Jerami Grant

Injury Updates: Raptors, Bucks, Blazers, Nuggets

OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and Thaddeus Young were all full practice participants on Tuesday evening and head coach Nick Nurse said they looked “good, healthy and ready to go,” on Thursday against New Orleans, tweets Josh Lewenberg of All three players will indeed play tonight, Lewenberg confirmed on Thursday (via Twitter).

Barring Otto Porter, who is out for the season after foot surgery, the rest of Toronto’s injury report was clean until Fred VanVleet was downgraded to out shortly before tip-off due to personal reasons, per Blake Murphy of (Twitter link).

Of the group who are set to return, Anunoby had missed the most time — he’s been out the past nine games with a wrist injury he suffered nearly a month ago.

Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Jae Crowder is set to make his season debut for the Bucks on Friday against Miami, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Crowder, who sat out the entire ’22/23 season while awaiting a trade from Phoenix, was working out with Bobby Portis and Joe Ingles in Miami during the All-Star break, per Nehm. Portis has been out for a month with a sprained knee, but he was able to practice before the break and will return to action on Friday. According to Nehm, head coach Mike Budenholzer was optimistic about Khris Middleton returning Friday as well. The three-time All-Star has been dealing with right knee soreness lately, missing the final game before the break. All three players are list as available on the latest injury report, Nehm tweets.
  • However, things aren’t so positive for Giannis Antetokounmpo (wrist sprain) and Pat Connaughton (left calf soreness), who are both doubtful for Friday’s game, Nehm adds. Giannis is day-to-day, while Connaughton was only a partial practice participant Thursday for the Bucks.
  • Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant are both out for Thursday’s matchup in Sacramento due to rest, the Trail Blazers announced (via Twitter). As Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report explains (via Twitter), the Blazers’ flight out of Portland was delayed for several hours on Wednesday due to a snow storm and finally departed late Thursday afternoon.
  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray returned to action on Thursday in Cleveland after dealing with knee soreness leading into the break, tweets Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports Radio. Murray had missed the previous six games. Unfortunately, Aaron Gordon remains sidelined with a rib injury, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Head coach Michael Malone said Gordon’s rib issue is “not where I would wish it would be,” according to Singer, who hears from a source (via Twitter) that the rib isn’t fractured, but it’s still limiting Gordon’s effectiveness.

Pistons Notes: Wiseman, Hampton, Cunningham, Grant, Bagley

The Pistons have been out of the playoff race for a long time, but they still have some important work to do in their final 23 games, observes Keith Langlois of Part of that mission includes seeing what they have in a pair of reclamation projects who were once considered elite draft prospects.

James Wiseman was acquired from the Warriors at the trade deadline, but because a health issue involving Gary Payton II held up the deal, Wiseman only appeared in one game before the All-Star break. He displayed a glimpse of the potential that caused Golden State to take him with the No. 2 pick in 2020, posting 11 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes.

Detroit has to determine how Wiseman can fit with the team’s other young big men. He has been used exclusively at center during his brief NBA career, but Langlois believes the Pistons will want to test out a lineup with Wiseman at power forward alongside rookie center Jalen Duren. The addition of another seven-footer seems to indicate that Isaiah Stewart will now be used primarily at power forward, Langlois adds.

Detroit will reportedly sign R.J. Hampton sometime after he clears waivers on Thursday. Hampton hasn’t made an impact in his first two NBA stops, but he’s only 22 and a rebuilding team like the Pistons could give him an opportunity for regular playing time.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Cade Cunningham is still recovering from season-ending shin surgery in December, but the Pistons are optimistic about his long-term prognosis, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press writes in a mailbag column. Cunningham hasn’t been cleared to play 5-on-5 yet, but team officials believe he’ll be ready for full summer workouts once the season ends. Sankofa notes that Cunningham has been dealing with soreness in his left shin for several years, so there’s hope that he’ll be pain-free next season.
  • Jerami Grant could become a target for the Pistons in free agency, Sankofa adds. Grant, who Detroit traded to the Trail Blazers last summer, hasn’t decided on a four-year, $112MM extension offer from Portland. If he turns it down, Sankofa sees Grant as an obvious target for general manager Troy Weaver, who could have up to $40MM in cap space to work with this offseason.
  • Marvin Bagley III participated in most of Wednesday’s practice and coach Dwane Casey said he’s close to returning, Sankofa tweets. Bagley has missed the past 19 games after having surgery on his right hand.

Blazers Notes: Grant, Deadline, Offseason, Lillard, Reddish

Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant sustained a right eye contusion during Friday’s loss to Oklahoma City. Although he was cleared to return at the time, he started experiencing “concussive symptoms” on Saturday morning and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol, Portland announced in a press release.

The impending free agent was initially questionable for Monday’s game against the Lakers, but he has been downgraded to out, per the Blazers (Twitter links). Forward Kevin Knox, who was acquired in a four-team trade that also involved Golden State, Detroit and Atlanta, will be active for his first game with Portland.

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • Grant has switched agents ahead of free agency. He is now represented by Klutch Sports Group, he confirmed to Danny Marang of 1080 The FAN (Twitter link).
  • GM Joe Cronin says he was disappointed to not add a major impact player at the trade deadline, so he instead pivoted to “asset acquisition mode,” as Jason Quick of The Athletic relays. “We want to be championship level as soon as possible. So for us, it was disappointing. We want to get out there, and we would love to have a team out here tonight that is ready to rock. We are borderline anxious to push all of our chips in. We can’t wait for that moment to happen. It just hasn’t come up yet,” he said.
  • Cronin went on to say the Blazers will aggressively build around Damian Lillard in the offseason, according to Quick. “We are going to be ridiculously aggressive, to the point where once we push our chips all the way in, like, deal-to-deal you might say ‘Wow, they lost that deal. They gave a lot for that guy.’ But no, that’s just us pushing our chips in. We feel extremely obligated to put a great roster around Damian Lillard. And when I say we, that’s from the top. Jody (Allen) and I have had a lot of conversations about how important it is for us to do right by Damian. And we plan to do that,” Cronin said.
  • Lillard believes Cam Reddish has untapped upside and hopes the Blazers can bring out the best in the fourth-year wing. “You know he has all the tools…He hasn’t found a home yet…If we can change his life and get that potential out of him, create opportunity for him to blossom, then it could be a great thing…that’s our job, to try to get it out of him,” Lillard said (Twitter video link via New York Basketball).

Northwest Notes: Payton, Blazers, Hyland, Clarkson, Conley, Gobert

It got a bit lost in the shuffle of Thursday’s trade deadline activity, but one of the more interesting moves at the deadline was the Trail Blazers trading away guard Gary Payton II after he had appeared in just 15 games with the team. Payton was dealt just seven months after Portland beat out rival suitors to sign him to a three-year contract as a free agent.

One source tells Jason Quick of The Athletic that one key reason for the move was that Payton had indicated he didn’t want to be in Portland anymore — he was “ecstatic” to be sent back to the Warriors, according to that source.

It’s a worrying sign that so many players the Blazers trade seem so enthusiastic about leaving Portland, Quick writes, pointing to Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Larry Nance Jr., and Josh Hart as other recent examples.

Quick also questions how Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant (who has been offered an extension) might view the Blazers’ deadline moves, which included trading Payton and Hart and acquiring flawed or unproven young players like Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and Kevin Knox.

Head coach Chauncey Billups had been hoping to add size and experience to the roster, but Portland’s deals this week accomplished neither and may result in the team taking a step back in the short term. As Quick writes, the Blazers will have to hope that Lillard and Grant still believe in the team’s long-term plan.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • When Bones Hyland left the Nuggets‘ bench out of frustration in the fourth quarter of a Jan. 22 game against Oklahoma City, it represented a tipping point, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, who says that incident didn’t sit well with a number of Denver’s veterans and led to the team exploring Hyland’s trade market in earnest. According to Singer, Hyland’s poor fit alongside Jamal Murray, his defensive lapses, and his displeasure with his role were all factors that led to him being dealt. Still, trading the second-year guard was a difficult decision that went up to ownership, sources tell The Denver Post.
  • The Jazz and guard Jordan Clarkson aren’t expected to reach an agreement on an in-season extension, but sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic that Utah remains very open to continuing its relationship with Clarkson beyond this year. The 30-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer by turning down a $14.3MM player option for 2023/24.
  • The Timberwolves‘ acquisition of Mike Conley signals the team’s commitment to improving the fit for Rudy Gobert, who developed chemistry with Conley in Utah, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “I love Mike,” Gobert said on Wednesday. “I just love the way he plays the game — the way he makes people around him better, his professionalism, the way he plays to win and his selflessness, and I love him as a person too, so obviously I’m happy.”

Pistons Rumors: Bogdanovic, Burks, Bey, Noel, Stewart, More

The Pistons‘ stance on Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Saddiq Bey doesn’t appear to have changed much in the last month, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic writes in his latest trade deadline preview.

According to Edwards, while Detroit is open to discussing and moving any of those three players if the price is right, the team is asking for a lot and seems happy to retain them through the deadline, given that all three are under contract at relatively team-friendly prices for next season.

While some league sources have expressed to The Athletic that they’d be surprised if Bey is moved, Edwards gets the sense that the third-year forward may be a more likely trade candidate than Bogdanovic or Burks. The Pistons’ asking price for Bogdanovic is very high, and Edwards believes the club is more likely to extend Burks (in the offseason) than to trade him.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Although the Pistons are high on Isaiah Livers‘ potential to develop into a solid three-and-D player, according to Edwards, they’re also prioritizing three-and-D wings in potential trades. First-round picks (ideally unprotected) and a three-and-D wing are two of the top items on the team’s wish list at the trade deadline, Edwards notes.
  • Edwards adds the Sixers and Celtics to the list of teams that have recently called the Pistons to inquire about center Nerlens Noel. He also mentions Miami, Denver, Dallas, and Sacramento, whose interest in Noel has been previously reported.
  • Of Detroit’s three 2020 first-round picks, Isaiah Stewart is the most likely to be extended during the coming offseason, in Edwards’ view. Bey and Killian Hayes are the other two players in that trio.
  • Edwards says he wouldn’t be surprised if veteran guard Cory Joseph is included in a deadline deal and advises not to rule out the possibility of a reunion between Jerami Grant and the Pistons in the offseason. Although Detroit will have significant cap space and Grant seems to be in no rush to accept a four-year extension offer from the Trail Blazers, the idea that he’d return to the Pistons seems like a long shot to me.

Jusuf Nurkic Out Until After All-Star Break

Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who exited Wednesday’s game early in the first quarter after aggravating a left calf injury, has been diagnosed with a calf strain and ruled out for at least the next seven games. The team announced today in a press release that Nurkic is expected to return after the All-Star break.

After re-signing with Portland during the offseason on a new four-year, $70MM deal, Nurkic has averaged 13.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per night with a .524/.390/.686 shooting line in 45 games (27.3 MPG).

While Nurkic’s stats are solid and the Blazers have a positive net rating with him on the court, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer argued earlier this week that the veteran center has been a weak link for the team this season due to his inconsistent effort, as well as his lack of quickness and verticality on defense.

With Nurkic sidelined for the last two weeks before the All-Star break, the Blazers will get a chance to assess what they look like without him. Reserve center Drew Eubanks is a good bet to slide into the starting lineup, while Trendon Watford will likely see a bump in minutes backing up Eubanks at the five.

In more positive Blazers injury news, the club has announced (via Twitter) that Jerami Grant, who left Wednesday’s game early due to concussion symptoms, has been upgraded to available for Friday’s game in Washington.

Blazers’ Grant, Nurkic Exit Wednesday’s Game With Injuries

The Trail Blazers had two starters go down with injuries on Wednesday night against Memphis. Center Jusuf Nurkic, who was probable entering the game with left calf soreness, aggravated the injury after just two minutes of action and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest, Portland announced (via Twitter).

Forward Jerami Grant was also ruled out after 20 minutes of playing time after having concussion-like symptoms, per the team (Twitter link). If Grant did indeed suffer a concussion, he will have to clear the NBA’s protocol before returning to the court.

Despite being down both players, the Blazers came away with a much-needed 122-112 victory, snapping an eight-game home winning streak for the Grizzlies. Memphis has now lost six of seven after winning 11 straight, notes Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link).

Backup center Drew Eubanks had a strong performance in place of Nurkic, recording 11 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 23 minutes. If Nurkic is sidelined for additional time, Eubanks will continue to receive an uptick in minutes.

As for Grant’s replacement, Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups elected to go small, with Gary Payton II receiving a season-high 29 minutes. Trendon Watford and Nassir Little are also candidates for more playing time.

The Blazers are now 25-26 through 51 games.

Jerami Grant Confirms Blazers Offered Four-Year Extension

Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant confirmed on Monday that the team has offered him a four-year, $112MM+ contract extension, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic (Twitter link). Grant said he’ll likely wait until sometime in the spring to make a decision on the offer.

“I’m kind of focused on the season at hand right now,” Grant said (Twitter link). “Probably will wait until after the season and talk to (general manager) Joe (Cronin). Everything is good. I like it here. Really enjoying it. So, yeah … we will discuss it when it’s time.”

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports first reported last week that the Blazers had offered Grant an extension.

During the season, the Blazers can offer Grant up to approximately $112.65MM over four years. That’s a 20% raise on this season’s $20.96MM salary for year one of the extension, then 8% annual raises after that. If he becomes an unrestricted free agent, the 28-year-old would be eligible for a deal worth up to a projected $233MM+ over five years from Portland.

Grant is unlikely to receive a maximum-salary offer from the Blazers or another team, but if he believes he can exceed the $28MM-per-year proposal currently on the table, it would make sense for him to opt for free agency instead. He’ll have until June 30 to decide whether to accept Portland’s current offer, so there’s no rush to get anything done during the season.

A year ago, a handful of free-agents-to-be, including Ivica Zubac, Gary Harris, and Thaddeus Young, agreed to extensions during the final week before July 1, so it’s not unprecedented for extension candidates to take their decisions down to the wire. Of course, none of those players’ deals were nearly as lucrative as the offer on the table for Grant, and none of them were expected to have the sort of market value that Grant will.

In his first season in Portland after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Pistons, Grant is averaging 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on .488/.422/.797 shooting through 48 contests (35.8 MPG). He has also provided the Blazers with a big, versatile defender on the wing. While he may be leaning toward staying in Portland, the ninth-year forward would certainly draw interest from rival suitors if he reaches the open market.

Blazers Reportedly Offered Jerami Grant An Extension

The Trail Blazers have offered Jerami Grant a contract extension worth $112.65MM over four years, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The veteran forward has yet to accept the offer, and it doesn’t sound like he plans to in the future. As Fischer writes, there’s no indication that Grant wants out of Portland — quite the opposite — so the reasoning is financial.

Four years and $112.65MM is the maximum amount the Blazers can currently offer due to the limitations of veteran extensions. However, they hold his Bird Rights, so if he waits until free agency, Portland would be able to offer him more years and more money than any other team — up to a projected $233MM over five years.

As Fischer notes, the “upper range” of that free agency figure probably isn’t realistic for Grant. It’s unclear how much money the veteran forward would seek, but it seems pretty evident that it will be north of $28MM annually, since that’s what the current offer amounts to.

Earlier this month, Grant spoke glowingly about his time in Portland and the team’s environment.

“I definitely like it here; love it here,” Grant told Jason Quick of The Athletic. “The guys have been very welcoming, it’s definitely a family environment, everybody is super cool, got good guys on the team, great organization — (GM) Joe (Cronin), (head coach) Chauncey (Billups), everything. I’m definitely enjoying it here.”

When told that his comments didn’t paint the picture of a situation a player would want to leave Portland, Grant laughed and replied, “I ain’t really plan on leaving.”

Through 46 games (35.7 MPG), Grant is averaging 21.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.8 BPG. He’s also scoring more efficiently than ever before, posting a traditional slash line of .488/.424/.796 and a career-high .615 true shooting percentage.

Northwest Notes: Bazley, Towns, Blazers, Grant, Jazz Arena

Darius Bazley has seen his playing time diminish this season but the Thunder forward is handling the situation professionally, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets in a video link. Bazley said, “It’s not about me and it never will be. I’m always invested in the team.”

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault has been impressed by Bazley’s attitude. “He deserves a lot of credit and it’s a powerful signal to the rest of the group, it’s a form of leadership. I admire how he’s handling this,” he said (Twitter link). Bazley is in the final year of his rookie contract with a current qualifying offer of $6.2MM if the team wants to make him a restricted free agent.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • In his midseason review of the Timberwolves, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes that the team hasn’t formed an identity, due to the extended injury absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. Minnesota has gone 10-11 without its biggest star, who is sidelined by a calf injury. “When he comes back we’re going to look different,” guard Anthony Edwards said. “Right now, we’re trying to figure it out still, so when we get him back, it might be a little easier.”
  • The Trail Blazers have been in a downward spiral in recent weeks but they’re not straying from their preseason goal, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I think we are in really good shape,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “We are figuring out what it is that we’ve got, and what we don’t have, which is what this thing is all about.”
  • In the same piece, Quick says that the Trail Blazers have establish a top priority — re-signing Jerami Grant, either to an extension or when he hits the free agent market.
  • The former Delta Center will become the Delta Center once again, according to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. The home of the Jazz was called the Delta Center until 2006, when it was renamed Vivint Arena. Utah has signed a long-term naming rights deal with Delta Air Lines to change the name again on July 1.