Pacific Notes: Kings, Clippers, Lakers

The Kings and Nets had more trade talks Wednesday regarding Deron Williams, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes that Sacramento’s desire to pick up Mason Plumlee remains a major obstacle to a deal. “Talks aren’t dead, but nothing’s going to happen with Plumlee involved,” according to an unidentified source. The Kings want Plumlee as a incentive to accept Williams, who has battled a string of injuries and has two full years and more than $43MM left on his contract. Plumlee is still on his rookie deal and is under Brooklyn’s control through the 2017/18 season.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Despite watching Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo slip away, Kobe Bryant tells Sam Amick of USA Today that he still has faith in Lakers management. “We did what we could,” he said. “… It’s not from a lack of effort. It’s not from a lack of smarts, so I trust the process.” L.A. will be awash in cap room and is expected to continue to reach out to the top-tier free agents, which includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Goran Dragic and Kevin Love next summer and Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016. Bryant, 36, continues to insist he will retire after his two-year, $48.5MM contract expires after next season.
  • Pau Gasol, who left the Lakers to sign with the Bulls during the summer, expects an “emotional” experience Thursday night when his new team hosts his old team, reports Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. Gasol received a two-year deal from Chicago worth more than $14.5MM, with a 2016/17 player option for $7.769MM. In the same game, L.A.’s Carlos Boozer will return to Chicago for the first time since being amnestied.
  • The Clippers will likely be making a roster move soon, writes Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. He explains that the team is $788,256 below the NBA’s hard salary cap, which limits its ability to add players. The minimum salary for a veteran with at least two years’ experience would count $915,243 toward the cap, but because of a “nuance” in league rules, a free agent with less than two years’ experience eats up the same amount of cap room. That’s probably bad news for Jared Cunningham, whose salary won’t be guaranteed until January 10th. The Clippers could free up about $600K in cap room by waiving him before that date.

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