Month: November 2019

Landry Shamet To Undergo MRI On Left Ankle

Clippers guard Landry Shamet left Monday’s win over Toronto early after turning his ankle and left the locker room on crutches, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angles Times. Shamet was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain and will undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Shamet, 22, has been one of the Clippers’ most-used players so far this season, averaging 30.7 minutes per contest in his first nine games before his 10th game was cut short. The second-year guard has also been one of the Clippers’ best outside shooters in the early going, knocking down 36.2% of 5.8 three-point attempts per game.

While losing Shamet would leave the Clippers with a hole in their rotation, there’s some good news on the injury front for the team, as Paul George is reportedly on the verge of returning.

George appears to be on track to make his Clippers debut on Wednesday in Houston or on Thursday in New Orleans and could eat up many of Shamet’s minutes if the youngster is forced to miss time. Backup swingman Rodney McGruder is among the other candidates for a boost in playing time.

Western Notes: Collins, Davis, Lillard, West

Zach Collins hasn’t given up on playing this season, Casey Holdahl of the team’s website tweets “For sure, it’s very realistic,” Collins told Holdahl. However, the Trail Blazers big man faces a long rehab after undergoing shoulder surgery last week. He’s expected to miss at least four months, which leaves only about a month before the end of the regular season in a best-case scenario.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Anthony Davis is playing through right shoulder pain, an injury he suffered on a missed dunk attempt two weeks ago, Dave McMenamin of ESPN relays. “There’s really never a play I don’t feel it,” Davis said. He hasn’t missed any games due to the injury and that will continue as long as he doesn’t aggravate it, according to Mark Medina of USA Today. “If he can be out there, he’s going to be out there,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s going to play through pain. We just got to make sure that it’s being done intelligently.”
  • Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is content to stay the course with the Trail Blazers rather than joining forces with superstars in other organizations, as he explained to Medina in a separate story. Lillard signed a four-year, $196MM extension during the summer. “I just feel like there’s always a reward at the end. When you do things the right way and you do the work, you’re going to get the results,” Lillard said. “I really believe that. We’ve gotten the results. Even after failures, we come back and answer to it. We’re staying the course. That’s worth it to me.”
  • Clippers adviser Jerry West rubber-stamped the Paul George blockbuster with the Thunder and explained why to Sam Amick of The Athletic. The Clippers gave up five first-rounders, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. “Everybody talks about all the draft picks we gave away. Well, we did give a lot of draft picks away. But two of them were not ours – period, OK?” West said. Giving up the young point guard was the hard part but worth it in West’s mind. “I think Shai is going to be an All-Star player in this league for a long time, and he’ll keep getting better. But we have two finished products right in the prime of their careers (in Kawhi Leonard and George) – or just getting in the prime of their careers,” he said.

Stephen Curry Expects To Play Again This Season

Warriors star guard Stephen Curry will require another surgical procedure on his broken hand but he’s optimistic he’ll play again this season, he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic and other reporters on Monday (Twitter link).

Curry is aiming for an early spring return from a broken left hand. He underwent surgery at the beginning of the month and is expected to miss a minimum of three months.

He’ll need another procedure in a few weeks to remove the pins securing the broken bones, Slater adds in another tweet.

“I have to get a second procedure done, beginning of December probably, remove some of the pins there,” he said. “So swelling is going to be of the utmost priority early in the rehab process, to give me a chance to come back and get my range of motion back pretty quickly.”

There’s also some concern about nerve damage. Curry said he experienced some nerve irritation and that will be closely monitored. He won’t be allowed to travel with the team until after the New Year

“Nerves are tricky,” he said. “They can come back quickly or over a sustained amount of time. … When you’re dealing with hands, that’s where it gets tricky.”

Curry suffered the break against Phoenix on October 30. The Warriors had gone 1-5 since the injury heading into their game with Utah on Monday.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/11/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Knicks assigned rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis to their Westchester affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round pick out of Michigan has made three cameo appearances with New York.
  • The Jazz recalled Miye Oni from the Salt Lake City Stars, according to a team press release. The rookie guard out of Yale posted five points, six rebounds and five assists in his G League debut.
  • The Hornets assigned Caleb Martin to the Greensboro Swarm, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. The rookie swingman out of Nevada has appeared in three NBA games, averaging 1.7 PPG in 8.3 MPG.

De’Aaron Fox Suffers Significant Ankle Sprain

Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox suffered a significant left ankle sprain in practice on Monday and will be re-evaluated in three-to-four weeks, Zach Lowe of ESPN tweets.

The injury occurred when a teammate stepped on the dynamic guard’s foot, Lowe adds in another tweet. He has a Grade 3 sprain, which is a full tear of the ankle ligament.

Fox was averaging 18.2 PPG and 7.0 APG this season following a breakout year in which he averaged 17.3 PPG and 7.3 APG while starting 81 games.

The injury is a major blow for a team that entered the season with playoff aspirations. The Kings stumbled out of the gate, losing six of their first eight games, before defeating Atlanta on Friday. They’ll play their first game without their floor leader against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

Fortunately for the Kings, they have some experienced depth behind Fox. Cory Joseph has been the primary backup and figures to slot into the starting lineup. Yogi Ferrell should see his role expand after appearing in just five of the first nine games.

Hayward Undergoes Left Hand Surgery, Out Six Weeks

7:07pm: Hayward is expected to miss approximately six weeks after undergoing the surgery, the Celtics announced in a press release.

2:51pm: Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will undergo surgery in New York this afternoon on his broken left hand, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). The team is waiting until after the procedure is complete to establish a timeline for Hayward’s return, Woj adds.

Hayward suffered the injury during Saturday’s win in San Antonio, as we previously relayed. At the time, Bartelstein told Wojnarowski that his client would be seeing a specialist on Monday to determine whether or not surgery was necessary.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens suggested in the wake of the injury that surgery may give Hayward the quickest path to returning to action. While Boston has yet to formally determine or announce a recovery timetable, I’d expect the 29-year-old to miss at least a few weeks. Stephen Curry was recently ruled out for at least three months after undergoing left hand surgery, but he fractured a different part of his hand than Hayward did.

The timing is especially unfortunate for Hayward, who appeared to be rounding back into his old form after being slowed last season by the ankle injury that caused him to miss the entire 2017/18 campaign. In his first seven games for the Celtics this season, the former All-Star was averaging 20.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 4.6 APG with a .564/.444/.842 shooting line.

Southwest Notes: Wright, Mavs, Pelicans, Ingram

Guard Delon Wright said the Grizzlies played hardball with him this summer during his restricted free agency, which led him to sign an offer sheet with the Mavericks, according to David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis agreed to a sign-and-trade, receiving a pair of second-round picks, after Wright signed the three-year, $27MM contract. “They were playing hardball,” Wright said. “So I had to go find another deal. They were more than willing to accommodate me with a trade. So that was cool.” Wright is averaging 8.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 3.9 APG while playing in all nine games with Dallas this season.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle used seven different starting lineups in the first nine games but he’s hoping to get that settled soon, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. “I’ll keep looking at it,” Carlisle said. “I’m open to getting something consistent, but we talked about this from the beginning that the way we’re structured we’ll probably need to be flexible and fluid. The guys have handled it well.” Ten players have started at least once, with Luka Doncic being the only player who has started all nine games.
  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry finds himself with a similar predicament, as NBA.com relays. Gentry has used nine players in the lineup through the first nine games. New Orleans won just its second game of the season on Saturday. “Well, we can do one of two things, and we’ve changed a little bit schematically what we are trying to do. The next step is we have to find somebody that will do it,” he said. “We will start playing different combinations of guys, like we did (Saturday). That’s not a threat, it’s just what you’ve got to do as a coach.”
  • With Zion Williamson sidelined, Brandon Ingram has emerged as the No. 1 Pelicans‘ scoring option ahead of Jrue Holiday, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times Picayune notes. Ingram is averaging 25.9 PPG and 3.9 APG. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer and if he maintains this level of play, the Pelicans will have to offer or match a maximum contract for him, Kushner adds.

Khris Middleton Out Several Weeks With Leg Injury

Bucks forward Khris Middleton is expected to miss multiple weeks with a left leg injury, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. There’s no serious damage to the leg, Charania adds.

The injury is a thigh contusion and is expected to cost Middleton three or four weeks, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.

The 28-year-old All-Star was injured during the team’s win over the Thunder on Sunday. He’s averaging 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.9 APG after posting averages of 18.3/6.0/4.3 in the same categories last season.

The career 38.8% three-point shooter signed a five-year, $178MM contract in free agency this summer to remain Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s sidekick. With Middleton on the shelf, the Bucks will likely have to go a little smaller at the wing spots with Sterling Brown, Pat Connaughton and Donte DiVincenzo picking up additional minutes.

Knicks Notes: Fizdale, M. Jackson, Ujiri, DSJ

Asked today about his reaction to an ESPN report that suggested team president Steve Mills is laying the groundwork to eventually fire him, head coach David Fizdale told reporters that he talks every day with Mills and GM Scott Perry, and that they’ve been supportive of him (Twitter links via Ian Begley of SNY.tv). However, it doesn’t sound as if Fizdale hasn’t received any specific assurances about his job security.

I got a two-and-a-half year contract,” Fizdale said, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link). “That’s my assurance. That’s our business. The assurance is that I have a contract.”

According to Begley (video link), Knicks ownership isn’t expected to have a “heavy hand” in the team’s head coaching decision. Any move involving Fizdale would be made solely by Mills, says Begley.

As we wait to see what’s next for Fizdale and the Knicks, here are a few more notes on the team:

  • Chris Mannix of SI.com tweets that Mark Jackson is a name to watch if the Knicks make a head coaching change, since Jackson is a Perry favorite who was a candidate before the team hired Fizdale in 2018. Sean Deveney of Heavy.com identifies Kenny Smith, Chauncey Billups, Mike Woodson, and Tom Thibodeau as others who could emerge as candidates in that scenario, while Newsday’s Steve Popper (Twitter link) mentions Jason Kidd.
  • In response to a report that the Knicks may pursue Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri again next year, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca tweets that he doesn’t believe Ujiri would ever want to work for Knicks owner James Dolan under any circumstance.
  • While the Knicks have been criticized for their return in last season’s Kristaps Porzingis trade, the club remains hopeful about Dennis Smith Jr.‘s long-term prospects and those two first-round picks coming their way, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “We don’t know what Dennis Smith is going to be,” Fizdale said. “He’s 21 years old. We’ve still got two first-round picks out of that. Who knows who that’s going to be? We won’t know exactly what comes out of that for a year or two.”

International Notes: Cole, Kuzminskas, Perrantes, Wiseman

Longtime NBA guard Norris Cole is continuing his career overseas, with AS Monaco announcing in a press release that it has signed the two-time NBA champion.

“I’m excited to be here in Monaco,” Cole said in a statement. “We discussed it with my family, my agent, we thought it was the best choice. I’m looking forward to seeing the new teammates, talking to the staff, and helping my team the best I can do.”

Cole, 31, played for the Heat from 2011-15 before spending time with the Pelicans and Thunder. He appeared in 360 regular season NBA games and another 68 playoff contests, but has played in international leagues since 2017, suiting up for teams in Israel, Italy, and Montenegro. His new club competes in France’s top league.

Let’s round up a few more international basketball notes…

  • After parting ways with Greek club Olympiacos, former NBA forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas has joined Russia’s Lokomotiv Kuban on a two-year deal, according to an announcement from the team. The 30-year-old Lithuanian appeared in 69 games for the Knicks from 2016-17 before heading back to Europe.
  • Turkish team Bahcesehir has signed 25-year-old point guard London Perrantes, the club announced today (via Twitter; hat tip to Sportando). Perrantes, who appeared in 14 NBA games with the Cavaliers during the 2017/18 season, was in camp with the Trail Blazers this fall before being waived last month.
  • Australia’s National Basketball League, which is already home to top 2020 draft prospects like LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton, would have interest in bringing over James Wiseman if he’s officially deemed ineligible to play for Memphis, writes Adam Zagoria of Forbes. However, Wiseman’s situation, which we previously discussed, may not be quickly or easily resolved, a source tells Zagoria. “He’s exceptionally talented and of course we’d be interested, but honestly we haven’t even had a conversation with him or his family,” NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said of the potential No. 1 pick. “I have no idea yet as to whether or not it would suit his plans, his personality or his aspirations.”