- The expectation is that guard Russell Westbrook will start for the Clippers, per Law Murray of The Athletic. If not right away, then eventually.
- Westbrook’s arrival is likely to impact everyone’s minutes in the backcourt, from Eric Gordon to Bones Hyland to Terance Mann, who had been starting, Murray added. Hyland stands a chance to move to third-string, per Law.
- Westbrook will take some of the ballhandling responsibilities away from star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Law wrote. He should be a better fit in that area than the since-traded John Wall.
- Clippers players have already indicated they would welcome Westbrook. “We definitely need a point guard, George said, via the LA Daily News. “It would definitely improve our team if we had that traditional point guard to get us into things and make the game easy. Hopefully Russell sees this and we figure something out.”
Forward Lauri Markkanen said his first time as an All-Star was something he’ll remember forever.
“Pretty surreal. I was excited to get out there,’ he said, via Joe Coles of the Deseret News. “I was just happy to get out there and play with those guys. It’s just a great experience to be a part of, and I can’t wait to be here again.”
- Jazz guards Collin Sexton and Talen Horton-Tucker will continue to get increased opportunities since Westbrook won’t be staying, as written by Patrick Byrnes of SI.com.
Start forward Kevin Durant indicated he is already connecting with point guard Chris Paul as Durant begins his next chapter with the Suns.
“I think (it’s) his IQ for the game,” Durant said, via Sam Amick of The Athletic. “I think his enthusiasm for the game. I think that goes underrated. CP really loves ball. He just likes watching the game, like analyzing. Like going through strategy and stuff.
“It’s been a week there now (in Phoenix). A couple of practices, a few games, and he is always pulling me to the side, and we’re just talking hoop. So I love that about him. Obviously, on the floor, he can create so much for his teammates and for himself.”
- Durant (knee) was hopeful of returning for the All-Star Game, but it is still to be determined when he will make his Suns debut. Shouldn’t be long.
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