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Western Notes: Gobert, Lawson, Lieberman

Rudy Gobert is out indefinitely after suffering Grade II sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during practice today, the Jazz announced, and history suggests he’ll miss more than a month. Marc Gasol missed a month and a half when he suffered the same injury two years ago, notes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter links). It took Greg Stiemsma about the same length of time to come back from his Grade II MCL sprain in 2013, notes Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). That doesn’t necessarily mean Gobert is out that long, but with Jazz D-Leaguer Jack Cooley reportedly having just agreed to play in Spain, the timing of Gobert’s injury is poor, and Falk doesn’t expect the team to make a move in the immediate future (Twitter link). See more from the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets aren’t looking into deals for Ty Lawson, even though teams think they’ll be able to trade for him on the cheap, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitterlinks). Kyler believes the Rockets are interested in a change of some sort but hears that the focus isn’t on Lawson. The offseason trade acquisition indicated today that he’s on board with his reserve role, one he’s been in since J.B. Bickerstaff removed him from the starting lineup in his first game as interim coach, notes Calvin Watkins of (ESPN Now link). “It’s just whatever coach wants me to do, what the team needs me to do, I’m doing it,” Lawson said.
  • Kings assistant Nancy Lieberman believes her hiring as the NBA’s second female full-time assistant coach was necessary to maintain the momentum created when the Spurs made Becky Hammon the first, as Lieberman writes in The Players’ Tribune. She didn’t address a report that she would be owner Vivek Ranadive’s choice to become interim head coach in the event the Kings fire George Karl, but she did talk about the bond she’s quickly formed with the players. DeMarcus Cousins has been one of the most amazing young men from the time I met him in Vegas,” Lieberman wrote. “He just gave me this big old hug and said, ‘We’re happy you’re here.'”
  • The 2015 draft class is proving unexpectedly productive and deep, but No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves remains the leader for Rookie of the Year honors, argues Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.

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