Some Friday updates out of the Western Conference:
- The Thunder announced a series of staff additions, they announced today. They hired Mike Wilks as a Pro Scout and Amanda Green as Basketball Operations Coordinator/Legal & Administration. They also promoted Paul Rivers to Director of Basketball Operations, Will Dawkins to Director of College Player Personnel and Brandon Barnett to Director of Minor League Operations/Pro Scout.
- Also regarding the Thunder, Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman says that the backup point job in Oklahoma City is still up for grabs between Eric Maynor and Reggie Jackson. Maynor is the incumbent but is coming back from a knee injury. With James Harden sidelined with hamstring issues, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he may experiment with both guards on the floor at the same time to gauge his backcourt flexibility.
- John Reid of the Times-Picaynne puts together a lengthy but excellent feature on Austin Rivers, implying that it was Rivers' drive that resulted in him moving up draft boards before landing with the Hornets at the tenth pick.
- Nuggets coach George Karl isn't about to let JaVale McGee's lucrative new contract dictate how much playing time he gives the big man, as Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post writes.
- Dirk Nowitzki had his knee drained for the second time this month, and is still contemplating the possibility of undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee, according to Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
- Coach Rick Carlisle expects offseason acquisition Darren Collison to "be great" for the Mavericks, writes McMahon.
- SI.com's Chris Ballard examines Andris Biedrins' precipitous decline, and wonders whether the big man will be able to turn his career around. Biedrins still has two years and $18MM left on his contract with the Warriors, who no longer have the amnesty clause available.
- Al Jefferson was glad to see the Jazz add a number of outside shooters via trades and free agency this offseason, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.