Western Notes: Jazz, DeMarre Carroll, Suns

With the regular season set to tip off in less than 90 days, let's head to the Western Conference to catch up on all of the latest rumors, news and stories making headlines…
  • Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor is moving into a new role with Utah as a top executive within the organization and will no longer serve as GM, writes Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune. O'Connor will oversee the process of hiring his replacement, which has already begun, as the 2012/13 season quickly draws closer. Troy Weaver of the Thunder and Cavs assistant GM David Griffin were both tied to the job but will remain with their respective organizations, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links).
  • Jazz small forward DeMarre Carroll welcomes the challenge of competing with the glut of forwards currently on the Utah roster, tweets Smith. Head coach Tyrone Corbin told Carroll that starting positions are up for grabs heading into the season as the former Missouri star plans to stake his claim to one of the spots. Carroll, 26, averaged 4.5 PPG and 2.2 RPG in 24 contests with the Nuggets and Jazz.
  • Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com takes an optimistic view of the Suns as they move forward without Steve Nash. While the organization may have lost its backbone from nearly the past decade, the team isn't in shambles as they enter the season sans Nash for the first time since 2003, which Howard-Cooper considers to be a good thing. "Eventually there was going to have to be closure," coach Alvin Gentry said. "The organization decided to do it right now, so it's just a matter of us taking that transition and moving into another phase of Suns basketball."

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