As we prepare for an evening that includes at least one Western Conference team in every game on the NBA schedule, let's round up a few notes from out west:
- Raja Bell's camp indicates the veteran forward would love to end up with the Lakers, but there's a long way to go before that's a real possibility, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.com.
- In his latest column for Grantland.com, Zach Lowe examines the Sixers' acquisition of Andrew Bynum and notes that if Philadelphia had decided not to facilitate August's Dwight Howard blockbuster to land Bynum, it could have had a huge impact on a number of Western Conference teams. Lowe suggests the Magic may have traded Howard to the Rockets instead, which would not only have affected the Lakers, but also the Thunder, since James Harden wouldn't have been sent to Houston in that scenario.
- Appearing on Slate's Hang Up and Listen podcast, Rockets GM Daryl Morey discussed Jeremy Lin, Royce White, and Houston's need to gamble on high-upside players.
- Brian Shaw, a current Pacers assistant and former member of Phil Jackson's staff in Los Angeles, was surprised the Lakers didn't hire Jackson to replace Mike Brown. And as he told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Shaw was particularly taken aback by the Lakers' handling of the situation. "Under the circumstances," Shaw said. "Phil Jackson, who's been there and done that and put a lot of money in everybody's pockets around here, the way it was done… it's mind-boggling."