May 21, 2013 3:00 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Clippers have fired Vinny Del Negro, according to a source.
Del Negro has been with the Clippers since the 10-11 season.
The Clippers are believed to be interested in Lionel Hollins and Mike Malone.
Donald Sterling was known as a supporter of Del Negro, but a decision had been made to do everything possible to increase their chances of re-signing Chris Paul.
Sources say Paul wanted a coaching change for the Clippers.
"This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward," said Gary Sacks in a statement.
A league source tells ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that the situation for Del Negro changed when it appeared as though Sterling may be nearing a new deal with him.
"Once it became a reality that (Sterling) might keep him everyone with a phone got to Donald," said a source.
May 21, 2013 1:26 PM EDT
Masai Ujiri has been identified as the Toronto Raptors' top target to replace Bryan Colangelo as general manager.
The Raptors could offer Ujiri a salary in excess of $2 million to leave the Denver Nuggets.
Ujiri is reportedly earning approximately $500,000 in the final season of his contract with the Nuggets. The Nuggets, however, are confident that they will be able to retain Ujiri.
May 21, 2013 1:23 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Clippers are interested in signing David West this offseason.
The Clippers will have to entice West with the $5.15 million midlevel exception available to teams that are non-taxpayers.
West played with Chris Paul as members of the New Orleans Hornets.
The Indiana Pacers will be able to pay West more money to re-sign.
May 21, 2013 10:54 AM EDT
Carmelo Anthony would like the New York Knicks to re-sign J.R. Smith this offseason.
“Without a doubt,” Anthony said Monday when asked about Smith. “J.R. is a special player. To me, and to everybody on this team, he’s made a huge step forward as a basketball player. We look forward to that, for him to come out and be focused, the way he was focused this season, win the Sixth Man of the Year, help us to win another division title, helping us to win 50-plus games. He was a big help to this team and I definitely would love him back here.”
The Knicks could be trumped by a rival team with more cap space since they can only offer the early Bird exception beginning at $4.9 million per season.
May 21, 2013 10:46 AM EDT
Stan Van Gundy appeared on The David Baumann Radio Show on Tuesday morning in Orlando and confirmed he will not coach next season.
“As you get down the road more and the longer you are out, the harder it is to get back in and that was certainly a difficult part of the decision process for me because it’s certainly something that I miss and don’t want to close the door on for the rest of my life, but, it is not right now anyway, in the best interest of my family, so it won’t be next year,” said Van Gundy.
Van Gundy has not interviewed with any teams, though he has been contacted.
The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks are two teams known to have interest in Van Gundy.
“I sort of laugh a little bit on jobs I supposedly interviewed for. I don’t know who those sources are. I certainly have had inquiries from people, but no job offers and I have not interviewed anywhere.”
Van Gundy was also asked about an ESPN report indicating Dwight Howard's frustration with Mike D'Antoni.
“When Dwight has a private meeting with Mitch Kupchak, I don’t know who the source would be… other than Mitch Kupchak," said Van Gundy. "My guess is Mitch is not the source and Dwight is not the source.
“I know through my own history and even some things written about what I was supposedly doing this Spring, that quite honestly, I think a lot of times these writers just sit down, make up a story, claim there’s a source and put it out there. I hate to say that, but there’s no other explanation.”
May 21, 2013 10:22 AM EDT
The Houston Rockets have emerged as an attractive free agent possibility for Dwight Howard, according to sources.
Howard became familiar with the area after spending part of two summers ago working with Hakeem Olajuwon.
Howard is also intrigued by the possibility of playing with James Harden.
Howard will engage in the free agency process and is expected to hear pitches from the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and the Rockets.
May 21, 2013 10:14 AM EDT
Dwight Howard expressed to Mitch Kupchak during his exit interview that he was frustrated by how Mike D'Antoni used him during his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to sources.
Howard also felt marginalized by D'Antoni, feeling he looked to Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for leadership and suggestions.
D'Antoni elected not to retain Chuck Person on his coaching staff, who is a confidant of Howard. Furthermore, Steve Clifford has become a head coaching candidate for several NBA vacancies. Clifford was with Howard for five seasons with the Orlando Magic.
One source described the potential departure of Clifford, coupled with the loss of Person as "removing the buffers," between Howard and D'Antoni, "which is a bad thing."
Howard has been careful not to make public comments after what happened last season with Stan Van Gundy, but the situation with D'Antoni doesn't appear to be irreparable.
"It's not a, 'It's me or Mike,' situation for Dwight," said a source.
Howard is a free agent and can sign a five-year, $118 million contract with the Lakers, or up to a four-year, $87.6 million deal with a rival team that has cap space.
May 20, 2013 9:34 PM EDT
The Toronto Raptors will announce on Tuesday that Bryan Colangelo's tenure as chief decision-maker of basketball operations is over, but sources say he will remain with the franchise in a corporate role.
Colangelo has always been viewed as loyal to the organization and it appears as though new MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke and ownership will honor that.
Colangelo will coincidentally represent the Raptors at the lottery on Tuesday.
MLSE has hired a search firm to narrow a list of candidates, though Ed Stefanski will likely guide the front office until a new GM is hired.
May 20, 2013 7:28 PM EDT
The Golden State Warriors have never paid the luxury tax, but their strong showing in the 2013 NBA Playoffs further confirms the new ownership's willingness to consider it.
"When you start from a place of winning, you may venture into the tax if it does help you win and it’s worth it," said Bob Myers. "But you have to be smart about it, you have to be prudent about it.
"But we’ve shown last year–I can tell you, it was a decision we made with Carl Landry, with his signing, and re-acquiring Brandon Rush. Do we want to go into the tax? And the dialogue our front office had with our ownership was, 'Are you comfortable going into the tax? And we cannot promise that we’ll be able to get out of the tax.'
"And ownership answered in the affirmative. “Go, if you think Cal Landry and Brandon Rush are going to be important to this team, go get ‘em.”
"I imagine it’ll be the same directive this summer."
The Warriors also have appeared to move beyond the desire to make a major franchise altering move. Golden State pursued a trade for Chris Paul in December of 2011.
"I think a sense desperation has passed," said Myers.
"I think that–whereas when you’re trying to do anything to get over the hump you do sometimes chase things that may be difficult to acquire. Whereas now, doesn’t mean we’re satisfied, it doesn’t mean we think our work is through, but we can be prudent and patient with opportunities as they come along."
May 20, 2013 1:39 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Clippers have no interest in pursuing Dwight Howard this offseason, according to sources.
The Clippers have been reported as a possible destination, albeit a longshot, to end up with Howard.
The Clippers do not have cap space to sign Howard while also re-signing Chris Paul, which would have forced them to complete several complicated deals in order to acquire him.
The Kings have been sold to Vivek Ranadive, which makes the status of Geoff Petrie as basketball president an unknown.
Scott Skiles was fired in the middle of last season by the Bucks.
MLSE faces a Monday deadline to make a decision on their option on Bryan Colangelo's contract for next season.
Amar'e Stoudemire has two years remaining on his uninsured contract and is nearly impossible to trade.
Chris Wallace has years left on his contract as the Grizzlies' GM, but he has no guarantees moving forward.
Antoine Walker last played in the NBA during the 2007-08 season for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jerry Sloan resigned as coach of the Jazz in 2011.
Nerlens Noel is the favorite to go No. 1 in the June draft.
Kendrick Perkins is set to make about $18 million over the next two seasons.
Gani Lawal has already scheduled workouts – private and as part of mini-camps – with the Pacers, Raptors and Magic.
Masai Ujiri's contract with the Nuggets expires this summer and he has been in discussions on an extension.
Victor Oladipo is projected to go in the top five of the upcoming NBA draft.
Vinny Del Negro's contract with the Clippers expires on June 30.
The Celtics' medical staff is confident rest will heal Kevin Garnett's ankle.
There is no timetable for Charlotte to rename its team to the Hornets and Adam Silver has said such a change would take at least 18 months to implement.
Kevin Pritchard and Troy Weaver are two names being mentioned as candidates to replace Bryan Colangelo, should the Raptors make a move.
Larry Drew is receiving interest from the Bucks and a second NBA team.
Chris Copeland will be a restricted free agent this summer.
Vivek Ranadive and Chris Mullin have met several times, but have not discussed the possibility of working together.
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Mike Malone is expected to be a leading candidate for the Kings' head coaching position.
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