Pacific Notes: Rivers, McDonough, Ranadive

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers insisted the team didn’t listen when it fielded trade calls about Blake Griffin from other clubs, as Rivers told Marc J. Spears of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports, reiterating his faith in the power forward he contends was having an MVP-caliber season before his two-month absence. Rivers also defended the job he’s done as team’s player personnel chief.

“I don’t know. I don’t evaluate. I have too many people evaluating for me,” Rivers said. “I let them do it and I keep doing my job. I don’t care about the evaluations. I care about the team. We’re a team that doesn’t have a lot of leverage. We don’t have a lot of assets. But to me, we keep ending up with the Jeff Greens of the world, Cole Aldrich is terrific, Wes Johnson. … We’re getting these guys at minimum contracts. Even Josh [Smith] was a good gamble. It didn’t work out for us. But when you are in that minimum contract deal, you’re going to have some hits and misses and we’re fine with it and you keep doing.”

See more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns owner Robert Sarver issued a vote of confidence to GM Ryan McDonough in an open letter to fans posted on the team’s website, acknowledging that some of the risks the team has taken lately haven’t panned out but pointing to the Warriors as reason to continue making bold moves. “Not every decision will be the right one, but [McDonough] will continue to build our team around the young, talented players acquired through the draft and opportunistically in free agency,” Sarver wrote in part. “The best team in the NBA right now is a perfect example of that model.”
  • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive may have encountered trouble running the team so far, but his success in other venues shows he’s no fool, writes Andy Furillo of The Sacramento Bee. Ranadive told Furillo he’d buy out the stake of any minority-share owner who wants out, responding to reports that many of his partners are upset with him“If somebody’s unhappy, I’ll write them a check today,” Ranadive said.
  • The Kings could use some more defense in the backcourt and coach George Karl has praised Seth Curry‘s performance on that end, but Curry has remained largely tied to the pine, much to his frustration, as The Bee’s Jason Jones examines. Curry has a minimum-salary player option for next season.
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