Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical

  • Sources: D.J. Augustin agrees to deal with Magic

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 4 hrs ago

    Free-agent guard D.J. Augustin has agreed to a four-year deal with the Orlando Magic, a league source told The Vertical.

    Augustin, 28, has established himself as one of the best backup point guards in the league, a player who can handle stretches as a starter.

    He’ll play behind starting point guard Elfrid Peyton.

    Augustin, 28, finished the season with the Denver Nuggets after a deadline trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 28 games for the Nuggets, Augustin averaged 11.6 points and 4.7 assists.

    In nine NBA seasons, Augustin has had stops in Charlotte, Indiana, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma City and Denver.

  • Agent: Bradley Beal nearing deal with Wizards

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 8 hrs ago

    The framework of the contract will be a straight five-year deal with no options, Bartelstein said.

    The sides are expected to come to a complete agreement later Friday morning.

    Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft, has evolved into one of the best young shooting guards in the NBA and cements a backcourt with All-Star John Wall that is among the league’s elite.

    The Wizards and Beal will likely wait for the organization to explore free-agency options before signing the agreement, sources said. The Wizards are expected to have roughly $25 million in salary cap space for free agency and continuing with Beal’s $14 million cap hold will allow them to have more space.

    Beal averaged 17.4 points for the Wizards in 2015-16.






  • Sources: Bucks extend GM John Hammond to help transition franchise

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 14 hrs ago

    The Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to a one-year contract extension with general manager John Hammond, clearing the way for him to step away from full-time duties as the franchise’s top basketball executive in 2018, league sources told The Vertical.

    Hammond’s deal includes him assuming a consultant’s role with the organization in 2018, which will allow him to help the team transition to Justin Zanik, his successor as general manager, league sources said.

    The Bucks hired Zanik as an assistant general manager in May with the understanding that he would leave his assistant general manager job with the Utah Jazz to become the Bucks’ general manager-in-waiting.

    Hammond was part of the process that hired Zanik.

    The transfer of power in the front office is another in a sequence of significant moves that co-owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry have made since the $550 million purchase of the Bucks in 2014. The Bucks hired Jason Kidd as coach in 2014 and are working with the city and state to move into a new downtown arena.

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  • Carlos Boozer planning NBA return

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 17 hrs ago

    After a season away from the NBA, two-time All-Star Carlos Boozer is eager to continue his career next season.

    Boozer, 34, has been working out in Miami throughout the past year and hopes there’s an opportunity in a bench role and mentoring environment on a team in the 2016-17 season.

    “The previous season with the Lakers was a tough year,” Boozer told the Vertical. “Kobe [Bryant] got hurt, Steve Nash went down and we had a young group still learning to win. I ended up taking the next year off, spent time with my kids and family and right now my body feels great. I feel terrific.

    “I have been working out hard all year, and I miss the game. I want to play again.”

    Boozer says he’s been working out five to six days a week and believes that his body has benefited from the rest of a year away from the league’s grind. As free agency plays out, Boozer hopes that he and his agent, Rob Pelinka, can identify potential contending teams that could use him as a big man off the bench – and a mentor for younger players.

    “I’m curious to see where a lot of these free agents land in the next couple of weeks and see where I can fit in on a team,” Boozer said.

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  • Sources: Clippers promote assistant Lawrence Frank to executive vice president

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    The Los Angeles Clippers have reached agreement with assistant coach Lawrence Frank on a promotion to executive vice president of basketball operations, reporting directly to president and coach Doc Rivers, league sources told The Vertical.

    Frank will be charged with reshaping the franchise’s front office, including building out the infrastructure of its scouting, sports science and long-term strategic planning, sources said.

    Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has committed to significant resources in staff and budget for those pursuits, sources said.

    Clippers general manager Dave Wohl remains on the job, but will report to Frank and Rivers, sources said.

    The Clippers are one of six teams meeting with Oklahoma City free agent Kevin Durant in the Hamptons in Long Island, New York, on Friday and Saturday, sources said. The Clippers are set to meet on the first day of meetings Friday along with the Golden State Warriors, league sources told The Vertical. The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are meeting with Durant on Saturday, sources said.

    Frank has been an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for the past two seasons with the Clippers.

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  • Vertical Pod with Woj: KD's free agency

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    Adrian Wojnarowski is joined by The Vertical’s Michael Lee, Bobby Marks and Nick DePaula to explore Kevin Durant's free-agency process.

    Lee and Woj discuss why the hometown Washington Wizards were never serious candidates to lure Durant, and how the Durant-Russell Westbrook relationship factors into his decision.

    Marks, The Vertical’s Front-Office Insider, talks about his days in the Nets' front office and helping to prepare presentations for stars such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and how NBA teams go about preparing pitches for players like Durant.

    DePaula discusses the impact of Durant’s Nike partnership on his free agency, and how much of a difference playing in a bigger market would make for his endorsements. DePaula also breaks down the impact on Stephen Curry and his shoe brand if Durant were to join him with the Warriors.

    Michael Lee

    0:58: Why Durant won’t sign with his hometown Wizards.

    4:12: The pressure that comes with playing games in Washington and trying to please everyone.

    8:52: Durant criticizing Wizards fans for cheering for him while he played against them.

    10:59: Durant’s deft handling of his free agency during the season.

    Bobby Marks

    Nick DePaula

  • Sources: Heat close to extension with coach Erik Spoelstra

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    The Miami Heat are progressing on completion of a multiyear contract extension for two-time championship coach Erik Spoelstra, league sources told The Vertical.

    Owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley have been eager to secure Spoelstra beyond the final year of his contract in 2016-17, assuring that one of the league’s elite coaches never reaches the free-agent market.

    Spoelstra, 45, is the second-longest active tenured coach with one team, behind San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

    Spoelstra completed his eighth season as Heat head coach, reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals before losing in a Game 7 to the Toronto Raptors. Spoelstra has won two titles, reached four Eastern Conference finals and has a 399-241 (.623) regular-season and 70-43 (.619) playoff record.

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  • Sources: Nets will trade or waive Jarrett Jack

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack has played his final game for the organization, league sources told The Vertical.

    If the Nets are unable to find a trade for Jack before his contract guarantee date on Thursday, the franchise is planning to waive him, sources said.

    Jack will be owed $500,000 of the $6.3 million on his 2016-17 contract if waived by Thursday. The move will deliver the Nets $44 million in salary-cap space for the free agency period starting on Friday.

    Jack, 32, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in January, but has been rehabilitating the injury and doctors expect that he'll be fully recovered for the start of NBA training camps in the fall, sources said. Jack is a well-regarded backup and spot starter in the NBA, who had played well with the Golden State Warriors and the Nets in recent years.

    A motivation for teams to trade for Jack would be the chance to shed an unwanted contract and then waive Jack – salary-cap relief. For a deal to make sense for the Nets – instead of simply absorbing the savings on the partial guarantee of Jack's deal – another team would have to send a player that Brooklyn would find useful.

  • Vertical Pod with Woj: Ryan McDonough

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough joins The Vertical Podcast with Woj.  

    McDonough discusses the behind-the-scenes aspects of the draft-day trade that brought Marquese Chriss to the Suns, how he can sell the Suns as a free-agent destination with their burgeoning young core and the frustration of dealing with inaccurate trade reports.

    For the first time, McDonough discusses his pursuit of Brad Stevens to coach the Suns before the Celtics hired him. He goes into great detail on growing up as the son of legendary journalist Will McDonough, how his father’s relationship with Bill Parcells has yielded him sage front-office advice and how a young generation of NBA general managers keeps a particularly close relationship.

    1:00: When did McDonough decide to try to get both Bender and Chriss in the draft?

    4:45: How McDonough filters information before and during the draft.

    11:17: The youth and talent on the roster in Phoenix.

    15:22: Being a young general manager and learning on the job.

    19:46: Nearly signing LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency last year.

    25:39: Trying to hire Brad Stevens before he left Butler for the Celtics.

    42:25: What McDonough learned from Danny Ainge in Boston.

  • Sources: Warriors offer Mike Brown top assistant job

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has offered his top assistant coaching job to Mike Brown, league sources told The Vertical.

    Terms of the deal still need to be worked out, sources said.

    Brown has been an NBA head coach three times – twice with the Cleveland Cavaliers and once with the Los Angeles Lakers – and will replace new Lakers coach Luke Walton on the Warriors’ bench.

    Brown was the NBA Coach of the Year with the Cavs in 2009, winning 66 games and reaching the Eastern Conference finals with LeBron James. Brown’s career coaching record stands at 347-216, and he reached the NBA Finals with James in 2007.

    Brown has remained close to his NBA mentor, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, and spent a considerable amount of time around the Spurs’ organization during the 2015-16 season.

    Brown was an assistant with the Spurs and Indiana Pacers before his first hiring in Cleveland in 2005.

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