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Coach Jacque Vaughn expects Ben Simmons to be the Nets’ leading guard



After two consecutive seasons falling to recurrent injuries, Ben Simmons is finally set to begin training camp next week in Brooklyn and ready to leave his frustrations behind. According to his coach Jacque Vaughn, if he remains healthy, he might just return to his favorite position as a point guard. 

This Tuesday, the Nets trainer revealed that the Australian athlete has been competing five-on-five this offseason and should earn more offensive roles if he is able to avoid injuries.

To give a little context, the former All-Star had to be sidelined after February’s trade deadline and missed out on the rest of the campaign due to a sore left knee which was followed by a nerve injury on his back. Nevertheless, the Aussie star had already fallen out of rotation before then, as his performances dropped just as his confidence did.

Coach Vaughn now sees clearly that before he didn’t have the strength to perform, but he is convinced that this is finally all in the past. “But the things that I’m asking him to do going forward, I think he can physically do now,” he said.

Simmons is excited of the opportunity to return to his roots as a point guard, which was the role in which he earned three All-Star selections playing for Philly. Last season in Brooklyn, he played mostly as a forward or even a backup center, while Kyrie Irving was in his favorite position.

Now that the superstar is playing alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas, Vaughn will give Simmons the opportunity to prove himself. “I think if Ben is able to play consistently in a certain way, there’s no doubt then that he should have the basketball in his hands,” the coach said. “You have to guard him with the basketball in his hands.”

The New York Post recently interviewed the 27-year-old, who revealed he’s worked on his physical condition as well as his game during the summer, and is ready to become an All-Star again.

“[I feel] amazing. I think this is the first summer where I’ve really had to just get healthy and get back on track to where I need to be. I’m super excited to be on Brooklyn, obviously. And then we’ve got a great, great team, a great coach in Jacque Vaughn. So I’m excited. I think this year is gonna be a completely different year to the past couple,” he said.

NBA analyst reveals Ben Simmons was seen by teams as a ‘reclamation project’ prior to 2023 trade deadline

There’s no doubt that the Australian star hasn’t even been a shadow of the player he used to be when he wore the Sixers jersey. This week, NBA insider Ian Begley revealed that Brooklyn tried their best to trade out Simmons during the past 2023 trade deadline.

“The Nets talked to multiple teams about trades involving Simmons ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline. The idea was to get off of his contract, per multiple teams in touch with Brooklyn at the time,” the sport analyst reported.

“There was one Southeast Division team with a legitimate interest in trading for Simmons then as a reclamation project. But outside of that, teams were wary of bringing him on,” Begley then added.

It is easy to understand why teams interested in the 27-year-old would be cautious before investing in him, especially considering how injuries have kept him plenty outside the court during the past two campaigns.

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Kings waive center Filip Petrusev, hold open final roster spot




The Sacramento Kings are waiving rookie center Filip Petrusev, per sources. The Kings plan to hold open the 15th roster spot. Sacramento’s roster now stands at 17, including two-way players.

According to a league source, Petrusev is expected to sign with Olympiacos of the Greek league. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Clippers traded cash and the 6-foot-11 big man to Sacramento.

It came a day after the Philadelphia 76ers traded Petrusev, James Harden, and P.J. Tucker to the Clippers for Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, and draft picks.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Sacramento Kings hold 13th-shortest odds to win this season’s championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Petrusev, 23, was selected 50th overall by the Sixers in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga University. However, he did not make his NBA debut with Philadelphia until the 2022-23 season.

Moreover, Petrusev signed his first professional contract with Mega Soccerbet of the ABA League and Basketball League of Serbia in July 2020.

Sacramento Kings waive Filip Petrusev weeks after acquiring the big man, cash from Los Angeles Clippers

During the 2020-21 ABA season, he won the ABA League MVP, ABA League Top Prospect, and ABA League Top Scorer awards after averaging 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 32 minutes in 21 games.

In August 2021, Petrusev signed a one-year contract with Anadolu Efes of the EuroLeague and Turkish Super League. In 13 appearances with Anadolu Efes in the 2021-22 BSL season, the center averaged 15.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.2 blocks, and 22.7 minutes per contest.

Furthermore, Petrusev went on to ink a contract with his hometown club Crvena zvezda in July 2022. In 34 EuroLeague games played of the 2022-23 season, he averaged 10.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 23 minutes per game. Plus, he shot 54.2% from the floor and 35.1% beyond the arc.

Additionally, the Serbian hooper appeared in only two games for the Kings this season. In Sacramento’s 129-93 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 20, the center recorded three points in seven minutes off the bench.

Petrusev has two years left on his contract and is set to make $1.1 million this season. About $560,000 is guaranteed for this season. The remaining balance would have been guaranteed had he remained on the roster until Jan. 7.

In fact, his $1.9 million salary for 2024-25 is non-guaranteed.

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Wizards Coach Wes Unseld Jr. Contract, Salary, Net Worth, & more




Basketball is in Wes Unseld Jr.’s blood. He is quite literally named after one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. Yes, he’s the son of former player, coach, and executive, Wes Unseld. Nowadays, Unseld Jr. is head coaching the team (the Washington Wizards) that his father once won the NBA title with back in 1978.

But how much does he make? In this post, we discuss Unseld Jr.’s salary, his net worth, coaching record, and more.

Wes Unseld Jr. Contract And Salary

In 2021, Unseld Jr. signed a four-year contract with the Wizards. He is currently in the third year of that deal. Unseld Jr. makes about seven million dollars per year (per Salary Swish).

That annual value is a bit steep for a first-time head coach, as in other posts, we’ve seen first-timers like Adrian Griffin and Joe Mazzulla get significantly less on a peer year basis (Griffin makes four million per year, while Mazzulla makes about 4.7 million).

Wes Unseld Jr. Net Worth

Unseld Jr.’s net worth is about five million dollars. Some of that money might have been inherited from his father, who, as we mentioned, had a successful NBA playing career.

But most of that five million has probably been accrued through Unseld Jr.’s coaching career. Unseld Jr. became a head coach in 2021, but he’s been an NBA assistant coach since 2005. He actually started out with the Wizards from 2005 to 2011. He then moved to the Golden State Warriors bench for a season before transitioning over to a position with the Orlando Magic for three seasons (2012-15). Unseld concluded his time as an assistant coach with a six-year run with the Denver Nuggets (2015-21).

Wes Unseld Jr. Head Coaching Record

So far, Unseld Jr. has been the head coach in 178 regular season games. In those games, Unseld Jr. has posted a record of 72-106 (win percentage of 40.4%). His record is a bit negatively skewed as Unseld Jr. has been tasked with overseeing a rebuild project in Washington (particularly during this season).

As of right now, Unseld Jr. has never been the head coach in a playoff game.

Wes Unseld Jr. Wife

Unseld Jr. is married to Evelyn Unseld. The couple has been together for over a decade now. The couple has two children together.

As we mentioned multiple times before, Unseld Jr. is the son of NBA legend Wes Unseld.

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‘He looks like he’s 25 or 27’




If you would watch LeBron James play, and ask an outsider who doesn’t know much about basketball what age he thinks he is, he would probably say late twenties or early thirties. The soon-to-be 39-year-old keeps marveling anyone who witnesses his game, and Dallas coach Jason Kidd was no exception after he scored 26 points, won 9 rebounds, and handed 7 assists against the Mavericks on Wednesday.

Even though the Texan franchise won 104-101, the Lakers forward caught everyone’s attention. Before the game, the rival’s coach went as far as to say he’s jealous of LeBron’s performances so late in his career, especially as he’s averaging 25.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists so far this campaign.

The Hall of Famer believes the L.A. star still looks like he’s 25 or 27 on the court. “Yeah, I’m jealous,” Kidd said. “I’m for sure jealous of what he’s able to do at this point of his career. He looks like he’s 25 or 27, somewhere in between there.”

The former athlete has a unique perspective on LeBron’s late-career success, as he was a member of the purple and gold coaching staff in the team’s 2020 NBA Finals run. Also, the 50-year-old played past his 40th birthday, and know it’s not easy to remain at the top of your game at this age.

“Listen, he looks great. But I think with the understanding of being around LeBron, he takes care of his body. Everybody talks about his body, but I think it’s more his mind,” the trainer shared. “Just being young, he doesn’t feel old. He has a lot of energy, he loves the game of basketball, and he’s always out to prove that he can play at a high level or prove someone wrong. And he’s doing that right now. He might play to 50 if he wants.”

James has always felt the pressure of being great, and never caved into the high-expectations around him, as he only improved to impress throughout his career. Kidd believes that he always proved his detractors wrong and keeps at it because he done things the “right way.”

Kidd explained why taking care of your body and energy are key to preserve your basketball game coming into old age

Jason used LeBron as an example of what to do to preserve yourself even though the years are starting to creep in on you late in an athlete’s career.

“It’s just amazing — his spirit, his energy that he comes to work every day understanding that he was never under the radar,” shared the Mavs coach. “He always had millions of people watching him, just wanting him to fail or not do well. He’s always gone out there to prove those people wrong and play the game the right way.”

Let’s not forget how Jason also had a Hall of Famer career in the NBA, and even showed great skill when confronting a young James in 2011. Check the video above to relive this intense clash.

“He’s a champion. His IQ is off the charts, he knows what people are doing before they do it,” Kidd expressed. “But I just think every summer, he’s always trying to add something to his game, and he’s played for 50 years now. It’s just amazing that he could do 50 different things each summer.”

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