HoopsHype Ryan Saunders rumors
On the surface, the Washington Wizards’ decision to replace Ryan Saunders with David Adkins as player development assistant in July was unusual. Very rarely have coaches executed the leap from women’s college basketball to the NBA like Adkins did after five seasons on Brenda Frese’s staff at Maryland. The remarkable career progression, however, became an afterthought upon a perusal of Adkins’s coaching résumé: He was an assistant coach at Montrose Christian from 1999 to 2006, when Kevin Durant came through the Rockville private school. Durant, the reigning NBA most valuable player, is scheduled to be a free agent in 2016 when his contract with Oklahoma City expires and hasn’t rejected the possibility of returning to play for his hometown team. Washington Post
Wizards guard Bradley Beal admitted that he had “no idea” who Adkins was before the two met at the Las Vegas summer league in July, but Beal and swingman Martell Webster both credited Adkins for challenging yet enjoyable rehabilitation sessions that closely resembled game-like situations as they recovered from injuries to start the season. “He definitely pushes you to the max, man,” Beal said. “He wants the best for you, and he’s going to push you until your tongue is hanging dry. He’ll do whatever it takes to get you better.” Washington Post
Don Zierden, Sam Cassell and Saunders’s son, Ryan, were all brought to the organization as part of Saunder’s coaching staff in Washington. A person with knowledge of the situation said Saunders has yet to contact the Wizards about hiring any of them, but the team “wouldn’t be surprised” if he called. Saunders already brought former Wizards executive Milt Newton to Minnesota as general manager. Washington Post
One of the more interesting (but untold) stories of the Washington Wizards' return to the playoffs after a five-season absence is the presence of assistant coach Ryan Saunders on Randy Wittman's bench. Saunders made his way to Washington as an assistant for his father, Flip, and became a coaching free agent last summer after a season and a half under Wittman. But, instead of following Flip to Minnesota, where the elder Saunders became the Timberwolves' new team president and part owner last May, Ryan was retained by the Wizards, who didn't want to surrender the contributions he makes on the scouting and analytics side as well as his presence on the floor as one of Wittman's aides alongside veterans Don Newman, Sam Cassell and Don Zierden. ESPN.com
Sources confirm to 1500ESPN.com that, in addition to taking over the front office, former coach Flip Saunders will invest approximately $8 million in the Wolves. Saunders remains close with Wolves' director of operations, Rob Babcock, who's expected to stay on. Look for Saunders to hire his son, Ryan, from Washington. 1500 ESPN
While many teams still use PCs and laptops to view their statistical analysis, game reports and player evaluations, players, coaches and front office personnel are discovering the portability of iPads is speeding up the flow of team-wide communication like never before. “We use it for everything. We put our whole playbook and rulebook on it,” said Washington Wizards assistant coach Ryan Saunders, whose father, head coach Flip Saunders, unofficially made the team the first known NBA franchise to use iPads for team operations. “Our whole calender is mapped out. Guys can know when buses are leaving, when planes are leaving.” SLAM
Any rumor missing? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.