Chris Kirschner: Alex Len told me before the game that he wasn't very confident that he was going to be a Hawk tomorrow. "Am I confident? I don't know. Probably not."
Question Will the Suns make a deal before Thursday’s trading deadline? Scott Bordow: If Phoenix does make a deal, it likely will be a minor one. The Suns wouldn’t mind shedding Tyson Chandler’s $13.5 million contract next season but trading him is difficult for a couple of reasons. First, the market is limited for a 35-year-old center who isn’t a game-changer. Second, Phoenix doesn’t want salary in return unless it’s attached to a young, established player, and how many of those are lying around and could be had for Chandler? The most likely candidate to be dealt is backup shooting guard Troy Daniels, who will make just $3.2 million in 2018-19. Dealing Daniels would enable Phoenix to get a good look at rookie Davon Reed over the final 25 games of the season. But it’s unlikely the Suns could get anything more than a second-round pick for Daniels. The same goes for Alex Len, who will be an unrestricted free agent. It’s hard to imagine teams wanting to part with a first-round pick for Len, who started strongly this season but has been wildly inconsistent the past month.
Bobby Marks: Alex Len will also have veto power over any possible trade based on the 1 year bird restriction rule. Len would lose bird rights if traded.
Gambadoro reports the discussions have centered around involving small forward T.J. Warren, center Alex Len, Phoenix’s first-round pick this year and possibly more. The Suns own all of their future picks and also own two future Miami Heat first-round picks from the Goran Dragic deal.
June 19, 2021 | 3:49 pm EDT Update
Eric Walden: Rudy Gobert: “Obviously we had higher expectations than losing in the second round. Losing 4 in a row is something we didn’t do during the season. … You try to ask yourself the right questions about what we can do so it stops happening.”
Eric Walden: Georges: “To be honest, you wake up and you don’t know what happened. You’re — I don’t want to say in shock, but you’re constantly replaying moments in your head. ‘Should I have done this? Should I have done that?'”
Larry Brown said the coaching profession has been flooded with those who want premium jobs for the wrong reasons. “I don’t think coaching is for everybody,” he said. “Maybe people will get mad at me as the money has become so great now that a lot of people want to be coaches where maybe before they wouldn’t have even considered it. Guys that really want to coach, the ones that love the players, respect the game and want to give back and with our culture today, the kids are so much younger going into the NBA, so many of these kids have the responsibility of making their families’ lives better. With social media and so many people depending on them, that’s tough.”
He offers astute advice about reaching players and gaining their trust, two traits the Celtics are seeking in their new coach. “A lot of people talk about coach’s having a tree, I have a forest,” he said. “There’s some guys that you know right from the get-go if they wanted to coach could become a coach. They had the ability to get people to do things they didn’t want to do, which I think is so important in the NBA. And then there’s certain guys who aren’t afraid to tell guys what they need to do.”
Brown said the key to reaching younger players is trust. The Celtics, like five other teams, are searching for coach who can make a special connection with their superstar player. “What you have to do in the NBA, you can’t be afraid to coach these guys,” he said. “Because deep down they’ll do almost anything for you. I’ve had guys that I’ve coached that I think in a minute would be successful. And certainly those guys [Billups and Ham] fit that mold.”
June 19, 2021 | 3:34 pm EDT Update
On Saturday afternoon, Conley addressed his pending free agency during the Jazz’s customary exit interviews the day after the season. “Obviously you know how I feel about our team and the city and the fans,” he said. “It’s been just a wonderful two years. Definitely an up and down two years but wonderful regardless of how it ended last night. “Free agency is free agency…it’s something that I have to sit back and consider with my family and when that time comes, make the decision that’s best for us, myself. Like I said, obviously I’ve had a great time here, great, great experiences, coaches — Coach Quin and the players, Don and Rudy and everybody, so we’ll just have to see what happens.”