Trail Blazers center Pau Gasol is hopeful he’ll be ready to play by opening night, Joe Freeman of the Oregonian tweets. Gasol underwent surgery in May to repair a navicular stress fracture in his left foot. He’s scheduled to begin contact work this week and is happy how his rehab is coming along, Freeman relays. Gasol signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Blazers to provide depth at the center spot as Jusuf Nurkic mends from a serious leg injury.
We have more from the Northwest Division:
- After reaching the Western Conference Semifinals last season, the Nuggets find themselves in an unfamiliar role as the hunted, coach Michael Malone told website writer Eric Spyropoulos. “Because of the season that we had, we have to know that we’re going to be a team that’s hunted, unlike being the hunter last season,” Malone said. “We can’t just relax. Things can change quickly in the NBA, so we can’t just show up and think we’ll go from point A to B.”
- Chris Paul isn’t pouting, at least not publicly, about being on a rebuilding Thunder team after being traded from the contending Rockets, Brett Dawson of The Athletic reports. Paul took a positive tone during the team’s Media Day. “It’s funny, because a lot people try to tell your truth or your story and say what you want, all this different type stuff,” Paul said. “I’m excited about the opportunity, excited about our team, excited about building.”
- The Timberwolves have promoted Emmanuel Rohan to assistant GM, according to a team press release. Assistant GM Gianluca Pascucci will have the added responsibilities of GM of the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate.