Western Notes: Nuggets, Lakers, Young

The Nuggets, who finally decided to trade Timofey Mozgov, are realistic about their season being at a crossroads, Mark Kizsla of The Denver Post writes. We came into this season expecting to be a playoff team,” GM Tim Connelly said. “At this point, we’re on the outside, looking in. We probably have a couple weeks to change that, be relevant and view ourselves as a playoff-caliber team. I’m hopeful that’s the case. But I’m also realistic to know, and honest enough with our team internally, to say: If in a couple weeks, if that’s not the case, then we have a new reality. It’s now or never. The disappointment is real with where we stand. We’ll have all we need to know about this present roster within a few weeks.”

Here’s more from the West:

  • Fans of the Lakers and the Knicks shouldn’t get their hopes up that either team will be able to sign Rajon Rondo when he hits free agency this summer, since he’s unlikely to leave the Mavs, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops writes. “Dallas will throw money at him and has a better chance at winning than the other two teams [Knicks and Lakers],” an Eastern Conference scout told Scotto.
  • Nick Young,who was a member of the Clippers for part of the 2011/12 season, said that his experience with the Lakers thus far has been the superior one of his time spent in Los Angeles, Bill Oram of The Orange County Register writes. “Being a Laker, there’s nothing like it,” Young said. “I think I learn more just being here and being around an atmosphere of winning, toughness and learning how to play under a great player like Kobe Bryant.
  • When asked about the declaration that the team would contend for a title within three years made by Lakers executive VP of basketball operations Jim Buss, coach Byron Scott was non-committal about the probability of that becoming a reality, Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times writes. “Our plan, when you talk about the organization, is to win the championship, that’s the bottom line,” Scott said. “I don’t know what the time frame is right now. Jeanie [Buss] and Jim, obviously that’s between them. I’ll let you know in September. That’s when training camp will start next year. We’ll have our free agents, our draft picks. I’ll get a pretty good idea of what we have at that particular time and let you know.
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