Jalen Suggs

Injury Updates: GPII, DiVincenzo, LaVine, Middleton, Suggs, Grimes

Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II, who continues to recover from offseason abdominal surgery, could will be out for at least two more weeks, reports Chris Haynes of TNT (Twitter link). According to Haynes, Payton’s earliest possible return date will be November 15 vs. San Antonio. That will be Portland’s first home game following a six-game road trip that begins this Friday.

The Blazers issued a press release confirming the timeline reported by Haynes and noting that Payton has been cleared to increase his conditioning and on-court activity.

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

  • The Warriors announced today (via Twitter) that guard Donte DiVincenzo is “making good progress” as he recovers from a strained left hamstring, but isn’t ready to return quite yet. DiVincenzo will be reevaluated when the Warriors return home this weekend, per the team. That means he’ll miss at least three more games, since the Dubs will be in Miami on Tuesday, Orlando on Thursday, and New Orleans on Friday.
  • Bulls star Zach LaVine, listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. Brooklyn, is expected to play, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, LaVine will likely sit Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte, the second half of a back-to-back set, as the team continues to manage his return from knee surgery.
  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton, who underwent offseason wrist surgery, has been assigned to the G League to practice with the Wisconsin Herd as he advances to the next stage of his rehab, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A previous report indicated the Bucks hope to have Middleton back at some point in November.
  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs, out since October 21 with an ankle injury, has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday’s game in Oklahoma City, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, Knicks wing Quentin Grimes, who hasn’t played yet this season due to a foot injury, has been listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. Atlanta, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Magic Decline R.J. Hampton’s 2023/24 Option; Exercise Four Others

The Magic will decline to exercise their 2023/24 rookie scale option on guard R.J. Hampton, multiple sources tell Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required). The third-year combo guard will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Hampton, 21, was the No. 24 pick of the 2020 draft. He was technically drafted by the Bucks, but was traded to the Nuggets shortly thereafter. During his rookie season, he was sent to Orlando along with Gary Harris as part of the Aaron Gordon trade.

In 94 games (22.4 MPG) with the Magic, Hampton has averaged 8.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 2.5 APG on .402/.343/.649 shooting. His declined option was worth $4,220,057, which means the Magic will be prohibited from offering him a first-year salary worth more than that in free agency next summer if he finishes the season on the roster.

Price also reports that the Magic have exercised their 2023/24 options on guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, as well as forwards Chuma Okeke and Franz Wagner. The team confirmed the news (via Twitter).

Suggs, the No. 4 pick of last year’s draft, will earn a guaranteed $7,252,080 in his third season, while Wagner, the No. 8 pick last year, will earn $5,508,720. Anthony (No. 15 in 2020) and Okeke (No. 16 in 2020) will make guaranteed salaries of $5,539,771 and $5,266,713 for their fourth seasons, respectively.

Wagner, Suggs, Anthony and Okeke have all been rotation players for the Magic when healthy, so it was expected that their options would be picked up. Hampton, however, is only averaging 11.0 minutes per night in four games this season despite several injuries to the backcourt (including Suggs and Anthony) after averaging 21.9 minutes last season.

The deadline for ’23/24 rookie scale team options is October 31. The full list of those decisions can be found right here.

Southeast Notes: Suggs, Martin, Bogdanovic, Leonsis

Jalen Suggs hasn’t been able to avoid injury issues since coming to the NBA, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. After being limited to 48 games as a rookie, the Magic guard suffered a capsule sprain and bone bruise in his left knee in an October 7 preseason contest, then had to leave Friday’s game with a sprained right ankle.

Suggs twisted the ankle in the third quarter after being fouled and landing awkwardly on a drive to the basket. He was able to shoot his free throws, but then hopped to the locker room with help from trainers and didn’t return. An MRI today confirmed that it’s a sprain, and Suggs’ return will depend on how he responds to treatment, the Magic tweeted.

“My heart goes out to the kid,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “He’s working and continuing to battle no matter what happens. He’s continued to put the work in despite injuries. He’s doing the work with the film. He’s a resilient, tough kid. He’s going to continue to bounce back.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets may be without Cody Martin for a while, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Martin sat out Friday’s game with left quad soreness after getting injured in the first quarter of the season opener. He also missed all but one preseason game while recovering from left knee tendiopathy. “Hopefully, it’s not anything that’s going to linger,” coach Steve Clifford said. “When he first went in (Wednesday’s) game … he kind of stumbled and his knee bent, the one that he’s had issues with. So it flared back up and so obviously we need to be careful with this. They had done a great job getting him back. He’s, to me, is a critical, critical player on our team and we need what he brings. But the priority right now is just to get him healthy.”
  • Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic still has a way to go before returning from knee surgery, per Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coach Nate McMillan said Bogdanovic hasn’t progressed beyond light shooting and drills, and the medical staff can’t determine how close he is to playing until they can watch him at practice.
  • A group led by Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has emerged as the frontrunner to buy baseball’s Washington Nationals, report David Aldridge, Brittany Ghiroli and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Leonsis also owns the NHL’s Capitals and the WNBA’s Mystics.

Injury Updates: Suggs, Nets, Westbrook, Bogdanovic

Magic guard Jalen Suggs, who was diagnosed with a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise after leaving the team’s October 7 preseason game, will be available when Orlando opens its regular season on Wednesday in Detroit, head coach Jamahl Mosley said on Sunday (link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).

It’s a somewhat surprising update, since bone bruises can be troublesome ailments and the Magic have generally taken a conservative approach when bringing back young players from injuries during the last couple years.

One orthopedic surgeon who spoke to Price last week speculated that the capsule sprain would take about two-to-four weeks to heal, while the bone bruise might extend Suggs’ recovery timeline beyond that. However, that surgeon didn’t assess Suggs first-hand, and it appears the former No. 5 overall pick will comfortably beat that estimated timeline.

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

  • The Nets confirmed today that Joe Harris (foot) and Seth Curry (ankle) will not be available for the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, tweets Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. Harris and Curry, both of whom are coming back from ankle surgery, will continue to go through contact practices this week, with Brooklyn expecting to offer another update on Thursday.
  • Russell Westbrook‘s left hamstring injury isn’t considered serious, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who tweets that the Lakers guard will be listed as day-to-day after undergoing some tests. There’s no structural damage to the hamstring, Haynes adds.
  • Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic is making progress as he continues to recover from knee surgery, but he’s unlikely to be available for the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, head coach Nate McMillan told reporters on Sunday (Twitter link via Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
  • While Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray isn’t dealing with an injury, he has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, reports Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 Sacramento (Twitter link). It’s unclear if Murray will be cleared to play in the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday.

Eastern Notes: Suggs, P. Williams, Sixers, Bridges

After battling health issues as a rookie, Magic guard Jalen Suggs was frustrated to sustain another injury during the preseason, so it came as a relief when his diagnosis wasn’t as serious as it could have been. Suggs has a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise.

“Those things really can either go one of two ways — they can be the worst or be things that are really manageable,” Suggs said on Sunday, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. “Thankfully, it was one of those really manageable things.”

Speaking to Price in a separate Sentinel story, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tony Wanich said Suggs was fortunate to avoid an ACL injury and suggested that the second-year guard could be back on the court in November.

“A capsule injury usually heals in about two-to-four weeks,” Wanich said. “But the bone bruise usually takes a bit longer and closer to the six-week timeline depending on how extensive that bone bruise is.”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Bulls head coach Billy Donovan downplayed his decision to remove Patrick Williams from the starting lineup for the team’s two most recent preseason games, but the significance of that move is “clear for all to see,” argues Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Javonte Green, who earned the start in Williams’ place on Friday, has scored 50 points in 60 minutes this preseason and is playing like the Bulls want Williams to, Mayberry writes. “When you put Javonte out there, you know what you’re going to get,” Donovan said after Friday’s game.
  • Following the Sixersrelease of Trevelin Queen, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice believes Isaiah Joe looks like the “clear frontrunner” for the team’s final regular season roster spot, ahead of Charles Bassey.
  • The preliminary hearing for Hornets restricted free agent Miles Bridges was pushed back for a fifth time, to October 12, according to Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (subscriber-only link). That hearing for Bridges, who has pleaded not guilty to three felony domestic violence charges, was initially scheduled for August 19.

Jalen Suggs Has Left Knee Sprain, Bone Bruise

Magic second-year guard Jalen Suggs has sustained a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. The team confirmed that diagnosis in an injury update (Twitter link).

Suggs will obviously miss some time as he undergoes treatment for those injuries but there’s relief within the organization that it wasn’t more serious, Wojnarowski adds.

Suggs was helped off the court following a collision with Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith after being pushed by Spencer Dinwiddie on Friday night. X-rays were negative and an MRI provided the extent of the injuries.

The former Gonzaga star has dealt with numerous injuries since he was selected with the fifth pick of the 2021 draft. He fractured his right thumb last November, which caused him to miss 20 games. He also dealt with a right ankle sprain and bone bruise in the second half of the season, then underwent right ankle surgery to repair a “slight” stress fracture in April.

Overall, Suggs appeared in 48 games, averaging 11.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 4.4 APG with a subpar .361/.214/.773 shooting line.

Orlando was already a little banged up in the backcourt. Gary Harris underwent a knee procedure late this summer to repair torn meniscus. Starting point man Markelle Fultz is recovering from a fractured toe that will likely cause him to miss some regular season contests.

Magic’s Jalen Suggs Suffers Apparent Knee Injury

Magic guard Jalen Suggs left Friday’s preseason game against Dallas in the first quarter after suffering what appears to be a left knee injury (video link via Chaz NBA). Suggs’ knee appeared to buckle and hyperextend after being shoved by Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Suggs was on the ground for a while after the play holding his left knee and was helped to the locker room with assistance. Hopefully the injury was just a hyperextension and Suggs will be able to return to action sooner rather than later, but it certainly didn’t look good.

The 21-year-old was the fifth overall pick of last year’s draft after starring in college for Gonzaga. His 2021/22 rookie season was unfortunately plagued by injuries: Suggs sustained a fractured right thumb last November that caused him to miss 20 games, dealt with a right ankle sprain and a right ankle bone bruise in the second half of the season, then underwent right ankle surgery to repair a “slight” stress fracture in April.

Perhaps due in part to the injury-disrupted nature of his season, Suggs struggled in his pro debut, averaging 11.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 4.4 APG with a subpar .361/.214/.773 shooting line in 48 games (27.2 MPG). Still, he was a highly-touted prospect and Orlando is certainly hoping for big things from the athletic combo guard.

The Magic announced (via Twitter) that Suggs suffered a “lower left leg injury” and won’t return to the contest. He will undergo further testing to determine the severity of the injury.

Southeast Notes: Banchero, Suggs, Isaac, Collins, Wizards

Paolo Banchero is ready to embrace the expectations that come with being a No. 1 pick, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The former Duke star is looking forward to starting workouts with the Magic next week in preparation for his July 7 debut in the Las Vegas Summer League.

“There’s going to be high expectations for myself that I’m going to hold myself to and that everyone is going to hold myself to,” Banchero said during a press conference Friday in Orlando. “But I feel like it’s nothing I’m not used to. It was the same thing for me heading into college, throughout high school, a lot of expectations. It’s been like that my whole life.”

Banchero wasn’t sure he would be the first selection until a few seconds before his name was announced. Orlando conducted a thorough search of several candidates — most notably Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren — and kept its intentions hidden until the draft began.

“There’s things that you’re grabbing from each one that you’re like, ‘Oh, man, wow, that can be great for us,’” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “But then it ultimately comes down to, ‘How does that fit for us? How do we jell with them in the locker room? How are they treating people when they’re walking in?’ Because all those pieces play a factor. And I think we’ve done an incredible job with those details.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs is making progress in his recovery from surgery in April for a slight stress fracture in his right ankle, but he won’t take part in Summer League, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel“Jalen got his boot off and he’s ramping up his recovery,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. There’s still no set timetable for Jonathan Isaac, Weltman adds, although the team is optimistic that he can be ready for the start of the season.
  • The Hawks didn’t trade John Collins before the draft, but it’s still likely to happen at some point during the offseason, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. A source close to Collins told Kirschner, “He won’t be a Hawk past this summer,” and Kirschner adds that no one he’s talked to expects Collins to be with the team on opening night.
  • The Wizards will explore other options after failing to land a starting point guard on draft night, states Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Washington took Johnny Davis at No. 10, but he’s viewed as a wing rather than a lead guard. “I think a lot of times if you force something on draft night, you’re taking away the opportunity in free agency and everything that free agency represents,” general manager Tommy Sheppard said. “… The point guard, all along I felt it was going to come after the draft, not during the draft.”

Draft Notes: Holmgren, J. Smith, NBA Academy, Hornets

Chet Holmgren may not wind up joining Jalen Suggs with the Magic, but he’s been getting draft advice from his long-time friend and high school teammate, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Before both players headed to Gonzaga for one-year stays, they teamed up at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

“He said try to slow things down as fast as you can because everyone at that level plays slow, even when there’s seven seconds on the shot clock, nobody rushes,” Holmgren said. “Everyone knows seven seconds is a lot of time — in the NBA, you can get almost two more actions in that [time]. Other pointers, tips like that, about the NBA style of play.”

Holmgren met with Orlando’s front office this week and will be under consideration for the No. 1 pick, although most draft experts expect Auburn’s Jabari Smith to be taken first.

There’s more on the draft:

  • Ryan Blake, who has been helping to direct NBA scouting services since 1996, views Smith as worthy of the No. 1 selection, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Blake believes Smith will display skills that were inhibited by the more restricted college atmosphere. “His offensive game is going to be so much better in the NBA,” Blake said. “He had the confidence and maturity to play within the system at Auburn. You have a prototypical forward who can play two spots that can really almost be a Jayson Tatum-type of player. He has a great shooting stroke — the release [and] the soft touch. He’s a versatile defender. He’s intense. He’s moving his feet. He’s always looking around. He’s also a leader, too. He’s always in the mix.”
  • Josh Giddey was the first NBA Academy graduate to be drafted and three more players are expected to join him this year, Maurice Brooks writes for NBA.com. Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin will likely be lottery picks, while Hyunjung Lee is projected to be taken in the second round. The NBA Academy was created in 2016 to provide more opportunities for international players.
  • Six players will attend a workout for the Hornets today, the team announced on Twitter. They are Jules Bernard of UCLA, Nysier Brooks of Mississippi, Terrell Brown Jr. of Washington, Josh Carlton of Houston, Dereon Seabron of North Carolina State and Ben Shungu of Vermont.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Lowry, Strus, Wizards, Magic

By earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team this week, Hawks guard Trae Young ensured that his five-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extension will start at 30% of the 2022/23 cap rather than 25%, as we outlined on Tuesday. Based on the current maximum-salary projections, that means Atlanta’s projected team salary for next season will increase by $6.1MM.

As Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes, Young’s salary bump means Atlanta is more likely to be over the luxury-tax line in 2022/23 and perhaps less likely to bring back Danilo Gallinari, whose $21.45MM salary is only partially guaranteed for $5MM. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), the Hawks currently project to be about $7.8MM over the tax line, so they could, at least temporarily, get out of tax territory by waiving Gallinari and saving that $16MM+.

Young’s more lucrative contract may place a few more constraints on the Hawks over the next five years as they attempt to build a championship-caliber roster around him. However, as Kirschner observes, the team will at least no longer have to worry about Young being disgruntled as a result of missing out on an All-NBA spot and an extra $35MM.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • With Kyle Lowry still clearly being affected by the left hamstring injury that has forced him to miss eight playoff games, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel and Joe Vardon of The Athletic believe the Heat have to seriously consider whether or not Lowry should start – or even play – in a do-or-die Game 6. Vardon says the team should probably bench both Lowry and Max Strus, who are a combined 1-of-28 from the floor in the last two games.
  • Josh Robbins and John Hollinger of The Athletic take a look at the Wizards‘ future, discussing whether a full-fledged rebuild or building around Bradley Beal would be a better course of action for the franchise. Hollinger wonders if the team missed an opportunity to get a Jrue Holiday-esque haul (or better) for Beal by not moving him a year or two ago, but believes that the best course of action at this point would be to re-sign the All-Star guard, since he could always be traded later.
  • Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel explores what the Magic‘s starting five may look like next season, depending on whether the team drafts Jabari Smith or Chet Holmgren. In Price’s view, floor-spacing issues mean that Cole Anthony may be a better fit alongside Holmgren, while Jalen Suggs could make more sense alongside Smith.