Western Notes: Fisher, Mavericks, Conley, Nash

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has kept mum about Derek Fisher signing with the Thunder, but one league source told Jeff Caplan of NBA.com that the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is “agitated."  The source said that the veteran and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him.  Fisher asked for and received his release from the Mavs on December 22 so he could spend more time with his family.  Here's more out of the Western Conference..

  • Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News doesn't see Dwight Howard as the answer for the Mavericks as they look to once again build themselves into contenders.  Cowlishaw argues that despite his immense talent, his poor foul shooting and subsequent inability to be counted upon in crunch time cancels out much of it.
  • Mike Conley is averaging 2.3 steals per contest and if he keeps up his thieving ways, he'll be in line for a contract bonus at the end of the year, notes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  To cash in, the Grizzlies guard has to finish top five in steals.  He currently ranks second behind Chris Paul of the Clippers.
  • Salary cap guru Larry Coon (via Twitter) believes that it's possible that the Lakers will trade Steve Nash this offseason, but he doesn't see them actively pursuing a deal.

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