Western Notes: Jackson, Barea, Kings

The Thunder believe Reggie Jackson, who’s eligible for an extension until October 31st, has what it takes to become a key part of the team in the long run, and the team’s executives privately gush about his ability, writes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. GM Sam Presti seems confident that his team will strike a deal with Jackson, Tramel observes.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Coach/executive Flip Saunders says there’s still a role on the Wolves for J.J. Barea, despite reports indicating that the team has Barea on the trade block, pointing to the performance that Barea put on a year ago in camp as the team’s best as he spoke with Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Saunders also insisted to Zgoda that he can balance the demands of coaching and front office work at the same time and not prioritize the present over the future, and vice versa.
  • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is feeling much better about his team’s direction this season, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “I still have a lot to learn, I’m sure,” Ranadive said. “Last year, when the season started, I said it wasn’t going to be about wins and losses. When I came here and we bought the team, there was dysfunction in the locker room, there wasn’t mutual respect, the arena was literally falling apart, the roof was falling down. So we brought in a new team, we restored stability, restored respect, we put in a strong culture. But this year, let’s be clear, it is about wins and losses.”
  • Speaking about the team’s new roster additions, GM Pete D’Alessandro added, “We’re not trying to be patient anymore, we’re not. We want to win more, we want to be more exciting. Last year, there was just so much turnover. This year, we’re all kind of settled into our roles. We feel our team has grown, and we had two guys coming back from Spain, so we do have a lot of talent; it’s how we use it, and that’s what we’re striving to figure out.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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