Three Pacific Division teams hold three lottery picks this year, giving the Lakers, Kings and Suns weapons to try to chase down the power axis of the Warriors and Clippers in the next few years. The Clips are without a pick, while Golden State has only the final selection of the first round. The Lakers, in particular, can add plenty of young talent with picks Nos. 2, 27 and 34, though whether they’ll have the patience to let all of them develop remains to be seen. Here’s the latest from the division:
- Jeff Hornacek is heading into the final guaranteed season of his contract, but he’s made the Suns better, and even though he’s dismissed the idea that he would leave Phoenix for Iowa State, his alma mater, the Suns need to resolve his lame duck status, argues Paula Boivin of the Arizona Republic. Boivin calls for the Suns to either pick up Hornacek’s 2016/17 team option or grant him an extension.
- More than four dozen NBA players drew higher salaries this season than MVP Stephen Curry did, a key to helping the Warriors build their Finals roster, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders examines. Curry’s bargain deal runs two more years, so Golden State will continue to benefit, but the point guard is set for free agency in 2017, just as preliminary projections show the salary cap hitting its peak, so he’ll eventually rake in the cash, Kennedy writes.
- Brazilian point guard George Lucas, Nebraska swingman Terran Petteway, Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas, Eastern Washington shooting guard Tyler Harvey, North Carolina shooting guard J.P. Tokoto and Arizona power forward Brandon Ashley worked out for the Lakers in the first of two sessions Monday, the team announced (Twitter link). We passed along the participants in session two in the post linked here.
- Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv adds the Suns to the list of teams working out Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Twitter link).