JaKarr Sampson is surprised about how easily he’s fit in with the Nuggets since joining the team last month, as Nicki Jhabvala and Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relay. Sampson signed a two-year deal following a snafu that caused the Sixers to lose him, and he’s filled in as a starter for the injured Danilo Gallinari. Sampson is dealing with a strained right shoulder himself, but he played through it Wednesday, and his time in Denver has been smooth thus far. “The transition has been easy,” Sampson said. “My teammates have made it easy for me and coach [Michael Malone] has made it easy for me. So, it hasn’t been hard, the transition — new sets, new teammates. I love my teammates. We’ve got a great staff here. Everything has been easy for me.”
See more from Denver amid news from the Northwest Division:
- D.J. Augustin, who says he’d love to re-sign with the Nuggets this summer, has made a strong impression in his brief time with Denver since coming over via trade last month, observes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “D.J.’s our security blanket,” Malone said. “He’s won games for us. Put the ball into his hands in the fourth quarter and he steps up, makes shots, hits free throws and always makes the right play.”
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey is excited about Rodney Hood‘s room for continued growth, notes Kareem Copeland of The Associated Press, and the team is proving wise for having selected him 23rd overall in 2014, Copeland argues. “What we saw was a guy that was somewhat sophisticated with the ball and with his reads,” Lindsey said. “It was relatively evident fairly quick that he’d be a nice fit for us. It’s to the kid’s credit that he’s gotten better since this time last year.”
- The Thunder have focused too much on adding scoring punch around Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and not enough on finding role players, argues Christopher Reina of RealGM. That plus their reliance on traditional big men threatens to leave the franchise in a compromising position, unable to win a title despite the presence of two elite players, Reina writes.