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Pacific Notes: Walton, Rondo, Cousins, Clippers

Luke Walton has managed to stay focused on his duties as lead assistant with the Warriors, even as his head coaching job with the Lakers awaits, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Walton had his first interview on April 18th — more than two months ago — when he had a phone conversation with Knicks president Phil Jackson. “Luke is a real loyal guy,” said fellow Golden State assistant Ron Adams. “And he’s real loyal to the Golden State Warriors — has been since he was named coach of the Lakers. It might be hard for people to understand that. I would say he’s atypical in that regard. A lot of people, if a team would’ve allowed what the Lakers allowed, I think [the person] would’ve been more fixated on that team than this team. That’s not Luke. That’s not what Luke has been.” Walton will coach his final game with the Warriors tonight, then will likely be introduced as the Lakers’ new coach later this week.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings point guard Rajon Rondo pronounced himself fully healthy as he prepares for his second straight year of free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Rondo signed a one-year deal with Sacramento last summer, which gave him a first-hand view of the turmoil in the organization, especially between DeMarcus Cousins and former coach George Karl“Obviously it didn’t go the way we wanted it as an exit [missing the playoffs], but I was able to bounce back, I believe,” Rondo said. “I am very healthy. I’ve been working extremely hard on my body and my game. I’m 30 years old and I feel great.” Rondo’s numbers had declined since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in 2013, but he bounced back to average 11.9 points and 11.7 assists per game this season.
  • Cousins’ younger brother, Jaleel, worked out for the Kings on Saturday, according to James Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The 6-11, 250-pound center was a senior this season at South Florida.
  • Dee Brown and Pat Sullivan have emerged as assistant coaching candidates with the Clippers, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Kevin Eastman, a longtime assistant to Doc Rivers, announced his retirement earlier this week.
  • The Clippers will hold two workouts Monday, tweets Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com. The morning session will feature Alabama’s Retin Obasohan, Miami’s Sheldon McClellan, Kentucky’s Alex Poythress, Maryland’s Jake Layman, Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu and UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman. Working out in the afternoon will be Tulsa’s James Woodard, West Virginia’s Jaysean Page, UNLV’s Patrick McCaw, Louisiana’s Alex Hamilton, SMU’s Markus Kennedy and Iowa’s Jared Uthoff.

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