Dee Brown

Pacific Notes: Walton, Rondo, Cousins, Clippers

Luke Walton has managed to stay focused on his duties as lead assistant with the Warriors, even as his head coaching job with the Lakers awaits, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Walton had his first interview on April 18th — more than two months ago — when he had a phone conversation with Knicks president Phil Jackson. “Luke is a real loyal guy,” said fellow Golden State assistant Ron Adams. “And he’s real loyal to the Golden State Warriors — has been since he was named coach of the Lakers. It might be hard for people to understand that. I would say he’s atypical in that regard. A lot of people, if a team would’ve allowed what the Lakers allowed, I think [the person] would’ve been more fixated on that team than this team. That’s not Luke. That’s not what Luke has been.” Walton will coach his final game with the Warriors tonight, then will likely be introduced as the Lakers’ new coach later this week.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings point guard Rajon Rondo pronounced himself fully healthy as he prepares for his second straight year of free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Rondo signed a one-year deal with Sacramento last summer, which gave him a first-hand view of the turmoil in the organization, especially between DeMarcus Cousins and former coach George Karl“Obviously it didn’t go the way we wanted it as an exit [missing the playoffs], but I was able to bounce back, I believe,” Rondo said. “I am very healthy. I’ve been working extremely hard on my body and my game. I’m 30 years old and I feel great.” Rondo’s numbers had declined since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in 2013, but he bounced back to average 11.9 points and 11.7 assists per game this season.
  • Cousins’ younger brother, Jaleel, worked out for the Kings on Saturday, according to James Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The 6-11, 250-pound center was a senior this season at South Florida.
  • Dee Brown and Pat Sullivan have emerged as assistant coaching candidates with the Clippers, tweets Marc Stein of Kevin Eastman, a longtime assistant to Doc Rivers, announced his retirement earlier this week.
  • The Clippers will hold two workouts Monday, tweets Rowan Kavner of The morning session will feature Alabama’s Retin Obasohan, Miami’s Sheldon McClellan, Kentucky’s Alex Poythress, Maryland’s Jake Layman, Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu and UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman. Working out in the afternoon will be Tulsa’s James Woodard, West Virginia’s Jaysean Page, UNLV’s Patrick McCaw, Louisiana’s Alex Hamilton, SMU’s Markus Kennedy and Iowa’s Jared Uthoff.

Odds & Ends: Assistants, SVG, Brewer, Lakers

As teams continue to finalize their coaching staffs for the 2013/14 season, a pair of clubs made official announcements today. The Kings have formally hired Dee Brown and Micah Nori, who spent the last four seasons as an assistant in Toronto, while the Raptors have made a hire of their own, announcing that Nick Nurse, coming off a D-League championship, will join Dwane Casey's staff.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Association:

  • Former Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida that it's "very possible" he won't return to an NBA bench for the 2014/15 season, adding that there's no guarantee he'll ever coach again. Tomasson's piece includes plenty of interesting tidbits and quotes from Van Gundy, including word that four teams contacted him in the spring about coaching vacancies.
  • We passed along reports today indicating that the Timberwolves are eyeing Corey Brewer, and Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune adds another detail, writing that Minnesota is exploring its options for a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Nuggets.
  • Dave McMenamin of hears that Raja Bell, Kenyon Martin, and Bobby Brown are among the free agents with interest in the Lakers, though it's not clear if that interest is mutual (Twitter link).
  • In his latest mailbag, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel addresses whether or not it makes sense for the Heat to save their amnesty clause until next year.
  • Before they decide whether or not to use their amnesty provision this year, the Raptors will wait to see exactly what the luxury tax threshold is, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
  • Grantland's Zach Lowe takes an extended and interesting look at how the Pelicans' offseason moves will shape the team going forward.