We’ve got a (coincidental) coach swap! According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, with the Hawks working on a deal to hire former Pacers head coach Nate McMillan as an assistant coach, the Pacers are adding former Atlanta Hawks assistant Greg Foster (not to be confused with former Pacer Jeff Foster) to Nate Bjorkgren’s coaching staff.
Prior to spending time under Lloyd Pierce’s wing, Foster got his start as a player development coach in 2013-14 for the Sixers ahead of taking an assistant coaching job in Milwaukee the following season alongside Jason Kidd. Before transitioning to coaching, Foster enjoyed a 13-year NBA career as a 6-foot-11, reserve center, hopping around several teams in the league, including the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Bullets, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Seattle Supersonics, Toronto Raptors, and Los Angeles Lakers, where he won a championship while appearing in only one playoff game in 2001.
As a player development coach, the former NBA reserve worked predominantly with Nerlens Noel and Henry Sims in Philadelphia, which seems to cast some doubt as to whether current assistants Bill Bayno and Popeye Jones, who are also known for their developmental work with big men, will remain with the Pacers.
Last week, Stein reported that former Wake Forest men’s head basketball coach and NBA All-Star Danny Manning had emerged as a potential candidate to join Bjorkgren’s staff. That said, despite his obvious ties to Kevin Pritchard as teammates on Kansas’ 1988 National Championship squad, Manning has also reportedly drawn interest from Oklahoma City and New Orleans with an outstanding offer from ESPN to work as a college basketball analyst if he doesn’t wind up as an assistant somewhere.
With the NBA board of governors and player’s association expected to reach an agreement to start the season on December 22, Bjorkgren likely has just under a month to round out his group of assistants before training camp opens.