Jeremy Castleberry

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.

Eastern Notes: Leonard, Galloway, Johnson, Ntilikina

Hiring Kawhi Leonard‘s close friend Jeremy Castleberry away from the Spurs as a player development coach was a wise move by the Raptors, in the view of Danny Green, as Steven Loung of SportsNet Canada details.

Green was traded along with Leonard to Toronto and the Raptors are hoping to convince Leonard to re-sign with them next summer. The addition of Castleberry should help the cause, according to Green

“It’s good to have (Castleberry) on board. Hopefully, it helps Kawhi feel more comfortable at home and keeps him in the city that they want to keep him here,” Green said. “Obviously (the Raptors) traded for him for a reason. They think they can sell him. … It’s an amazing city in Toronto. So the city sells itself. … And now you have your best friend with you. What else could you ask for?”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Langston Galloway was a major disappointment in his first season with the Pistons and he’ll have a tough time making the rotation, Ansar Khan of MLive writes. Galloway didn’t fare well when he played the point on occasion and posted career lows in several categories while mostly seeing action at shooting guard, Khan continues. Galloway, who has two years left on his $21MM contract, has plenty of competition at the guard spots in the upcoming season, Khan adds.
  • Pistons small forward Stanley Johnson could blossom in coach Dwane Casey’s first season, Khan writes in another post. Casey has praised Johnson’s work ethic and feels that Johnson has untapped scoring potential, Khan continues. Johnson became more aggressive going to the basket last season but needs to improve his outside shooting, Khan adds.
  • Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (France) and Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (Finland) will not play for their national teams in FIBA World Cup qualifiers next month, according to a Sportando report. Both players will focus on preparing for their second season in the NBA, the report adds.

Latest On Kawhi Leonard

The Raptors are making an addition to their coaching staff, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and Ian Begley of ESPN.com, who both report that former Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry will join the club.

As Begley details, Castleberry is a close friend of new Raptor Kawhi Leonard, having played with the star forward in high school and at San Diego State. An assistant video coordinator with the Spurs, Castleberry will serve as a player development coach in Toronto, per Charania.

While it’s unlikely that the Raptors would be making the hire if they hadn’t previously acquired Leonard, Castleberry is – by all accounts – “more than qualified” for his new position, tweets Begley. According to Begley, the Spurs didn’t want to lose him from their staff.

With Leonard heading into a contract year, the Raptors figure to pull out all the stops in an effort to convince him that re-signing with the club and remaining in Toronto long-term is the right move. The addition of Castleberry will likely play at least a small part in the Raps’ season-long recruiting efforts.

Still, as has been reported since his trade request first went public earlier this year, Leonard’s preference is to eventually sign in Los Angeles, either with the Lakers or Clippers, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.