Corey Evans

Western Notes: Connelly, Jazz, Evans, Donovan

The Nuggets have built a contender without being a destination for top free agents, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes. President of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the team needed to draft well and make wise trades to get to this point.

“Let’s be honest, we’re not getting the same meetings New York’s getting or L.A.’s getting,” Connelly said. “So how can we combat that? How can we try to chart our own course, something we can control a bit more?” The Nuggets drafted five rotation players, including stars Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, while never having a pick higher than No. 7 overall.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz don’t have much money to throw around in free agency as they look to upgrade their roster, Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News writes. On the flip side, they could lock up Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to long-term contract extensions and they should be able to find ways to bolster their bench.
  • The Thunder own 13 first-round picks in the next seven drafts, which is one reason why they have hired national recruiting analyst Corey Evans, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reports. Evans, 30, has built a reputation as one of the most connected young analysts in both high school and college basketball, Thamel adds. He’s expected to be as an amateur evaluation scout.
  • Billy Donovan‘s ability to coach different playing styles and instill confidence in young players are some of the reasons why he might be a good fit for the Pelicans’ job, according to The Athletic’s William Guillory. Donovan’s emphasis on defenses and toughness are also traits that could make him attractive to New Orleans’ front office. Guillory also looks at reasons why the team might pass on the former Thunder coach.