Western Notes: Cousins, Karl, Davis, Williams

Rumors about turmoil between DeMarcus Cousins and Kings coach George Karl were overblown, Cousins insisted Tuesday, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee observes. The snake and grass emojis that the All-Star tweeted earlier this summer, shortly after the report that Karl wanted to trade him, seemed to indicate otherwise, but it appears their relationship has improved since then.

“There were some things that had to be ironed out,” Cousins said, “but at the same time, I wouldn’t make it as big as it was made out to be. Me and him [Karl] are on the same page, working on our relationship, and getting better every day. That’s all that matters. Things are a lot better. We’re trying to understand each other better. We’re going to make things happen, positive things happen.”

See more from the Western Conference:

  • Former Pelicans coach Monty Williams still won’t express dismay over his firing earlier in the offseason, even though it separated him from Anthony Davis, the New Orleans star with whom he shares an uncanny bond, writes Jimmy Smith of The Times Picayune. Williams, now a Thunder assistant, still talks with Davis but insists that he’s careful to leave most of the tutelage to new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, Smith notes. Still, Williams makes it clear that he’ll always be friends with Davis, according to Smith.
  • The Clippers roster is built to win in the playoffs more so than any other among Western Conference teams, according to metrics that Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com put together for an Insider-only piece. That’s thanks to the addition of depth to the team’s star core, Doolittle writes. The Lance Stephenson trade and the signings of Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and others bolstered the strong but thin existing group.
  • Warriors GM Bob Myers may be the reigning Executive of the Year, but Spurs GM R.C. Buford, who won the award in 2014, is still the league’s top front office boss, opines Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders. That’s not surprising given San Antonio’s free agent haul, which includes LaMarcus Aldridge and a minimum-salary deal for David West.

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