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Maurice Cheeks wants Rex Kalamian as Pistons’ No. 1 assistant

Marc Stein of ESPN:

new Pistons coach Mo Cheeks covets former OKC colleague Rex Kalamian as his top assistant

The most important aspect of Maurice Cheeks building his staff will be complementing strengths and weaknesses, and it appears Kalamian does that. Cheeks’ coaching seems more impactful on defense, and Kalamian focused on the Thunder’s offense, a very good one at that (though Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook certainly help).

Kalamian has been around in the league for a while, breaking into the Clippers’ scouting department in 1995. He’s also worked with the Kings, Timberwolves, Nuggets and 76ers, so that’s a positive indicator if teams keep hiring him.

Cheeks deserves the freedom to hire his own staff and sink or swim with that group, so if he wants Kalamian, I hope he gets him. But it seems possible Kalamian could slide up into the No. 1 assistant spot in Oklahoma City, and for most, I bet that position would be more appealing with the Thunder than the Pistons.


  • Jun 17, 20137:41 am
    by Jeremy


    I stated in a comment on a post last week that Kalamian and his responsibilities in OKC have more of a direct line to Westbrook’s development than Cheeks.

  • Jun 17, 20138:21 am
    by Tyrone


    I hope Mo can close that deal and land Kalamian and a great big man coach…

    What are the odds that we will be able to work out a trade for the Thunders PJ3 or Lamb?  If so what would it take to pick off one or both of those players?

    • Jun 17, 201311:48 am
      by Crispus


      Yeah I was thinking about PJIII too. With all the excitement over this year’s draft it’s easy to forget about other real young guys who fit a need and haven’t had a chance to show out yet.

      I’m still holding out for Scott Machado – summer league at least.

  • Jun 17, 201310:31 am


    If we could work out a trade with the Thunder to land PJ3 … by swapping picks I’d be all for it… I hope that looks at this team and see its lacks athletiscm and Speed players outside of Drummond and Knight …


    • Jun 17, 201311:27 am
      by Keith


      With Lamb or PJ3, the question becomes what do we have to offer. Lamb was a 12th overall pick, PJ3 a late first rounder. The Thunder need a center, and the only player who might be off the board between 8 and 12 is Zeller (who projects to be a PF anyway). Adams is unlikely to break into the top 10, and Len is unlikely to fall out of the top 7. Swapping picks with us does them little good.

      Further, let’s be realistic about the players being thrown around here. Both are athletic, but neither use their athleticism well (Lamb is a jump shooter in the Richard Hamilton mold, PJ3 has been derided for years for his settling for jumpers or avoiding his strength in the paint). Lamb is a true SG with a great stroke, but his production has never matched the eye test. He has a silky smoother jumper, but he’s never hit the outside shot at a high rate (37% college, 35% D-league, 50% NBA – but tiny sample size). PJ3 has a PF’s body and has the tools to excel in the paint, but he wants to be a SF despite not actually having the skills to play the wing (and thus eschewing his talents in the paint). PJ3 cannot shoot from outside (30% college, 29% D-League), and is a poor rebounder.

      Both players are still major projects at this point, and our development of talent to date has not been strong at all. Neither player should be worth trading down in an already diluted draft to us, and OKC simply has no desire to take on any other assets we have.

      • Jun 17, 20133:14 pm
        by Russell C


        PJIII just needs to be motivated to play. A guy that big with his handles and other skills should be dominant but something is missing. He can rebound if he wants, he can score at will inside if he wants and could be a dominant defender if he wants. Maybe in his contract year he will decide to play. But he is still potentially better than anyone who will be available at number 8

  • Jun 17, 20134:17 pm
    by Max


    The Pistons could be more attractive to a first assistant coach in the sense that Cheeks is more likely to get fired in season thank Brooks so the assistant becomes the interim. 

    • Jun 20, 20139:00 am
      by G


      Not sure about that. Brooks laid an egg against Memphis, he may be on borrowed time.

  • Mar 12, 20145:01 am
    by Shila Graaf


    Outstanding article! It is helpful and also I fully agree! There ought to be more people that write like you.

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