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Grand Rapids Drive news gathered from around the net.

Thunder Name Mark Daigneault Head Coach Of D-League Affiliate

The Oklahoma City Thunder named Mark Daigneault as the head coach of its D-League team.

“Mark has placed a high value on development throughout his career and we feel that he is well aligned with the goals of our organization,” said Presti. “His experience at Florida under Coach Donovan has provided him the platform to apply his intelligence and relationship skills to help strengthen the program. We are excited about Mark joining the organization and continuing his professional growth.”

Daigneault joins the Thunder organization after spending the past four years working under Billy Donovan at the University of Florida where he most recently held the position of Assistant to the Head Coach. Last season, the Gators became the first SEC team to go 18-0 in conference play, and during Daigneault’s four years at Florida, the program posted a 120-30 record (.800) while advancing to the Elite Eight each season.

“Mark has been a valuable member of our staff the past four seasons, and I'm very happy to see him get this opportunity with a great organization,” said University of Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan. “We all wish him the best of luck and know he'll do a tremendous job.”

Prior to arriving at Florida, the Leominster, Mass. native spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Thanasis Antetokounmpo Joining Knicks' D-League Affiliate After Considering Europe Deals

After mulling between the NBA Development League and European clubs, New York draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo has decided to play next season with the Knicks’ affiliate in Westchester, sources told RealGM.

Antetokounmpo considered several significant contract offers in Europe if he elected to pass on a consecutive season in the D-League, but Knicks management made clear that it hoped Antetokounmpo would remain within the organization in 2014-15.

For now, the Knicks plan for Antetokounmpo to sign directly with Westchester, meaning no training camp deal, sources told RealGM. This allows the Knicks to maintain his rights into the D-League, leaving him off the available market as a free agent should he be released in camp participation.

Throughout Antetokounmpo’s decision-making process, Phil Jackson and Steve Mills reaffirmed their long-term vision for the 22-year-old forward, sources said. The Knicks have a full roster of guaranteed contracts at 15.

Antetokounmpo – the older brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo – was New York’s 51st overall selection in the NBA Draft in June. Thanasis Antetokounmpo showcased his defensive activity in five summer league appearances for the Knicks, and he averaged three points and nearly two rebounds per game.

Louis Labeyrie, the Knicks’ No. 57 pick in the draft, will continue to develop with his French team in Paris and could start discussions on an NBA contract next summer, a source told RealGM.

A scouted talent out of Greece, Antetokounmpo started his professional career a year ago with Delaware of the D-League. He averaged 12 points and 4.6 rebounds in 50 games for Delaware.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Phil Hubbard Could Become Head Coach Of D-Fenders

Phil Hubbard is the leading candidate to become head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, D-League affiliate for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hubbard played for the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Hubbard is a longtime assistant coach with a long tenure under Eddie Jordan with the Washington Wizards and previous stops in the D-League.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Jonnie West Named Santa Cruz Associate GM

The Golden State Warriors have promoted Jonnie West to associate general manager of the Santa Cruz Warriors.

West, 26, is the youngest son of Jerry West.

West has lived with his parents in Los Angeles, but he expects to move to San Francisco in September.

At West Virginia, Jonnie played in 77 games and earned letters in 2008, 09, 10 and 11 under Bob Huggins. He had been redshirted as a true freshman in 2007.

Via Mickey Furfari/Register Herald

Dean Cooper Named Head Coach Of D-League's Stampede

The Utah Jazz Jazz have named Dean Cooper as Head Coach of the Idaho Stampede.

Cooper spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets.

“We are pleased to welcome Dean to our organization," Dennis Lindsey said in a statement. "The D-League is a critical component in building teams and it begins with each affiliate’s head coach."

The Jazz hired Quin Snyder as their new head coach this offseason.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Otis Smith In Talks To Become Pistons' D-League Coach

Otis Smith is in talks with the Detroit Pistons about becoming head coach of their D-League franchise.

Stan Van Gundy and Smith worked together with the Orlando Magic.

Detroit's D-League franchise will play in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Smith was named GM in Orlando in May 2006 and was ultimately promoted to president of basketball operations before leaving the franchise.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Jamal Jones To Sign In D-League After Junior Season At Texas A&M

After leaving Texas A&M’s basketball program as a junior, Jamal Jones will sign in the NBA Development League in hopes of boosting his stock for the 2015 NBA Draft, a source told RealGM.

Jones is fresh off a breakout season for the Aggies, averaging a team-high 13.4 points to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

Jones has hired agent Charles Briscoe for represenation.

The 6-foot-8 swingman also had considered transferring to another school before he decided to start his professional career in the D-League.

Jones, 21, transferred to Texas A&M after spending his first two collegiate seasons at Ole Miss (2011-12) and Lee College (2012-13).

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Todd Mayo Leaving Marquette To Pursue Pro Career

Todd Mayo, the brother of O.J. Mayo, plans to leave Marquette University before his upcoming senior season and pursue professional basketball in the NBA Development League or overseas, sources with direct knowledge of his decision told RealGM on Wednesday.

Mayo confirmed his choice to leave Marquette, and he told RealGM that he expects to sign in the D-League and place his name in the 2015 NBA Draft.

“I’m looking forward to the D-League and just learning and getting better,” Mayo said by phone on Wednesday afternoon.

In his junior season, Mayo was Marquette’s third-leading scorer at 11.3 points per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the field. The 6-foot-3 guard played 30 games a season ago and was expected to emerge as a starter in 2014-15.

Mayo, 23, has received support from his family and the university in deciding to leave school. Marquette officials are expected to make an official announcement within the coming days.

Todd and O.J. Mayo reunited in Milwaukee last season, when O.J. averaged 11.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in his first year with the Bucks.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Agent Of Josh Huestis Proposed Delaying Rookie Contract By Going To D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder drafted Josh Huestis with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

First round picks typically receive guaranteed contracts for two seasons, but the Thunder and Huestis agreed for him to spend his rookie season with their D-League affiliate. Huestis will receive approximately $25,000 instead of $750,000. Huestis can start his rookie scale contract later.

The Thunder are essentially stashing Huestis in the D-League.

Huestis' agent Mitchell Butler tells SB Nation that the player's camp proposed it during the pre-draft process.

"This was the perfect team and the perfect storm," he said. "This isn't for everyone."

 

The move has been criticized by a variety of sources, as it may violate an NBA bylaw that compensation cannot be discussed with draft picks until after the player has been selected. 

Via Mike Prada/SB Nation

D-League President Dan Reed Leaving NBA For Facebook

NBA Development League President Dan Reed is leaving the NBA after more than a decade of service to join Facebook as head of global sports partnerships. His last day is July 31.

Reed, who began his NBA tenure as senior manager of team marketing and business operations in 2004, was elevated to his current post in 2007.   

“Dan’s exceptional business acumen and tireless work ethic have lifted the NBA Development League to new heights,” said Mark Tatum.  “We thank Dan for his contributions to the NBA and look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Via RealGM Staff Report

Grand Rapids Drive Archives

Magic, BayHawks Enter Single Affiliation Partnership

The D-League now has eight single partnership affiliates.

Suns, Bakersfield Enter Single Affiliate D-League Partnership

The Suns become the record 15th NBA franchise to have a one-to-one relationship with an NBA D-League team, solidifying half of the NBA’s 30 teams as singly-affiliated.

Howard, Murphy, Covington, Jeffers, Hamilton Headline All-D-League Team

Ron Howard, Kevin Murphy, Robert Covington, Othyus Jeffers and Justin Hamilton were First Team selections.

NBA Announces List Of 75 Early Entry Candidates For Draft

The NBA has announced 75 early entry candidates for the 2014 NBA Draft, including 45 players from colleges and 30 International players.

Ron Howard, Othyus Jeffers Named D-League Co-MVPs

Ron Howard averaged 20.5 points to go with 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists, while Othyus Jeffers averaged 20.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

DeAndre Liggins Named D-League Defensive Player Of The Year

DeAndre Liggins appeared in 42 regular season games for the Skyforce, anchoring the defensive efforts of a Sioux Falls team that held their opponents to league-lows of only 45 percent shooting from the field and 100.1 points per 100 possessions.

Robert Covington Named D-League Rookie Of The Year

Robert Covington averaged 23.2 points, good for second-best in the NBA D-League, while shooting 44 percent from the field.

Warriors Recall Ognjen Kuzmic, Nemanja Nedovic From Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic from the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Magic To Enter Into Single-Affiliate Relationship With Bayhawks

The Magic will run basketball ops and the ownership will handle business operations and community relations.

Rockets Reassign Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington To D-League

The Rockets re-assigned Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Cavaliers Recall Sergey Karasev From Canton

Sergey Karasev will be available for the Cavaliers on Saturday against the Celtics.

Kings Assign Willie Reed To D-League

The Kings assigned forward Willie Reed to their D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns.

Rockets Sign Dexter Pittman, Release Greg Smith

Dexter Pittman has averaged 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds with the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League.

Armor To Relocate To Grand Rapids In Hybrid Deal With Pistons

The Pistons will launch a D-League team in Grand Rapids with the Springfield Armor relocating.

Rockets Recall Robert Covington, Troy Daniels From D-League

The Rockets recalled Robert Covington and Troy Daniels from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League.

Glen Rice Jr. Enjoyed Building Endurance In D-League

Glen Rice Jr. averaged 14.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in the D-League.

Thunder Sign Grant Jerrett

Grant Jarrett joins the Thunder after spending the past season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.

Patrick Christopher Named D-League Player Of The Week

Patrick Christopher averaged 28.3 points on 65 percent shooting from the floor to go with 5.3 rebound and 2.0 assists.

Adonis Thomas Signs 10-Day Contract With 76ers

Adonis Thomas has had two 10-day stints with the Magic this season

Glen Rice Jr. Recalled To Wizards

Glen Rice Jr. has appeared in 11 games for Washington this season.
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