Western Notes: Kings, Morris, Knight

Coach George Karl believes the Kings’ lack of professionalism and effort are major reasons why the team isn’t winning this season, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes.  “If we get a more serious, play-hard mentality, a more serious defensive mentality, I’ll take all the blame in the world,” Karl said. “You can blame me all night long. But when I’m managing attitude, when I’m managing approach, when I’m managing professionalism then yeah, my X’s and O’s aren’t good, either.”

The Kings attempted to add professionalism during the offseason, Jones adds, when they brought in 10 new players, many of whom are veterans who have been part of winning situations. Yet, changing habits takes time and the team understands that.

That’s part of the process of trying to change the culture with winning ways, winning habits, and we’ve got some guys who can help do that,” Rajon Rondo said. Marco [Belinelli] is a winner; [Caron Butler] is one. We’ve got enough strong personalities to help change the culture. It’s just a matter of time if the team stays consistent with it.”

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:
  • Eric Saar of Basketball Insiders looks at potential Markieff Morris trades, and he believes a swap with the Pelicans for Ryan Anderson is the best-case scenario for the Suns. Anderson will be a free agent at the end of the season and Saar speculates that he will command near-maximum salary on the open market, which is something the Pelicans may not be inclined to give him.
  • Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic examines Brandon Knight‘s play since he signed his five year, $70MM contract during the offseason. The Suns were 4-7 last year with Knight in the lineup and they are 10-18 to start this season.
  • The Mavericks assigned Jeremy Evans to their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, according to a team press release. Evans is averaging only 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game for Dallas this season.
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