West Notes: Jazz, Collin Sexton, Lakers, Timberwolves


  • While Collin Sexton came off the bench in the Jazz’s preseason opener, he chalked that up to being brought along slowly after MCL surgery last season, per Sarah Todd of the Deseret News.
  • Sexton’s expectation is that he will start once he gets up to speed, per Todd. Jazz coach Will Hardy started Malik Beasley in the backcourt next to Mike Conley in the preseason opener. The plan for the Jazz is indeed likely to bring Sexton along slowly.
  • Rookie wing Ochai Agbaji said he didn’t expect to be with the last group brought in the preseason opener, but added he’ll take whatever opportunity he gets, per Todd. Agbaji was the No. 14 overall pick in the draft, before being traded to the Jazz along with Sexton and Lauri Markkanen.


Russell Westbrook indicated he’s not allowing all the trade rumors to get to him.

“I’m super blessed and thankful for what I have and what I’ve been given,” he said, via Dan Woike of the LA Times. “I’ve got an unbelievable support system, family, leaning on my faith. Everything else will take care of itself. So, all summer, my whole life, I’ve been hearing the stories about myself. That’s not going to change today. So, nothing new for me. I’m going to continue to keep my head down, focus on competing. And everything else will take care of itself.”

The Lakers continue to contemplate the idea of moving Westbrook, as we relayed here and here. But they are saying all the right things publicly.

“Any outside noise, that’s par for the course,” coach Darvin Ham said, via Woike. “I mean, it comes with the business. But he’s a Los Angeles Laker, the last time I checked. And I’m really not mad at that. And he showed tonight, like, he’s gonna thrive in this system.”

  • Along with that, Ham also spoke on the need for Anthony Davis to stay healthy. “None of this works if he’s not available and he’s not hitting on all cylinders. He’s a big piece. The biggest piece of our success.”


The Timberwolves could have a variety of defensive coverages this season — depending, of course, whether Rudy Gobert is on the court, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune.

“We have the personnel for it,” forward Kyle Anderson said, via Hine. “That’s what good teams are able to do. The Golden States, Milwaukees, teams like that. They’re able to execute different coverages throughout the game. We want to be a team like that.”

  • Karl-Anthony Towns is back with the team after dropping 17 pounds and being on bed rest with a non-COVID illness. “I’m still recovering. I’m still getting better,” he said, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Towns is not expected to miss the regular-season opener.

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