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Western Notes: Gasol, Kings, Jazz, Messina

“The understanding is” that Marc Gasol will indeed be the No. 1 target of the Spurs this summer, depending on the fates of fellow soon-to-be free agents Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobilia Western Conference GM told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Gasol has given plenty of signals that he prefers to stay in Memphis, and if he were to leave, he would likely move only to a team that would give him a better chance to win a title, sources also tell Deveney. The Spurs would conceivably fit that bill, but even if they don’t end up with Gasol, one GM expects San Antonio to make a surprise move this summer and hints that it’ll come at draft time, as Deveney details. There’s more on the Spurs amid the latest from around the Western Conference:

  • Kings adviser Chris Mullin, reportedly a candidate for the team’s coaching position earlier this season, resisted the recent hirings of coach George Karl and vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac, high-ranking team execs tell Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. GM Pete D’Alessandro also resisted the hiring of Divac, who’s technically atop him in the organization, according to Voisin, though D’Alessandro said to Voisin on Tuesday that he and others are pleased to have the former center around.
  • The Hornets have three prominent former members of the Jazz, and Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Mo Williams all expressed fondness for their time in Utah when their new team came to Salt Lake City for Monday’s game, observes Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Mo Williams will hit free agency again this summer, and Jefferson can, too, if he turns down a $13.5MM player option.
  • Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina would like to become a head coach in the NBA someday, but he’s content with the Spurs and said he’d ask Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford for advice before pursuing a head coaching job, as Messina told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

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