Kris Weems

Pacific Notes: Jordan, CP3, Haliburton, Warriors

When DeAndre Jordan signed with the Nets as a free agent in 2019, his friendships with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were key factors in his decision. Having departed Brooklyn this offseason, he made it clear that he remains close with Durant and Irving, but that the time was right for he and the Nets to move in different directions after he fell out of the team’s rotation at the end of last season.

“It was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us,” Jordan said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “And I feel like they gave me that respect as a veteran player to be able to understand that I wanted to be able to compete. … It just worked better for both of us.”

Jordan isn’t necessarily as close with anyone on his new team (the Lakers) as he was with Durant and Irving, but he said on Thursday that he’s looking forward to getting the opportunity to team up with several veterans that he has matched up against frequently over the years.

“Just to be able to be with a team like this with guys that you respect and guys that you’ve competed against for the past — going into my 14th season has been great in seeing, ‘I wonder what it would be like to play with this guy,'” Jordan said. “And you always think about that, whether you tell people or not.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Suns point guard Chris Paul called it an “easy decision” to return to Phoenix as a free agent this offseason, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “Not only did I love the basketball aspect, I’m close to family (in Los Angeles) and Phoenix is a family, too,” Paul said. “I’m excited to be back there.”
  • Tyrese Haliburton‘s name has popped up in trade speculation this offseason, though multiple reports have stated the Kings don’t intend to include him in any offer for Ben Simmons. For his part, Haliburton laughed off those trade rumors, as James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “I kind of just laugh about it,” Haliburton said during an appearance on J.J. Redick‘s The Old Man and the Three podcast. “I don’t really think it’s that realistic. I don’t see it happening.”
  • Seth Cooper, who had been a player development coach in Golden State, will be the head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League this season, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Kris Weems, who was the head coach in Santa Cruz, will join the NBA team as a player development coach, Slater adds.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Miles, Fox, Walton

Stephen Curry remains optimistic that the Warriors can retain their status as an elite team, Janie McCauley of The Associated Press reports. Despite losing Kevin Durant in free agency and Klay Thompson to a major knee injury, along with trading Andre Iguodala, Curry believes younger players and key additions are ready for the challenge.

“It’s just a change in dynamic all the way around,” the Warriors’ star guard said. “We’re excited about the opportunities, the challenges for the whole roster, because we’ve got a lot of guys that have the opportunity to really prove themselves and make a difference in our team. Obviously our core, ’til Klay gets back, we know how to win and we know how to play. We’re just going to do it a little differently.”

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors have named Aaron Miles as a player development coach, according to a team press release. He served as the head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors for the past two seasons, posting a 57-43 record. Miles’ promotion was previously reported by 2 Ways & 10 Days. Kris Weems has officially been named the organization’s new G League coach.
  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox has caught everyone’s attention at the USA Basketball training camp with his quickness and Celtics guard Kemba Walker sees Fox’s jumper improving as well. “What impressed me the most is probably his shooting,” Walker told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and other reporters. “He has really been knocking it down. That is what is going to take him to that next level. Like for myself entering the league, the next step for me was my jump shot. That is what helped me get to the next level.” Whenever he consistently gets that, it will be over.” Fox shot 45.8% overall and 37.1% from long range in his second NBA season.
  • Luke Walton has already made a good impression with Kings players prior to training camp, as Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register details. Big man Marvin Bagley is one of the players that Walton has supervised during personal workouts. “He’s been there helping me out,” Bagley said of his new coach. “Been there for my workouts, telling me what I’m doing right, what I’m doing wrong, what I need to get better at. I think it’s gonna be an exciting year. I’m looking forward to playing for him as a head coach and getting into it.”

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.