There will be something on the line for every team in the Pacific Division over the final two weeks or so remaining in the regular season. The Clippers have an outside chance at catching the Thunder for the second seed in the Western Conference, while the Warriors and Suns are fighting for one of the final playoff spots and the Kings and Lakers are jockeying for draft lottery position. Plenty of intrigue will carry over into the offseason, as we detail:
- Isaiah Thomas let his affection for the Lakers be known recently, but the soon-to-be restricted free agent tells Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee that he’d prefer to remain with the Kings. The Kings would like to keep him, since they’ve concluded that Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay can form the core of a quality team, Jones writes. “I definitely want to be around when it does turn around,” Thomas said. “I was drafted here. I’ve been welcomed with open arms by the Sacramento community. It just feels like a second home. I can’t control it, though. At the same time, I’m going to do whatever’s possible to be around. That’s all I can do.”
- Regardless of what happens between Mark Jackson and the Warriors, the former Knicks point guard won’t have the chance to return to New York, as Knicks team president Phil Jackson wouldn’t hire him, tweets Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob will be the sole decision-maker regarding the coach’s future with Golden State, Kawakami adds (Twitter link).
- Kendall Marshall still holds a grudge against the Suns for trading him just one season after they took him 13th overall in 2012, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The Lakers plan to retain Marshall on his non-guaranteed contract next season, as we noted earlier.