Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo is eligible for free agency this summer, and while there’s a chance he’ll return to Sacramento, it sounds like those odds would have been very slim if George Karl hadn’t been replaced by Dave Joerger as the team’s head coach. In an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump, Rondo said that the tension between the Kings‘ coaching staff and DeMarcus Cousins was unlike anything he’d seen in his NBA career.
“There were too many distractions on and off the court,” Rondo said. “The organization as a whole, I don’t think was together completely. I think as a team you have to want the best for the next man beside you, and that wasn’t the case with the Sacramento Kings.”
Asked about his free agency, Rondo didn’t rule out a return to the Kings, but suggested he’ll explore his option. The point guard will be prioritizing a landing spot where his teammates are willing to work hard to grow and get better. “I don’t want to be the hardest-working guy in the gym,” Rondo said.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Longtime basketball coach Kevin Eastman has decided to call it a career, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Eastman, who was an assistant on Doc Rivers‘ staff in Boston before joining him with the Clippers, was named L.A.’s vice president of basketball operations in 2014. In his newsletter, he explained his decision to retire from coaching and outlined what he’ll do next.
- There’s coaching news on Los Angeles’ other squad as well. According to analyst Dave Miller (Twitter link), Jesse Mermuys will join Luke Walton‘s coaching staff with the Lakers. Last season, Mermuys served as the coach of the Raptors 905, Toronto’s D-League affiliate, so the Raps will have to fill that role for 2016/17.
- Colorado State guard Antwan Scott, who previously worked out for Denver, will be part of a group workout on Wednesday for the Kings, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.