Western Notes: Thunder, Lakers, Buss

The Thunder sent $550K in cash to the Hawks in the Thabo Sefolosha sign-and-trade this past summer, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. That helped convince Atlanta to make the deal a sign-and-trade instead of a straight signing, a move that allowed Oklahoma City to create the trade exception it used for Dion Waiters, as Pincus confirms and as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors explained earlier this week. The Thunder also created a $915,243 trade exception for Lance Thomas, Pincus notes (Twitter link).

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Despite the Lakers‘ struggles this season, team president Jeanie Buss is satisfied with the job that coach Byron Scott is doing, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. “Our record doesn’t show what we’d like it to be. But I like what coach Byron Scott is doing and establishing,” Buss said. “I believe in what he’s trying to do and I see improvement all the time. I support our front office. I support our coach. I support our players.”
  • Buss also believes that the Lakers will be contending in three years time, something that her brother, vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, predicted, Medina notes. “By three years, we will be where we should be in terms of the Western Conference,” Buss added. “That’s a challenge he [Jim Buss] presented to himself. Given all the resources that we have, our legacy and who our head coach is and who our front office is, I don’t see any problem progressing to where we need to be. We’ll be in the Western Conference finals in three years. As long as you have Kobe Bryant on your team, anything can happen in the playoffs.”
  • Now that the trade market has ramped up, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders continues his look at players who might be dealt prior to the February trade deadline. Some of the players whom Kennedy opines may be on the move include Reggie Jackson [Thunder], Jordan Hill [Lakers], Kosta Koufos [Grizzlies], and Jason Thompson [Kings].

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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