Western Notes: Gobert, Mitchell, Jazz, Westbrook, Vezenkov

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert had some differences with Donovan Mitchell over the years but he feels his former Jazz teammate will thrive with the Ridershe told Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net.

“I think he has a bright future,” Gobert said. “He’s one of the best young players in his position. He’s going to keep getting better. I think it’s a great opportunity for him to just get to a new system, a new team and be able to show what he can do.”

Gobert also praised Utah executive Danny Ainge for the players and draft picks he collected from Cleveland in the trade: “I think he definitely did a great job in getting as many assets as possible.”

We have more Western Conference news:

  • jazz fans will need to get acquainted with all the players the team has acquired in the Gobert, Mitchell and Patrick Beverly trades. Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune takes a quick look at each of the acquisitions, highlighted by Collin Sexton and lottery pick Ochai Agbaji.
  • Russell Westbrook is expected to show up if LeBron James hosts a players-only minicamp before Lakers training camp, as James has often done in the past, Marc Stein reports in Substack article. The mini-camp would help ease any lingering tensions among their veteran players. Citing well-placed sources, Stein adds that the franchise won’t sit out Westbrook if he remains on the roster, unlike what the Rockets did with John Wall last season. new coach Darvin Ham will carve out a role for Westbrook if he’s not dealt.
  • Kings draft-and-stash prospect Sasha Vezenkov said he’s not focused on a potential jump to the NBA for the 2023/24 season, according to Semih Tuna of EuroHoops.net. “It’s a big season, I have a big priority with my team Olympiacos in what will be a very difficult year,” he said. “My only thought is to stay focused and stay healthy, to give everything I can [to Olympiacos]. And then we will see. Next summer is ten months away.” Vezenkov, 27, was a 2017 second-round pick. The Bulgarian star is the leading scorer in the EuroBasket event.

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