Josh Jackson

Pacific Notes: Jackson, Jordan, Clippers

A difficult string of games in which the Suns were noticeably better without Josh Jackson than with him precipitated a change in his relationship with head coach Jay Triano. Now, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic writes, the first-year forward has started to regain the coaching staff’s trust.

When Triano told Jackson that he was losing his confidence in him, he asked the player what he might suggest to repair the situation. Since then, the two have watched film of Suns games.

[Jackson suggested they watch film of Suns games] just to see what [Triano] sees,” Jackson said. “Sometimes, two people look at the same play and see two totally different things. He has a basketball mind and he’s really smart, so just trying to see what he sees and trying to pick his brain a little bit.

In the three games since, Jackson has averaged 14 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for the Suns, shooting an impressive .486 from the field and .556 from three.

There’s more from the Pacific Division this afternoon:

  • The Clippers were treated to some good news on Thursday when it was revealed that Blake Griffin could return to action following a concussion and Milos Teodosic after another bout of plantar fascia issues (NBA.com report). Of course, in true Clippers fashion, DeAndre Jordan sprained his ankle hours later and had to leave the match (ESPN report).
  • The NBA fined Warriors forward Draymond Green $25K for comments critical of officials on Saturday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The Dubs took down the Clippers that night.
  • Clippers head coach Doc Rivers thinks that NBA players seem to get injured more often than they used to because they’re not playing basketball enough. Per Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register, Rivers posits that players do more things outside of the sport these days and that consistently reliable Jamal Crawford is one example of a guy that is constantly playing the game outside of his professional commitment.

Pacific Notes: Carter, Randle, Jackson

While 40-year-old veteran Vince Carter was brought to a rebuilding Kings team to provide experience and leadership, he was signed as a player and not a coach for a reason, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes.

That reason, Carter and Kings head coach Dave Joerger agree, is to support the development of the team’s young players on and off the court. Although Carter did miss a handful of games with kidney stones last month, his goal when he’s healthy and active is to teach his teammates to play the right way – by  leading by example.

Sure, Jones writes, Carter’s 11.7 minutes per game could go to Kings rookie Justin Jackson or raw sophomore Malachi Richardson, but his presence adds credibility to the organization in transition.

I think the worst thing you can do is trot five freshmen and sophomores out there together,” Joerger said. “I’ve been told that by many, many people in management, and those who’ve gone through a rebuild. You try to have a nice mix.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers have emerged as a solid defensive force this season and much of that can be attributed to reserve forward Julius Randle. Joey Ramirez of the team’s official site writes that Randle’s versatility on that side of the ball – he’s adept checking everything from perimeter players to big men – can be chalked up to his showing up to training camp in the best shape of his career.
  • Rookie Josh Jackson insists that his opting out of a predraft workout with the Celtics was because of a miscommunication between him and his agent and not because he didn’t want to play for a team stacked with veterans at his position, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald writes. “I’m not threatened by anybody, ever. I welcome competition,” the Suns forward said.
  • Leave it to Kyrie Irving to understand Devin Booker‘s reality with the SunsA. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes that Irving toiled in Cleveland before LeBron James returned much the same way that Booker is in Phoenix. “He already has that mentality of being a killer,” Irving said. “Now it’s just getting pieces around him in order to be at a high level to showcase that.

Pacific Notes: Jackson, Ball, Clippers, Suns

Suns rookie Josh Jackson was fined $35K for making a “menacing” gesture towards a Los Angeles Clippers fan this past weekend, it was announced yesterday by NBA executive Kiki VanDeWeghe.  While it appeared that Jackson was mimicking a gun with his hand gesture toward the fan, he explained that was not the case, but rather that he a“kind of wanted to put up the middle finger to him but … didn’t do that because I felt like I was … being watched, so I kind of halfway did it.”  Clearly, the NBA didn’t buy his explanation.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers see a lot of similarities between rookie Lonzo Ball and former Nets point guard and Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, as detailed in a story by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.  In addition to their comparable styles, ability to run, and passing skills, both were born in California and selected second in their respective drafts.  However, the Lakers are also quick to admit that Ball still has a long way to go to reach Kidd’s level, and no one expects it to happen overnight.
  • Despite losing perennial All-Star Chris Paul this offseason, the Clippers are off to a fast start and have no intention of letting up anytime soon, reports Elliott Teaford of The Daily Breeze.  In fact, according to head coach Doc Rivers, his team still has a ton of room for improvement. “We aren’t even close to as good as I think we can be,” Rivers said.
  • Its been an eventful week for the Suns, to say the least, but as Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days reports, the drama has resulted in good news for three of the Suns’ G League affiliate coaches. Ty Ellis, Bret Burchard and Brandon Rosenthal have been promoted to assistants under the Suns’ new head coach, Jay Triano.  As a result, G League assistant coach Tyler Gatlin takes over as interim head coach for the Northern Arizona Suns.
  • In a recent Q&A, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee opined that should the Kings make any trades this season, Kosta Koufos would be the most likely candidate to be traded, based on his contract and the interest he has garnered in the past.  Jones also believes that rookie De’Aaron Fox and second-year man Skal Labissiere have the highest ceilings of anyone on the team.

Suns Interested In Nets’ Unprotected First-Rounder

The Suns are ready to fully commit to rebuilding after firing coach Earl Watson and that includes trying to obtain the Nets’ unprotected first-rounder that currently belongs to Cleveland, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.

Phoenix plans to explore trades involving veterans Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler, among others, Amico adds. The organization sees Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren as the building blocks for its future and would like to add other young talent to the mix.

Brooklyn’s pick has been seen as one of the league’s most valuable trade assets for several years. The Celtics obtained it in a 2013 trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and shipped it to the Cavaliers in the offseason deal for Kyrie Irving.

Cleveland hasn’t committed to keeping the pick, but a source tells Amico the asking price will be extremely high and that Bledsoe and another player probably won’t be enough. The Cavs had offseason discussions with the Suns about obtaining Bledsoe in exchange for Irving and could use help at point guard with Isaiah Thomas expected to be sidelined until January.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Ball, Randolph

The Suns were painfully bad at defense last season, allowing 113.3 points per game and fouling more than any other team in the NBA. This year, experience and the addition of Josh Jackson could change that, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic writes.

With a young core anchored by Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, Tyler Ulis and Dragan Bender it’s understandable that the team struggled to contain opposing veterans.

You get hit by these NBA players, these veterans and it pretty much hurts,” coach Earl Watson said. “Your natural reaction is just to grab.”

The bench boss believes that the addition of Jackson, whose calling card is perimeter defense, will hold teammates accountable on that end of the ball.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The legend of Lonzo Ball has grown throughout training camp, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes. The rookie point guard is said to have made an impression in his first scrimmage and has impressed Lakers head coach Luke Walton with his defensive work and ability to communicate.
  • Don’t rule out seeing Blake Griffin spend time as the Clippers‘ tallest man on the floor, only to turn around and bring the ball up the court, Doc Rivers tells the Associated Press. Quite frankly, the 28-year-old will do a bit of everything now that Chris Paul is with the Rockets.
  • After a busy summer, in which he says he was wrongfully arrested, Zach Randolph will settle into a new role with a new franchise. Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee writes that the 36-year-old back-to-the-basket big man will complement the Kings young frontcourt.

Pacific Notes: Knight, Clippers, Lakers

As expected, Suns guard Brandon Knight will miss the entirety of the 2017/18 NBA season. The 25-year-old underwent successful ACL surgery on Friday, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops writes, after initially tearing the ligament last month.

While Knight’s name has been a mainstay in trade rumors over the course of the past few seasons, he remains a relatively valuable reserve asset. Last year Knight posted 11.0 points per game, shy of the 15.2 point career mark he’s posted across stints with the Pistons, Bucks and Suns.

Per Amico, the Suns could look to apply for an injury exception in order to free up room for a new backcourt option behind Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers have shuffled around their executive team this summer. Most recently, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets, the Clips have named Michael Winger their new general manager and Dave Wohl (their previous GM) a special advisor to the team.
  • The Suns have doubled down on their young core but aren’t exactly sure what they’re going to get out of it, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes. The scribe also wonders if the club may have put too much stock in fourth-overall pick Josh Jackson, refusing to include him in a possible Kyrie Irving trade package.
  • The Lakers had a productive summer, NBA.com’s Shaun Powell writes. The club did well to position itself for the future by scrubbing Timofey Mozgov‘s contract off their books and, of course, drafting Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

NBA Rookies View Dennis Smith Jr. As ROY Favorite

For the last decade, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann has been surveying several incoming rookies to get their thoughts on their fellow first-year players.  Schuhmann asks the newest NBA players to identify which rookie they expect to have the best career, which was the steal of the 2017 draft, and which is the frontrunner for the 2017/18 Rookie of the Year award, among other questions.

This year, Schuhmann polled 39 rookies, and more than a quarter of those players made Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. their pick for Rookie of the Year favorite. The No. 9 overall pick received 25.7% of the vote, beating out top picks like Lonzo Ball (20%) and Markelle Fultz (17.1%). That may be good news for the Mavs, though as Schuhmann observes, the rookies he has surveyed haven’t accurately predicted the Rookie of the Year winner since 2007/08, when they made Kevin Durant the overwhelming favorite.

Here are a few more items of interest from Schuhmann’s survey:

  • Smith was the landslide winner (43.6%) as the most athletic rookie. But while his fellow rookies believe the Mavericks point guard will have the best first year, Ball and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum received the most votes (18.4% apiece) for which rookie will have the best overall career.
  • Donovan Mitchell (18.9%) was the top choice for biggest steal of the draft, after the Jazz nabbed him at No. 13. Some of the second-round picks that the rookies viewed as steals included Jordan Bell (Warriors; No. 38) and Dwayne Bacon (Hornets; No. 40).
  • Luke Kennard (Pistons) and Malik Monk (Hornets) were widely considered the top two outside shooters in the draft. Among their fellow rookies, Kennard (48.6%) easily topped Monk (13.5%) as the pick for the No. 1 shooter of the 2017 class.
  • Suns forward Josh Jackson (26.3%) was narrowly voted the best rookie defender, while Ball (71.8%) was the overwhelming pick for best rookie playmaker.

Western Notes: Jackson, Harden, Muhammad, Wolves, Clippers Arena

Rumors of the Suns trading promising rookie Josh Jackson for Kyrie Irving should be put to rest, writes Greg Moore of AZCentral.com. Moore writes that Jackson and Devin Booker each create a sense of “awe and wonder,” making anyone who watches them dream of the future.

The Arizona-based scribe argues that the manner in which coach Earl Watson talks about Jackson comes off much more as genuine optimism for the future than big talk to boost trade value.

“I love Josh Jackson,” Watson said Monday. “Something about him is just uncommon.” Devin Booker, meanwhile, “always had that edge.” “(Those) two together are going to be great young guys who can push other guys to become better because they’re so inner competitive,” Watson said.

Watson joked in response to being asked about a rumor that Jackson had grown two inches since being drafted:  But “if he did, we love it, and even if he didn’t … let’s build the legend. Yeah, he grew. Absolutely. He’s like 7 feet now … anyone coming up against him should be intimidated by his constant growth vertically, in height, and ability to play above the rim.”

In a recent interview, Jackson addressed the trade talk, saying, “I think if that was going to happen, it would have happened by now.” However, he also said: “I’m going to make the best of whatever situation that I’m presented with. If I’m traded to China, whatever, I’m going to come out, and I’m going to be happy and just try to make the best of it.”

Here are more notes from the Western Conference:

  • James Harden is more fit and fired up than ever, writes Sam Amick of USA Today.  “I know how exciting this season is (going to be, and) I know how important it is, so I’m going to take full advantage of it. I have a lot of charity (events), a lot of things going on, but when I’m in that gym that’s kind of my getaway. That’s kind of when I’m locked in,” Harden said. The Rockets‘ 2017 postseason ended with concerns over Harden’s fatigue and stamina.
  • Shabazz Muhammad may have to settle for a short-term “prove-it” deal for next season, writes Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. Heading into the offseason, coach Tom Thibodeau used the word “optimistic” when discussing re-signing Muhammad. However, in July, the wing’s rights were renounced. On Wednesday, Timberwolves signee Jamal Crawford tweeted Muhammad, “c’mon back home.”
  • The mayor of Inglewood and the four other council members unanimously approved a revised agreement with a Clippers-controlled company to shrink the four-block area where an arena could be built so homes and a church aren’t displaced, reports Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times. More than a dozen citizens had raised concerns about the potential arena before the vote took place.

Poll: Should Suns Include Josh Jackson In Kyrie Offer?

Although the Suns weren’t one of the teams named on Kyrie Irving‘s alleged list of preferred landing spots when he made his trade request earlier this offseason, Phoenix has been frequently mentioned as a possible trade partner for the Cavaliers. The Suns possess a win-now veteran (Eric Bledsoe), a young potential star (Josh Jackson), extra future draft picks, and an ability to absorb an extra contract or two, making them a good fit for the Cavs.

Still, the two sides haven’t found common ground yet, and Jackson – this year’s No. 4 overall pick – appears to be a point of contention. Last month, reports indicated that the Suns were unwilling to include Jackson in an offer for Irving, telling the rookie forward that he wouldn’t be going anywhere. The team reportedly prefers to include last year’s fourth overall pick Dragan Bender.

Jackson has been cited as a primary target for the Cavaliers as they explore their options with Irving. LeBron James himself reportedly asked about Cleveland’s chances of landing Jackson, who was named this week as one of several young players the Cavs were focused on — Kristaps Porzingis, Jayson Tatum, and Jamal Murray were among the others.

If the Suns were willing to include Jackson, a package of the rookie and Bledsoe would be a starting point, though previous reports have indicated Phoenix would need to give up a little more too — perhaps in the form of a draft pick or taking back a player like Channing Frye or Iman Shumpert.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer took a closer look at the situation on Tuesday, making cases for why the Suns should and shouldn’t be willing to put Jackson into an offer for Irving. Ultimately, O’Connor’s “bad cop” – who argued for including Jackson – won out, with The Ringer scribe suggesting that an unproven rookie with some question marks shouldn’t be a sticking point in a deal for a legit star.

What do you think? Are the Suns overvaluing Jackson, or are they right to refuse to include him in an offer for Irving? Does it make sense for Phoenix to hope that the Cavs will accept other players in Jackson’s place, and to move on if that bid falls short?

Vote below in our poll and then jump into the comment section to share your thoughts.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Pacific Notes: Ball, Jackson, Wilson, Suns

Lonzo Ball‘s rise from UCLA standout to the Lakers‘ teenage cornerstone has been largely hyped up by his outspoken father, LaVar Ball. The elder Ball has become a media sensation, known for his flurry of outrageous claims (claiming he can beat Michael Jordan one-on-one) and promotion of his son’s abilities has been front page news since last year. While the world is still learning how to deal with the circus, the younger Ball is not ashamed or surprised at how his father conducts himself in the public eye.

“I think it’s overblown, I mean, that’s how my dad is, I’m used to him acting like that, so it’s nothing new for me,” Ball said in an interview with USA Today. “The way we look at it as a family is positive, you know, we talked it over before all this happened and we all know he’s going to do what he’s going to do. We just look at it as a positive and try to run with it.”

Once the season is underway, and Lonzo tries to live up to LaVar’s promise of leading the Lakers to the playoffs in his first season, past comments will not be relevant anymore. Ball will have to execute his on-court abilities and block out the noise associated with the NBA season. He will seek showing the world that his dad claiming his son is better than Stephen Curry is more than an offhand comment.

Below you can read additional news surrounding the Pacific Division:

  • The Kyrie Irving saga has continued and training camp, followed by the regular season, are all drawing closer. Irving has drawn interest from around the NBA and in his latest piece, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer examines the possibility of Kyrie to the Suns. Specifically, O’Connor addresses Phoenix trading 2017 first rounder Josh Jackson for the NBA champion, ultimately viewing a trade for a proven commodity over keeping an athletic asset with upside a no-brainer.
  • The Clippers‘ deal with Jamil Wilson is a two-year, two-way contract, according to basketball journalist David Pick (via Twitter). Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweeted that $50,000 of Wilson’s first-year salary is guaranteed.
  • In a minor coaching change, the Suns named Jeff Fish the director of performance and head strength and conditioning coach, per a team announcement.
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