Dillon Brooks

Dillon Brooks Has Fractured Left Hand, To Be Reassessed In 2-3 Weeks

The Grizzlies have announced that swingman Dillon Brooks is still recovering from a left hand fracture and will be reassessed in 2-3 weeks.

According to the team, after normal imaging was conducted on players ahead of the 2021/22 season, the Grizzlies decided that Brooks should undergo further treatment for the hand to heal. The 25-year-old was originally sidelined for eight weeks earlier this summer after breaking his hand in two locations.

The 6’7″ wing out of Oregon averaged a career-best 17.2 PPG, 2.3 APG, and 1.2 SPG last season, to go along with 2.9 RPG, playing 67 out of 72 games for Memphis. He also posted a shooting line of .419/.344/.815.

Brooks has missed all of the Grizzlies’ four preseason contests thus far as a result of a sore right thigh.

Southwest Notes: Zion, Vaccinations, Temple, Harrison, Brooks

Addressing reporters at the Pelicans‘ Media Day on Monday, star forward Zion Williamson expressed a desire to remain with the franchise for the foreseeable future.

I love it here. I love the city of New Orleans,” Williamson said, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). “I don’t wanna be anywhere else.”

An offseason report suggested that some of Williamson’s family members want him out of New Orleans, while a more recent story suggested he and Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin aren’t on particularly great terms. However, after dismissing the idea that he wants to leave the Pelicans, Williamson also downplayed the idea that there’s any frostiness between him and Griffin.

It’s all love with me and Griff,” Williamson said. “… We’re both competitors, we both want to win. Do we disagree on some things? Yes. But no one agrees on everything.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Griffin said today that there are one or two players left on the Pelicans‘ roster who remain unvaccinated, while Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said his team is 100% vaccinated (Twitter links via William Guillory of The Athletic and Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News). Meanwhile, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd estimated that his players are about 90% vaccinated, adding that the goal is to get that number to 100% by opening night (Twitter links via Callie Caplan and Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
  • Veteran Pelicans guard Garrett Temple said he’s interested in getting into coaching or front office work after he retires, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Temple added that his preference would likely be a front office role, since coaching can be “finicky.”
  • Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News shares an in-depth profile of new Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, detailing the long path Harrison took to becoming Dallas’ lead basketball decision-maker.
  • Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks will be a full participant in training camp, head of basketball operations Zach Kleiman said today (Twitter link via Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian). Brooks was out for eight weeks this summer after breaking his hand in two spots, tweets Drew Hill of The Daily Memphian.

Charania’s Latest: Simmons, Markkanen, Blazers, Brooks

Although the Sixers have told teams they’re comfortable bringing back Ben Simmons for the 2021/22 season, rival executives are skeptical, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who says those execs think it’s just a matter of time before Simmons is moved. All signs continue to point to Simmons’ career in Philadelphia coming to an end, Charania writes.

Still, while the Sixers have held “expansive” discussions with multiple teams, they haven’t gotten close to completing a deal yet. The Timberwolves and Raptors are two teams in the mix for the three-time All-Star, per Charania. However, sources tell The Athletic that the Wolves’ assets may not appeal to Philadelphia and they might need to find a third team to get something done, while Toronto’s proposals haven’t piqued the 76ers’ interest yet.

As has been reported previously, the Sixers’ dilemma is complicated by the fact that they’d love to use Simmons as the centerpiece in a Damian Lillard offer, but the Trail Blazers‘ point guard appears set to open the season in Portland as he continues to evaluate the team’s present and future, writes Charania.

Here are a few more highlights from Charania’s latest article for The Athletic:

  • Although the Bulls never seemed focused on signing Lauri Markkanen to a long-term deal, the high asking price they set in sign-and-trade negotiations sent a message to executives around the league that they valued him and weren’t willing to lose him for nothing, writes Charania. According to Charania, the second-round pick the Bulls received from the Cavaliers in the Markkanen trade had been a sticking point in negotiations.
  • Markkanen “fully expected” to be signed-and-traded to the Spurs in the Bulls‘ acquisition of DeMar DeRozan, but Chicago is believed to have pulled him from that package, sources tell Charania.
  • Before getting involved in the Markkanen deal to acquire Larry Nance from Cleveland, the Trail Blazers had interest in Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks, sources tell Charania. One report suggested that Memphis was willing to listen on inquiries about Brooks.

Southwest Notes: Anderson, Brooks, Forbes, Pelicans

The Grizzlies have not engaged in trade talks with the Cavaliers regarding Kyle Anderson and Dillon Brooks, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. A report out of Cleveland suggested that the two forwards were available on the trade market for the right price. Memphis does have a major roster logjam at the moment with 18 players on guaranteed contracts, as noted in our latest roster count.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Whether or not they’ve engaged in talks with the Cavs, the Grizzlies would be wise to explore the market on Brooks, according to Evan Sidery of Basketball News. Brooks’ value is at an all-time high after a playoff series in which he averaged 25.8 PPG, but he may not be the best No. 2 scoring option during Ja Morant‘s prime years. Brooks will be a free agent after the 2022/23 season and Memphis may not want to commit to him long-term.
  • Bryn Forbes strongly considered re-signing with the Bucks before signing up for a second stint with the Spurs, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News. Forbes declined a player option in order to become a free agent. He’s thrilled to return to the Spurs. “I still had good relationships with everyone here,” he said. “They know what I can do. … When I had the opportunity to come back, I was immediately excited.”
  • The New Orleans Times Picayune trio of Christian Clark, Scott Kushner and Rod Walker believe the Pelicans have improved enough to make the playoffs next season. They also discuss the Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade with the Bulls and the acquisition of Devonte’ Graham from the Hornets.

Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson Available On Trade Market

Grizzlies forwards Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson are said to be available on the trade market for the right price, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Brooks and Anderson have both been with the Grizzlies for quite some time – Brooks since 2017/18 and Anderson since 2018/19 – and played significant roles for the team last season. Brooks, who is under contract for two more years and $23.6MM, averaged 29.8 minutes per game, while Anderson, who is on an expiring $9.9MM deal, saw 27.3 minutes per contest.

Memphis currently has 17 guaranteed contracts, and that number could increase to 18 once the team’s trade with Minnesota (Patrick Beverley for Jarrett Culver and Juan Hernangomez) becomes official. In addition to Culver and Hernangomez, the team also recently acquired Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu.

The franchise must open one roster spot to complete its deal with Minnesota, so a player with a guaranteed contract could be traded, waived, or bought out to accommodate the one-for-two swap. The Grizzlies, who also have two players on two-way deals and Yves Pons on an Exhibit 10 contract, can carry up to 20 players in the offseason, but will have to trim their roster to 15 (plus two-ways) once the regular season begins.

Since Brooks and Anderson are productive wings on team-friendly contracts, Memphis would only move either player in a favorable deal — not just to address the club’s roster crunch.

Along with Brooks and Anderson, the Grizzlies boast a relatively young core consisting of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., among others. They finished last season with a 38-34 record and claimed the final playoff spot in the West.

Southwest Notes: Graham, Brooks, McDermott

The Pelicans’ newest point guard, Devonte’ Graham, is coming to New Orleans with an open mind, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com.

Graham has bounced between roles during his three years in the league, and he’s using that experience to stay flexible with his new team.

I do whatever is needed from the coaching staff,” Graham said. “You guys followed me with the Hornets. I started, I came off the bench. I played the one, I played the two. Whatever role they need from me, I’m going to do that to try to help the team win.”

The 26-year-old added that he’s already worked out with Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who is presumed to be penciled in as the starting shooting guard next to Graham when the season starts. Alexander-Walker had a breakout last season when he averaged 19 PPG, five RPG and three APG in 13 games as a starter towards the end of the season, including two 30-point outbursts.

We have more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Graham also reflected on his time with the Hornets, and holds no hard feelings for how the business side played out, writes Jonathan M. Alexander for The Charlotte Observer. “Their development program, the G League helped me a lot,” Graham said. “I just tried to get better at something every summer. One day it was threes, another day it was passing. I just tried to do something little every summer.”
  • Grizzlies starting shooting guard Dillon Brooks suffered a hand injury during an offseason workout, tweets Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com. Wallace adds that Brooks, who is currently in a brace, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
  • Doug McDermott calls joining the Spurs a dream come true, writes The San Antonio Express-News’ Tom Orsborn. “Growing up watching all those (Spurs) teams win championships, I always kind of modeled my game after being a guy in this type of system,” he said. The veteran wing is hoping that his off-ball movement can open up the floor for the Spurs’ many young guards to attack the rim.

Olympic Notes: Lillard, Green, Canada, Serbia, Italy

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Warriors forward/center Draymond Green are among the first players to commit to Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, sources tell Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Team USA figures to bring more than a dozen players to its initial camp this summer before paring down the roster to 12 for Tokyo, so Lillard’s and Green’s commitments don’t guarantee that they’ll be part of the final Olympic roster. However, it seems safe to assume that spots on the 12-man squad will be reserved for the two stars as long as they remain healthy and committed.

Green won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, while Lillard has yet to play for Team USA in a major international tournament. Green and Lillard are two of the 57 names listed as part of USA Basketball’s initial player pool in March, though as we noted last week, many of the players on that list seem unlikely to participate for a variety of reasons, including injuries.

Here are a few more updates from around the international basketball world:

  • Team Canada’s preliminary roster for the Olympic qualifying tournament later this month included 14 current NBA players. However, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic and Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter links), at least three of those NBA players – Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, and Celtics center Tristan Thompson – now aren’t expected to participate.
  • The Serbian national team is preparing for the possibility of being without several key players for this month’s qualifying tournament, according to a MozzartSport report (hat tip to Sportando). Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic and reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets are among the players considered unlikely to be available for the OQT in Belgrade.
  • Longtime NBA shooting guard Marco Belinelli announced that he won’t be part of the Italian team attempting to earn an Olympic berth at this month’s qualifying tournament in Belgrade, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Belinelli, who is now playing for Virtus Bologna, wants to rest to make sure he’s 100% healthy for next season.

14 NBA Players On Canada’s Preliminary Olympic Qualifying Roster

Team Canada has yet to secure a place in the men’s basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics, but the club should have a loaded roster as it looks to lock up a spot in a qualifying tournament next month.

Canada Basketball issued a press release today announcing its 21-player preliminary roster for the Olympic qualifier, and the group includes 14 players who finished the season on NBA contracts. Here’s the full list:

Of the seven players who didn’t play in the NBA this season, one (Bennett) is a former first overall pick, another (Nicholson) was also a first-round selection, and a third (Alexander) has NBA experience. Bell-Haynes has played in the G League, while Doornekamp, Ejim, and Nembhard all have extensive experience representing Canada in past international competitions.

Still, a few noteworthy names are missing from the list. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is recovering from a torn ACL and won’t be able to participate. Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also dealing with an injury, announcing on Instagram that rehabbing the plantar fasciitis in his right foot will prevent him from representing Team Canada.

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is a third notable omission. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), Boucher is focused on rehabbing a knee sprain and wants to make sure he’s 100% healthy heading into 2021/22. He also has a somewhat uncertain contract situation — his $7MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, though I’d be shocked if he’s not retained.

Even without Murray, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Boucher, Canada Basketball is in position to run out a roster stacked with NBA talent and led by former NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse.

While the final roster will depend in part on which players are available, none of the 21 players on the preliminary are on teams expected to still be alive for the conference finals. However, a club like Powell’s Mavericks or Barrett’s Knicks could surprise.

Team Canada will compete against Greece, China, Uruguay, Turkey, and the Czech Republic in a qualifying tournament in Victoria, British Columbia between June 29 and July 4. If the club wins that six-team qualifier, it will be part of the 12-team field in Tokyo and would be a legit contender for a medal.

Southwest Notes: Thomas, Popovich, Valanciunas, Brooks, Gordon

The multi-year contract the Rockets gave to Khyri Thomas on Friday has no guarantees beyond this season, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. The contract is non-guaranteed for the next two seasons and includes a team option for the 2023/24 season but the contract is still non-guaranteed even if that option is exercised. However, Thomas did receive $250K for this season, which is $217K more than the prorated minimum.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Gregg Popovich dismissed a report from last August that claimed the Nets were interested in hiring him away from the Spurs, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News tweets. Popovich said the report “had no foundation in reality.” The report, which cited sources familiar with both franchises, came out prior to the hiring of Steve Nash as head coach.
  • The Grizzlies possess two throwback players in Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks that have improved the team on both ends of the floor this season, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian writes. The Grizzlies have been far more efficient with that duo on the court, Herrington notes. Valanciunas is averaging 16.9 PPG and a career-best 12.5 RPG, while Brooks is averaging career highs in points (17.2 PPG) and steals (1.2 SPG).
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon has two more guaranteed years remaining on his contract but he admits he doesn’t know what kind of future he has with the rebuilding organization, as he told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I’ve been on losing teams before, but I’ve never been a part of a season where we lose 20 in a row. … So my relationship with (GM Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas) is fine, but as I said, we’ll have to see what real direction that they want to go this off-season,” he said. “They could have a lot of new guys, whether they’re younger or older, you just never know.”

Winslow To Make Grizzlies Debut Saturday

6:42pm: Winslow will be active for tonight’s game, the Grizzlies announced (via Twitter).

2:38pm: More than a year ago after being traded to the Grizzlies, Justise Winslow could make his Memphis debut on Saturday.

Winslow is listed as questionable against Phoenix on Saturday by the team’s PR department (Twitter link).

Winslow was part of the package the Grizzlies received from the Heat for Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder last February.

Winslow hasn’t played since last January 8, initially due to a hip injury. He was expected to return in March but the pandemic delayed his debut.

During the summer restart in Orlando, Winslow suffered a left hip displacement. He has been rehabbing from that injury during the first 25 games this season.

Winslow, the 10th pick of the 2015 draft, needs to reestablish himself, since he could be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The team holds a $13MM option on his contract for next season.

Coach Taylor Jenkins may not have much choice but to use him, since Kyle Anderson, Grayson Allen and Brandon Clarke are being rested in the second part of a back-to-back while starting shooting guard Dillon Brooks is sidelined by a right thigh injury. Anderson has emerged as the team’s starting power forward with Winslow sidelined.

Winslow, 24, has averaged 9.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 2.7 APG in 241 career games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.