Thunder swingman Andre Roberson hasn’t played in an NBA game in nearly two years, and while he had been cleared to practice without restrictions earlier this offseason, OKC is continuing to be cautious with the defensive stalwart, pens Erik Horne of The Oklahoman.
Roberson still hasn’t played in the preseason, and when asked about it, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said on Monday, “We’re not going to rush him.” Moreover, for the last week, Donovan said Roberson has been participating with the team, but not all of the contact drills, after having some soreness in camp.
“If he felt like he needed more game experience, I think that’s an option for him, but I think as long as we’re in training camp and (the Thunder are) playing five-on-five, he’s getting that there,” Donovan said. “The one thing we don’t want to do is put him in a situation where we’re making him practice every single day and he can never catch up from a recovery standpoint.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Trail Blazers veteran big man Pau Gasol will not play in either of the team’s final two preseason games, and his status for the regular season remains up in the air, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Head coach Terry Stotts said of Gasol (Twitter link), “He works with (the health and performance staff) every day, he’s very diligent about doing what he needs to do. But as far as an update, there is really no update.”
- Nick Kosmider of The Athletic writes that Nuggets forward Jarred Vanderbilt is concentrating on a specific skill set – rebounding – to make his mark in the NBA. “There’s always a spot for rebounding… every team needs that, whether it’s offensive or defensive. I feel like that’s guaranteed for me. I can get rebounds every night.”
- Coming off a knee injury and resulting surgery that limited him to 35 games last year, Timberwolves forward Robert Covington says he is fully healthy and will look to work on improving his rhythm and conditioning, per Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.