Pacific Notes: Kings’ Rookies, Booker, Nwaba, Ulis

While the Kings have dropped out of playoff contention, Dave Joerger will still seek to build the talent and IQ of his younger players. As Joerger acknowledged in a recent post-game press conference, ensuring proper player development is a large part of his job.

“Having been there with those guys (in Memphis) I felt a great deal of responsibility to maximize every win that we could get,” Joerger told reporters, including Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “That’s where are these gray hairs popped out. Now the gray hairs are (from) are you playing the right guys with the right group, developing guys, giving them the right experiences?”

Joerger has given valuable playing opportunities to rookies down the stretch; providing Skal Labissiere, Buddy Hield, and Georgios Papagiannis with multiple 20+ minute games over the past week.

More from the Pacific…

  • The Suns are tanking “with spirit,” Dan Bickley of AZCentral.com writes. What’s more, Bickley points out Devin Booker‘s 70-point game as proof that he’s Phoenix’s next franchise player. “The Suns should feel blessed,” Bickley wrote. “They’ve lost 60 or more games only once in their storied history, and that was their expansion season in 1968-69. The organization’s commitment to losing is so sturdy and hardcore that they could conceivably end the current season with 60 losses and a 16-game losing streak, and somehow, the season will be perceived as a smashing success.”
  • Lakers rookie David Nwaba will be assigned to the L.A. D-Fenders to boost their D-League playoff run (source: Mark Medina, L.A. Daily News). Nwaba has been a pleasant surprise in Luke Walton‘s rotation, averaging 7.8 points with 5.5 rebounds over his last four games. Nwaba, who appeared in 40 games for the D-Fenders this season, figures to receive a considerable workload during the D-League postseason.
  • The Suns want Tyler Ulis to shoot more, Doug Haller of AZCentral.com writes. Haller relays an amusing anecdote, in which coach Earl Watson shouted “Shoot it!” at Ulis during Tuesday’s match-up with the Hawks. “He’s very talented,” veteran guard Ronnie Price said of Ulis. “He has a chance to have a long career in the league. He has a lot to his game that people are starting to see, so for him, it’s just getting comfortable and keeping him confident. As a team we all trust him. We all know what he’s capable of doing, but we can’t have him second-guessing himself with shots.”
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5 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Kings’ Rookies, Booker, Nwaba, Ulis

  1. BayAreaSportsFan

    I must say, it’s getting harder and harder to hate the lakers. No more kobe, the front office turnover has resulted in classy, smart people making decisions that benifit everyone, not just kobe. Jeanie and magic are making the right moves (I know limited sample size) and letting a rookie whose playing well in the nba go down to the d-league is awesome.

    And now that the kings got rid of cousins and are finally going in a different direction they should be fun watch and follow as well. It’s a good time to be a California basketball fan, unless your one of the dozen clipper fans. ;)

  2. Grant
    Grant W

    While I agree with all of your points it seems odd to say its bad to be a clippers fan when they’re consistently a top 5 team in the conference. As a suns fan I would love to have that level of consistency again

  3. jbwalp0214

    Ulis is a beast he can dish it as well as any rookie out there. I would take him over Dunn in a heartbeat.

    • ottomatic

      Way too early to say that. and Dunn’s upside will still be higher for a good while

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