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Report: Anfernee Simons to Declare for 2018 NBA Draft

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Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.

“After discussing the matter with my parents, I have decided to forgo the opportunity to play in the NCAA and to instead enter the NBA draft,” Simons said. “I am very thankful for the support I received at IMG Academy and from the NCAA coaches who recruited me. I am ready and excited to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA.”

Simons, a top-10 high school recruit according to the ESPN 100, is eligible for the 2018 draft as a postgraduate, being one year removed from his high school graduation and turning 19 in June, thus satisfying NBA requirements. He spent his fifth year of high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and was recently named to the prestigious Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic events.

Source: Jonathan Givony of ESPN

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Sources: Pelicans Pick Up 2018-19 Option on Alvin Gentry

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The New Orleans Pelicans have informed coach Alvin Gentry that the franchise is picking up his $4 million option for the 2018-19 season, league sources told ESPN.

General manager Dell Demps told Gentry of the Pelicans’ decision prior to the opening-round sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources said.

The Pelicans’ assistant coaching staff, including associate head coach Darren Erman, Chris Finch and Fred Vinson, also had their contract options picked up, league sources said. Gentry signed an original four-year deal with a team option in 2015.

New Orleans will play the winner of the Golden State-San Antonio series in the Western Conference semifinals. The Warriors lead 3-1.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Suns Talking to Kidd, Del Negro about Head Coach Job

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The Suns will soon move on to the second phase of their coaching search.

Phoenix reportedly has talked to 10 candidates, the latest names revealed Monday when a league source told azcentral sports Phoenix had spoken to former Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd as well as former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro.

Other candidates who reportedly have had interviews, either in person or by phone, include interim coach Jay Triano, former Memphis coach David Fizdale, Utah assistant Igor Kokoskov, former Charlotte coach Steve Clifford, former Orlando and Indiana coach Frank Vogel, former Houston coach Kevin McHale, former Cleveland coach David Blatt and San Antonio assistant James Borrego.

Those interviews could begin late this week or early next week.

Source: Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic 

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Sources: Budenholzer Interested in Knicks Head Coach Job

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Mike Budenholzer is genuinely interested in the Knicks’ job, according to an NBA source who has spoken to the Hawks coach.

“New York’s his top choice,’’ the NBA source said. “If they offered him the job, he’d say yes. He wants to live in New York.’’

Moreover, Budenholzer appears so disillusioned with the current Hawks’ philosophy, it’s difficult to imagine him returning. Atlanta is adopting the blueprint set by the “Trust The Process’’ Sixers. Budenholzer was the top decision-maker on personnel until last summer, when Travis Schlenk was named general manager. Now the 48-year-old, the 2015 Coach of the Year, has no power regarding personnel.

The Hawks may look at finances, seeking a way out of the final two years and $13 million of Budenholzer’s contract.

Source: Marc Berman of the New York Post

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