Pacific Notes: Suns, Smith, Gasol, Kings

The Suns have what it takes to attract top-level free agents, as team president of basketball operations Lon Babby tells Bob Young of The Arizona Republic.

“I don’t think we ever lost our status as a destination, because of the history of the franchise, the weather, the medical and training staff,” Babby said. “Those are constants that make it an attractive place. I wouldn’t deny that we have enhanced our position. I think we were always above average. Now I think we’re in the upper echelon because there’s an excitement and a spirit about the atmosphere and the culture here that is palpable.”

Young thinks Kevin Love should be the team’s next free agent target, though that would require waiting until the summer of 2015. In the meantime, here’s more on the Suns and their Pacific Division rivals:

  • Ish Smith is poised to spend an entire season with a single NBA team for the first time in his four-year career, and he’s been an important contributor for the Suns, as fellow Republic scribe Paul Coro examines. Smith’s deal is non-guaranteed for next season.
  • Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times interprets Pau Gasol‘s postgame comments Tuesday as veiled criticism of Mike D’Antoni, but Gasol didn’t hide his thoughts about whether all the expiring contracts the Lakers have are creating a negative atmosphere. “Probably. That’s part of it,” Gasol said. “But that’s why you have to be disciplined and implement discipline. That’s how you kind of make that better or make that not a factor. I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now.”
  • It’s as if Kings executives think that they should keep making moves until they get it right, opines Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee, who examines the team’s decision to let go of Jimmer Fredette and audition others on 10-day contracts. Sacramento is set to sign Orlando Johnson and reportedly worked out Royce White.

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