Western Notes: Clippers, Lakers, Cook, Thunder, Nuggets

The Clippers would’ve benefited more from adding a new floor general this offseason instead of a new coach, LZ Granderson of the Los Angeles Times writes.

While multiple veteran guards remain unrestricted free agents, Los Angeles has yet to upgrade the position with training camps set to begin this week. The team promoted Tyronn Lue last month after firing longtime coach Doc Rivers, who first joined the franchise in 2013.

The Clippers lost a grueling seven-game series to the Nuggets in the playoffs last fall, failing to make the Western Conference Finals despite having two All-Stars and an impressive supporting cast. The team’s biggest free-agent acquisition was Serge Ibaka; L.A. also reached a deal with Nicolas Batum on Sunday.

There’s more from the Western Conference tonight:

  • The Lakers ultimately decided against stretching Quinn Cook‘s salary, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Los Angeles will take a cap hit of $1MM for 2020/21 as a result of waiving the 27-year-old, who remains a free agent after playing just 44 games with the team last season.
  • Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman lists five questions for the Thunder ahead of training camp and the 2020-21 season, with the team recently completing a full rebuild after clinching a playoff berth in Orlando. Chris Paul (Suns), Danilo Gallinari (Hawks), Dennis Schroder (Lakers) and Steven Adams (Pelicans) all departed the franchise this month, with Gallinari being the only player to leave as a free agent.
  • Mike Singer of the Denver Post also examines a list of questions related to the Nuggets, a team with its sights set on contending this season. The franchise lost Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee and Torrey Craig from last season, signing veteran JaMychal Green and bringing back Paul Millsap for frontcourt depth. The team also converted the two-way contract of Bol Bol and signed forward Greg Whittington to a two-way deal.
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