Jalen Duren

Central Notes: York, Ivey, Duren, Holiday, Antetokounmpo

Rick Carlisle said Gabe York deserved to get promoted to a two-way deal with the Pacers, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files reports. York made a brief appearance in the NBA last season and has spent this season with the G League Fort Wayne Mad Ants. York wasn’t active for Friday’s game, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star tweets.

“Loyalty and consistency should be rewarded,” the Pacers coach said. “So this is a decision that came down, obviously ownership has to approve it, but management and the coaching staff were completely in agreement that Gabe deserved this opportunity. It’s great for him, it’s great for us.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons have just 16 victories but at least their two lottery picks are finishing the season strong, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Earlier this week, Jaden Ivey had a career-best 32 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists against Milwaukee, while Jalen Duren supplied 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists off the bench. “It means everything,” Duren said. “We’re competing for next year at this point. We’re still learning and growing and getting better. It’s not time to go on vacation until the buzzer hits on the court in Chicago (April 9). I’m just locked in and focused on keep growing and getting better until the season is over.”
  • Speaking of the Bucks, Jrue Holiday has earned a $331K bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Holiday has exceeded 2,000 minutes this season — 2,082 to be exact — entering the weekend while appearing in 64 games.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo would be thrilled to win another Most Valuable Player award but he’s focused on winning a second NBA championship with the Bucks, he told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. “Do I think it’s a priority for me? No,” he said of winning MVP. “The priority for me is to get better, to help my team win a championship, to get that feeling again.” A recent ESPN straw poll indicated that the Bucks star trails Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic in the MVP race.

Central Notes: Duren, Bagley III, Beverley, Dosunmu

The Pistons faced the Heat on Sunday and it gave Jalen Duren an up-close lesson on how counterpart Bam Adebayo plays. The Pistons would like to see Duren emulates Adebayo’s approach, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.

“I was watching Bam even before I was in the league,” the Pistons’ rookie center said. “One of the guys I pay attention to, being a big guy who does a lot. You can talk about the skill factor, but I look at it from the standpoint of just affecting the game in more ways than one. Some guys just affect the game scoring, some guys affect it on the defensive end, which isn’t bad. But I feel like Bam is a guy who affects it all around in just terms of his hustle, his IQ, his defensive mindset, he can score it, his ability to connect the floor. That’s what I try to be.”

Duren left Sunday’s game with a head injury after a collision with Miami’s Kevin Love, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III was not only back in action on Sunday, he was in the starting lineup, Langlois tweets. Bagley missed the previous three games with right ankle soreness. He scored 14 points.
  • Guard Patrick Beverley is averaging 6.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists since signing with the Bulls as a free agent. His impact has been far greater than his numbers, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “I just love his presence, his competitiveness,” coach Billy Donovan said. “The way he comes in on a back-to-back telling guys, ‘We got to be ready to play.’ I love his message and disposition and the way he is every day. He has a great motor, great enthusiasm, loves the game and loves competing. I love being around him.”
  • Ayo Dosunmu needs to get his confidence back on the offensive end, Donovan told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. With Beverley cutting into his playing time, Dosunmu has averaged just 5.1 points and 1.5 assists in 17.6 minutes per game this month. Dosunmu’s three-point percentage has dropped from 37.6 percent during his rookie campaign to 31.5 percent this season. “Ayo has always been really competitive defensively,” Donovan said. “His defense has gotten better from a year ago, but clearly his offense, he’s trying to figure some of those things out. I just think he has to go through it. He’s got to find himself out to the other side.’’

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 Cleveland.com, 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 Bulls.com 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.”

Injury Notes: Brunson, Wagner, Zeller, Mathurin, Kuminga, Duren

X-rays on Jalen Brunson‘s sore left foot were negative, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters before Saturday’s game that Brunson is feeling “a little better” and is considered day-to-day. He added that the injury has officially been diagnosed as a bruise.

“When he’s healthy enough, he goes,” Thibodeau said. “So just do the rehab, talk to the medical people and when he gets cleared, he’s cleared and then he’ll play.”

Brunson has missed three of the team’s last four games, playing just 19 minutes Thursday in Sacramento. The Knicks have now dropped three in a row, and it’s uncertain if Brunson will be available as their road trip continues Sunday against the Lakers and Tuesday vs. the Trail Blazers.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • X-rays on Magic forward Franz Wagner were negative after he left Saturday’s game with a right ankle injury, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Wagner has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain.
  • Heat center Cody Zeller left the same game with a broken nose after a collision with Orlando’s Jalen Suggs in the first quarter, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami was already missing Caleb Martin, who sat out the game with knee soreness, and Duncan Robinson, who was placed in health and safety protocols.
  • Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin sat out Saturday after spraining his ankle this week and has already been ruled out of Monday’s game, per Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Coach Rick Carlisle said Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner and T.J. McConnell will also be held out Monday.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Jonathan Kuminga is considered day-to-day after spraining his ankle during warmups on Thursday, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Kuminga didn’t play Saturday, but he was on the team’s bench without a walking boot, Slater adds (Twitter link).
  • Pistons rookie center Jalen Duren feels fully recovered from the bilateral ankle soreness that caused him to miss six games, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. “Just being out a couple weeks, I was itching to get back and trying to play and finish out the season strong,” Duren said. “I’ve been working, I don’t know if y’all can tell but I got a little bigger. I feel good.”

Pistons Notes: Bogdanovic, Ivey, Injuries, Omoruyi

Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic has sat out the last three games with what the team is referring to as bilateral Achilles tendinopathy. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, that ailment could jeopardize the rest of Bogdanovic’s season.

Charania has heard that the Pistons are considering taking precautionary measures to manage Bogdanovic’s health and may soon to decide to shut him down.

Certainly, the Pistons aren’t in desperate need of Bogdanovic’s contributions on the court down the stretch. Detroit signed the veteran to a contract extension last fall and has repeatedly suggested it views him as a player who can help the team return to playoff contention next season, but that’s not happening this year — the 15-51 Pistons currently have the NBA’s worst record, so the only race they’ll be involved in during the next few weeks is the one for the league’s top draft lottery odds.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey is showing real signs of progress as a ball-handler and play-maker in the second half of the season, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Since January 6, Ivey has averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 assists per game on .433/.358/.746 shooting in 24 appearances (30.8 MPG). He has been even better as of late, racking up 39 points and 25 assists in his last two contests. The next step for Ivey will be figuring out how to share those ball-handling and play-making duties with Cade Cunningham next season.
  • With several players, including Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart (right hip soreness), and Jalen Duren (bilateral ankle soreness) on the shelf this week, Eugene Omoruyi has gotten a chance to play for the Pistons since signing a 10-day contract on Friday, notes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscriber-only story). “He’s just a dog, especially on both ends of the floor,” James Wiseman said of his new teammate, who had 15 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes on Tuesday. “But really just locking up the rebounds and just being in there and mucking everything up on defense and being an energy guy. That’s what we needed to get over the hump, especially for this game. I feel like he was a great piece for our team.”
  • In case you missed it, an ankle injury will sideline Hamidou Diallo for at least the next few weeks, and possibly for the rest of the season.

Pistons Notes: Wiseman, Draft, Bagley, Ivey, Duren

The Pistons gambled on James Wiseman‘s potential, trading away steady forward Saddiq Bey in the process, and they’re confident he’ll be part of their future, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes.

Coach Dwane Casey said the staff is working on the “little things” to maximize Wiseman’s growth.

“He has all the athletic skills,” Casey said. “The length, the size and that’s something that’s helped our defense, having that deterrent at the rim, that 7-footer at the rim to block shots. He’s done a good job of that. Just now learning all the little things, footwork in the post, not letting them push him off his sweet spot in the post. Command your spot. That’s what the coaches now are working on him with that.”

Wiseman had 23 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Charlotte on Monday.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • So what will the Pistons do if they don’t win the lottery and the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes? James Edwards III of The Athletic explores that scenario, predicting which players the team would select in the 2-6 range. Edwards still sees Detroit taking Scoot Henderson at No. 2 despite drafting guards Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in the lottery the past three years. However, other teams would make significant trade offers to the Pistons if they get the No. 2 pick, Edwards notes.
  • Marvin Bagley III erupted for season highs of 21 points and 18 rebounds against Toronto on Saturday after he missed nearly two months due to a fractured right hand. After re-signing Bagley last summer, the Pistons want to see more of that on a consistent basis, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press writes. “He told on himself when he got 18 rebounds,” Casey said. “So now we’re looking for 18 rebounds (Monday) night, the next night, the next night, or close to it. Let’s be consistent.”
  • Ivey missed Monday’s game due to personal reasons,, Sankofa tweets. Fellow rookie Jalen Duren missed his second straight game with ankle soreness. Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles soreness) and Isaiah Stewart (hip) also sat out.

Injury Updates: Giannis, Simmons, Bagley, Oubre, Robinson

Star big man Giannis Antetokounmpo was upgraded from doubtful to questionable to available for Friday’s game against Miami after dealing with a right wrist sprain, but unfortunately he knocked knees (right) with an opponent and the Bucks ruled out him for the remainder of the contest, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

It’s unclear when the injury occurred, but Antetokounmpo signaled for coach Mike Budenholzer to call a timeout and limped slightly to the locker room, per Bally Sports Wisconsin (Twitter video link). Budenholzer didn’t have an update on Giannis’ status after Milwaukee’s win, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Here are some more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Nets swingman Ben Simmons was dealing with left knee soreness prior to the All-Star break and spent the break rehabbing, but he’s still in pain and will be reevaluated in about a week, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “I had it drained right before All-Star. I also had a PRP (injection),” Simmons said. “It’s frustrating, but it’s something that’s an injury I’ve never dealt with before. So it’s something I’m learning about, that we’re learning about.” Simmons added that he hasn’t been 100 percent the entire season and he’s on a strength program for the knee.
  • Pistons rookie center Jalen Duren will be sidelined Saturday versus Toronto with bilateral ankle soreness, but Marvin Bagley III is probable after recovering from right hand surgery (Twitter link via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press). Bagley has missed the past 20 games. The former second overall pick is averaging 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 25 games this season.
  • Similarly, wing Kelly Oubre returned to action Friday after being sidelined due to hand surgery, per the Hornets (Twitter link). Oubre, who was thought to be a trade candidate given he’s on an expiring contract, previously talked about wanting to remain with Charlotte, which ultimately came to fruition. He last played on December 29.
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson made his return to the starting lineup for Friday’s victory over the Wizards, New York announced (via Twitter). The news was expected, as head coach Tom Thibodeau recently said Robinson had practiced 5-on-5 with no issues. The fifth-year big man has been dealing with a fractured thumb. “I mean, playing basketball and then just running up and down the court, big difference. Big difference,” Robinson said of his condition level after the game (Twitter link via Fred Katz of The Athletic). The 24-year-old played nearly 28 minutes, scoring 10 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.

And-Ones: World Cup Qualifiers, Nike Summit, MVP Race, Rising Stars, Draft

With two more qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup right around the corner, USA Basketball has officially announced the 12-man roster that will compete in February’s games. Team USA’s squad is made up primarily of G Leaguers, but features a number of players with NBA experience.

The 12 players who will represent the U.S. on February 23 vs. Uruguay and Feb. 26 vs. Brazil are Deonte Burton, Will Davis II, Abdul Gaddy, Langston Galloway, Treveon Graham, Dusty Hannahs, Nate Hinton, Jay Huff, Xavier Moon, Elijah Pemberton, Reggie Perry, and Craig Sword.

So far, Canada is the only team in the Americas field to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, having won all of its first 10 qualifying contests. However, Team USA – which has an 8-2 record so far – will clinch a World Cup berth by winning either one of its two games this month, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

Meanwhile, USA Basketball also announced the rosters for the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit, an annual showcase of U.S. high school prospects that will take place on April 8. The most notable name on the men’s roster is Bronny James, but Bronny isn’t the only son of a former Cavaliers lottery pick to be named to the event — the 13-player roster also includes Dajuan Wagner Jr.

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

  • Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is building a strong case for his third consecutive MVP award and leads the way in the latest straw poll conducted by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. Bontemps’ survey asks 100 media members for their current MVP ballots — Jokic received 77 first-place votes, easily besting runners-up Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks (11 first-place votes) and Joel Embiid of the Sixers (6).
  • Rockets guard Jalen Green (left groin strain) and Pistons center Jalen Duren (right ankle sprain) have been forced to withdraw from Friday night’s Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend due to injuries, according to the NBA (Twitter link). They’re being replaced by Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu and Rockets forward Tari Eason.
  • In his latest mock draft for The Athletic, Sam Vecenie moves Alabama wing Brandon Miller up to No. 3, writing that Miller is considered the safest bet in the 2023 draft class – outside of Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson – to be a “really good player” at the NBA level. Vecenie’s top five is rounded out by Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson at No. 4 and Houston forward Jarace Walker at No. 5.

NBA Announces Player Pool For Rising Stars Event

The NBA officially unveiled the 28-player pool for this year’s Rising Stars event on Tuesday, making the announcement via the NBA App. The following players made the cut:



G League players:

As was the case last season, the Rising Stars event will consist of four teams and three games. The seven G League players will comprise one team, coached by longtime NBA guard Jason Terry. The other 21 players will be drafted to three squads coached by former NBA stars Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Deron Williams.

The four teams will be split into two first-round matchups and the winners of those two games will face one another for the Rising Stars championship. The two semifinals will be played to a target score of 40 points, while the final will be played to a target score of 25 points.

All three contests will take place on Friday, February 17 as part of All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City. The NBA’s full press release with more information on the event can be found right here.

Central Notes: Duren, Bucks, Pacers, Mobley

Pistons rookie center Jalen Duren is encouraged by his development through the midway point of the 2022/23 season, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. Duren, who began the year coming off the bench, has emerged as a starter for Detroit.

“I feel like I got a lot better from the first game until now,” Duren reflected. “Honestly, my biggest thing is growth. I feel like I’m going to continue to grow and develop throughout the rest of the season, too.”

Through 40 games this season, the 6’10” big man is averaging 7.8 PPG on 64.1% field goal shooting and 8.6 RPG.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks have had difficulty controlling turnovers all season, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “It’s something we gotta work on,” head coach Mike Budenholzer said. Jrue (Holiday)’s just got the ball in his hands a ton. We’re asking a lot of him, putting him in a lot of stuff, but I think he can be better. And some of the other ones, I think we can clean up. The guys are trying and we have our stretches, we have our moments where it really hurts us, but it’s just an area where we can improve.” Nehm writes that the Bucks lose the rock 15.1% of the time, and rank just 21st in turnover percentage league-wide this year.
  • The Pacers are struggling to win without injured starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton, writes Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Indiana has lost seven games in a row since Haliburton got hurt on January 11 with a left elbow sprain and bone bruise. “I knew he was a great player, but having him unavailable for seven games … and losing seven games is pretty strong [evidence of] how important he is to our franchise,” head coach Rick Carlisle said.
  • Second-year Cavaliers power forward Evan Mobley has stagnated somewhat on offense this season, thanks in part to the arrival of All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, writes Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Lloyd thinks getting the ball to Mobley early, and featuring him in the post, would be a strong way to adjust for that. The big man’s 38 points on Saturday vs. Milwaukee represented by far his highest single-game total this season.