Morning Shootaround — May 25


VIDEO: Daily Zap: May 24

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Wolves, Joerger getting closer to deal | Grizz look toward Van Gundy | No max for Irving? | Report: Hill teams up with SoCal investors

No. 1: Wolves, Joerger getting closer to deal — If the Minnesota Timberwolves have a new coach in the next few days, it will be a continuation of the shake-up in Memphis. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Wolves are moving toward hiring Grizzlies coach (and Minnesota native) Dave Joerger to replace the retired Rick Adelman:

After a meeting with Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor on Saturday, Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger has moved closer to a deal to become the Timberwolves coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Grizzlies and Timberwolves officials have begun discussions on possible compensation for letting Joerger out of his contract, sources said.

Discussions on a contract between Joerger and the Wolves are ongoing too, and a deal could be reached early in the week, sources said.

After a purge of the Memphis management team that promoted Joerger a year ago, owner Robert Pera gave Minnesota permission to discuss its coaching vacancy with Joerger, a Minnesota native. Joerger has history with Timberwolves general manager Flip Saunders, who has been a long-time admirer of Joerger’s climb through the minor leagues into the NBA.

Joerger and Saunders met earlier in the week to discuss the job.

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No. 2: Grizz look toward Jeff Van Gundy — With Joerger’s departure seemingly inevitable, the Grizzlies need a new coach. And Chris Wallace‘s “interim” tag indicates that they need a new head of basketball operations too. Stan Van Gundy just took both roles in Detroit, and maybe his brother could do the same in Memphis. ESPN’s Marc Stein writes that ESPN TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy is on the Grizzlies’ list of candidates:

One of the prime options under consideration by the Memphis Grizzlies in the wake of last week’s management shakeup and the looming departure of Dave Joerger to the Minnesota Timberwolves is making a run at Jeff Van Gundy to be their coach and run their front office, according to NBA coaching sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Grizzlies have serious interest in trying to convince Van Gundy to serve as coach and team president in a job structure modeled after the new dual role brother Stan Van Gundy has secured with the Detroit Pistons.

Jeff Van Gundy’s interest in that sort of undertaking — or the Grizzlies specifically in the wake of all their recent turmoil — is unclear, with the former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach and current ESPN analyst consistent in his reluctance to publicly discuss job openings. But after the ousting of CEO Jason Levien and with Joerger poised to leave, the immediate challenge for Grizzlies owner Robert Pera is convincing prospective candidates that they’ll be walking into a stable situation.

The Grizzlies technically still have a coach, but coaching sources continue to describe Joerger’s move to Minnesota to succeed Rick Adelman with the Timberwolves as an inevitability. ESPN.com reported Thursday that the Wolves had made “significant progress” in their bid to hire Joerger away from Memphis, which sources say continued Saturday after Joerger met face-to-face with Wolves owner Glen Taylor.

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No. 3: No max for Irving?Kyrie Irving is eligible for a contract extension (of four or five years beyond next season) this summer. The former No. 1 pick has been an All-Star in two of his first three seasons. But he’s just the second No. 1 pick in 10 years to not make the playoffs in his first three seasons. He hasn’t been able to lift his teammates up, he’s shown a lack of leadership, and an unwillingness to play defense. Whether he’s worth a max contract or worth building a franchise around is clearly a legitimate question, but not offering him the max would be a risk on the Cavs’ part. Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes that they may be willing to take that risk:

The Cavs are making noises that they aren’t going to offer Kyrie Irving “max money” this summer via a long-term extension. They don’t want to deal the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, but it could come to that, especially if the West Orange product and his family continue to tell people that he wants out. Irving hasn’t been a leader in his first three seasons and he’s also gained the unwelcomed reputation as a locker-room problem. Those are two reasons the Cavs don’t see him as a max player.

“He was just handed too much, too soon,” said one source. “You’ve got to make these young guys earn it, and that’s where this team did a bad job with him.”

The Cavs know they can’t get Kevin Love in a deal for the No. 1 overall pick they secured with their third lottery win in the last four seasons. If they keep the pick, they’re expected to take Kansas big man Joel Embiid, unless the stress fracture in his back injury from last season has the chance to become a long-term issue.

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No. 4: Report: Hill teams up with SoCal investors — We reported in this space yesterday that Yao Ming and Grant Hill are among the many names looking to make an offer to buy the L.A. Clippers once they are now longer Donald Sterling‘s. Based on the latest news from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Hill may be a bit more serious about getting in on buying the team based on the fact he’s already got billionaire investors on his side now:

Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill has partnered with billionaire investors and longtime Southern California residents Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh to form an ownership group to bid on the Los Angeles Clippers when they are officially put up for sale, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that Hill’s group is already regarded by league officials as a viable contender for the Clippers in what is forecast to be a highly competitive auction when the franchise finally hits the open market. One industry source told ESPN.com this week that the bidding could start as high as the $1.5 billion range.

It was widely reported Friday that disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling has struck an agreement with wife Shelly to have her negotiate the sale of the franchise, but NBA officials have not yet signed off on that arrangement and continue to proceed with their plans to press for the outright ouster of the Sterlings from the league.

Competition for the Clippers, once they hit the open market, is sure to be fierce, with a number of financial heavyweights having already been linked to purchasing the team Donald Sterling has owned since 1981.

The power trio of Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso, Lakers minority owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, former NBA star Yao Ming and, of course, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and his Guggenheim Partners are among the various groups and individuals expected to compete for the Lakers’ co-tenants at Staples Center.

Some experts have projected the number of bidders for the Clippers to stray into the double digits, assuming that the league is successful in forcing the sale of the team, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver continues to believe.

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Tyronn Lue will interview for the Cavs’ coaching job … Yao Ming denied a report that he’s putting together a bid for the ClippersRick Fox thinks Phil Jackson should coach the Knicks, but would do it himself if asked … Stan Van Gundy tells Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to basically mind his own business … The Nets might be looking to bring ex-power forward Buck Williams back in some kind of front-office roleRon Harper defends himself after he’s the subject of a satirical article in The Onion

ICYMI of The Night: Ray Allen dropped four fourth-quarter threes on the Pacers …


VIDEO: All of Allen’s Clutch 3-Pointers

23 Comments

  1. Miami says:

    To : MJ
    So Loul Deng, Jarrett Jack, Anderson Varejao aren’t veteran leaders? Last time I checked, all of them have been to the semi-finals or beyond in the playoffs and have 8 or more years of experience. I’m not sure he will be the best pg in the NBA in a few years because their are so many good ones like D. Lillard, S. Curry, R. Westbrook, C. Paul, D. Rose, J. Wall, T. Parker, M. Conley, G. Dragic, T. Lawson and upcoming PG like MCW, V. OLadipo, and T. Burke. K. Irving hasn’t lead his team to the playoffs yet because he isn’t that good yet! D.Williams, and D.Rose lead their teams to the playoffs when they were 21-22 years old. Their are more players also that lead their team at that age, but I’m only considering PG right now.

  2. MJ says:

    Kyrie is a young Point guard with no one on his team to lead him and teach him. How can you honestly expect a 21 year old PG to lead his horrible team to the playoffs? The Cavs need to blame themselves for not bringing veteran players in the locker room to help guide their no. 1 pick. Kyrie will be the best point guard in the league in a couple of years no doubt.

  3. Grover says:

    Irving is a good guard who needs to mature more before he gets that money.

  4. jlskfjs says:

    if you want a max contract play like a superstar and take your team to the playoffs. You didn’t even need a winning record to make the playoffs in the EAST

  5. semikalosi says:

    Kyrie should get an extension. He was given the opportunity to lead and he did as much as he could. When you are given the chance to do what you do best with the worst team, how can you succeed? He is legitimate pg who, if he had the team, would lead them to the playoffs.

    Build around him, starting with Jabari Parker. Forget Embiid., he’s not worth the risk. Wiggins is an athletic freak but that’s his main ‘pro’. Deng needs to be traded for a sg that can help spread the floor at both ends. They have so many players that they can deal to bring in some decent talent.

    I honestly believe that if they build around Kyrie, he will show his true potential. And get a coach who knows what they’re doing.

  6. moneymay says:

    not worth the max deal his a ball hog cant lead his team all he brings to the table are daily top 10 plays. If cleveland want to win they need an actual “POINT GUARD” not a combo guard that handles the rock for 15 seconds of the shot clock then throws up a crazy shot while his teammates are standing there. Kyrie amazing solo player but his value to a team is next to worthless has he even made cleveland better?

  7. lebron wont return says:

    As long as LeBron James wins championships in Miami, he will not return to Cleveland. Kyrie Irving is a great player but he doesn’t deserve a max contract. He can’t even lead Cleveland to the Playoffs!!!!

  8. joe says:

    This Cleveland team is a disaster. In the last 11 years, they are the 1st team to have 4 1st draft picks, a 4 time MVP, and at the end of the line? Nothing.
    If you had given the same chance to any other team, they would have become NBA champions at leat 3-4 times.
    Instead of building around their star they trade or don´t pay.
    They lost Lebron James for nothing in echange. Had they been smart, they would have traded him a year earlier for one or two very good players.

  9. Vishal says:

    The cavs need to keep kyrie, unfortunately if that means giving him a max deal (which I personally don’t think he’s worth). Draft Embiid and then trade waiters and Tristan Thompson for Joakim Noah. Resign Luol Deng then this will attract LeBron to come back. He never had a stellar point guard on his team, or a legitimate center either. not to mention Luol Deng as a back up SF is pretty damn strong, along with Noah, Embiid, hopefully in shape Bennett, LeBron, Kyrie, and a possible re-sign on instant offense CJ Miles. Plus Jarrett jack off the bench

  10. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    trade him while he has good value, seriously they can build a crazy team with the first pick and if they add 1-2 guys to the current roster.

  11. Unkle Daddy says:

    Irving is not a max player, not even close. He’s a good scorer and ball handler, but not a leader and plays no defense. But, none of this matters if he stays or goes because the Cavs wasted a #1 pick last year and they do it again this year (I still think the league is trying to make it up to Cleveland that Lebron left by giving them all these #1 picks), and they still screw it up. They remind me of the last decade of the Hawks in the draft (let’s just draft the same player over and over).

    • Pete says:

      It is almost impossible to stuff up this first draft choice, with the only worry being Embiid’s back, but who knows if anyone is going to mess it up it’s them

  12. Laker fan says:

    Cleveland needs to find a coach, and let the coach decide if Kyrie is worth keeping long term.

  13. Miami says:

    If I was the Cavs GM, I would either pick J. Parker or A. Wiggins as the 1st overall pick. J.Embiid would be to much of a gamble. K. Irving shouldn’t receive a max contract if he couldn’t lead the Cavs nowhere close to the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference.

  14. OKC says:

    I’m really interested to see what the Cavs do with that #1 pick.

  15. Titus says:

    BS!!!… he is all they have going in cleveland!! Hes an all star and they have a numbet 1 pick and some pretty good young players..what else they gonna do

    • SharpieOne says:

      Even if they cut him, they can’t get any worse. Any decent trade would make them instantly better. You need to remember this is a team that struggled to win 30 games in an Eastern Conference that only had 2 teams, record wise, that would have made the Western Conference playoffs. However I don’t think Indiana would have made the playoffs if they had to play the 3-4 games against every Western team and only 2 against the East. Why pay him that kind of money when you can bring in 2 low contract players and get the same result for 1/10 the money? There are a ton of guys in the league who can average 10 and 3, not to mention a lot of them also don’t play 35 minutes a game either. If he can’t get them to the playoffs he’s useless.

  16. Kartik says:

    I think kyrie will get the max contract and is happy in Cleveland. I also think embiid is by far the best player in this draft and the cavs could have arguably the best 1-2 punch in the league. Add in dion waiters, an improved Anthony Bennett, jarrett jack, Tristan Thompson, the cavs could have one of the best young teams in the league without Lebron. Also we could get a potential really good player at 33 like pj hairston. We’re on the rise

  17. okc2014 says:

    I think Kyrie Irving is overrated. And he thinks he is underrated. That’s why he wants out of Cleveland. If he does go to another team, a team that is championship bound, I hope he puts his ego in check. He will most certainly not be the star of that team. Only in Cleveland, Kyrie.

  18. B Radd says:

    Trade Irving!! That’s right, with the #1 pick, Cleveland should look to pickup Wiggins and trade All-Star pointguard Kyrie Irving for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. Why? The obvious reason is that darn max deal contract extension and of course the fall out with Dion Waiters. Waiters will be special one day, with Lin and Jarrett Jack at point, I’m almost sure a contender would be in the making.

    • Sami says:

      Dude are you really hearing yourself? Lin for Irving you must be an idiot. Lin is not that good, if he was The Rockets wouldn’t have been eliminated is the first round. Also, Wiggins is no LeBron so don’t depend on the dude that much, I guarantee Wiggins won’t be as great as you ppl think, once he play in the nba.

      PS
      Waiters is not better than Irving and he’ll never be better than him in a million years. LeBron won’t ever return to Cleveland and they won’t make the playoffs for a while.

      • B Radd says:

        I really hope after every game your team loses that you don’t beat up your wife be of it. Kyrie is injury prone and really isn’t a max player. Sometimes you have to defer in case someone special come along. By locking Kyrie, you paralyze what hopes of landing someone worth the money. Someone whose not always injured. Someone who will be there down the stretch. LaBron is a tough act and very rarely comes around. You get role players in Lin and Asik. If you keep Kyrie then you better draft Ebiid. But what good is having Kyrie, like Derek Rose, if their not available to play.