Southwest Notes: Doncic, Mavs, Daniels, Pelicans, Bane

Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who sustained a left ankle sprain on Thursday, has been ruled out for Saturday’s game in Utah, the team announced (via Twitter). However, the expectation is that Doncic won’t be sidelined for much – if any – additional time beyond that game.

Appearing on NBA Today on Friday (video link), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that a worst-case scenario for Doncic would probably be missing two games: tonight’s contest in Utah and Monday’s vs. Detroit. After that, the Mavericks aren’t back in action until next Thursday, when they host New Orleans, so Doncic would have had a full week to rest an ankle sprain that Woj describes as “mild.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • As the trade deadline nears, it will be tricky for the Mavericks to balance their desire to improve this year’s roster with a “future-focused approach,” writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. As Cato outlines, a deal for a veteran like Bojan Bogdanovic would upgrade this year’s roster, but Dallas likely won’t be inclined to move a future first-round pick at the deadline for a player who would only serve the club’s short-term interests.
  • After spraining his right ankle on Tuesday vs. Denver, Pelicans rookie Dyson Daniels is expected to be out for “a little bit of time,” head coach Willie Green said this week, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). That timeline is pretty vague, but Daniels missed Wednesday’s game and has been ruled out for Saturday.
  • Last season’s CJ McCollum trade buoyed the Pelicans down the stretch and helped them earn a playoff spot. Given that the team has so many trade assets still on hand, Christian Clark of wonders whether another in-season trade is inevitable.
  • Grizzlies wing Desmond Bane was unavailable for Friday’s game against Minnesota due to right knee soreness, per Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Bane missed time earlier in the season due to a right big toe injury and sat out one game with right ankle soreness, but this is the first time his knee has prevented him from suiting up.
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