Jazz 2020 first-round selection, big man Udoka Azubuike, was hampered by a severe ankle sprain in his rookie campaign, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. Azubuike suffered the injury during the Salt Lake City Stars’ first game in the G League bubble last season. “It was tough, it was really tough for me going through that injury, that process,” Azubuike said. “Not being out on the court practicing or learning, doing what a regular rookie like me would do.” He’ll likely compete for backup center minutes this season with veteran acquisition Hassan Whiteside.
We have more from the Western Conference:
- The King’s young players are not the only ones going through a learning process during summer league action. Bobby Jackson, the team’s summer league coach, is also gaining valuable experience, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. “I can get better in late-game situations, understanding who to have on the floor, the substitutions, all the stuff that comes with it,” Jackson said. “But me and my stuff, just like the players have to do a better job, we’ve got to do a better job of making sure we have the right personnel on the floor. But it’s a growing experience for me, I love it.” Jackson was also recently named the head coach of the G League’s Stockton Kings.
- McKinley Wright IV received a two-way deal from the Timberwolves last week. The former Colorado standout grew up in Minnesota and is thrilled to play in his home state, according to Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I didn’t know that I was going to be coming home,” Wright said. “I didn’t know that Minnesota was this interested in me. … I told my family, ‘We didn’t hear my name called how we initially planned, but this is better for me, going undrafted, betting on myself, and I continue to look forward to proving people wrong.”
- Jeff Green’s versatile offensive game, which is built around 3-point shooting and elite finishing around the rim, should be a major boost for the Nuggets’ second unit, Eric Spyropoulos of the team’s website writes. The veteran big man signed a two-year deal with Denver in free agency.