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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.
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.
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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