Tempers flared near the end of the Pacers' 108-97 win against the Warriors last night, as Roy Hibbert, David Lee, Stephen Curry, and others exchanged shoves and came close to spilling into the stands. While Hibbert figures to be the prime candidate for a suspension, the Warriors are also awaiting word from the league to hear whether they'll lose any of their players for a game or two. In the meantime, here are a few more notes from around the Pacific Division:
- According to Thomas Robinson's former teammate Tyreke Evans, 2012's fifth overall pick was frustrated with his role with the Kings and will benefit from a change of scenery. "[Robinson] is going to be pretty good,"
Evans told Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. "He’s young and got a lot of talent. He was a little frustrated here, but
the same thing [happened] with Derrick Favors. He was in New Jersey
frustrated, went to Utah and now he’s playing good."
- Robinson wasn't the only player frustrated in Sacramento. John Salmons tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida that he's not pleased with his reduced role with the Kings, but that he's "not going to be a distraction or complain about it."
- Appearing on CBS Radio, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak admitted that management has been impatient with some of its decisions in recent years, in hopes of making one more championship run before Jerry Buss passed away (link via Royce Young of CBSSports.com). The firing of coach Mike Brown five games into the season may have been one of those decisions, Kupchak acknowledged.
- Jamal Crawford's tweet yesterday, in which he expressed a desire to remain with the Clippers for the rest of his career, is another sign of the team's changing culture led by Chris Paul, writes Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
With this season's deadline still three months away, the trade market likely won't be too active for at least a few more weeks. However, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes, things could start to pick up on December 15th, when most players who signed over the summer are eligible to be dealt. Kyler looks at a few specific trade candidates in his latest piece, so let's round up the highlights....
- Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson are a few players in the final year of their contracts whose respective teams aren't planning to deal. However, the Hawks and Jazz could reconsider their stances as the deadline approaches, if there's an increasing concern that those players will leave in free agency.
- While there's no urgency in Toronto to move Jose Calderon, the Raptors are expected to explore deals. Kyler suggests that small forwards like Omri Casspi and Wilson Chandler are worth keeping an eye on as potential Raptors targets, adding that Chandler isn't in the Nuggets' long-term plan.
- The Rockets likely aren't done dealing, with players like Daequan Cook, Toney Douglas, and Marcus Morris among the team's possible trade candidates.
- DeJuan Blair continues to be available, but the Spurs are still seeking a first-round pick, and it's unclear if any team would pay that price for a player that could sign elsewhere at season's end.
- Anderson Varejao isn't likely to be moved, but if the Cavaliers were to consider a deal, it would have to include Luke Walton and his $6.09MM salary.
- Similarly, if the Kings explored a Tyreke Evans trade, Sacramento would want to include either John Salmons or Francisco Garcia.
- The Timberwolves would be open to moving Derrick Williams if they could land a good veteran player for him.
- Kyler also names Hedo Turkoglu, Tayshaun Prince, Tyrus Thomas, and Wesley Johnson as trade candidates, though all those players could be tough to move due to their salaries.
The final series of the second round finally gets underway tonight, when the Clippers face the Spurs in San Antonio. While we wait for that game, and the Pacers/Heat contest before it, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the NBA....