Pacific Notes: Kings, Thomas, McLemore, Karl

It’s been a busy Monday in the NBA, with teams lining up to capitalize on the Pistons’ bold decision to cut ties with Josh Smith. Three of those teams — the Clippers, Kings and Lakers — reside in the league’s Pacific Division. For what it’s worth, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets that one Raptors player that remains in contact with the KingsRudy Gay predicts that Smith will land in Sacramento (Twitter link). While we continue to amass the Smith rumors, let’s take a look at what else is going on in the Pacific:

  • The idea of three first-rate point guards all fitting into the same system “didn’t make sense” to Isaiah Thomas at first, as he tells TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Thomas still believes it might not work, but the Suns were nonetheless convincing and “genuine” when they made their case that it would, the former Kings guard said.
  • Playoff-bound teams are making numerous calls to the Kings about Ben McLemore, but Sacramento has no intention of relinquishing the second-year shooting guard, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes as part of his weekly power rankings.
  • There has been no shortage of reports linking George Karl to the Kings’ inevitable head coaching vacancy, though where he stands among other candidates is hard to pin down at the moment. Appearing today on 95.7 The Game, a Bay Area station, Karl indicated he is “interested in any job,” as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group passes along (via Twitter).
  • Mitchell Watt has left the Santa Cruz Warriors to pursue other career opportunities, the D-League team announced via its Twitter feed (Twitter link). He’s heading to Ironi Nes Ziona of the Israeli league, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (on Twitter). Watt signed a deal with the Golden State Warriors in September that contained a small guarantee, but the Buffalo product was released by the team prior to the regular season.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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