NBA Rumor: DJ Stephens Free Agency

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Donning No. 20 for B.C. Budivelnyk, his main focus is on leading his current team to wins. However, if an NBA general manager were to reach out to him to inquire about his availability, he already knows what he’ll say. “To every NBA GM out there, if I could have a one-on-one conversation with them, I’d just say, ‘If you give me this opportunity, I promise you will not regret it,’” Stephens said. “’It will be one of the best decisions that you’ve ever made in your life.’ Any position that I’ve ever been put in basketball-wise, people have always expected a certain thing out of a situation and I’ve always made that situation into more than what they thought it was going to be. I’ve always overachieved in whatever it was. “Man, I’ll do whatever it takes to stay. I need to get that one legit chance or opportunity.”

In the Grizzlies’ final preseason game on Oct. 19 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Stephens noticed Troy Williams, a rookie out of Indiana, wasn’t getting his normal minutes through the first three quarters of the game. “I could tell coach was letting everyone play … but I noticed Troy Williams wasn’t getting in the game and I was like, ‘Why is he not playing?’” Stephens said, “So while I’m playing, I’m thinking of all this stuff and I’m like ‘Please don’t tell me they’ve already decided this kid is going to make the team,’ so I’m thinking about it the whole game so I’m like, ‘Shit,’ and I’m missing shots and … and the more and more I’m thinking about it, the more things are spiraling out of control and I’m playing worse and worse and worse, I was just –wow.”
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September 17, 2021 | 5:16 pm EDT Update
The word in Spanish basketball circles, as reiterated to me Friday, is that Marc Gasol is most likely to play for Girona if he decides to play on, even though the LEB Oro is one level below Spain’s top tier. I’m told he has been working out with new Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio to stay sharp even after negotiating his release earlier this week from Memphis following the Grizzlies’ recent trade with the Lakers to take on the final year of Gasol’s last NBA contract.
Ballots for the NBA’s 75th anniversary team were due back to the league office today. The league previously announced that the official list of its 75 greatest players, as selected by “a blue-ribbon panel of media, current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives,” will be revealed in October. The voters will also be revealed — not their full individual ballots but the names of those who made the selections.

September 17, 2021 | 3:51 pm EDT Update