Western Notes: Harden, McMillan, Jackson, Wolves

November 12 2012 at 12:53pm CDT By Luke Adams

Less than two weeks into the NBA season, the Association's two biggest stories so far have come from two teams expected to compete for the Western Conference crown — the Thunder's trade of James Harden, and the Lakers' coaching change. We have updates on both Harden and the new Lakers coach, along with a few other notes out of the West, so let's check them out:

  • The final year of Harden's max-salary deal with the Rockets is only 50% guaranteed, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports (via Twitter). However, Deeks adds in a second tweet that there are a number of conditions Harden could meet to ensure it becomes fully guaranteed.
  • Mike D'Antoni is expected to reach out to Nate McMillan to offer him a spot as defensive assistant on his Lakers staff, reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports (via Twitter).
  • According to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link), people around the NBA expect Phil Jackson to take a job within the next year, since he's interested in returning if a team can meet his demands.
  • Wesley Johnson spoke to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld about adjusting to a new situation in Phoenix, and the Suns' prospects for the 2012/13 season.
  • With Chase Budinger set for knee surgery, the Timberwolves could ask the league for an injury exception to add a player without cutting anyone, but it doesn't appear they will, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

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