Jock Landale concentrated on the basics of the game during his rookie season in San Antonio and he expects to fill the same role now that he’s with the Suns, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The Australian center focused on rebounding, running the floor and knocking down open shots in the 54 games he played with the Spurs. He got traded twice this offseason — first to Atlanta, then to Phoenix — and has been adjusting to his new situation with one of the NBA’s best teams.
“That was kind of my first wake-up call that this is a business and there isn’t a whole lot of loyalty involved in the sport,” Landale said. “That’s just the way it is and just came to terms to that pretty quickly I suppose, but obviously, I’m super pumped to be with the Suns now because they’re always an organization I looked at and watched play from afar. Just love the way that they operate. Now just being here and actually experiencing the level of care and the level of winning mentality and attitudes around the locker room and the organization as a whole, you realize they’re putting so much into this year as I’m sure they have the last two years.”
Landale said he talked to several members of San Antonio’s front office during the Las Vegas Summer League, and they all spoke positively about Phoenix coach Monty Williams. Landale also got a glowing recommendation on the Suns from fellow Australian Aron Baynes, who was in Las Vegas in hopes of an NBA comeback.
“Baynes, he spoke really highly of the guys, the organization, Monty, all of that,” Landale said. “I think it’s getting to that point that Monty’s reputation kind of speaks for itself. Everybody has great things to say about him and that’s kind of the testament to the body of work he’s put in with his players as a coach. Now being on such a highly regarded winning team, nothing I say will be out of the ordinary because his reputation speaks for itself. He’s a fantastic man and coach.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- The Lakers will have to give up a first-round pick to unload Russell Westbrook and two first-rounders if they’re hoping to land more than one rotation player, sources tell Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. Depending on the deal, that price could increase to include pick swaps or it could decrease if L.A. is willing to take on unwanted contracts.
- Lakers star LeBron James is a bargain even at his new two-year, $97.1MM extension, according to Sopan Deb of The New York Times. In addition to his on-court value, James brings in a lot of revenue from the attention he attracts to the franchise.
- Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala defended teammate Jonathan Kuminga after ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith raised questions about the young forward’s attitude, relays Nathan Dougherty of Heavy. “My young fella, I’m on his head,” Iguodala said Friday on his “Point Forward” podcast. “He took some licks from Stephen A. I don’t know how warranted they were because from what I heard he been doing what he supposed to do this summer.”