Western Notes: Davis, McDaniels, Lawson

Anthony Davis‘ maximum salary extension kicks in next season, and the Pelicans will have five years to show the power forward that New Orleans can be a championship contender, though the organization doesn’t feel like it is “on the clock” with its star player, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. “If you look at a situation like that where it is five years,” coach Alvin Gentry said when asked if he feels pressure regarding Davis, “and you’ve got five years to make something happen and keep a guy here — the one thing that [GM] Dell Demps and [team executive] Mickey Loomis have done is that they’ve taken Anthony and surrounded him with really good people, really good players. There is an opportunity for us. When we get everybody healthy, we feel like we can compete with everyone. There is time to get things right.”

Though the team has downplayed the notion that Ryan Anderson will be traded prior to February’s deadline, NBA executives believe that if New Orleans is to make any personnel moves this season it will involve the power forward, Deveney relays. “He is really the only one that has value if you’re a playoff team,” one NBA executive said of Anderson. “I wouldn’t say they’re shopping him, as far as I know, but I would say they’re listening [to offers].”

Here’s the latest from out West:

  • The NBA has suspended Rockets point guard Ty Lawson three games for the second of his two DUI arrests last year, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays. The league previously suspended Lawson for two games after he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in Denver last January, and this latest suspension stems from a DUI arrest last June in Los Angeles.
  • The Timberwolves continue to suffer from a lack of outside shooting and youthful mistakes and interim coach Sam Mitchell has until the end of the season to turn around these deficiencies if he hopes to be named head coach on a permanent basis, writes Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. Mitchell needs to prove to team management that he is indeed the person best suited to develop the franchise’s young talent, Rand adds.
  • The Rockets have assigned swingman K.J. McDaniels to their D-League affiliate, Feigen notes (via Twitter). This will be McDaniels’ fourth trek to Rio Grande Valley on the season.
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