Four of the five teams in the Pacific Division stand at least a reasonable chance to improve in 2012/13. The Lakers, last year's first-place team, brought in Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison. The Clippers will have Jamal Crawford and a healthy Chauncey Billups. The Warriors will finally get to see Andrew Bogut on the floor, and the Kings added another high lottery pick with No. 5 overall selection Thomas Robinson. The only team that figures to take a step back is the Suns, and there are a couple items of interest from Phoenix this afternoon:
- Suns executives believe yesterday's three-team deal that sent Robin Lopez to the Hornets and brought back Wesley Johnson represents a key point in the team's rebuilding phase, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic writes. The deal was helped along by draft picks and cash the Suns acquired when they sent Steve Nash to the Lakers, team officials said.
- Former Suns and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said if he were still coaching in New York, he would have "walked to Phoenix" to persuade Nash to sign with the Knicks, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. The Knicks were seen as frontrunners for the two-time MVP before he wound up with L.A.
- Former Lakers reserve Derrick Caracter didn't see much playing time in the summer league for the Hawks, but Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld expects the 6'9" free agent power forward to get a training camp invite (Twitter link).