Western Notes: Cousins, Nedovic, Gordon

According to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro, head coach Michael Malone, and team majority owner Vivek Ranadive visited DeMarcus Cousins in Alabama today. Though an extension is yet to be agreed upon, D'Alessandro told Yahoo that he is confident in Cousins as the face of the Kings' franchise (Twitter links). For a while, it seemed that Cousins' future in Sacramento was in limbo, as he had recently kept mum on the franchise at the behest of his agent Dan Fegan. Last month, Fegan reportedly wanted to negotiate a maximum deal for Cousins with the threat of a trade demand if a deal wasn't reached, and we also heard that D'Alessandro had planned to meet with Cousins in person at some point. Today's meeting could only bode well for the prospects of the 22-year-old center remaining in Sacramento for the long-term.

Here are more news and notes out of the Western Conference tonight:

  • Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News tweets that the Warriors would likely have to keep Nemanja Nedovic – their 2013 first-round pick – in Europe this upcoming season as one pre-requisite of clearing enough space to sign Dwight Howard
  • CBS Sports’ Matt Moore writes that following the three-team deal between the Pelicans, Kings, and Trail Blazers, New Orleans hasn’t given any indication that they plan to trade Eric Gordon. He also thinks that Robin Lopez is a perfect fit next to LaMarcus Aldridge, and lauds the fact that the Portland won’t have to surrender a big contract in order to land him.  
  • Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA tweets that if the Lakers were to match Earl Clark’s $4.5MM a year deal from the Cavaliers, it would cost them roughly $11.3MM with taxes in order to keep him, and therefore would be too steep a price.
  • Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus notes that any free agent signing that the Lakers make will carry a hefty luxury tax bill along with them, though if Dwight Howard were to ultimately leave, the team’s tax multiplier would significantly decrease. This puts the franchise in a tricky situation: if they don’t want to commit to a player for more than a year, they’d have to overpay in year one; if they were to overpay, the team would face massive luxury tax implications (All Twitter links). 

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