3:59pm: The Hawks have announced in a press release that both Capela and Labissiere will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
1:53pm: A pair of centers acquired by the Hawks at the trade deadline won’t be making their debuts for the team anytime soon, according to head coach Lloyd Pierce, who said today that Clint Capela and Skal Labissiere are still “weeks” away from playing, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter links).
Capela missed the last seven games before the All-Star break – three with Houston and four with Atlanta – due to plantar fasciitis in his right heel. After being acquired by the Hawks in a four-team trade at the deadline, the 25-year-old said he was aiming to get back on the court later this month, but based on Pierce’s update today, it sounds like that won’t happen.
As for Labissiere, he has been on the shelf since December 28 due to a left knee injury. The Trail Blazers’ last update, issued on January 8, suggested he’d be re-evaluated in four weeks. Instead, he was traded to Atlanta around that four-week mark and we haven’t gotten a concrete update on his timeline since then.
The 15-41 Hawks are much closer to the top spot in the draft lottery than they are to the No. 8 seed in the East, so the club won’t rush its injured players back onto the court. Still, Atlanta would presumably like to see how Capela and Labissiere look alongside the team’s young core before the end of the season.
Labissiere will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. Capela is on a long-term contract, but the Hawks will want to see if he meshes with big man John Collins, who will be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason.