Western Notes: Nash, Len, Gay, Shaw

Steve Nash has finally touched base with Lakers coach Byron Scott, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. Last week it was reported that Nash wasn’t returning his coach’s phone calls while he was away from the team nursing his injured back. Nash is expected to have a presence around the team and hopefully serve as a mentor for some of the franchise’s younger players, notes Medina.

Nash didn’t speak with Scott, but instead left a voicemail, Medina adds. “He [Nash] did say on his message that he’s definitely going to come back and see everybody,” Scott said. “He just needed some time, which we all understood. But he didn’t give me a set time. It was a very simple message: ‘I heard that you called me. I don’t check my voicemail, but I’m calling you back. Hope everything is well. Hang in there. See you guys soon.’ 

Here’s more from the west:

  • With the Nuggets off to a 3-7 start to begin the season there has been some speculation about head coach Brian Shaws job being in jeopardy. In his weekly mailbag Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post asserted that Shaw is unlikely to be fired during the season, though he also believes that Shaw needs to settle on a regular rotation as soon as possible.
  • Rudy Gay‘s contract extension with the Kings will pay him $12,403,101 for the 2015/16 season, $13,333,333 for 2016/17, and it includes a player option for 2017/18 worth $14,263,566, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Alex Len‘s improved play this season could serve as redemption for Suns GM Ryan McDonough‘s decision to draft Len over Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore in 2013, Dan Bickley of The Arizona Republic writes. “I really felt bad for Alex a year ago,” McDonough said. “As people tend to do in our society, there was a rush to judgment way too quickly on who he was as a player and what he could become. He’s very mobile for his size, and now that he’s healthy, he has his agility back. And he’s gotten a lot stronger.”
  • Nuggets GM Tim Connelly is shouldering a healthy share of the blame for the team’s woes, but it is former GM Masai Ujiri who is actually responsible for most of Denver’s problematic contracts, Tom Ziller of SB Nation writes. Ziller cites the deals given to JaVale McGee, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari as examples of burdensome holdovers from Ujiri’s tenure.
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