Landry Shamet

Landry Shamet Cleared To Return For Suns

Veteran guard Landry Shamet will be available on Sunday for the Suns‘ game in Oklahoma City, the team officially confirmed today (via Twitter).

It will be the first time Shamet has been active for the Suns since January 16. He has missed the last two months due to a right foot injury. Prior to going down, the 26-year-old was averaging 9.5 points and 2.2 assists in 21.4 minutes per night and had made 37.7% of his three-point attempts in in 30 games.

Shamet has previously suffered stress fractures in both of his feet and said that this injury – which the Suns referred to as “right foot soreness” – could have had the same result if he had continued playing.

“Caught things right before a stress fracture,” Shamet said, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “The buildup process of the discomfort and it’s sore, but you can kind of play through it and then it’s sore. Then it gets worse and worse and worse and worse and then it eventually it just breaks. Luckily we caught that early enough, which is a great thing. So that cleared up.”

Even after averting a stress fracture, Shamet dealt with nagging issues in the foot that delayed his return, as he explained on Saturday.

“Soft tissue, inflammation type situations,” Shamet said. “We worked through it. It was frustrating, very frustrating at times. Very gray. Not knowing what exactly the situation was, but our training staff did a good job of trying to identify things and collaborating with me and my team. Trying to figure it out. So we did a good job and here we are.”

According to head coach Monty Williams, Shamet won’t play a “crazy amount of minutes” immediately upon returning. The Suns have other options on the wing, including Terrence Ross and Damion Lee. Determining which of those players will be part of Phoenix’s playoff rotation will be a major consideration during the final three weeks of the regular season, notes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports (via Twitter). In the meantime, Shamet’s teammates are just looking forward to seeing him back in action.

“Hell yeah, we’ve been waiting on it,” Devin Booker said, according to Rankin. “He’s been rehabbing. I always say how tough that can be. We want everybody healthy at the right time and it’s a good time to be coming back and getting ramped up.”

Injury Notes: Nance, Mitchell, Kuzma, LeBron, Suns

After missing six games due to a left ankle sprain, Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. returned to action on Sunday vs. Portland. However, Nance logged just eight minutes and acknowledged after the game that he isn’t at full strength yet.

“I think it was pretty clear that I’m not 100%,” Nance said, per Christian Clark of “For me, it’s more about if I can play, you’re going to get what I got at all times. We got a win. I did my job.”

Even though Nance – who has averaged 22.0 minutes per game off the bench this season – couldn’t reclaim his usual rotation role in his first game back, head coach Willie Green appreciates the 30-year-old’s willingness to play through pain with New Orleans in the thick of a playoff race.

“Larry is a leader,” Green said. “He wants to be out there on the floor. He has been talking about it the last three, four days. These guys understand that coming down the stretch, it’s going to be a tight race for the playoffs. He’s trying to get himself ready for the last 14 games. It was huge to have him on the floor. His presence was felt.”

Nance isn’t on the Pelicans’ injury report for Tuesday’s game against the Lakers, so he’ll be available for that one, even if his minutes are once again limited.

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

  • The Cavaliers have ruled out Donovan Mitchell (finger sprain injury management) for Tuesday’s contest vs. Charlotte, tweets Chris Fedor of Starting center Jarrett Allen (right eye contusion) is also unavailable for a second straight game.
  • Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against Detroit due to a sore right knee, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Washington is currently a half-game back of Chicago for the No. 10 spot in the East.
  • Lakers star LeBron James, who is making his way back from a right foot injury, did his first on-court activity at a Tuesday shootaround, taking a few free throws after he completed his weight lifting and rehab work, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter links).
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams called it a “good sign” that GM James Jones said Kevin Durant would probably be available now if the playoffs had begun. “With those kind of injuries, you tend to get better every day, and he’s getting around-the-clock treatment,” Williams said of KD (link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). The Suns’ coach added that Landry Shamet‘s return from a right foot injury isn’t imminent: “He’s just been getting up shots. He’s about the same. He’s just getting more treatment. Just trying to figure it out. How can we get back to a place he can get back to a full practice and then progress from there.”

Injury Notes: Garland, Powell, Simons, Shamet, Mavs

Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland will be sidelined for Friday’s rematch with the Heat in Miami, according to Chris Fedor of Garland was originally listed as questionable with a right quad contusion, but was unable to go through shootaround. The injury is considered relatively minor, sources tell Fedor.

Garland appeared to suffer the contusion early in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s initial matchup with Miami on Wednesday, notes Danny Cunningham of ESPN Cleveland (Twitter video link). He was hit in the leg by Bam Adebayo‘s moving screen, which was called a foul.

The Cavs confirmed (via Twitter) that Garland would be sidelined on Friday, with Caris LeVert taking his place in the starting lineup. Garland is having an outstanding fourth season, averaging 22.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 7.9 APG and 1.3 SPG on an excellent .471/.430/.860 shooting line through 58 games (35.2 MPG).

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

  • Clippers guard Norman Powell will miss at least one more week, which is when he’ll be reeavaluated, tweets ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. The eight-year veteran continues to receive treatment for his left shoulder subluxation. He is the team’s third-leading scorer at 16.6 PPG, posting a strong shooting line of .475/.410/.803 through 54 games (25.8 MPG), primarily as a reserve.
  • Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons returned to the starting lineup for Friday’s matchup in Philadelphia, the team announced (via Twitter). He had missed the previous four games after aggravating an ankle sprain.
  • Backup guard Landry Shamet continues to be hampered by right foot soreness, having last played on January 16. He will be reevaluated in one week, the Suns announced (Twitter link via Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports).
  • The Mavericks might be without their two star players on Saturday in Memphis, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Luka Doncic (left thigh strain) has already been ruled out, while Kyrie Irving is questionable with right foot soreness. Irving missed Friday’s practice for personal reasons, per MacMahon, but head coach Jason Kidd was hopeful he might be able to rejoin the team on Saturday. Doncic is considered day-to-day after his MRI results showed no damage, MacMahon adds.

Suns Notes: Durant, KD Ripple Effect, Shamet

Suns forward Kevin Durant said he felt “great” after debuting for his new team on Wednesday and will be good to go for Phoenix’s game in Chicago on Friday, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Following a lengthy layoff due to a knee injury, Durant will remain on a minutes limit for the foreseeable future, but he played 27 minutes in his first game as a Sun, which was more than he anticipated.

“I didn’t think I’d play that much, to be honest,” Durant said after the Suns’ win over Charlotte. “I thought I’d be hovering around 19, 20 minutes, but coach (Monty Williams) is a player. He’s been there before, so he understands I needed a couple extra minutes to get some rhythm and he gave me that so I’m grateful for it.”

Williams said the plan is to gradually increase Durant’s workload until he’s comfortable playing 36-to-38 minutes per night.

“You’re not going to do that if you’re scaling it back,” Williams said, according to Rankin. “Then all the sudden you go from 20, 20, 20, 20, then you go 30, that’s where I think you can get yourself in trouble. I’m trying to do my best to build him up.”

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports identifies five promising signs from Durant’s debut, including the secondary rim protection KD provides and the options the Suns now have for staggering their stars. While Devin Booker (15-of-26) and Deandre Ayton (7-of-10) won’t be that productive or efficient every night, Durant figures to make their lives much easier on offense, Bourguet writes.
  • Speaking to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports about his Suns debut and how things ended in Brooklyn, Durant said he had no regrets about signing a four-year contract extension with the Nets during the summer of 2021, even if it hurt his leverage when he first requested a trade last offseason.
  • Suns guard Landry Shamet, who hasn’t played since January 16 due to right foot soreness, said on Wednesday that he feels like he’s getting close to returning. However, he has since headed back to Phoenix for treatment and will be reevaluated next week, Rankin writes for The Arizona Republic. According to Shamet, his foot sometimes feels good for a few days before flaring up again. “We’re just hopeful that he can get some answers as to why it keeps popping back up,” Williams said.

Jae Crowder: “I’d Do It All Over Again”

Jae Crowder has no regrets about his holdout in Phoenix or the months of missed games as he waited for a trade to be completed, telling Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, “I’d do it all over again.” 

The Bucks had been considered among the favorites to land Crowder, but they weren’t able to work out a deal directly with the Suns. After Phoenix agreed to ship Crowder to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant trade, Milwaukee offered draft assets to the Nets and everything was folded into a four-team deal.

The Bucks were thrilled to finally obtain Crowder, and they see him filling the defensive specialist role that P.J. Tucker did during their championship run in 2021. He has fit in seamlessly so far, averaging 19.3 minutes off the bench as Milwaukee has gone 4-0 since he has arrived.

“I think this team has what it takes to win a championship,” Crowder said. “That’s my main goal right now. I think once you win a championship, the rest of that stuff will take care of itself. My main goal, honestly, is not thinking about free agency or the summer. It’s all about winning the championship. I think that’s our locker room goal, and when I came into it, I knew that was the goal of the team.”

Crowder’s relationship with the Suns was reportedly damaged beyond repair when head coach Monty Williams informed him last offseason that he would no longer be a starter. Crowder refused to report to training camp, opting for individual workouts twice each day while he waited for a trade to materialize.

Sources tell Scotto that even when Cameron Johnson tore his meniscus in November, Crowder never considered returning to the Suns and the team didn’t discuss asking him to come back.

“Nah, there wasn’t a chance I was going to play there,” Crowder said. “Both sides knew that the road had come to an end. That came to an end way before Cam got hurt. I wasn’t going back on it, and they weren’t going back on it.”

Phoenix received offers for Crowder from several teams, Scotto adds. The Hawks, Rockets and Suns had exploratory discussions that would have sent Crowder to Atlanta along with Landry Shamet, while Eric Gordon and Kenyon Martin Jr. would have gone to Phoenix and John Collins would have wound up in Houston, but Scotto’s sources say that deal was never close to being completed.

Scotto adds that the Hawks also attempted to acquire Crowder and Shamet in a three-way trade that would have included the Jazz, but a disagreement over the draft picks Utah would have received prevented the teams from making progress. Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley would have gone to the Suns in that version of the deal.

Suns Notes: Durant, Warren, Payne, Shamet, Crowder, Wainright, Ayton

The Suns have confirmed that Kevin Durant, who is still recovering from an MCL sprain, won’t play until after the All-Star break, but the star forward “looked great” in his first practice with the team on Monday, teammate T.J. Warren said, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Durant, who wasn’t wearing a brace on his injured knee, played some 1-on-1 with assistant coach Jarrett Jack, Rankin writes.

Warren, who was sent from Brooklyn to Phoenix along with Durant, said it was a “surreal feeling” to return to the place where he spent the first five years of his career and to have a chance to play alongside superstars and contend for a title (Twitter video link via PHNX Sports).

During Warren’s first five seasons in Phoenix from 2014-19, the club posted a dismal 126-284 (.307) record. This time around, the Suns are the betting favorites to make it out of the West and play in the NBA Finals.

Warren and fellow Suns newcomer Darius Bazley aren’t on the injury report for Tuesday’s game vs. Sacramento, so they should be available to make their debuts for the team, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Suns guards Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet, who are both dealing with foot injuries, will remain sidelined through the All-Star break and will be reevaluated next week, tweets Rankin. Payne hasn’t played since January 4 due to a right foot sprain, while Shamet has been out since Jan. 16 as a result of right foot soreness.
  • Now a member of the Bucks, Jae Crowder declined to take any parting shots at the Suns when asked about the situation that led to him sitting out the first several months of the season. “Obviously I’ve been working with these guys for a trade partner for months now. I think, give or take, they did exactly what they said they were gonna do. Took longer than what we all expected, but it got done,” Crowder said (Twitter link via Eric Nehm of The Athletic). “… I’m thankful for the organization embracing me the past two years — we had a great run and we did some great things in Phoenix and we turned their culture around. So I’m happy for those guys. I wish them luck moving forward.”
  • Suns two-way player Ish Wainright can only be active for two more games before he reaches his limit for the season, tweets Bourguet. Given that Phoenix plays twice before the All-Star break and then is off for eight days, the club will likely have Wainright active for both of this week’s contests and then use the time off to decide whether to promote him to a standard contract, Bourguet observes. The Suns currently have two openings on their 15-man roster, though Terrence Ross is expected to fill one of them.
  • Deandre Ayton remained with the Suns through the trade deadline, then faced the Pacers on Friday, seven months after signing an offer sheet with Indiana that Phoenix quickly matched. Despite some speculation during the last year about whether Ayton really wanted to be with the Suns, he said he wasn’t thinking last week about what could have been, Rankin writes for The Arizona Republic. “I enjoyed playing against (Indiana) and being out there, but I’m happy with my Suns, though,” Ayton said. “Forget that. That’s behind me. I’m happy I’m with my Suns.”

Pacific Notes: Shamet, Payne, Warriors, Batum, Toscano-Anderson

Phoenix has stumbled amid injuries to key players, but two of them are expected to return for Monday’s game in New York, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Landry Shamet and Cameron Payne are both listed as probable for the afternoon contest as the Suns try to shake a slump that has dropped them to seventh in the West.

“I feel good,” said Shamet, who has sat out the past three games with a sore right Achilles. “Training staff took care of me as they always do. I feel good. Body feels good.”   

Payne suffered a strained right foot December 13 and has missed nine games. He was posting career highs with 12.7 points and 5.3 assists per game before the injury, and he enables the Suns to play at a faster tempo when he comes off the bench to replace Chris Paul.

“Pace. Getting into the paint,” Payne said when asked how he can help the team. “Like touching the paint. I feel every time we touch the paint, something good happens and I feel like we got away from that. I feel like getting into the paint and bringing my energy.”   

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The news isn’t as good for the Warriors, who will be without four frontcourt players for Monday’s game against the Hawks, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Andrew Wiggins remains sidelined with an illness and will miss his 14th straight game since suffering an adductor strain. Also inactive are Jonathan Kuminga (sprained right foot), James Wiseman (sprained left ankle) and JaMychal Green (lower right leg infection).
  • Nicolas Batum‘s goal of playing all 82 games this season ended when he sat out Saturday with a sprained ankle, but the Clippers forward is proud of his durability at age 34, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Batum credits daily weightlifting sessions, workouts and practices with keeping him in top condition. “If I got some injury stuff, I take care of it,” he said. “I don’t want to miss practice. I haven’t missed practice or shootaround yet this year, so I try to be there as much as possible every time. It’s just the routine I have just to take care of my body to be there for my team.”
  • Lakers players are responding to the challenge LeBron James delivered last week when he said he doesn’t want to “finish my career playing at this level, from a team aspect,” per Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. “I actually appreciate the pressure, I like the pressure,” Juan Toscano-Anderson said. “I know what championship basketball looks like, I know what high-level basketball looks like. That’s what they expect. … You gotta step up to the plate. It’s a man’s game.”

Injury Updates: Payne, Shamet, Jovic, Green, Antetokounmpo, Holiday, Middleton, Hill

Suns reserve guards Cameron Payne (right foot strain) and Landry Shamet (sore right Achilles) have seen their statuses updated to probable for Monday’s game against the Knicks, Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic reports (Twitter link). Payne has been unavailable since December 13, while Shamet has been sidelined since Christmas Day.

Long-term, Phoenix is still without All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker (groin strain) and power forwards Cameron Johnson (right meniscus surgery) and Jae Crowder. Crowder has been away from the Suns all season while hoping for a trade.

We have more injury-related news:

  • While getting some run with the Heat‘s G League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, rookie Miami power forward Nikola Jovic has been sidelined with back spasms, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (via Twitter).
  • Mavericks shooting guard Josh Green (sprained right elbow) remains shelved for a Monday matchup against the Rockets, the team announced (Twitter link). The elbow was reportedly reassessed on Friday. Dallas also confirmed that Dorian Finney-Smith (right adductor strain), expected to miss at least another week, and Maxi Kleber (right hamstring surgery), out indefinitely, remain unavailable.
  • The Bucks could be missing their three best players on Sunday night as they square off against the Wizards, reports Josh Robbins of The Athletic (via Twitter). Khris Middleton (sore right knee) and Jrue Holiday (non-coronavirus illness) will miss the contest against Washington, while All-NBA forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore left knee) and reserve point guard George Hill (non-coronavirus illness) are both questionable to play.

Injury Notes: Shamet, Caruso, Harris, Nance

Landry Shamet (right Achilles soreness) will miss a third consecutive game on Friday when the Suns visit Toronto, but it sounds like he’s closer to returning than some of his injured teammates. Shamet is aiming to make it back before Phoenix’s road trip wraps up on Wednesday, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“Whenever they give me the green light,” Shamet said. “… There’s a reason they get paid to do what they do, the training staff. … I feel good to go right now, but I trust them to let me know when I’m ready to go.”

The Suns are also missing Devin Booker (groin strain), Cameron Johnson (meniscus tear), Cameron Payne (foot strain), and Jae Crowder (not with team), so getting Shamet back would give the rotation a lift.

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

  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso will return on Friday vs. Detroit following a three-game absence due to a sprained right shoulder and a stint in the concussion protocol, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls won two of three games without Caruso available, but will welcome him back with open arms — the club has a plus-3.7 net rating when he’s on the court this season, compared to a minus-5.3 mark when he sits.
  • Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris, who has missed the last three games due to soreness, is remaining in Brooklyn while the team travels to Charlotte for Saturday’s game, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Harris will be reevaluated in a few days, Friedell adds.
  • Pelicans forward/center Larry Nance Jr. left Wednesday’s game early due to what the team dubbed a neck contusion/spasm (Twitter link). Nance, already bothered by a shoulder issue, was in “a lot of pain” on the bench, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN, and is considered doubtful to play on Friday vs. Philadelphia, per the official injury report.

Jazz, Hawks, Suns Discussed Possible Three-Team Trade

The Jazz, Hawks, and Suns discussed a possible three-team trade that would have sent John Collins to Utah and Jae Crowder to Atlanta, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported during an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link).

As Charania outlines, Phoenix would have acquired swingman Malik Beasley and forward Jarred Vanderbilt from the Jazz in the proposed deal, while Utah would have received Collins and other assets and Atlanta would have gotten Crowder and at least one other player.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports that Suns guard Landry Shamet was also included in those trade talks and would have been sent to the Hawks along with Crowder in at least one proposed framework.

According to Charania, the trade failed to gain serious traction because Utah was seeking multiple first-round picks along with Collins.

That Jazz asking price is both an indication of how they view Collins’ long-term contract (he’s owed $78.5MM for three years after this season) and how they value Beasley and Vanderbilt. Scotto has heard from rival executives that the Jazz consider Vanderbilt to be worth a first-round pick based on his production, age (23), and contract ($4.7MM team option for 2023/24).

While Charania’s report doesn’t make it 100% clear, it sounds as if Utah may have been seeking one first-round pick from Atlanta and one from Phoenix in the proposed swap. However, the Hawks don’t consider Collins a player they want to salary-dump, according to Charania, so they’d probably be reluctant to attach a first-round selection to him for a non-star, especially after having already surrendered multiple future first-rounders for Dejounte Murray over the summer.

Both Collins and Crowder have spent much of the season on the trade block, so we’ll likely hear their names pop up repeatedly leading up to the February 9 deadline. The Jazz are another team expected to be active in trade discussions, though their unexpectedly solid first half has created some uncertainty about whether they’ll be more inclined to buy or sell.