“Now that he has cut his eyebrows, he can see clearly! »
Steven Adams is not going with it the back of the spoonbut it is his own way of congratulating his young Spanish teammate, Santi Aldama (2m11, 98kg), then author of a match with 21 points and 6 rebounds against the Magic and who had a good preseason, at 12 points and 7 rebounds on average, after having already distinguished himself in the Summer League.
“I feel better in my body, in my head and in my game”
A very discreet rookie last year, barely 4 points and 2 rebounds, the native of the Canary Islands could well occupy a place in the five majors in the weeks to come. A sacred promotion which is in fact the opportunity of his young career, caused by the (new) injury of Jaren Jackson Jr.
“You’re going to be really surprised at what you’re going to see with Santi, guaranteed”says Dillon Brooks.
The only interior of the Grizzlies capable of alternating the game on the exteriors, compared to Brandon Clarke and Xavier Tillman who are not shooters, Santi Aldama has therefore finally taken over Killian Tillie, the Frenchman with a similar profile who was dropped by the Memphis franchise.
Santi Aldama has his card to play in the rotation of Taylor Jenkins. The former European Under-18 champion in 2019 has in any case recharged the batteries with a return to the country during the summer and a good preparation ahead of training camp.
“It’s an honor to be in the same franchise as them: Gasol and Navarro. They are legends in Spain,” he told Marca. “It was a good off-season for me. I have a lot of faith in the team and the team in myself. I will advance day after day, without skipping the steps, but I feel ready to attack [ma deuxième saison]. I feel better in my body, in my head and in my game. That’s why I’m pretty excited for the future. »
“Now I can initiate the contact”
Kid of the ball with his father Santiago, a pivot of 2m13 who notably made the Olympic Games with La Roja in 1992 against the “Dream Team”, at home in Barcelona, and his uncle (mother’s side), Santiago Toledo (2m11 ), which inevitably led him there, Santi Aldama was a tad predestined.
But this summer, he had just said no to the selection for the Euro. Precisely won by Spain… He didn’t waste his time either, gaining 10 kilos of muscle while growing 3 cm taller, according to El Mundo.
Current UCLA assistant Ivo Simovic, who has been following Santi Aldama since their joint stint at Loyola-Maryland, believes that his colt is still only at 50 or 60% of his potential. A potential holder in the medium term?
“Before, I was waiting for them to crush me. Now it is I who can initiate the contact,” concludes Santi Aldama. “The goal is to be in the rotation all season. I’m confident at the moment, I have the feeling that each of my shots will go home. » See you tomorrow night, against Julius Randle and the Knicks, to prove it.
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