Pacific Notes: Kings, Christie, Goodwin, Wainright, Warriors

After helping the Kings snap their lengthy postseason drought in 2022/23, head coach Mike Brown will be tasked with turning Sacramento from a playoff team into a legitimate contender. Speaking to Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, Brown pointed to the ongoing development of rising young players like Keegan Murray as one potential path for improvement. He also praised the work that the front office did this offseason adding more depth to the roster.

“We’re a deep team,” Brown said. “You have to give [general manager] Monte McNair and [assistant GM] Wes Wilcox credit with the team they assembled. I like our group. The depth should help us going forward this year in a lot of different ways.

“I also like our players’ renewed focus on the defensive end of the floor and their ability to understand that we can take a big jump in that area. Not only do they want to do it. You can feel it by the way they are working and by the way they are talking about it so far. You couple the depth with the group’s understanding and hunger to be better on the defensive end of the floor, you feel like you have a pretty positive outlook.”

The Kings added more shooting to their roster this summer by trading for Chris Duarte and signing Sasha Vezenkov and will hope to get more reliable production out of the backup center spot with their addition of JaVale McGee.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Second-year guard Max Christie, out to prove he deserves a spot in the Lakers‘ regular season rotation, had a strong showing in Saturday’s preseason opener, scoring 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. “He’s a guy that can be one of our most versatile basketball players on the roster,” head coach Darvin Ham said of Christie, per Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. “He can guard multiple positions, from the one to the three and some fours. I want him to be aggressive in that manner and take on those challenges. And then offensively, the same thing. He can catch and shoot with the best of them. And I want him to be comfortable shooting that three.”
  • Suns guard Jordan Goodwin (right hamstring tightness) and forward Ish Wainright (right calf strain) are out for Sunday’s preseason opener vs. Detroit, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. While neither player is on a fully guaranteed contract, Goodwin’s regular season roster spot appears more secure than Wainright’s, so his late start to the preseason is noteworthy.
  • Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area explores how a thorough evaluation of the roster and an assessment of the flaws on display during last season’s playoff loss to the Lakers led to many of the Warriors‘ most significant roster moves this summer.
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