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Joe Mussatto: Thunder officially announces Mark Daigneault as its new head coach. pic.twitter.com/DPTVhx5IH9
Royce Young: Daigneault is a great example of the Thunder’s wholistic developmental mindset, too. Presti met him scouting Bradley Beal when Daigneault was 26 and a grad assist. at Florida, hired him at 29 to coach the OKC Blue, then promoted him to a Thunder assistant a couple years ago.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Oklahoma City Thunder are promoting assistant Mark Daigneault to become the franchise’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN.
Presti has been enthusiastic over Daigneault’s proven track record in the Thunder organization, sources said, including connecting with players, teaching the game and making the kind of short- and longer-term adjustments that are crucial for a franchise that is transitioning out of playoff contention and toward a younger, developmental roster. In his time as a G-League coach, he was 143-107 with four playoff appearances and eight players called up to NBA rosters, including four players signed to two-way deals, in the past season.
Salman Ali: Chris Paul is the same age as his head coach.
Sydney Kings head coach Will Weaver is currently in quarantine in Oklahoma City as he continues to emerge as a candidate for the Thunder’s vacant head coach position, sources have told ESPN.
The Sydney Kings confirmed on Friday that Weaver was granted permission to travel to the United States to pursue NBA opportunities. “Will has kept us informed in an ongoing basis in regards to the recent discussions he has been involved in,” Kings chairman and owner Paul Smith said.
Darvin Ham: Ham has a diverse résumé of NBA experiences. He’s won a title as a player on the 2004 Detroit Pistons. He coached the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of what was then the D-League. He’s been an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he has been one of Mike Budenholzer’s top assistants in Atlanta and Milwaukee for seven seasons. He recently interviewed with the Clippers and Pacers for their head coaching vacancies. “He’s almost overqualified,” an Eastern Conference scout said of Ham interviewing for the job. “He has presence, he’s sharp, and he’s played for good coaches.”
Charles Lee: Lee, 35, is considered one of the top young assistants in the NBA. He’s worked six years with Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee and took on more responsibility with the Bucks when Taylor Jenkins left for the Memphis head coaching job in 2019. Lee has played an integral part in the Bucks’ opponent scouting and player development. He works closely with Khris Middleton, who has earned consecutive All-Star selections. “He’s talented and has a very good presence about him,” an Eastern Conference scout told The Athletic about Lee. “He can relate to all walks of life and different backgrounds of people.”
The last of the league’s nine coaching vacancies is in Oklahoma City. Will Hardy, an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, Charles Lee from the Milwaukee Bucks’ staff and Mark Daigneault, an assistant coach with the Thunder, are among the candidates who have received strong consideration for the post. Other outlets have mentioned the Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe and the former Nets assistant Will
Brian Windhorst: The Thunder are beginning to look at a rebuild, which is one of the reasons why Billy Donovan did not stay. So with the expectation this could be a first-time head coach. Some of the names that I’ve heard: David Vanterpool, who is an assistant with the Timberwolves. Adrian Griffin, who’s been a candidate for jobs over the years, recently with Toronto. And watch out for a sleeper candidate: Will Hardy, assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, a lot of people are very high on him.
Brandon Rahbar: My two big takeaways from Presti’s media call: 1. Without knowing when the season will start or what the salary cap looks like, Presti will wait before making any coach or roster decisions. 2. He likes Donovan. But with OKC’s future in the air, change was best for both sides.
Oklahoma City Thunder have picked up the option on coach Billy Donovan’s contract for the 2019-20 season, the final year on his original five-year deal, a league source told ESPN.
Thunder Executive VP and GM Sam Presti has worked closely with Donovan, whom he hired out of Florida three years ago, and considered the guaranteeing of the contract largely a formality. It is possible that a strong playoff performance could move the organization to pursue a contract extension with Donovan, but his contract is now guaranteed through next season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Oklahoma City Thunder has picked up option on Coach Billy Donovan’s contract for the 2019-20 season, the fifth year on his original deal, league source tells ESPN. Donovan is the fourth winningest coach with same team over his four years, behind Kerr, Popovich and Stevens.
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September 18, 2021 | 5:41 pm EDT Update
You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update
The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago… it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.
September 18, 2021 | 8:54 am EDT Update
There are reports that Anthony Davis will play center for the Los Angeles Lakers this coming season with LeBron James taking the power forward position. In the past AD said that he does not love playing the five but can do it if needed. Lakers legend James Worthy thinks that the best option is to use the former number one pick in the post. “I think initiating Anthony Davis in the post is the best option,” Worthy said on Spectrum SportsNet. “I’ve never been one of those players to say ‘I don’t wanna play three, I wanna play four. I wanna play.’ I don’t know what the problem is, maybe who he defends or where he is on the floor. I think the five is a good spot for him. Because other fives don’t have a shot at guarding him.