Western Notes: Mavs, Lakers, Presti

It doesn’t matter whether the Mavericks go one-and-done, miss the playoffs or end up in the conference finals, the offseason game plan is the same, writes Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News. He says they are going to figure out a way to use the $34MM dollars of cap space they anticipate having to try and add a premier small forward and/or center. Sefko floats the possibility of Luol Deng and Marcin Gortat being their prime free-agent targets. The article also mentions that the deeper the team goes in the playoffs, the more appealing they will become to any free agent, including LeBron James, though Sefko admits that landing LeBron is a long shot at best.

Here’s some more from out west:

  • With the news from earlier that Kobe Bryant wants Mike D’Antoni gone, it seems that he’s not the only Lakers player that would feel that way, tweets Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He mentions that Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill would also like to see a new coach next season.
  • Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times supports Bryant calling out Lakers management. He hopes the star player’s comments bring about the needed changes in the organization. Plaschke also thinks that it’s a good thing for the team that Kobe is done for the year as it will help them secure a higher lottery pick. The article also questions the decision to re-sign Bryant when they did. Plaschke believes that Bryant would have signed for less now in order to free up cap space to help the team sign players to make a run during his final years.
  • Thunder GM Sam Presti shared his thoughts on tanking with Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Presti said, “Oddly enough, I think it’s a narrative that was created to tweak the league office, and they are showing to be quite reflexive to it. I’m actually a bit surprised they have fed into it and devoted so much public energy to it given the lack of evidence. The records of the teams in the bottom four of the league are in line with those over the last 20 seasons. If anything, they are actually slightly above those averages. I’m missing the epidemic on this, really. I would hope we’d focus our attention on a lot of the great things our players are ding and that the league has in place now.
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