The toe injury that marred Chris Duarte‘s rookie season is still lingering, according to James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star. The Pacers guard initially suffered the left toe injury on February 13. He only played in five of the Pacers’ last 24 games.
“I’m just listening to my body right now,” he said. “Whatever my body tells me, if that be to stop, I stop. If not, then I keep going.”
Duarte still plans to play on the Pacers’ Summer League team.
We have more from the Central Division:
- Cavaliers second-round pick Luke Travers will likely remain overseas next season, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Travers is participating on the Cavs’ summer league team but with Cleveland’s current roster situation, the plan all along has been to stash the 6’7” wing. “At the end of the day, it’s whatever the team wants and that’s what I’m willing to do,” he said. “If that’s to go back and do another year then it is what it is. If that’s to stay, then I will do that as well.”
- Jalen Smith could have gotten more money in free agency but he chose to re-sign with the Pacers because of his comfort level and the opportunity to be a starter, Boyd writes. “I chose my future over instant gratification,” said Smith, who signed a three-year deal with a player option. “I feel as though that was the biggest part. You don’t want to take on such a big task so early on in your life rather than trying to work towards it and miss out on it in the future, and that was pretty much the main thing that was going through my head the whole entire time.”
- Improved conditioning could lead to more minutes for the Bulls’ Marko Simonovic, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “Every day I try to improve my body and put some muscles on. The last two months, I did it,” he said. “And when I came back here, everybody said I’m looking better than I was before. Just keep working.” He appeared in nine games last season.