Domantas Sabonis

Domantas Sabonis Returning To Disney World Campus, Not Expected To Play

All-star forward Domantas Sabonis is scheduled to arrive in Orlando today, tweets Pacers reporter Scott Agness. Coach Nate McMillan confirmed the news this afternoon on the Fox Sports Indiana pre-game show, adding that Sabonis will quarantine “for a few days.”

Sabonis probably hasn’t been involved in any basketball activity over the last six weeks, and sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski he’s not expected to return to the active roster (Twitter link).

Sabonis traveled to the Disney World complex with the team in July, but left shortly after scrimmages began to get treatment for plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The injury was termed “significant” when it was first reported.

The 24-year-old center/power forward is putting up career-best numbers in his fourth NBA season, averaging 18.5 points and 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 62 games.

Eastern Notes: Mahinmi, Sabonis, Nunn, Knicks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said on Wednesday that center Ian Mahinmi will not play in tomorrow’s regular-season finale against the Celtics, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).

Since the Wizards landed in Orlando for the seeding games, Mahinmi has not played a single minute. This season, the 33-year-old center only played in 38 games, averaging 7.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

The Wizards were expecting Mahinmi to be their veteran rim protector when they signed him to a four-year, $64MM contract in the summer of 2016. However, that never came to fruition due to injuries. Over the last two seasons, Mahinmi has only played in 72 games. The veteran center is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Here’s more from across the Eastern Conference:

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Nunn, Warren, Micic

Wizards point guard John Wall expects to have a different role in the team’s offense once he rejoins Washington, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Wall has missed the entire 2019/20 season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

“My game is going to be totally different than what it was before because now with the way [Bradley Beal] can handle the ball,” Wall said of his Wizards teammate. “I can be off the ball a little bit and score from the wing and score in transition by running the wing.”

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

Domantas Sabonis Leaves Campus To Seek Treatment For Foot Injury

6:17pm: Sabonis is seeking treatment for plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. The team did not indicate if and when he would return to Orlando, Mannix adds.

4:47pm: Sabonis hopes to eventually rejoin the Pacers in Orlando, but could miss the rest of the season, Wojnarowski writes in his full report at ESPN.com.


4:06pm: Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis is dealing with a significant foot injury and is leaving the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus in order to seek treatment from a specialist, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Sabonis, who missed Indiana’s first inter-squad scrimmage on Thursday, has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and hasn’t practiced for about a week. Although Sabonis could eventually return to the Disney campus and rejoin the Pacers, Woj’s classification of the injury as “significant” suggests the 24-year-old is unlikely to suit up anytime soon.

If Sabonis is unable to play for the Pacers during the restart, it will be a major blow to the team’s chances of advancing beyond the first round in the postseason. The 24-year-old had a breakout season in 2019/20, averaging a career-best 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and 5.0 APG in 62 games (34.8 MPG), en route to his first All-Star nod. He also established more chemistry in the frontcourt with Myles Turner as the season progressed.

Speaking of Turner, he missed a couple practices and has been limited recently due to a calf ailment, per Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports and J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter links). Malcolm Brogdon is also coming off a case of COVID-19, while Victor Oladipo has yet to decide whether or not he’ll play this summer.

Oladipo did participate in Indiana’s first scrimmage on Thursday, but said after the game that he remains unsure whether he’ll play in the seeding games and the postseason. If Sabonis is ruled out, it will be interesting to see if that influences Oladipo’s decision.

Given Sabonis’ situation, it’s worth noting that the NBA recently tweaked its re-entry rules for players who are approved to leave the league’s campus for medical treatment. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), those players won’t necessarily have to quarantine for four or more days if and when they return. In fact, they may not have to quarantine at all if certain conditions are met, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link).

Eastern Notes: Drummond, Sabonis, Knicks, Nets

In his latest mailbag for The Athletic on Tuesday, Chris Kirschner answered questions relating to the Hawks‘ future, Kevin Huerter, Clint Capela, and a handful of other topics.

Within the mailbag, Kirschner noted that veteran center Andre Drummond wanted to be traded to Atlanta before the Hawks acquired Capela from the Rockets. According to the Hawks beat writer, Drummond – who is friends with Trae Young – was telling people he wanted to be in Atlanta. However, the 26-year-old center was ultimately traded to the Cavaliers for John Henson, Brandon Knight, and a 2023 second-round pick in February.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Pacers announced on Wednesday that forward Domantas Sabonis is day-to-day with plantar fasciitis, per J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter links). Sabonis, who said he hasn’t touched a ball in six days, added that there’s no set timetable for his return. This season, the 6’11” big man is averaging 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and 5.0 APG in 34.8 MPG.
  • According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, the Knicks are expected to hire one of their several head-coaching candidates to be an assistant coach under the team’s new head coach. Begley adds that there is internal support for either Mike Miller, who was New York’s interim head coach, or Mike Woodson to join the staff as an assistant. Both Miller and Woodson interviewed for the head coaching vacancy.
  • Scott Soshnick of Sportico reported on Wednesday that the Nets are hiring Madison Square Garden Co. executive John Abbamondi to be their new team president.

McMillan Expects Oladipo To Play In Pacers’ Scrimmages

The Pacers will participate in their first inter-squad scrimmage this Thursday, and head coach Nate McMillan told reporters today that he expects star guard Victor Oladipo to play in that game — and in the rest of Indiana’s scrimmages.

“I do,” McMillan said. “He’s going through the practices and he’s looking good. Our first scrimmage is Thursday and we’ll see how our guys feel and get them minutes accordingly.”

Oladipo has wavered in recent weeks on whether or not he’ll participate in the NBA’s restart this summer. After initially ruling himself out for the summer in early July, Oladipo changed course, telling reporters last week that there’s a “strong possibility” he’ll play if his body continues to respond well to workouts.

McMillan’s comments today don’t mean that anything is set in stone regarding Oladipo’s availability for the team’s upcoming scrimmages, seeding games, or playoff contests. However, for now, it still seems as if we’re trending in the direction of seeing the two-time All-Star play this summer.

In other Pacers news, McMillan said today that Domantas Sabonis, Goga Bitadze, and JaKarr Sampson are dealing with what he referred to as soft-tissue injuries, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Sabonis has had a plantar fasciitis flare-up and is unlikely to play in Thursday’s scrimmage, tweets J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

Pacers Notes: Sumner, Sabonis, Turner, Practice

Pacers guard Edmond Sumner has dealt with knee soreness since his final year in college, so the extended layoff has improved his health, Michael McCleary of the Indianapolis Star reports. “This is probably the best I’ve felt, especially (with my) knee,” said Sumner, who missed some early-season action with a broken hand. “The training staff say this is the best they’ve been treating my knee.” Sumner could see his role increase in Orlando if Victor Oladipo stands by his original decision to opt out of the league restart.

We have more from the Pacers:

  • The chemistry between big men Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner had improved just before the stoppage in play. Coach Nate McMillan is hopeful that they’ll quickly recapture that form in Orlando, Mark Monteith of the team’s website writes. “Those guys had adapted to what teams were doing,” McMillan said. “I started to get a feel for how to use the two bigs and the rotations to split them.”
  • Guard T.J. McConnell liked what he saw from the team during its first practice in Orlando on Sunday, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files“The pace was so good and guys were playing off each other,” McConnell said. “So it was like we never left. Now we just need to build off it.”
  • Oladipo is having second thoughts about sitting out in Orlando after participating fully in practices. Get the details here.

Pacers Rumors: Oladipo, Turner, Sabonis, Draft

A report earlier this month indicated that teams around the NBA are expected to monitor Victor Oladipo, who will be entering a contract year in 2020/21 and hadn’t fully hit his stride with the new-look Pacers since returning from a major leg injury.

However, a league source tells J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star that Oladipo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to that source, the Pacers have no plans to shop the two-time All-Star on the trade market during the 2020 offseason, and intend to focus on locking him up to a new deal beyond 2021. Oladipo’s name hasn’t come up in any trade talks to date, two sources told Michael.

As previous reports have indicated, Oladipo and the Pacers briefly discussed an extension before the 2019/20 season began, but he only could have added three new years at that point and wouldn’t have been eligible to increase his salary to the league max.

Oladipo decided at that point to wait on negotiating a new contract and will likely take the same approach during the 2020 offseason, according to Michael, who notes that Oladipo could maximize his potential earnings by waiting until his contract expires in 2021 to sign a new one. At that point, he’d be eligible for up to five years if he re-signs with Indiana.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • Despite a long-standing belief among outside observers that Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner aren’t compatible, there was no indication at the trade deadline that the Pacers planned to move either player, according to Michael. Still, the club remains in the market for a power forward, Michael adds.
  • Turner drew some interest around the NBA prior to the deadline, particularly from the Wizards, according to Michael. One source tells the Indy Star that Washington was only inquiring about the big man for future reference, but another source told the Star that a “key player” from the Wizards sat down with someone close to Turner to directly express interest. According to Michael, Turner’s camp didn’t take those inquiries too seriously because they were aware Indiana wasn’t looking to move the 24-year-old.
  • The Pacers weren’t interested in adding 2020 draft picks in pre-deadline deals, since they’re “not enamored by” the 2020 draft class and are in win-now mode, says Michael.
  • Michael adds that “for the foreseeable future, no one is going anywhere,” since the Pacers like their roster.

Pacers Notes: Oladipo, Sabonis, Lamb, Practices

Pacers star Victor Oladipo downplayed his shooting struggles against the Bulls on Wednesday and Knicks on Saturday, with the 27-year-old still working to regain his rhythm and get back into the swing of things, as relayed by J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

Oladipo, who missed the past 12 months after suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, shot 2-of-8 against Chicago and 2-of-14 against New York. He appeared in limited time during both of those games (21 minutes and 22 minutes), coming off the bench in both stints.

“We’re still trying to figure each other out,” Oladipo said. “Obviously I’m still trying to get my rhythm. I’ve been out a year. Coming off the bench and obviously playing limited minutes is new, so I got to get used to that. I got to get used to the flow of the game again, we have to get used to each other again. 

“Obviously we won last game [against Chicago]. We made big shots in order to win, but unfortunately tonight [against New York] we couldn’t do that. We just can’t overreact. Everybody else might, obviously, but that’s just how everybody else is. We just got to stay even-keeled and get ready for the Mavs on Monday.”

During his last full season before the injury, Oladipo averaged a career-best 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per contest in 75 games in 2017/18. He was averaging 18.8 points and 5.6 rebounds through 36 games last season, remaining the team’s best player on the offensive end.

Here are some other notes out of Indiana tonight:

  • Domantas Sabonis has taken an impressive path since joining the team, climbing the ranks from a bench player to a starter (and now an NBA All-Star), Mark Montieth of Pacers.com writes. Sabonis was selected to his first All-Star team last month, holding season-averages of 18.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
  • Oladipo will help establish the Pacers as one of the beasts of the East, giving other top-tier teams a run for their money as the postseason nears, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. Players such as Jeremy Lamb will have to sacrifice minutes for Oladipo, a two-time All-Star, with Indiana eventually expected to sport a starting lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Oladipo, T.J. Warren, Myles Turner and Sabonis.
  • Indiana is emphasizing a lighter practice schedule going forward as multiple players work to come back from injuries, J. Michael writes for the Indianapolis Star. Instead, the Pacers will focus on recovery and film study.

Pacers Notes: Brogdon, Sabonis, Oladipo, Warren

Malcolm Brogdon has taken on the closer’s role in his first season with the Pacers, at least until Victor Oladipo returns, writes Scott Agness of The Athletic. In training camp, it wasn’t clear who might get that designation with nine new players on the roster, but Brogdon, who was acquired from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade, feels comfortable making decisions that will win or lose games.

“It’s a privilege,” he said. “Being the closer, sometimes it’s about making the last shot, but sometimes it’s about making the right play, making the right pass. My teammates, this organization, my coach — they trust me with the ball, and I’m going to continue to make good decisions.”

Indiana is using Brogdon as a full-time point guard, Agness adds, instead of a floor spacer like he was in Milwaukee. As a result, he has eight double-doubles this season after just three in his first three years in the NBA.

“I was hoping for it,” he said of the point guard duties. “Especially with Vic being out, I was hoping I could be that guy, but I knew I had to prove myself. And now that I’ve proven myself, Coach and my teammates allow me to do that and empower me to do that.”

There’s more from Indiana:

  • Doctors don’t believe Domantas Sabonis is risking further injury by playing with a bone bruise in his left knee, Agness relays in a separate story. After he was checked by the team doctor, his representatives had two other specialists examine the knee before any decision was made. “There’s swelling in the bone that all doctors say can’t get worse unless you get hit in that same spot,” he said. “It’s the same thing if I get hit in my healthy knee. There’s the same chance. It’s not a muscle or anything, so by doing more stuff, you can’t technically get it worse.”
  • Oladipo remained in Indiana as the team left for a nine-day road trip, Agness adds in the same piece. He plans to practice with the team’s G League affiliate as he prepares for his season debut January 29.
  • Picking up T.J. Warren in an offseason trade with the Suns has provided a boost for the Pacers’ offense, observes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. Warren is averaging 18.1 PPG and his versatility has made the team more difficult to defend. “He can score any way possible,” Jeremy Lamb said. “Off the dribble. Catch and shoot. Floaters. Threes. Pull-ups. Post-ups. However you want it, he’ll give it to you.”