Pacific Notes: Carroll, Clippers, Kobe

Mutual interest existed between the Suns and DeMarre Carroll over the summer, and a signing was close, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic details. Phoenix was intrigued after landing Tyson Chandler and before LaMarcus Aldridge signaled that he would strongly consider the Suns, while Carroll liked the idea of playing for Jeff Hornacek and assistant coach Earl Watson, according to Coro. Ultimately, the possibility of landing Aldridge made it too tough for the Suns to commit, Coro writes, and Carroll signed with the Raptors on a four-year, $58MM deal.

“They [the Suns] were going to come visit me,” Carroll said. “It was going to be my third or fourth visit and they were going to come to my house but I ended up signing with Toronto. LaMarcus had everybody held up. But I felt like Toronto was making me a priority and was a team that really wanted me. There were only a couple of those teams, outside of LaMarcus. Toronto was one of those teams. They chose me over LaMarcus so it made me feel wanted.”

Carroll, who played under Hornacek and with Watson on the Jazz, wouldn’t rule out the possibility of signing with the Suns later, saying “Maybe next go-around,” as Coro also relays. See more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers are making exploratory calls about potential trades amid their displeasure over a surprisingly poor 9-8 start, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link). It’s unclear if the calls have been any more substantial than conversations of due diligence. Jamal Crawford‘s name came up in more trade rumors than any other Clipper over the offseason, but coach/executive Doc Rivers said in September that he’d be “very surprised” if Crawford weren’t still a Clipper at season’s end. The Clippers are deep in the tax, limiting their maneuverability, and they have a single trade exception worth less than $1MM.
  • Kobe Bryant is “at peace” with his decision to retire at season’s end, coach Byron Scott observed, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, and it was meditation that helped the 37-year-old decide to end his career. Bryant told reporters that his mind had always drifted to basketball when he meditated until he recently, when he noticed that was no longer the case, as Mike Trudell of relays (on Twitter).
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