Aaron Miles

Pacific Notes: Curry, Miles, Fox, Walton

Stephen Curry remains optimistic that the Warriors can retain their status as an elite team, Janie McCauley of The Associated Press reports. Despite losing Kevin Durant in free agency and Klay Thompson to a major knee injury, along with trading Andre Iguodala, Curry believes younger players and key additions are ready for the challenge.

“It’s just a change in dynamic all the way around,” the Warriors’ star guard said. “We’re excited about the opportunities, the challenges for the whole roster, because we’ve got a lot of guys that have the opportunity to really prove themselves and make a difference in our team. Obviously our core, ’til Klay gets back, we know how to win and we know how to play. We’re just going to do it a little differently.”

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors have named Aaron Miles as a player development coach, according to a team press release. He served as the head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors for the past two seasons, posting a 57-43 record. Miles’ promotion was previously reported by 2 Ways & 10 Days. Kris Weems has officially been named the organization’s new G League coach.
  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox has caught everyone’s attention at the USA Basketball training camp with his quickness and Celtics guard Kemba Walker sees Fox’s jumper improving as well. “What impressed me the most is probably his shooting,” Walker told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and other reporters. “He has really been knocking it down. That is what is going to take him to that next level. Like for myself entering the league, the next step for me was my jump shot. That is what helped me get to the next level.” Whenever he consistently gets that, it will be over.” Fox shot 45.8% overall and 37.1% from long range in his second NBA season.
  • Luke Walton has already made a good impression with Kings players prior to training camp, as Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register details. Big man Marvin Bagley is one of the players that Walton has supervised during personal workouts. “He’s been there helping me out,” Bagley said of his new coach. “Been there for my workouts, telling me what I’m doing right, what I’m doing wrong, what I need to get better at. I think it’s gonna be an exciting year. I’m looking forward to playing for him as a head coach and getting into it.”

Pacific Notes: Castleberry, James, Evans, Warriors

Kawhi Leonard will have an ally on the Clippers’ coaching staff. His close friend Jeremy Castleberry will serve as an assistant under Doc Rivers, according to Jabari Young of The Athletic (Twitter link). Castleberry followed Leonard to Toronto after the Spurs traded him to the Raptors last summer. Castleberry played with the star forward in high school and at San Diego State. He was a player development coach in Toronto.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers will do some team bonding ahead of training camp. LeBron James is organizing a team minicamp in September, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link).
  • Jacob Evans, the Warriors’ first-round pick in 2018, is honing his skills as a point guard. The former Cincinnati guard talked about his development in a team website post. “It’s been a great transition, honestly,” he said. “Just learning the offense, trying to learn different reads out of it, some different sets, different looks and just trying to put myself in an aggressive attack mentality.” Evans appeared in 30 regular-season games and seven postseason games last season.
  • Kris Weems will be promoted to head coach of the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days reports. Weems has been an assistant with Santa Cruz the past two years under Aaron Miles, who will be promoted to Golden State’s staff, Johnson continues. Ryan Atkinson, Santa Cruz’s assistant GM since 2016, will be named the team’s GM. He previously served as president of basketball operations for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Warriors Notes: Durant, George, G League

After taking a pay cut this year to help the Warriors keep their roster intact, Kevin Durant cited Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki as other players who have been willing to accept less over the years in order to help their respective clubs build winning squads. Speaking to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Durant suggested that outside observers wanted the rising cost of the Warriors’ roster to break up the team, and he wanted to do his part to make sure that didn’t happen.

“They were all underpaid and I knew at some point they’d want to get what they deserve,” Durant said of teammates Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, and Shaun Livingston. “So I just took a step back and let the chips fall where they may. Then I took it in my hands. I wanted to keep the team together and I thought it was going to help the ownership bring all the guys back. And on top of that, it’s my money. It’s my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it.”

Slater’s Q&A with Durant, which is worth checking out in full, also included a discussion of some revamped Western Conference contenders, the recruitment of Nick Young, and an offseason trip to India.

Here’s more out of Golden State:

  • After suggesting recently on Tim Bontemps’ podcast that he expects the Warriors to pursue Paul George in free agency next summer, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic does a little damage control, writing that he has no inside information on Golden State’s interest in George. As Kawakami explains, the Warriors are simply the type of franchise that will go after virtually any top free agent that fits their style of play, and George’s two-way skill-set and expiring contract fit that bill for 2018. The odds of the Dubs actually landing George are probably slim, Kawkami notes.
  • The Santa Cruz Warriors – Golden State’s G League affiliate – have named former University of Kansas standout Aaron Miles as their new head coach, the club announced in a press release. “Aaron has stood out as a leader at every stop in his playing career and as a collegiate assistant coach,” GM Kent Lacob said in a statement. “We are confident that he will be a tremendous fit for our team and our organization as we look toward the 2017/18 season and beyond.”
  • For more news, notes, and rumors on the Warriors, be sure to check out their team page.