Ettore Messina in the mix for Thunder's job?

More HoopsHype Rumors
October 26, 2016 | 8:56 am EDT Update
There was gossip over the summer that it would take a deal worth north of $20 million per year to get Caldwell-Pope’s signature. But the Pistons’ payroll is burgeoning, and owner Tom Gores likely will face a luxury-tax bill for being over the NBA’s tax line. Gores has said he wants the Pistons to retain Caldwell-Pope, the team’s best perimeter defender, and has indicated he will willingly pay the freight. But Gores would be well within his rights to limit the cost for a team that has proven only it can make the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed.
Storyline: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Extension
A year after a league-record 24-0 start, the Warriors took the pressure off early with a dud of a performance. They lost the offensive-rebounding numbers, 21-8, and attempted 13 fewer shots than San Antonio. A team that relies on ball movement and made jumpers, Golden State piled up 16 giveaways and missed 26 of its 33 three-point attempts. It allowed the Spurs to shoot 48 percent from the field (50 percent from beyond the arc). “I thought our guys were embarrassed,” Kerr said. “I know I was.”
The two had bonded in Kalamian’s six seasons as an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The two have stayed in touch in the year since Kalamian made the move to Toronto, and since Durant made his bold move to the Golden State Warriors this summer. The content of Durant’s text did surprise the coach that day, though. “Your two guys are the best. I’m jealous of their relationship, the way they get along with each other and the way they play together. The way they enjoy each other, it’s great,” Kalamian said of that text on Monday, as the Raptors finished up their practice. Durant, all the way from the Olympics in Rio, was in awe of the friendship that Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had on display with the U.S. men’s basketball team. “I think it’s kind of what he wants,” Kalamian continued. “He wants that bond with someone . . . and I think he’s going to find that. “Early on in OKC, we had that.”
Storyline: Durant-Westbrook Relationship
Both players are among the NBA’s most talented, but that bond that Durant is after had been gone for some time. It disappeared at the start of the 2012-13 season when the Thunder traded James Harden to Houston. “We had that (bond) really with James Harden. He was a connector of everyone. He brought Westbrook, Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and they all kind of connected, they all came together,” Kalamian said. “James is a big reason and when he left I think Kevin said . . . that trade was the beginning of the end for him and now there wasn’t that connection as much. “Kevin and Russell, they respect the heck out of each other, no question about it. They played well together, they work well together, they communicate, but I think the connection was lost a little bit for whatever reason.”