Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical

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

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 15 hrs 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 19 hrs 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 2 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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  • Sources: Harrison Barnes on Team USA

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes has been selected as a member of the final 12-man Team USA roster for the Rio Olympic Games this summer, league sources told The Vertical.

    Barnes, 24, a restricted free agent,will join Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the Team USA roster.

    Barnes had a poor NBA Finals, shooting 25 of 71 (35.2 percent) in the seven-game series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nevertheless, the withdrawal of several forwards created the opportunity for him to join Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Green at that position.

    Barnes averaged 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Warriors last season, but shot only 38 percent in the NBA playoffs.

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  • Sources: KD to host free-agent meetings starting July 1

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant is planning to host free-agency meetings at a singular location starting July 1, league sources told The Vertical.

    Durant’s representatives at Roc Nation are working to solidify invitations with the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Thunder, league sources said.

    The meetings are expected to take place in New York, but teams are still awaiting word on a location.

    The Thunder remain the frontrunners to re-sign Durant, likely on a one-plus-one-year deal that will allow Durant to return to free agency in the summer of 2017, league sources said. But more than any other rival suitor, the Warriors have Durant's attention, league sources said.

    Durant’s public and private criteria for the free-agent selection process have pertained to a singular focus: the chance to win titles immediately.

    Several teams that have interest in Durant – the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards – could still find audiences with him, but appear to be outsiders in the process now.

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  • Sources: Thunder trade Serge Ibaka to Magic

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have reached agreement on a trade to send forward Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis, league sources told The Vertical.

    With his range and shot-blocking, Ibaka became a key member of the Thunder's core alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He helped Oklahoma City reach the NBA Finals in 2012 and make the Western Conference finals three other years.

    Ibaka will be a free agent at the end of next season, and Thunder officials decided within the past week to assess his value on the trade market, league sources said. Oklahoma City also had talks with the Toronto Raptors on a potential Ibaka trade before accepting Orlando's offer, league sources told The Vertical said. Ibaka did not ask the Thunder for a trade, league sources said.

    Ibaka, 26, was the 24th pick of the 2008 NBA draft. He averaged 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks this season.

    Sabonis, the son of famed former Portland Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis, was taken with the No. 11 pick.

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  • Sources: Suns acquire rights to Marquese Chriss

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    The Suns sent the No. 13 overall selection, the No. 28 overall pick and the rights to guard Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Kings in the deal.

    The Suns selected power forward Dragan Bender with the fourth pick in Thursday's draft and now have some intriguing young talent to blend with guards Devin Booker and Brandon Knight and center Alex Len.

    Phoenix went 23-59 this past season and is committed to rebuilding with coach Earl Watson, who agreed to a three-year contract in April after taking over as the interim coach in February.