Western Notes: Harris, Blake, Babbitt

February 4 at 8:24pm CST By Ryan Raroque

Earlier today, the Lakers notified guard Manny Harris that they do not plan to retain him beyond his second 10-day contract, tweets Bill Oram of the OC Register. We noted yesterday that L.A. wasn’t expected to keep Harris on board with a trio of the team’s point guards returning to the lineup.

Aside from a sensational 18-point, 6-for-9 shooting performance against the Knicks a little over a week ago, Harris’ numbers have been underwhelming through his eight game stint for the most part, averaging 6.8 PPG on 33.9% shooting overall and 29.4% from long distance in 19.9 MPG. However, as we speak, the 6’5 guard is leading the Lakers with 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting at halftime against the Timberwolves tonight, and although he might not be on the team tomorrow, Harris is putting together a compelling audition for potential suitors.

Here are some more links to share out of the Western Conference tonight:

  • In response to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders’ tweet that the Lakers would look to shed another $3MM in the form of Jordan Hill, Steve Blake, or Chris Kaman in a potential Pau Gasol deal, fellow Basketball Insiders writer Eric Pincus (via Twitter) says that L.A. would actually like to keep Blake beyond this season.
  • Despite Russian-based team Nizhny Novgorod’s initial plan to hold Luke Babbitt to his contractual obligations and prevent him from signing with an NBA team, Pelicans GM Dell Demps managed to negotiate a buyout agreement that took two weeks to get finalized, reports John Reid of NOLA.com. New Orleans head coach Monty Williams is hopeful that Babbitt can be a contributor right away: “We thought having some more depth at our wing spot and there’s a chance he can play some four (power forward) because of his ability to shoot the ball..He’s a young player who had some success in Portland and played really well overseas. We kept our eye on him and have been trying to get it done for a couple of weeks, maybe a little bit longer. Finally it happened for us.” 
  • Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle shared his thoughts with Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW on current Grizzlies guard and former Mavs draft pick Nick Calathes, who is expected to start in place of the injured Mike Conley when the two teams meet Wednesday night. Dallas reportedly dealt Calathes in order to create a roster spot for Gal Mekel“They’re similar players…We went that direction and at that point it made no sense to hold onto Calathes’ rights. They both have gotten much better since they got into the NBA. I’m happy for Nick. And we like Gal. It wouldn’t make any sense to have both of them here.”
  • So far, the 2013/14 season may not have always been ideal as one would hope for Samuel Dalembert, who on separate occasions this season has been called out by Carlisle for lack of conditioning and being undisciplined on the court. In another piece for SportsDayDFW, Sefko notes that with his recent 18-point, eight rebound, and 7-for-8 shooting performance against the Cavaliers, the 32-year-old center is slowly regaining the trust from everyone on the team, including Carlisle, who doesn’t appear to have any choice at this point but to ride Dalembert as much as he can.
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