Southwest Notes: Davis, Gentry, Smith, Buford

New Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is sold on the idea of Anthony Davis as a “generational player” along the lines of the game’s true greats, as he said to Ian Thomsen of The Pelicans secured Davis on a max extension this summer, not long after hiring Gentry to become the big man’s first NBA coach aside from Monty Williams.

“Anthony is right in that category, and there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that,” Gentry said. “It is up to us to make him as good as he can possibly be, and not settle for him to be less than great in this area or that area. I told him that I have no doubt that he is going to be an MVP in this league. And I said to him, ‘We are going to be really, really good if you also win Defensive Player of the Year.”’

See more on Gentry amid the latest from the Southwest Division:

  • Gentry doesn’t expect to fall in lockstep with Pelicans GM Dell Demps and executive VP of basketball operations Mickey Loomis, but Demps told Thomsen that it’s clear that they have the same vision for the team. “Dell has no desire to control anyone,” Gentry said. “He wants opinions. He wants you to challenge what he is saying. He does not want to be in the situation where everything is yes, yes, yes. We’re going to disagree on a lot of things; we are going to agree on a lot of things. To me that is healthy. That is one of the reasons why teams are successful. We talked about loyalty, and I told Dell: I look at loyalty as guys expressing their opinions, and then when everything is discussed and you come to a conclusion, you walk out united. When I worked with Doug Collins, we used to have a saying: Agree, disagree, but align.”
  • Former Mavericks and Rockets center Greg Smith will work out for the Guangdong Southern Tigers, a source told international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Seth Cohen client spent last season with the Mavericks and was also briefly on the Bulls roster in 2013/14 after spending parts of three seasons with the Rockets, but NBA interest has appeared slim this summer, as his rumors page shows.
  • GM Daryl Morey deserves credit for his move to acquire Ty Lawson for the Rockets in a trade that didn’t cost any core pieces, but Spurs GM R.C. Buford is an overwhelming favorite for Executive of the Year honors, argues Fran Blinebury of The additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West drew headlines, and Blinebury is also a fan of what he believes is a team-friendly new deal with Danny Green.

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