Casey Hill

Pacific Notes: Kings, Clippers, Lakers

The Kings added to their glut of big men when they drafted power forward Marvin Bagley with the second pick of the 2018 draft. Now, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, head coach Dave Joerger will have to figure out how to juggle the frontcourt rotation.

Given his stature as one of the top picks in the summer draft, Bagley is a lock to play significant minutes for the Kings. He could see time at both the four and the five.

Ham writes that Harry Giles, a first-rounder in 2017, could see major minutes in his first taste of NBA action as well. The big man may have to shake off rust after sitting out last year to fully recover from knee injuries, but could be part of the Kings’ starting frontcourt of the future.

There’s more from the Pacific Division this evening:

  • A batch of coaching changes demonstrate the Clippers‘ franchise-wise commitment toward player development, Tomer Azarly of the team’s official site writes. The club will have Casey Hill join Doc Rivers’ staff after serving last year as the head coach of the team’s G League squad. Brian Adams will take his place with the Ontario affiliate and Natalie Nakase will move from the G League to big league squad’s development staff.
  • Clippers‘ forward Danilo Gallinari will ask the team to let him play for the Italian national club in September, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. Gallinari was limited to just 21 games last season due to a fractured hand but appears to be healthy this summer.
  • A panel of ESPN staffers has concluded that the team that added the greatest basketball player of his generation will have the biggest turnaround this season. Alas, LeBron JamesLakers are also expected to suffer from the most team turmoil, according to ESPN’s panel.

L.A. Notes: Gallinari, Kalamian, Berry, Kobe

After being slowed by injuries throughout last season, Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari has proclaimed himself healthy as he prepares for this weekend’s NBA Africa Game, relays Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Hand and glute issues limited Gallinari to 21 games in his first season with the Clippers after being acquired in an offseason trade. It’s a familiar story for Gallinari, who has only reached 70 games in a season twice in his career.

“Of course I will play. I got to show you some of the Gallo magic,” Gallinari joked in Wednesday’s conference call with reporters. “Yeah, yeah, everything is good. I’m very excited. I’m healthy now, body is good. So I can’t wait to start.”

Gallinari still has two years remaining on a three-year, $65MM deal he signed prior to a three-team trade that brought him from Denver to L.A. last summer. He will make $21,587,579 this season and $22,615,559 in 2019/20 with no team or player option on the final year. Gallinari fractured his right hand late in the season, but says it has fully healed.

There’s more this morning from Los Angeles:

  • Former Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian has officially joined the Clippers‘ coaching staff, the team announced on its website. Kalamian, who broke into the NBA as a scout with the Clippers in 1992, worked under Dwane Casey in Toronto for the past three years. L.A. also promoted G League coach Casey Hill to an assistant role with the NBA team.
  • Lakers guard Joel Berry has a huge goal for a player who wasn’t drafted. In an interview with Drew Ruiz of Hoops Hype, Berry said he hopes to be among the contenders for Rookie of the Year and talks about the feeling of being passed over on draft night. “It was pretty tough,” he recalled. “It’s always a dream to hear your name get called, but honestly, I’ve always taken the path where I was always overlooked and my game is not the flashiest – I just win – and that speaks more than being a flashy player.”
  • Kobe Bryant‘s wife is quashing any speculation that he might be thinking of a comeback, according to Alysha Tsuji of USA Today. Shaquille O’Neal sparked rumors of a return in a TMZ interview over the weekend, but Vanessa Bryant made it clear that it won’t happen. “Kobe will not be coming out of retirement to play again,” she wrote on Instagram. “He doesn’t want to play again and frankly we really enjoy spending time together as a family without the crazy game schedule interfering with birthdays, holidays and special events.”

Pacific Notes: McLemore, Davis, Curry, Durant, Knight

Shooting guard Ben McLemore and power forward Deyonta Davis probably won’t stick around with the Kings, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area speculates. That duo was acquired, along with a future second-rounder, from the Grizzlies on Tuesday for veteran guard Garrett Temple. Adding a draft pick and clearing a little more cap space attracted Sacramento to the deal, Ham continues. McLemore joins a crowded backcourt and he could be waived or his $5.4MM contract could be bought out. Davis has a team-friendly $1.5MM salary but also doesn’t have an obvious role with the current roster.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Temple trade gives the Kings more than $20MM of cap room, making it a smarter move for them than the Grizzlies, in the eyes of Kevin Pelton of ESPN. Sacramento can use that additional wiggle room take on bad contracts or chase a restricted free agent, Pelton continues. The 2021 pick it acquired could very well wind up being at or near the top of the second round if Memphis goes into rebuild mode, Pelton adds.
  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry has decided to skip next week’s USA Basketball mini-camp, Chris Haynes of ESPN reports. Curry wants to spend more time with his family. Golden State forward Kevin Durant will take part in the mini-camp, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets.
  • The Suns will head into the season with Brandon Knight as the starting point guard unless they make a trade, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic declares in his latest mailbag. If Phoenix strikes a deal, the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley would be an obvious target because of Los Angeles’ backcourt logjam, Bordow adds.
  • The Clippers will promote their G League coach, Casey Hill, to Doc Rivers’ staff with coaching associate Brian Adams replacing Hill at Agua Caliente, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Natalie Nakase will be promoted to Clippers player development staff, Wojnarowski adds.

Pacific Notes: Ulis, Suns, Lakers, Warriors

Suns guard Tyler Ulis underwent a surgical procedure on his right ankle, the Suns announced in a press release. The exact nature of Ulis’ injury remains unclear, but the team referred to the surgery as “minor” and said the rookie is expected to return to full basketball activity in about 12 weeks. That would put him on track to be ready to go in August, well before training camp gets underway.

Although Ulis’ overall numbers in his first NBA season were modest – 7.3 PPG and 3.7 APG in 61 contests – he thrived down the stretch with Eric Bledsoe on the bench. Ulis entered the Suns’ starting lineup on March 15, and averaged 16.1 PPG to go along with 8.5 assists in his final 15 games, showing that he deserves a role in the club’s rotation going forward.

Here’s more from around the Pacific division:

  • The Suns head into next week’s draft lottery with a decent chance to land a top-two pick, and if they end up in a position to draft Lonzo Ball, they shouldn’t pass on the UCLA product due to the presence of his father LaVar, Dan Bickley writes in a column for The Arizona Republic. According to Bickley, Phoenix has interest in the younger Ball and views LaVar as a “minor red flag,” but not a deal-breaker.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical previews the Lakers‘ offseason, suggesting that the team should be a little more cautious with its cap room than it was a year ago.
  • The Warriors and their D-League head coach, Casey Hill, are parting ways, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Hill, who won a title with the Santa Cruz Warriors in 2015, is seeking out an NBA assistant coach job, Wojnarowski adds.
  • The Warriors have agreed to a two-year lease extension to remain at Oracle Arena through the 2018/19 season, according to an Associated Press report (link via NBA.com). The franchise is expected to make the move from Oakland to a new arena across the bay for the 2019/20 season, but the new agreement with Oracle Arena includes options for three additional years, just in case that move to San Francisco gets delayed.