Western Notes: Thomas, Johnson, Hayward

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers admits he was mystified when the Suns signed-and-traded for Isaiah Thomas this past offseason, adding that he thought Phoenix was merely insuring itself against the loss of Eric Bledsoe, relays Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Rivers has gained appreciation for the Suns‘ three point guard strategy since then. “When you think of those three guards they have, it’s amazing,” he said. “It’s hard for everybody to guard. I didn’t see it but now I do.

Here’s the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Tyrus Thomasworkout with the Lakers is scheduled for this Thursday, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). Thomas also gave the Grizzlies a look at his skills last week, though he left without receiving a contract offer.
  • The Rockets have assigned guard Nick Johnson to the Rio Grande Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. The rookie has appeared in three games for Houston this season, totaling two points and a rebound in 11 minutes of action.
  • Gordon Hayward‘s contract with the Jazz is based more on what he’ll become than what he has done thus far in the league, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes. But with continued improvement and the new TV deal set to kick in, there’s a decent chance the deal will look like a bargain in the near future, Powell adds.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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