NBA AM: Brian Shaw Continues To Generate Buzz
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The Indiana Pacers are a team on the rise. Their latest playoff showing, pushing the defending champion Miami HEAT to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, served as the official coming out party for the unit.
As HOOPSWORLD’s Steve Kyler outlined earlier this week, the organization’s moves this summer will go a long way in shaping the team’s long term identity.
Former All-Star David West will be an unrestricted free agent and his play throughout this season will bring many suitors armed with plenty of cap room to his front doorstep this summer. The team can also offer All-Star forward Paul George an early contract extension and proactively lock up the player to avoid the perennial free agent to be media circus. The team must also make a decision about the future of former All-Star Danny Granger who missed the majority of this season battling knee trouble and may never be a full-time player again.
But outside of those player moves, there is another key piece of their bench who likely won’t be returning to the sidelines next season.
Associate head coach Brian Shaw is a candidate in high demand should the former player choose to pursue take over the lead clipboard for a franchise – as most expect.
According to a report by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Shaw is at the top of the Los Angeles Clippers’ radar as the team’s looks to replace the recently dismissed Vinny Del Negro. The Clippers are also reportedly interested in current Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, former Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott.
The Clippers have officially been granted permission to speak with Shaw about the vacancy by the Pacers’ organization but the team may face competition from the Brooklyn Nets who are also looking for a new sideline general. The Nets have not formally requested permission to speak with Shaw as of yet, but may throw its name into the mix in the near future.
Shaw joined the Pacers’ staff before the start of the 2012 season after serving as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers under Phil Jackson. As a player, Shaw was a member of three championship teams with the Lakers but also suited up for Boston, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland and Golden State during his 14 year career.
More Coaching Notes From Around The League
The Detroit Pistons have compiled a 150-244 (.381) record over the past five seasons and haven’t reached the playoffs since the 2009 campaign when guys such as Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson and Tayshaun Prince were still with the franchise.
The team has also had three different head coaches during this span with Michael Curry, Jon Kuester and Lawrence Frank each lasting no more than two seasons.
Detroit finds itself in a similar position this summer as the team’s head coaching slot is once again vacant as the NBA Draft looms on the horizon and free agency rapidly approaches.
But according to a report by Vincent Ellis of the Detroit News, the franchise may have narrowed its head coaching finalists to two – former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and current Oklahoma City Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks.
Cheeks has also logged time as a head coach compiling a 284-286 (.498) record with Portland and Philadelphia over seven seasons. As a head coach Cheeks guided his teams to three playoff appearances – all first round exits.
McMillan served as a head coach for more than 11 seasons with Oklahoma City (then Seattle) and Portland compiling a 478-452 (.514) mark and five trips to the playoffs. Coincidentally, McMillan was the coach who replaced Cheeks in Portland after the 2005 campaign.
Raptors’ Ujiri Talks Head Coach Position And Andrea Bargnani’s Value
The Toronto Raptors recently hired Masai Ujiri to be its new general manager fresh on the heels of the front office veteran being named the league’s 2013 Executive of the Year for his work with the Denver Nuggets.
Ujiri has already began shaping the front office more to his liking since his arrival to the franchise, but is seemingly willing to give head coach Dwane Casey more time for evaluation.
Casey has just one more year remaining on his current contract and past history shows newly arrived executives tend to look to find their own guy calling the shots from the sidelines.
“We’ve already had some good conversations,” Ujiri said according to The Canadian Press about Casey. “We’ll see how things go. I have to see what his philosophies are.”
The Raptors will enter the summer with $58.8 million in guaranteed salaries for next season. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry’s deal ($6.2 million) is not fully guaranteed, while Linas Kleiza and Aaron Gray hold player options for the 2014 season.
A player who will continue to generate buzz around Toronto is former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani. The forward is set to earn $10.8 million in 2014 is on the books for $11.5 million in 2015, where he can exercise an early termination option.
Bargnani has been the subject of a plethora of trade rumors since the beginning of the season, but Ujiri has spoken highly of the embattled forward since his arrival to the club.
“There are phenomenal players on this roster (but) we have some things we need to correct,” Ujiri said. “Shooting big is what every coach wants, and how you use it and how you do it is left to be said. But he has that skill. My thought on Andrea is he’s one of the better shooting bigs in the NBA.”
NBA Draft Combine 2013 Coverage
The HOOPSWORLD team had the 2013 Draft Combine covered from start to finish, live on the ground.
Catch all of the video interviews from yesterday’s collegiate stars and this year’s NBA rookie class.
You can find HOOPSWORLD’s 2013 draft combine coverage HERE
HOOPSWORLD NBA Draft Prospect Profiles
The NBA Draft is rapidly approaching. Get up to date information on the top prospects here.