The Kings are poised for trade deadline action after resolving their coaching situation, while in Phoenix, suitors are lining up for Goran Dragic. We’ll run through the latest news and notes from a busy Pacific Division here:
- DeMarcus Cousins praised new Kings coach George Karl to reporters at All-Star weekend in New York, saying he looked forward to working with him, tweets Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. The center has expressed exasperation with the team’s coaching turmoil.
- Karl was the right choice for the Kings, argues Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee, who also lists Scott Brooks among the names of coaches who would have been candidates for the Sacramento job if the team hadn’t hired Karl.
- Warriors coach Steve Kerr was largely responsible for halting a proposed blockbuster last summer that would have sent Klay Thompson to the Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. Kerr and Warriors team consultant Jerry West talked ownership out of making the swap, which would have also sent David Lee to Minnesota and Kevin Martin to Golden State, Deveney adds. A source close the talks told Deveney that the trade was a done deal until Kerr, who took the job with the expectation of coaching Thompson, and West convinced management not to do it.
- The jealousy that the Warriors worried might develop when they gave Thompson a more lucrative extension than Stephen Curry got a few years ago hasn’t developed, and Thompson doesn’t regret agreeing to contract terms that might give him less than the max, as Deveney writes in the same piece.
- West, who made his mark as an executive with the Lakers, is confident the Lakers wouldn’t ask him back, as he said on 95.7 The Game, as station host Matt Steinmetz relays (Twitter links). West’s son, Ryan, is the Lakers’ assistant scouting director, notes Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
- Trading Dragic would be a wise move because the Suns are not true title contenders, Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic argues. Bickley believes the Suns should be acquiring trade assets in order to make a future move to acquire a superstar talent rather than adding short-term pieces such as Ray Allen or Amar’e Stoudemire. If the Suns can add a first-round pick by swapping Dragic while concurrently breaking their point guard logjam, they should not hesitate, Bickley concludes.
Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.