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Western Notes: Duncan, Jazz, Matthews, Rockets

Several NBA executives believe the Spurs will offer Tim Duncan a two-year deal with a partial guarantee and a player option for the second season, reports Mike Monroe of The San Antonio Express-News. The deal is projected at $6MM to $7MM each year, but if Duncan decides after the first year that he doesn’t want to play anymore he could still get a significant portion of the second season’s salary, making the contract possibly worth more than its face value. The first season of such a deal would have to carry a partial guarantee for the same percentage of the salary as the partial guarantee on the second season covers. “You can call it a ‘wink-wink’ deal if you want to,” an unidentified Eastern Conference executive said. “It’s what they did with [Antonio] McDyess, so why not for Duncan?” The team’s contract with McDyess was partially guaranteed but didn’t involve a player option. Duncan, 39, hasn’t committed to returning for another season, but he made both the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams this year. He is one of 10 Spurs who will become free agents July 1st.

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Even though the Jazz won’t pick until No. 12, they are confident that there will be talented players to choose from, writes Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah’s front office is making final preparations for Thursday’s draft, going through innumerable scenarios as they try to figure out who will be available. “We’re getting medical updates by the day and then you have all this information collected and you have to take the time to actually analyze it,” said GM Dennis Lindsey. “… A key piece of information can swing a vote and then, all of a sudden, you’re taking a player that maybe wasn’t the No. 1 candidate going into a process.” Lindsey has a history of dealing to move up in the draft, but Falk speculates that if there is a trade this year, it will be to move down or completely out of the first round.
  • The BlazersWesley Matthews admits his future was among his first thoughts when he ruptured his Achilles tendon, according to Jason Quick of The Oregonian. Matthews, who will become a free agent July 1, was worried that the injury might scare teams away. “Instinctively, right away I was worried about free agency,” he said.
  • Cliff Alexander of Kansas was part of a group workout for the Rockets on Saturday, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.

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