Glenn Robinson III

Glenn Robinson III Expected To Miss 3-4 Months

OCTOBER 14: Robinson underwent successful surgery on his left ankle on Friday, the Pacers announced in a press release. According to the team, the swingman is expected to miss approximately three or four months, so he likely won’t make his season debut until 2018.

OCTOBER 11: Glenn Robinson III will undergo surgery on his left ankle and is not expected to return to the court until mid-December, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.

The 23-year-old missed the majority of training camp and preseason while nursing a high ankle sprain. He suffered the injury on September 28 and was expected to miss roughly two months. Wojnarowski adds that the need for surgery will extend his original timeline by about two to four weeks.

The Pacers consider Robinson a key member of the team’s rebuild and they plan on having him play a “prominent role” once he’s healthy, per Wojnarowski.

Robinson was drafted by the Wolves with the No. 40 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Minnesota waived him during his rookie season after just 25 games and the Sixers brought him aboard for the remainder of the 2014/15 season.

The Michigan product joined the Pacers during the 2015 offseason and he’s progressed in two seasons with the club. He’s averaging 5.2 points in 17.0 minutes per game while shooting 37.6% from downtown during his pair of campaigns in Indiana.

Glenn Robinson III To Miss Two Months With Ankle Injury

The Pacers are expected to be without forward Glenn Robinson III for two months, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The 23-year-old severely sprained his left ankle during a team practice.

Prior to the injury, Robinson III had figured to factor into the team’s rotation in 2017/18 along with free agent acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic. In a career-best year last season, he played 20.7 minutes per game behind starting forward Paul George.

Despite the setback, this season could still mark a new opportunity for the son of Purdue University legend Glenn Robinson Jr. If the youngest Robinson can at least hit the ground running when he returns, he could still piece together a solid campaign from Thanksgiving Day on now that incumbent starter George has moved on to Oklahoma City.

Robinson III was a second-round pick out of Michigan in 2014 and has played for his home state Pacers since the summer of 2015.

Glenn Robinson III Out At Least Two Weeks

The Pacers will be without a rotation player for most of the rest of the season as they push for a playoff spot. According to Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter), head coach Nate McMillan announced today that Glenn Robinson III will be out at least two weeks with a left calf injury. Robinson will be re-evaluated after those two weeks.

A third year wing out of Michigan, Robinson has enjoyed his best NBA season to date in 2016/17. Appearing in 69 games (27 starts), Robinson has established new career highs across the board, with 6.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and a shooting line of .466/.392/.711 in 20.7 minutes per contest.

If Robinson is able to return in two weeks, it would put him in line to play in the Pacers’ final three regular season games. However, if he’s sidelined for longer than those two weeks, it’s possible he may not play again this season. A playoff return could be in the cards, but Indiana will have to earn a postseason berth first — the Bucks have pulled even with the Pacers for the No. 6 seed at 36-35, and the Heat (35-37), Bulls (34-38), and Pistons (34-38) are all within striking distance too.

With Robinson out of the mix, players like C.J. Miles and Thaddeus Young, among others, could get a few extra minutes.

Larry Bird on George, CBA, McMillan, Robinson, Teague

The Pacers are prepared to give Paul George a maximum contract when he becomes a free agent in 2018, team president Larry Bird tells Nate Taylor of USA Today. Bird touches on several subjects in a wide-ranging interview, including the team’s plan to keep its three-time All-Star.

Here are some highlights:

On the future of Paul George in Indiana:

“Before the year started, I told Paul and I said, ‘Look, if you want to sign a long-term deal, we’re willing to do that max [contract] and if you want to wait, I understand.’ But this year, we’re not going to worry about it, we’re not going to talk about it and he’s going to make the decision that’s best for Paul when it comes down to it.”

On whether the new collective bargaining agreement will help the Pacers:

“Well, if you want to keep your free agents, you’re going to have an opportunity to, at least, I think, have a better chance of keeping them. If a player don’t want to be here, and he wants to go somewhere else, that’s just a part of free agency. That’s what’s in the collective bargaining for. But at least you have an opportunity to pay them a little bit more and give them an extra year and be able to keep them and sign them up earlier. I think that’s a plus.”

On the offseason coaching change that replaced Frank Vogel with Nate McMillan:

“I like Nate. I liked him when I hired him. But anything I say positive about Nate, you’re going to take it as a negative to Frank, and that’s not what it’s about. I like Frank. Frank did a hell of a job here. We wish him all the best. We made a lot of changes over the last two or three years, even when Frank was here. We changed a lot of guys on the roster. With Nate came in, we changed coach and a lot of guys on the roster. We’d like to get away from that and have guys longer term and have a team that he can build with and grow with as we go forward.”

On Glenn Robinson III replacing Monta Ellis in the starting lineup:

“Glenn hasn’t been as consistent as I think as he or we would like, but the numbers don’t lie. When he plays, we do better. Monta, I’m not going to say he’ll ever accept the role of coming off the bench because that’s his mentality. But the thing is he’s going to do whatever it takes for us to win basketball games and he’ll continue to get better. I think when [Rodney] Stuckey gets back, I think that’s going to help. … But as far as Monta, I think Monta is going to do whatever he thinks will help us win basketball games. Monta knows I have respect for him and I have respect for all veterans. We’re going to do what’s right by him and we want him to be a big part of this, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.”

On Jeff Teague, who was acquired over the summer in exchange for George Hill:

“I hear he always wanted to play here. We gave up a hell of a player to get him. He’s two years younger than George and he’s a real point guard and he gets to the line. I think he’s going to continue to get better. I couldn’t be happier.”

Central Notes: Smith, Liggins, Leuer, Robinson

Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith may not have thumb surgery until after Christmas, reports Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The team is still deciding which doctor will perform the operation, and no timetable for a return will be set until the procedure is complete. The Cavs are taking a patient approach to Smith’s status and about finding a replacement, as coach Tyronn Lue instructed GM David Griffin to “take his time” in adjusting the roster. “We want to make sure that we have the right piece that we bring in here that could help us win a championship,” Lue said. “That’s our goal. I mean, with Griff at the helm I know he’ll get something done. He always pulls out something magical, so let him to his thing and I just gotta to continue to coach the team with what I’ve got.” Even with the injury to Smith, the team’s first priority is finding an experienced point guard to back up Kyrie Irving.

There’s more tonight from the Central Division:

  • Smith’s injury will mean more playing time for DeAndre Liggins, according to Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Iman Shumpert will probably remain in a reserve role because he has been handling the backup point guard duties, so that creates an opportunity for Liggins to start. He has played in 18 games this season, averaging 2.9 points and 1.2 assists in 13.9 minutes per night.
  • Stan Van Gundy’s promised lineup changes would have begun tonight with forward Jon Leuer getting a start, but a traffic accident this morning caused him to miss the team’s shootaround, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Leuer was able to play tonight, but he requested to be used off the bench after meeting with doctors. Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris remained the starting forwards, and Van Gundy didn’t say which player he had planned to bench for Leuer. “He would’ve started tonight but he got in a car wreck at about 45 mph and the airbags deployed and everything,” the coach said. “He was pretty banged up.”
  • Pacers guard Monta Ellis might be out another week, which will give Glenn Robinson III more time to prove he should be a starter, according to Jordan J. Wilson of The Indianapolis Star. Robinson has impressed his coaches while filling in for Ellis, who is suffering from a right groin sprain. “I think when another role guy goes down, this opportunity that I’m given, I’m really trying to keep it,” Robinson said. “That’s my job [to] come in competitive and to come in wanting to keep that spot. Like I said from the beginning of the season, I’ve been on the bench way too long [and I’m] trying to get back [in the starting lineup].”

Central Notes: Thibodeau, Ellis, Robinson, Pistons

Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said his experience in Chicago was “90% positive” and he has no bitterness toward GM Gar Forman or executive John Paxson over his firing, relays K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter links). Thibodeau, who now coaches the Wolves, met with the media this afternoon in advance of tonight’s game in Chicago. He had a record of 255-139 in five years with the Bulls before being let go after the 2014/15 season. Thibodeau added that he would like to have a face-to-face meeting with owner Jerry Reinsdorf“Jerry was great to me,” he said. “I’ve got great respect for him. At some point, I’ll sit down with Jerry.” (Twitter link).

There’s more news from the Central Division:

  • It might be time for the Pacers to look for a taker for Monta Ellis, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star. The team was sharp Monday night in a lopsided win over the Hornets as Ellis was sidelined with an injury. Ellis is having his worst season since he was a rookie, but the Pacers have been reluctant to pull him from the starting lineup after signing him to a four-year, $48MM deal in 2015. But Ellis, Paul George, Jeff Teague and Myles Turner all need to control the ball to be effective, and coach Nate McMillan said Monday, “There’s only one ball.”
  • Glenn Robinson III made a strong case to replace Ellis in the starting lineup, according to Mark Montieth of Pacers.com. Robinson scored just three points Monday, but had six rebounds, three blocks and no turnovers. He said his goal is to earn a regular spot as a starter. “It’s sad to see Monta out, you never want to see anyone injured, but I want to take advantage of this opportunity again,” Robinson said. “I definitely want to be a starter in this league and I think I can help this team out, bringing energy and being ready to play every tonight. Energy is the biggest thing we need in the starting lineup.”
  • Pistons owner Tom Gores considered his team “the missing family member” in Detroit sports, relays Harvey Araton of The New York Times. The franchise announced last month that it will leave Auburn Hills and return to downtown Detroit for the 2017/18 season.

Central Notes: Chalmers, McRae, Robinson, MCW

Signing Mario Chalmers could be an option if the Cavaliers are desperate for a backup point guard in January, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Vardon stresses that the team would prefer to trade for someone in December, but if that doesn’t happen, Chalmers could become an attractive option. The 30-year-old is still recovering from an Achilles injury. He has been working out since August, but hasn’t been medically cleared for full basketball activities. Because the Cavs are well over the salary cap, Chalmers would have to accept the league minimum to come to Cleveland.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Jordan McRae‘s increased playing time probably means the Cavaliers are showcasing him for a possible trade, Vardon contends in the same piece. McRae, who joined the team in March, has seen at least 10 minutes per night over the past five games. That has meant reduced playing time for offseason acquisition Mike Dunleavy Jr., although Vardon says it’s possible that coach Tyronn Lue is just resting the 36-year-old.
  • Injuries have given Glenn Robinson III a chance to play and he’s taking advantage of it, writes Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star. The third-year forward has turned in two impressive games as he fills in for Paul George and C.J. Miles“I didn’t want him to worry about trying to replace Paul’s points,” said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. “You can’t do that. I wanted him to relax and offensively not put any pressure on himself. I did want to see him pick up his pace on the defensive end of the floor and that’s where I really wanted him to focus and work hard.”
  • A bone chip in his left wrist is the latest health setback for Michael Carter-Williams, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. The Bulls had hoped to get the fourth-year guard back as early as next week from a bone bruise on his knee that has kept him out since October 31st. Carter-Williams, who has played just three games for Chicago since being acquired in an offseason trade, will have the wrist re-evaluated in two weeks.

Rockets To Keep Michael Beasley

The Rockets will hold on to combo forward Michael Beasley, whose contract guarantee date is Monday, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Beasley’s salary for next season will be $1,403,611 if Houston does keep him on the roster.

Beasley became an impact player for the Rockets late in the season after signing with the team March 4th following the end of his season in China. Beasley appeared in 20 games for Houston, averaging 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per night.

The 27-year-old Beasley was the second player taken in the 2008 draft, but he admits that he damaged his career with a lack of effort and a series of off-court incidents. Beasley was part of the Rockets’ Las Vegas Summer League roster earlier this month and spent most of the time as a mentor, telling younger players not to make the same mistakes he did.

Other players with salary guarantee dates on Monday are the Heat’s Rodney McGruder [$150,000 of $543,471 salary becomes guaranteed] and Josh Richardson [full $874,636 salary] and the Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III [full $1,050,500 salary].

Pacers Waive Shayne Whittington

The Pacers have waived big man Shayne Whittington, the team announced today in a press release. The move allows the team to avoid paying Whittington’s $980,431 salary for the 2016/17 season, which would have become fully guaranteed if he remained on the roster beyond August 1.

[RELATED: Upcoming deadlines for non-guaranteed contracts]

Whittington, 25, has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Pacers, going back forth between Indiana and Fort Wayne, where the team’s D-League affiliate plays. During that time, the Western Michigan alum has appeared in 27 total NBA games, averaging a modest 2.5 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.5 minutes per contest.

With Whittington no longer in the mix, the Pacers have reduced their roster to 15 players, the regular-season limit. Of those 15 players, 14 have guaranteed salaries, while Glenn Robinson III also has an August 1 guarantee deadline. Assuming Robinson sticks around past Monday, he and his 14 teammates look like they’ll make up Indiana’s opening-night roster, though teams can carry up to 20 players in the offseason, so the Pacers figure to add a few more players for training camp in the coming weeks.

As for Whittington, he still has a chance to earn his full salary on his current contract if he’s claimed off waivers. However, it’s more likely that he’ll hit the open market. A non-guaranteed or partially-guaranteed contract with an NBA team – perhaps even Indiana – is one option, though he could also decide to explore overseas opportunities.

And-Ones: Pistons, Robinson, D-League

Brandon Jennings declared himself ready to play for the Pistons, but with backup point guard Steve Blake playing so well, the team has a good problem, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. “It’s a tough thing to weigh,” coach Stan Van Gundy said of possibly taking minutes away from Blake. “It’s a dilemma a little bit. But Brandon has looked good.” The 35-year-old realizes he will most likely lose minutes once Jennings returns to the rotation, but that is something that was expected.

“That was an understanding of mine coming here,” Blake said. “Coach Van Gundy and I talked about that. There will be times when I’m playing well while he’s injured. When he comes back, the chance of me going to the bench and him playing at some point was an understanding of mine. He’s working his way back to where he wants to be and when that time comes, that’s fine with me. It’s a team thing. I don’t see it as him and I as competition. We’re teammates playing against other people, so when that time comes, that’s totally fine with me.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Pacers like Glenn Robinson III and they can envision the 22-year-old carving out a role with the team, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes. Robinson appreciates the team communicating with him about his future. “They’ve done a great job of talking to me. They haven’t really given me a definite timeframe or when it’s going to come, but they’re saying that that point is going to come,” Robinson said. “Just knowing my moment is coming, I think that really locks me in, too. That keeps me going. So that’s a good thing to hear, especially from Larry [Bird].
  • The Spurs have recalled Ray McCallum from their D-League Affiliate, the Austin Spurs, per the team’s website. McCallum is averaging 18.0 points, 4.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds in five D-League games this season.
  • The Grizzlies assigned forward Jarell Martin to the Iowa Energy, the team’s D-League affiliate, according to the team’s website. This will be Martin’s third stint with Iowa this season.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

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