Donovan Mitchell

Kings Notes: Dellavedova, Johnson, Huerter, Murray

Kings reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova has a fractured finger, James Ham of The Kings Beat relays via a team update (Twitter link).

Dellavedova suffered a right index finger fracture during the fourth quarter against Portland on Wednesday. Treatment options are being mulled and there’s no timetable for his return.

The 32-year-old has appeared in 32 games off the bench but is only averaging 6.7 minutes in those outings. He’s playing on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.

We have more on the playoff-bound Kings:

  • Stockton Kings GM Paul Johnson has been named the NBA G League Basketball Executive of the Year, according to a press release from the team. Johnson became the first executive in Stockton history to earn the award after leading basketball operations for the last two seasons. Stockton finished with the best regular season record (25-7) and matched the franchise single-season record for victories with regular season wins and Showcase Cup wins combined (37). However, the team was upset in the G League playoffs this week.
  • Several teams were interested in acquiring Kevin Huerter when the offseason began last summer, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. The Kings were not one of the teams his representatives initially mentioned to him. However, Sacramento and Atlanta soon came to terms on a deal for Huerter, who was vacationing in Spain at the time. Huerter was expecting to get dealt after the Hawks acquired Dejounte Murray. “It just felt like there were too many cooks in the kitchen,” Huerter said. “Somebody was gonna go.”
  • Lottery pick Keegan Murray has set the league record for most 3-pointers by a rookie, according to a league press release. Murray sank his record-breaking 188th 3-pointer of the season on Wednesday. Donovan Mitchell previously held the record, having knocked down 187 during the 2017/18 season. “Breaking any type of records at the highest level in anything you do is absolutely amazing. And to see Keegan do that (Wednesday), with the way he’s played all year and how hard he’s worked, was an amazing feat,” coach Mike Brown said.

Central Notes: Mitchell, Cavs, Osman, Ingles, Caruso, Ivey

Donovan Mitchell says the Cavaliers believe they can make a deep playoff run this season, as he tells Chris Mannix of

You got to get there and see it,” Mitchell said. “We’ve put the work in. It’s tough going from the hunter last year to the hunted. But you see the progression. That tells you the mindset is there. That tells you this team believes.”

Mannix notes that there are signs Cleveland should be viewed as a contender — the team is first in net rating, second in defense, and Mitchell is having a career year and is surrounded by talented young players. However, only Mitchell and Jarrett Allen have postseason experience among the starters, and inexperienced teams rarely advance far in an initial playoff run.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman has been in and out of the rotation in recent weeks, but he provided a major spark on Tuesday with Mitchell out, finishing with 24 points and six three-pointers in the victory over Charlotte. He admits the inconsistent playing time has been a challenge, according to Chris Fedor of (subscriber link). “It’s tough. It’s not easy,” Osman said. “I feel like when you don’t play and then you do play, sometimes you’re trying to do more than you would normally do because you’re trying to stay in the game, you’re trying to show you deserve to be out there and that’s what is best for the team. I’ve learned how to deal with that throughout the season. I would say it’s going better for me now.”
  • Joe Ingles signed with the Bucks for the taxpayer mid-level exception last offseason, which was a risk by Milwaukee considering he was coming off a torn ACL suffered in February 2022. The veteran forward showed his worth at the end of Tuesday’s victory over Phoenix, with point guard Jrue Holiday calling on Ingles to handle the play-making duties. As Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes, the Bucks went on a 17-4 run once Ingles started running the show. “He just gives us a presence in the locker room, practices,” Budenholzer said of Ingles. “As a coach, you have to figure out how to best put him in his spots and the spacing around it and the players, they gotta keep developing that chemistry, so it’s still growing. I wish you could just snap your fingers and have it immediately, but that’s just not how basketball works, but he’s been invaluable to us, especially recently.”
  • Bulls head coach Billy Donovan says Alex Caruso has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game against Sacramento, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter links). The defensive stalwart had previously been listed as questionable with an illness. The Bulls are competing for a spot in the play-in tournament, so Caruso will certainly be missed versus the Kings.
  • Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, who entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols last Friday, is listed as probable for Thursday’s matchup with Denver, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. The No. 5 overall pick of last June’s draft, Ivey is averaging 15.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG and 4.9 APG on .415/.331/.732 shooting through 62 games (30.2 MPG) as a rookie.

Injury Notes: Nance, Mitchell, Kuzma, LeBron, Suns

After missing six games due to a left ankle sprain, Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. returned to action on Sunday vs. Portland. However, Nance logged just eight minutes and acknowledged after the game that he isn’t at full strength yet.

“I think it was pretty clear that I’m not 100%,” Nance said, per Christian Clark of “For me, it’s more about if I can play, you’re going to get what I got at all times. We got a win. I did my job.”

Even though Nance – who has averaged 22.0 minutes per game off the bench this season – couldn’t reclaim his usual rotation role in his first game back, head coach Willie Green appreciates the 30-year-old’s willingness to play through pain with New Orleans in the thick of a playoff race.

“Larry is a leader,” Green said. “He wants to be out there on the floor. He has been talking about it the last three, four days. These guys understand that coming down the stretch, it’s going to be a tight race for the playoffs. He’s trying to get himself ready for the last 14 games. It was huge to have him on the floor. His presence was felt.”

Nance isn’t on the Pelicans’ injury report for Tuesday’s game against the Lakers, so he’ll be available for that one, even if his minutes are once again limited.

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

  • The Cavaliers have ruled out Donovan Mitchell (finger sprain injury management) for Tuesday’s contest vs. Charlotte, tweets Chris Fedor of Starting center Jarrett Allen (right eye contusion) is also unavailable for a second straight game.
  • Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against Detroit due to a sore right knee, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Washington is currently a half-game back of Chicago for the No. 10 spot in the East.
  • Lakers star LeBron James, who is making his way back from a right foot injury, did his first on-court activity at a Tuesday shootaround, taking a few free throws after he completed his weight lifting and rehab work, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter links).
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams called it a “good sign” that GM James Jones said Kevin Durant would probably be available now if the playoffs had begun. “With those kind of injuries, you tend to get better every day, and he’s getting around-the-clock treatment,” Williams said of KD (link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). The Suns’ coach added that Landry Shamet‘s return from a right foot injury isn’t imminent: “He’s just been getting up shots. He’s about the same. He’s just getting more treatment. Just trying to figure it out. How can we get back to a place he can get back to a full practice and then progress from there.”

Central Notes: Bulls, Cavaliers, Mitchell, Bucks

The Bulls entered a road back-to-back on a two-game winning streak. They’re still very much in the play-in tournament hunt and coach Billy Donovan said there’s been no discussion about going into tank mode to improve their draft status, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I’ve never had a situation from ownership, front office, that said, ‘Listen, we’ve got an opportunity to potentially manipulate or get a higher draft pick. Let’s sit these guys. Let’s play the younger guys and give them an opportunity.’ That’s never taken place,” the Bulls head coach said. “So. I respect that and appreciate that, because I do think that when you line up and play there’s an integrity, and even to the fans, you’re out there trying to win.’’

We have more Central Division news:

  • Ricky Rubio and Caris LeVert are the only Cavaliers reserves who can count on a rotation spot during the postseason, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff anticipates an eight- or nine-man rotation and those last two spots could be in flux. “Eight, nine will probably be the most,” Bickerstaff said. “It could depend on our opponent and what we need in the moment. Four of the five starters I think are going to end up playing heavy minutes.”
  • Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell had 35 points as the team snapped a three-game losing streak by pounding Toronto on Sunday. Mitchell and Bickerstaff had a meeting prior to the game in which the coach implored his star shooting guard to set the tone, Fedor writes. “When a coach and you have that talk, you kind of have to go out there and get to it,” Mitchell said.
  • The impending transfer of ownership in the Bucks’ franchise won’t have a financial impact on the team this season, according to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. However, new owner Jimmy Haslam could be on the hook for part of this season’s luxury tax bill if the transfer occurs before the end of the league’s awards season.

Central Notes: Love, Beverley, Pacers, Giannis

Donovan Mitchell admits to being “shocked” by Kevin Love‘s buyout with the Cavaliers, which occurred while players were scattered for the All-Star break, writes Chris Fedor of Mitchell was involved with numerous events during All-Star Weekend, and he hasn’t been able to talk to Love about his decision to leave Cleveland and sign with the Heat.

“I don’t think any of us take it personally,” Mitchell said. “I think his role in the past 10 or 11 games wasn’t what he wanted and as players we understand that. If that was his decision, then that’s fine. … I think that’s ultimately the best decision for him as a player and you want to respect that. I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to thrive in Miami. Ultimate professional. Wish him nothing but the best. We will see him in a few weeks. He’s a hell of a player, hell of a person and I’m appreciative of my time with him.”

Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff also sensed that Love was unhappy after being replaced in the rotation when Dean Wade returned from an injury in late January. Bickerstaff asked Love to be a mentor for the team, but he could tell Love wasn’t satisfied with that role.

“Not a disruptive unhappy or combative unhappy,” Bickerstaff said. “Kevin wants to play. I understand that. He wants to be on the floor. He can help teams or help a team. He believes that. I think it’s that frustration of not being able to participate with your teammates that you could feel and you could sense.” 

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Billy Donovan hasn’t decided if Patrick Beverley will start or not, but the veteran guard will definitely see playing time, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls held a press conference Wednesday to welcome their latest free agent addition, who committed to Chicago after reaching a buyout agreement with Orlando. “He’s been an elite defender and an elite competitor,” Donovan said. “I think if you look at his career, he’s continued to improve his shooting. He’s shot the ball better and better throughout his career. He’s taken on all sorts of very difficult defensive assignments. I think he understands and knows the personnel in this league very well.”
  • Whether or not the Pacers make the playoffs, the rest of this season will help determine who will be part of the team’s future, according to Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Indiana will build around Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin, and Myles Turner‘s extension figures to keep him in place for at least two more years, but there are logjams at other positions that need to be worked out.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice and his status for the Bucks‘ games on Friday and Sunday hasn’t been determined, tweets Eric Nehm of The Journal-Sentinel. Jae Crowder is expected to make his debut with the team on Friday night, Nehm adds (Twitter link).

Doncic, Irving To Start For Team LeBron

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are not only Mavericks teammates, they’re also starting together for Team LeBron at the All-Star Game Sunday in Salt Lake City.

LeBron James selected his former Cleveland teammate Irving and Doncic, the league’s leading scorer, during the first captain’s draft conducted on the same night as the All-Star Game. Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid will start up front for Team LeBron. The reserves for LeBron’s team include Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Tyrese Haliburton, Julius Randle, De’Aaron Fox and Jaren Jackson Jr.

Donovan Mitchell and one of the players he was traded for, Lauri Markkanen, will start for Team Giannis. Ja Morant and Jayson Tatum round out the starting lineup. Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, DeMar DeRozan, Pascal Siakam, Bam Adebayo and Domantas Sabonis will be the reserves for Team Giannis.

And-Ones: NBPA, Dooling, A. Anderson, Officiating, Elam Ending

Celtics forward Grant Williams, formerly a vice president for the National Basketball Players Association, has been elected as the first vice president of the players’ union, per a press release. Williams will take over that role from Andre Iguodala, whose four-year term has expired following his election in 2019.

Since Williams was promoted to first vice president and Kyrie Irving‘s term as an NBPA vice president expired, two new VPs were elected to the union’s executive committee — those new vice presidents are Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, who will serve three-year terms.

“We are thrilled to have Grant in this elevated position, and we welcome Jaren and Donovan to the executive committee,” NBPA president CJ McCollum said in a statement. “Their experience and ability to connect with the younger players in our league will be imperative as we move forward as a union. I also want to take a moment to thank Andre and Kyrie for their service. Kyrie’s insights have been invaluable since he joined us in 2020, and Andre has been been a key leader for us for more than a decade. Their leadership will be missed but we know they will stay close and continue to support us as we work for the best interests of the brotherhood.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA players Keyon Dooling and Alan Anderson have received prison sentences of 30 months and 24 months, respectively, for their roles in defrauding the NBA’s health and welfare plan, according to Steve Gardner of USA Today. Anderson was one of 18 players originally arrested in 2021 for making fraudulent claims, while Dooling – a former NBPA vice president who was most recently an assistant coach with the Jazz – later had his name added to the criminal case.
  • Before holding his annual All-Star news conference on Saturday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver also appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter this week to discuss concerns about load management and officiating, among other topics (YouTube video link). Silver stated that the NBA is exploring ways to use technology to automate certain calls (ie. who last touched an out-of-bounds ball) so that referees can focus more on the more subjective calls they’re required to make (ie. fouls).
  • Tim Bontemps of ESPN takes a deep dive into the “Elam Ending,” exploring how Nick Elam first came up with the concept and detailing the path it took to being adopted in the NBA’s All-Star Game (as well as the G League’s overtime period).

Northwest Notes: Mitchell, Jokic, Kessler, Wolves

Donovan Mitchell already made one return to Utah when the Cavaliers played there in January, but it was still meaningful for him to be back on his former practice court in preparation for Sunday’s All-Star Game, writes Joe Coles of The Deseret News.

Mitchell spent five seasons with the Jazz, making three All-Star appearances, before being traded to Cleveland last summer. He said returning to Salt Lake City brings back a lot of memories and pointed out that current Cavs teammates Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto helped him adapt to the NBA during his early days in Utah.

“Ricky and Raul have been phenomenal. They were an instrumental part of my career, helping me get to be the player I am today,” Mitchell said. “To be back here, all these years later in a similar situation, trying to get to a championship, trying get to the playoffs, trying to continue to build, it’s phenomenal. Those guys are the best.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • During Saturday’s All-Star media session, Mitchell offered a strong endorsement of Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the MVP race (video link from Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype). “It’s f—ing outrageous, to be honest,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know how many people have won it three times in a row, but he’s otherworldly right now.”
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic credits a subpar showing in the NCAA Tournament with helping Walker Kessler end up with the Jazz. Kessler got into foul trouble and struggled with drop coverage as highly-ranked Auburn was upset by Miami last spring. That resulted in Kessler slipping to the 22nd pick and Minnesota being willing to part with him in the Rudy Gobert trade. Kessler has become the starting center for Utah and a virtual lock for All-Rookie honors. “As far as a ceiling goes, I don’t really see one for Walker,” head coach Will Hardy said. “There’s nothing right now that hits me in the face as a big limitation.”
  • Thursday’s loss to the Wizards showed that it’s going to take more than swapping D’Angelo Russell for Mike Conley to fix the Timberwolves, observes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota was hoping Conley would provide better decision-making and a steady presence late in games, but the Wolves gave up 38 points in the fourth quarter while letting a big lead slip away.

Dillon Brooks Suspended One Game; Donovan Mitchell Fined

Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks has been suspended for one game without pay after an altercation with Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, who received a $20K fine, the NBA announced (via Twitter).

Brooks was suspended for initiating the incident by “striking Mitchell in the groin area in an unsportsmanlike manner,” per the league. Mitchell was fined for escalating after “throwing the game ball at and pushing Brooks,” with a minor scrum occurring afterward.

Both players were ejected; Brooks received a Flagrant 2 Foul, while Mitchell received a technical. The incident occurred about halfway through the third quarter of Cleveland’s victory over Memphis on Thursday.

According to the NBA, Brooks will serve his suspension on Sunday against Toronto. The one-game ban will cost him $78,621, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That’s 1/145th of his salary. Brooks is making $11.4MM in the final year of his contract.

Mitchell already stated he was going to appeal his ejection. He was very unhappy with Brooks after the game, calling it a “cheap shot” and said it was something that had “been brewing for years.”

Donovan Mitchell Rips Dillon Brooks For “Cheap Shot”

An altercation between Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks resulted in both players being ejected from Thursday night’s game in Cleveland and prompted Mitchell to take aim at Brooks in a post-game press conference.

Following a drive to the basket, Brooks ended up on the floor as Mitchell grabbed the rebound. As he rolled over, Brooks hit Mitchell below the belt with his forearm, which the Cavs star viewed as intentional rather than inadvertent. Mitchell immediately threw the basketball at Brooks and shoved him, which resulted in players and coaches from both teams joining the fray to separate the two (Twitter video link via

After the game, Mitchell suggested to reporters, including Chris Fedor of, that Brooks should be called out for a history of questionable on-court behavior.

“That’s just who he is,” Mitchell said. “We have seen it a bunch in this league with him. Him and I have had our personal battles for years. Quite frankly, I’ve been busting his ass for years. Playoffs. Regular season. And the one game he does an alright job on me today, he decides to do something like that. No place for that in the game. Gotta protect yourself. This has been brewing for years. With me. With other guys in the league. You all see it. This isn’t new. Tonight was just the end of it.

“… Tough when you can’t guard somebody and can’t do something with somebody, you have to resort to that. I’m not typically someone who gets ejected for stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I think my reaction was reacting to a cheap shot. If punishment doesn’t come from that, he’s just going to keep doing it. It’s just dumb to be honest with you and I’m going to appeal it because I don’t think I should’ve gotten ejected for defending myself.”

It’s fair to assume that both players will at least be fined for the incident, and suspensions aren’t out of the question either. Asked what sort of punishment might be appropriate for Brooks, Mitchell declined to offer any specific ideas, but said “it should be something.”

“It’s complete bulls–t. They talk s–t and that’s fine. That’s all part of basketball,” Mitchell said. “We all grew up playing that way. But when you start doing little cheap s–t like that, that ain’t it.

“… The NBA has to do something about it. I’m not the only person this has happened to and there’s no place for that in this game. I took matters into my own hands. When you have a cheap shot like that, there was no need to do that.”

Mitchell’s backcourt mates Ricky Rubio and Darius Garland both referred to Brooks’ play as “dirty,” Fedor notes.

For his part, Brooks declined to address the altercation in any detail after the game, per ESPN, with teammate Ja Morant stepping in to say the Grizzlies wouldn’t be discussing it. Morant did say he feels as if the Grizzlies’ reputation as trash talkers have made the team as an easy target for criticism.

“Anything when it comes to negative about the Grizzlies, we normally, you know, get the punishment,” Morant said. “It ain’t the same. They (the NBA) hate us.”