The Southwest Division, where four out of five teams could make the playoffs, is abuzz today. The Rockets and Spurs are jostling at the top of the Western standings, and have both been linked to Danny Granger, who could be the biggest buyout prize this year. The Mavs are also rumored to be in on Granger, and they’re bumping shoulders at the bottom of playoff contention with the Grizzlies, who claimed Beno Udrih off waivers today. Here’s some more from what should remain one of the more interesting divisions this year:
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles seconded earlier reports that the Spurs, Rockets, and Mavs all have a shot at Granger (Twitter link).
- Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger told reporters before tonight’s game, including Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal, that he won’t address newly acquired Udrih until tomorrow (Twitter link).
- The Grizzlies are a game and a half out of the playoffs this season after former coach Lionel Hollins took them to the Western Conference Finals last year, but CEO Jason Levien has no regrets about hiring new coach Dave Joerger. Levien made his comments in an appearance on Sports 56 WHBQ radio in Memphis, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal notes (Twitter link). “I feel better about the decision today than I did in June or July,” Levien said. “He’s been terrific.”
- The Grizzlies have assigned Jamaal Franklin D-League, the team announced. The 41st pick in the draft this past June hasn’t started in any of his three appearances with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, an affiliate Memphis shares with five other NBA teams.
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tells Jeff McDonald of San Antonio Express-News that the team hasn’t yet been active in the buyout market, but is ready when the opportunity arrives: “Like everyone else we’re looking at all the names. If we see there’s a body there we think can help us we’ll try to do it, but we haven’t done anything to this point.” The Spurs are reportedly one of the front-runners for Danny Granger’s services once the short-timer Sixers guard clears waivers.
- Metta World Peace is one player in the buyout market the Spurs are not interested in, according to Jeff McDonald of San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). The former Ron Artest was reportedly interested in San Antonio as a landing spot, but the interest apparently isn’t mutual.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.