The Thunder have an eight-game lead on the Nuggets in the Northwest Division, but that says more about Oklahoma City's brilliance this season than it does about their competition in the Northwest. It's the only division with four teams above .500. The Timberwolves, at 16-20, might be a winning team, too, if not for all their injuries. Before news broke that the league will allow Minnesota to sign an extra player to compensate, we rounded up several Wolves rumors. Now we'll do the same for a couple of their Northwest Division rivals.
- Nuggets coach George Karl said last year's trade of Nene Hilario "had to be made," explaining that, among other factors, the team needed him to be more assertive, as Michael Lee of the Washington Post details. "The situation came down to, when you’re reshaping a team, it’s better to go younger and that’s the choice management made and I was supportive of that," Karl also said.
- JaVale McGee was the younger player the Nuggets received in that deal, and in a separate piece, Lee rounds up Karl's comments about what JaVale McGee needs to do to earn minutes in line with the team's expectations after signing him to a $44MM deal this summer.
- Cavs small forward C.J. Miles said over the summer that comments he made suggesting a disconnect between Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and his players were taken out of context. As he prepares to face his former team, Miles added that he has "nothing but love" for his former boss. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has the story.