Western Notes: Booker, Vassell, Jazz Starters, Jackson

The Suns are optimistic that Devin Booker might return for the team’s upcoming homestand, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter video link via The Rally).

As Charania notes, Phoenix has home games on Friday, Sunday and next Wednesday. According to Charania, Friday is a possibility.

Booker has battled three different injuries this fall, with the latest being a right calf strain. He has appeared in just two of the Suns’ eight games thus far in 2023/24.

Fellow guard Bradley Beal made his Suns regular season debut on Wednesday after battling a back injury.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • After previously being listed as doubtful, Spurs guard Devin Vassell returned to action on Wednesday in New York, as first reported by Charania (via Twitter) and later confirmed by the team (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). However, Vassell did not return to the starting lineup: second-year guard Malaki Branham will continue in that role for now. Vassell missed the past two games with a left adductor strain.
  • Jazz center Walker Kessler is out at least two weeks with an elbow injury. Instead of replacing him with another big man, head coach Will Hardy decided to make a couple changes to the team’s starting lineup on Wednesday vs. Indiana. Rookie Keyonte George replaced Talen Horton-Tucker at point guard, while second-year wing Ochai Agbaji started at small forward, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News relays. “Keyonte has played really well,” Hardy said. “I think he’s shown a very quick learning curve on both ends of the floor.” Jordan Clarkson remained the starting shooting guard, with Lauri Markkanen (power forward) and John Collins (center) each sliding up a spot in the frontcourt.
  • G.G. Jackson, who is the youngest player in the NBA, likely won’t see many minutes for the Grizzlies. In fact, he’s only played one minute over their first seven games. However, the second-round pick is expected to have an expanded role with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ G League club, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I kind of got a little bit more lenience, so I got to become comfortable,” said Jackson, who is on a two-way contract.
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