West Notes: Suns, James Jones, Blazers, Damian Lillard, Clippers


Forward Kevin Durant and shooting guard Devin Booker were all in on hiring Frank Vogel as the Suns’ new coach, GM James Jones told reporters.

“When we went through this process, we were looking for people who had certain characteristics,” Jones said, via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “Championship experience. Great communicator. Resume. Being really good on both sides of the ball. Someone who had experience coaching young, talented players. Experienced players. Hall of Famers. All-Stars. Rebuilding. And when we looked at all of those things, we just wanted a well-rounded coach we felt could help us, lead on both sides of the ball and Frank checked all those boxes.”

  • Jones added that parting ways with former coach Monty Williams was not easy. “Personally, really hard, professionally really hard,” Jones said, via Rankin. “That’s the business. Hard decisions are made, tough decisions are made, but for us, it was necessary. After we looked at it, sitting down, evaluating it, we just thought it was time to inject a different voice, different vision.”
  • We have more on the Vogel hiring, and his thoughts on the job, right here.

Trail Blazers

  • Pelicans guard CJ McCollum said he expects Blazers star Damian Lillard to leave Portland. McCollum, of course, is Lillard’s former running mate in the Blazers’ backcourt. “If I was a betting man, I would say this is the last that we’ve seen of him [with the Blazers],” McCollum said, via ESPN’s First Take.
  • Lillard offered some thoughts of his own on the Blazers and their possible direction. We have that full story here.


  • The Clippers are facing a critical offseason with “arguably the most complicated, complex situation to manage in the NBA right now,’ wrote Sam Vecenie of The Athletic.
  • Vecenie added that forward Paul George would be the Clippers’ best trade asset should they decide to go that route. And they just might.
  • In the same piece, Law Murray of The Athletic suggested the Clippers offer George and other assets to the Trail Blazers for the No. 3 overall pick. “I would do this trade in a heartbeat and not think twice if I was the Clippers,” Vecenie wrote. “I would walk to the league office in Secaucus, N.J., from Los Angeles to input the paperwork on this trade if I was the Clippers and (Scoot Henderson) was available.”

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