NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Roy Williams Content in College

Roy Williams shoots down NBA rumors, saying he’s content as a college coach … Will Stan Van Gundy return to coaching? … Devin Harris hopes to re-sign with Mavericks

Alex Kennedy profile picture
Updated 1 year ago on

7 min read

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Roy Williams: ‘I’m A College Coach’

Williams cooled down the Lakers rumors, first reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier this week, by telling Fox Sports Radio host J.T. The Brick that he has no interest in following many of his former players into the NBA.

“I’ve always felt that I’m a college coach and that’s where I belong,” he said.

The UNC coach was asked about the Lakers job during an interview promoting an upcoming Coaches Vs. Cancer charity event in Las Vegas. The Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak is a UNC graduate who has a close relationship with Williams.

“Mitch Kupchak is one of my best friends in the whole wide world, there’s no question there. But I’m a college guy,” Williams said. “If somebody calls and offers me the greatest job in the world, it better be really good because I feel like I’ve got about the greatest job in the world.”

via Brett Friedlander of Star News Online

Williams had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Lakers’ job opening, but he made it clear that he’s not interested in leaving the college ranks to take a job in the NBA. One reason why Williams didn’t want to coach in the NBA was because of the lack of job security that professional coaches have.

“Man, it’s tough,” Williams said. “You’re talking about some guys that are great, great coaches. George Karl was NBA Coach of the Year and a few weeks later he’s not coaching anymore. It is a whacko thing, but that’s what we have in our sport.”

The 63-year-old head coach has been at North Carolina for the last 11 seasons, and he coached at Kansas for the 15 years prior to that. Williams has won two national championships and his name always seems to come up when NBA jobs open up since he’s a respected coach and would be a splashy hire.

Will Van Gundy Return to Coaching?

Although he stresses he’s happy not coaching, former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy appears to be leaving the door at least slightly ajar for a possible return to the NBA as coach of the Golden State Warriors.

On Thursday morning, Van Gundy was asked whether he wants to return to coaching.

“Part of me does, and part of me doesn’t,” Van Gundy answered. “Look, we’re so happy in Central Florida. It would really have to be a great situation for me to get back in. I miss a lot of it. I really do. I miss the competition. I miss the challenge. I miss the camaraderie of it. But I also like the time that I’ve had, so we’ll just have to see what happens. You weigh every situation.”

Van Gundy grew up in the Bay Area. He was a fan of the Warriors.

“Names come up on every job, and my name’s been mentioned in a few,” Van Gundy said. “But I think the Warrior one comes up because I’m from out there. I went to high school in the Bay Area. I grew up out there. I said several times during my coaching career when we would go play out there that it was always important to me playing out there because I grew up [there]. That arena is old, so it was the same arena, and when I was a sophomore in high school, the Warriors won the NBA championship in 1975 led by Rick Barry. Al Attles was their coach. I was a huge fan, and everybody knows that, and so I think that’s why my name comes up when it’s associated with that job in particular.”

via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Van Gundy has been mentioned as a candidate for a number of jobs, including the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons vacancies among others.

Van Gundy spent this year working as a color commentator, calling college basketball and NBA games. He has also worked as an analyst, breaking down the league on television and co-hosting radio shows. Van Gundy hasn’t coached in the NBA since being fired by the Orlando Magic in May of 2012, but he is respected around the league and viewed as one of the top coaches currently on the market.

During his stints with the Magic and the Miami HEAT, Van Gundy’s teams went 371-208 (.641) in the regular season and 48-39 (.552) in the postseason. He made the playoffs in seven of his eight years on the sideline, and led the Magic to the NBA Finals in the 2008-09 season.

Several months ago, Van Gundy told Basketball Insiders that he might not coach during the 2014-15 season since he has two children in high school and he doesn’t want to uproot his family. He may wait until his kids finish school before he decides to move from Central Florida and get back into coaching.

However, if the right situation presents itself, Van Gundy may change his mind and return to the sideline sooner than later. Van Gundy’s ties to the Bay Area and all of the talent on the roster make that a very attractive situation for the veteran coach.

Harris Wants to Stay in Dallas

Devin Harris is in his second tour of duty with the Dallas Mavericks. The 10-year veteran guard would like nothing more than to have that second tour extended. Harris becomes a free agent July 1. And he has no designs on packing up to play for another team. But he doesn’t want to be underpaid, either.

“I think winning is most important at this point in my career,” Harris said. “More than anything else.”

When asked if money is important, too, the Milwaukee native smiled and said: “Yes, it is.

“But I’m happy here, and I want to come back.”

“Devin has just meant the world to this franchise,” Mavs president Donnie Nelson said. “It was an awkward situation this summer with his injury. Our big goal for Devin was to be healthy and not to have that toe be an issue. We had minute restrictions and that was all for his best interests medically.”

“We look forward to Devin being a permanent fixture within the Mavericks’ organization,” Nelson said. “We hope that will be the case.”

via Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram

Last offseason, Harris and the Mavericks had agreed to a three-year, $9 million contract. However, the team’s medical staff found an issue with the big toe on Harris’ left foot and pulled the offer. Harris underwent surgery and eventually signed for much less, inking a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum of $1.3 million with Dallas.

Now, after proving that he was healthy and averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 assists in 20.5 minutes, Harris is hoping to sign a multi-year deal this summer.

It sounds like he wants to return to Dallas, and Nelson wants to bring him back, but Harris also made it clear that the money has to be right.

At 31 years old, this is likely Harris’ last chance to sign a significant long-term deal, so he’ll be looking for a nice payday on the free agent market. Harris played very well in the Mavericks’ first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 11.4 points, 3.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds, which could help his stock.

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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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