Gery Woelfel: You knew this was inevitable: A source tells me a Western Conference team has had internal talks about possibly signing Larry Sanders.
July 30, 2016 | 3:06 pm EDT Update
Dudley, who re-joined the Suns on a three-year deal worth $30 million, is a fan of Jenkins’ game and believes the sharpshooter could be a difference-maker for Phoenix. “Anytime you have a player like John who has a good basketball IQ and is a knockdown shooter, all you need to have is confidence and an opportunity,” Dudley said of Jenkins. “John will get his chance and when he does, he has to make the most of it.”
Alex Kennedy: Being claimed off of waivers is a strange thing. Most people can’t relate to that process at all. There aren’t many other jobs where you’re let go and then a day or two later, an organization on the other side of the country can claim your contract and you have to relocate there immediately. What was it like going through that process and how did you ultimately land in Phoenix? John Jenkins: “It was tough. It was my first time being in a situation like that and I loved Dallas. Being with them was great, but I was in a logjam playing behind two great players in Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews along with other veterans like J.J. Barea and Devin Harris. It was kind of like in Atlanta, where I was behind a veteran group of guys.
John Jenkins: I kind of expected [to be waived] when that time came because we were so guard heavy, and my contract likely meant that I was going to be the one to get cut. I had gotten some heads up, maybe three days before, but even still I wasn’t completely ready for that to happen. After my last game with the Mavericks, Coach Rick Carlisle told me to stand up and said a bunch of great things about me in front of the team. That was really cool of him. Then, a day later, I was waiting for the waiver period to pass to see if my contract would be cleared and if I’d become a free agent. Then, I was told by my agent that Coach Carlisle called the Phoenix Suns on my behalf and spoke highly of me. He looked out for me big time and I really appreciate that. I guess Phoenix liked what they saw from me when we played them in the preseason. [Editor’s Note: Jenkins averaged 19.7 points in 28.4 minutes for Dallas in the preseason]. They saw what I could do and they gave me a chance. That’s how I got here and I’m happy to be with the Suns now.”
Labissiere was one of the Kings’ top performers, averaging 11 points and 5.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game, and he improved as the tournament went on. He scored 19 points in the Kings’ final game, a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. “At the college level, guys gotta focus on going to class, academic advisors, recruiting,” says King. “They only get to work out for 20 hours a week, including practice.” Labissiere’s tumultuous upbringing never afforded him the luxury of simply playing basketball; for all his work, he’s played a lot less than many of his peers in the draft class. “With the NBA, you’ve got your key to get into the arena any time you want. You can call your trainer or one of your assistant coaches to work out at 11 o’clock at night. I think that’s really what he was looking for.”
Twenty-one current and retired NBA players, as well as former WNBA All-Star Adrienne Goodson, interacted with 11 front office personnel during a one-of-a-kind speed dating exercise to pitch themselves for future positions. It was part of the NBPA’s fifth annual Leadership Development Program (LDP) for players interested in working one day in the NBA front office, which includes scouting, coaching, player development and general management. “I never knew what speed dating was until that,” NBA veteran Drew Gooden said. “It was an opportunity for GMs and guys who are in the front office to finally get in front of players they never had a conversation with, but they’ve seen play for years. So that was a great opportunity for both sides.”
“It’s very unique,” said Garrett Temple, who signed with the Kings earlier this month. “You get to meet 11 club executives and sit down face to face and look them in the eye and explain to them what your aspirations are. You can really understand and learn about a person in three minutes about how they carry themselves and the questions they ask.”