Executives from around the league who spoke recently to Grantland’s Zach Lowe believed there might be only one solid veteran on a poor team capable of enticing another club to give up a first-round pick in a trade. That player was Marcin Gortat, and the Suns indeed extracted a first-rounder from the Wizards when they traded Gortat last week. GM Ryan McDonough acknowledges to Greg Esposito of Suns.com that his team has plenty of “valuable currency” with the potential for six first-round picks in the next two drafts, and that he could use them all or package some of them in a trade for a star. While we wait to see how teams pivot from opening night to the trade deadline, here’s more from the West:
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey wants Derrick Favors to “increase his motor” this season, and Kurt Kragthorpe of The Salt Lake Tribune believes it’s critical for the team that Favors begin fulfilling his potential now that he has his long-term extension.
- Gordon Hayward is also negotiating an extension with the Jazz, though the sides are far apart on a deal. Favors told Matthew Coles of The Associated Press that it’s a priority for him that Hayward stick around. “Me and Gordon, we’ve been together going on three years now and we went to USA Basketball camp together so we have a good chemistry going. It’s important to keep the core together for the future,” Favors said.
- The NBA isn’t worried about a petition drive to put funding for a new arena for the Kings on the ballot in Sacramento, as Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com explains (on Sulia). The league is confident that voters would back the funding measure.
- We rounded up more news from the Pacific and Southwest divisions earlier today.