For the first time in his career, Tyus Jones enters the season as the starting point guard. He came to the Wizards from the Grizzlies in a three-team trade with the Celtics.
“I’m one of the older guys now, so it’s more on my plate from a teaching perspective. So it’s just trying to understand that, understanding that with the younger team, younger guys, there’s going to be days where certain things that you take for granted, they might not know yet or get or really realize that there’s a different way to do it,” Jones said, via Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. “. . . You know, you can’t talk too much in my shoes. The more I talk, the better. The more I’m communicating, the more I’m pulling the young guys aside and telling them what I see or what I want, the better.”
- Forward Kyle Kuzma said he’s confident Jordan Poole will be a good fit next to Jones in the backcourt. “His next progression is just making others better, because when he has the ball, people are going to know he wants to shoot and score, and that’s OK,” Kuzma told Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “That’s a good thing because that means your teammates are going to be more open from a defensive perspective. So he’s going to be great.”
- The Wizards signed guard Devon Dotson to a training camp contract. Dotson played in six games with Washington last season. He’s likely headed to the Capital City Go-Go of the G League.
- As we relayed here, star guard James Harden missed his second straight day of practice. While it was listed as a “personal reason,” Harden seems to be trying to put heat on the Sixers to trade him.
- Coach Nick Nurse said Harden’s absence has not served as a distraction. “I think the organization has made it clear what’s going on,” Nurse told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “They are working on stuff, as we say, day by day. We had a really good practice today. Very energetic, the guys that were here. And that’s what we are focused on.”
Departed assistant Terry Stotts reportedly left the Bucks because he wasn’t comfortable with his fit on new coach Adrian Griffin‘s staff. Stotts, 65, isn’t retiring, per Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
He returned to Milwaukee just four months ago — or a few months before the team traded for Damian Lillard, who Stotts coached for eight years with the Trail Blazers.
“It caught all of us off guard, of course, but again, you just support him,” Griffin told reporters. “He was a terrific guy. I learned a lot from him in a very short time. He was really good at what he does. He made a decision — a personal decision — and we just have to respect that.”
Per Charania and Nehm, Stotts and Griffin didn’t always see eye-to-eye during their brief time together. One example was a shootaround incident in which Griffin yelled at Stotts to join the coaches’ huddle when Stotts was getting ready to have a conversation with the star players separately.