Tagged in: long-term

Phoenix Suns, coach Monty Williams agree to long-term extension

The Phoenix Suns and Monty Williams, the NBA’s reigning coach of the year, have agreed on a long-term contract extension, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

Williams, who was voted the National Basketball Coach’s Association’s coach of the year in consecutive seasons, had two years left on his original five-year deal, and now moves under contract for several more years.

Williams’ impact on the Suns’ organization has been deep, including a trip to the 2021 NBA Finals and a franchise-record 64 regular-season victories last season.

Williams has gone 149-78 (.656) in his three seasons and delivered accountability and purpose to a wayward Suns’ program, transforming a team that had won 19 matches prior to his arrival into one of the league’s best teams.

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The Suns last season joined the 1969-70 New York Knicks as the only teams to finish with a better road victory percentage than every other team’s home victory percentage in a season.

The Suns were 47-0 when leading after three quarters — the best in the shot-clock era.

The only two other teams that went undefeated in that scenario in the regular season both included LeBron James — the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers.

Among the Suns’ regular-season dominance last season: a franchise-record 18-game winning streak and three separate winning streaks of nine-plus games in a season when the rest of the NBA had a combined four streaks of nine or more victories.

The Suns were the only team to rank in the top five in offensive and defensive efficiency and went 33-9 in clutch-time games — the best record in such situations in the NBA since the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors.

Despite the league-best and franchise-record 64 victories, the Suns were blown out in a Game 7 at home to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals.

Phoenix reached the NBA Finals in 2021, losing in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks. Through the past season, Williams’ leadership was tested by the distractions of an NBA investigation into owner Robert Sarver’s behavior, stemming from an ESPN investigation.

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New Orleans Saints again to be without RB Alvin Kamara vs. Buffalo Bills

Running back Alvin Kamara has been ruled out for the third consecutive week with his knee injury as the New Orleans Saints prepare to host the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving night.

Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (knee) and defensive ends Marcus Davenport (shoulder) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle) were also ruled out for Thursday’s game.

Running back Mark Ingram II (knee) and left tackle Terron Armstead (knee/shoulder) are listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis Wednesday.

If Ingram is out or limited, the Saints will obviously be short-handed at running back. Second-year pro Tony Jones Jr., RB/WR Ty Montgomery and backup quarterback Taysom Hill would likely be among those who fill the void.

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Kamara is not expected to be sidelined long term, and he was not placed on injured reserve after he first started experiencing knee soreness during the Saints’ Week 9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Saints will play another Thursday night match at home versus the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13 before having three extra days between games in Week 14.

Kamara has obviously been missed in a depleted Saints offense that has been short on playmakers in the passing game all season.

He leads the team with 840 yards from scrimmage, 7 touchdowns and 32 receptions this season.

The Saints (5-5) have battled injuries all season — but especially over the past month (including quarterback Jameis Winston’s season-ending ACL tear and receiver Michael Thomas’ season-ending setback with an ankle injury).

The Saints have hit a three-game losing streak for the first time since 2016

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Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott still not close to long-term deal

The Cowboys and Dak Prescott still are not close on a new deal to keep the star quarterback in Dallas long-term, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Cowboys and Prescott were banned from negotiating a new deal during the season, but the sides were permitted to resume contract talks once Dallas’ disappointing season ended.

Sources told ESPN that the Cowboys still want to re-sign Prescott, who wants to stay in Dallas. But the sides still have plenty of work to do on a new deal, with a history of not being able to get it done.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged last month that Prescott is in a good negotiating position, considering Dallas’ 6-10 record and the offense’s struggles after the two-time Pro Bowler’s season-ending leg injury.

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“I don’t know how you could have any more leverage,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan.

Prescott, who played this past year under the Cowboys’ franchise tag, suffered a dislocation and compound fracture of his right ankle in Week 5 versus the New York Giants.

He was on pace for his best statistical season, with 1,856 yards passing, nine touchdown passes and four interceptions, but the Cowboys were 2-3 in his five starts.

Once the sides did not reach an agreement on a contract on June 15, 2020, Prescott had to play this season on the $31.4 million franchise tag. The Cowboys offered Prescott a deal last year that sources said averaged $34.5 million a year, with a $50 million signing bonus and had $110 million in guarantees.

The biggest issue between the sides was the length of the deal. The Cowboys wanted five years; agent Todd France countered with four because impending television contracts are expected to significantly raise the salary cap in the future.

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