Friday’s injury to Ben Simmons has validated Brandon Ingram‘s decision to be careful about adding weight, writes Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. Earlier this week, Simmons told reporters that he put on 33 pounds since leaving LSU. Ingram knows he needs to bulk up his 190-pound frame to handle the rigorous NBA game, but he prefers to do it slowly to reduce the risk of injury. The Lakers rookie has abandoned a 5,000-calorie-per-day program that he was practicing before the NBA draft. “As I’m going through the process, it’s as much good weight I can put on during the year,” he said. “Of course in the summer, you can go a different route and try to gain as much weight as you can. During the season, [I’m] just trying to maintain a weight.”
There’s more news out of the Western Conference:
- The agent for Donatas Motiejunas took another shot at the Rockets on Twitter as today’s midnight deadline for his client’s $4.4MM qualifying offer approaches. “When analytics can measure human behavior, then and only then will I find them useful,” tweeted B.J. Armstrong. It was an apparent swipe at Houston GM Daryl Morey, who is known as one of the NBA’s top believers in using statistical analysis to rate players. A technicality gives the Rockets the option to extend the offer past the deadline, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, but he doubts that they will. Motiejunas is the last restricted free agent still without a contract.
- Troy Daniels will have plenty of freedom to shoot from new Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, according to Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis picked up the sharpshooter in a sign-and-trade deal with the Hornets in July. The Grizzlies are Daniels’ fourth team as he enters his fourth NBA season, and Fizdale said the light for him to put up 3-point shots is “beyond green.” “I told him if you pass up a 3-pointer you’ll be sitting next to me,” Fizdale said. “I’d rather him shoot it and get it blocked or shoot an air ball before he passes up a 3.”
- The Suns‘ T.J. Warren is fully recovered from the broken foot that ended his season in January, writes Tyler Emerick of NBA.com. The third-year player could see increased minutes at the start of the season with P.J. Tucker recovering from a back injury. “T.J. has been great all training camp,” said teammate Eric Bledsoe. “I can’t stop talking about him. He looks great.”