Pacific Notes: Labissiere, Randle, Suns

The Kings have done a fine job giving their young big men an opportunity to develop this season, as Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee recounts. For 2016 28th overall pick Skal Labissiere, the opportunities let him show all the teams that passed on him what they’re missing.

Sparsely used in the first three months of the season as the Kings flirted with the idea of the competing for the postseason, Labissiere has seen more time on the court as the year has progressed. In three April games, the 21-year-old has played 29.0 minutes per.

I’m feeling a little more comfortable out there,” the Kings center said. “It’s me learning at my own pace, not getting rushed, learning how to see things on the court. […] I’m nowhere near [physically] where I want to be. But this should be a fun summer. Lots of time with the weights, and working on all aspects of my game.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • It’s harder to deny the appeal of tanking when your draft picks are tied up in previously negotiated trades. Such was the case when the Lakers and Kings met Friday, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports. The Lakers had incentive to lose in order to keep their top-3 protected pick. The Kings had incentive to lose to keep their top-10 protected pick. (The Lakers won).
  • The Suns have undergone an extensive evaluation period over the course of the final months of the regular season. Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic takes a thorough look at what we’ve been able to learn from it.
  • Count Kentucky head coach John Calipari among Julius Randle‘s biggest supporters, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. Calipari recently spoke with Lakers coach Luke Walton about the forward. “If you can just get a bunch of guys that will fight every possession, you’re winning,” Calipari told Walton. “The dude is going to fight.

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