Western Rumors: Hart, Bender, Ellis, Artis

The Lakers made some controversial additions after LeBron James committed to them but guard Josh Hart believes they will improve, not disrupt, the chemistry of the team, RealGM’s Keith Smith reports. Hart is especially on board with the signing of point guard Rajon Rondo. “We like the guys we got. Rajon will really help us stabilize the lead guard spot,” Hart said. “Lonzo (Ball) is going to learn a ton from him. Lance (Stephenson) brings toughness and defense from the bench. JaVale (McGee) does the occasional silly thing, but he does so many good things people skip over.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns power forward Dragan Bender struggled mightily in summer league action entering a make or break year, Smith writes in the same piece. Bender had a difficult time defending on the perimeter and couldn’t consistently knock down his 3-point attempts, Smith continues. Overall, Bender shot 37% from the field in Las Vegas. The Suns hold a $5,896,519 team option on his 2019/20 contract and have until the end of this year’s training camp to decide whether to exercise it.
  • The Kings agreed to sign Jamel Artis to a training-camp deal because small forward is a position of need, according to Noel Harris of the Sacramento Bee. Sacramento also has Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Justin Jackson at that spot. Artis played for the Cavs summer-league team against the Kings and posted 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. He saw action in 15 games with the Magic last season.
  • Suns assistant Ty Ellis is expected to be named the head coach of the G League’s Stockton Kings, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days reports. Ellis was the former head coach of the G League’s Northern Arizona Suns before joining Phoenix’s staff after Earl Watson was fired last season. Ellis will replace Darrick Martin, Sacramento’s G League coach the last two seasons.
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8 thoughts on “Western Rumors: Hart, Bender, Ellis, Artis

  1. D-NBA

    Man I remember reading up Bender and how he was going to be the next big thing coming from overseas but I don’t know what’s wrong with the kid seems like he lacks a mean streak because the talent is there. As for Josh Hart my god I expect him to be a dynamic 1-2 for the Lakers and help the Lakers in a playoff series against the Warriors.

    I know most think the Lakers don’t stand a chance but the Lakers have 5 guards who can chase Klay and Steph all over the floor and slow them down in (Rondo,Caldwell-Pope,Hart,Lance,Lonzo). Ingram can guard Durant and Lebron can take Green. Cousins is the x-factor for the Warriors, the Lakers have to find a way to slow him down and that will be up to Luke to figure that out.

    I love the makeup of this Laker team and fully trust Magic, Magic is a legend for a reason because he knows the game of basketball and was the best to ever do it for me. He knew how to attack mismatches and find out how to beat a team, the personnel he has built around Lebron might puzzle some but I get it.

    • pbwalk

      My guess is that with all of those defensive minded guards, and lack of big men, they will be playing a lot of zone defense…

      • D-NBA

        The Rockets gave the blueprint to make life tough for the Warriors. You need 5 players on the court who can switch and keep Klay and Curry on the perimeter. Curry is an exceptional shooter but he’s not proficient getting his shot off over a defender locked in on him. Hart and Caldwell-Pope can chase Curry around the court and make it impossible for him to score from the perimeter.

  2. Dionis I totally 100% agree with your take on the Lakers.
    About Bender & also Chriss, I think they have potential & Phoenix have surely given them an extended chance, so I really think is time to cut the loses for them, put them behind in the rotation, so they don’t take minutes from TJ or Bridges, they have been very disappointing really.

    • D-NBA

      ESPN projections left the Lakers out of the playoffs which is quite shocking. I would not be shocked if they miss the playoffs because this team is indeed very young but there is no way Lebron James can’t get this team to at least a 5th-6th seed. They are loaded with 2 way players, they left the Spurs and Lakers off the playoffs.

      They have:

      3. Rockets
      4. Nuggets
      6. Thunder
      7. Pelicans
      8. Trailblazers

      The Nuggets are way too high and to me the Wolves might miss the playoffs.

      • dust44

        The nuggets do a couple things really well and a couple things very poorly. I’m on board with how good the Jazz can b. Don’t think they will b #2 in the west tho. The Pelicans didn’t get better and neither did the Blazers. I can’t c the Lakers not getting in the playoffs. There so much hype about the West right now. But the NBA in general isn’t very deep. Top heavy is an understatement. Celtics, 76ers, Raptors, Warriors, Rockets, Lakers, Jazz. And I think the Thunder will creep into that conversation without Melo and the Bucks might as well. But other then that I don’t c anyone out of those 7-8 teams having a shot at a championship

        • D-NBA

          I can’t see the Jazz winning it unless Exum steps up his game and lives up to his potential which might not be likely. Mitchell is an all-star but I don’t see a superstar and Gobert is limited offensively.

      • bennyg

        Trailblazers wont make it. They’ll implode at some stage. And I do not see Minnie making it either. Lakers and Spurs. Jazz are legit, #2 suits them but ECF at best. Rockets Thunder and Denver (3,4,5), NOP, Spurs and Lakers round out my 8. Can see Phoenix surprising a few teams and just missing out. But Pacers is my team to take it out, in 5 over Warriors

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