West Notes: Jazz, Lakers, Trail Blazers

Jazz

Rudy Gobert was among those who showed an appreciation for Quin Snyder, who stepped down as coach after eight seasons with the Jazz.

“Forever grateful for Quin. Gave me a chance 8 years ago and believed in me when not a lot of people did,” Gobert tweeted. “And helped our team grow into a Western conference powerhouse through all the ups and downs. Wishing you nothing but the best in your next chapter!”

  • Snyder said he spoke to the players about his exit, but only briefly. As for his future, as we relayed previously, Snyder said he’s still not sure if he’ll coach anywhere next season.
  • Former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is among the candidates on the Jazz’s early list of replacements, as we relayed here. That said, Jazz head of basketball operations Danny Ainge indicated there is no set timeline to make a hire.

Lakers

GM Rob Pelinka said all the right things at the press conference to introduce new coach Darvin Ham, indicating that the Lakers got their man.

“This is an incredibly bright and promising day in Laker history,” Pelinka said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’m just incredibly proud to be able to sit next to him, for what he stands for, as a man, as a coach, as a dad and a husband. And to arm together to lead this franchise to the next chapter.”

Ham addressed several topics, including his hopes for Russell Westbrook, who didn’t prove to be a good fit in his first year with the franchise.

“Russ and I had some really, really great one-on-one convos, man, and the biggest word I think that came out of that, those discussions, was ‘sacrifice,'” Ham said, via McMenamin. “I’m going to expect him to be the same tenacious, high-energy player that he’s been all his entire career. A lot of that now may have him without the ball in his hand. Most of it now may have it on the defensive end. But again, we have to sacrifice. There’s no achieving anything without all parties sharing the load, sacrificing, instead of one-on-one.”

Trail Blazers

  • Several prominent free agents may be on the Blazers’ radar as they search for help for star guard Damian Lilliard, according to Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer. Among them: Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal and Bulls guard Zach LaVine, both free agents this summer.
  • That said, most NBA insiders expect Beal and LaVine to return to their respective teams on new contracts. If so, the Blazers could set their sights on Hornets free agent forward Miles Bridges, Pistons forward Jerami Grant or Hawks forward John Collins, O’Connor wrote.

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