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Pacific Notes: Kings, Walton, Lakers, Clippers

The Kings added multiple rookies to their roster in this year’s draft, but supplemented those additions by signing a handful of veteran free agents. As Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes, Sacramento’s win-now approach results in those veterans getting the brunt of the minutes, and could hinder the development of the team’s younger players. Those youngsters should have opportunities in certain games, but on Sunday, Ben McLemore, Willie Cauley-Stein, and the team’s three first-round rookies saw a combined total of zero minutes.

The Kings’ performance this season could dictate the direction the team goes at the trade deadline — if the team is in playoff contention, perhaps it will move one or two of its young players for immediate help. If not, guys like Rudy Gay, McLemore, and even DeMarcus Cousins will be trade candidates.

As we wait to see what happens in Sacramento, here’s more from around the Pacific division:

  • Sam Amick of USA Today sat down with new Lakers head coach Luke Walton to discuss the early returns in Los Angeles this season, and how Walton is adjusting to his new role.
  • The Lakers signed Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov this summer to two of the largest deals in franchise history in the hopes that the duo would help provide some veteran stability and balance the club’s young core. However, Bill Oram of The Orange County Register questions whether Deng and Mozgov are providing a worthwhile return on investment so far for the club.
  • While the small forward position has been a bit of a revolving door for the Clippers over the last few season, the team is currently starting the same player there as it did last year. Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times takes a closer look at Luc Mbah a Moute and the role he plays in L.A., following the veteran forward signing a new two-year deal with the team this summer.

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