Adrian Wojnarowski

  • Sources: Nuggets begin coach search with several candidates on list

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    The Denver Nuggets will begin their coaching search on Thursday, a process that will include serious consideration of interim coach Melvin Hunt, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    After replacing Brian Shaw, Hunt had the Nuggets playing much better basketball, finishing a 30-52 season on a much more competitive 10-13 run.

    Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly and president Josh Kroenke plan a broad search with a candidate list that will include – among others – ex-head coaches Michael Malone, Mike D'Antoni, Scott Skiles and Alvin Gentry, league sources said.

    Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool will be one of a handful of assistant coaches contacted about the job, sources said.

    The search will include several college coaching candidates, including Florida's Billy Donovan and Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    With the uncertain future of Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, his potential availability on the market would make him a strong candidate for the Nuggets job, as well as Orlando's opening, league sources said.

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  • Sources: Thunder to evaluate Scott Brooks' future as coach

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    The Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to spend time evaluating the partnership with coach Scott Brooks before committing to bring him back for the final year on his contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Brooks is guaranteed for the 2015-16 season on his deal, with the Thunder holding a team option for 2016-17, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Oklahoma City missed the playoffs for the first time in six years on Wednesday, finishing 45-37 with superstar Kevin Durant lost for most of the year. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has to decide an organizational direction for the final year of Durant's contract, and that will include a decision about whether Brooks is ultimately the coach most capable of delivering a healthy Thunder roster to a championship. Brooks is well liked within the organization and has forged close relationships with management and players in his seven years as head coach.

    Several league sources close to Brooks have doubts about his job security.

    Brooks was the NBA coach of the year in 2010 and led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012.

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  • Source: Lakers plan to sign guard Vander Blue

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Depleted by injuries, the Los Angeles Lakers plan to sign guard Vander Blue for the season’s final two games, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

    Blue has averaged 23.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists for the Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles Defenders.

    The Lakers were left with only two able guards, rookie Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown, for their two remaining games against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers have lost Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Ronnie Price, Xavier Henry, Nick Young, Wayne Ellington and Jeremy Lin to season-ending injuries.

    Blue, 22, played in the D-League All-Star game and had a brief stop with the Boston Celitcs a year ago. He was undrafted out of Marquette in the 2013 NBA draft.

     

  • Sources: Rod Thorn to retire from NBA

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Rod Thorn, on his second run as the NBA's president of basketball operations, plans to leave the league office and retire in August, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Thorn is highly regarded around the league, a figure who commands respect among executives, coaches and players.

    Thorn, 73, returned to the league office in August 2013 to oversee the league's daily operations under commissioner Adam Silver, an appointment that had been planned to be a two-year bridge to a longer-term successor, sources said. Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA's vice president of basketball operations, is a strong candidate to be promoted to take Thorn's job, sources said.

    Thorn had three stops as a general manager – with the Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. He was the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2001-02 for orchestrating the Nets’ dramatic turnaround that led to an NBA Finals run. Thorn might best remembered for drafting Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls with the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft.

    Before joining the Nets in 2000, Thorn had run the league's operations under former commissioner David Stern for 14 years.

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  • Sources: Virginia’s Justin Anderson plans to enter NBA draft

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    University of Virginia junior forward Justin Anderson plans to enter the 2015 NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Anderson is in the process of setting up agent meetings for later this week in Virginia, sources said. As long as he doesn’t formalize an agreement, he could still change course and return for his senior year of college basketball before the underclassman deadline of April 26.

    Draftexpress.com has Anderson ranked No. 32 overall in its most recent 2015 mock draft, and league executives believe Anderson, who suffered through an injury-plagued season, could become a first-round pick with a quality pre-draft workout process.

    Anderson averaged 12.2 points and four rebounds for Virginia, missing eight games because of a fractured pinkie and an appendectomy.

    The Cavaliers might have been the preseason No. 1 team with Anderson in the lineup, but even with his departure to the NBA, Virginia should still be among the nation’s elite preseason teams.

     

  • UNC's J.P. Tokoto to declare for the 2015 NBA draft

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    North Carolina Tar Heels junior J.P. Tokoto will enter the 2015 NBA draft, he told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.

    Tokoto, an All-ACC first-team defender for the Tar Heels, forgoes his final year of college eligibility with a clear knowledge of his standing among league executives.

    Tokoto, 21, won’t initially sign with an agent, he said, which would give him the freedom to withdraw from the June draft prior to the April 26 early entry deadline. Even so, Tokoto’s intentions are to play in the NBA next season.

    “Going in, I know I’m not a first-round pick,” Tokoto told Yahoo Sports. “I know my jumper needs work, and I’m putting in that work now – and will keep doing it. My jumper is something that has me as a second-round pick right now, but I have a mindset of work to improve the form and range of my shot.”

    Tokoto, who is 6-foot-6, is considered to be solidly in the second round of the draft, several NBA executives told Yahoo Sports.

    DraftExpress.com has Tokoto rated 26th among possible prospects in the 2016 mock draft and called him “one of the best athletes in college basketball.”

  • Sources: Fast-rising Murray State sophomore Cameron Payne plans to enter NBA draft

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne plans to enter the 2015 NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Payne is proceeding toward selecting an agent and formalizing a decision with an expected announcement after the Final Four, sources said.

    Team executives who expect to be picking in the late lottery range told Yahoo Sports they expect Payne to be a prospect they'll have to consider. Nevertheless, Payne is believed to be solidified as a solid mid-first-round pick in the June draft.

    Payne, 20, and his family have hosted presentations from NBA agents in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., this week, sources said.

    Payne has been working cooperatively with Murray State coach Steve Prohm throughout the process, sources said.

    Payne, the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year, had a tremendous sophomore season and several NBA executives are comparing his possible climb in the first round to Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton, another smaller school underclassman who rose all the way to the 10th selection in the 2014 draft.

    For now, Draftexpress.com has Payne as the 30th overall selection in its most recent mock draft.

     

  • Syracuse's Chris McCullough confident of move to NBA despite ACL injury

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    Despite entering the NBA draft with a torn right anterior cruciate knee ligament, Syracuse freshman forward Chris McCullough says he’s confident he can sell NBA executives on his seriousness-minded approach to rehabilitating the injury and rapidly transform into a productive player.

    “This is the kind of injury that players come back strong from all the time in basketball now, and the process has gone good so far,” McCullough told Yahoo Sports on Thursday afternoon. “I’m working hard at the rehab, trying to eat the right foods. … I’ll be back on the court later this year.”

    McCullough’s length and promise as an NBA forward could intrigue teams drafting late in the first round who are willing to be patient on his progress, but several NBA executives told Yahoo Sports that he could be chosen in the 30-to-early-40s range of the second round, which would still allow him the chance at a multi-year guaranteed deal.

    McCullough, who is 6-foot-10, averaged 9.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 16 games before the season-ending injury in January. McCullough, 20, had knee surgery Feb. 12 in New York and isn’t expected to return to full basketball activity for several months.

     

  • Sources: Murray State guard Cameron Payne leaning toward entering draft

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago

    Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne is leaning toward entering the 2015 NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Although Payne has yet to formalize his decision, indications are strong that he’s played his final game in college, sources said.

    Payne, 20, and his family are hosting presentations from several major NBA agents in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., this week, sources said.

    Payne has been working cooperatively with Murray State coach Steve Prohm throughout the process, sources said.

    Payne had a tremendous sophomore season, and several NBA executives told Yahoo Sports that he has a chance to make a major move up draft boards. Some believe he could ultimately rise as high as the mid-first round of the June draft.

    For now, Draftexpress.com has Payne as the 30th overall selection in its most recent mock draft.

    Payne, the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year, averaged 20.2 points and 5.7 assists for Murray State. He shot 50 percent on two-pointers and 37.7 percent from three-point range.

     

  • Sources: Patrick Beverley to require 4 months of recovery after surgery

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago

    After surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist on Tuesday morning, Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley will require four months of recovery, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Beverley’s ligament had to be reattached, a procedure that crushed a fleeting hope before the surgery that a two-month recovery period could’ve had Beverley back for the Western Conference Finals – if the Rockets advanced that far.

    Beverley, 26, is expected to be in a cast for 10 weeks and expected to be near full recovery when he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. Houston remains determined to re-sign Beverley to a long-term deal, but there will be plenty of interest from other teams to pry him away.

    Beverley was an important part of the Rockets’ push for a Western Conference championship. He averaged 10.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 56 games for Houston this season.

    Houston is 50-24, a half-game behind Memphis for second place in the conference standings.

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