Pacific Notes: Suns, Canaan, Durant, Klay, Lakers

When training camp opened for the Suns earlier this week, multiple reports – including ones from Bob Baum of The Associated Press and Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic – noted that the most pressing issue facing the franchise in the short term was its hole at the point guard spot.

That hasn’t changed within the last few days, with Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic writing today that it remains unclear which way Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov might be leaning. Shaquille Harrison, De’Anthony Melton, Elie Okobo, and Isaiah Canaan are among the point guards vying for playing time. In comments on Thursday, Kokoskov spoke in general terms about those four players when he addressed the traits he’s looking for from a starting point guard.

“Just being solid overall,” the Suns’ new coach said, per Rankin. “The four guys we’ve brought to this camp, our guys are pretty solid. That’s a quality they’re bringing to this team. Just being solid. We’re not asking for anything extraordinary. Just be solid overall when it comes to defensive stops, when it comes to running the team. Putting the guys in the right spots. The key word is being solid.”

As Rankin outlines in a separate article for The Arizona Republic, Canaan easily has the most NBA experience of the Suns’ four in-house point guards and believes he’s capable of taking the reins as the starter. Canaan continues to make his way back from a broken left ankle that ended his 2017/18 season, and Rankin believes that the veteran will likely get the first crack at the starting job if Phoenix doesn’t trade for a point guard.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Like LeBron James has done in the past, Warriors forward Kevin Durant has decided to sign short-term contracts with opt-outs in order to maximize his flexibility, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I could have easily signed a long-term [contract], but I just wanted to take it season-by-season and see where it takes me,” Durant said earlier this week. The two-time Finals MVP will be eligible for free agency again in 2019, but isn’t talking about that decision at this point.
  • Durant’s teammate Klay Thompson will also be eligible for free agency in 2019 and has been more willing to talk about his desire to stay with the Warriors long-term — he reiterated that preference on Thursday, as Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes. “It’s hard to walk away from something — you were here when it started and yeah, you just want to stay on the train as long as you can,” Thompson said.
  • After LeBron James spoke earlier this week about the Lakers having a long way to go before they can seriously challenge the Warriors, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com explores what “success” might look like for LeBron’s Lakers, this season and beyond.
  • Rajon Rondo brings extensive big-game experience and a much-needed “hard edge” to the Lakers, according to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.
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8 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Suns, Canaan, Durant, Klay, Lakers

  1. Durant has never discussed free agency. Having a new arena will factor in. Steph has said they want to continue winning championships as long as they can.
    Durant says he’s year to year. With Draymond saying he wants to play for the Warriors long term they are all in. You’ll hear talk for the next 9 months in the NBA about Durant, he’s the NBA’s biggest story. Like Iggy says he plans to push Durant to pass LeBron as the best player in the NBA. Durant is humble. He says he doesn’t want to be a ball dominant player, compared to M.J., and he’s about winning, not winning championships. He becomes Bird eligible for 1st time after this season, so he’s more likely to sign a long term contract.

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    • The Warriors now are the oldest team in the league, but are balanced with young and old. Steph is 30, Durant will be 30 Saturday. Their average is just over 28. They said this year is just about having fun.

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      • Klay Thompson touts the Celtics as a young Warriors team and says they do match up. The Celtics do have 5 potential All Stars, and if the Sacramento pick gives them Cameron Reddish or Zion Williamson next summer, they could potentially have 6.

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  2. Lonzo says on Sporting News that practicing against LeBron doesn’t make him nervous. Says at the end of the day LeBron is just another guy. “He’s not God.” I hpoe Lonzo’s improved shot helps him get better, and I wish him well this season. I have a new found respect of Lonzo.

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  3. The reason Durant doesn’t talk about free agency might have to do with the backlash he still gets from leaving OKC. LeBron wouldn’t talk about it last year, and wouldn’t even publicly make an announcement, probably because of the backlash he received from his program on ESPN announcing he was leaving for Miami. Difference is Durant is one of a few who has been NBA MVP and Finals MVP. Like LeBron said the Lakers have a ways to go to catch up to the Warriors. Klay, KD, and Kyrie are definitely in good situations.

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  4. This is about Jimmy Butler, LeBron, Kd, Kyrie, etc. Butler is burried in posts, but this is readable. You should read article on”Amico Hoops” by an opposing GM on Butler’s situation. He has grown from a country boy driving a pickup, who many thought wouldn’t make it in the NBA to where he is now. The GM says stars such as LeBron, KD, Kyrie etc. are switching teams for the wrong reasons, and he doesn’t think Butler is in his class. GM says to stop the stars switching teams, the Wolves should make Butler honor his contract or make him sit until midseason. Says they play well without him. Should post enntire article, it’s pretty good.

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  5. Shaun Powell archives.NBA.com- “Secure now, Golden State Warriors face decisions on DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant”-today Kevin Durant quotes” “We’re selfless, care about each other, that’s what the Warriors do,” he said. “My cup is full here knowing that you can walk in here and be yourself, no judgement, just all love. The championship is just cherry on the top.” I think the Warriors are one of the top few teams of all time (but of course I don’t remember much of the old Lakers and Celtics).

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