Eastern Notes: Simmons, Wizards, Pistons, Russell, Hawks

After recording 10 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists with no turnovers in 18 minutes during Monday’s win vs. Utah, former No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons appeared to tweak his left knee due to an awkward landing after blocking Talen Horton-Tucker‘s shot (video link).

The Nets swingman subsequently underwent an MRI after experiencing swelling, but it revealed no structural damage, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Simmons is out for Wednesday’s contest against Phoenix with a left knee contusion and is considered day-to-day, according to head coach Jacque Vaughn (Twitter link via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps). Simmons’ agent, Bernard Lee, said there’s hope that it will be a one-game absence, since Brooklyn doesn’t play again until Saturday vs. Philly, giving the 27-year-old more time to recover (Twitter link).

Here’s more from the East:

  • As has been previously reported, the Wizards are focused on securing first-round draft picks — preferably in drafts beyond 2024 — as they take calls on veterans, according to David Aldridge and Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who take a look at the possible return value of nine different players on the roster. League sources tell The Athletic’s duo that the Wizards are looking for two first-rounders for Kyle Kuzma, though the writers have gotten some push back on that from sources within the team, who said the reported asking price is “somewhat overblown.”
  • While Bojan Bogdanovic has popped up in plenty of trade rumors the past couple years, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic isn’t convinced the Croatian veteran will be moved prior to the February 8 deadline. Edwards hears the Pistons are willing to take calls on Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, but they aren’t actively shopping two of their best floor spacers. Edwards also covers other topics in his mailbag, including what he thinks of Detroit making a run at possible targets like Zach LaVine (he argues against it).
  • In Tuesday’s matchup with the Lakers, Hawks fans taunted D’Angelo Russell with “We don’t want you!” chants, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Russell has been linked to Atlanta as part of L.A.’s interest in Dejounte Murray, who badly outplayed Russell en route to a Hawks win. It has been reported that Atlanta doesn’t have interest in Russell and would want to flip him to a third team in a potential deal.
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