Pacific Notes: J. Smith, Booker, Wiseman, Dudley

Suns rookie Jalen Smith confirmed that his recent absence was a result of testing positive for COVID-19, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix had three games postponed this month because of a shortage of eligible players due to health and safety protocols.

“I had COVID for like 10 days,” Smith said. “For like those first, I’d say eight, I didn’t experience any symptoms, but then like basically the last night before getting off, my smell was faint and my taste was faint, but I got my taste back and my smell is starting to come back a little bit now.”

The virus isn’t the only obstacle that Smith, the 10th pick in last year’s draft, has encountered during his first NBA experience. He suffered an ankle injury during a workout last month and has only gotten into two games. He was cleared to return January 6, but tested positive the next day.

“Mentally, I’m fine,” he said. “It’s a process. I still got to learn a lot of new stuff that was put in while I was out, but it’s a part of basketball. I feel fine. it’s just a matter of me getting my wind back. Just continuing to get back into the motion with the team.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns star Devin Booker suffered a left hamstring strain Friday that will force him to miss tonight’s game and possibly longer, tweets Gerald Bourguet of The Step Back. “We’re really not sure,” coach Monty Williams said. “What I’ve been told is it could be day-to-day. Depending on how he feels, it could be another week.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr is coordinating the minutes for rookie center James Wiseman to get him on the court as much as possible with the team’s veteran leaders, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. So far, the No. 2 pick has played 267 minutes with Stephen Curry and 182 minutes with Draymond Green“If we’re going to be a championship contender the next few years, those guys have to learn to play together,” Kerr explained.
  • Lakers forward Jared Dudley is close to returning from a calf injury that has kept him out of action since January 8, according to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link). Coach Frank Vogel said Dudley is probably “a game or two out” from being available. The 35-year-old has played in just six games this season.
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21 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: J. Smith, Booker, Wiseman, Dudley

  1. dodgersvictoryagain

    Lakers just trying to keep head above water til Dudds returns. If they can even go .500 without him they ll take it

  2. Marty McRae

    Wiseman and Oubre should never play one minute together. Oubre probably won’t be there next year so why he isn’t leading the second unit it beyond me.

    • Cap & Crunch

      Oubre is a bad seed. Doesnt fit Warrior culture imo-

      1 and done for this guy if he isnt traded at the break

      • arc89

        Oubre has the talent but I am not sure if he has the head for the game. Just way to inconsistent on the floor. His offense is very lazy for a guy with his talent. He should be slashing at the basket instead hides in the corner. Some players have the drive to be a star and some just play with they want.

        • tonyinsingapore

          Oubre is costing the Dubs $82m this season once you layer on salary cap taxes and penalties.

      • DaBlow216

        Should see if Gary Harris is available, his deal is longer but his time in Denver is up and they may want to clear space. He is a guy Drayton wouldn’t call bad names like the one he called Durant.

    • Tatsumaki

      Man curry looking more like Seth than steph these days, 8-8 in standings. You guys still sure the are gonna be a top 3 seed?

      • Lil_D_Top_3

        You seen Seth lately bro he is shooting like 60% from 3 not exactly an insult lol

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Obrue should be on bench. He and Wiggins are too similar. And they should get a backup for Wiseman. Seems like Warriors are going to ride this till TD.

  4. Sillivan

    Suns are now 7th seed. 0,5 game ahead of 11th seed
    Suns have 6 more games vs Lakers and Clippers

    The difference between Chris Paul and Westbrook is
    Paul plays back to back games at 82 minutes
    Westbrook does not play back to back games

    Rockets attached 2 Firsts and 2 swaps to Thunder for Westbrook

    • Walladipo and Wood

      Chris Paul will be 36 at the end of the season, and aside from his assists the rest of his numbers are terrible with Phoenix (compared to when he was still in his prime). Sure the Suns might make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, but they’re gonna cringe when CP3 opts in for his $44M salary next season. They’re lucky he hasn’t had a season-ending injury yet.

      • specialfriedrice

        So much hate for a guy that gave Houston their best chance at a title since 1999…

      • kingsforever 2

        Paul makes the suns better and that is important. Another statistics are not relevant. Suns playing good basketball and Paul is a part from this team

      • mcdusty49

        All this guy does is bash other teams and former Rockets players. They’re great when on the Rockets and washed up or worthless when on another squad. It’s funny to see how someone can completely lose their credibility to a majority of posters on this site. Cant wait to read further comments about how bad the Lakers are lol

  5. El Don

    Hopefully D-Book can use the time off to get it together, don’t know what is with him this year, but the guy is playing a very sad game, last 2-3 years he lighted it out, the guy was unstoppable, this year he has fallen out of the cliff.
    Drop out of his All-Star level that he had, he needs to do sooo much better… but PHO is in trouble not only ’cause he ain’t balling at all, but what is with Ayton, as well he has dropped his level this year… can’t see PHO sustaining their playoff challenge as their 2 big stars are playing well below their expectation.
    CP3 as the 3rd guy is playing well, but I would expect him to focus much more in feeding the ball to Ayton, that should be his priority, right?

    • x%sure

      Booker was drafted by a bad team but got to do what he wanted. He wanted a winner like CP3 but now CP3 sets the tone. If they get a winning record and the second round the moves will have been worth it.
      Ayton should get the ball more, true, but that’s not CP3’s tendency except for PnRs… Ayton is more of a shooter than a runner… Suns can get better still by mixing old & new styles more smoothly! So the “old” Booker will return probably, but Ayton may continue to look mad… born too late! Still an asset.
      GM Jones has been getting smart players like MikalB.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Suns right now are challenging for 4-5 seed. Last yr they weren’t even considered a playoff team. Chris is here to make team better. They are winning more consistent. Booker and Ayton are having solid yrs. Their pts are down a little. Cause they are sharing the ball and winning. They are learning to win. When needed the great players step up. Stats are individual achievements. And their stats are still best on team. A winning team. They are certainly headed in the right direction after 16 games.

  7. Suns, with CP3, are a presumptive playoff team. They were likely that anyway with Rubio returning, but CP3’s special skill set and gravitas give them a much higher ceiling. He’s getting Ayton fully engaged.

    James Jones deserves real credit for changing the entire look of this team in 2+ years, while keeping it’s young talents, and giving them a better platform to develop. Jalen Smith was a wildcard, but so was C. Johnson. We’ll see.

  8. It’s hilarious how Brett Brown gave the interview regarding the Bridges / Smith trade – to paraphrase it was something along the lines of ‘we have to learn from other dynastic franchises and look to the future, it’s not always about drafting the best player – sometimes potential is enough given that there won’t be much playing time’. This was with a starting five of Simmons, Reddick, Covington, Saric and Embiid.

    Obviously hindsight is one thing, but this was peak Trust The Process hysteria.

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