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Joe Mazzulla Coaching Journey | NBA Offseason Insights & Player Trades

Joe Mazzulla is a former basketball player and current coach. He was born on February 4, 1987, in Johnston, Rhode Island, United States. Mazzulla played college basketball at West Virginia University from 2006 to 2011. He was known for his tenacious defense and high-energy style of play.

During his college career, Mazzulla played a key role in West Virginia’s run to the Final Four in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. In the Elite Eight game against Kentucky, he recorded 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists, helping his team secure a spot in the Final Four.

After graduating from college, Mazzulla pursued a career in coaching. He worked as an assistant coach at Fairmont State University and Glenville State College in West Virginia. In 2017, he joined the coaching staff at Boston University as an assistant coach. Mazzulla’s coaching career has focused primarily on developing players and helping teams improve their performance.

Please note that my knowledge cutoff is in September 2021, so there may have been recent developments in Joe Mazzulla’s career that I am unaware of.

Joe Mazzulla will undoubtedly be returning for a second season as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, according to general manager Brad Stevens of the team, who put an end to any lingering doubts after the way the team’s season ended. 

At a press conference on Thursday, Stevens stated of Mazzulla, “Yeah, I think he is [the best head coach for this team].” He did a great job, in my opinion, with this group. After every game, everyone will overreact to the greatest players and coaches. It’s always been like way. We are aware of that going in, so we must be capable of making an overall judgement. 

Ime Udoka was suspended by the Celtics just before the start of the season, and Mazzulla was abruptly appointed head coach without any prior experience. Mazzulla, the league’s youngest head coach. Had to pick up the art of coaching quickly while in charge of a group that had genuine championship aspirations. Given the situation, Stevens was pleased with the rookie coach’s performance. 

Stevens stated

“I thought he did a really remarkable job considering the position he was forced into and the overall accomplishments of the group. “You know, there’s a lot of direction and organisation that goes into that when you look at the big picture and have a team that was second in offence and defence. Won 57 games, and has a chance to play in the NBA Finals on your home floor. I believed he did a good job.

  

“He’s an excellent leader, and because he’s always looking to learn, he’ll only get better at anything he can pick up this year. And he is responsible,” stated Stevens. “Those attributes of leadership are rare. I am aware that they are simple topics to discuss. But it can be challenging to demonstrate all of those via the expectations and scrutiny that he was subjected to. Everyone around him, including our players and staff, has faith in him. And we must do all in our power to assist him moving forward.

Although Mazzulla’s first season as the Celtics’ head coach was far from perfect. Given the circumstances, he did a respectable job. Therefore, it is understandable that the Celtics are giving him another chance. Let’s see what he can accomplish now that he has had a complete offseason. Training camp, and a year of experience. 

NBA trade candidates: 75 players that might be moved this summer following Bradley Beal’s switch to the Suns

The Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards’ blockbuster trade marks the official start of the NBA trade season. Now that Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal are all residing in Phoenix, the Suns are fully committed to winning the 2024 title. In the upcoming days and weeks, additional teams will either join them there or already are. Between now and opening night. A lot of additional well-known individuals (as well as lesser-known ones) could change.

So let’s attempt to identify those players. The 75 players most likely to be traded this offseason are listed here. They include superstars, role players, and young players who simply haven’t found the perfect team.

Stars

Jaylen Brown: Brown, whose ball-handling issues contributed to the Celtics’ two consecutive playoff exits, is now eligible for a five-year, $295 million super-max agreement. The time to leave is now, while Brown’s value is at its maximum. Before that new deal begins to take effect and the consequences of the new CBA are fully recognised. If Boston is at all concerned about committing to a Brown-Tatum core.

Mikal Bridges: According to reports, Memphis reportedly offered Brooklyn four first-round selections in exchange for Bridges at the trade deadliAlexander. Towns Minnesota will eventually have to take responsibility for the flexibility it gave up to sign Rudy Gobert. Towns trade would be their only realistic option to recapture it. And after back-to-back unsuccessful playoff trips. Minnesota might not really miss him. While Towns was injured this season. The Timberwolves rebuilt around a defensive identity, and if Towns is moved this summer. The team could simply switch to a similar strategy.ne. The Nets correctly declined, and after a strong second half of the season. They may now easily receive much more back for him. Brooklyn has not indicated that it intends to trade him. But the Nets have also not exactly presented. A clear picture of their future since dealing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The package Bridges might secure would be a wonderful place to start for the Nets if they want to rebuild.

Trae Young

Prior to Quin Snyder’s appointment as Atlanta’s head coach, Young rumours abounded. The Hawks have significantly cooled off since his impressive playoff run against Boston, but they have already qualified for the play-in game two years in a straight and are already on their third coach of the Young era. It wouldn’t be all that strange to see the team’s. Management lose patience with perhaps the NBA’s worst defender.

Dejounte Murray

Despite only moving to Atlanta a year ago. Murray is almost certain to hit the open market in 2024 owing to the CBA’s restrictions on veteran extensions. Due to the below-market contract he is presently playing on. The Hawks are unable to pay him anywhere close to his true value; therefore. In order to earn the money he deserves. He will need to become a free agency next summer. The Hawks must at least look into a deal right now if they are worried about losing him.

In order to select Scoot Henderson, the Pelicans apparently want to climb into the top three picks. They have two resources that can carry them there. One of which is the franchise’s public face. Would Zion Williamson be traded by New Orleans? Over the course of four seasons, he only participated in 114 games. It may be their last opportunity to act at a superstar price if the Pelicans are content with the rest of their team and are sick of Williamson’s injuries. A further injury could permanently deter potential suitors.

Although Brandon Ingram has a lower ceiling than the other young Pelicans players

he is by far the more reliable player. Ingram can score, and players of his height who can shoot, drive, and defeat great defenders one-on-one are hard to come by. However, his defence is inconsistent and his playmaking hasn’t improved as the team undoubtedly hoped.

Darren Dillard Another offseason means more “will they or won’t they” speculating. If Portland is able to develop the third-overall pick into one of these players? Lillard probably hangs up his Blazer. If not? He has already stated that a rebuild does not interest him. Portland should be watched in late July and early August. All indications point to Lillard staying with the Blazers for the time being. After a calm offseason and the realisation that they will likely be in the lottery again. We’ll see if their resolve holds.

Pascal Siakam

Siakam is eligible for an extension this offseason, but since he was not selected to the All-NBA team this season. He is ineligible for the super max. That probably works out well for the Raptors. But without that piece. It’s not obvious if they can persuade him to stay in Toronto for the long run. After all, Siakam’s contract with the Raptors expired in the previous offseason.

DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan’s contract is up after the upcoming season and he will be 34. Not exactly known for their extravagant spending, the Bulls. They will consider bids from bigger teams this summer if they are concerned about the potential terms of his next contract. Keeping a guy you don’t plan to re-sign is pointless, no matter how desperately the Bulls want to stay in the play-in race.

Declining Stars

These players would have previously been included under the star category. They are no longer in that status due to age and injury. Now? Their teams seem prepared to advance.

Corey Paul Paul was included in a transaction that brought Bradley Beal to Phoenix earlier this offseason. Nobody was surprised to learn that the Wizards are already attempting to trade Paul to a contender, with the Clippers reportedly at the top of the list due to their large number of expiring contracts.

Kyle Lowry: During Miami’s postseason run, Lowry emerged as a significant rotation player, but his regular season was much less encouraging, and at 37 years old, his main worth is now as a sizable expiring deal. Lowry will probably be included in the deal for cap reasons if the Heat are successful in making a significant splash as many have projected.

Many competitors would be thrilled to sign Gordon Hayward, even if he were an older, less durable version of himself; yet, at $31.5 million, they probably wouldn’t. Hayward may be traded for a lower long-term contract or as part of a larger transaction (perhaps to the Pelicans in exchange for the No. 2 pick), and then he could be released.

Buying regret

Nearly every player in this group contributes significantly on the pitch, but for one reason or another, their organisation appears to no longer consider them as long-term assets.

Ayton, Deandre: Before their Beal blockbuster, the Suns were considering trading for Ayton, but now there is an even greater need for depth. They would be wise to take into account any moves that could net them two or three playable role players in return for their max contract centre.

 

Jeremy Poole The phrase “tax hell” doesn’t really describe how bad Golden State’s financial situation is set to get. There are possibilities where the Warriors’ payroll for the upcoming season tops $500 million. Even a highly profitable team like Golden State would find that intolerable. After a very dismal follow-up to his breakout 2021–22 season, Poole is the player most likely to lose one of their five key wages. Although he owes $140 million over the following four years, someone will gamble on his potential upside.

Zach LaVine

According to reports, the Bulls are reportedly interested in LaVine’s market despite having a high asking price. His market will highlight a larger trend: the days of providing maximum deals to any low-end All-Star are probably over in this new CBA environment. He might very well fall into the “stars” group. LaVine has four years remaining on his contract at the maximum salary and has a long history of knee problems. There won’t be many clubs eager to give him that much money, and the Bulls don’t currently seem to be one of them.

Ben Simmons: Simmons might never experience physical or emotional health again. If Simmons is traded this summer, it will probably be either as a simple cap dump or as a star trade with matching salaries. But three years ago, Simmons was named to an NBA All-Star team. He’s only 26 years old. He must still have some fuel left, right?

John Collins

 Collins was just given a five-year contract by the Hawks two summers ago, and they have been attempting to trade him ever since. Because all-offense power forwards with erratic jump shooting aren’t that valuable and because Collins owed nearly $80 million over the following three seasons, they haven’t been able to reach an agreement. If the Hawks could have acquired Collins for a good price, they already would have. It really just comes down to whether or not they can sell him for anything at this point.

Richaun Holmes has by far the cheapest deal on this list; over the next two years, Holmes will be paid less than $25 million. However, he was completely removed from Sacramento’s rotation, so the stakes are quite high. The Kings have access to a sizable amount of budget room this offseason, and if they can get out from under the contract with Holmes, that space will only grow. They’ll probably aim to do it without giving up a first-round pick, if they can.

The Group of Player Options

These players have the power to negotiate a trade with their player option if they choose to as they have the ability to change teams through free agency.

Kristaps Porzingis: If Porzingis had opted out during the previous “let’s win 35 games” era, he probably could have anticipated a long-term commitment. However, with Michael Winger starting the rebuild? Porzingis may need to exercise his option because this may be his final opportunity to earn a $36 million salary. If the Wizards decide to rebuild, they won’t have many reasons to hold onto Porzingis. So after their Beal business is resolved, anticipate them to look into his market.

Draymond Green

Of Golden State’s five high-paying players, Poole is the least useful. But Green is the most unpredictable. After opting out of his contract’s final season, Green could find a new team through a sign-and-trade if the Warriors decide they are ready to move on after a season that began with him punching a teammate. And could have ended with him being suspended for stomping on Domantas Sabonis.

Gary Trent Jr.: Nick Nurse appeared to grow distant from Trent last year. But Nurse is no longer the Raptors’ head coach. Someone needs to relocate in Toronto because to the overabundance of high-end contracts being paid to non-star players. And if Trent doesn’t like his free-agent possibilities. The Raptors will certainly help him find a new team. However, if he chooses to decline. It is likely that he is aware of what to expect from free agency.

Gary Trent Jr.: Nick Nurse no longer serves as the Raptors’ coach, despite the fact that it appeared that he had changed his opinion of Trent last season. Since there are too many non-star players earning large money in Toronto. Someone needs to relocate. If Trent doesn’t like his free-agent prospects. The Raptors will certainly help him find a new team. But if he chooses not to. It probably suggests that he is aware of what to expect from free agency.

Jordan Clarkson: Last season, Clarkson had a tremendous year with the Jazz, but with Collin Sexton filling the same role, it’s likely that the Jazz are ready to move on. Although Clarkson may technically sign for the mid-level exception because of his low worth, if a team is extremely intrigued, they might try to acquire him in a trade for his option number.

We’d rather not trade him, but we need a salary match.

Although their teams probably have goals that their contracts will be needed for, these players aren’t technically on the market for trade.

Tyler Herro: Miami may have been able to acquire Bradley Beal without bringing Herro into the deal, but if they’re going after Lillard, he’ll almost surely be included. Since the Blazers are a guard-heavy team, the real question is where he would finally end up.

Anfernee Simons: The No. 3 overall choice is the focal point of the majority of Blazers trade rumours, but while being a highly promising prospect, it won’t be enough to pay for a star. Shaedon Sharpe appears to be the better long-term bet, so Simons and that No. 3 overall pick may be paired to bring in a marquee player. Portland will need to sign another large contract before bringing in anyone of consequence.

The two-time All-NBA status of Julius Randle would appear to make him a significant trade commodity. But back-to-back disappointing playoff performances restrict his appeal. The Knicks want to sign a star. And the type of player they receive in return will probably affect the matching salary they send out. If they manage to land a top big man? Randle almost has to be traded because. He doesn’t fit well with a more capable power forward or centre.

Barrett, R.J. And if the Knicks choose a guard or wing?

Keeping Randle becomes a little more acceptable at that point. And Barrett—who is more valued than Randle despite his inconsistent performance—likely becomes the matching salary.

Robert Harris For years, Harris had one of the worst long-term contracts in the NBA, but why now? If James Harden leaves the 76ers, his $40 million expiring salary will be their ticket to budgetary room in 2024 and the opportunity to reload through free agency. They’ll do it if they can leverage the Harris deal to find a Harden replacement, but if not, why? They won’t be eager to give up their route to flexibility. 

We need matching salary and we wouldn’t mind trading him.

These are players whose teams want them to be active this offseason and who. If necessary, are willing to be used as trade pieces.

Evan Fournier: Although he was removed from the starting lineup, he has a team option for the 2024–25 campaign. That is the ideal formula for a matching exchange salary.

David Robinson The Heat are already significantly above the luxury tax threshold for the upcoming season, and Robinson is owed almost $47 million guaranteed for the next three seasons. Robinson almost has to be transferred for the Heat to be financially viable despite his great playoff performance.

Jr. Tim Hardaway: Another guard who plays only on offence is the last thing the Mavericks need right now. Dallas would adore to use Hardaway’s pricey contract to improve their defence.

Victor Oladipo: Like Robinson, Oladipo will almost undoubtedly exercise his player option for the upcoming season, although he will probably lose out on salary space. Without him, the Heat held their own in the postseason.

Davis Bertans: Everything we discussed about Hardaway also applies to Bertans, but due to his location on the positional spectrum, he is much less beneficial defensively. Dallas’ big men must play defence.

Marcus Morris: Morris’ defence has recently deteriorated, and he appeared to lose favour as the season went on. The Clippers literally have more wings than they know what to do with, but they would certainly want to spend one or two of their salaries to upgrade at guard or centre.

Robert Covington: Due to Ty Lue’s lack of confidence in Covington’s offensive ability, Covington was frequently removed from the starting lineup last season. There are still many coaches that would appreciate Covington’s defence and be okay with his streaky shooting.

Options for teams, limited promises, and no guarantees

Because of their modest guarantees, all of these players could end up back with their former teams this offseason. However, if their teams need to relocate and need to match salaries, these players make logical options.

The Lakers have so little guaranteed money on their books that if they want to make a substantial trade, it nearly needs to involve one or both of their non-guaranteed contracts, according to Malik Beasley. With a higher cap amount and a more replaceable skill set, Beasley is more likely.

The Lakers may want to keep Mo Bamba. With Anthony Davis, he theoretically possesses the shot-blocking and shooting skills they’ve been seeking for. But at $10 million, he’s maybe a tad overpaid given how little he actually played in last season.

Derrick Rose: If the Knicks want to make a significant deal this summer, they could package Rose with Fournier to take on just about any non-max salary in basketball. However, the Knicks have no chance of keeping Rose at $15 million next season.

Alec Burks is a still capable shooter who can also dribble and play some defence. Cade Cunningham will return to Detroit this summer, so it makes sense to exercise Burks’ option and trade him in exchange for some second-round picks.

Benjamin Isaac When Isaac is healthy, he can compete for defensive player of the year. The phrase “when healthy” is doing a lot of work there. His contract allows for several terminations, and his season-long guarantee is only sporadically present. The Magic are quite deep up front, but for someone else, he might be a chance worth considering.

Cedi Osman

Osman is so inexpensive that Cleveland would probably be better off keeping him, but playable wings at less than mid-level pay are valued. Osman might be able to fetch some second-round picks from the Cavs if they need to restock their picks pool.

eric gonzalez Pour one for Gordon, whose salary was guaranteed if the Clippers won the title (a serious possibility when he arrived there, we swear!). Although the Clippers are presumably not worried enough about the second apron to just waive him. He fits squarely into the “nonessential” category that most of the team’s role players this offseason fall into.

Garrett Temple: The Pelicans are looking for ways to cut costs before their anticipated tax issues, but Temple, a renowned teammate. May play a crucial role as a veteran on a young team for $5.4 million. 

Gary Harris: The Magic have previously had multiple chances to deal Harris but haven’t done so. Although he’s a valuable veteran with in-demand skills. They might decide to waive him if they want to free up as much cap space as possible this summer. Teams should be phoning to see if they can get him beforehand if that is the idea.

Scott Payne

The Suns are exploring every option to increase their depth, even if that means paying Payne’s salary. Okay, fine.

Olynyk, Kelly Danny Ainge would trade anyone, including his former Celtics, for anything. The Jazz are probably open to pretty much anything else on the trade market now that Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler are solidifying themselves as the frontcourt of the future.

Kevin Porter Jr.: If the Rockets sign one of the experienced guards Houston has expressed interest in, like as James Harden, Porter will likely be the odd man out of a packed backcourt. One of the most unusual contracts in basketball belongs to Porter, who has a poor past in locker rooms. Only one of the following four seasons is guaranteed, and he is free to be released after the 2023–24 season. He probably has the possibility for someone to take a low-risk flier on him.

Second-round Draught picks

Players who were previously quite highly selected in the NBA Draught but who, for one reason or another, weren’t successful with their original team are known as “second-draft” candidates. They still possess talent, though, and may succeed in the ideal environment. Consider Rui Hachimura throughout the Lakers’ 2017–18 campaign.

Jalen Green: Even if Harden does return, Houston is presumably not in a rush to trade for Green. However, he is their greatest trade asset left if they want to acquire another high-level veteran. And Houston’s backcourt is rather bloated with Porter and a potential guard selected with the No. 4 overall pick. Green’s upside remains incredibly high, therefore it might be the right time for another team to make an attempt to acquire him. He would only go for something really worthwhile.

Jonathan Kuminga: Golden State’s tax issues are currently severe, but when the hypothetical extensions for Kuminga and Moses Moody begin to take effect, things will only become worse. According to reports, the Warriors have considered moving Kuminga for a top draught choice in order to restart the extension clock. If they decide to do this, someone will be receiving a player with a high ceiling at a sought-after position.

Jalen Suggs

With Suggs, Anthony, Markelle Fultz, and maybe the No. 6 overall pick in the backcourt, Orlando has a bit of a glut of guards. The skill sets that the Magic places a higher priority on will determine who suffers there. Suggs is the team’s top defender, but he hasn’t fully realised the attacking potential he shown at Gonzaga.

Cole Anthony: Anthony is Suggs’ antithesis. He has served as Orlando’s shooter for a number of seasons, and the Magic will soon need to decide on his future since he is extension-eligible.

Chris Duarte: The Pacers are playing Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield. Andrew Nembhard, T.J. McConnell, Aaron Nesmith, and Chris Duarte. At guard while having practically nothing at forward. Duarte is most likely the outlier in this situation. He had a fantastic first season but had a difficult sophomore campaign. When he was a draught prospect, many clubs were considering him. Including the Lakers and Warriors.

Isaac Okoro: The Cavaliers selected Okoro with the sixth overall choice in 2020, but he has never progressed offensively as they had planned. When they faced the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. They scarcely employed him after realising that New York would not guard him. Okoro is still valuable defensively, but if the Cavaliers are unwilling to pay him. It’s time to trade him.

Obi Toppin

If he received more minutes, it would be a much greater deal for the Knicks to win Toppin’s minutes. Toppin’s playing time has been constrained by Tom Thibodeau’s unwavering dedication to giving his starters 40 minutes each game, and now that he is qualified for an extension, someone else should get the opportunity to showcase him appropriately.

James Bouknight: With Charlotte’s crowded backcourt and only 65 games played in his two NBA seasons, Bouknight seems like a typical “change of scenery” player.

Killian Hayes: Hayes showed hints of offensive life in the middle of the season when he was able to record league-average shooting statistics for an entire month. But these instances are rare. Hayes is a solid defender who excels at many small things. But he is now extension eligible on a team that is dedicated to Jaden Ivey and Cunningham in the backcourt. If Detroit is prepared to move on, someone will take a chance on him.

Positional stalemates

Under normal conditions, these individuals probably wouldn’t be available, but because their clubs have so many talented players in certain positions. They must at least think about making changes.

Buddy Hield: Duarte and I took care of Indiana’s guard glut, but Hield’s contract is up soon. So his future needs to be decided. Many teams would want to have a shooter of his calibre if the Pacers don’t intend to re-sign him.

 

Terry Rozier: Given that LaMelo Ball will serve as the Hornets‘ long-term point guard, the Hornets certainly shouldn’t have renewed Rozier’s contract in the first place. However, what if Charlotte also selects Scoot Henderson? Rozier will cost this team $75 million over the next three years to serve as a third guard, which is simply not acceptable.

Each Pistons Arena. On this team are James Wiseman, Marvin Bagley, Isaiah Stewart, and Jalen Duren. They can’t all shoot. They all require time to develop. Although Duren is the greatest of the group, I don’t care who they keep—someone needs to leave. Four centres cannot be played.

Reputable Veterans with Affordable Contracts

All of these players could transfer if the proper deal comes along, but none of them are certain to do so. There are several players in this group that could contribute to a winning squad despite the lack of stars.

OG Anunoby: At the trade deadline, a number of teams offered enticing offers for Anunoby, but no one was able to free him from Masai Ujiri’s control. Anunoby’s free agency is now less than a year away, and rumours claim he wants a position that will let him handle the ball more. Toronto could be able to keep him if they are willing to offer it to him. If not, the Raptors may have to finally give in and make a major player deal ahead of time after losing Kyle Lowry for next to nothing and possibly Fred VanVleet for nothing. 

Bojan Bogdanovic

The Pistons appeared very content to keep Bogdanovic at the trade deadline, and as the only elite shooter on their roster, he does serve a developmental function even if the Pistons aren’t yet prepared to compete for a championship. He is a 34-year-old player on an otherwise young club, but if you make a good enough offer. Such players are nearly always at least partially available.

Bogdan Bogdanovic: With Murray in place, there is just no compelling reason for Atlanta to pay a third guard with injury worries $18 million. Bogdanovic made plenty of sense in Atlanta as a secondary ball-handler. They would undoubtedly love to trade him if they could use the money to bolster their draught fund or add defensive help.

Royce O’Neale: Although Brooklyn has the same number of wings as the Clippers, it produces significantly fewer individual shots. In a perfect world, they would be able to convert some of the former into some of the latter. Or at the very least, have the financial means to find more of it. O’Neale’s salary for this season is merely $9.5 million. So just about any team could afford to sign him.

Dorian Finney-Smith

Finney-Smith is the most valuable of the available wings for Brooklyn. But after making great strides in his shooting over the past few years. His percentage from 3-point range dropped to 30.6% in Brooklyn. Because he still excels on the perimeter, his trade value depends on how dependable teams think his jump shot will be.

Doug McDermott: McDermott’s shooting will always garner attention, but in recent years, he has developed into a much more all-around player. Although he’s not a great defender and may occasionally put the ball on the ground. He is big and intelligent enough to get by in most situations. The Spurs are probably not keen to move him, but they would probably listen given the roster change that Victor Wembanyama’s arrival will likely bring about. 

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