The Lakers worked out Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports relays. Porzingis takes issue with scouts labeling him a finesse player or discounting him as another potential European bust, the Yahoo! scribe adds. “I don’t like being labeled soft,” Porzingis told Wojnarowski. “I’m very hungry. I love the game. I’ve got to prove to coaches and GMs that I’m not soft just because I’m from Europe. They need to see that I’m not just some skinny white guy, that I’m going to be there fighting. They’ll need to see that I’m a worker who’s going to play hard, and play tough. There are guys who have had incredible NBA careers – like Dirk Nowitzki and the Gasols [Pau and Marc] – and there are guys who haven’t. They’ll say, this guy is a bust. He’ll be Nikoloz Tskitishvili, this Georgian guy. Andrea Bargnani, Darko Milicic … That’s why I am talking, because I want the fear to go away with me. I want people to get to know me. I don’t want to be the mystery man from Europe.”
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Despite the reports relaying that Eric Gordon is likely to exercise his player option worth more than $15.514MM to stay with the Pelicans for next season, the 26-year-old guard has scoured the NBA market for a potential long-term deal outside of New Orleans, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. According to league sources, Gordon has been seeking four or five year contract possibilities with other teams, Charania notes.
The Lakers are a “distant third” in the running to lure LaMarcus Aldridge away from Portland, behind the Mavs, who are the favorites, and the Spurs, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher says in a video report. Bucher cites Aldridge’s strong relationship with former Blazers interim head coach Kaleb Canales, now a Mavs assistant, as reason to think Dallas holds appeal for the power forward, though Bucher speculates that Aldridge will ultimately chooses to re-sign with the Blazers.
- The Jazz held pre-draft workouts today for J.J. Avila (Colorado State), Michael Frazier (Florida), Damarcus Harrison (Clemson), Youssou Ndoye (St. Bonaventure), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), and Travis Trice (Michigan State), the team announced (on Twitter).
- The Clippers will bring in Damontre Harris (South Carolina) and Michale Kyser (Louisiana Tech) as part of a group workout on Wednesday, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.