A draft night trade that sent Mikal Bridges from the Sixers to the Suns gave the rookie a better chance to excel than he would have had in Philadelphia, writes Sarah Todd of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bridges, who was in the starting lineup when the teams met Monday, has been playing roughly 20 minutes per game in Phoenix and averaging 8.0 points per night.
The draft was briefly a dream come true for Bridges, who grew up in Philadelphia and played at Villanova. But after the Sixers selected him with the 10th pick, they accepted an offer from the Suns that gave them 16th pick Zhaire Smith and an unprotected first-rounder in 2021.
“He’s starting to feel good about the situation, he’s playing more, he’s having more success,” said Jack Bridges, Mikal’s father. “At the end of the day, he just wants to win.”
There’s more tonight from the Pacific Division:
- The Kings have been able to block out distractions on their way to a 10-8 start, even a weekend report that coach Dave Joerger’s job was in jeopardy because of a dispute with management over playing time for younger players, relays Jason Jones of The Athletic. Although turmoil has defined the organization over the past decade, this new crop of Kings seems to be able to ignore negative influences. “We’re not worried about any of that stuff outside the locker room,” Willie Cauley-Stein said. “We’re just worried about our guys, developing our guys and everybody just leveling up. For us, the business side of this, we can’t control none of that, we don’t care about none of that at the end of the day. We want to get get better, we want to win ball games.”
- Draymond Green is reasserting himself as a leader in the Warriors‘ locker room after last week’s altercation with Kevin Durant, says Shams Charania of The Athletic in a Twitter video. Green addressed the team following Sunday’s loss in San Antonio, emphasizing the need to regroup and pointing out areas that need to be worked on. Charania adds that the Warriors remain confident that things will be fine once Stephen Curry returns from his injury.
- Durant was fined $25K for a profane comment he made to a fan during Saturday’s Warriors game in Dallas, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.