Darnell Mayberry: The Thunder has added Mo Cheeks to its coaching staff, The Oklahoman has learned. Billy Donovan now has two former NBA head coaches on staff. With Mo Cheeks, Monty Williams and Anthony Grant, first-year Thunder coach Billy Donovan will have three former head coaches at his side.
July 30, 2015 | 4:51 pm EDT Update
July 30, 2015 | 4:18 pm EDT Update
The Lakers face one of their easiest decisions of the summer on Saturday, the deadline to cut second-year guard Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson, selected 46th overall in the 2014 NBA draft, is under contract for the 2015-16 season, but for a non-guaranteed $845,059. According to the terms of his contract, Clarkson’s contract locks in for the year, provided the Lakers do not waive him on or by Aug. 1. Naturally, the Lakers will keep one of last season’s best rookies, as confirmed to The Times by a team spokesman.
Because Clarkson played with the Lakers’ summer league squad in Las Vegas earlier in the month, the guarantee date of his contract moved up from opening night (approximately Oct. 31) to the first day of August. Once the Lakers let the deadline pass on Saturday, the team will have 14 players under contract, with two (Tarik Black and Jabari Brown) on similar non-guaranteed $845,059 deals.
July 30, 2015 | 1:59 pm EDT Update
Q: Has James said he will be playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics? Colangelo: I think he is intent on wanting to play for USA Basketball and be in the Olympics next year.
Q: Do you expect LeBron James to be playing for USA in the Olympics next year? Colangelo: He is one of the greatest players of all time. If he wants to be on the team, how is he not going to be on the team? It’s really not my call. It’s really his call. If that is still important to him and what he wants to do, I truly believe that’s what he wants, than he will be there.
Flip Saunders: But you say luck, and maybe I say patience. I didn’t have a problem keeping Kevin into the final year of his deal and coaching him. Guys just don’t turn down the extra year and $30 million. Even though he maybe wanted to leave, I thought we still had an opportunity to re-sign him. When you are patient, you can say, “This is what we need to get something done, and if we don’t get it, we’re keeping him.” Then things kind of fell into place, with LeBron going to Cleveland and [Andrew] Wiggins becoming available. That’s when you can say “lucky.”
Is KG going to start? He’s gonna start. That’s who he is. KG is a starter. He’s the best power forward on our team, actually. No one rebounds better. He’s the best help defender. No one communicates better. He knows the offense, and he can pass it.
How often do you think about Sam Cassell’s injury in the 2004 playoffs — a hip thing, I think, right before the conference finals against the Lakers? Flip Saunders: All the time. It was his hip. He made a shot out of the corner against Sacramento in Game 7 [of the conference semifinals], and he did his little Big Balls dance, and from that, he created a little avulsion fracture in his hip. No question, I think about that dance all the time. But that’s the NBA. I went to four straight conference finals in Minnesota and Detroit, and we had injury issues in each one. The team that wins the title is usually the healthiest team.
Colangelo: In Kevin Love’s case, he really felt bad in not being there to participate after he said he would. That was more about advice he’s getting from legal counsel and his agent. That, too, is a variable. We have no control over that. If that happens next year with one or two players and they’re out, it’s not the end of the world. We have other players. The point is with the roster we have we can take hits like that and there are other guys to step in.
Colangelo: I understand his disappointment. He’s a great player. For whatever reason, the times he’s been with us he just hasn’t played as well as he’s capable of playing. That happens to be at a position where we are overloaded. There is no question about that. And so that’s not a knock on him. I have a great respect for him as a player and through the course of an NBA season, he shows how great he is. The fact that he wasn’t selected really hurt him. He was extended an invitation, but I don’t think he’s coming.
Q: Is there any way you can convince Mike Krzyzewski to coach past the 2016 Rio Olympics? Colangelo: No. This time I know it’s done. I’m already working on the future. But my focus is on ’16. I have so much time on my hands that I’m already working on it. Q: Do you already have a next coach in mind? Colangelo: I always have a guy already in my head. Always did and always will.
The Detroit Pistons announced today that Detroit Collegiate Preparatory at Northwestern High School is the winner of a new library as a part of the “Reading Room Makeover” contest presented by Farm Bureau Insurance. The newly renovated library at Detroit Collegiate Preparatory, located at 2200 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI, 48208, will be unveiled during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 21 with Pistons personalities present. Pistons Legend Earl Cureton, along with Farm Bureau Insurance representatives and Palace Sports & Entertainment employees, will kick-off the six-week renovation in a day of service on August 6.
July 30, 2015 | 1:19 pm EDT Update
Olimpia Milano agreed to terms with Robbie Hummel, a source told Sportando. The forward will complete the roster of the Italian powerhouse. Hummel returns to Europe after two seasons in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Josh Robbins: Vucevic: “It’s definitely a very important year for us. After a couple of tough seasons where we haven’t been very successful as a team… I think it’s time for us to turn it around and have a better year.”