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Clippers Hire Jeremy Castleberry, Former Raptors and Spurs’ Staffer, as Assistant Coach, per Jabari Young

The Clippers are both adding to their excellent coaching staff and bringing in a close confidant of superstar Kawhi Leonard.

Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Per Jabari Young of the Athletic, a longtime beat reporter for the San Antonio Spurs, the Clippers are hiring Jeremy Castleberry as an assistant coach. Young is extremely well connected to the Spurs and to Kawhi, so this isn’t a rumor so much as it is a thing that is going to happen (or maybe already happened). And this hire should come as no surprise, anyway.

Castleberry has known Kawhi since high school, where they played on the same team. They then played together at San Diego State before Kawhi moved to the NBA. After graduating from SDSU, Castleberry moved to coaching, joining the San Antonio Spurs’ G-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs. He spent two years with them before he joined the big club as a video coordinator and player development guy. When Kawhi was traded to the Raptors, Castleberry followed, joining them as a player development coach back in September, and winning a championship with them this June. Now, he’s with Kawhi once more, this time back in sunny Southern California.

However, don’t think of Castleberry as just a Kawhi acolyte. The Spurs wanted to keep him even after Kawhi left, and the Raptors spoke just as highly of his work ethic as Kawhi does. He wants to be a head coach someday, and puts in the hours to make it happen. In terms of work ethic, Castleberry is a great fit with the Clippers’ culture.

Of course, this move probably only happens with the Kawhi signing, but that doesn’t take away from its importance. In the story linked above, Kawhi discussed how having a familiar face in Castleberry around has helped him out before, and that should be even more applicable when making such a big transition to a new team and city. He will help the Clippers as a now-experienced video and player development guy with two A+ quality organizations, he will be a supportive presence for Kawhi, and he should fit right in with the Clippers’ coaching staff.