Southwest Notes: Davis, Chandler, Lee, Mills

Trevor Ariza and Tyson Chandler were probably the most significant newcomers to the Southwest Division this past summer, but even devoid of an influx of star talent, every team in the Southwest has a winning record so far. I covered Ariza’s impact earlier today in my look at what the Rockets did over the offseason, and there’s more on Chandler amid the latest from around the division:

  • Anthony Davis is up for a rookie scale extension in the offseason ahead, and he seems comfortable with his surroundings, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports details. “I love it here in New Orleans,” Davis said. “Great city. Great atmosphere. …We’re getting the fans back and New Orleans back buzzing for the Pelicans, a great organization. I love my team here. We’re definitely moving in the right direction. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now I’m definitely loving the team and the organization.”
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson deferred to GM Steve Mills when it came to communicating with Chandler, as the now-Mavs center told reporters on Wednesday, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post“I just don’t think I was in the [Knicks’] future plans to be honest,” Chandler said, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics sought to clear salary when they traded Courtney Lee to the Grizzlies less than 11 months ago, but his hot three-point shooting is one reason he’s proven well worth his $5.45MM salary this year for Memphis, as Ronald Tillery of The Commericial Appeal examines (subscription only).
  • A clause in the Spurs‘ contract with Patty Mills gives him an extra $333K if he meets conditioning benchmarks throughout the season, according to Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News. The incentive is considered likely to be met, so that $333K is already included in his cap hit of more than $3.842MM, Monroe notes. It’s unclear if the torn right rotator cuff that’s kept Mills out all season so far will keep him from meeting those benchmarks.

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