Jonah Herscu

Pacific Notes: Paul, Clippers, Jackson, Kings’ Staff

Another ill-timed injury for Chris Paul imperils his chances of winning a championship, as ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne details. Paul has been hampered by a shoulder injury as the Suns have fallen behind the Lakers 2-1 in their opening-round series. “You control what you can control,” Paul said. “I know I do everything on a daily basis to prepare myself to be ready to play. When things happen, they happen. You’ve got to overcome it and get through it.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers face a gut check heading into Dallas this weekend with a 2-0 deficit in their playoff series, according to Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. “When you’re down 2-0, it shows what you’re made of,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “Our toughness and all year, just trust, sticking together. And then this is going to show us (Friday) who we are and what we’re made of. So, I’m excited to see.”
  • Bobby Jackson has been named head coach of the Kings’ NBA G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, according to a press release from the G League team. Jackson has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach/player development coach for the Kings under head coach Luke Walton.
  • The Kings announced staff changes within their basketball operations department via press release. Paul Johnson has been promoted to VP of player development, in addition to his current role as the Stockton Kings’ GM. Jonah Herscu has been named an assistant coach on Sacramento’s staff, while Penny Chatzis is the new director of team player development. Robbie Lemons has been named director of basketball operations.

Western Notes: Mitchell, Popovich, Kings, Brewer

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell confirmed that he was shocked by the team’s decision to hold him out of Game 1 when he thought he’d be playing, as Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune writes.

“I was frustrated and upset,” said Mitchell, who has missed over a month with a right ankle sprain. “I was ready to go. I was ready to go.”

s tell Tony Jones and Sam Amick of The Athletic that Mitchell had hoped to make his return late in the regular season and was already irritated by the delay, so Sunday’s decision only exacerbated his frustration. The Jazz, who didn’t want to risk a re-aggravation of the injury, felt that holding him out for one more game – resulting in three extra days of rest – was the best move for Mitchell’s health and safety, per Jones and Amick.

Having been cleared to play in Game 2, Mitchell said on Monday that he’s ready to move past the situation, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Still, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his latest Hoop Collective podcast that some damage has been done to the relationship between the Jazz and their All-Star guard.

“Is it damaged to the point where it can’t be repaired? I’m not saying that,” Windhorst said, per RealGM. “Is it something that they’ll get past and he’ll just move on and it will just be a blip on the radar screen? Maybe. Maybe they’re in The Finals in two months and who cares? Maybe they win the next four games and it’s totally forgotten. But right now, Donovan is hurting. He’s really hurting the way this happened.”

As the Jazz look to even the series in Game 2 on Wednesday, Mitchell said there have been no discussions yet about him facing a minutes limit in his first game since April 16. The 24-year-old said he wants to be smart, but added that he’s prepared to play all 48 minutes if necessary, tweets Jones.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • It remains unclear whether Gregg Popovich will decide to continue coaching the Spurs in 2021/22, writes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News. As Finger details, the longtime Spurs coach said last week that there would be “a lot of time” to figure out what’s next, so it could still be weeks or months before the team makes an announcement.
  • The Stockton Kings, in search of a new head coach, are interviewing candidates from Sacramento’s coaching staff , per Sean Cunningham of ABC10 Sacramento (Twitter link). Bobby Jackson, Lindsey Harding, and Jonah Herscu are receiving consideration to coach the Kings’ G League team, sources tell Cunningham.
  • Former NBA wing Corey Brewer, who joined the Pelicans as a player development coach last fall, wrote for BasketballNews.com about transitioning from playing to coaching and what he learned in his first year in the new role. Brewer also shared some thoughts on several of New Orleans’ young players.

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Caroline, Fall, Kings’ Staff

Mychal Thompson, father of Warriors star Klay Thompson, said there’s “no question” Klay will re-sign with Golden State, Connor Letourneau‏ of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The Warriors are expected to offer him a full five-year maximum deal worth nearly $190MM despite Thompson’s knee injury during Game 6 on Thursday. Thompson suffered a torn left ACL and is expected to miss most of next season.

We have more from the Pacific Division: