Kings coach George Karl admits talking hypothetical DeMarcus Cousins trades “behind closed doors,” but Karl tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he rejects the notion that he was actively trying to trade the center. “As a coach, in meetings every year and maybe four or five times a year, you talk about what-ifs,” Karl said. “And 99% of what-ifs never happen. But isn’t it our job to talk about what-ifs? Does this make us better? Does this get us in a better place? That’s our job. There was never a discussion in that area even close to happening, in my opinion. … Never in the whole time of this experience did I ever think that I wasn’t going to coach Cuz.”
Here’s what else is happening around the Western Conference:
- Jason Levien has become an unofficial adviser to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com tweets. Levien was formerly the CEO of the Grizzlies, as well as a former Sacramento assistant GM, Howard-Cooper notes.
- The Wolves were able to create a traded player exception worth $5MM as a result of dealing Chase Budinger to the Pacers, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link).
- Danny Green said that LaMarcus Aldridge contacted him during the free agent process to pick his brain about the Spurs, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express News tweets. Green also noted that the possibility of playing alongside Aldridge factored heavily into his decision to re-sign with the Spurs, McDonald adds.
- The Trail Blazers‘ deal with Luis Montero is a three year arrangement with the first season partially guaranteed, according to former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter links).
- The Thunder have removed forward Steve Novak from the trading block, Chris Mannix of SI.com relays. OKC was reportedly seeking financial relief and was willing to flip Novak in exchange for a future draft pick.
- Wilson Chandler‘s contract renegotiation and extension with the Nuggets will pay him $10.4MM in 2015/16, $11.2MM for 2016/17, $12.0MM in 2017/18, and $12.8MM during the final season, Pincus notes (Twitter links).
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.