Adrian Wojnarowski: Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers did a short extension over the summer that allowed both sides a chance to escape deal in 2019. As Rivers told reporters, that’s been replaced with a longer-term deal. For Rivers, Lakers were never a consideration. He wanted to crush that talk today.
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Dan Woike: Doc Rivers said he and Steve Ballmer have agreed to an extension. Extension originally had an out this summer, but that’s been scrapped. “This is a great place to work.”
The Suns have not committed to bringing first-year coach Igor Kokoskov back for next season, and with just 16 wins, Phoenix could take a step backward in a season in which improvement was expected. A source told Sporting News that Walton, who starred at Arizona, is seen as a top potential replacement for Kokoskov should the Suns make a move.
But Walton could look elsewhere for opportunities, given the apparent dysfunction in Phoenix. According to sources, the Cavaliers will seek a coach who can develop the franchise’s young players, particularly point guard Collin Sexton and whomever the Cavs select in this year’s draft. Should Cleveland land a top-three pick, the job will look much better.
It was James’ associates, remember, who tried to get the Lakers to hire former Heat assistant David Fizdale (who went to the Knicks) last spring before James joined the team, an idea that was quickly nixed by Buss. And while James might want to retread his old coach, former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue, or his old Olympic teammate, Jason Kidd, Johnson may want a push for Michigan State coach and friend Tom Izzo, who’s given no indication he wants to leave the collegiate ranks. Expect Buss, who has backed Walton all year, to support a reasonable, qualified head coach who can please multiple factions, like Monty Williams.
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March 21, 2019 | 9:04 pm EDT Update
Eddie Sefko: Rick Carlisle says Tim Hardaway Jr. will be shut down for the season to let his stress reaction in his leg heal.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on Kevin Durant: “I did speak with Kevin. Obviously, a very difficult time for Kevin and Kevin’s family. Quinn Cook was very close with the victim as well. Very somber mood at shoot-around today. … For most of us who play this game, this is kind of our refuge.”
Logan Murdock: Steve Kerr on what he think the reaction will be when Andrew Bogut takes the floor tonight: “I think he’s going to get more than a warm reception. I think he’s going to get a raucous reception.”
Kyle Ratke: With this bucket, Karl-Anthony Towns passes Kevin Love for fourth in team history in total points with 6,990 points. Up next is Sam Mitchell and his 7,161 points.