Southwest Notes: Hornets, Mayo, Brand, Spurs

As we look forward to the last night of the NBA's 2012/13 regular season, let's round up a few items out of the Southwest Division….

  • Although the Hornets will finish as one of the bottom three teams in the Western Conference, coach Monty Williams is encouraged by the strides some of his players made this season. "There are a lot of positives," Williams told John Reid of the Times-Picayune. "We firmly believe that guys who come here have a great chance to improve their game because of our program and the things we do. I think it’s just going to get better as we add experience and start to bring in more talent in the next few years."
  • O.J. Mayo, who has a player option for 2013/14, says he'd like to return to the Mavericks next season, tweets Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I'd still be surprised if Mayo exercises the option rather than exploring the market.
  • Elton Brand also expressed a desire to return to the Mavs next season, though he said "we'll see what happens in the summer," as Price tweets.
  • Writing for The Basketball Jones, Mark Deeks of ShamSports notes how unusual it is for established NBA players like Tracy McGrady to sign deals at the end of the regular season. For the Spurs, there may not be much potential reward, but there's no risk either, says Deeks.
  • The Grizzlies inked a pair of free agents earlier today, adding Donte Greene and Willie Reed.

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