Kelly Olynyk

Injury Notes: Randle, Bucks, Pistons, Jazz, Simmons

Knicks forward Julius Randle, still dealing with a quad injury, has been ruled out for Saturday’s game against Cleveland, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who tweets that the team is considering Randle day-to-day. For the time being, there are no plans to shut down Randle for the rest of the season, Katz adds. He missed three games with the same injury last week.

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

  • The Bucks will be without several key players on Friday vs. the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back set. According to the team (via Twitter), Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness), Jrue Holiday (left ankle sprain), Khris Middleton (left wrist soreness), and Brook Lopez (return to competition reconditioning) are among the players who will be inactive.
  • Cory Joseph (left lumbar spine strain), Marvin Bagley III (left hip strain), and Kelly Olynyk (rest) won’t play for the Pistons on Friday against Oklahoma City, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic. The two teams are neck-and-neck in the lottery standings, so neither front office will be particularly motivated to win the game.
  • The Jazz got some reinforcements on Thursday when Bojan Bogdanovic returned from a nine-game absence and Danuel House played after missing eight consecutive games, writes Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Both forwards had positive plus-minus ratings in a win over the Lakers that snapped Utah’s five-game losing streak.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (video link) provided another minor update on Ben Simmons, reporting that the Nets guard has resumed “light” on-court workouts and still hopes to return in time for the playoffs. Charania’s colleague at The Athletic, Joe Vardon, reported earlier today that Simmons is unlikely to be ready for the start of the playoffs.

Central Notes: Brogdon, Bembry, Pistons, Olynyk

The Pacers will enter the All-Star break without any clarity about starting guard Malcolm Brogdon, who is dealing with a right Achilles injury, writes James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. Brogdon hasn’t returned since being shut down January 22 for a 10-day rehab program, and he has appeared in just two games since December 21. He had been listed as questionable in the team’s recent injury reports, but was downgraded to out for tonight’s game with the Wizards.

“Obviously it’ll be after the break before he plays,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s continuing to make good progress. The hope is that after the break he can be ready. But nothing’s for sure, so we’ll just hope for the best.”

Brogdon has missed 15 straight games and 32 of the first 60 games of the season. He has been productive when he has played, averaging 18.5 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per night, but his absence has been in a factor in Indiana falling out of the playoff race.

“Right now, this where we are, but with an additional seven or eight days for the break, and I know he’s gonna be continuing to do work through the break, the hope is that coming out of it he could possibly be ready to go,” Carlisle said. “But I’m not saying that that’s gonna happen. We’re just hoping that it could go that way.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

Trade Rumors: Mavs, R. Lopez, Hawks, Wizards, Pistons, More

The Mavericks have made Dwight Powell available, but they remain uninterested in moving Jalen Brunson or Dorian Finney-Smith, reports Matt Moore of If those two players are off the table, Dallas may have a hard time finding a deal that significantly upgrades its roster.

According to Moore, Tim Hardaway Jr., who is out indefinitely due to a foot injury, is the player the Mavericks have shopped most aggressively. Hardaway was having a down year prior to his injury and is on a sizable long-term contract ($53.7MM for three years after this season), so his value will be limited.

Still, Moore notes that Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle is a big fan of Hardaway, whom he coached in Dallas. Moore has also heard that the Wizards and Mavericks discussed a deal involving Hardaway and Spencer Dinwiddie, though a source tells Moore that the two sides didn’t make much progress.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Magic have been willing to discuss center Robin Lopez, but are apparently asking for a first-round pick, according to Moore. I’d be surprised if a team is willing to meet that price.
  • The Hawks may have a quiet deadline, with John Collins appearing increasingly unlikely to be dealt, but they remain on the lookout for a backup point guard, Moore reports.
  • Within his trade-rumor roundup, Moore also says the Wizards have been willing to discuss anyone besides Bradley Beal or Kyle Kuzma, and adds that Pistons guard Cory Joseph is “gettable.” Moore has received mixed intel on whether Detroit is interested in moving Kelly Olynyk.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner appears less likely to be dealt now that the team has moved Domantas Sabonis, but the Knicks continue to pursue Turner, a league source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. The big man is dealing with a foot injury that may sideline him until at least March.
  • With Harrison Barnes looking like a good bet to stay with the Kings through the deadline, Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III are the Sacramento players most often identified by rival teams as candidates to be moved in the next few hours, says Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Eastern Notes: Dragic, Olynyk, Rose, Grimes

The Raptors are receiving a great deal of interest in veteran point guard Goran Dragic ahead of the February 10 trade deadline, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes. Smith reports that Dragic will most likely be traded — not bought out — in the near future.

Dragic, 35, is set to make $19.4MM this season. He’s spent the past six-and-a-half seasons with Miami, who sent him to Toronto last offseason as part of a sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry. Since then, he has only played five games with the franchise, the last of which was on November 13.

Dragic has been away from the Raptors due to personal reasons. In August, he suggested that he didn’t want to stay in Toronto, a comment that he later apologized for making. He started for Miami just over a year ago on its run to the NBA Finals, averaging 19.1 points in 17 playoff games.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Pistons big man Kelly Olynyk has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press tweets. Olynyk recently returned from a knee injury, but he only played in two games before entering protocols. He’ll miss Sunday’s game against Cleveland (return to play conditioning).
  • Knicks guard Derrick Rose revealed that his December ankle surgery was a regular scope and removed a bone spur from his deltoid ligament, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Rose is hopeful to return shortly after the All-Star break. “I felt relief right away after the surgery,” Rose said. “I felt the relief. I’m just being very, very appreciative of where I am at and how much I did just to get to where I am right now.”
  • Steve Popper of Newsday examines why starting Quentin Grimes could help change the Knicks‘ fortunes. Grimes has shown potential at just 21 years old, connecting on 40% of his attempts from deep this season. He was drafted No. 25 overall last year.

COVID-19 Updates: Olynyk, Whiteside, D. Johnson, Thunder

Pistons big man Kelly Olynyk, who returned this week after missing more than two months with a knee injury, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic.

Olynyk, who signed as a free agent over the summer, played in two games before being sidelined again, bringing his season total to 12. He’s averaging 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per night.

Olynyk joins teammates Jerami Grant and Luka Garza in the protocols, as the Pistons and Grizzlies are the only teams with three players currently affected by COVID-19.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates:

  • Jazz backup center Hassan Whiteside has exited the protocols, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). However, he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with the Warriors because of conditioning. Whiteside was the sixth Utah player in the protocols when he entered 10 days ago, but all of them have now been cleared.
  • Raptors rookie forward David Johnson has been placed in the protocols, tweets Blake Murphy of The two-way player has only logged two minutes in two games at the NBA level, but has played four games for the Raptors 905 in the G League.
  • Thunder assistant coaches Mike Wilks and David Akinyooye have entered the protocols, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Head coach Mark Daigneault was in the protocols earlier this month.

Central Notes: Olynyk, McGruder, Giannis, Ball, Pacers

Pistons big man Kelly Olynyk played on Wednesday for the first time since November 10, making his long-awaited return from a knee injury. As Keith Langlois of writes, Olynyk was thrown into the deep end immediately, logging 22 minutes in a dramatic road win over Sacramento and earning praise from his head coach, who said the 30-year-old had a “huge” impact.

“We need that – his experience,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “He reads situations. He made plays. When they busted up the first option, he automatically went to the second option. Just his IQ, offensive rebounds, right place, right time, taking what the game was giving him. All those things were great decisions on his part. To win in this league, we’ve got to have more of that.”

Detroit also got big minutes from Rodney McGruder, who has had his two best games of the season since returning to the team last week after his trade to Denver was voided. McGruder, who scored 19 points on Tuesday and 15 more on Wednesday, acknowledged the unusual nature of being a Nugget for three days before rejoining the Pistons.

“It was a lot of travel; it was kind of tough,” McGruder said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “I met the (Nuggets) in Los Angeles and flew with the team to Denver and I was there about a day and a half. … (But) it just felt right back at home when I came back (to the Pistons). … The guys welcomed me back. It is a family and a brotherhood in that locker room, so even if the trade went through and I played in Denver, it still would have been all love and it still would have been the same when I saw those guys.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Despite only being in his ninth NBA season, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was ranked the 24th-best player in the league history by The Athletic. Speaking to Eric Nehm of The Athletic as part of the feature, Antetokounmpo said he hopes he’s not even at the halfway point of his career. “I want to play 20 years,” he said. “Hopefully, I can play all 20 of those years with the Bucks.”
  • Lonzo Ball‘s knee injury could have a substantial impact on his 2021/22 earnings. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Bulls guard is eligible to earn nine separate bonuses that add up to $1MM, but he must appear in at least 62 games to earn them. That may not happen, especially if he undergoes meniscus surgery.
  • Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files explores the impact that Myles Turner‘s injury will have on the Pacers and their trade deadline plans.

Scotto’s Latest: A. Holiday, LeVert, Cronin, Pistons, Simmons

Wizards guard Aaron Holiday is considered to be available via trade, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who said on the latest HoopsHype Podcast that multiple teams have checked in on Holiday’s price tag.

The Wizards acquired Holiday from Indiana in the five-team offseason trade that sent Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles. As the team’s backup point guard this season, the ex-Pacer has averaged 6.2 PPG and 1.9 APG on .475/.382/.808 shooting in 35 games (16.2 MPG). He’ll be eligible for restricted free agency during the 2022 offseason.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Most executives around the league believe Caris LeVert is now the most likely Pacers player to be traded, in the wake of Myles Turner‘s foot injury, says Scotto. There’s a sense that teams may lower their offers for Turner or back off pursuing him entirely, Scotto adds.
  • A number of rival execs believe Trail Blazers interim general manager Joe Cronin has a chance to keep the job on a permanent basis, according to Scotto. Interestingly, Portland announced a series of front office hires and promotions today — none of those moves impacts the very top of the team’s basketball operations department, but the fact that the franchise is actively adding and promoting executives under an interim GM is noteworthy.
  • On Tuesday, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report suggested that the Pistons offered Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, Kelly Olynyk, and a first-round pick for Ben Simmons earlier in the season, and the Sixers weren’t enthusiastic about the concept. Scotto has heard that Detroit’s offer, which was turned down by Philadelphia, actually consisted of Grant, Bey, and Josh Jackson.

Central Notes: Lyles, Olynyk, Lopez, Caruso

Veteran Pistons big man Trey Lyles appears to be maximizing his time with his new team, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Edwards takes a look at how Lyles, a former lottery pick out of Kentucky, has reinvented himself as a role player with a lottery-bound Detroit club. Lyles discussed his struggles with mental health during his early NBA tenure.

“My first couple years, if my confidence was down, I’d be out there and wouldn’t shoot the ball,” Lyles said. “Over the years, I’ve tried to improve my mental ability to bounce back… I’ve done a lot of work in the offseason on my mental state of mind. Just being confident in who I am as a player is huge.”

Lyles signed a two-year, $5.1MM contract with the club during the 2021 offseason, and has spent most of his on-court time at center.

“[Therapy] has helped me out a lot,” Lyles, still just 26, reflected. “I have a tendency to get in my head. I just want to go out and use my muscle memory. Therapy has helped me in a variety of ways.”

Lyles is averaging 9.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.2 APG across 39 games with the Pistons thus far.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Injured center Kelly Olynyk is excited to return to the court for the Pistons soon, writes Rod Beard of the Detroit News. An MCL sprain has limited Olynyk to just 10 healthy games with his new team. The 6’11” big man has returned to basketball activities during the last few weeks and expects to rejoin the Pistons on the hardwood at some point during the team’s current four-game road trip. “It’s a long process and you can’t cheat any of the steps,” Olynyk said, per Beard. “You just miss it. You miss competing, miss being with the team, all that kind of stuff, especially in today’s world.”
  • Bucks center Brook Lopez has resumed on-court workouts at Milwaukee’s practice facility, writes Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Lopez, 33, has been recovering from a back surgery that has limited him to just a single game of availability this season for the reigning champs.
  • Injured Bulls reserve combo guard Alex Caruso has proven in his absence how valuable he is to the club, posits Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago’s defense ranks 24th during the team’s last 13 games without Caruso. The 27-year-old out of Texas A&M, one of the Bulls’ best defenders, is expected to rejoin the club at some point this week.

Latest On Jerami Grant

The Pistons aren’t a lock to trade Jerami Grant before the February 10 deadline, but the veteran forward may be this winter’s most popular trade candidate, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

“He’s the grand prize of this deadline,” one team strategist told Fischer. “… He fits everywhere.”

“He’s gonna have so many suitors,” an assistant general manager said. “They’re just gonna wait them all out.”

According to Fischer, the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, Celtics, Pacers, Timberwolves, and Kings are among the teams that have signaled some level of interest in Grant. Sources tell Bleacher Report that the Pistons are seeking multiple first-round picks, or one first-rounder along with a high-upside young player.

Fischer likens Grant’s situation this season to Aaron Gordon‘s in 2020/21, a comparison Shams Charania made when first reporting Grant’s availability in December. Like Gordon, Grant is a versatile frontcourt defender who has one-and-a-half seasons left on his contract and will be extension-eligible.

That extension eligibility will be important. Any team acquiring Grant will want assurances he’ll sign a new deal, according to Fischer, who hears from sources that the 27-year-old hopes to receive a four-year offer in the range of $112.7MM (the maximum he can get prior to 2023 free agency).

Fischer does share one complicating factor, writing that Grant wouldn’t be enthusiastic about joining a new team that doesn’t feature him as a “primary offensive option.”

Here’s more on Grant:

  • A November report indicated that the Pistons may be willing to offer a package of Grant, Kelly Olynyk, Saddiq Bey, and a future first-round pick for Ben Simmons. According to Fischer, the Sixers weren’t particularly enthusiastic about that concept, but when it leaked, it alerted teams that Grant might be available, which has helped accelerate his market.
  • Some people around the league view the Wizards as the favorites for Grant, says Fischer, noting that Wes Unseld Jr. coached the forward as an assistant in Denver. Sources tell Bleacher Report that Wizards center Montrezl Harrell, who is on an expiring $9.7MM contract, has been considered available via trade. Harrell could be included in any Washington offer, along with at least one of Rui Hachimura or Deni Avdija, Fischer suggests.
  • Fischer classifies the Lakers and Jazz as unlikely destinations for Grant based on the limited assets those teams have to offer. He also downplays the possibility of the Celtics or Grizzlies acquiring the Pistons forward, writing that neither team is expected to seriously pursue him.
  • As others have reported, the Bulls don’t appear comfortable with the idea of moving Patrick Williams in a deal for Grant, according to Fischer.
  • According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, there’s a belief that the Pelicans will look to be buyers at this year’s trade deadline, and Grant is considered a possible target for them.

Central Notes: Turner, Grant, Olynyk, Caruso

Pacers center Myles Turner will visit a foot specialist in Los Angeles during the team’s West Coast trip, Scott Agness of FieldhouseFiles reports in a Substack post.

“In the last couple games, he’s just felt something so we’re going to get it checked out,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

Turner sat out the team’s loss to the Clippers on Monday afternoon. The league’s top shot-blocker has been the subject of trade rumors this season and a significant injury could alter the front office’s plans prior to next month’s deadline.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons have assigned forward Jerami Grant — a prime trade candidate — to the G League Motor City Cruise as he rehabs from thumb surgery, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. He’ll begin on-court work as the team heads out for a four-game road swing. He will not play in any of those road games, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets.
  • Pistons center Kelly Olynyk is hopeful he’ll be back in action sometime during the trip, Beard adds in another tweet. Olynyk hasn’t played since Nov. 10 after suffering an MCL sprain. He was signed to a three-year, $37MM contract in free agency last summer.
  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso could play on Wednesday against Cleveland after exiting the league’s health and safety protocols, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “He did some work [Monday], he’ll do some work [Tuesday], and probably make some kind of assessment then at that point before the Cleveland game,’’ coach Billy Donovan said. “We’ll have to have a plan for him if he is able to physically play Wednesday, and what his minutes will look like to help him get back to what he was.”