for players to return after a four-month layoff to play games without a shot at making the postseason.

Jonathan Isaac (sprained left knee) said recently that he "might get the chance to come back and play" when the 2019-20 season resumes.

Jun 03   10:47 AM

Isaac still needs to rebuild strength in his left leg, that he's "optimistic about the possibility" of being cleared to play when the season re-starts. He also "loves the idea" of the season resuming in Orlando, giving the Magic "a little homecourt for us, and our families won't have to travel that far." Isaac also focused on his defensive goals, saying, "I want to I want to be the best defensive player in the league. I want to win multiple Defensive Players of the Year." Defensive stats are key to his fantasy appeal, so that's great news.

Harrison Barnes said he agrees with Damian Lillard that he only wants to play again if the games matter for the Kings. 

Jun 03   12:14 AM

“I think Dame is right," he said. "If you come back and play, you want to be playing for something.” The Kings had found their stride prior to the suspension of the season with 10 wins in their last 15 games, and Barnes wants to see that through. "This group, where we’re at, we need to play, we need to play together, and playing for something is important.” There is growing optimism that the NBA is considering a 22-team format with a few regular season games before a play-in tournament, so it sounds like Barnes and Lillard will get their wish. 

John Wall (left Achilles surgery) said on a recent conference call that he's 110%. 

Jun 03   12:14 AM

Despite Wall's comments, he and the Wizards have maintained that he won't be returning this season despite the extra time off. Instead, Wall will be a full go for training camp in 2020-21, whenever that will be. Considering he hasn't played since December of 2018, he'll be one of the most polarizing players in fantasy drafts.  

On a recent podcast with colleague Zach Lowe, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski again said that Kevin Durant (Achilles) is not playing this season. 

Jun 03   12:14 AM

He did rephrase his wording shortly after that though, saying he hasn't heard of any plans for a KD return. The Nets have been adamant all along that it will be up to Durant and the medical staff, but all signs continue to point to him waiting until the 2020-21 season for his Brooklyn debut. 

Cam Reddish says he wants to be known as one of the best two-way players in the NBA and that he needs to learn to adjust to how long the NBA season is. 

Jun 03   12:14 AM

“It’s pretty hectic, and the adjustment was a little crazy,” Reddish said of his rookie season. “But that was one of the biggest things I picked up on, how long the season was. I had to really take care of my body, eat the right things, stuff like that." He also wants to be seen as one of the top players in the league on both ends of the floor. "I definitely want to be known as one of the best two-way players," he said. GM Travis Schlenk has raved about his defense and while he was a bit erratic offensively, he has his entire career to get it worked out. Reddish should be a popular late-round fantasy target next season.  

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