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NBA Rumors: Payton Advising Antetokounmpo?

Gary Payton will reportedly join the Bucks as a “special advisor,” helping Giannis Antetokounmpo transition to point guard. … The Sacramento Kings are making moves.

Alex Kennedy profile picture
Updated 17 hours ago on
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Payton to Advise Antetokounmpo?

Jason Kidd had a vision going to Milwaukee: to see Giannis Antetokounmpo running the point for the Bucks from the “1” position. The new coach of the Bucks is not only determined to implement this idea, but will have the help of one of the top point guards of the 90s in this effort: Gary Payton.

Gary Payton is in Athens today and at an event held during the afternoon in the northern suburbs, he revealed that he has agreed with the Bucks to assume the role of ‘Special Advisor’ for Giannis Antetokounmpo next season. The “Glove” will start work during the pre-season at the end of the month, and said that he has met with the 19-year-old forward in Las Vegas, as well as with Jason Kidd, with whom he has a long friendship from the years they both played in the NBA.

via Kostas Koukousis of Sport24.gr (translation by BrewHoop)

Jason Kidd played Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard during the Las Vegas Summer League and hinted that he’d continue playing the 19-year-old at the one during the regular season.

If this report is true (it has yet to be confirmed), then he’s serious about developing Antetokounmpo as a point guard.

Gary Payton has reportedly agreed to serve as a special advisor for Antetokounmpo, teaching him how to master the point guard position.

For a player like Antetokounmpo, it doesn’t get much better than having Kidd and Payton helping you develop as a floor general.

Antetokounmpo had a growth spurt and he confirmed to Basketball Insiders that he’s currently 6’11. Between his height and his 7’5 wingspan, it’s easy to see why Kidd is intrigued by the thought of Antetokounmpo playing point guard. To put it simply, he’d be a matchup nightmare.

Sacramento Kings Making Moves

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent forward Omri Casspi, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent Ryan Hollins, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

via NBA press releases

There haven’t been many free agency signings lately, but the Kings finalized two deals on Thursday, inking Omri Casspi and Ryan Hollins to contracts. Both players were signed to one-year deals.

In 71 games with the Houston Rockets last season, Casspi posted 6.9 points (.422 FG%, .347 3PT%, .680 FT%), 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest. In 61 contests with the Los Angeles Clippers last season, Hollins posted 2.3 points (.736 FG%, .625 FT%), 1.5 rebounds and 7.9 minutes per game.

The Kings may have more moves coming, as they are expected to waive recently acquired players Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson, who each have a non-guaranteed contract.

Mickael Pietrus and Josh Howard among others have worked out in Sacramento recently, so the Kings may have another signing or two to make before training camps kick off in two weeks.

Cavaliers Hire New D-League Coach

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that Jordi Fernandez has been named the new head coach of their exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League affiliate, the Canton Charge.

via NBA press release

The 31-year-old Fernandez spent last year as an assistant coach with the Canton Charge, after serving as a player development coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2009 to 2013.

“The Cavaliers and Charge are the model relationship for NBA D-League as far as the right balance between developing individual talent and attaining collective team success, and I am very thankful that they have given me this opportunity,” said Fernandez in a statement. “Canton has been like a second home to me since I arrived last year and I cannot wait to get started with a team that Charge fans can be proud to get behind.”

“Jordi is a natural fit to lead the Charge after being a tremendous asset to our staff last year and playing a critical role cultivating talent with the Cavaliers for four seasons,” said Cavaliers Director of Development League Operations, Mike Gansey. “His background with the Spanish National Team combined with his high-level domestic experience also gives him a unique basketball perspective that will greatly benefit our team.”

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Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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