The Nuggets‘ decision to part with Monte Morris and Will Barton in the trade for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope creates a larger opportunity for second-year guard Bones Hyland, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post.
Hyland made an immediate impact with Denver, averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 69 games and earning a second-team spot on the All-Rookie Team. His strong first season gave the front office confidence to make the deal with Washington.
“I knew what the move was,” Hyland said. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Patrick Beverley, who was shipped from the Timberwolves to the Jazz in the Rudy Gobert trade, disagrees with anyone who believes he was disrespected in Minnesota. Many observers were surprised to see the veteran guard moved after he helped to install a culture of toughness that enabled the Wolves to reach the playoffs, but Beverley is at peace with his time in Minnesota. “It took me five months to make $13MM,” said Beverley, who got that amount on a one-year extension in February. “Y’all can say they did me wrong. I say they did me right.” (video link from Pro City Hoops).
- Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla seemed like an unusual choice to be among the finalists for the Jazz head coaching job, but he told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that it’s how Utah CEO Danny Ainge operates. Mazzulla didn’t have a role on the front of Boston’s bench before being promoted this summer, but Ainge sees potential in him. “It was definitely surprising, but I think because Danny is Danny and a creative guy in how he thinks outside the box, that made it less surprising,” Mazzulla said. “Not many people think the way he does.”
- Travis Roach of The Oklahoman warns that the Thunder‘s desire to build a new arena doesn’t come with guaranteed economic benefits.