The Thunder found out on Saturday evening that they'll be taking on the Heat in the NBA Finals beginning on Tuesday in Oklahoma City. The Lakers and Spurs will look to the Thunder to continue an over decade-long trend of Western Conference dominance that began during the 1998/1999 season. With a series victory over Miami, the Thunder will bring the streak of the West winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy to four seasons in a row and 11 of the last 14 overall. Let's catch up on the latest rumors and stories making headlines from around the Western Conference...
- There are many options for the Mavs to pursue this offseason, but signing Deron Williams makes the most sense for the franchise, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. If the Mavs are unable to acquire Williams, Sefko says the team will look to sign two-three reasonably-priced free agents a tier below the superstar level. Plan C, the most conservative approach, would have the Mavs saving money this summer and looking ahead to 2013 when Dwight Howard and Chris Paul will be free agents.
- The Denver Post's Christopher Dempsey says the Nuggets' plans this offseason depend on what type of point guard Ty Lawson wants to become moving forward. Lawson performed as more of a shooting guard during the playoffs against the Lakers while Andre Miller ran the point. Miller, an unrestricted free agent, may return to Denver but could prove to be a hindrance to Lawson's development as he begins his fourth season this fall.
- The question for Tim Duncan heading into the summer isn't whether he'll sign with the Spurs but whether he even wants to return for a 16th season, contends Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation. The former Wake Forest star will have to determine if taking a pay cut is worth going through the grind of an 82 game season. Duncan is coming off a rejuvenated season in which he averaged 15.4 PPG and 9.0 RPG in a career-low 28.2 minutes per contest.