There are only six games in the NBA tonight, but four of the five Northwest Division teams are in action, including a clash between the Nuggets and Jazz in a matchup that would be a first-round pairing if the playoffs began today. The division's other teams in action tonight are on the road, with the Trail Blazers facing a stiff test against the Heat while the Nuggets take on the Raptors. While we wait to see how those games turn out, here's what's happening off the court around the Northwest:
- Jazz forward DeMarre Carroll will be a free agent this summer, but he feels he's found his niche in Utah, as Jared Zwerling of ESPN The Magazine details.
- Blazers GM Neil Olshey sat down with broadcaster Mike Barrett for a one-on-one that's up on the team's website (video link), and Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge provides a transcript. Olshey said he coveted Nicolas Batum when he held the Clippers GM job, and revealed that owner Paul Allen never wavered in his commitment to match the offer sheet Batum signed with the Timberwolves this summer.
- Rival executives tell Grantland's Zach Lowe that the Nuggets are "projecting calm" in advance of the trade deadline. The team seems fairly satisfied with its young core and doesn't want to add much or any payroll, so major moves are unlikely. That's in line with coach George Karl's recent comments indicating there's only a slight chance the team makes a deadline trade. Still, the most common prediction from executives around the league about Denver's playoff chances this year is that they'll go out in the second round.
- The Wolves love Nikola Pekovic and don't want to trade him, so the smart money is on the club making a smaller move, perhaps one that includes Luke Ridnour, writes Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.
Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors contributed to this post.