Dean Wade

Injury Notes: Brunson, Bulls, Cavaliers, KAT, Grizzlies

Knicks starting point guard Jalen Brunson will miss his second straight game on Monday with a sprained right hand, the team has announced (Twitter link).

The 6’1″ Brunson is enjoying a career season with his new club. Across 65 healthy games, he’s averaging 23.8 PPG on .489/.411/.833 shooting. The 26-year-old is also averaging 6.2 APG, 3.6 RPG and 0.9 SPG for New York.

Reserve guard Derrick Rose, who has been out of the rotation since the calendar rolled over to 2023, will also be inactive for this evening’s bout against the Rockets due to an illness, the Knicks add.

Here are some more injury-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Bulls forward Javonte Green, who continues to recover from a January knee surgery after making a brief return to the lineup last week, will be out tonight against the Clippers, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link). Johnson adds that veteran Chicago guard Alex Caruso is considered questionable to play.
  • Several Cavaliers players comprise the club’s injury report ahead of the team’s game Tuesday against the Hawks, per Chris Fedor of (Twitter links). Starting center Jarrett Allen is questionable with a groin strain, while starting small forward Isaac Okoro is also questionable due to a sore knee. Swingman Danny Green and point guard Raul Neto will not play. Wing Dean Wade is doubtful to play through an illness. Isaiah Mobley, Sam Merrill and Dylan Windler are all going to be working with Cleveland’s NBAGL affiliate, the Cleveland Charge.
  • Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns will sit out tonight’s game against the Kings as he manages his right calf strain injury on the second night of a back-to-back, the team has announced (Twitter link). Two-way player Matt Ryan is out with an illness. All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards is questionable due to a sprained right ankle. Guard Jaylen Nowell is also questionable with a left knee tendinopathy.
  • At least five Grizzlies players will be shelved for Tuesday’s contest against the Magic, Memphis has announced (via Twitter). Beyond Brandon Clarke, who’s out for the year with a left Achilles tear, Ziaire Williams, Vince Williams, Jake LaRavia and Steven Adams are all also sidelined. All-Star point guard Ja Morant is considered doubtful to play due to a sore right thigh.

Central Notes: Haliburton, Wade, Bulls, Pistons, Giannis

After missing games on Saturday and Monday due to a left knee bruise, Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton sat out on Thursday as a result of a right ankle sprain he suffered on Wednesday in practice. According to Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star, head coach Rick Carlisle expects that injury to keep Haliburton on the shelf for at least two more games, if not longer.

“Tyrese’s ankle is, it’s gonna be a while,” Carlisle said prior to Thursday’s contest. “I’m not gonna give a timetable, but he definitely will not play any of the next three games (including Thursday’s). I’m certain of that.”

With just 12 games left in the Pacers’ season and the organization not showing a whole lot of urgency to claim a spot in the play-in tournament, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we don’t see much more of Haliburton the rest of the way. For the time being, we can expect him to be unavailable on Saturday vs. Philadelphia and on Monday in Charlotte, with T.J. McConnell and Andrew Nembhard running the point in his absence.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade has struggled since returning from a shoulder injury in January, averaging just 3.3 PPG on .353/.283/.600 shooting in 21 games (17.3 MPG). Although he’s healthy enough to play, Wade’s shoulder is still bothering him, sources tell Chris Fedor of, who wonders if Wade also may be feeling some added pressure following Kevin Love‘s buyout last month.
  • While the Bulls remain on the outside of the play-in picture in the East, they’ve found success with a starting lineup featuring new addition Patrick Beverley, Alex Caruso, and their three stars (Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic). As Rob Schaefer of observes, no five-man unit that has played at least 150 minutes this season has a better net rating than Chicago’s group (plus-23.6).
  • Pistons centers Jalen Duren and James Wiseman displayed some surprising chemistry when they played together on Thursday, but having them both on the court did create some spacing issues, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required). The Pistons, who would like to use both young big men going forward, are hopeful that Wiseman’s jump shot will continue to develop, helping to ease those spacing concerns, Sankofa notes.
  • In a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed the MVP criteria, his desire to win another title, and his belief that the team’s NBA-best record would be even better if Khris Middleton had been healthy all season. “If we played with Khris (all season)… I think we have 55 (wins) now,” Antetokounmpo said when Milwaukee’s record was 48-19. “I really do believe that.”

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 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.”

Central Notes: Theis, Wade, Pistons, Bucks

Pacers center Daniel Theis hopes to make his 2022/23 season debut this coming week, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (subscription required). Acquired from Boston over the summer, Theis was dealing with recurring right knee soreness entering the season and underwent surgery in November to address the issue.

Although Theis seems unlikely to be part of the Pacers’ long-term plans, he has another guaranteed season on his contract beyond this one, so it would be a challenge for Indiana to extract much – if any – value for him at the February 9 trade deadline.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade is getting an opportunity to show whether he can help solve the team’s issues on the wing, according to Chris Fedor of, who notes that Wade’s minutes restriction following his return from a shoulder injury has been lifted. Fedor explores what it means for the rest of Cleveland’s rotation if Wade is getting regular playing time and whether there might be an odd man out.
  • It has been an up-and-down week for the Pistons. While Detroit’s impressive road win in Brooklyn on Thursday served as a reminder that the team’s future is worth believing in, per James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, Saturday’s home loss to Houston was the worst of the season and signaled that a trade deadline deal should be welcomed, Edwards contends in another story for The Athletic.
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic evaluates a series of reader-proposed trades for the Bucks. Nehm considers hypothetical deals involving Cam Reddish, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Josh Hart, among others, but concludes that none of them quite work, with either Milwaukee or its proposed trade partner likely to say no.

Cavs’ Dean Wade Set To Return On Saturday

Cavaliers forward Dean Wade intends to return to action on Saturday when Cleveland hosts the Bucks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wade hasn’t suited up for the Cavaliers since December 2, when he aggravated a prior left shoulder injury and was diagnosed with an AC joint sprain. The 26-year-old was expected to return earlier this month, but suffered a setback in his rehab process when he stepped on another player’s foot and injured his ankle. In total, he has missed Cleveland’s last 24 games.

Wade’s counting stats in a regular rotation role this season are modest — he has averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per night across 17 appearances.

However, the Cavs like Wade’s two-way skill set and there are reportedly people in the organization who believe he’s the right player to fill out a starting five that features two backcourt stars (Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland) and two impact big men (Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley). Wade was part of J.B. Bickerstaff‘s starting lineup in the five games leading up to his injury and could reclaim that spot now that he’s healthy, though perhaps not in his first game back.

As Wojnarowski notes, Wade has made 41.1% of his three-point attempts so far this season and has ranked in the top 10 in shot quality allowed on defense, according to Second Spectrum’s data.

The Cavs will be looking to bounce back on Saturday after falling on Friday to a shorthanded Warriors team that was without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green.

Injury Notes: Ball, Kleber, Wade, Okeke, Okogie

Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball suffered his third left ankle sprain this season in yesterday’s victory over Houston. Ball and teammate P.J. Washington were contesting a layup by Jabari Smith Jr. when Washington landed on Ball’s ankle (YouTube link via ESPN).

While the injury certainly looked painful, the 21-year-old sounds fairly confident he won’t miss as much time as he did with his previous sprains, which sidelined him for 13 and 11 games, respectively.

It feels a little bit better,” Ball said, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “It doesn’t feel like those other ones. … I can walk, so take it day-by-day and see what it is.”

Boone writes that the young All-Star didn’t require an X-Ray or other tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Maxi Kleber, who underwent surgery on December 20 to repair a torn hamstring, says he’s targeting a return to the Mavericks‘ lineup next month, though he isn’t committed to that timeline (Twitter video link via Bally Sports Southwest). “I’m not out for the season,” the German big man said. “I can’t give an exact date, but I hope I’m gonna be back… preferably before All-Star break, but I don’t want to jinx anything or say anything or make promises. … But that’s the goal.”
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade, who has been sidelined since December 2 due to a shoulder ailment, suffered a setback in his rehab process earlier this month, injuring his ankle when he stepped on a player’s foot during practice, a source tells Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “He’s not (doing) five-on-five yet,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Tuesday. “Again, because of where he was before, it won’t need as much to get him back to going because it wasn’t as big of a setback.”
  • The return of Magic forward Chuma Okeke isn’t imminent, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). Okeke has yet to resume contact work after undergoing a procedure on his left knee in December. Price adds within the same story that forward Jonathan Isaac is expected to play in a third G League game for the Lakeland Magic on Thursday as he makes his way back from an ACL injury.
  • Suns wing Josh Okogie broke his nose in Monday’s game in Memphis when he took an inadvertent elbow from teammate Deandre Ayton, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Okogie is listed as out for Thursday — it’s unclear how much additional time he might miss.

Luke Adams contributed to this story.

Cavaliers Eyeing Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Cavaliers have interest in Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr., Chris Fedor of said during an appearance on Jake Fischer’s Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast. Fedor identified Hardaway as a possible target for Cleveland after Fischer discussed the team’s interest in Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

“I would add another name,” Fedor said (hat tip to HoopsHype). “The Cavs believe this player is available, and my sources tell me that he could be had. It’s, again, at the right price. And it’s a little bit tricky, because he’s on a team that’s fourth place currently in the Western Conference.

“Tim Hardaway Jr. is somebody that the Cavs have been watching and they’ve been keeping an eye on. And I think if the Cavs had their choice, it would be very, very close. And they’re not going to have their choice, it doesn’t work that way, but if they had their choice, it would be between Bojan and Tim Hardaway Jr.”

The Cavaliers have two All-Stars (Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell) in their backcourt, with All-Star center Jarrett Allen and last year’s No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley up front. The small forward spot is the only one in the starting five that remains a question mark, with players like Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens, and Dean Wade cycling through it this season.

Fischer, having reported earlier this week that the Cavs are in the market for a defensive-minded wing who is also an outside shooting threat, likes the idea of Hardway for Cleveland, especially since LeVert would probably have to be included in a hypothetical trade (his $18MM+ salary is within $1MM of Hardaway’s). The Mavs kicked the tires on LeVert before Cleveland acquired him from Indiana a year ago, according to Fischer, who also suggested that Dallas has been seeking another shot creator to complement Luka Doncic.

Fedor believes a trade centered around Hardaway and LeVert would be a “logical stylistic swap,” though he acknowledged that there could be some obstacles. Hardaway is under contract for two seasons beyond this one, so the Cavs may be reluctant to make that sort of commitment before seeing how he fits (LeVert is on an expiring deal). Both Fischer and Fedor also agreed that the Cavs may want an extra asset as opposed to making a one-for-one trade.

Here are a few more Cavs-related notes from the podcast:

  • “I’ve been told that the Cavs are not going to trade Isaac unless they get a significant piece back in return,” Fedor stated, referring to Okoro. Fedor initially said he’s not quite sure what sort of player would fit that profile, but agreed with Fischer when he suggested Raptors forward OG Anunoby. It’s difficult to imagine the Cavaliers having enough ammo to land Anunoby even if they were willing to include Okoro, since they can’t currently trade any of their future first-round picks.
  • The Cavaliers are about $2.5MM below the luxury tax threshold and are unwilling to go into the tax this season, per Fedor. That will be a factor to watch as Cleveland consider possible deals.
  • Neither Fischer nor Fedor gets the sense that Suns forward Jae Crowder is a target for the Cavaliers, and Fedor said he also heard that the club is “not all that interested” in Magic wing Terrence Ross.
  • The Cavs won’t make a trade just to make one, Fedor said, adding that some people within the organization want to see what it looks like if Wade gets an extended shot at the starting small forward job. Wade made nine starts earlier in the season, but has been out since December 2 due to a shoulder injury.

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 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: Diakite, Dosunmu, Williams, LaVine, Nembhard

With Dean Wade out three or four weeks with a shoulder injury, the Cavaliers started Mamadi Diakite against the Knicks on Sunday, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Diakite made one previous start this season as a fill-in for Jarrett Allen. The third-year big man out of Virginia, who went scoreless in 11 minutes, is on a two-way deal.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls coach Billy Donovan moved Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu to the second unit and Donovan believes it could facilitate their development, particularly the young power forward, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “This may actually help his development, putting him in some situations where he can be a little more aggressive. I still think the development part for him is in place,” Donovan said.
  • Despite the lineup changes, the Bulls aren’t going anywhere unless Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic do a better job of blending their talents, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. LaVine concurs with that assessment. “Coach got to make his decisions, but you know the best players on the team, we got to be the ones that make the plays,” LaVine said. “On bad days, take the criticism. Good days, make sure to help us win. Play defense. Make the shot. That’s what you do. That’s why you’re in position to do this. It’s a player-driven league. I think it always starts from top to bottom.”
  • Andrew Nembhard has been a solid presence at both ends for the Pacers during his rookie campaign, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files notes. The Pacers signed the first pick of the second round to a four-year deal that is fully guaranteed for three full seasons and $6.4MM, a record amount for a second-rounder coming out of college. Nembhard, who hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Lakers, is averaging 7.4 PPG and 3.4 APG in 21.9 MPG.
  • Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton missed Sunday’s game due to a sore groin, Agness tweets. It’s the first game he missed since being acquired from Sacramento last season.

Dean Wade Expected To Miss 3-4 Weeks With Shoulder Injury

DECEMBER 4: The Cavaliers have issued an official update on Wade, announcing in a press release that he’s expected to be out for approximately three or four weeks due to an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.

DECEMBER 3: Starting Cavaliers small forward Dean Wade had to exit Cleveland’s 107-96 victory over the Magic on Friday after aggravating a prior left shoulder injury, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game that Wade had been playing through the ailment for weeks, Russo adds (Twitter link). After Wade was hit in the shoulder Friday, “it was too much,” according to Bickerstaff, who suggests the impact seems to have compounded the injury.

Now, sources inform Chris Fedor of (via Twitter) that Wade may be sidelined for several weeks due to the shoulder issue.

In 17 games this season, Wade is averaging 6.4 PPG on .452/.411/.692 shooting splits, along with 4.1 RPG, 1.0 APG and 0.7 SPG, across 24.1 MPG.

Wade’s two-way play had made him Bickerstaff’s eventual pick for the only starting slot in question at the start of training camp. With the oft-injured 26-year-old now once again unavailable, it seems that Lamar Stevens, Caris LeVert, and Isaac Okoro could be in line for bumps in minutes. Prior to Wade’s recent promotion to starter status, Stevens had been the team’s starting small forward for the 15-8 Cavaliers, currently the East’s third seed.