Western Notes: Lee, Durant, Jazz

Some around the Warriors think David Lee‘s return from injury in December disrupted the team’s rhythm, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group hears, and the team has essentially squeezed him out of the rotation for now. The Warriors were steadfast at the deadline that they didn’t want to simply shed Lee in a salary dump, Kawakami writes, nonetheless adding that he expects Golden State to make a push to trade him this summer.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • No one believes that Thunder GM Sam Presti would ever trade Kevin Durant, a league executive told Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Presti dismissed the idea he’d make such a move after ESPN analyst and former team exec Tom Penn suggested that he would.
  • Jay Yeomans of the Deseret News reviews how Jazz draft-and-stash picks Ante Tomic, Tibor Pleiss, and Raul Neto are faring overseas this season.
  • Jazz rookie Rodney Hood is providing some much needed scoring from the wing for the team, which was a big reason why Utah drafted him last June, Kareem Copeland of NBA.com writes. “He makes shots and has the ability to space the floor. He’s also gets to the rim, too,” coach Quin Snyder said of Hood. “The plan, really in the beginning, Rodney was going to play. Whether he was going to start or how many minutes, you never know. He’s good enough and we need him.
  • Though Enes Kanter is receiving similar playing time with the Thunder as he did with the Jazz, the big man is more content thanks to being on a more successful team, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman relays. “Well, the thing is we are winning here,” Kanter said. “We are playing for something. We are playing for playoffs, we are playing for ring. There [in Utah], I still respect them and I don’t want to say nothing bad about them. But this is just way different than what I’ve been seeing. It’s a whole different level. This is like I realize what NBA is when I came to Oklahoma City.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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