Western Notes: Plumlee, Jones, Garnett

The Pelicans‘ season has not gone as planned and the team has begun exploring its options in the trade market, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports relays. In addition to power forward Ryan Anderson, whom New Orleans has reportedly been listening to offers about, the team has also discussed various trade scenarios involving swingmen Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon, the Yahoo scribe notes. Gordon, who is earning approximately $15.5MM this season, is in the final year of his contract, but Evans’ deal still has one more season on the books valued at $10.2MM. Here’s more from out West:

  • Blazers big man Mason Plumlee is still trying to make his case that he has what it takes to be a special player, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com writes. “I’m at a point right now where I still very much feel like I’m trying to prove myself in this league,’’ said Plumlee. “I think there are a lot of guys who think they can hang around because they are big or athletic, but I really want to thrive, I really want to be somebody in the NBA.  And I don’t think that’s proven yet.’’ Plumlee points to Warriors forward Draymond Green as an example of a player who wasn’t satisfied with merely making it into the NBA, which is the path he wishes to take, Quick adds. “You look at Draymond: a late draft pick, could have been satisfied with establishing himself in the league,’’ Plumlee continued. “But now, he’s doing special things, becoming a special player. So I ask myself: Do I want to just be a player in the NBA, or do I want to excel and be special?’’
  • Rockets combo forward Terrence Jones has turned a corner as a player and may be on his way to fulfilling some of the promise that made him the No. 18 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com writes. “The talent is there with Terrence,” interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We need to get to a point where it’s there every night and we can depend on Terrence because he’s a big part of what we do. He’s a big part of our big rotation up front — he, Clint [Capela] and Dwight [Howard] right now get all the minutes at the big spots for us. This is the type of performance that he had tonight and [Tuesday, when he scored 20 points] that he’s capable of. We just need him to string those performances together.
  • Kevin Garnett is only averaging 14.9 minutes per night for the Wolves, but the veteran has been remarkably efficient during his limited time on the court and his leadership has proven to be a great resource to the team, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes. “He’s still very valuable to what we’re trying to do,” interim coach Sam Mitchell said of Garnett. “Those 10 minutes that he plays, he sets the tone. It’s 10 minutes our young guys get a chance to see one of the greatest defenders ever play. They get a chance to play with him. They’re learning experience, whether KG is on the floor for 10 minutes or 17 minutes. It’s invaluable.”
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