What he showed this past season in Atlanta was a version of Len the league hadn’t seen, and he believes if he was drafted into a situation like the Hawks have where player development is the focus, his career would have been in a different place. “I would have been way ahead of where I’m at right now, like that’s not even crazy to say,” Len said. “I feel like with the two years that I’ve been in Atlanta, I’m already so much better. Just looking at where I was last summer to now, it’s just crazy how much better I’ve gotten. I’m able to do stuff that I’ve never been able to do in my career. I’m doing ballhandling drills, I’m getting shots up. I’m just a better well-rounded player with things I never had the chance to do. I was never asked to do the things I’m doing now when I was in Phoenix.”
August 19, 2019 | 1:43 am EDT Update
Fred Katz: The Wizards and former first-round pick Justin Anderson are working toward a training camp contract, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA .
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania breaks down the Lakers beginning pursuit of Dwight Howard and the factors of motivation and health for the 8-time All-Star.
Shams Charania: The Lakers have been patient in approach since Cousins’ injury, and another accomplished veteran center on the market is Joakim Noah. Howard is expected to be eventually released by Memphis.
The Pacers locker room chemistry, which had been a strength, suffered without Oladipo. The drama surrounding Tyreke Evans, who is now serving a two-year suspension from the league over violating the drug policy, contributed as well. He was on the verge of being cut on several occasions until vets Young, Joseph and Collison stepped in, a league source said. Young spoke openly about giving Evans guidance.
There also was an unhappiness with younger players wanting more of a chance while coach Nate McMillan stuck with older ones, multiple league sources told IndyStar. This kind of friction happens, especially with so many players on expiring contracts entering free agency.
U.S.A. Basketball officials were stunned Saturday morning to learn that De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings had chosen to remove his name from consideration for the final 12-man roster mere hours before the team’s flight to Australia for three more exhibition games and a handful of practices.
“I’m sure that it’s going to fuel them,” Gasol said of the loud skepticism increasingly endured by the American team. “The amount of talent that the U.S. generates every year is unbelievable,’’ he added. “Even with all the guys that dropped out — or if you want to say these guys don’t have experience internationally — they’re still super talented physically and technically. And they’re pretty well-coached as well. So you put it all together and it’s a great team.”