Western Notes: Miller, Bryant, Smith, Gasol

After initially targeting Darius Miller for a 10-day contract, the Clippers changed their mind and inked Dahntay Jones the following day instead. The reason for the sudden shift in direction, according to Clippers president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, was that after watching Miller work out, Rivers wasn’t happy with the shape that he was in, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). Rivers did leave open the possibility of Miller getting a 10-day deal later on in the season, Bolch adds.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • If the Lakers are completely out of playoff contention come March, a likely scenario with the team currently 10 games out of the final playoff spot in the brutally tough West, then Los Angeles might shut down Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season, Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Josh Smith is beginning to find his niche with the Rockets, and the team hopes that adding a potential difference maker without having to raid its core will pay off come playoff time, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Smith also said that he views getting waived by Detroit as “a blessing” because he was given the chance to receive every dime owed him as well as upgrade to a contending team, Lee adds.
  • Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol will be one of the most sought after free agents next summer, and the veteran is playing the best basketball of his career at just the right time for him to cash in on it, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes. Powell also examines a number of teams that could entice Gasol, should he choose to leave Memphis, including the Blazers, Hawks, Lakers, and Spurs.

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