Western Notes: Thompson, Rubio, Mekel, Taylor

Cory Joseph is the quintessential player from outside the U.S., at least according to the NBA’s annual survey of international players on opening-night rosters. He is a member of the Spurs, who lead the league with nine non-U.S. players, and he’s from Canada, the non-U.S. nation that has produced the most NBA players currently in the league. It’s the third straight year that San Antonio has led the NBA in this regard, and it seems to be working, since the Spurs went to the Finals the first two times. Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Kings big man Jason Thompson is drawing trade interest from around the league thanks to the league’s rising salary cap, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes amid his season preview. More available spending money around the league makes Thompson’s contract, which will pay him nearly $15.119MM in guaranteed salary through 2016/17, less burdensome for teams.
  • Sources from outside the Timberwolves believe Ricky Rubio and the team will ultimately settle on an extension worth four years and $52MM by Friday’s deadline, as they tell Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). The team has apparently offered four years and $48MM, while agent Dan Fegan has reportedly asked for the max.
  • Gal Mekel says that the Mavs haven’t told him whether or not they’re going to waive him, though he’s cognizant of the reports have the Mavericks set to release him so they can sign J.J. Barea instead, observes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News“It’s weird,” Mekel said. “I hear everything. But I want to concentrate on this game. I had a great preseason and showed everybody that I can help this team. I got very good feedback from the coaching staff. I know it’s weird right now and there is a chance I will find myself in another place in two days. But as long as I am here, I’m going to help the team.”
  • Wolves owner and chairman of the Board of Governors Glen Taylor has publicly talked about selling the team in the past, and he said Monday that he eventually plans to do so, notes Nate Gotlieb of the Mankato Free Press.

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