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Pacific Notes: Rondo, Ezeli, Price

The Kings‘ top priority in free agency this past offseason was Rajon Rondo, who was viewed as the perfect fit on a young Sacramento squad, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports writes. “I knew he was going to be available,” Vlade Divac, the Kings’ president of basketball and franchise operations, told Spears. “He was my first choice when I went after some free agents. Honestly, we weren’t a perfect destination in free agency and that was something we could take advantage of. He works well for us. We have things to turn around. I was very honest with him. I knew people were talking. But this is a great opportunity not only for him, but for us. Honestly, we were probably the first ones to approach. Everyone was scared. I wasn’t. As a player, I knew what he could do.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Festus Ezeli hasn’t played much during his time with the Warriors, but an injury to Andrew Bogut is giving him a chance at spot starts this season, and he’s making the most of the playing time he’s getting, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group examines. The rim protector is showing off the strides he’s made as he’s poised for restricted free agency, with extension talks breaking down before Monday’s deadline.
  • Ronnie Price‘s affection for his time with the Lakers last season is clear, but he instead wound up signing this summer with Phoenix, where coach Jeff Hornacek says he’s been impressed with him since their days together with the Jazz, as Matt Petersen of details. “Ronnie’s always been on our list,” Hornacek said. “He’s that veteran guy who understands what his role is. He plays hard in practice. You put him in the game, he’ll be the guy that’s picking guys up full-court. I like that energy.”
  • The Clippers could have a D-League team by next season if they want to, but coach/executive Doc Rivers isn’t sure whether that’s the choice they’ll make, tweets Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. The Clips are one of 11 teams without an affiliate this season but, with the Hornets and Nets already with deals to start their own affiliates and the Bulls not far behind, they’re part of a quickly shrinking group of holdouts. The Clippers, Hawks and Wizards are among the teams close to starting D-League teams, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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