Pelicans forward Herb Jones has been one of the surprises of this year’s rookie class, and veteran guard Garrett Temple got an early tip about his new teammate, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports serves as the agent for both players, and Temple said Bartelstein was raving about Jones shortly after he was selected with the 35th pick.
Jones has exceeded expectations for a second-rounder, starting 23 of the 32 games he has played and averaging 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per night. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC last season, but there were questions about whether he could provide enough offense to succeed in the NBA. He has been working to develop his jump shot and is connecting at 36.6% from three-point range on 1.3 attempts per game.
“I’ve gotten to know Herb as a person,” Temple said. “He’s the epitome of a great teammate, a great person. He’s someone you want on your team. He’s going to be in the league for a very, very long time.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- There’s an assumption that the Pelicans will offer Zion Williamson a maximum extension this summer, but John Hollinger of The Athletic questions whether that’s wise considering Williamson’s injury history. The fourth-year forward has only played 85 total games and continues to recover from offseason foot surgery. Hollinger suggests an offer similar to Joel Embiid‘s contract, which protects the team if he can’t play a minimum number of games.
- The Grizzlies used their room exception to sign Killian Tillie to a two-year contract, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. The former two-way player will become a restricted free agent after the 2022/23 season.
- Rockets rookie center Alperen Sengun may face an extended absence after spraining his right ankle in Friday’s game, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (Twitter link). “It’s not day-to-day,” coach Stephen Silas said. “It’s probably about a week and then we’ll see.”