Four Pacific Division teams have winning records, and even the one that doesn’t picked up a win Sunday, as the Lakers took advantage of a Raptors team missing DeMar DeRozan to score an overtime victory. Still, every win for the Lakers is in some way a gain for the Suns, too, since Phoenix receives L.A.’s first-round pick for 2015 if it falls out of the top five. The Lakers hold a tenuous one-game lead on the Wolves for the fifth spot in the Reverse Standings in what’s shaping up as one of the best draft position races of the season. There’s more on the Lakers and the Suns amid the latest from the Pacific:
- A “theory floated out” suggested that the Suns were upset when Channing Frye turned down his player option this past summer and chose to instead go after marquee targets like LeBron James and Kevin Love, as John Denton of Magic.com writes. The Suns nonetheless reportedly made a push to re-sign Frye on the first day of free agency, though he’s pleased with his new home in Orlando, as Denton details. “It’s just a business part of it and it’s hard to separate business and personal stuff, especially with me being from [Phoenix] and loving the teammates here as much as I did. But at the end of the day, I know I made the right decision [signing with the Magic],’’ Frye said. “I made the right decision, not only for me, but for my family. The [Suns] organization did pretty dang well [when I was in Phoenix] and they are doing well without me. So no hard feelings. Of course, I wanted to continue to play with my [Suns] boys, but I’m finding new friends and working things out in Orlando.’’
- The partial guarantee on Wayne Ellington‘s minimum salary jumps from $315,646 to $581,692 if the Lakers keep him through today, as our Schedule of Contract Guarantee Dates shows and as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders originally reported.
- The up-tempo style of the Suns helped influence former Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas to choose to head to Phoenix this past summer, as he tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “My teammates are good guys, the organization is great, and the style of play is perfect,” Thomas said. “It’s a big reason why I chose here because it favors my strengths, getting up and down, scoring and shooting at will, and using our strength, which is our guards.”