RJ Barrett indicated he is already jelling with newcomer Jalen Brunson, the former Mavericks guard signed by the Knicks in free agency. Barrett signed a four-year contract extension shortly thereafter.
“Jalen’s great,’’ Barrett said, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “A really hard worker. He works on his game a lot. He has a natural leadership ability too. Being around him, I’ve gotten to gravitate toward him. When we’re together, we’ll play well, especially with us both lefties.’’
Barrett added he’s glad to still be with the Knicks after being involved in Donovan Mitchell trade rumors involving the Jazz.
“It feels pretty good,’’ Barrett said. “I feel honored and blessed. This is a place I wanted to be. I was happy they first drafted me and now with the extension, to be here four more years, will be great and I’m excited to get to work.’’
Karl Anthony-Towns believes he and Rudy Gobert will form quite a dynamic duo in the Timberwolves’ frontcourt, with Towns calling himself one of the league’s best offensive players. Gobert is clearly among the top defenders.
“I think I’m one of the best offensive players and talents the NBA has ever seen,” Towns said, via Scott Thompson of Fox News. “So putting us together gives us really a whole spectrum of talent to use.”
The Timberwolves are coming off a rare playoff appearance, losing to the Grizzlies in the first round. They landed Gobert in a trade with the Jazz after the season.
“I’ve sacrificed at every level. I’ve sacrificed narratives of me,” Towns said, via Thompson. “I’ve sacrificed possibly being the No. 1 pick in college when I fully accepted the platoon system. You know, no one else does that.
“I sacrificed everything. I’ve sacrificed my life. I’ve sacrificed time with my mother. I’ve sacrificed public opinion of me. All for the betterment of my team, my teammates, their lives what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Jae’Sean Tate said he is focused on things he can control as the Rockets head into the 2022-23 season.
“Go out there and do what I do, control what I can control,” Tate said, via Mark Berman of Fox 26. “Try not to be so hard on the refs this year. That’s one of my big things I got circled and just be a leader. Try to help anyway coach (Stephen Silas) needs me”
Tate, 26, is 6-foot-4 and has spent both of his NBA seasons in Houston, becoming a major part of the Rockets’ rebuild. He averaged 11.8 rebounds and 5.4 rebounds in starting all but one of 78 appearances last season. He is also considered the team’s best wing defender.