Bones Hyland

Injury Updates: Beal, Bucks, Suns, Banchero, Lakers, More

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced. However, Beal will still miss Saturday’s game against Utah due to “return to competition reconditioning,” with further updates to be provided as he continues to inch closer to a return.

Beal has missed three games while in the protocols, with the Wizards going 2-1 without their star shooting guard. Through nine games, he’s averaging 21.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists on .517/.325/.917 shooting in 35.1 minutes per night.

Here are several more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee soreness) and Jrue Holiday (right ankle sprain) were both ruled out for Friday’s loss to the Spurs, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Both players missed their second consecutive game for the league-leading Bucks, holders of a 10-2 record in the early going.
  • Similarly, Suns guard Chris Paul was ruled out for the second straight game Friday, in what turned out to be a loss to the Magic, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Fellow guard Landry Shamet (concussion symptoms) was also sidelined after scoring a season-high 16 points in Wednesday’s win over Minnesota. “We didn’t see anything. Just kind of jumped up on him last night. It just speaks to how complicated those things are. Can go for a while and not even know something is going on and then it just jumps up on you,” head coach Monty Williams said of Shamet (Twitter link via Rankin). For Orlando, No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero missed his second straight contest with a left ankle sprain.
  • The Lakers provided an update today on center Thomas Bryant and guard Dennis Schröder, both of whom are recovering from thumb surgery. They were evaluated this week and are said to be progressing well, and both players will be reevaluated next Thursday, as Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times relays (via Twitter).
  • Shaedon Sharpe, the No. 7 overall pick, has suffered a volar avulsion fracture to his right fifth finger, the Trail Blazers announced in a press release. He’s considered day-to-day going forward and is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest at Dallas.
  • Nuggets guard Bones Hyland has entered the league’s health and safety protocols and was ruled out for Friday’s loss at Boston, Denver announced (via Twitter). Hyland is a key reserve for Denver, with averages of 14.0 points and 3.7 assists through nine games (20.7 minutes). He’ll need to pass some testing requirements before returning to action. The Nuggets play Sunday, Wednesday and Friday next week.
  • Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, was downgraded from questionable to out on Friday with left shin soreness, tweets Keith Langlois of On a positive note, wing Alec Burks made his 2022/23 season debut following foot surgery, scoring 17 points in 25 minutes during Detroit’s loss at New York.

Nuggets Notes: Porter, Brown, Hyland, Green

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. wasn’t part of the Nuggets‘ crunch-time lineup during Monday’s win over San Antonio, playing just 11 seconds in the final eight minutes of the game, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). However, after Denver pulled out a 115-109 win, Porter was focused on celebrating his teammates rather than bemoaning his lack of fourth-quarter playing time.

“Even if I’m not on the floor at the end of the game, we got a lot of good players, so I’m not gonna be selfish. Even though I want to be on the floor, it’s whatever coach thinks gives us the best chance to win. I would’ve rather been sitting on the bench and cheering my teammates on and win the game, than me be in the game and we lose,” Porter said, before adding with a smile: “Even though I don’t think we would’ve lost.”

Porter scored 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting on Monday and is on a maximum-salary contract, so he could have griped about being benched down the stretch. But with the Nuggets opting for defense over offense in the fourth quarter, head coach Michael Malone was pleased with how Porter handled the decision.

“That’s a big part of our culture,” Malone said. “Being selfless. Get over yourself, it’s not about you. It’s about the team. … Our players understand, you gotta sacrifice. If you want to be a great team, we all gotta check our egos at the door.”

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post makes the case that the Nuggets should move Bruce Brown into their starting five in place of Porter, noting that Brown has developed chemistry with Nikola Jokic and would improve the group defensively. Porter, meanwhile, would get a chance to be the go-to scoring option on the second unit, according to Kiszla, who argues that the young forward has the potential to be “the best sixth man on the planet.”
  • Porter already makes the most sense as the starter to stagger with the second unit, according to Singer of The Denver Post, who observes that the forward meshes well with reserve guard Bones Hyland, with the two players sharing offensive responsibilities and Porter’s reliable outside shooting giving Hyland more room to attack defenses off the dribble.
  • After exercising his player option this past summer to remain in Denver, forward Jeff Green has emerged as a respected veteran voice in the locker room, Singer writes for The Denver Post. “I speak up with what I see,” Green said. “I make sure it’s heard, and guys take it how they want to take it.”

Northwest Notes: Daigneault, Hyland, Nuggets, Gobert

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said he’ll be less forthcoming with the media regarding injuries, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets.

The team was fined $25K by the league for failing “to disclose the game availability status of guard Josh Giddey in an accurate and timely manner” prior to Monday’s contest against the Magic. Daigneault believes his comments to the media the previous day led to the fine, so he’ll be more cautious in the future.

“I’m going to have to be a little less transparent when you say, ‘Hey, so and so, what did they do today?'” Daigneault said. “I’m going to be a little bit more rigid to the injury reporting because we obviously don’t want to put the organization in that situation again.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Bones Hyland has a flashy playing style that could get under the skin of some coaches but the Nuggets Michael Malone doesn’t want to bottle up any of the point guard’s swagger, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. “This is how Bones plays,” Malone said. “I’m not going to take a player and try to make him into John Stockton when he’s not John Stockton.” Hyland had 24 points and seven assists in 25 minutes against San Antonio on Saturday.
  • Malone admits that shot-blocking is one of the Nuggets’ weak points since Nikola Jokic doesn’t provide that type of presence, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports tweets. “We don’t have great rim protection,” Malone said. “It’s just not one of Nikola’s strengths. He’s a phenomenal player, but he’s not a shot-blocker.” Jokic has averaged 0.7 blocks per game during his career.
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert won’t play against New York on Monday, the team tweets. Gobert was placed in the league’s health and safety protocols on Saturday.

Northwest Notes: Towns, Dort, Alexander-Walker, Hyland

Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns is back in practice after being hospitalized for a non-COVID illness, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Anthony-Towns still hasn’t fully recovered his voice and will be eased back into action, but expects to be ready for the season opener.

“I’m still recovering, I’m still getting better,” Towns said. ” I know it sounds weird I’m talking like this, but this is as loud as I can get. This is as much as I could give you.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Thunder guard Luguentz Dort sustained a concussion during Sunday’s practice and has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol, according to a team press release. Dort, who was limited to 51 games last season, signed a five-year, $87.5MM contract in July and projects as the team’s starting small forward.
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker appeared in 15 games with the Jazz last season after being acquired in a three-team deal. He has made a strong impression early in training camp as he attempts to solidify a rotation spot, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. Alexander-Walker, who could be a restricted free agent next summer, believes his development has been stalled by playing under different systems. “It’s hard to develop under five different coaches in four years … I think it’s safe to say that in all four years I’ve had a different role and it’s not always clear what that role is,” he said. “I’m still trying to understand that and understand how I can get better.”
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone wasn’t happy with the performance of Bones Hyland in Monday’s preseason opener, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post“Bones has to do a better job of running his team, and when things aren’t going your way, keep playing,” Malone said. “I thought he took some plays off, which is unacceptable.” Hyland took the criticism well. “He came in here (for Tuesday’s practice) ready to work, ready to get better, and he owned it,” Malone said. “He didn’t come in here feeling sorry for himself. That’s a big step for him.”

Nuggets Exercise Bones Hyland’s 2023/24 Option

The Nuggets have picked up their team option on Bones Hyland for 2023/24, reports Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). The move locks in Hyland’s $2,306,400 salary for his third NBA season.

The No. 26 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Hyland enjoyed a successful rookie season that saw him establish himself as a regular part of Denver’s backcourt rotation. The 22-year-old averaged 10.1 PPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.7 RPG in 69 appearances (19.0 MPG), with a shooting line of .403/.366/.856.

Even with Jamal Murray returning to action this season, Hyland is expected to once again play a key role for the Nuggets, who traded away point guard Monte Morris over the summer.

Denver’s next decision on Hyland – on his 2024/25 option – will be due next fall. Assuming that option is picked up, Hyland will become extension-eligible during the 2024 offseason and would be a restricted free agent in 2025 if he doesn’t sign an extension before then.

The Nuggets are also exercising their 2023/24 option on Zeke Nnaji. We’re tracking all of this year’s rookie scale team option decisions right here.

Northwest Notes: Hyland, Beverley, Mazzulla, Thunder

The Nuggets‘ decision to part with Monte Morris and Will Barton in the trade for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope creates a larger opportunity for second-year guard Bones Hyland, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

Hyland made an immediate impact with Denver, averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 69 games and earning a second-team spot on the All-Rookie Team. His strong first season gave the front office confidence to make the deal with Washington.

“I knew what the move was,” Hyland said. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Patrick Beverley, who was shipped from the Timberwolves to the Jazz in the Rudy Gobert trade, disagrees with anyone who believes he was disrespected in Minnesota. Many observers were surprised to see the veteran guard moved after he helped to install a culture of toughness that enabled the Wolves to reach the playoffs, but Beverley is at peace with his time in Minnesota. “It took me five months to make $13MM,” said Beverley, who got that amount on a one-year extension in February. “Y’all can say they did me wrong. I say they did me right.” (video link from Pro City Hoops).
  • Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla seemed like an unusual choice to be among the finalists for the Jazz head coaching job, but he told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that it’s how Utah CEO Danny Ainge operates. Mazzulla didn’t have a role on the front of Boston’s bench before being promoted this summer, but Ainge sees potential in him. “It was definitely surprising, but I think because Danny is Danny and a creative guy in how he thinks outside the box, that made it less surprising,” Mazzulla said. “Not many people think the way he does.”
  • Travis Roach of The Oklahoman warns that the Thunder‘s desire to build a new arena doesn’t come with guaranteed economic benefits.

Nuggets Notes: Murray, Hyland, Jokic, Connelly, Cousins

When Jamal Murray was practicing with the Nuggets in April and weighing the possibility of returning from his ACL tear, he was more apprehensive on the defensive side of the ball than on offense, Mike Singer of The Denver Post said on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto.

“He was concerned about fighting around screens, getting dinged, diving for loose balls, and that half-second hesitancy that might still be there as a result of that ACL tear he had,” Singer said.

However, that hesitancy was no longer evident when Murray practiced with Denver’s Summer League team a few weeks ago, according to Singer, who suggests that Denver’s decision to trade Monte Morris signals the club is confident in Murray’s ability to return strong in 2022/23.

The Morris trade was also a sign that Bones Hyland will have a bigger role going forward, according to Scotto, who has heard that the 2021 first-rounder has put on six pounds of muscle this offseason and is working out twice a day as he prepares for a minutes bump in the fall.

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Singer suggests that if Morris had reached free agency this summer, he likely would’ve earned a deal in the range of $14-15MM annually, as opposed to the $9MM he’ll make on his current deal. The Nuggets’ reluctance to pay that much to retain the point guard once his contract expires in 2024 was one reason why the team was willing to move him. As for Will Barton, his age (32 in January), injury history, and defensive limitations were factors in Denver’s decision to trade him, per Singer.
  • People around the Nuggets were “pinching themselves” when Nikola Jokic signed a five-year extension to remain with the team and appreciated that those negotiations were drama-free, according to Singer. As Singer points out, Denver is typically viewed as “a place where (star) free agents don’t want to come,” so Jokic’s decision to commit long-term was a testament to the relationship he has built with the franchise. Of course, the fact that he’ll be in line for a projected $270MM (an NBA record) on the five-year deal probably didn’t hurt either.
  • Singer believes that if the Nuggets had offered president of basketball operations Tim Connelly an extension worth about $5-6MM per year before the Timberwolves began pursuing him in earnest, he likely would’ve been “eager to stay” in Denver. However, the Nuggets were unwilling to match the five-year, $40MM offer Minnesota eventually made.
  • Singer got the impression there was some “friction” behind the scenes with DeMarcus Cousins last season, which is one reason why the Nuggets signed DeAndre Jordan this summer to fill that backup center role.

Northwest Notes: Morris, Hyland, Nuggets Draft, Minott, Wiggins

The impending trade of JaMychal Green to the Thunder portends a very busy summer for the Nuggets, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes.

Denver is intent on maximizing Nikola Jokic‘s prime years, so the fact that the team now has two first-rounders in this year’s draft suggests more moves are coming. It’s unlikely two rookies would have an immediate impact on a team with championship aspirations.

With Jamal Murray returning this season, Monte Morris could be moved. He has an affordable contract and has generated significant interest around the league, a source told Singer. Alternatively, the Nuggets might consider moving Bones Hyland for a much-needed defensive wing player.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • If Denver holds onto the No. 21 pick or trades up in the draft, which wings might interest the front office as it looks to improve the team defensively? Singer lists a handful of wing prospects, including Duke’s AJ Griffin and Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell.
  • University of Memphis forward Josh Minott visited the Jazz and that’s significant, given where Minott is projected to go in the draft, according to Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Most of the prospects the Jazz have worked out are projected as late second-round selections at best. In contrast, Minott is expected to go higher in the second round and could even sneak into the first round. He’s rated as the No. 46 prospect on ESPN’s Best Available list. Utah doesn’t currently have a draft pick.
  • Andrew Wiggins followed the footsteps of Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love by winning an NBA championship after being dealt by the Timberwolves in a high-profile trade, Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Reusse seeks out opinions from several sources as to why Wiggins has excelled with Golden State after underperforming with Minnesota.

Barnes, Cunningham, Mobley Head All-Rookie Team

Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Franz Wagner and Jalen Green comprised this year’s All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced in a press release.

Barnes, Cunningham and Mobley were all unanimous selections, receiving the maximum total of 200 points each. Wagner received 183 points, followed by Green with 158. Strangely, one media member left Wagner off their ballot completely, as he received 99 of 100 possible votes.

Raptors wing Barnes, who narrowly edged Cavaliers big man Mobley for the Rookie of the Year award, ranked third in points (15.3) and rebounds (7.5) among all rookies, and fifth in assists (3.5). Mobley was fifth in points (15.0) and led all first-year players in rebounds (8.3) and blocks (1.67) per game.

Pistons guard Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, was first among rookies in points (17.4), second in assists (5.6) and fifth in rebounds (5.5). Magic forward Wagner also had a great year, averaging 15.4 points (fourth among rookies), 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 79 games. Rockets guard Green finished the season strong, scoring 20+ points in 17 of his last 25 games on his way to averaging 17.3 points, second among first-year players.

Pelicans defensive ace Herbert Jones (123 votes) and Thunder floor general Josh Giddey (122 votes) headline the Second Team. Jones averaged 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals (first among rookies) and should at least receive votes for an All-Defensive nod, even if he doesn’t end up making one of the two teams.

In addition to averaging 12.5 points, Giddey was second among rookies in rebounds (7.8) and first in assists (6.4), but he only appeared in 54 of 82 games, having missed the final 23 contests with a hip injury, which is likely why he didn’t receive more First Team votes.

Here are both All-Rookie teams in full, with their voting point totals noted in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

2021/22 All-Rookie First Team:

2021/22 All-Rookie Second Team:

Ten other rookies received votes — you can view the full voting results right here. Among the group that missed the cut, Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (47) was just behind Duarte, with Kings guard Davion Mitchell (28) the only other player receiving a significant number of votes.

Nuggets Notes: Hyland, Murray, Rivers, Green

It’s common for NBA veterans to take rookies under their wing, but Nuggets guard Bones Hyland has a mentor who isn’t even on his team, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. A few months ago, team president Tim Connelly and assistant coach Charles Klask asked Isaiah Thomas to reach out to Hyland, and Thomas has played a role in the first-year guard’s development.

Thomas, who is currently with the Hornets, spent some time with the Nuggets during the 2018/19 season. He invited Hyland to contact him any time he had questions, and now they’re in contact at least once a week.

“He’s a great kid, he takes information in really well, he asks questions all the time,” Thomas said of Hyland, who has become Denver’s third-leading scorer. “That’s the biggest thing probably with the younger guys, them (being) scared to ask questions. He’s a guy, he’ll text me in the middle of the night about some stuff that happened in the game and what he should do. I’m in his corner. I’m a big fan of his game. I’m a big fan of the person he is.”

There’s more on the Nuggets:

  • The team’s repeated teases about Jamal Murray‘s status is frustrating for fans, contends Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. There have been several reports about Murray’s chances to return from ACL surgery, but very little solid information on whether to expect him in the playoffs or even in the final week of the regular season. Nikola Jokic advised his teammate not to risk a comeback unless he’s certain that he’s fully healed. “I told Jamal, if you’re not 100% ready, don’t come back. It’s stupid,”  Jokic said. “You risk (getting re-injured) if you’re not 100% ready to go. Especially in the playoffs.”
  • Coach Michael Malone said Connelly talked to the NBA about Austin Rivers‘ ejection this week, but there’s no reason to expect the technical foul or accompanying fine to be rescinded, Singer tweets. Rivers was thrown out of Wednesday’s game against the Pacers for elbowing Lance Stephenson, but replays showed that very little contact was made. Rivers tweeted his disbelief following the game, writing, Never in my life have I been thrown out of Game for something so ridiculous. Seriously…never. League gotta look at this one.”
  • Jeff Green, who left Friday’s game for personal reasons, isn’t on the team’s injury report for today, according to Singer (Twitter link).