Pacific Notes: Jones, Russell, Chalmers, Grizzlies

Tyus Jones has already played in more games since the All-Star break than he played before it, as the Timberwolves have decided it’s time to let last year’s 24th overall pick learn on the court. Ricky Rubio, a subject of deadline trade talk whom Jones is trying to eventually replace as Minnesota’s starting point guard, sees “great things” ahead for the rookie, observes Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.

“He can really score the ball. I think he’€™s learning how to control, and play in this league,” Rubio said. “€œIt’€™s not like college. He’s learning how to play and he’s not afraid. That’€™s one of the main things you ask of a rookie. Don’€™t be afraid.™”€™

See more from the Western Conference:

  • Much consternation has surrounded the limited playing time Lakers coach Byron Scott has given No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell this season, but the combo guard is seeing 31.4 minutes per game since the All-Star break compared to 27.1 minutes per game before it, and he’s upbeat about the future, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “€œIt’€™s all about the opportunity,” Russell said. “€œEverybody has a different route toward reaching their potential. Some people bloom early and some people bloom late. If I’€™m a late bloomer and I’€™m around this league for a long time, I would prefer that.”€
  • Mario Chalmers was popular within the Grizzlies organization, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal, who believes his early-season acquisition was a plus for the team, writes in his Pick-and-Pop column. Chalmers cleared waivers after tearing his Achilles tendon last week.
  • The Grizzlies have filled gaps in their roster with such wizened veterans as Gilbert Arenas, Jason Williams and Keyon Dooling in past years, so the recent signings of Ray McCallum, Alex Stepheson and Briante Weber represent a shrewd pivot toward finding stopgaps with potential future value, Herrington argues in the same piece.
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