Western Notes: Grizz, Pleiss, Clark, Kings

Grizzlies owner Robert Pera indicated that the decision to keep Chris Wallace in charge of the team’s basketball operations had to do with more than just on-court matters, as Pera said today before assembled media, including The Associated Press.

“When you are looking at this team in Memphis, I think you’ve for to look at the general manager in two respects,” Pera said. “One is the basketball performance. The other I’ve learned with Memphis the past couple of years is this idea of community involvement. And everybody loves Chris in Memphis. He is a special person for the Memphis community.”

Here is what else is going on out West:

  • The Thunder made an attempt this summer to bring seven foot German Tibor Pleiss, a 2010 draft-and-stash selection, to the NBA this season but the price of the buyout was ultimately prohibitive, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Oklahoma City will again try to bring the 31st selection of the 2010 draft to the states for the 2015/16 season, a possibility Woj calls “likely”, but the big man will play for FC Barcelona this year. (Twitter links)
  • Making his weekly radio appearance, Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey said that the team has a few things to take care of before deciding on the contract of shooting guard Ian Clark, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Clark played 23 games in Utah as a rookie last season after signing a two-year deal with the Jazz last July. His salary for the upcoming season is not guaranteed.
  • After years of frustration, construction finally began Friday on the Kings new arena in Sacramento, writes Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee. The agreement on the arena site, facilitated by new owner Vivek Ranadive, was a critical factor in the NBA rejecting the franchise’s relocation to Seattle. The $477MM structure is scheduled to be ready for the 2016/17 season.
  • Back in Sacramento this week, Suns guard Isaiah Thomas provided plenty of juicy quotes to Blake Ellington of Sactown Royalty, indicating that he knew he probably wouldn’t be returning to the Kings when he saw his former team had inked fellow point guard Darren Collison. “When they did that, I knew I wasn’t coming back,” Thomas said. “If you bring in somebody, a draft pick or somebody that’s just not better than me I feel like it is disrespectful. When they picked Darren Collison, I felt like it was time for me to move on.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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