Western Notes: Clippers, Thunder, Grizzlies

DeAndre Jordan is in no rush to discuss his plans as an unrestricted free agent this summer, and if the big man re-signed with the Clippers, his contract would restrict their ability to upgrade their bench, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times writes. “I’m not a free agent until July,” Jordan said when asked about his future after the Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs. Clippers president of basketball operations and coach Doc Rivers acknowledged that the team’s lack of a strong bench was exposed in the playoffs. It would be hard to improve the bench, if Jordan agreed to a maximum five-year contract with the Clippers for an estimated $108.3MM, Bolch writes. That would leave the Clippers with only the mini-mid-level exception of $3.376MM per year for up to three years and some veteran’s minimum contracts, Bolch adds.

“We have to get this team more support,” Rivers said. “With the contracts we’re hamstrung with, it’s going to be minimum deals for the most part. There are no big deals out there that we’re going to make, most likely.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • There’s a good chance small forward Jeff Green exercises his $9.2MM option for next season and tries to have a breakout year with the GrizzliesRonald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes. Green struggled in Memphis and approached coach Dave Joerger about moving to a bench role during the regular season.
  • The decision to fire Monty Williams as coach was more about the Pelicans‘ ownership and management being uncomfortable with Williams as its leader for the long haul and it had nothing to do with a power struggle or communication issue with GM Dell Demps, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. The Raptors will reportedly gauge interest in Williams as an assistant.
  • Maurice Cheeks is emerging as a possible addition to Thunder coach Billy Donovan‘s staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets. Cheeks served as an assistant in Oklahoma City under Scott Brooks from 2009 to 2013.
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