Southwest Notes: Gordon, Lawson, Motiejunas

Eric Gordon says the talent surrounding him on the Pelicans and the replacement of coach Monty Williams with Alvin Gentry were the reasons that he picked up his option of more than $15.514MM to stay with the team, he tells SB Nation contributor Nick Weldon. Gordon says he was frustrated with Williams for failing to better define his role, according to Weldon.

“Oh, I was very happy when I heard Gentry was a candidate,” Gordon said to Weldon. “I mean, very happy.”

Gordon is set to hit free agency next summer, but he can’t envision leaving New Orleans, Weldon adds. See more from the Southwest Division, where a pair of Rich Paul clients finally agreed to sign:

  • The acquisition of Ty Lawson was Houston’s most significant offseason move, but coach Kevin McHale is making no promises that the trade netted the team a starter, observes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Lawson and Patrick Beverley, whom the Rockets re-signed this summer for $23MM over four years, will compete for the starting point guard job, McHale said Tuesday, as Feigen notes. McHale said that last season Lawson “had a very average year in Denver compared to what he had done before” and called upon him to improve his defense, according to Feigen.
  • Donatas Motiejunas probably won’t be ready for the start of training camp as he continues to recover from the back injury that forced surgery and prematurely ended his 2014/15 season, McHale confirmed, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 relays on Twitter. Motiejunas and the Rockets face a November 2nd deadline to sign an extension, as I examined in detail last month.
  • The extension that Rick Carlisle signed in 2012 reportedly includes an option for 2016/17, but it otherwise runs to term at the conclusion of this coming season. That could make Carlisle, who’s proven an elite bench boss with the Mavericks, the most intriguing free agent not named Kevin Durant next summer, opines Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (on Facebook).

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