Western Notes: Dwight, Gasol, Kings, Grizzlies

We've rounded up a few links on Dwight Howard tonight. Peter May of Sheridan Hoops explains why it wouldn't make sense for him to choose a return to the Lakers over a chance to join the Rockets. Marcus Thompson II of Mercury News - going off of the speculation linking Dwight to the Warriors - lists some of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Golden State being able to acquire him. Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW thinks that the Mavericks will finish fourth behind the Hawks, Houston, and Los Angeles in the sweepstakes for Howard, adding that Dallas has little else to offer aside from no state income tax. Here are a few more links to share out of the Western Conference:

  • On an appearance with Fitzsimmons and Durrett on KESN-FM, ESPN's Chad Ford explained why the Mavericks could have some issues in trying to deal their 13th overall pick. With a draft pick owed to Oklahoma City next year, Dallas can't technically deal their pick until draft night and would have to select a player for a team that they've made a prearranged deal with. Only until after they've drafted a player would they be able to trade his rights in order to get around the NBA rule that prohibits teams from trading a first-round pick in consecutive seasons (hat tip goes to SportsDayDFW).  Though it is a strategy that Ford disagrees with, he admits that the pick will likely be moved. 
  • Later in the interview, Ford spoke about Dallas' chances of adding Dwight, saying that he's more available to them than Chris Paul at this point. He also said that their pitch could also depend on whether or not they can make the team attractive enough to make Howard believe it will contend, and that Houston looks further along in the process in that respect. 
  • Completely focusing on the situation between Howard and the Lakers heading into the summer, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld says that the big man just wants to enjoy the game again and that it will be up to the team to convince him that he can do so in Los Angeles. Kyler reiterates that Brooklyn had been Howard's initial choice and that L.A. had been someone else's preference (Twitter links).
  • As for Pau Gasol, Kyler predicted that the Lakers will keep him, let his deal expire, and then re-sign him to a cheaper deal, also mentioning that he doesn't think they'd trade him without knowing what happens with Dwight first. 
  • Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee hears that the NBA Board of Governors will take a formal vote on the Kings sale between the Maloofs and the Ranadive-led group on Tuesday next week (Twitter link). 
  • Though there appeared to be some disagreements on the Grizzlies' practice court with regards to making adjustments against the Spurs, Matt Moore of CBS Sports says that there weren't any indications that the players were upset or angry with each other or coach Lionel Hollins and chalks it up to any normal frustration from a team being down 2-0 in the playoffs. Though I wouldn't think that Hollins' future in Memphis is exclusively determined by whether or not he gets the team past the conference finals, it will be intriguing to see if the way they finish the postseason factors into the team's decision on potentially offering him an extension.  
  • Darnell Mayberry of NewsOK gave Kevin Durant his season report card, listing that while he had his best season to date, his good-but-not-great playmaking, the instances where he lacked poise, and his propensity to turn the ball over were reasons why the Thunder superstar didn't earn straight A's this year. To Durant's credit, Mayberry explains why his playoff struggles in recent years may make the 6'9 wingman more determined than ever next season. Lastly, a few of The Oklahoman's staff writers provide their take on Durant's season. 


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