Darius Garland

Cavaliers Notes: Allen, Garland, Bench, Mitchell

A right eye injury that Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen suffered in Friday’s loss at Miami may not be as bad as the team originally feared, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Allen walked to the locker room with a towel over his eye after being swiped by Bam Adebayo during a battle for a rebound late in the fourth quarter. He’s listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game at Charlotte, but a source told Fedor that the eye “looked better than expected,” adding that Allen will “hopefully be back sooner rather than later.”

In his game story Friday night, Fedor asked coach J.B. Bickerstaff what a prolonged absence for Allen would mean to a team that’s battling to hang onto home-court advantage in the playoffs.

“Obviously, we would miss him,” Bickerstaff said. “We would miss all the things that he brings on both sides of the court. His ability to protect the paint, anchor our defense and just his spirit. Everyone would have to step up. A lot of that would put Evan (Mobley) at more of the 5 spot and he would have to take over those responsibilities. But we believe Evan is capable of doing so and we have other guys who can help as well. It’ll be opportunities for other guys to go and contribute, which is what they will want to do.”

There’s more on the Cavaliers:

  • A quad injury that forced Darius Garland to miss the game in Miami is considered minor, but it could prevent him from playing again Sunday, Fedor adds. Garland suffered the injury in the second half of Wednesday’s game and wasn’t able to take part in the team’s shootaround or his pregame workout on Friday.
  • The Cavaliers agreed to a buyout with Kevin Love because he fell out of their rotation, but Joe Vardon of The Athletic notes that several prominent bench players haven’t been as productive since Love left. Dean Wade, Caris LeVert, Ricky Rubio and Cedi Osman are all playing fewer minutes than their season averages and have struggled to contribute since the buyout occurred.
  • Playing two straight games in Miami allowed the Cavaliers to experience something close to a playoff atmosphere, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Cleveland won on Wednesday and the teams had an off day to make adjustments before playing again Friday. “That’s what the playoffs are going to be,” said Donovan Mitchell, one of just two Cavs starters with playoff experience. “If this was a playoff series, we still won one, and that’s kind of the mindset.”

Injury Notes: Garland, Powell, Simons, Shamet, Mavs

Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland will be sidelined for Friday’s rematch with the Heat in Miami, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Garland was originally listed as questionable with a right quad contusion, but was unable to go through shootaround. The injury is considered relatively minor, sources tell Fedor.

Garland appeared to suffer the contusion early in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s initial matchup with Miami on Wednesday, notes Danny Cunningham of ESPN Cleveland (Twitter video link). He was hit in the leg by Bam Adebayo‘s moving screen, which was called a foul.

The Cavs confirmed (via Twitter) that Garland would be sidelined on Friday, with Caris LeVert taking his place in the starting lineup. Garland is having an outstanding fourth season, averaging 22.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 7.9 APG and 1.3 SPG on an excellent .471/.430/.860 shooting line through 58 games (35.2 MPG).

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Clippers guard Norman Powell will miss at least one more week, which is when he’ll be reeavaluated, tweets ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. The eight-year veteran continues to receive treatment for his left shoulder subluxation. He is the team’s third-leading scorer at 16.6 PPG, posting a strong shooting line of .475/.410/.803 through 54 games (25.8 MPG), primarily as a reserve.
  • Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons returned to the starting lineup for Friday’s matchup in Philadelphia, the team announced (via Twitter). He had missed the previous four games after aggravating an ankle sprain.
  • Backup guard Landry Shamet continues to be hampered by right foot soreness, having last played on January 16. He will be reevaluated in one week, the Suns announced (Twitter link via Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports).
  • The Mavericks might be without their two star players on Saturday in Memphis, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Luka Doncic (left thigh strain) has already been ruled out, while Kyrie Irving is questionable with right foot soreness. Irving missed Friday’s practice for personal reasons, per MacMahon, but head coach Jason Kidd was hopeful he might be able to rejoin the team on Saturday. Doncic is considered day-to-day after his MRI results showed no damage, MacMahon adds.

Cavaliers Notes: Mitchell, Love, Rubio, Garland

Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell won’t be available for an inter-conference showdown in Memphis on Wednesday night, having been officially ruled out due to a left groin strain, per an Associated Press report.

Mitchell suffered the injury during the third quarter of Cleveland’s win over New Orleans on Monday and was held out of practice on Tuesday. He was originally listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game vs. the Grizzlies before being downgraded to out.

It remains to be seen whether Mitchell will have to miss more time beyond tonight’s contest. The Cavs have a challenging back-to-back set on tap for this weekend, as they’ll host Golden State on Friday and Milwaukee on Saturday.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Cavaliers forward Kevin Love continues to be affected by a hairline fracture in his right thumb, as Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com details. At the time Love sustained the injury, on November 18, he had made 40.9% of his three-point attempts on the season. Since then, he has knocked down just 29.5%. “Still doesn’t feel right,” Love said on Monday after making just 1-of-7 shots from the field, including 0-of-4 threes.
  • Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said prior to Monday’s game that Ricky Rubio‘s minutes restriction would be bumped up to about 15 minutes as the team continues to monitor his return from a year-long ACL-related absence, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Rubio, who played 10 minutes in his first game back and 13 in his second appearance, ended up logging 17 minutes on Monday.
  • The Cavs like what they’ve seen this season from Darius Garland, who has adjusted nicely to sharing the backcourt with Mitchell and continues to grow as a team leader, Russo writes in a full story for The Athletic. “He’s still young — more years ahead of him than he has behind him,” Caris LeVert said of his teammate. “But I think he’s done a great job of feeling it out and not being afraid to put his voice out there, not being afraid to make mistakes even with communication. I think for us to just hear his voice is huge because, obviously, we all respect his game. So just for us to hear his voice is huge.”

Cavaliers Notes: Garland, Mobley, Wade, Defense

Cavaliers guard Darius Garland returned to the court Friday night after missing three games with a sprained right thumb, but the injury was clearly bothering him, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Garland scored 21 points, but shot just 1-of-6 from three-point range and admitted that a wrap he wore on his hand affected his ability to dribble and prevented him from playing his normal style.

“Felt like I could come back and help the team,” Garland said. “I’m trying to just go out there and play through it. I know it’s gonna have an effect on me. I was just trying to fight through and play my game.”

The Cavs needed Garland on Friday with Donovan Mitchell being held out for rest and Ricky Rubio still not ready to start playing. Fedor observed that Garland took another hard hit to the thumb area during the game, along with a shot to the eye and an inadvertent kick to the groin.

“He’s out there taking a beating,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He kept fighting. We’re gonna have to figure something out as a way to protect it. But I don’t know if you can. It’s tough the way he plays and the way he’s defended. People are handsy and they do a lot of swiping at the ball trying to get steals, not in a malicious way by any means, I’m not trying to say that, but his hands are involved in a lot of the plays. I thought he got through it. He’s a tough kid.”

There’s more on the Cavaliers:

  • Evan Mobley spent the summer working to improve his offense in anticipation of a larger role on that end of the court, but plans changed with the trade for Mitchell, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Mitchell provides Cleveland with an elite scorer, and as a result, Mobley is getting fewer shots than he did as a rookie. “Every time I go out there, shooting shots, I can find my spots as much as possible and just let the game come to me — try not to force too often,” Mobley said. “… Some guys have to be the guy and I don’t necessarily have to be the guy on this team, but I’m just gonna try to traditionally produce as much as I can in my role right now.”
  • Dean Wade is making progress with a left shoulder injury that has sidelined him for more than a month, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Bickerstaff told reporters Friday that he expects Wade back “sooner rather than later.”
  • The Cavaliers take pride in having the league’s best defensive rating, Russo writes in a full story. Cleveland has held opponents under 100 points 12 times this season and has been able to win games on nights when the offense isn’t clicking. Since Russo published that story, the Cavs have slipped to second in defensive rating, with the Grizzlies inching ahead of them — Cleveland’s mark is still best in the East.

Central Notes: LaVine, DeRozan, Caruso, Pistons, Garland, Mobley

Zach LaVine used to be the player the Bulls called upon to take the last shot in a close game. DeMar DeRozan has usually taken those shots since joining the team last season and LaVine is fine with that, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

“You understand what he’s done in his career. He’s made a lot of those shots,” LaVine said of his Bulls teammate. “I’ve also made a lot of those shots. So you live with the decision. I ride or die with him every time he takes a shot like that because I’ve seen him make more than he missed.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls are in the middle of the pack in terms of defensive rating and guard Alex Caruso believes they’re capable of guarding with more consistent effort, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “I think we have the right intentions with it,’’ Caruso said. “Obviously we’re not doing it every single possession, but I don’t think that anyone in the league is capable of that. Coaches have put us in a good spot. It’s about taking the information they give us and executing it on the floor. Like I said, the details. We’ve shown that could lead to some good things.”
  • The Pistons have become quite reliant on their bench and the second unit has produced, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Since Nov. 18, the bench is averaging a league-best 48.1 points per game. Detroit had five reserves in double figures when it defeated Minnesota on Saturday. “We have a lot of character guys on that group,” coach Dwane Casey said.
  • Cavaliers star guard Darius Garland (right thumb sprain) is listed as doubtful to play against the Bulls on Monday, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets. Cleveland forward Evan Mobley (right ankle soreness) is listed as questionable.

Injury Updates: Leonard, C. Johnson, Garland, Brunson

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard has been playing under a minutes restriction all season while returning from a partially torn ACL, but that appears to have been lifted, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Leonard logged 35 minutes Saturday afternoon at Indiana after playing 37 and 35 in the team’s past two games, meaning he’s basically back on a regular schedule.

“Still moving up the right track, feeling healthy still and that’s what it’s about,” Leonard said after the game. “Just keep getting better.”

Coach Tyronn Lue didn’t confirm that Leonard’s minutes limit is gone, but he said the increased availability is welcome because it allows him to stagger Leonard and Paul George and keep at least one star on the court throughout the game.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Suns forward Cameron Johnson appears to be getting closer to a return after having meniscus surgery on November 8, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic, who posted a video of Johnson running before Friday night’s game.
  • Darius Garland, who suffered a sprained right thumb late in Thursday’s game, will miss the Cavaliers‘ contest on Saturday night in Chicago, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Garland has been receiving treatment for the injury since it happened, Fedor adds. Cleveland will also be without big man Evan Mobley, who is missing his first game of the season because of soreness in his right ankle. Lamar Stevens and Kevin Love will start in their place, giving the Cavs their 17th different starting lineup in 37 games.
  • Knicks guard Jalen Brunson will miss his third straight game with a hip injury tonight in Houston, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The Rockets will be without starting center Alperen Sengun, who is suffering lower back pain, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (Twitter link).

Cavs Concerned Garland Could Miss Time With Thumb Injury

Cavaliers guard Darius Garland injured his right thumb during Thursday’s loss in Indiana and there’s concern that he could miss some time, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Garland sustained the injury when his right hand got hit by Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, who was attempting to knock the ball loose. Flexing his right thumb in clear discomfort, Garland stayed in the game for a couple more possessions before exiting to be evaluated by Cleveland’s training staff. The 22-year-old checked back in about three minutes later, but didn’t attempt another shot the rest of the night and missed a pair of free throws in the game’s final minute, Fedor writes.

“It was bothering me a lot,” Garland said after the game. “I was just trying to go out there and compete as much as I could. The last two free throws, I looked at (head coach) J.B. (Bickerstaff) and I was like, ‘Ah, I really don’t want to shoot these.’ But I got fouled and just tried to make two. They didn’t go in. Everything hurt. I was playing with a wrapped thumb. I couldn’t really do anything. I wasn’t going to be effective with that. It was already throbbing and swollen at that point.”

Garland will be examined further on Friday before the Cavs announce an official diagnosis and provide an update on his availability for Saturday’s game in Chicago. According to Fedor, the point guard said he hopes to “fight through it” and be ready to face the Bulls.

Still, even if Garland has avoided a serious injury, he couldn’t hide his frustration about the amount of contact he has taken this season, which began when he suffered an eyelid laceration due to a reach-in attempt on opening night.

“Just getting hacked all season,” Garland said. “Nothing has changed. The physicality isn’t a factor at all. It’s the whistle not being blown at the right time when it’s a foul, an obvious foul. Some of this stuff we should be reviewing.

“… The whole thing about the league taking care of the players, it seems like we’re not doing that as much this year. At least, the way we did in previous years.”

11 Players Affected By Poison Pill Provision In 2022/23

The term “poison pill” doesn’t actually show up in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it’s used colloquially to refer to a provision in the CBA that affects players who recently signed rookie scale contract extensions.

As we explain in our glossary entry, the so-called poison pill provision applies when a player who signed a rookie scale extension is traded before the extension takes effect.

In that scenario, the player’s incoming value for the receiving team for matching purposes is determined by averaging his current-year salary and the salaries in each year of his new extension. His current team, on the other hand, simply treats his current-year salary as the outgoing figure for matching purposes.

For instance, Heat guard Tyler Herro is earning a $5,722,116 salary in 2022/23, but signed a four-year, $120MM extension that will begin in ’23/24. Therefore, if Miami wanted to trade Herro this season, his outgoing value for salary-matching purposes would be $5,722,116 (this year’s salary), while his incoming value for the team acquiring him would be $25,144,423 (this year’s salary, plus the $120MM extension, divided by five years).

[RELATED: 2022 NBA Rookie Scale Extension Recap]

Most of the players who signed rookie scale extensions aren’t candidates to be traded anytime soon. But even in the event that a team does want to look into trading one of these recently extended players, the gap between the player’s incoming trade value and outgoing trade value could make it a real challenge to find a deal that works for both sides.

The “poison pill” provision applies to 11 players who signed rookie scale extensions in 2022. Here are those players, along with their outgoing salaries and incoming salaries for trade purposes:

Player Team Outgoing trade value Incoming trade value
Zion Williamson NOP $13,534,817 $34,639,136
Ja Morant MEM $12,119,440 $34,403,240
RJ Barrett NYK $10,900,635 $23,580,127
De’Andre Hunter ATL $9,835,881 $19,967,176
Darius Garland CLE $8,920,795 $33,870,133
Tyler Herro MIA $5,722,116 $25,144,423
Brandon Clarke MEM $4,343,920 $10,868,784
Nassir Little POR $4,171,548 $6,434,310
Jordan Poole GSW $3,901,399 $26,380,280
Keldon Johnson SAS $3,873,025 $15,574,605
Kevin Porter Jr. HOU $3,217,631 $15,234,726

Once the 2023/24 league year begins, the poison pill provision will no longer apply to these players. At that time, the player’s ’23/24 salary would represent both his outgoing and incoming value.

Until then though, the gap between those outgoing and incoming figures will make it tricky for these players to be moved, with one or two exceptions.

The small difference between Little’s incoming and outgoing trade figures, for instance, wouldn’t be very problematic if the Blazers wanted to trade him. But the much larger divide between Poole’s incoming and outgoing numbers means there’s virtually no chance he could be moved to an over-the-cap team in 2022/23, even if the Warriors wanted to.

Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland Out Friday For Cavs

The Cavaliers will be without their star backcourt for Friday’s game at Detroit, as Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell were both injured during Wednesday’s victory over Boston, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Neither injury is considered serious, but obviously they’re hobbled enough to be out tonight.

As Fedor writes in another story for Cleveland.com, both players had previously been listed as questionable. Garland sprained his left knee trying to track down a loose ball against the Celtics, while Mitchell suffered a sprained left ankle. Garland and Mitchell were partial participants during Friday’s shootaround, with Fedor noting that Garland was icing his knee afterward.

According to Fedor, the Cavs will shuffle their starting lineup around to account for the absence of the two All-Star guards, with Caris LeVert moving to point guard, Isaac Okoro at shooting guard, and Dean Wade at small forward. Fedor also reports that reserve point guard Raul Neto, a free agent addition over the summer, will be available Friday after dealing with a sprained ankle of his own that caused him to miss Wednesday’s game.

The Cavaliers confirmed the news that Garland and Mitchell will be out (Twitter link).

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Garland, who had missed five straight games after suffering a lacerated eyelid in the season opener in Toronto. Kelsey Russo of The Athletic has the story on Garland’s eye injury and recovery process, writing that the 22-year-old had impaired vision when trying dribble with his right hand, so he mostly worked on his left during the two weeks he was out.

Yeah, I was super scared,” Garland admitted. “When it first happened, I rolled over, I felt blood coming out of my eye. So that’s when I got really nervous. And I was ready for surgery in Toronto. I was expecting that. I was expecting stitches and being out a couple of months. But by the grace of God, I’m here with two eyes now and I’m back and I’m healthy.”

Garland and Mitchell looked like a natural fit playing alongside one another during their first full regular season game, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. The two guards combined for 55 points, 11 rebounds, 18 assists, four steals, two blocks and only one turnover during the 114-113 overtime win.

Mitchell says there will be a learning curve as they grow accustomed to one another, but it was certainly a promising start.

There’s going to be times where it doesn’t look smooth and clean,” Mitchell said. “But as far as us feeling in the flow … both of us are trying to find ways to make each other better. When you start camp off with Coach having to sit both of us down and say, ‘Stop passing the ball to each other — shoot the ball,’ I think that’s a good start.”

Friday’s road game at Detroit will be followed by a four-game west coast road trip against the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Warriors. The Cavs have gotten off to a terrific start, currently sitting with a 6-1 record.

Darius Garland Set To Return For Cavaliers

Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland will return to the team’s lineup on Wednesday vs. the Celtics, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Garland has been on the shelf since being inadvertently poked in the eye by Gary Trent Jr. in Cleveland’s first game of the regular season on October 19 in Toronto. The All-Star guard left that game early due to a lacerated left eyelid and has spent the last two weeks recovering.

Even without Garland available, the new-look Cavaliers have looked terrific in the early going this season. They lost that opener vs. the Raptors by just three points, but haven’t dropped another game. Cleveland has a 5-1 record and holds the No. 2 seed in the East.

With Garland and Ricky Rubio (ACL recovery) sidelined, Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert have been the Cavaliers’ primary ball-handlers, with Raul Neto also averaging about 10 minutes per game as a backup point guard. Mitchell and LeVert will likely play off the ball a little more starting on Wednesday — it’s unclear whether or not Neto (who didn’t enter the opener until after Garland went down) will remain in the regular rotation.