Updated: May 21, 2003, 11:04 AM ETBy Chad Ford | NBA Insider
Cleveland Cavaliers: The Jeff Van Gundy Era may be dawning in Cleveland just a day before the draft lottery. "I enjoyed the opportunity to sit down with Jim Paxson and Gordon Gund in New Jersey [on Thursday] to discuss their philosophy," said Van Gundy in the Plain Dealer."I'm not desperate to coach because of my time here with Turner, but I'll look into another coaching job based on how it fits." But former coach and fellow broadcaster Mike Fratello thinks it's a great fit. "He would be a perfect match for not only Cleveland but for other positions as well," Fratello said in the same article. "That Cleveland organization has a chance to break through this coming year ... A person like Jeff will bring organization to that program and they would have a basic defensive philosophy to work under. If they did wind up with Jeff Van Gundy, it would be a great choice." Miami Heat: Whether he stays in Miami nor not, Alonzo Mourning is going to have a serious impact on the future of the Heat franchise. "I think there is always going to be, in whoever negotiates with Zo or signs so, you walk around on eggshells a little bit with the whole situation,'' Heat coach Pat Riley told the Miami Herald. "But he's been cleared to play, and if he is healthy and he can perform like he did two seasons ago, he's going to help somebody.'' If the Heat retain his rights, they can obviously benefit from his contributions on the court or they can use him in a sign and trade deal. If they relinquish his rights, the Heat will have about $7M in cap space to get another player. ''I think a lot of it will be predicated with what happens in the draft, or a lot of it could be predicated with what happens Thursday night (in the draft lottery),'' Riley said. "I think we have as much versatility and flexibility as we had, with the exception of the amount of room, with the first year we went into free agency (1996). But anything is liable to happen.'' Denver Nuggets: Denver GM Kiki Vandeweghe is gathering all the horseshoes and rabbit feet he can get his hands on for tomorrow draft lottery. "We have a bunch of stuff that's pretty cool that we're going to be taking with us," Vandeweghe said in the Denver Post. "And I've got a checklist of a bunch of stuff I have to do before I get up in the morning. It's really been a lot of fun. But you know what it really is, is the power of positive thinking." In the 18-year history of the lottery, the Nuggets have never improved their draft standing by way of the bouncing balls, but hope to this year with so much at stake. "We're also having a lottery party at a local sports bar, and fans are being encouraged to bring their lucky charms," said Mark Broussard of the club's P.R. department.
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