Former Texas Legends head coach Nick Van Exel received his own sort of D-League call-up earlier this month, being scooped up for an assistant coaching job with the Memphis Grizzlies. To replace him, Eddie Sefko of Sportsday reports the Legends will hire the man to coach the most players to NBA call-ups in the history of the D-League, Bob MacKinnon.
MacKinnon’s resume includes stints with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Springfield Armor, Idaho Stampede, Colorado 14ers, and writing for this site. Those stints include one D-League championship, which occurred during the 2008-09 season, where he helped lead the Colorado 14ers to a title.
There is always a lot of turnover in the D-League, so the team MacKinnon takes over will likely look very different than the one that went 23-27 last year, but the Legends are surely hoping for a more successful brand of basketball in addition to serving as a hub for any players the Dallas Mavericks want to get a look at.
The Mavericks selected Purdue center A.J. Hammons with the 46th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and if MacKinnon can help him develop into more of a contributor than the average player taken so late in the draft, it would be one way to make this hiring a success. MacKinnon will additionally be coaching Indian prospect Satnam Singh, who got limited minutes during his rookie season. Having an developmental coach experienced coach in Bob MacKinnon could push Singh's progression as a player, another thing to watch as the Legends move forward.