Andre Roberson

Andre Roberson Unlikely To Return This Season

After a series of setbacks due to injury, and the regular season nearing its conclusion, it seems unlikely the Thunder will get Andre Roberson back this year, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes.

Aside from limited stretches in practice, Roberson has not done much physical activity recently. With Oklahoma City preparing for the postseason, the timetable to get the defensive specialist back healthy has all but dwindled.

“I always hate throwing things out there that could potentially clarify something to be, ‘That’s it,’ but he’s not even doing anything in practice,” head coach Billy Donovan said earlier this week. “He is running. I’ve got nothing medically from anybody that says, ‘Hey listen this guy is nearing or approaching being able to play.'” 

Roberson, 27, has not played in a game this season as he has attempted to return from knee surgery. He originally ruptured his patella tendon in Jan. 2018 and since then has undergone arthroscopic surgery to alleviate pressure and suffered a pair of setbacks, including a small avulsion fracture in his knee in late November.

While his defensive prowess has been missed, the Thunder clinched a playoff spot behind an MVP-caliber season from Paul George and another statistically dominant year from Russell Westbrook.

Since the Thunder signed Roberson to a three-year, $30MM pact in July 2017, he has appeared in just 39 games.

Thunder Notes: Ferguson, Felton, Abrines

Despite Andre Roberson missing the entire season to this point, the Thunder have continued to thrive as Paul George has developed into a serious MVP candidate and other role players have stepped up in their respective roles. The main example of such improvement is Terrance Ferguson, who has maintained his hold on a starting role past the halfway point of the season.

As Maddie Lee details for The Oklahoman, the Thunder put the ball in Ferguson’s hands more during Summer League, which he believes has translated to his improvement and confidence so far this season.

While his statistics suffered during the Summer League experiment, Ferguson is finding open teammates more often and is playing with a confidence that has unlocked more components of his game.

There’s more for the Thunder:

Western Notes: Capela, Brunson, Kings, Roberson

Clint Capela‘s thumb injury could cost him a $2MM bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. The Rockets center has a 2,000-minute criteria tied into the team reaching the Western Conference Finals and for a defensive rebounding percentage above 30%. He has another bonus for attempting 150 or more free throws and a free throw percentage above 65%. He is currently shooting 62.6% from the line. Through 42 games, Capela has played 1,436 minutes. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks rookie Jalen Brunson and veteran Devin Harris will pick up the minutes vacated by backup point guard J.J. Barea, who suffered a torn Achilles on Friday, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Brunson played 30 minutes against the Warriors on Sunday but Harris will see his role expand as well. “He’s going to be ready and he’s going to be there for us,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Harris.
  • Kings assistant coaches under Dave Joerger are having their options for next season picked up by the front office, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. That group includes Bryan Gates, Elston Turner, Bob Thornton, Jason March, Duane Ticknor, Larry Lewis, Bobby Jackson, Phil Ricci and Dan Hartfield. It’s a way of aligning the contracts of the staff with Joerger’s deal. The surprising Kings are currently a game above .500.
  • Kings GM Vlade Divac warned members of the executive board to stop meddling in the team’s affairs, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. Divac made the pronouncement during a conference call with 13 members of the  executive board, along with lead owner Vivek Ranadive. Divac has been frustrated by internal complaints and used the forum to demand respect, Amick adds.
  • Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson remains sidelined indefinitely, coach Billy Donovan told Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman and other media members. “He’s worked hard, he’s doing all he needs to do but he’s still in the rehab process.”  Roberson suffered a season-ending left knee injury last January and suffered a setback in late November when an MRI revealed an avulsion fracture in the knee.

Northwest Notes: Roberson, Teague, Adams

While the Thunder have gotten off to a strong start, they would surely love to have Andre Roberson back in the lineup. Roberson has had several setbacks in his recovery from the ruptured left patellar tendon he suffered nearly a year ago. However, as Erik Horne reveals for The Oklahoman, Roberson has stayed active during his recovery and has led some defensive film sessions with the team’s young wing players.

Most notably, Terrance Ferguson has benefited the most from these film sessions, as he has stepped up to a bigger role in the starting lineup as a result of his much-improved defense. Led by quality defenders such as Paul George and Steven Adams, the Thunder have length and versatility throughout their number-one ranked defense.

The Thunder have been below average offensively this season, which highlights how much of their success is derived by their defense. And even when Roberson can’t play, he is still making his mark on the defense.

There’s more from the Northwest division:

  • Erik Horne also details Steven Adams‘ case for being an All-Star this season, highlighted by the advanced metrics that paint the picture of Adams being one of the best centers in the league. However, as Horne also points out, Adams isn’t focused on being an All-Star.
  • Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, they will continue to be without starting point guard Jeff Teague for another 7-10 days, according to Alan Horton (via Twitter), the radio voice of the Wolves. The Timberwolves have struggled in recent games as they continue to adjust to life without Jimmy Butler.
  • Speaking of the Timberwolves, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes that Derrick Rose has struggled with an ankle injury and could miss some time, which would leave the Wolves short at point guard as they look to bounce back from recent losses.

Andre Roberson Suffers Setback In Rehab

Thunder swingman Andre Roberson has suffered another setback in his recovery from knee surgery, a team spokesperson said today, per Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter links). As Young relays, Roberson experienced discomfort after landing from a jump, and an MRI revealed that he had suffered a small avulsion fracture in his knee. He’ll be re-evaluated in six weeks.

While Roberson’s latest setback is discouraging, it doesn’t entirely reset his timetable, Young notes. The 26-year-old had been progressing toward a return, but was still a ways off from making his 2018/19 debut anyway. In six weeks, the Thunder should have a better sense of when exactly he might be ready get back on the court, says Young.

It has been an unfortunate run of bad luck for Roberson, who missed a good chunk of the 2017/18 campaign, including the playoffs, due to the knee injury he initially suffered back in January. Even after he underwent another procedure in May, there was a hope that he’d be ready for the start of this season, but he sustained at least one setback in the fall that pushed back his recovery timetable. Today’s news comes on the heels of a report that his rehab was on “a really good track.”

The Thunder have played well in Roberson’s absence this season, getting off to a 13-7 start. Still, they won’t be at their best until they have their top perimeter defender back in the lineup, so they’ll hope the former first-round pick is able to make it back for the second half of 2018/19.

Northwest Notes: Roberson, Nuggets, Saric, Thunder

Thunder swingman Andre Roberson is on “a really good track” in his rehab from left knee surgery, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. Roberson underwent the arthroscopic surgery in May to relieve inflammation.

“I’m sure for him there are some days he’s sorer than others,” coach Billy Donovan said on Roberson’s rehab. “But overall, he just continues to progress and get better.

“You guys have seen him out here. He’s cutting, he’s moving. He’s been on a really good track.”

Roberson participated in defensive drills on Thursday, according to Horne, and his conditioning drills have been ramped up in the past month. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in the coming weeks for a potential return.

When healthy, Roberson is a top-tier defensive wing with years of experience playing alongside All-Star Russell Westbrook. The Thunder hold a 13-7 record and the No. 4 seed in the West this season without Roberson, who’s expected to return to the starting lineup at some point this year.

There’s more from the Northwest Division tonight:

  • The Nuggets have a look of a dangerous team this season, Mike Singer of The Denver Post writes. Denver has a 14-7 record just six weeks into the 2017/18 season, playing solid basketball on both ends of the floor. The team has yet to play with Isaiah Thomas, who was signed to a free-agent contract last summer. “It’s one of the deepest and youngest teams that I’ve ever had, and that’s what I like about our team,” coach Mike Malone said.
  • New Timberwolves forward Dario Saric revealed what it’s like to be traded in the NBA with CBS Sports’ James Herbert, just weeks after he was moved from Philadelphia: “It’s just different,” Saric said. “You don’t have time to prepare, or somebody asks you, like, ‘What do you think?’ Normal people, somebody calls them and says, ‘Do you want to accept the job, yes or no?’ You have maybe two days or one day to decide. But here, they just trade you. You are like a bag, you know? Like some bucket, you know? And they just move you around. But that’s life. What can you do?”
  • The addition of Dennis Schroder and subtraction of Carmelo Anthony has played a role in the Thunder‘s early season success, Brett Dawson of The Athletic writes. Oklahoma City traded for Schroder this past offseason, with the 25-year-old averaging 16.8 points in 20 games so far.

Northwest Notes: Roberson, Ingles, Timberwolves

With Andre Roberson now out until at least December, the Thunder won’t rush into the free agency market to find a replacement, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Coach Billy Donovan plans to give closer evaluation to players who have either been injured or haven’t been used in prominent roles during training camp, such as Abdel Nader, Alex Abrines and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

“That’s something [general manager] Sam [Presti] and I will probably talk about together with [assistant GM] Troy [Weaver], the three of us would,” Donovan said, “but right now having the number of players that we have on the roster for training camp, there’s enough.”

Oklahoma City has 14 players with guaranteed contracts, so a roster spot is available if the team opts for the free agent route. The Thunder are well over the luxury tax line with a team salary in excess of $145MM, but they cut their tax bill by about $20MM by waiving and stretching Kyle Singler. OKC has its entire $5.6MM taxpayer mid-level exception available.

There’s more tonight from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t willing to brush aside his team’s slow starts as a product of the preseason, relays Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Minnesota’s first unit fell behind 34-22 in Wednesday’s game against the Clippers and 31-20 after one quarter Friday against the Thunder. “You can fall into a trap thinking it’s preseason, we’ll get it, we’ll get it,” Thibodeau said. “That fact of the matter is, we open in 12 days. So the urgency has to be there.” Part of the problem, of course, is that the Wolves are missing a key member of their starting five as Jimmy Butler has remained in limbo since issuing his trade request.
  • Jazz forward Joe Ingles believes he’s among the league’s best shooters, relays Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News. He has the statistics to back up that statement, shooting 44% from 3-point range over the past two seasons. “The numbers I’ve shot, the percentages, they obviously are what they are and people are going to dissect everything,” Ingles said, “but, I honestly feel like they’re all going to go in when I shoot the ball.”
  • The Timberwolves have announced a few promotions, naming Todd Checovich as scout/GM for the G League Iowa Wolves, Nick Restifo as senior basketball operations analyst and Troy Sutton as head strength and conditioning coach.

Andre Roberson Suffers Setback, Out At Least Two Months

Thunder forward Andre Roberson will miss at least two more months of action after suffering a setback in his rehab from knee surgery, tweets Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Roberson had a procedure on Thursday to alleviate irritation in his left knee caused by a suture.

Roberson could be sidelined for more than two months, with the team set to reevaluate his status in early December. The setback stems from when he ruptured his patellar tendon in January. He resumed various running activities this fall, but was unable to participate in contact drills.

“You don’t replace him,” head coach Billy Donovan said at the time. “It’s no different than having a guy that gets 25 points a game and goes out. You’re not going to have one person go out and replace 25 points.”

Despite not averaging 25 points per contest, Roberson is an accomplished defensive presence and important cog in the team’s plans. He often guards the opposing team’s best player, willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win games.

Roberson, who was drafted with the 26th pick in 2013, is set to enter his sixth professional season. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team in 2017 and remains a top defensive player when healthy.

Northwest Notes: Thunder, Roberson, Curry, Gibson

With a mammoth luxury tax bill looming at the end of the year, the Thunder plan on sticking with 14 players on their roster to begin this season, reports Erik Horne of The Oklahoman.

“Right now we’re going with what we have,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “If something changes, I’ve always said this with Sam (Presti) and Troy (Weaver), they’re always looking to improve, make our team better all the time… that would be something that if Sam decided to do that, we’d probably talk about that.”

As Horne notes, the decision to keep the roster at fourteen makes sense considering the Thunder would face major luxury tax implications with the signing of a fifteenth player.

Right now, both Bryce Alford and K.J. McDaniels are on training camp contracts with the Thunder, so they’ll ultimately be waived if Horne’s report is accurate unless one of them impresses enough to force the Thunder into waiving someone with a guaranteed salary.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • In another piece for The Oklahoman, Horne writes that Thunder swingman Andre Roberson has been looking good in practice despite not yet being cleared for contact. Because he’s still rehabbing, he’s mostly limited to shooting drills at this point.
  • Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that all indications out of Trail Blazers practice is that new addition Seth Curry is looking good. Teammates are praising his jump-shooting and playmaking ability, while coaches are impressed with his basketball intelligence and versatility.
  • According to Nick Friedell of ESPNTimberwolves forward Taj Gibson was surprised at Jimmy Butler‘s trade demand, saying, “I worked out with him all summer, so when I said what I meant, it was like a right hook. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know. I thought — it looked like from everything things were going good.”

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Roberson, Nuggets, Towns

The Trail Blazers didn’t make any major roster moves this offseason, but tweaked their roster slightly by adding players like Seth Curry, Nik Stauskas, and Anfernee Simons. Head of basketball operations Neil Olshey said on Monday that he’s “happy with what we did” over the summer, though he acknowledged that Portland was outbid for six veteran free agents (Twitter link via Joe Freeman of The Oregonian).

In other Trail Blazers news, starting small forward Maurice Harkless continues to recover from arthroscopic left knee surgery, and his availability during training camp is limited (link via Freeman). Harkless said he’ll be involved in practices, but he hasn’t been cleared to play in 5-on-5 games and doesn’t think he’ll be 100% in practices.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Andre Roberson, who ruptured his left patellar tendon last season, provided an update on his recovery timetable on Monday, indicating that he expects to be cleared for contact soon and back to full speed “around December.” Cliff Brunt of The Associated Press has the details, along with the full quotes from the Thunder‘s top defender.
  • The Nuggets aren’t providing any timelines for Isaiah Thomas or Michael Porter Jr. to make their respective debuts with the club, as Matt L. Stephens of The Denver Post writes. The team sounds ready to take a cautious approach with both players. “I do not have a date right now, I’m going to take my sweet time, because I’ve rushed it before and that did not work out for me,” Thomas said of his own status. “We’re not worried about right now. We’re worried about April, worried about the playoffs and me being as healthy as I can going into that stretch. However long it takes, I’m only going to go out on the court when I can produce at a high level.”
  • After officially signing his new maximum-salary extension with the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns spoke to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic about the deal, which he admits took “a lot longer than I expected” to get done.