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Suns’ James Jones Talks Suns Rebuild, Deandre Ayton

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Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones isn’t under an illusions in his approach to the team’s rebuild, which has been taking it’s toll on both fans and players.

Jones says that the team is still a ways away from being a competitive force in the league.

“I mean, we’re a ways away” Jones said, during an appearance on the Doug & Wolf podcast.

“Consistency is a problem for us and you have to expect that “under 21”. But, we’ve made strides when we play hard and we compete. [When] we’re flying around, we’re disruptive, and we’re pretty good. When we don’t, when we slow the game, and you force us to read concepts and make plays and react to the game we struggle mightily.

Our young guys are figuring out you need to bring it or you get embarrassed.”

Jones knows that the road is tough, but points out it’s a road that they have to continue to take.

“Well, we can’t keep waiting and saying it’ll take time. We know it will take time. That’s just the nature of this business. A player has to grow into it.

But, our focus has to remain on forcing our guys to take strides and grow exponentially. We just have to push them.

We have to continue to raise the bar to see if these guys can get there. I can’t give you a definitive timeline but I can tell you that our focus right now going forward, in free agency, and the draft is to add players that will allow us to play, and not rely on the production of young guys.”

Jones also knows about the debate that still goes on regarding their decision to take center Deandre Ayton first overall over Dallas Mavericcks superstar Luca Doncic.

“Of course, of course” Jones said when asked if he would make the same decision if given a chance to do it again.

“We’re not looking at today, we’re looking at what Deandre will become. It’s not what he can become, it’s what he will become, because we’re in there with him every day.

We know that he wants to be great. He’s still figuring out why he’s successful. Things that he does he just does them naturally. But we won’t find a guy with his size, athleticism, touch and feel in this league very often. I think of some of the greats. We talked earlier about Hakeem Olajuwon, who I think is a great comp.”

Brooklyn Nets

Nets’ Caris LeVert Out Following Surgery

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The Brooklyn Nets will be without swingman Caris LaVert for the next several weeks following surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

LaVery suffered the injury during Sunday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns and then underwent an X-ray exam, followed by an MRI.

LaVert has averaged 16.8 points per game this season for the Nets.

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Houston Rockets

Rockets’ Clint Capela Out with Concussion

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Clint Capela

Houston Rockets’ big man Clint Capela will be out for the Rockets’ upcoming game against the Indiana Pacers due to a concussion, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon.

Capela took a charge late in the Rockets’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers when he collided with Clippers’ JaMychel Green and seemed to have hit his head.

Capela was evaluated for a concussion following the collision.

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Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers’ Anthony Davis Out with Rib Injury

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Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis will miss the Lakers’ upcoming game against the Golden State Warriors due to a rib injury, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner.

Davis injured his rib during Tuesday’s victory over the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix.

Davis is reportedly also dealing with a right shoulder injury, which makes it more important for the Lakers to play it safe, especially this early in the season.

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