CHICAGO — John Horst pulled a black hat over his eyes in the Marriott Marquis lobby, a cell phone clipped to his ear. The Bucks general manager has been conducting interviews for Milwaukee's head coaching job throughout this week of the annual NBA Draft Combine. And that doesn't mean just outgoing calls to set up a meeting. That means lots of inbound votes of confidence, from agents supporting clients to rival coaches pushing an assistant's name.
The four teams remain in the NBA Playoffs, with Game 1 for each conference finals matchup streamed from the TV above the lobby bar. But for all the other 26 outfits, the off-season is in full swing. With a large portion of team personnel present in Chicago this week, there has been no let-up in growth in the spinners coaching carousel. The Washington Wizards are in the midst of a secretive search for a new head basketball executive. And the future of Bob Myers, president of basketball operations at Golden State, hinges on the fringes of the conversation between pro basketball's cognoscenti.
Most of the Warriors staff, including Myers and owner Joe Lacob, were still gathered for the regular team dinner Wednesday night. When The Athletic published a report Myers and Golden State remain far along in contract negotiations and both sides are prepared to exit their franchise. Mike Dunleavy Jr. has long been seen as Myers' eventual successor as general manager when Myers was to leave the Warriors after making four championship rosters. The prospect of such a change in leadership has been at the top of Golden State's basketball operations through the latter months of this season. Myers' contract has six weeks remaining until it expires on June 30, recording plenty of wiggle room for the Warriors and Myers to eventually come to an agreement that is expected to exceed $10 million in annual salary to league personnel. Golden State's general manager ultimately wants to stay with the club.
The only current open general manager role is in the nation's capital. Whenever a major position atop an organizational chart opens up, or a head coach is relieved of his duties, there is no shortage of hopeful candidates who push behind the scenes for consideration and names that float across the league. Let's start moving around the echo chamber. It's no different the work of wizards. The extent to which the Washington leadership appears focused on moving forward in silence, however, has been a major point of discussion among team officials here in Chicago. There have been plenty of rumored potentials for the job, from high-ranking rival team officials to player agents, but the rumor mill seems to be churning faster than the Wizards' actual process. Sources told Yahoo Sports that several of the whispered names on Washington's purported list of candidates have yet to be contacted by franchises, and some probably never will. Former Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, the Wizards' vice president of player programs, is assisting owner Ted Leonsis in the team's search, sources said.
League sources told Yahoo Sports that New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trojan Langdon, who is second in command to executive vice president David Griffin, has interviewed personally for the position with the Wizards. The other candidate known to have interviewed with Washington is Clippers general manager Michael Winger, sources said. In league practice, if either Langdon or Winger is tapped as Washington's next head executive, he will likely move up from his current title of president of basketball operations. The winger has turned down previous offers from other teams like Minnesota, So the respected strategist accepted a meeting with Washington, it is certainly noteworthy. There is doubt among league personnel that the winger, one of the highest-paid front-office lieutenants in the NBA, sources said, will leave a well-revitalized Los Angeles franchise under Steve Ballmer, as the Clippers also head coach. Let's start a conversation with Tyrone. Hear about the new contract. Milwaukee Bucks assistant general manager Milt Newton, who spent 10 years in Washington from 2003–13, held preliminary talks with the Wizards, As first reported by The Washington Post,
Coaching Updates Around the League
Lue has often been mentioned as a primary target for both the Milwaukee Bucks' and Phoenix Suns' head-coaching jobs, but there is equal pessimism among those familiar with Lue and the Clippers' front office that the respected play-caller will actually Hunting can be done from Los Angeles. Sources said Ballmer is known to have a strong affinity for Lue and his coaching skills, and the Clippers still harbor championship aspirations despite missing another playoff run from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Also consider the challenge facing Milwaukee and Phoenix, both with empty cupboards of draft capital the Clippers will surely need as compensation for their highly regarded head coach. The Bucks still have a 2029 first-round pick, which Milwaukee considered using to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic before the February trade deadline, sources said, and would be a valuable building block as the NBA's new The Collective Bargaining Agreement imposes harsher penalties for excessive wages. Bucks are facing tax bills like this in the near future.
There appears to be no rush in Horst's quest to replace Mike Budenholzer as head coach, suggesting the Bucks are exploring all options for the next man behind Giannis Antetokounmpo to chase Milwaukee's title Joe becomes eligible to sign a new contract extension in September. Montee Williams, who was recently fired from Phoenix following the Suns' second-round loss to Denver, is expected to figure prominently in Milwaukee's decision-making process, but is Also a candidate for the Philadelphia 76ers' opening, Portland assistant Scott Brooks, who previously held major stints in Washington and Oklahoma City, made a strong impression on Milwaukee during their meeting, sources told Yahoo Sports. Sources said Frank Vogel, who led Los Angeles to a 2020 championship, is among interviewers for the Bucks job this week. Former Hornets head coach James Borrego is another name for Milwaukee to monitor, while the Bucks are also interviewing candidates without previous experience leading an NBA bench.
After meeting with Houston Cougars head coach Calvin Sampson and Wizards assistant Joseph Blair, who coached Rio Grande Valley to the 2019 G League championship, the Bucks will also interview Weaver, sources told Yahoo Sports, which reports LNB. Pro A is the head coach of Paris Basketball. who once manned the Long Island Nets. Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin has already interviewed for the Bucks position, sources said. Other assistants known to have been involved in the search for Milwaukee Kenny Atkinson from the Warriors, Chris Quinn from Miami and Kevin Young, the Suns' associate head coach.
Bucks assistant Charles Lee is also expected to give serious consideration to replacing Budenholzer, but also remains a finalist for the Detroit Pistons' head coaching job. Sources said Lee, Pelicans assistant Jaron Collins and Overtime Elite head coach Kevin Ollie met with Detroit owner Tom Gores last week in Los Angeles, though it appears none of the three final candidates for the position Also failed to make an extraordinary impression with the gore. There was also a growing sense among league coaching figures that a Detroit win in Tuesday night's NBA draft lottery — which could give the league-worst Pistons the right to select the No. 1 pick and French sensation Victor Wembayama — a Detroit would spark an effort to lure Williams, who had overlap with Pistons general manager Troy Weaver during his time in Oklahoma City. The fact that another week has almost passed since a trio of teams have interviewed with Gores in Southern California has led many coaching representatives to question whether Detroit might reopen the search to consider more candidates. Will give
Wembanayama is likely headed to San Antonio after Spurs secured the top pick in Tuesday night's crucial draw. He is surely expected to be coached by none other than Greg Popovich, the five-time champion and winningest coach in NBA history who oversaw the Hall of Fame careers of David Robinson and Tim Duncan before Wembanayama . The 74-year-old Popovich is believed to have the freedom to stay on as coach of Spurs for as long as he sees fit. Sources said the veteran coach's contract expires at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season, and he is yet to sign a new deal with San Antonio.
At this juncture, the process to replace former Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers proceeded with the Sixers' initial list of Buddenholzer, Williams, Vogel, Philadelphia assistant Sam Cassell, former Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni, and former Raptors head coach Nick Jonas. Not expected to grow. Nurse, sources told Yahoo Sports. Sixers president Daryl Morey took responsibility for the decision to fire Rivers during a press conference on Wednesday. Several members of Rivers' staff, the sources said, have pointed to All-Star point guard James Harden — whom league personnel are expecting to decline their player option in search of a long-term contract — as part of Rivers' departure. behind as a driving force.
The Raptors' search to replace Nurse is moving at a similarly slow pace as Milwaukee's, with Toronto expected to continue with a second round of interviews over the rest of the month. Sources said the Raptors are hoping to be blown by a candidate during their long, patient approach, no matter how unorthodox the hire may ultimately be. Sources said longtime assistant Jim Saen, along with player development specialist Rico Hines, are expected to remain on Toronto's staff regardless of the head coach.