That doesn’t mean he’s not trying, though. Using his connection with Stan Van Gundy, his former head coach with the Orlando Magic and now the head coach and president of basketball operations for Detroit, he got himself an invite to Summer League for a chance to prove himself. Van Gundy guaranteed him nothing in providing the opportunity, but Cook is hoping to make the most of it, if only to show his gratitude to Van Gundy. “He was one of the first guys I called in being a free agent because I’m very comfortable with his offense,” Cook said. “I look back at my career, and he’s one of the few coaches that really cared about me and held me accountable. When you’re young, you don’t realize that. I’ve been at home with my kids and my wife, and I’ve matured during that process. (Van Gundy) gave me a shot to come down here. I’m ready.”
August 10, 2022 | 1:57 pm EDT Update
Aside from Boston, who else is a legitimate Durant suitor? As various outlets have reported, Miami and Toronto are among the teams with interest in Durant. It’s fair to assume that nearly all NBA teams have checked in with Brooklyn in some fashion regarding Durant. Something worth noting: As of earlier this week, there were high-ranking members of the Sixers who’ve felt strongly about engaging with Brooklyn on a Durant trade. It is unknown if Brooklyn and Philadelphia have made any recent progress on a trade. […] Well, it’s worth noting that, in addition to Boston, Durant also sees Philadelphia as another desired landing spot, per people familiar with the matter.
Boston has been considered a potential landing spot in large part because the Celtics are better positioned than most to offer an enticing package. But there are limits. According to the source, Brooklyn initially tried to pry both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown from Boston in a Kevin Durant trade. That proposal went nowhere, of course. The source confirmed recent reports that Brooklyn later shifted its focus to a deal centered on Brown, Marcus Smart, and a massive haul of future first-round draft picks. But the Celtics were not interested.
When Brown’s name first appeared in Durant trade rumors a couple of weeks ago, the Celtics star tweeted “smh” (shaking my head), an apparent sign of frustration. But a league source said Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and coach Ime Udoka communicate with Brown “all the time” and have kept him in the loop, adding that Brown seems to understand the situation.
In addition to the constant movement, Norman Powell suffered a fractured medial sesamoid bone in his left foot in his third game with the Clippers, costing him 22 games over a span of 54 days. Powell told The Athletic that he is still rehabbing the injury, but he has been cleared to play. “I feel good,” Powell said. “Still going through the rehab process, but I feel good to be able to go full tilt. I have my insoles to help that bone in my foot. Everything is good. No issues, no problems. Hopefully, we can keep it that way so that I can feel healthy going into the season.”
“This what I’ve been doing my whole career,” Powell said of finding his niche on good teams. “I know what the team needs. I’ve played with Kawhi before and playing against PG my whole career it seems like. Ever since I got to UCLA, guys coming up and playing in the summer in the pro runs. “I think my game is really used to being in different roles, getting different looks. So, I’m not really worried about that. My focus is to stay healthy … I feel like the game is going to work itself out with all the time I put in.”
Kuminga comes from a tall family. His brother, Joel Ntambwe, is a 6-foot-9 forward who played college basketball at Texas Tech and UNLV, and even was on the Warriors’ summer league roster. Full of energy, Kuminga was the kid who didn’t walk, he ran. Really, he jumped. Or at least he tried to. “I was never bouncy, I was just a tall kid,” Kuminga said to NBC Sports Bay Area on the latest episode of Dubs Talk in an interview during the Las Vegas Summer League. “My friends used to be like, ‘Why are you so annoying? Why do you keep jumping so much?’ I was just like, ‘I’m just trying to work on my jumping, that’s it.'”
It didn’t hurt being able to have bragging rights and throwing that in the face of his friends either. “After a couple years, I became bouncier and I started dunking,” Kuminga remembers. “And I was 12, so it was surprising. I was like, ‘Man, now you see why I always want to jump and do these certain things.’ “