Pacific Notes: James, Gallinari, Kuzminskas

After bouncing around Europe and playing in five different countries over five seasons, Suns rookie point guard Mike James is making the most of his opportunity in the NBA, writes Baxter Holmes of ESPN. James has made such an impression since signing a two-way contract back in July that general manager Ryan McDonough, who didn’t even know who James was until this summer, has stated that the team plans to sign James to a standard NBA contract before his two-way contract expires on December 6.

James, who had balked at the opportunity to play in the NBA on numerous previous occasions, finally felt that it was time. “I felt like if I wasn’t going to do it this year, I probably wasn’t never going to do it. So I’m just like, let me take one chance. It would just be for a year, and if it doesn’t work out here, I’ll be back overseas, and I’ll make more money.” 

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari continues to nurse a strained left glute that he suffered in the first half of the team’s loss to the Heat on November 5. Essentially day-to-day since then, it has now been confirmed in a tweet from Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times that Gallinari will miss another 7-10 days.
  • Back in Los Angeles after a brief stint in Houston, Clippers guard Lou Williams is eager to have his new team back at full strength as soon as possible, as detailed in an interview with Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders. Believing that the Clippers still have plenty of time to right the ship despite being in the midst of a nine-game losing streak, Williams said, “We’ve been playing extremely hard giving ourselves an opportunity to win these games and just haven’t been able to finish. (Once we) get guys back … we’ll break through.”
  • The Lakers are keeping an eye on free agent Mindaugas Kuzminskas and have even met with the forward recently, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The Lakers were one of the teams we recently highlighted as having interest in Kuzminskas. The Lakers already have a full 15 players under contract, so any play for Kuzminskas would first require a roster move.
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