Suns center Deandre Ayton finds himself in a reserve role for the time being and he admits it’s an adjustment, as he told Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Ayton is working his way back into top shape after a 25-game league-imposed suspension. “I’ve never been through this, but it’s new,” the top overall pick of the 2018 draft said. “I’m just holding my head high and just working.” Ayton had 18 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes against Charlotte on Sunday.
We have more from the Pacific Division:
- Madison Square Garden Co., which owns The Forum, has sued California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee over legislation that facilitates the construction of a new Clippers arena, Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lawsuit alleges that a bill which shields the billion-dollar development from extended environmental litigation if it met several requirements violates the state constitution, Fenno continues. MSG has two additional lawsuits pending in relation to the proposed arena, which is scheduled to open in 2024.
- Kings guard Buddy Hield signed a four-year, $86MM extension prior to the season and the franchise is holding him to a higher standard, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee relays. Head coach Luke Walton and assistant Jesse Mermuys had a candid conversation with Hield after he recently complained about his playing time. “I talked to Luke and coach Jesse, and we just sat down and they gave me a reality check,” Hield said. “There’s stuff they need me to do and stuff I need to get better at — just challenging me — and Luke is a guy who always challenges me. Him and Jesse just bring the challenge and I accept it.”
- Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma is aware his name has been bandied about in trade rumors but he’s trying to block it out, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Kuzma averaged 31 points in two games this weekend with Anthony Davis sidelined. “Nah, that’s for y’all to talk about,” Kuzma said. “I’ve been through it multiple times and obviously I see it. But it don’t even matter at this point.”