Matas Buzelis, a projected top-three pick in the 2024 NBA draft, tells Sam Yip of HoopsHype that there wasn’t a specific former player for the G League Ignite that influenced him to take that path before becoming draft-eligible — he simply thought it would be the best way for him to prepare for the NBA.
“I picked Ignite because at the end of the day you want to be a professional basketball player – that’s everyone’s goal,” Buzelis said. “So, why take a different route like college where you’re not playing NBA rules? You get to play NBA threes, shot clocks, everything. So it’s pretty much like a cheat code, I’d say.”
Buzelis singled out former NBA shooting guard John Jenkins, currently a member of the Ignite, as the teammate that has stood out the most to him early in his G League stint. According to Buzelis, Jenkins taught him to take care of his body by establishing a training routine, which is something he “didn’t really have” before this year.
“He was in the NBA before for like three NBA teams,” Buzelis said. “He’s like 32 years old and still killing. Taking care of his body and everything. So I take example from him that I can play a long time.”
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Within an interesting story about the rise of multi-team NBA trades in recent years, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports provides an interesting tidbit on the guidelines governing trades of players’ draft rights. According to Fischer, in order for a draft-rights player to be traded, he must have been selected in one of the nine most recent drafts. In multi-team deals, the player must have been selected in one of last five drafts — or nine, if he earned a spot on the most recent All-EuroLeague team. Luka Mitrovic, the player whose draft rights were traded from the Kings to the Clippers in a deal this week, was picked nine drafts ago.
- The second tax apron introduced in the NBA’s newest Collective Bargaining Agreement will make roster-building much more challenging for high-salary teams beginning in 2024. However, as Danny Leroux of The Athletic details, many current taxpayers are taking advantage of the transition rules in place during the 2023/24 season to make big moves that won’t be possible starting next offseason.
- Italian team Olimpia Milano has been in the market for backcourt help, with head coach Ettore Messina acknowledging that Kendrick Nunn and Carlik Jones were among the players with NBA experience on the team’s radar, per Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. Nunn ended up in Greece while Jones is continuing his career in China, so Milan will have to continue weighing its free agent options.