The Cleveland Cavaliers moved closer Saturday to completing a first round of candidate interviews for the franchise’s head-coaching job, league sources told ESPN. Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman and members of his front office met separately with several assistant coaches in Denver on the eve of Game 7 between the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, including Denver assistants Jordi Fernandez and Wes Unseld Jr. and Portland assistant David Vanterpool, league sources said.
The Cavaliers also interviewed Orlando Magic assistant Steve Hetzel in Denver on Saturday, sources said. The Cavaliers had received permission to interview another Trail Blazers assistant, Nate Tibbetts, but scheduling conflicts will push that meeting until after the Blazers-Nuggets Western Conference semifinals series ends, sources said. The Cavaliers interviewed San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina in the past several days.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Orlando assistant Steve Hetzel interviewed for the Cleveland coaching job today, league sources tell ESPN. Hetzel has been with Steve Clifford in Charlotte and Orlando, but initially worked for Cavs as a video coordinator and G League head coach.
Fernandez, now 36 and an assistant on Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone’s bench, is one of four candidates to be the next Cavaliers coach who used to work inside the organization. ... Sentimentality isn’t going to have anything to do with whom Cleveland general manager Koby Altman hires as his coach, but if it did, Fernandez would be a shoo-in. “We are so pumped for him just to be mentioned as a possibility of that happening,” said Brown, who coached the Cavs from 2005-2010, again in 2013-14, and is now the Warriors’ chief assistant. “Cleveland would be, in my opinion, foolish to not hire him because he brings so many things to the table.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio Spurs assistant Ime Udoka will interview for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job this weekend, league sources tell ESPN.
Nearly three weeks after dismissing head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, the Grizzlies have officially begun the process of finding his replacement. And the first candidate known the Grizzlies have brought in could provide a clue as to what the team is looking for in its next head coach. Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen interviewed for the Memphis Grizzlies job on Tuesday, according to league sources and The Athletic’s Tony Jones. Regardless of the direction the Grizzlies decide to commit toward next season, Jensen appears to be a capable fit. Jensen is also interviewing for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opening, league sources told The Athletic.
Jensen, who has been with the Jazz since 2013, is regarded as a tactician who played a major role in developing star center Rudy Gobert. The Jazz won 25 games during his first season. Five seasons later, Utah is coming off three consecutive 48-plus win seasons and playoff berths. If hired by the Grizzlies, one of Jensen’s primary tasks will be developing big man Jaren Jackson Jr., who is entering his second season and is viewed by many within the organization as a franchise centerpiece.
Tony Jones: Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen interviewed today in Memphis for the vacant Grizzlies head coaching job, league sources tell @Omari Sanfoka II and myself. Jensen is also expected to interview in Cleveland this week, league sources say
Joe Vardon: J.B. Bickerstaff is interviewing with the Cavs for their coaching vacancy today, sources tell me and @Shams Charania. Utah assistant Alex Jensen will interview with the Cavs this week.
Koby Altman of Cleveland's Cavaliers watched the game between Zalgiris and Fenerbahce that ended with the victory of the Turkish and his goal in the arena was to talk to Sarunas Jasikevicius.
“It is wonderful to be in this arena. The atmosphere here is incredible. Do we want something from Zalgiris? I can't reveal (smiles). Maybe. We will look at what we can do," Altman told a reporter.
Sarunas Jasikevicius: "I always say that it will be hard getting me out of here. May need to kick me through the door with both legs, unless it's something amazing. A coach's life is definitely not easy and I realized during the short time I coached. For me as a coach it's very important how the people around me support me."
Tony Jones: and myself: The Cleveland Cavaliers have sought and received permission to interview Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen. He is expected to interview next week, sources say
March 5, 2021 | 7:03 am EST Update
Darren Wolfson: From some correspondence with somebody close to Collins, that camp views this situation, the idea of Collins playing next to KAT as favorable.
If nothing happens, Randle stands to be a restricted free agent in 2022. “We’ll see when we get to that time,” Randle said. “But right now, I’m really just focused on what we have to do as a team. That’s so far ahead in the future. When that time presents itself I’ll be ready, we’ll talk or whatever, but I’m really just focused on this team, first off getting a win [Thursday] going into All-Star break, getting my body right so I’m healthy, staying on top of what I have to, starting off the second half of the season strong. That’s where my focus is right now.”
Darren Wolfson: The Wolves had trade interest in Gordon last year, February-January of 2020. They talked to Orlando. They’ve been trying to trade for Aaron Gordon for a while. They view him as a really good fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns. So the Wolves have engaged Orlando in numerous talks. In fact, I’ll advance it here by saying I’m told that the Wolves made Orlando a pretty nice offer before Gordon got hurt sometime earlier this calendar year. So they talked to Orlando around draft time. Then at some point after the season started. I’m told they made some sort of offer. I don’t have specifics on what that offer entailed. Clearly, it wasn’t enough to get a deal done.
From the looks of things, you seem more aggressive, you’re embracing the role of being the primary option and you look happy with the Hornets. Is this correct? Hayward: For sure. I’m really enjoying my time in Charlotte, certainly the role’s a little bit different, one that I’m embracing. It’s a season I’m really enjoying.
So let’s discuss the elephant in the room. When did you decide to leave the Celtics and why? Hayward: Not until that day when I decided. There was so much that happened before that, in the bubble, me getting hurt. In the bubble I felt like our team was playing really well, I felt like I was doing well. Then I get hurt, I have to come out of the bubble to rehab, then go back in, not fully healthy, we lose in the playoffs and at the same time I have a baby boy and come back home. The league told us the season probably wasn’t going to start until the end of January, so I have a minor surgery to do and rehab. But then actually we’re going to start right before Christmas. Then you’re scrambling, trying to get ready and healthy, then free agency hits and ultimately you have to decide where to be. It really wasn’t was until the day I decided that I wanted to have a fresh start and try to help this team.