Kings coach Michael Malone tells Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders that he hopes Sacramento can retain both Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay beyond this year. Thomas is set to be a restricted free agent, and Gay has a $19.3MM player option on his deal. Here’s more from out west:
- Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee looks at the steep price the Kings would have to pay to keep Thomas and Gay, since their deals would coincide with DeMarcus Cousins‘ extension kicking in.
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities thinks the Timberwolves should target Nets guard Shaun Livingston in free agency, noting that Brooklyn doesn’t own his Bird Rights and that he shares an agent with Nikola Pekovic (Twitter link).
- Jeff Caplan of NBA.com sees parallels between Mavs assistant coach Kaleb Canales and the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra. The 34-year-old Canales was the interim coach for the Trail Blazers in 2012, and a finalist to become the permanent head coach alongside Terry Stotts, who eventually won the job. Caplan believes Canales could get another head coaching opportunity. “Obviously, looking down the road, I would love to have that opportunity again one day,” Canales told Caplan. “But that’s not where my concern is right now. I understand how blessed and fortunate I am, and I don’t take that for granted.”
- After some struggles and a benching early in the season, Mavs center Samuel Dalembert has stepped up his play and earned the trust of his coach and teammates, he tells Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “It was a challenge in the beginning,” Dalembert said of the first portion of the season. “But after the All-Star break, I kicked it up a little and really figured out how to contribute before my time is up.”