Pacific Rumors: Brown, D’Antoni, Kings, Warriors

The Lakers are the only team that's yet to win a game among the three Pacific Division clubs in the playoffs, but they have a chance to do so tonight against the Spurs. As always, the on-court action is just one of many stories making headlines in Lakerland, and we've got the rest of the news here, along with dispatches from around the division:

  • The Cavaliers' decision to hire Mike Brown as their new head coach could grease the financial skids for the Lakers to fire Mike D'Antoni if they so choose, as Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld examines. Kennedy tabs the amount still left on Brown's contract with the Lakers at $11MM, while Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times says it's closer to $8MM, with around $6MM-$7MM guaranteed. The Lakers will be spared from shelling out a portion of that guaranteed money — perhaps as much as half, according to Pincus —now that Brown is with the Cavs (Twitter links).
  • Still, that $3MM-$4MM would amount to nothing more than "a grain of sand on the beach" when it comes to the Lakers' books, a source tells Dave McMenamin of The precise amount won't be known until the league approves the contract, which could take a month, McMenamin hears. A more significant effect that Brown's new job could have on the Lakers might involve the desire of Brown's former assistant coaches, some of whom remain with L.A., to follow him to Cleveland.
  • The fate of the Kings will have a significant impact on David Stern's legacy as NBA commissioner, writes Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee. One league executive told Voisin that Stern has been "anguishing" over the process that has Seattle and Sacramento groups competing for the franchise.
  • Seattle's effort to build a new arena has cleared a major permitting hurdle, and Chris Daniels of KING-TV in Seattle has the details.
  • Warriors front office adviser Jerry West gives his thoughts to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group about the team's sharpshooting backcourt duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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