You could make a convincing case that the biggest NBA news out of the Western Conference so far today has been Kobe Bryant's arrival on Twitter. With just a single tweet to his name, Kobe has already racked up over 200,000 followers, a figure that continues to grow exponentially. There's plenty going on around the rest of the conference too though, so let's check out a few links….
- Trail Blazers point guard Nolan Smith, a former 21st overall pick, is on a mission to prove that he's not a bust, and feels good about his impending free agency, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- Royce White appeared on SiriusXM radio to discuss his refusal of a D-League assignment, and both Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle and Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside have passed along a few of White's more interesting comments. Among them: White suggested the chances that he never plays in the NBA are "very high" and said that playing for a team besides the Rockets wouldn't be a solution.
- Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News expects O.J. Mayo to score a big contract next summer, but isn't sure it'll come from the Mavericks. The Mavs figure to be targeting the top free agents of the class before circling back to Mayo, according to Sefko.
- Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News is critical of the make-up of the Mavericks' roster, opining that with so many players on expiring deals, they're playing for contracts rather than wins.
- The Jazz announced today that Mo Williams underwent successful surgery on his injured right thumb, as Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune writes.
- Roster construction has been a bigger problem than DeMarcus Cousins for the Kings, according to Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com.