Northwest Notes: Bazley, Towns, Blazers, Grant, Jazz Arena

Darius Bazley has seen his playing time diminish this season but the Thunder forward is handling the situation professionally, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets in a video link. Bazley said, “It’s not about me and it never will be. I’m always invested in the team.”

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault has been impressed by Bazley’s attitude. “He deserves a lot of credit and it’s a powerful signal to the rest of the group, it’s a form of leadership. I admire how he’s handling this,” he said (Twitter link). Bazley is in the final year of his rookie contract with a current qualifying offer of $6.2MM if the team wants to make him a restricted free agent.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • In his midseason review of the Timberwolves, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes that the team hasn’t formed an identity, due to the extended injury absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. Minnesota has gone 10-11 without its biggest star, who is sidelined by a calf injury. “When he comes back we’re going to look different,” guard Anthony Edwards said. “Right now, we’re trying to figure it out still, so when we get him back, it might be a little easier.”
  • The Trail Blazers have been in a downward spiral in recent weeks but they’re not straying from their preseason goal, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I think we are in really good shape,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “We are figuring out what it is that we’ve got, and what we don’t have, which is what this thing is all about.”
  • In the same piece, Quick says that the Trail Blazers have establish a top priority — re-signing Jerami Grant, either to an extension or when he hits the free agent market.
  • The former Delta Center will become the Delta Center once again, according to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. The home of the Jazz was called the Delta Center until 2006, when it was renamed Vivint Arena. Utah has signed a long-term naming rights deal with Delta Air Lines to change the name again on July 1.
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