After working to create a culture change in Minnesota last season, Patrick Beverley was looking forward to helping the Timberwolves take the next step. Although he was caught off guard by the team’s decision to send him to the Jazz in the Rudy Gobert trade, Beverley told Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston he wouldn’t call the move a surprise (video link).
“Surprised, no not in this business,” Beverley said. “Understood it. Never personal, always business. We did some great things in Minnesota. We kind of revamped the environment there. Gave the fans something to be happy about.”
Beverley brought a veteran presence to a young Wolves team that reached the playoffs for just the second time in the past 18 seasons. He hopes to fill a similar role for Utah, but admits that things are unpredictable in the midst of Donovan Mitchell trade rumors.
“We’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks. It’s a lot going on right now,” Beverley said (video link). “We’ll see where the dust clears. Hopefully Donovan Mitchell stays and the team is competitive. If that’s the case we’re very excited.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Knicks are still in position to make the best offer for Mitchell, but Jazz CEO Danny Ainge has the advantage of being able to wait until someone meets his price, notes Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. Larsen examines the trade assets from the Hawks, Hornets, Heat, Kings, Raptors and Wizards to see what they could potentially offer.
- Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard considers himself fully recovered from abdominal surgery in January, according to Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. Lillard played 29 games last season before deciding to have the operation, but he admits that the pain had been bothering him for nearly five years. “I feel 100 percent healthy,” Lillard said. “I got a break from playing and going out there knowing I didn’t feel good, and the burden of, ‘We have to win. I have to perform well.’ That’s a little bit stressful. So the last seven-and-a-half, almost eight months without having to think about none of those things, it kind of cleared my mind. Physically, I feel great.”
- Sixers executive Vince Rozman will join the Thunder as vice president of identification and intelligence, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.