ESPN.com's Marc Stein passes along a few notable tidbits in his latest piece for TrueHoop, including word of a potential Clippers target, a Phil Jackson update, and some items on the coaching front. Let's dive in and check out the highlights….
- "Whispers are already swirling" that the Clippers intend to make a hard run at free-agent-to-be David West, says Stein. West and the Pacers seem to be mutually interested in a reunion, and Indiana will have the ability to offer West much more than the Clippers could, barring a sign-and-trade. But Stein points out that if West's old teammate Chris Paul re-signs in Los Angeles, the Pacers forward figures to be interested in at least listening to a Clippers pitch.
- The Nuggets remain confident that they'll be able to hang on to Masai Ujiri, despite rumblings that the Raptors may offer him an annual salary of $2MM+. Ujiri had reportedly been making about $500K with the Nuggets, according to Stein, so he appears in line for a raise no matter which team he ends up running.
- According to Stein, some league observers "remain convinced" that Phil Jackson's flirtations with various teams are designed to convinced Jim Buss to cede his organizational power with the Lakers to Jeanie Buss, which could allow Jeanie to bring Jackson aboard to run the team's basketball operations.
- Part of the reason the Nets' coaching search has been moving slowly so far is that two of the team's top potential targets remain active in the playoffs — Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins and Pacers assistant Brian Shaw. Stein adds that Ettore Messina, who is rumored to be a candidate for the Hawks, isn't on the Nets' list.
- While the Nets and perhaps the Clippers appear to have interest in Hollins, the Grizzlies appear determined to lock him up to a new contract once their season ends, says Stein.