NBA Hoops

Western Notes: Suns, Durant, Green, Tillie, Holmgren, Mitchell

Suns’ Monty Williams Named Coach Of The Year

Suns coach Monty Williams never discussed the Kevin Durant trade rumors with his players, he said during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio (hat tip to Dana Scott of the Arizona Republic).

“When I first heard about the Kevin Durant stuff, I was kind of blown away by it just because, you know, we’ve been so blessed here to have guys want to come,” Williams said. “At the same time, ‘At the expense of what?’ was my thinking. And I like our team. I love our guys. But I wasn’t going to have conversations that didn’t need to be had.”

Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder were among the names speculated as part of the talks between Brooklyn and Phoenix.

“I think our guys are mature enough to understand that part of our business,” Williams said. “I didn’t want to have conversations about stuff that didn’t need to be brought up.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Danny Green‘s contract may be the reason he makes the Grizzlies’ roster, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Green is on the roster bubble as he recovers from a torn ACL that will likely keep him out of action until at least the second half of the season. However, his expiring $10MM contract is one of the team’s best trade chips. Forward Killian Tillie may be the odd man out if Green isn’t traded, though he could still find his way onto the roster due to his shooting ability and position versatility.
  • Thunder big man Chet Holmgren, declared out for the season due to a foot injury suffered during a pro-am event, is hardly the first high-profile rookie in that predicament, Drew Maresca of Basketball News notes. Joel Embiid, Blake Griffin, Nerlens Noel, Michael Porter Jr. and Ben Simmons were some of the other highly-touted prospects who had to sit out a full year due to injuries.
  • The Jazz are reportedly trying to get the best offer for Donovan Mitchell prior to training camp and Sarah Todd of the Deseret News believes that’s a wise approach. She notes that Utah isn’t out to win this coming season, so there’s no reason to keep the All-Star on the roster, while the team that acquires him will want him to build chemistry with his new teammates. It would avoid the awkwardness of having Mitchell in their camp while trade rumors swirl.

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