Pacific Notes: Kings, Suns, Clippers, Lakers

A month after the Kings shocked the league by firing coach Mike Malone, the move remains puzzling, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Interim coach Ty Corbin has been tasked with changing the team’s style of play midseason and players feel the strategy is unusual. “With Avery, P.J. pretty much stuck to the script, stuck to what we had been doing—nothing really changed a lot,”  said veteran Reggie Evans, who experienced a midseason coaching change earlier in his career while playing for the Nets. “This year is different. We are changing some things and that’s the different part. We have to make it work to the best of our ability. I was surprised when Avery got fired, and I was surprised with this situation, too.” Sacramento is 16-23, which puts the team in danger of missing the postseason for the ninth straight season.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • New addition Reggie Bullock should find himself in a good situation on the Suns, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. The team certainly believes he can become a contributor. “He’s a young player who has shooting ability, who has good size and length,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It’s going to be hard in the middle of the season to get him acclimated to everything, but he seems like a smart kid, and I think he’ll pick up things fast just like Brandan (Wright) did.” Bullock was acquired from the Clippers in a three team trade earlier this week.
  • The Clippers waived Jordan Farmar with the future in mind, writes Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “We think this will be another buyout season for a lot of guys,” coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said. “You want to have flexibility and it gives us that.” After its recent moves, the team is left with a 13-man roster.
  • The Lakers might be in better position to land Kevin Love in free agency than originally anticipated when the forward was dealt to the Cavs in August, speculates Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. Pincus cites the Cavs struggles this season as a reason that Love could move on from the team when given the opportunity either this summer or next. Love reportedly plans to opt in and remain in Cleveland through the 2015/16 season. That will be the same offseason that Kobe Bryant‘s extension, worth $25MM in the final year of the deal, comes off the books for Los Angeles, which could allow the Lakers to have cap space for two maximum-salaried players.

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