The NBA Playoffs are in full swing as we approach the start of the conference finals, but many teams from around the league have already shifted their focus towards next season and the NBA Draft. Here's all the latest news and rumors from across the NBA:
Valanciunas to miss Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals
The Raptors beat the Miami Heat in the second round despite not having starting center Jonas Valanciunas for most of the series due to an ankle injury, and they'll be without him for the start of their series against the Cavaliers. Head coach Dwane Casey said he definitely won't play in tomorrow's Game 1, and could possibly miss more time.
“He’s going to get treatment day to day,” Casey said. “I don’t foresee it but I’m not committing to it. Just going to see how his body reacts and comes through rehab. It’s going to be very difficult for Game 2. But to cancel him out for the entire series, I don’t know.”
Valanciunas was averaging 15.0 points and 12.1 rebounds per game in the playoffs. Bismack Biyombo will continue to start in his place.
Knicks interview Jeff Hornacek, will retain Kurt Rambis on staff no matter what
New York has interviewd former Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek for their vacant head coaching job, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
The Knicks have also interviewed former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek according to ESPN.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 16, 2016
Jeff Hornacek's interview with Phil Jackson was today in LA, according to a source. Hornacek also a top candidate for Warriors assistant job— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 16, 2016
Isola notes that this is likely just to satisfy Carmelo Anthony's demands, who publicly called on the front office to interview more candidates. ESPN's Marc Stein reports that even if the Knicks do hire one of those other candidates over interim coach Kurt Rambis, Rambis will still remain on staff:
It remains to be seen whether the Knicks will broaden their search, as star forward Carmelo Anthony has openly wished for. But sources say Rambis is, at worst, expected to remain with the club as a lead assistant if Jackson shelves his long-held desire to make Rambis his full-time coach and ultimately hires from the outside.
Rockets will not hire TNT's Kenny Smith
TNT analyst Kenny Smith had been one of the candidates to take over as head coach of the Houston Rockets, but ESPN's Calvin Watkins reports that the team plans to move in another direction:
Rockets don’t have any finalists yet but source said the team was impressed with Kenny Smith during the interview process and believe he’ll become a head coach one day. Team wants a head coach with experience.
Kings targeting Kris Dunn in draft?
Sacramento is projected to have the No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft, though that could change after Tuesday's lottery. Sacramento is obviously hoping to get lucky and jump into the top three, but if they don't, they could try to trade up a few spots to draft Providence's Kris Dunn, according to the Sacramento Bee:
The Kings are slotted to select eighth in the first round, which would likely take them out of the running for Providence’s Kris Dunn, widely considered the best point guard in the draft. Some luck in the lottery could put Sacramento in position to draft Dunn, but if not, the Kings could look to trade up for him or move down to select a point guard later in the first round.
Dunn averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game for Providence last season.
Deron Williams wants to return to Dallas
Williams signed a two-year deal with the Mavs this past offseason, but that deal included a player option for the second year. Williams reportedly plans to decline that option - but that doesn't mean he's looking to go anywhere.
“I haven’t even thought about (free agency),” Williams said. “I just was worried about finishing the season on a strong note. Once I got hurt, the focus was just trying to get back and be able to play, so I haven’t even thought about it. That’s something I will discuss with my agent and my wife, and we’ll figure it out.
“I would love to be back. Like I said, this was a great year for me, and I’m definitely happy here. My family is settled and happy here, so it’d definitely be great to be back. It was good. You know, it was a great situation, and I definitely would love to be back.”
Williams averaged 14.1 points and 5.8 assists per game this season.Back to the NBA Newsfeed
Related Topics: Jeff Hornacek, Jonas Valanciunas, 2016 NBA Draft, Raptors News, Kenny Smith, Kings News, Kris Dunn, Knicks News, NBA News, NBA Draft, Mavs News, NBA Rumors, Rockets News, Deron Williams, Kurt Rambis