July 6, 2022 | 3:30 pm EDT Update
Brooklyn privately maintains that it won’t trade Kevin Durant unless it gets a package in return that starts with a blue-chipper like New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram or Toronto’s Scottie Barnes … along with lots more attached to a theoretical deal than the absolute hauls San Antonio and Utah received in exchange for Murray and Gobert.
Jalen Brunson has yet to rise to All-Star level, but league sources say that the presumed boost to his All-Star chances by moving from the Western Conference to the East was indeed among his motivations for agreeing to leave the Dallas Mavericks for the New York Knicks.
My sense, though, is that the league is likely to take a deeper look at the hiring of Rick Brunson as an assistant to Tom Thibodeau. That move, which the Knicks still have not officially announced, was reported by SportsNet New York’s Ian Begley in early June. As Rick Brunson himself indicated in an April piece by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, he had been actively involved in his son’s contract negotiations all season.
Some in coaching circles have estimated that the Knicks plan to pay the elder Brunson a seven-figure annual sum to replace Kenny Payne, who left the club to become the head coach at Louisville. I wrote about the “very, very, very real” threat that the Knicks posed to steal Brunson away from the Mavericks on June 24, nearly a week before free agency officially began, but there appears to be more to examine here than mere jumping-the-gun talk.
Schuler served as head coach of the Trail Blazers from 1987-89 and worked around the league in various coaching positions through 2005. He earned his NBA Coach of the Year recognition in his rookie season as a coach after leading the Trail Blazers to the playoffs with a record of 49-33. Schuler was the second coach in NBA history to win the prestigious award in their rookie season, with only five coaches currently holding that honor.
“I had the pleasure of being both coached by Mike and coaching alongside him later in my career,” said Terry Porter, former Trail Blazers player and NBA coach. “Mike was a terrific coach and had a great intensity about his coaching style with a focus on bringing out the best in his players. From a colleague standpoint, I was extremely grateful to have him on my coaching staff to share his experience, knowledge and kindness with me”