Ian Begley: The Knicks continue to be in touch with Rajon Rondo. ESPN reported on the first day of free agency that the Knicks touched base with both Rondo and Darren Collison, though there was no substantive conversation regarding either player. The Knicks have continued to be in touch with Rondo, sources confirm. But there is no scheduled meeting yet. Some people in touch with the Knicks recently came away with the impression that NYK didn’t have strong interest in Rondo. The Knicks are looking for a point guard to mentor Frank Ntilikina, according to sources. Derrick Rose and Shelvin Mack are other point guards on their radar. The Knicks heard from the Celtics, who are open to trading Marcus Smart. The club’s interest in Smart is not know. The Knicks’ most-recent contact with Rondo was first reported by Basketball Insiders.
August 12, 2022 | 2:38 pm EDT Update
The Russell Westbrook situation does seem a little more interesting, at least in the sense that the Lakers might have more control than they do in talks with James. The team, after all, could always add more stuff to any trade offers in an effort to unload Westbrook. And depending on what the expectations are in return, they could simply just keep piling on the limited trade assets that they have (pick swaps, second-round picks, etc.). So far, that’s a road the Lakers haven’t seriously taken, Rob Pelinka surprising plenty of folks around the NBA with his hesitancy to attach multiple draft picks with Westbrook in trade talks.
Note: Those two firsts might not even be enough to entice Brooklyn to take on Westbrook. And there are the Lakers’ reasons for hesitancy with Kyrie Irving — his vaccination status, injury history and track record of saying he wants to stay somewhere before signing somewhere different — that have already and will certainly further be considered before talking about two firsts.
If and when Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell get traded, the space to make a Westbrook trade probably opens a little wider with the costs getting cleared. Lakers sources insist they have options beyond the ones that have been reported (Irving, Buddy Hield, Myles Turner and others). Time should better reveal those once the bigger moves get made.
Michael Scotto: Former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet is expected to play in China for the 2022-23 season, his agent Jerry Dianis told @HoopsHype. Thabeet has offers from multiple teams, including the Jilin Northeast Tigers and Fujian Xunxing Sturgeons.
The Sacramento Kings announced today the members of Head Coach Mike Brown’s coaching staff for the 2022-23 season. Jordi Fernandez has been named associate head coach. Jay Triano, Doug Christie, Luke Loucks and Leandro Barbosa will serve as assistant coaches.
Dutch Gaitley will serve as an assistant coach and director of player development, and Lindsey Harding will be an assistant coach and player development coach. Additionally, Deividas Dulkys will serve as a player development coach, Robbie Lemons as senior director of coaching analytics and strategy, Charles Allen as head video coordinator/special assistant to the Head Coach and Garrius Adams as assistant video coordinator.
August 12, 2022 | 1:03 pm EDT Update
As regards Jaylen Brown, the question has been floated publicly and around the league as to his feelings on a future with the Celtics beyond the two years remaining on the extension he signed in 2019. “I think Jaylen IS long term,” this latter source told Heavy. “If they want him long term and they’re going to pay him the contract he deserves, I think he’s all-in on Boston. From everything I’ve been told, Jaylen’s a loyal guy. I know frustration can happen when things aren’t going well, and I think we saw some of that earlier in this past season.