Darrick Martin

Pacific Rumors: Ellis, Clippers Arena, Cousins, Lakers

The Kings have officially hired Ty Ellis as head coach of their G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, according to a team press release.  Ellis was head coach of the Suns’ G League team in 2016 before being elevated to an assistant coaching position with Phoenix last season. Ellis replaces Darrick Martin, Sacramento’s G League coach the last two seasons.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • A new lawsuit targeting the proposed Clippers arena in Inglewood alleges that two city-linked boards violated state laws governing open meetings, Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reports. The suit also claims those boards also violated the environmental impact of construction projects in June when they approved the disposal of land to clear space for the arena, Fenno continues. The Clippers signed an exclusive negotiating agreement with Inglewood last year for a new arena but the team’s lease at Staples Center runs through 2024, Fenno adds.
  • The Warriors were expecting to use their mid-level exception on a wing player until they got a call from DeMarcus Cousins agent during the second day of free agency, Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. GM Bob Myers revealed his summer plan during a 95.7 The Game interview. “We had been preserving our taxpayer mid-level exception for somebody that might fall through the cracks and not get paid in a very tight free agency market,” Myers said. “But mostly we were thinking wings. I figured if something like that were to happen it would happen July 8th, 9th, 10th.”
  • The Lakers won’t make the postseason, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports predicts. Mannix made the comment during a NBC Sports Boston podcast, believing that the players around LeBron James won’t mesh well. “You have to assume it’s 48 wins to get into the playoffs in the Western Conference,” Mannix said. “I don’t see that team making up that difference.”

Western Rumors: Hart, Bender, Ellis, Artis

The Lakers made some controversial additions after LeBron James committed to them but guard Josh Hart believes they will improve, not disrupt, the chemistry of the team, RealGM’s Keith Smith reports. Hart is especially on board with the signing of point guard Rajon Rondo. “We like the guys we got. Rajon will really help us stabilize the lead guard spot,” Hart said. “Lonzo (Ball) is going to learn a ton from him. Lance (Stephenson) brings toughness and defense from the bench. JaVale (McGee) does the occasional silly thing, but he does so many good things people skip over.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns power forward Dragan Bender struggled mightily in summer league action entering a make or break year, Smith writes in the same piece. Bender had a difficult time defending on the perimeter and couldn’t consistently knock down his 3-point attempts, Smith continues. Overall, Bender shot 37% from the field in Las Vegas. The Suns hold a $5,896,519 team option on his 2019/20 contract and have until the end of this year’s training camp to decide whether to exercise it.
  • The Kings agreed to sign Jamel Artis to a training-camp deal because small forward is a position of need, according to Noel Harris of the Sacramento Bee. Sacramento also has Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Justin Jackson at that spot. Artis played for the Cavs summer-league team against the Kings and posted 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. He saw action in 15 games with the Magic last season.
  • Suns assistant Ty Ellis is expected to be named the head coach of the G League’s Stockton Kings, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days reports. Ellis was the former head coach of the G League’s Northern Arizona Suns before joining Phoenix’s staff after Earl Watson was fired last season. Ellis will replace Darrick Martin, Sacramento’s G League coach the last two seasons.

Pacific Notes: McLemore, Martin, Barnes

There is interest around the league in shooting guard Ben McLemore and with teams aware that he is available, the Kings have been fielding trade inquiries in advance of Thursday’s NBA draft, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com tweets. The 23-year-old saw his playing time diminish this past season under former coach George Karl, with McLemore only averaging 21.2 minutes per outing, down from the 32.6 he notched in 2014/15. If Sacramento does find a taker for McLemore, it would make him the second former lottery pick the team has shipped out in as many years, with the Kings sending 2014 first-rounder Nik Stauskas to the Sixers prior to the start of the 2015/16 campaign.

Here’s the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Fresh off of their crushing defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, pending free agents Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli say they haven’t begun to contemplate their offseason strategy, nor have they thought about where they might be playing next season, Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle relays. If Golden State extends the players qualifying offers, with Barnes’ being worth $5,194,227 and $3,013,123 for Ezeli, the duo would become restricted free agents and the Warriors would have the opportunity to match any offer they were to receive.
  • The Kings are closing in on an agreement with Darrick Martin that would make him the new coach of the Reno Bighorns, their D-League affiliate, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical relays (via Twitter).
  • While the Clippers are expected to look to fill their most glaring roster needs via free agency, coach/executive Doc Rivers has two draft picks to work with for the first time in his tenure with the team and will look to add bench depth with them, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times writes.