Teams are making their final preparations for 2022 as the start of the NBA preseason is just over a week away. Here’s a look at what’s happening around the league:
Edwards Fined $40K For Offensive Comments
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards was fined $40,000 by the NBA yesterday for “offensive and derogatory” comments he recently made on an Instagram video that he has since deleted. Edwards was heard making an offensive comment about a group of men on a sidewalk while he was inside a vehicle about what he assumed was their sexual orientation. He later apologized on Twitter, with the Timberwolves also issuing a statement condemning his actions.
The video was posted on Edwards’ Instagram account on September 11, showing a group of men who appeared shirtless standing on a sidewalk when Edwards’ voice could be heard making the comments in question.
Several NBA players have been disciplined in the past for using anti-homosexual language, including Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Kobe Bryant and Nikola Jokic. Edwards was the number one overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and was their second-leading scorer last year with 21.3 points and 1.5 steals per game.
Lakers Add More Depth After Signing Schroeder
The Los Angeles Lakers have added another point guard to their roster after signing Dennis Schroeder to a one-year deal worth $2.6 million. LA recently traded for Patrick Beverley, who is expected to come off the bench in relief of Russell Westbrook.
Schroeder will be in his second stint with the Lakers after playing 61 games and averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 assists in the 2020-21 season. He was impressive in the EuroBasket tournament that recently wrapped up, leading Germany to a third-place finish while averaging 21.4 points per game.
Neither of the new signings should unseat Russell Westbrook for the starting point guard job, even though he had a disappointing season in his first year with the Lakers. The team is looking to improve on its 33-49 record and make a run at the playoffs under new head coach Darvin Ham.
After some speculation that the team would trade Westbrook in the offseason, Ham has maintained that he looks forward to coaching the former league MVP. The Lakers 2022-23 campaign will begin on October 18 against the champion Golden State Warriors.
Zeller Reaches Deal With Jazz
The Utah Jazz had little depth in its frontcourt after entering the rebuilding process by trading away two All-Stars, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. However, they improved the center position yesterday by signing veteran Cody Zeller just ahead of training camp. The fourth pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, he’ll be starting his tenth season in the league after his most recent stint with the Portland Trailblazers.
Zeller played in just 27 games last season before undergoing surgery on his right knee and was waived by the Blazers in February after they traded CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds and shot 56.7% from the field.
He’ll likely be the starting center if he makes the Jazz’s roster. Utah also has 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler and 2020 first-rounder Udoka Azubuike, who will probably start alongside Zeller on opening night.