Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving was a late addition to Wednesday’s injury report due to low back tightness. He was first listed as questionable, but was downgraded to out a couple hours later (Twitter links).
Wednesday is Dallas’ final game before the All-Star break, as the team won’t play again until February 23. However, Irving was voted to the All-Star team for the eighth time last month — it’s unclear if the back issue will prevent him from suiting up for the exhibition event.
Christian Wood also saw his name pop up on the injury report due to an illness. He was originally considered a game-time decision, but he’ll be active tonight in Denver, the Mavs announced (via Twitter).
Here’s more from the Southwest:
- In an appearance on Get Up, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (YouTube link) said he believes “it’s more likely than not” that Irving will re-sign with the Mavericks as a free agent this summer. Wojnarowski points out that Dallas gave up a pretty significant haul to acquire Irving from Brooklyn and the Mavs have a history of paying players that want to play for them.
- The Grizzlies traded for Luke Kennard in order to bolster their three-point shooting, but it might be difficult for him to get a significant amount of playing time, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. As Cole notes, replacing Dillon Brooks with Kennard in late-game scenarios would help offensively, but hurt the team’s defense. Kennard played 21 minutes in each of his first two games with Memphis.
- Spurs center Charles Bassey recently received a promotion to a standard contract, signing a four-year, $10.2MM deal, including $5.2MM guaranteed. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (subscriber link) reports that Bassey’s contract features non-guaranteed salaries in years three and four and he was paid $3MM up front for the 2022/23 season. The 22-year-old called it a “surreal” experience. “I’m not going to lie, it felt good,” Bassey said. “I feel like the Spurs believe in me and believe in what I bring to the team. They trust me, and I just appreciate that.”