Greg St. Jean

Lakers Notes: Bronny, Knecht, LeBron, Redick, St. Jean

Bronny James had an uneven debut with the Lakers on Saturday at the California Classic summer league, writes Anthony De Leon of The Los Angeles Times. The 55th overall pick of last month’s draft, James finished with four points (on 2-of-9 shooting), two assists, two rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes.

Overall [I need to] just be aggressive, believe in myself and know that I can make plays for myself and my teammates,” James said. “Playing my game on the defensive end, especially because I believe I know how to play.”

He’s going to play — granted, if he’s healthy — throughout this whole thing,” summer league coach Dane Johnson said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “We’re going to try to integrate him and try to get him as many reps as we can. Because he needs more experience playing. And especially the NBA game. It’s a little different than college, so getting reps in the NBA, in an NBA setting with good players will help him in the long run.”

First-rounder Dalton Knecht also showed signs of rust, De Leon notes, putting up 12 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals, but going just 3-of-12 from the floor in 26 minutes. The Lakers lost to the Kings by 14 points.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • ESPN insiders McMenamin, Kendra Andrews and Baxter Holmes provide their takeaways from Bronny’s debut.
  • LeBron James was ecstatic that the Lakers drafted his son Bronny, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “For me to see my son to be able to, you know, be in the NBA alone. I mean, it’s always been a dream of his and for us to be side by side … there’s a loss of words, to be honest,” LeBron said after his first practice with Team USA ahead of the Paris Olympics.”I mean, the kid has worked so hard to get back to this point. There’s just so much that’s happened over the last year with him to have this happen less than a year from his incident to be with our friends and our family. When they announced his name, it was something that was super surreal, and it’s kind of still, our family still don’t even have enough words to explain the feeling that we had.” Both LeBron and Anthony Davis — another member of Team USA — were optimistic about the hiring of J.J. Redick as head coach, Bontemps adds.
  • Replacing Darvin Ham with Redick has been the Lakers’ biggest offseason move to this point. Will a new coach be enough to improve a team with a roster that’s mostly the same as 2023/24? Mirjam Swanson of The Southern California News Group explores that topic.
  • The Lakers are hiring Greg St. Jean as an assistant coach on Redick’s staff, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). St. Jean, who was an assistant in L.A. when the Lakers won the title in 2020, has worked for Dallas and Phoenix in recent seasons, Scotto notes.

Lakers Notes: Borrego, Brooks, Rondo, St. Jean, Redick, Prince

Pelicans assistant James Borrego had an in-person meeting with the Lakers on Wednesday about their vacant head-coaching position, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. Anthony Davis thinks highly of Borrego, Woike writes.

The Lakers had previously met with Borrego, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), that was more of a “get-to-know-you” session. Today’s meeting was more in-depth and Wojnarowski says Los Angeles will look to bring in more candidates for second interviews in the coming days and weeks.

Borrego was a longtime NBA assistant before being hired by the Hornets in 2018. He coached Charlotte for four seasons, compiling a 138-163 record.

As Woike writes, other staffing candidates linked to the Lakers include the previously reported Sam Cassell and Jared Dudley, as well as former Thunder and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. Cassell was interviewed by the Lakers for their head-coaching role while Dudley was reported to be under consideration for an assistant role, depending on who is hired as head coach. Woike points out that Cassell (Boston) and Dudley (Dallas) could receive promotions from their own organizations after the playoffs.

We have more from the Lakers:

  • Former Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and former Lakers assistant Greg St. Jean are among other names under consideration for staff roles, again pending the head coach hire, according to Woike. Rondo played with the Lakers from 2018-20, winning a ring with Los Angeles in 2020. He also played there briefly in ’21/22. St. Jean spent last season as an assistant under Frank Vogel with the Suns.
  • While the Lakers are doing their due diligence with a multitude of coaching prospects, J.J. Redick still seems to be the favorite for the position, according to TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris B. Haynes (Twitter link). “I will be very surprised if their next head coach is anybody but J.J. Redick,” Haynes said. “Everything that I’m hearing is J.J. Redick. From what I know he’s doing some background, calling some assistant coaching candidates who might be able to join his staff.
  • Taurean Prince was thrust into a significant role with the Lakers under former coach Darvin Ham and while he was relatively productive offensively (8.9 PPG, .396 3PT%), his defense took a step back until he moved back to the bench, Lakers Nation’s Matthew Valento writes. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, Prince expressed an interest in returning. “My family, the quality of life in Los Angeles is something that myself and my family haven’t had in probably three or four seasons,” Prince said. “So to stay here would be definitely number one. If not that, then I mean, wherever the dominoes fall and wherever it’s best, that’s where I’ll be. But I for sure want to be a Laker, 100%.

Suns Officially Announce Changes To Coaching Staff

The Suns were among the teams to make a coaching change this offseason, replacing Monty Williams with Frank Vogel earlier this month. Vogel and the team have been quickly working to assemble his coaching staff, with Phoenix issuing a press release on Wednesday to make several new hires official.

The only returning assistant coach is Kevin Young, who was a finalist for Phoenix’s head coaching job and ultimately stuck with the Suns after they made him the highest-paid assistant in the league.

The new additions, some of which were previously reported, are as follows:

  • David Fizdale, the former head coach of the Grizzlies and Knicks who was an assistant under Vogel with the Lakers in 2021/22. Fizdale was an associate GM with the Jazz this past season.
  • Quinton Crawford, who was an assistant with the Mavericks this past season and spent three years under Vogel with the Lakers from 2019-22, winning a title in 2020.
  • Miles Simon, a former Arizona star who was an assistant with the Lakers for four seasons prior to becoming the head coach of the South Bay Lakers, the team’s G League affiliate, the past two seasons.
  • Greg St. Jean, another former assistant with the Lakers under Vogel who went to Dallas with Jason Kidd in ’21/22.
  • John Lucas III, a former NBA point guard who was an assistant under Vogel in ’21/22.
  • Dru Anthrop, who had been head video coordinator and a member of the Lakers’ staff since ’19/20.
  • Jon Pastorek, a former Lakers player development coach and advance scout.

The Suns enter ’23/24 with the goal of winning their first championship, having agreed to a trade that will bring Bradley Beal to Phoenix after landing Kevin Durant in February.

Pacific Notes: Paul, St. Jean, Lakers, Warriors

Suns point guard Chris Paul, a 12-time All-Star, is hoping to stick around in Phoenix for the 2023/24 season, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic .

Paul is owed $30.8MM for the 2023/24 season, but only $15.8MM of that money is fully guaranteed, and the club is reportedly weighing its various options with regard to his future. A decision will likely have to be made by June 28, which is when the rest of the 38-year-old’s salary will become guaranteed.

“Absolutely (I want to stay in Phoenix),” Paul said. “I’ve talked with my family, we’ve had conversations about what could be, what might be… I’ve talked with my agent. Talked to my brother.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • New Suns head coach Frank Vogel will be adding another familiar face as he continues to round out his bench in Phoenix. Sources inform Marc Stein (Twitter link) that former Mavericks assistant coach Greg St. Jean is set to join the team. St. Jean also served under Vogel with the Lakers.
  • The Lakers, who possess two picks in this year’s draft, held another pre-draft workout on Wednesday. Dave McMenamin of ESPN (via Twitter) reveals that San Diego State guard Adam Seiko, Miami combo guard Isaiah Wong, Florida forward Alex Fudge, Akron guard Xavier Castaneda, G League Ignite shooting guard Mojave King, and Memphis small forward Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu auditioned for L.A. brass yesterday.
  • The PR team of the Warriors has been honored with the Professional Basketball Writers Association’s 2022/23 Brian McIntyre Media Relations Award, the PBWA announced in a press statement (Twitter link). The PBWA notes that the media relations staffs of the Hawks, Heat, Mavericks and Pistons comprised the other finalists under consideration this year.

Mavs Officially Announce Jason Kidd’s Coaching Staff

The Mavericks issued a press release on Tuesday evening officially announcing Jason Kidd‘s coaching staff, confirming a handful of previously-reported hires.

Igor Kokoskov is perhaps the most noteworthy addition, fresh off a stint as the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahçe. Kokoskov has served as an assistant for seven different NBA teams over the last two decades and was the head coach in Phoenix for the 2018/19 season. Reports in July indicated that Kokoskov was expected to join Kidd’s staff.

Fourteen-year NBA veteran Jared Dudley, whose agreement with the Mavs was reported last week, was also officially announced as an assistant coach.

Kokoskov and Dudley will be joined by Sean Sweeney, who worked with Kidd during his previous head coaching stints in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, and Greg St. Jean, who worked alongside Kidd with the Lakers over the last two seasons.

Kristi Toliver, fresh off her 12th season as a WNBA player, will also be an assistant coach on Kidd’s staff, with Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton rounding out the group. Armstrong, Shammgod, and Patton are holdovers from Rick Carlisle‘s coaching staff.

Mavericks Notes: Kokoskov, St. Jean, Front Office, Porzingis

The Mavericks are working on adding former Suns head coach and current Fenerbahce coach Igor Kokoskov to Jason Kidd‘s staff as an assistant, according to multiple reports. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) first reported that Dallas was targeting Kokoskov, while Marc Stein (Twitter link) said there’s “tangible optimism” the Mavs will be able to hire him.

As Stein explains (via Twitter), Kokoskov is technically still under contract with Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, so the Mavs and the Turkish club would have to come to some sort of agreement releasing him from that deal.

In addition to coaching the Suns for one season (2018/19), Kokoskov has worked as an assistant for seven other NBA teams. He and Kidd never overlapped at any of those spots, but Kokoskov does have one noteworthy connection to the current Mavs — he was the head coach of the Slovenian team that won gold in the 2017 EuroBasket tournament, led by Luka Doncic.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • The Mavericks are also expected to hire Greg St. Jean to their coaching staff, Stein reports (via Twitter). As Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group observes (via Twitter), St. Jean has been a player development coach and advance scout for the Lakers for the last two years and is tight with Kidd.
  • At a Mavs’ press conference on Thursday, Nico Harrison was introduced as both the team’s general manager and president of basketball operations, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News notes (via Twitter). However, team owner Mark Cuban said he’ll still be the one making the final call on basketball decisions, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. I always do because it’s a lot of money,” Cuban said.
  • Cuban declined to say whether Haralabos Voulgaris is still with the Mavs, according to Caplan (Twitter link). A report last month indicated Voulgaris had gained an outsized influence within the team’s front office but wasn’t yet under contract beyond 2020/21.
  • While there has been speculation that the Mavs may explore trading Kristaps Porzingis this offseason, the team gave no indications on Thursday that such a move is in the cards. Kidd raved about Porzingis’ fit in Dallas and said he expects to see “a different KP” going forward, while Cuban said the big man has been “unfairly maligned” (Twitter links via Caplan).

Lakers Officially Announce Coaching Staff

The Lakers have officially announced the assistant coaches who will join new head coach Frank Vogel on the team’s bench this season.

As expected, former head coaches Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins are the headliners of the group. Their deals with the team were previously reported, as was Phil Handy‘s. Handy has appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals, having coached in Cleveland before joining the Raptors for the 2018/19 season.

The Lakers also confirmed the previously-reported hirings of former Lakers player Mike Penberthy and former Hornets player development coach Quinton Crawford, both of whom will be assistants. Miles Simon will be the only returning assistant from last season’s staff.

“I could not be more excited about the group we’ve assembled,” Vogel said in a statement. “Each of these guys brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will greatly impact the success of our players, as we look to build a championship-caliber team.”

The Lakers also announced that they’ve hired Greg St. Jean as a player development coach/advance scout and Dru Anthrop as the team’s head video coordinator/player development coach.