Southwest Notes: Stephens, Prince, Pelicans

The Spurs narrowly defeated Istanbul Fenerbahce Ulker 96-90 in today’s preseason action, salvaging a split from their international stint after losing to Alba Berlin earlier in the week. Fans aren’t likely to worry about San Antonio’s exhibition struggles after their dominating Finals win last season. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • While D.J. Stephens remains a longshot to make the Pelicans‘ regular season roster, coach Monty Williams tells John Reid of The Times Picayune that the forward is a “once in a generation” athlete who might get some preseason minutes to make a bigger impression apart from the layup line. “He’s trying to figure out how to go from playing [power forward] to playing a wing spot–that’s hard. He’s done a decent job,” said Williams. “He could get some time in the next week or so.” 
  • The Grizzlies made multiple attempts to trade Tayshaun Prince this summer, reports Ronald Tillery of Commercial Appeal. His name was rumored to be on the block at the very beginning of the offseason, but there have been no rumblings for the veteran forward since. Prince tells Tillery that he’s not ready to concede his role, despite increasing belief around the league that his skills are fading fast.
  • John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders takes a look at the roster additions across the Southwest, giving the Pelicans high marks for acquiring Omer Asik and John Salmons.

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