Pacific Notes: Chandler, Clarkson, Garnett

Veteran center Tyson Chandler isn’t upset that the Suns selected two big men (Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss) in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “I thought it was good for the future to be quite honest,” Chandler said. “I thought that was where we lacked last year – at power forward. We’ve already got young guards with all the shooting in the world so we needed to build on that side of the ball. That’s what I came here for. That’s my job, to help hand the leadership off. It’s even that much more important for me to teach them how things are supposed to be done. I want to be part of this franchise getting back to the glory days. I feel like I’m definitely going to tap into it. I feel like we’ll be better than people expect. Just the competition. If we play like we’ve been playing out here, that’s good enough for me.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers want to push Jordan Clarkson, who inked a four-year, $50MM deal this summer, to become a better defender, Mark Medina of The Orange County Register writes. The guard has embraced the challenge that new coach Luke Walton has given him for the season, Medina adds. “I was just terrible on that end, taking wrong angles, wasn’t there on tags and wasn’t there on late closeouts,” Clarkson said of his 2015/16 performance. “It got to the point where it was bad. We were a bad defensive team as a whole last year. But I take it upon myself really to improve on that.
  • Kevin Garnett attending the Clippers‘ practice on Thursday and he worked with a number of the team’s big men, Jovan Buha of relays. “KG was phenomenal today,” coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett’s appearance. “This morning, before practice, he had a teaching clinic that you would pay a lot of money to see. It was great. It was great for Blake Griffin and [DeAndre Jordan] and the young guys as well. It’s great to have him around. He’s a great teacher. We know him as a great player. I knew him as a great teacher. He’ll be really good for us.” Garnett reportedly has been offered a coaching position with Los Angeles, as well as with the Cavs.
  • Despite the presence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors want Kevin Durant to feel comfortable and to not pass up open shots, Ethan Sherwood Strauss of writes. “That’s why they wanted me here! They want me to come out here and be myself. I’m not going to play timid or not step on anyone’s toes, but I’m still going to be myself,” Durant said. “Nobody’s telling me I’m shooting too much. They want me to be myself out there.
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