If new Nuggets coach Michael Malone is to succeed in Denver, the team will need to part ways with point guard Ty Lawson, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes. “My question to all these guys is going to be: How serious are you about winning? Do you like to win? Or do you hate to lose?” Malone said during his introductory press conference. Lawson doesn’t quite fit the mold of a player who’s truly serious about winning, Kiszla opines, and Malone won’t abide having to coax effort out of his players, which is an issue with the talented point guard. The Mavs are reportedly interested in Lawson, though he’s not at the top of the franchise’s priorities this offseason.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- DeMarcus Cousins, one of Malone’s former players with the Kings, is thrilled that his former coach was hired by the Nuggets, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays in a series of tweets. “I was extremely happy. I think he’s one of the better coaches in the league. He’s a great man,” Cousins said. “I learned a lot from him, and I’m just happy he’s getting an opportunity to do what he loves. Like I said, you can’t keep a good man down.”
- The Jazz have workouts scheduled Friday for Janis Berzins (Latvia), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Terrence Drisdom (Cal Poly Pomona), Skyler Halford (BYU), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), and Rashad Madden (Arkansas), the team announced (on Twitter).
- There was no way that Pelicans guard Eric Gordon would have landed a deal that would pay him more than the value of his $15,514,031 player option for 2015/16, so opting in was his only rational choice, Jimmy Smith of The Times Picayune opines.
- Thunder coach Billy Donovan thinks that Kentucky forward Trey Lyles‘ versatility will pose a major matchup problem for defenders when he arrives in the NBA next season, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes. Lyles is a possibility for Oklahoma City, who own the No. 14 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.