Luke Loucks

Kings Finalize Contracts With Three Assistant Coaches

The Kings have finalized contracts with Doug Christie, Jay Triano and Luke Loucks to be assistant coaches under Mike Brown, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. All three hires were reported last month by veteran writer Marc Stein and Andscape’s Marc J. Spears, but the deals weren’t completed until Friday, sources told Anderson.

Christie, 52, played 15 seasons in the NBA, including a five-year run with the Kings. He’s the lone holdover from Luke Walton‘s staff in 2021/22, Christie’s first season as an NBA assistant, and Stein reported that retaining Christie was a priority for Sacramento’s brass.

Triano, 63, is the former head coach of the Raptors and Suns. He also coached the Canadian national team from 1998-2004, and most recently served as an assistant in Charlotte under James Borrego, who was fired in April.

Loucks, 32, played college ball for Florida State prior to making several international stops. During the ’21/22 season he worked for Phoenix in basketball strategy and personnel evaluation, and he previously worked with Brown in Golden State and with the Nigerian national team.

Sacramento announced on May 18 that former Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez will be Brown’s associate head coach, so the Kings have now finalized deals with four coaches on Brown’s staff.

Pacific Notes: Johnson, Westbrook, Lakers, Kings, Loucks, Ayton

Magic Johnson believes it’s crucial for the next Lakers coach to figure out how to maximize Russell Westbrook alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as he told David Aldridge of The Athletic. Johnson doubts Westbrook’s hefty contract will deliver a palatable package in a trade, so the new coach will need to figure out how best to use the veteran guard in order for the Lakers to make a postseason run next season.

“Well, it only can work, if you’ve got the coach — the right coach. To me, it still comes down to, who’s the coach?” the former Lakers president said. “And, then, also, he’s on a one-year, $47 million (contract with a player option). Even if you offer him (in a trade), what are you, realistically, going to get back? I told them this too — you’re going to get some contracts you probably don’t want, and they’re going to go (chronologically) past his contract. You’ve really got to think about that.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers have supposedly narrowed their list of potential candidates to replace Frank Vogel to three — Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson. However, Marc Stein reports in a Substack piece that a source close to the situation believes the list under consideration is “still wider” than that trio. Other prominent names could surface or candidates already interviewed for the job may reemerge.
  • Luke Loucks has agreed to join Mike Brown’s staff with the Kings, Marc J. Spears of ESPN tweetsLoucks currently works for the Suns in basketball strategy and personnel evaluation. Loucks previously worked with Brown in Golden State and with the Nigerian national team.
  • Deandre Ayton‘s agent, Bill Duffy, said in a SiriuxXM NBA Radio interview (Twitter link) that they were “disappointed” the Suns didn’t offer him a max contract extension. However, Duffy is confident his client will get a substantial offer this summer. “Things will work out for Deandre,” Duffy said. “He’s a valuable player and there’s other teams in the league as well. He’s a restricted free agent, so we’ll see how this process unfolds.”