NBA coaches likely to get one challenge per game next season

NBA coaches likely will be challenging one call per game next season.

The league told teams Friday that, pending expected approval by the board of governors on July 9, coaches may challenge a personal foul charged to their team, a called out-of-bounds violation, a goaltending violation or a basket-interference violation. No other call may be challenged.

“We anticipate this rule will be in effect in the NBA next season as a one-year pilot program,” NBA Basketball Operations President Byron Spruell told teams in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press.

The NBA has a call-challenge program in place in the G League and tinkered with it during summer league play last year. It will be used during all three summer leagues this season — the four-team leagues in Sacramento and Salt Lake City that open Monday, and the one in Las Vegas that opens July 5.

Unlike the NFL version of a challenge, there’s no flag to be used and teams will not retain them even if successful. A team will have to call timeout and the coach “must immediately signal for a challenge by twirling his/her index finger toward the referees,” the memo said.

A challenge must come immediately after the play and challenges of out-of-bounds calls, goaltending or basket interference will not be permitted in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or the last two minutes of overtime.

“As with other replay reviews, in order to overturn the event as called on the floor, there must be clear and conclusive visual evidence that the call was incorrect,” the memo said.

If the challenge is unsuccessful, the team will lose its timeout. If the challenge is upheld, no timeout will be charged.

Also likely coming to the league: Instant replay can be triggered by officials in the review center in Secaucus, N.J., without the involvement of the on-court crew.

The league said it wants to give the replay center the authority to review whether a shot was a 2-pointer or 3-pointer without on-court crews asking for it, as well as the ability to review potential shot-clock violations. A courtside administrator would be added to the crew at the scorer’s table to communicate with the replay center and then be the liaison to announce any immediate scoring changes.

Nets’ Russell to be restricted free agent: The Brooklyn Nets reportedly have extended a qualifying offer to D’Angelo Russell, making the point guard a restricted free agent.

The decision allows the Nets to match any offer Russell receives from another team. Without it, Russell would have become an unrestricted free agent Sunday.

Russell was an All-Star for the first time after leading the Nets to a 42-40 record and averaging 21.1 points.

Celtics hire Lawson: Kara Lawson is the latest woman headed to the NBA to coach.

Lawson, 38, reportedly has been was hired by the Boston Celtics as an assistant coach.

While Lawson hasn’t coached in college or the pros, she has served as an adviser for USA Basketball’s 3-on-3 teams. She’s also been a commentator for ESPN for the NBA and college basketball as well as being a TV analyst for the Washington Wizards.

Lawson becomes the latest woman to serve as a coach in the NBA, joining San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Dallas’ Jenny Boucek and Cleveland’s Lindsay Gottlieb, the former Cal coach.

Lawson, 38, played in the WNBA from 2003-15, winning a title with the Sacramento Monarchs in 2005. and helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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