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Pacific Notes: Green, Griffin, Lakers, Bryant

The WarriorsDraymond Green should be Defensive Player of the Year, argues Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders. It’s a somewhat surprising choice, given the widespread opinion that the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan is the front runner for the award, but Dowsett contends Green’s versatility and performance against the pick-and-roll make him the league’s most valuable defender. If he were to win DPOY, it would strengthen Green’s bargaining position heading into restricted free agency this summer.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders wonders if Green is worth a max contract.  At 6’7″ and 230 pounds, the Warriors’ standout is a uniquely stocky small forward who can also play power forward effectively and guard every position except for center.  However, his per-game stats fall below what you’d expect from a max level player.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers says there’s still no timetable for Blake Griffin to return from his staph infection, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).  The timetable remains the same as it was before for Griffin, Arash Markazi of adds (on Twitter).  The original estimate was 4-6 weeks, and Monday will mark four weeks since his surgery.
  • The Lakers will have plenty of options in June’s draft, writes Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders. Los Angeles, of course, needs to have its pick fall in the top five or it will be transferred to Philadelphia. Assuming the Lakers keep their pick, Davis writes that Duke’s Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns would form a solid front-line nucleus with injured rookie Julius Randle. If they decide to go for backcourt help, options include  Emmanuel Mudiay of the Chinese Basketball Association and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell.
  • It may not be a coincidence that Kobe Bryant was on the Lakers‘ bench tonight for the first time in many games, tweets Tim MacMahon of The Lakers are hosting the Mavericks, and Bryant may want a closer look at soon-to-be free agent Rajon Rondo.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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