So far, votes are virtually evenly split on whether or not the Lakers will earn a playoff spot this season in the competitive Western Conference. You can weigh in with your vote and/or comments on our afternoon poll right here. As the Lakers prepare to face the Rockets tonight in Houston, let's check in on a few Western Conference notes relating to the Rockets and a handful of other clubs….
- Royce White appeared on Slate's Hang Up and Listen podcast, and went into detail in discussing his relationship with the Rockets and the mental health protocol he's hoping to establish. You can listen to the conversation at about the 24:15 mark of the podcast or view the complete transcript over at Slate.com.
- Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson says he expects Dirk Nowitzki to remain with the Mavericks for the rest of his career, according to Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). Nowitzki recently questioned some of the Mavs' roster-building strategies, but insisted he wants to remain in Dallas and not be traded.
- Even though Kevin Love will be out for an extended period, the Timberwolves, like every other team in the NBA, aren't currently interested in Kenyon Martin, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
- Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey isn't looking to make superficial changes to his team's roster, but is ready to make a move if the right kind of deal arises, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes.
- Terrel Harris, who was cut this weekend by the Heat, will join the Rockets' D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, tweets Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle clarifies (via Twitter) that Harris won't be part of Houston's 15-man roster, but the Vipers are operated by the Rockets, who want to take a look at the guard.