2:49pm: The Rockets confirmed the news in an official announcement.
12:40pm: Patrick Beverley will miss the rest of the season and the playoffs after deciding to go ahead and have surgery to repair ligaments in his left wrist, a source told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The news is no surprise, particularly after Rockets coach Kevin McHale said Sunday that the point guard probably wouldn’t return to play in 2014/15. GM Daryl Morey said on ESPN Radio’s NBA Insiders show Sunday night that a final decision on Beverley’s season was expected today, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Surgery was inevitable, but it was just a matter of whether Beverley could play through it, Stein adds (Twitter link).
Beverley’s been out of action for the past week as the wrist has undergone evaluations. It’s a tough blow for the Rockets, and though Morey acknowledged that it would be more difficult without him, he said in his ESPN Radio appearance Sunday that he believes the team could still win the title, notes Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. That’s in spite of Houston’s relative lack of depth at the point, where he and Pablo Prigioni are the only true one-guards on the roster. The Rockets have used combo guard Jason Terry as the starting point guard in Beverley’s stead, with Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer and Nick Johnson also seeing some duties at the position, Feigen points out.
Houston already has 15 players on the roster and the team is limited to handing out the minimum salary, with the deadline to apply for disabled player exceptions long since passed. Beverley, Kostas Papanikolaou and Donatas Motiejunas are all expected to miss extended periods of time, and Terrence Jones is out indefinitely, so there’s a chance the NBA would grant the team a 16th roster spot via hardship. That would only be a temporary fix, however, and Houston would be hard-pressed to replace Beverley’s production.
The third-year veteran is known for his aggressive defense, but he also nailed 35.6% of his three-point shots while averaging 10.1 points per game, his second straight season as a double-figure scorer. The BDA Sports Management client is due for restricted free agency this summer, though several reports have identified the Rockets as having interest in soon-to-be unrestricted free agent point guard Goran Dragic. Still, Beverley figures to be fairly sought-after if not by his incumbent team, then by others around the Association, in spite of his injury.