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Western Notes: Ranadive, Cousins, Chalmers, Durant

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive told Sam Amick of USA Today that he is confident the DeMarcus Cousins situation can be resolved. Cousins has repeatedly expressed unhappiness with the direction of the franchise and had frequent clashes with former coach George Karl last season. Ranadive thinks the hiring of Dave Joerger as the new coach will help smooth over the bitterness. “When I first bought the team I had to make one decision, which was ‘Do I give [Cousins] a contract [extension] or not [in September 2013?’ and I made the decision to give it to him,” the owner said. “I feel like that was the right decision. But other than that, I haven’t really made any basketball decisions, because after that I hired a GM and a coach and everyone else. But I expect that [GM] Vlade [Divac] will make the right calls. I think DeMarcus truly looks up to Vlade. I think he truly likes the coach.”

Ranadive also addressed the status of Rudy Gay, who recently announced that he plans to opt out of his contract next summer. “He’s a professional,” Ranadive said. “It’s his last year, and I’m sure he’s going to go out there and do his best and we’ll see. But I have confidence that Vlade and him and everyone else will work it out.”

There’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • Free agent addition Raymond Felton said the rumors of discontent in the Clippers‘ locker room are untrue, relays Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The 12-year veteran, who came over from the Mavericks in July, said stories of personality clashes involving Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are greatly exaggerated. “You hear a lot of negative stuff through the years about this team when you’re on other teams,” Felton said. “But being here, this team is actually closer than you think. That surprised me. To see that, and add the couple of things I feel like I can add personality-wise off the court, I think we’re going to be all right.”
  • Mario Chalmers, who played for the Grizzlies last season before tearing his Achilles in March, is making progress in his comeback, posts Brian Windhorst on ESPN Now. Chalmers said he is about a month away from being ready to return and several teams have been in contact with him.
  • Changes in the collective bargaining agreement could be the biggest obstacle to Kevin Durant re-signing with the Warriors next summer, writes Dan Feldman of While it would be a virtual certainty under the current CBA, a lower salary cap or changes to non-Bird Rights could complicate Golden State’s effort to keep Durant.

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