If Pistons Coach John Kuester, shown during a game against the Cleveland… (Jason Miller / US Presswire )
Newly hired Lakers Coach Mike Brown is working on assembling his coaching staff, doing what he can to get some familiar faces back with him.
Brown has contacted New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams to express his interest in having Hornets assistant Michael Malone join him in Los Angeles, according to an NBA official briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The Hornets are mulling their options with Malone, the official said, because he is the No.1 assistant in New Orleans. But the official said the Hornets don't want to keep anybody around who doesn't want to be there.
Brown and Malone worked together in Cleveland for five years before the Cavaliers fired Brown after the 2009-10 season, and Malone joined the Hornets for the 2010-11 season.
Malone was given the defensive reins in Cleveland. His reputation as a defensive-minded coach continued in New Orleans because he helped the Hornets become the fifth-ranked defensive team in the NBA last season, allowing 94 points per game.
Brown was known in Cleveland to give his assistants the autonomy to design offensive and defensive plays during timeouts. He would probably let Malone handle the Lakers defense if hired.
Malone's name also has come up as a candidate for the head-coaching job with the Golden State Warriors — though he is considered a longshot.
Another coach Brown is interested in having on his Lakers staff is Detroit Pistons Coach John Kuester, two executives with NBA teams said.
Kuester's job with the Pistons is tenuous because of the revolt from his players during the past season when five of them skipped a practice.
He remains under contract, but if Kuester is let go, Brown wants him coaching with the Lakers.
Kuester was on Brown's staff in Cleveland as an assistant from 2007 to 2009. Kuester was named head coach of the Pistons in 2009.