Nets Rumors

Kyrie Irving To Miss Game Due To Shoulder Injury

After losing Caris LeVert for several weeks, the Nets are now dealing with injury issues to their lone healthy superstar. Kyrie Irving will miss Saturday’s contest against the Bulls with a right shoulder impingement, the team announced.

Irving has been a force this season, averaging 28.5 PPG and 7.2 APG across 11 games, both career-highs. However, the Nets have struggled out of the gate and Irving’s right shoulder impingement further complicates matters.

A specialist who recently spoke to Brian Lewis of the New York Post regarding Irving’s ailment recommended that the star point guard be treated carefully with time off rather than pushed.

“The only question here is there’s advanced imaging done to make sure there is no further damage to the rotator cuff or bursa,” Dr. Stephen Hunt said. “If not, it can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Usually it’s something that responds well to non-operative management.”

Brooklyn is currently 4-7, good for ninth in the Eastern Conference. It remains to be seen how Irving’s injury is handled, but given the team’s struggles and already depleted backcourt, it’s fair to wonder whether or not Kyrie should get more than just one night off.

Caris LeVert Undergoes Thumb Surgery, Out 4-6 Weeks

NOVEMBER 14, 1:27pm: LeVert will likely be sidelined for approximately four to six weeks, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

NOVEMBER 14, 12:14pm: LeVert underwent successful surgery today to repair ligaments in his right thumb, the Nets announced (via Twitter). The team didn’t provide a specific timeline for LeVert’s return, stating updates will be “provided as appropriate.” However, Charania reiterates (via Twitter) that the fourth-year guard will likely miss several weeks.

NOVEMBER 13, 4:01pm: The Nets fear that guard Caris LeVert has ligament damage in his right thumb and will be sidelined for the next several weeks, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (video link).

Brooklyn has yet to make any formal announcements on LeVert’s status, but we can probably expect an update from the team soon, as Charania reported earlier in the day that the 25-year-old was visiting specialists to undergo further evaluations on his thumb injury.

Although the Nets haven’t officially revealed LeVert’s recovery timeline, the team signed Iman Shumpert this afternoon for extra depth on the wing, which is a strong hint that Charania’s report is accurate.

Brooklyn will be free to carry Shumpert for the next month, then will have to either release him or trade or waive another player by December 15, when Wilson Chandler‘s 25-game suspension ends. By that point, LeVert may be back or at least close to returning, reducing the need for an additional wing like Shumpert.

The thumb injury is a tough break for LeVert, who missed over half of last season due to a major ankle injury. He was off to a solid start in 2019/20, with 16.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 4.0 APG to go along with a .421/.361/.645 shooting line in nine games (31.6 MPG).

Examining What Shumpert Can Bring To Nets

Nets Sign Iman Shumpert

3:50pm: The Nets have officially signed Shumpert, the team announced today in a press release. His minimum-salary contract will pay him about $13.1K per day as long as he remains on the roster.

2:24pm: The Nets are bringing in free agent swingman Iman Shumpert, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. No corresponding roster move will be necessary, as Brooklyn has the ability to carry a 16th man until Wilson Chandler returns from suspension.

The news of Shumpert signing coincides with Stadium’s Shams Charania reporting that Caris LeVert is expected to miss several weeks because of feared ligament damage in his thumb. LeVert, who recently signed a three-year, $52MM extension, has missed 79 games because of injury since coming into the league.

Shumpert’s deal will give him the opportunity to once again be teammates with Kyrie Irving after the two vets won a title in Cleveland together. As NetsDaily relays, Irving lobbied for the team to sign Shumpert over the summer.

As we explained earlier this month, players serving longer-term suspensions can be moved to the suspended list after five games, at which point a team is eligible to add an extra player to its roster. Chandler will be eligible to return from his 25-game ban on December 15, so Brooklyn will have to make a roster move at that time, releasing Shumpert or trading or waiving of its other players to get back down to 15 players on standard contracts.

Nets, CEO David Levy Part Ways After Two Months

Less than two months after he joined the Nets as the CEO of the franchise and the Barclays Center, David Levy and the Nets are parting ways, the team announced today in a press release. Oliver Wiesberg, the CEO of J Tsai Sports and the Nets’ alternative governor, has been named Levy’s replacement on an interim basis.

While the Nets’ announcement and a statement from Levy himself classify the move as a mutual agreement to part ways, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg suggests in his report that the longtime Turner Broadcasting executive resigned from his new post in Brooklyn.

Levy replaced former CEO Brett Yormark in September when new owner Joe Tsai officially assumed control of the franchise from Mikhail Prokhorov. Presumably, the two sides expected the relationship to last longer than two months, so there’s likely more to the story than they’re willing to reveal at this point.

Wiesberg’s statement in the Nets’ press release may offer a hint at the circumstances surrounding Levy’s departure. That statement reads, in part: “As we enter an exciting next chapter of our organization, it’s important that ownership and management are completely aligned on our go forward plan.”

Lowe: Nets Need More From DeAndre Jordan

  • In his Friday column for ESPN.com, Zach Lowe noted that DeAndre Jordan has gotten off to a poor start in the first season of a lucrative four-year contract with the Nets, failing to deter opponents from scoring at the rim. Brooklyn will need more from the veteran center going forward to justify its investment, Lowe argued. As Brian Lewis of The New York Post details, Jordan was one of the few bright spots during a blowout loss to Phoenix on Sunday, scoring 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Dinwiddie Calls Claxton Team's Second-Most Talented Player

Spencer Dinwiddie, speaking after the debut of Nets rookie center Nicolas Claxton on Friday night in a 119-115 victory against Portland, called the 20 year-old the team’s second-most talented player. Claxton, drafted 31st by Brooklyn this summer, scored eight points on three-of-five shooting from the field and pulled down six boards in just 12 minutes of action.

Those comments reflect just how high Dinwiddie is on the rookie, considering he apparently has him ahead of Kyrie Irving on his informal list of Brooklyn’s most talented players. Irving, the Nets’ only healthy current All-Star, is averaging 31.9 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game for the 4-4 squad.

Meanwhile, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson lauded Claxton’s defensive awareness: “Just understanding the coverages,” Atkinson noted. “I think one time in the first half we were switching everything and he handled that fantastically. That was part of the reason we drafted him, that he was versatile and could guard five positions, so he proved that.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/7/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Nuggets have assigned rookie forward Vlatko Cancar to the Erie BayHawks, the team’s PR department tweets. The 2017 second-round selection has appeared in one game, a two-minute cameo on Oct. 31. Denver doesn’t have a G League affiliate.
  • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Derrick Walton Jr. to the Agua Caliente Clippers for a practice and then recalled them, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets.
  • The Bulls assigned swingman Denzel Valentine, who missed last season due to an ankle injury, to the Windy City Bulls, the team’s PR department tweets. Valentine practiced with the G League team and is expected to remain with them for their first two games on Friday and Saturday. Rookie power forward Daniel Gafford was also assigned to the Windy City Bulls and will remain for their season opener, according to another team tweet.
  • The Spurs assigned forward Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, then recalled him prior to their game against Oklahoma City, according to a team press release. He’ll be re-assigned to Austin for its season opener on Friday.
  • The Hawks assigned swingman Allen Crabbe to the College Park Skyhawks for a practice and then recalled him, according to Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the team’s PR department (Twitter links). Crabbe is working his way back from knee surgery.
  • The Hornets assigned two rookies, guard Cody Martin and forward Caleb Martin, to the Greensboro Swarm for a practice and then recalled them, according to a team press release. They also recalled rookie forward Jalen McDaniels, according to another team release.

Nets Notes: TLC, Kurucs, Jordan

  • Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot could have made more money by returning overseas, but he decided to accept a two-way contract with the Nets, as he explains to Chris Milholen of NetsDaily. “I wanted to still keep a foot in the NBA,” said Luwawu-Cabarrot, who played with Long Island Nets head coach Shaun Fein several years ago in France. “The Nets always gave their two-ways an opportunity to play and that was the goal. I am just trying to get better with everything I work on. In the G League, be a leader of the team, try to do something good with the team.”
  • In other Nets news, Brian Lewis of The New York Post explores Rodions Kurucs‘ struggles to adjust to a new role this season, while Peter Botte of The New York Post says DeAndre Jordan‘s ankle injury isn’t as bad as initially feared. Jordan is being listed as day-to-day.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/4/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • Pistons first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya was assigned to the Grand Rapids Drive, Eric Woodyard of ESPN tweets. The teenage forward had been in the league’s concussion protocol since late in the preseason.
  • The Raptors assigned rookie big man Dewan Hernandez to Raptors 905, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. Hernandez has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Wizards recalled rookie guard Justin Robinson prior to their team’s game against the Pistons, the team’s PR department tweets. The point guard has made two cameo appearances this season.
  • The Celtics assigned first-round pick Romeo Langford to the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets.  The rookie guard from Indiana is still looking for his first NBA basket.
  • The Nets recalled power forward Nicolas Claxton from their Long Island affiliate, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. The rookie out of Georgia has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Mavericks recalled rookie forward Isaiah Roby from the Texas Legends, according to a team press release. This is the second time the second-round pick has been recalled from the G League.