How will KD & Kyrie’s arrival affect the race in the West?
Memphis Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr., Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey, Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards spoke to Yahoo Sports NBA writer Krysten Peek about the two superstars joining the Western Conference and how it will impact the race towards the playoffs.
KRYSTEN PEEK: Josh came out and said, you know, I'm fine in the West. And now you got Kevin Durant going to Phoenix. You got Kyrie going to Dallas. Are you guys still fine in the West, do you think?
JAREN JACKSON: Of course. Of course, it's still fine.
KRYSTEN PEEK: You're fine.
JAREN JACKSON: Always fine.
KRYSTEN PEEK: You want all the smoke?
JAREN JACKSON: Oh, all the time. You got to be-- you got to have that confidence, no matter what. There's no reason to ever approach anything. That's the biggest lesson. That's what we really-- we're only here to do this for the kids, to teach the kids, just to have to believe in yourself and have confidence.
JOSH GIDDEY: Obviously, it does make the West a bit more competitive, obviously two of the best players in the league. But for us, not worrying about it too much, mean we play Phoenix four times in the next 25 games. So obviously, we've got a tough run home, but just understanding, taking it one game at a time. You can't focus on those type of trades and things too much because there's still such a long way to go in the season. So as much as Kevin and Kyrie are going to help their teams, us as a team have to approach it the same way we would as any other game.
KRYSTEN PEEK: What was your reaction when you look at the trade deadline and what happened with Kyrie coming to the West with the Mavericks and Kevin Durant coming to the West with the Suns, knowing that there was going to be more competition?
KEEGAN MURRAY: Yeah, I feel like a lot of guys came to the West. A lot of really good players lost superstars. So we know that with them coming, we have a lot of work cut out for us. And I feel like a lot of our guys are ready to live up to that expectation of where we're at now. So we're excited to compete against them.
KRYSTEN PEEK: Looking ahead, the West, it's pretty competitive now. I mean, you guys are always, like, right there. But now you got Phoenix with Kevin. You got Luka and Kyrie in Dallas. But does that excite you as a competitor?
ANTHONY EDWARDS: Yeah, for sure. I'm happy those guys came over. Hopefully, we get to see one of them teams in the playoffs. It's going to be fun. I love to compete. So I don't care who comes. I'm ready to play.