View Full Version : 5/29 ESPN INSIDER - Coaches Move and Carmelo talk

05-29-2003, 10:05 AM
Decisions close in New Orleans, Toronto
By Chad Ford
NBA Insider
Send an Email to Chad Ford Thursday, May 29
Updated: May 29
8:43 AM ET

The big hitters on the NBA coaching free-agent market -- Larry Brown, Jeff Van Gundy and Paul Silas -- still haven't decided where they're going, but some of the smaller pieces have started falling into place.

League sources told Insider on Thursday that the Hornets' hiring of Allan Bristow as assistant general manager will allow them to move quickly to hire their coach.

According to the same sources, the team is expected to make an offer to former Cavs and Hawks czar Mike Fratello soon. The team also interviewed Brian Hill and Tim Floyd, but the sources believe that Fratello emerged as the favorite of executive vice president Bob Bass and owner George Shinn.

The Raptors also appear close to a decision. The team is leaning toward Pistons assistant coach Kevin O'Neill. O'Neill spent time as an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy before landing the assistant gig with the Raptors in 2001.

The Sixers tried to get permission to interview Maurice Cheeks, but the Blazers denied permission. Cheeks has two years remaining on his deal. The team wants to interview Jeff Van Gundy, but it looks like he's a long shot to land in Philly. Numerous sources claim that Van Gundy has narrowed his search down to Houston and Cleveland.

Anthony a lock to be drafted by Denver?

It looks like the Nuggets are moving quickly to put to rest any rumors that they're looking to move their No. 3 pick in the draft.

Carmelo Anthony's agent, Calvin Andrews, told the Rocky Mountain News that he was assured in a recent conference call with GM Kiki Vandeweghe that Carmelo will be drafted by the Nuggets. "If he's available, it's a lock (the Nuggets will) take (him)," Andrews said. "There's no doubt."

While Vandeweghe stopped short of confirming the guarantee, he did express how much the team likes Anthony. "We sure like him," Vandeweghe said. "We want to get to know him. We want to see what type of person he is. We've watched him play a lot. . . . I think he's a very complete basketball player."

That's not inconsistent with what we've been hearing around the league. The Nuggets do like Anthony, and if they keep their pick, they'll absolutely draft him. However, other league sources continue to insist that Nuggets are still listening to offers for Anthony.

As we reported on Insider on Tuesday, the Nuggets won't give Anthony away. A team would have to part with a lottery pick and a top-tier young player in return. The Bulls are in the best position to do that. An offer of Jamal Crawford or Jay Williams and the No. 7 pick might be enough to pry Anthony away.