Pacific Notes: Howard, Gasol, Kobe, Kings

Dwight Howard is keeping mum on what his plans might be after July 1st, but if you’re one for reading between the lines, yesterday’s comments to T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times could carry some weight.  The prized free agent referred to his time with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni in the past tense. “He’s a great person and I’m glad we had the opportunity to be together,” Howard said.  Here’s more out of the Pacific Division..

  • Pau Gasol said he hasn’t talked to Dwight Howard this offseason and won’t try to convince him to return, tweets Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.  “He has to make the decision,” Gasol said.  Gasol wants Howard back like everyone else on the Lakers but he wants to give him space out of respect for him.
  • Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie is still playing a key role with the team even as he knows he’s in his final month with the franchise, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (Sulia link). Until the Kings hire a new GM, Petrie and his staff are running all the preparations and research leading up to the NBA Draft on June 27. 
  • Until Kings ownership settles on a new general manager, new coach Michael Malone is leaning on Petrie, Jones writes. “I just told (Petrie) how much I appreciate him sticking around because he knows the draft a lot better than I do,” Malone said. “He’s been studying these guys … And he also can offer great insights to the current players on our roster as to what their strengths, weaknesses are and personalities. But I’m still going to keep an open mind and form my opinion on these guys.
  • Kobe Bryant doesn’t envision Mike Krzyzewski talking him into playing in the 2016 Olympics, tweets Dave McMenamin of
  • With Jason Kidd retiring, Steve Nash is now the NBA’s oldest player under contract for next season, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.
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