The tightest divisional race in the NBA is in the Pacific, where the Clippers lead the Lakers by a single game. As packed together as the Western Conference is, that single game would represent the difference between the third seed and the sixth seed if the playoffs began today. Here's what's happening in the far west:
- Steve Nash and Lamar Odom could be trading places, tweets Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The move would get the slumping Odom closer to his beloved L.A. beaches and reunite Nash with his old friend Dirk Nowitzki. The rumor comes as the Suns and Nash continue to dance around the issue of a trade, as both player and team are not interested in a deal unless the other asks first. The Mavs would have to throw a little extra into the deal to make the salaries match up under cap rules.
- The Lakers have inquired about Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich, according to a tweet from Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Hinrich is averaging career lows across the board, including his 19.9 MPG, after missing the first month of the season with a left shoulder injury. At 31, though, he's still probably closer to his prime than either Steve Blake, 32, or Derek Fisher, 37, the Lakers' pair of veteran point guards.
- Rumors of Gilbert Arenas joining the Lakers have slowed down of late, and that's because he wants to make sure he's in top condition first, tweets Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. Arenas doesn't want to ruin what could be his last chance in the NBA, Kyler says.
- The city of Sacramento will contribute $255.53MM to the new arena, the total cost of which has been bumped up to $391MM, according to details of the deal reached Monday, write Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. The city council will vote to approve the terms of the plan agreed to by city officials, the Kings, the NBA and several private companies.
- Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles says the report that the Lakers turned down an offer of Michael Beasley because of tax concerns demonstrates how the team will be limited like never before under the new collective bargaining agreement.