Pacific Notes: Clarkson, Green, McNeal, Paul

The Lakers should forget about free agent Rajon Rondo and stick with Jordan Clarkson as their point guard, contends Howard Ruben of Bleacher Report. The rookie out of Missouri showed poise from the time he took over the position, Ruben writes, making Rondo unnecessary. Clarkson is a much more affordable alternative, with a non-guaranteed salary of $845K for next season. Ruben also notes that Los Angeles has a shot to draft D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay, either of whom could be a long-term answer at point guard.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Whether they’re able to keep him this summer or not, the Warriors understand the value of Draymond Green, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Green has been a force for Golden State both offensively and defensively this season, as he showed by frustrating the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis in a first-round sweep. “He does everything; he’s a jack of all trades,” coach Steve Kerr said of Green. “On top of that, he’s one of our leaders and the guy who talks the most trash to the other team, to the refs, to his teammates, to me. He’s kind of our life line.” Green is almost certain to command a max deal this summer, but he can cement that by continuing to shine in the playoffs.
  • Jerel McNeal hopes to continue his NBA career after earning a late-season spot on the Suns‘ roster, writes Matt Petersen of After an outstanding season with Bakersfield in the D-League, Phoenix signed McNeal to a 10-day contract April 1st, then rewarded him with a two-year deal April 11th, although no money is guaranteed beyond this season. “I’ll probably end up doing Summer League with Phoenix and just use that as another opportunity to show what I can do and go do what the coaching staff asks,” McNeal said. “I’ll do whatever I need to do to stick around.”
  • Chris Paul gave the Clippers the kind of moment they were hoping for when they traded for him in 2011, according to Ben Golliver of Playing with an injured hamstring, Paul scored with 1 second left to defeat the Spurs in Game 7 of their playoff series. It was a breakthrough moment for Paul, who has often been the target of criticism for his playoff performances. The hamstring problem may force Paul to miss Monday’s opener of the Rockets series, reports Arash Markazi of

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