Western Notes: Rondo, Lakers, Harden

Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo have begun to take steps to repair their relationship, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The Mavs coach and veteran point guard held a lengthy meeting to iron out their differences, most of which involved play-calling responsibilities, Sefko continues. Rondo, an unrestricted free agent following the season, was benched after a heated exchange with Carlisle in Tuesday’s win over Toronto and was suspended for Wednesday’s loss to Atlanta. Even if their relationship improves, Rondo’s stay with the Mavs is extremely unlikely to extend past this season, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com opines.

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Kobe Bryant, in a one-on-one interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, said that superstar players are unwilling to leave millions of dollars on the table to sign with the Lakers. Bryant added that it was unrealistic to believe All-Stars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony would sign with the Lakers last summer at less than the maximum salary at this stage of their careers and the franchise would run into the same problem with other free agents in the future, Amick notes.
  • The Rockets have become over-reliant on James Harden because of their failure to acquire a top-notch point guard, Fran Blinebury of NBA.com contends. Harden might wear down by the postseason and the Rockets could have eased the burden on him by acquiring a player like ex-Rocket Goran Dragic before the trade deadline, Blinebury adds.
  • Kevin Gar­nett could remain with the Timber­wolves organization as a team executive even if he does not become part owner of the franchise after his playing career is over, according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Garnett was traded by the Nets to his original team last week and though Garnett has not made any commitment beyond this season, Garnett says in the story that he plans on being there beyond the next year or two.
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