Northwest Notes: Murray, SGA, Sharpe, Wolves, Jazz

Jamal Murray continues to deal with a sprained left ankle and swollen right knee, having missed a fourth consecutive game on Friday vs. Minnesota. According to a report from ESPN, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters before Friday’s game that Murray is improving, but said he’s “not ready to go out there and compete at the level that we need him to” and hinted that the star guard may remain out for Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland.

Still, Malone isn’t worried at this point that Murray’s health issues will extend into the postseason, adding, “I do think he will be back on the court before the playoffs start.”

It should be an eventful spring and summer for Murray, assuming he gets – and stays – healthy. After seeking a second straight NBA championship with the Nuggets, the 27-year-old hopes to suit up for the Canadian national team at the Olympics in Paris, he confirmed to Eurohoops.

“I’m excited to be there,” he said. “We have a great squad, (it) was great to see them win a medal (at the 2023 World Cup). Hopefully, we can go our way and win gold this summer.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a second consecutive game on Friday vs. Phoenix due to his right quad contusion. Head coach Mark Daigneault said that Gilgeous-Alexander will continue to be considered day-to-day, so there’s no indication at this point that the injury will result in an extended absence (Twitter link via Joel Lorenzi of The Oklahoman).
  • Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe, who is recovering from core muscle surgery, is with the team on its current seven-game road trip and will continue to be evaluated after participating in non-contact and conditioning drills in the G League earlier this week, per the club (Twitter link). Sharpe hasn’t played since January 11, but there’s still hope that he’ll return in the season’s final two weeks.
  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch said on Friday that he has great relationships with Glen Taylor, Marc Lore, and Alex Rodriguez, so he won’t be taking sides in the franchise’s ownership struggle and doesn’t expect the situation to affect his team at “troop level,” tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “If there was ever a definition of ‘above your pay grade,’ this is it,” Finch added.
  • After expressing some concern in mid-February about the frustration level in the Jazz‘s locker room, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune says the locker room vibes in Utah are “way better” now. However, that comes with an important caveat — according to Larsen, since the Jazz have fallen out of the postseason race, they’re no longer as stressed about winning games, as “the sting of losing is absolutely gone.”
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