At 6’6″, the 26-year-old established himself as a valuable rotation player before tearing his Achilles’ last year. He averaged 7.5 points per game with the Pacers in 2020/21, shooting 40% from deep in 53 contests.
“He just doesn’t miss days, he doesn’t skip workouts,” Sumner’s trainer, Mike Robertson, said. “That’s a testament to who he is and the kind of guy that you’re getting there. He’s just a great human being. He’s going to punch the clock, he’s going to continue to not just work hard for himself but to lift the others up around him. And he’s just a world-class human being. [Nets fans] are going to love him.”
Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:
- Nets owner Joe Tsai made a personal recruiting pitch to Markieff Morris before Brooklyn signed him, Marc Stein writes for Substack. Morris is expected to provide the Nets with frontcourt depth and could play small-ball five at times. He dealt with a neck injury after an altercation with Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic last season, playing only 17 games with Miami.
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether the Heat could have interest in Russell Westbrook in the event that he’s eventually bought out by the Lakers or another team. While Westbrook’s future with Los Angeles is unclear, he may not be a stellar fit alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The 33-year-old is currently on track to reach free agency next summer.
- Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com explores a number of Celtics-related topics in his latest mailbag, including Jaylen Brown‘s ball-handling. Brown struggled to take care of the ball at times last season, averaging 3.5 assists and 3.1 turnovers per game during the postseason. He still held respectable playoff averages of 23.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, shooting 47% from the floor.