Western Notes: Clarkson, Pelicans, Dieng, Elleby

Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson will join the Philippines national team for the next two qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, according to an announcement from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. The Philippines will be matched up against Lebanon on August 25 and will face Saudi Arabia on August 29.

Young center Kai Sotto, who committed to the G League Ignite in 2020 and then joined the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers for the 2021/22 season, will also suit up for the Philippines in those World Cup qualifying contests.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After beginning last season with Devonte’ Graham and Nickeil Alexander-Walker as their starting guards, the Pelicans will enter 2022/23 with a more talented and deeper backcourt thanks to the acquisition of CJ McCollum and the emergence of Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy as rotation players, writes Will Guillory of The Athletic. With Graham, Garrett Temple, Kira Lewis, and lottery pick Dyson Daniels joining McCollum, Alvarado, and Murphy in the backcourt mix, head coach Willie Green will have some difficult rotation decisions to make, as Guillory details.
  • Gorgui Dieng‘s new one-year contract with the Spurs is worth the veteran’s minimum and is fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. Dieng will earn a $2,641,682 salary in 2022/23, while San Antonio takes on a cap hit of $1,836,090. The club remains more than $30MM under the salary cap, but there’s no indication that there are any immediate plans for that cap room.
  • CJ Elleby‘s non-guaranteed contract with the Timberwolves is now official, Hoops Rumors has learned. As expected, the deal includes Exhibit 10 language, meaning Elleby could become an affiliate player for the Iowa Wolves or could have his contract turned into a two-way pact.
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