Pacific Notes: Goodwin, Jones, Clippers, D’Antoni

Former Suns guard Archie Goodwin cleared waivers today at 5 pm Eastern time and is now officially a free agent. Phoenix released Goodwin on Monday after being unable to deal him to another team. The 22-year-old out of Kentucky spent three seasons with the Suns. He appeared in 57 games last season, averaging 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per night.

There’s more news out of the Pacific Division:

  • Derrick Jones overcame long odds to earn a spot on the Suns‘ roster, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. The 19-year-old wasn’t taken in the draft after being ruled ineligible at UNLV, then missed all of summer league with an injury. Jones signed a four-year contract that could be worth up to $3.6MM, but all he is guaranteed for now is $42.5K of his $543,471 salary. Still, he is elated about the opportunity. “When I was the last one here from training camp, I knew there was a reason I am here,” Jones said. “I feel as though I’m a NBA player. I have NBA athleticism. My game is going to come a long way. I just got to be able to knock down my jump shots consistently. That’s one thing I’m going to put in work to do.”
  • The Clippers understand they may be facing their final season with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, relays Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Both are expected to opt out next summer and become free agents. With J.J. Redick also headed toward free agency and L.A. well over the salary cap, it will create a serious financial strain to keep the current core together. “We’re not really worried about what happens after this season. We’re worried about what happens in the season,” Griffin said. “Every year, if you don’t have a sense of urgency, if it takes somebody being like ‘This could be the last year to have a sense of urgency,’ then you’re already kind of playing from behind. I don’t think it really affects us.”
  • New Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni thought his career might be over when he left the Lakers in 2014, writes Bill Oram of The Orange Country Register. Not only did that team underachieve, but D’Antoni spent much of the season fighting with Kobe Bryant. D’Antoni revived his career as an assistant with the Sixers last season before being hired by Houston over the summer. “It’s a privilege to be able to coach in this league,” D’Antoni said. “It’s very rare you can dictate where you want to go, and usually where you’re going they have problems or you wouldn’t be going there. You just try to find the right situation, and if it’s not the right situation, try to make it work. If it doesn’t work out, try to live to fight a battle someplace else. It was a privilege to coach the Lakers. It was a privilege to coach Kobe and those guys. I’m better for it.”

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