Western Notes: Gee, Mills, Nedovic, Ballmer

The players union encourages agents to negotiate contract guarantee dates into non-guaranteed deals for their clients in part to help ward off what happened to Alonzo Gee this summer, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Teams played hot potato with Gee’s contract, which was to remain non-guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date in January, and the Kings waived him late last month, in time for him to receive no more than another non-guaranteed pact for the minimum salary with the Nuggets. Gee’s agent Happy Walters didn’t represent the small forward when he signed the contract that teams passed around via trade this summer, and vows to Lowe that he’ll never let a player agree to a non-guaranteed deal without a guarantee date, though it’s unclear what guarantee dates, if any, are involved in Gee’s arrangement with Denver. While we wait to see how that dynamic plays out around the league, and whether Gee can crack the Nuggets opening-night roster, here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Hornets planned to pursue Patrick Mills last summer but backed off when he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff just as free agency was beginning, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Mills re-signed with the Spurs for three years and $11MM.
  • Agent Misko Raznatovic is skeptical that the Warriors are giving a fair shot to Nemanja Nedovic, the 30th overall pick in 2013, as Raznatovic tells Saša Ozmo of the Serbian website B92 (Ozmo provides an English translation on TwitLonger). I don’t know if he’s going to get a proper chance,” Raznatovic said. “They’re promising he will, but we’ll see, he’s had a lot of injuries. I hope everything is going to be all right.” A decision on Nedovic’s third-year team option is due by October 31st.
  • New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer insists he won’t micromanage coach/executive Doc Rivers as he runs the basketball operations for the team and doesn’t agree with the notion that $2 billion was too much to pay for the team, as Ballmer tells USA Today’s Sam Amick. Ballmer also says to Amick that he intends to own the team “until essentially I die.”

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