Former Phoenix Suns Coach John Wetzel and veteran power forward Maurice Lucas will serve as assistant coaches of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers next season.
Coach Mike Schuler announced the appointments Tuesday.Wetzel, 43, was fired at the end of last season after one year as head coach of the Suns. He was an assistant at Phoenix for eight seasons.
Lucas, 36, retired as a player after last season, his 14th in professional basketball. He played for eight teams in his pro career and spent his final season with the Trail Blazers, the team he helped win an NBA title in 1977.
The additions double the size of Schuler's staff, which had consisted of assistants Rick Adelman and Jack Schalow.
Wetzel and Adelman are expected to be Schuler's top assistants on the Portland bench.
"He brings us tremendous experience," Schuler said of Wetzel, "and serving as a head coach last year at Pheonix helped him in ways that make him a valuable addition."
"I'm very happy to be coming to Portland," Wetzel said. "I've always admired the way the Grganization has done business. They're committed to putting the most competitive team possible on the floor."
Schalow will continue to concentrate on scouting college players.
Lucas, known as "the enforcer" in his early days with the Trail Blazers, will concentrate on coaching Portland's young inside players.
"Maurice has the years of experience, knowledge and reputation that can help our big men develop," Schuler said. "His presence will be an added strength to our staff. I think Kevin Duckworth, Mark Bryant and each of your young, big players will benefit from working with Luke."