Northwest Notes: Kessler, Brogdon, Henderson, Wallace, Timberwolves

Jazz second-year center Walker Kessler, who is recovering from a left elbow ulnar collateral ligament sprain, continues to make progress and has been cleared to begin basketball contact this week, according to a team press release. Kesseler sustained the injury during Utah’s season-opening game against Sacramento on Oct. 25 but continued to play through it for seven games. He will be reevaluated in one week.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon should return to action very soon and rookie Scoot Henderson could also be in uniform sometime this week, according to coach Chauncey Billups, Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report tweets. Brogdon has been sidelined since Nov. 8 with a hamstring injury, while Henderson — the third pick in the draft — hasn’t played since Nov. 1 due to an ankle sprain.
  • Cason Wallace, the 10th pick of the draft, made his second start for the Thunder on Sunday in place of injured Jalen Williams, sideline reporter Nick Gallo tweets. Wallace played 21 minutes but only took two shots and scored two points. He’s averaging 7.3 points in 22.9 minutes through 14 games.
  • Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore will have tough decisions to make regarding the team’s luxury tax issues if Minnesota has a strong season, The Athletic’s Sam Amick notes. If the Wolves don’t prove to be an elite team with their current core group, significant changes will be very likely. However, Timberwolves officials insist the incoming ownership group would not be averse to paying the tax going forward if the roster proves worthy of that kind of commitment.
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