Pacific Notes: Rivers, Granger, Divac

Doc Rivers and Flip Saunders hold the dual titles of coach and president of basketball operations for the Clippers and Timberwolves, respectively, but they’ve encountered vastly different jobs, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune explores.

“It’s not been hard, Flip’s had to do a lot more,” Rivers said. “They have a lot more work, far more assets than they have to try to get in and out. He has a ton of [financial] flexibility. When I came here, I looked at our roster and flexibility and there was not a lot we could do. We were more in the minimum contract and mid-level [exception] stuff. You’ve got to have assets and we do, but none that we want to trade. He has had a lot more work to do than I have. He’s trying to rebuild an entire team.”

Rivers signed a new deal worth more than $50MM over five years with the Clippers this past summer. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Danny Granger says he considered retirement after undergoing knee surgery when he was with the Pacers in 2013, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. He’s never been the same since missing all but five games of the 2012/13 season, but the Suns trainers have told him “it can be fixed,” as Coro details. The 31-year-old with a player option of more than $2.17MM for next season explored options to buy his way off the Suns and join a contender shortly after the deadline-day trade that sent him from Miami to Phoenix, but he decided against it, Coro writes.
  • Granger added that he wants to get “extremely healthy” before playing again, and while Suns coach Jeff Hornacek wouldn’t rule out his return before season’s end, as Coro relays in the same piece, the chances don’t appear overwhelmingly strong. “As we go on, if we’re still in the race, yeah, why not get a veteran guy like that in there?” Hornacek said. “If somehow we’re out of it, then maybe it makes more sense to play the young guys. Our thoughts right now are we’re still in the playoff hunt and we’re still going to go after it. If he can give us something toward the end there, maybe that happens.”
  • Vlade Divac turned down other opportunities to work in NBA front offices before he joined the Kings as vice president of basketball and franchise operations last week, as he tells USA Today’s Sam Amick.
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