Pietrus to stay with the Suns

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Via Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype:

Suns swingman Mickael Pietrus has elected to opt in for the fourth year of his contract, agent Bill McCandless told HoopsHype.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, but given the expiration of the CBA we decided that the decision made the most sense,” McCandless said.

Pietrus, who finished his eighth season in the NBA last April, averaged 7.2 ppg and 2.2 rpg this year. After exercising his contract option, Pietrus is due to make $5,300,000 in 2011-12.

Everything seems to make sense here — Pietrus’ solid defense, athleticism, and three-point stroke make him a valuable cog, but his suspect ballhandling and baffling basketball IQ would have kept him from being chased too hard in free agency. Still, Pietrus can be effective on almost any roster, and was a key part of the 2009 Eastern Conference Champion Magic, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him moved around next season’s trade deadline.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.

Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)

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Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.

His swagger certainly remains intact.