Marvin Bagley III

Western Notes: Lakers Loan, Bagley, Walton, Towns

The Lakers returned a $4.6MM loan they received from a federal government program intended to help small businesses during by the coronavirus pandemic, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. The Lakers applied for relief through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. When many small businesses were shut out of the program, the team opted to return the money.

“Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need,” the team said in a statement. “The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Kings coach Luke Walton isn’t sure how much big man Marvin Bagley III will play if the season resumes, Jason Jones of The Athletic reports. Bagley has played in only 13 games this season due to a left foot sprain and a broken thumb. “In talking to Marvin, he feels much better,” said Walton, who added Bagley would still have to go through protocols during injury rehab, including three-on-three and five-on-five play.
  • Walton struck an optimistic tone regarding his club in the same story from Jones. “I love where we’re at as a group,” Walton said. “I think our future is bright, I think we have a great group of guys. This is a hard thing, winning consistently in any pro sport is hard. But when you get a good group of guys that works hard and likes each other and is willing to trust each other, I think, is how you make that happen.” Sacramento was 28-36 when play was halted but had won seven of its last 10 games.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the Timberwolves and it has brought organization members closer on an emotional level, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother, Jacqueline, and a relative of Malik Beasley succumbed to complications from the virus. “We’ve done everything possible for our players and our staff and their families to make sure they’re as safe as possible,” president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “Once it affects you the way it’s affected us now, we’re ultra-sensitive to the fact that we want to be here for our players and their families and our staff.”

Marvin Bagley III Out At Least Three More Weeks

It’s turning into a lost sophomore season for Marvin Bagley III, who remains sidelined with a left foot injury. The Kings announced today in a press release that Bagley, whose injury is a mid-foot sprain, continues to work through the “reconditioning” process under the supervision of team doctors and foot specialist Dr. Martin O’Malley.

According to the Kings, the next update on Bagley’s status will come in three weeks, which means he’ll remain on the shelf through at least March 12. Even if last year’s No. 2 overall pick is ready to get back on the court at that point, which is hardly a lock, he’ll miss Sacramento’s next 11 games and would return with just one month left in the season.

Bagley had a promising rookie season for the Kings in 2018/19, averaging 14.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG in 62 games (25.3 MPG). He was expected to be a key player in the team’s push for a postseason berth this year, but has been limited to just 13 games due to health issues.

Bagley is one of several important Kings players who have battled injuries this season. De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Bogdan Bogdanovic have each missed between 11 and 19 games so far.

Kings Notes: Bagley, Dedmon, Parker, Bazemore

Marvin Bagley‘s status for the rest of the season remains uncertain as he recovers from a sprained left foot, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. The second-year forward has barely played since suffering the injury December 26, and the Kings announced last week that he will be re-examined after the All-Star break.

Bagley was wearing a walking boot as he visited the team in the locker room following last night’s game. He talked to the media for the first time since the injury, but wasn’t able to add much clarity to his situation.

“I’m definitely going to try to come back this year, but that’s too far ahead at this point,” Bagley said. “The most important thing for me right now is to make sure I’m healthy. Honestly, who knows, I’m just going one day at a time with this, I’m trying not to think too far ahead. I obviously want to play, I want to be out there. … I’ve only played however many games I’ve played this season over things I can’t control.”

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • General manager Vlade Divac admitted the Kings didn’t get what they hoped for from Dewayne Dedmon when they signed him to a three-year, $40MM contract in free agency, Ham relays in a separate story. Sacramento granted Dedmon’s trade request this week, sending him back to Atlanta. “Definitely disappointed for me, for the organization and I’m sure from Dedmon’s side that things didn’t work,” Divac said. “We had good intentions. He didn’t work out. We’re happy to move on and wish Dedmon all the best. Definitely, he wasn’t what we expected.”
  • The players the Kings received in the deal with the Hawks are both close to returning from injuries, Ham adds. Jabari Parker may play tomorrow after missing most of the past month with a shoulder impingement, while Alex Len is making progress in his recovery from a hip flexor. In a video posted by Sean Cunningham of KXTV, Parker said he wasn’t surprised to be traded. “I’ve always had a perspective I’m not employed by individual teams; I’m employed by the NBA,” he said.
  • The Kings began to turn their season around when they acquired Kent Bazemore from the Trail Blazers, observes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Bazemore has brought energy and attention to detail to the Sacramento defense. “He goes out there and does a lot of the dirty work,” De’Aaron Fox said. “… He does a lot of things for us, and the chemistry we’ve had since he’s been here has been great. It feels like we’ve been playing with him a lot longer than two weeks.”

Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley Injury Updates

Richaun Holmes has been out since January 7 with a shoulder injury and he was expected to be ready to return this week. However, it doesn’t appear like that’s going to happen, as coach Luke Walton said the center has not practiced yet (Twitter link via Jason Jones of The Athletic).

Walton said Holmes is improving, but he won’t play until he can practice. The setback is troubling for the Kings. If they have any hope to make the postseason, they’ll need Holmes to contribute.

Holmes signed with Sacramento this offseason and before getting hurt, he was arguably the team’s best player. The 26-year-old big man sports a 21.1 player efficiency rating and a still team-leading 4.6 win shares.

Walton also addressed the status of Marvin Bagley III. He remains out with a foot injury. The 2018 No. 2 overall pick has only played in 13 games for the Kings this season.

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Clippers, Green, Suns

Kings forward Marvin Bagley III will miss the next few games after suffering a mid-foot sprain to his left foot, the team announced on social media.

Bagley sustained the injury with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter during Sacramento’s game against Minnesota on Thursday. He exited the contest in pain and was wearing a walking boot post-game. He saw a foot specialist on Friday to diagnose the injury.

Bagley’s injury adds to what’s already been an injury-riddled season for the Kings. The team holds a 12-20 record on the year, mostly playing without Bagley and talented third-year guard De’Aaron Fox.

Bagley, the No. 2 overall pick in 2018, has averaged 13.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 23.6 minutes per game in nine contests for the Kings this season. Sacramento has upcoming games scheduled against Denver on Sunday and the Clippers on Tuesday, followed by a three-game homestand starting January 2.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers are believed to have interest in Bulls forward Thaddeus Young with the February 6 trade deadline nearly a month away, writes Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, citing anonymous NBA sources. Los Angeles could include Maurice Harkless in a deal ahead of the deadline, with Harkless making $11MM in the final season of his contract. “I just focus on what I’ve got going on here. That’s the only thing I can control,” Harkless said. “If I let myself worry about that stuff. … Man, I’ve been in the league long enough where I know how it goes. If it comes to that day, I’ll deal with it when I get there.” Rival executives believe the Clippers are targeting a physical center ahead of the deadline, according to Woike.
  • Nick Friedell of ESPN.com examines how Draymond Green is navigating his new Warriors world, one without the likes of Stephen Curry (broken left hand), Klay Thompson (torn ACL rehab), Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies), Kevin Durant (Nets) and others. The new-look Warriors have posted a 9-25 record on the season with four straight victories, coping with several different injuries to key players. “I got the same mental preparation for a game that I’ve ever had,” Green said plainly. “It’s the same. I don’t [prepare differently] in terms of who’s playing, who’s on the court.”
  • Gina Mizell of The Athletic takes a close look at how the Suns snapped a surprising eight-game losing streak, defeating the Kings 112-110 on the road behind Devin Booker‘s 32 points, 10 assists and two steals. Suns coach Monty Williams held a team meeting on Saturday morning for players to clear the air and work together on how to improve, receiving positive feedback from the group. “We kind of just put it all out on the table,” Oubre said. “The long story short was we all just have to hold each other accountable a little bit more. … If we’re not doing the right things, (we told Williams), ‘Do what you have to do. Take us out, show us a lesson, call us up or just motivate us. Monty’s good for that. He’s good for allowing us to unload — keeping it real, just letting us get things off our chest whenever we need to.”

Injury Updates: Russell, Bagley, Bledsoe, Smart

The Warriors got a scare tonight involving D’Angelo Russell, who remained on the ground for about five minutes after colliding with the MavericksLuka Doncic while chasing a loose ball, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic (video link).

A stretcher was brought out, but Russell was eventually able to walk off under his own power. After being checked in the locker room, he was diagnosed with a right shoulder contusion, according to Kerith Burke of NBC Sports (Twitter link), and eventually re-entered the game.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Kings forward Marvin Bagley III has a mid-foot sprain and will miss the “next few games,” according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Bagley left Thursday’s game in the third quarter after suffering the injury. He had an MRI on Friday and met with a foot specialist today before details of his condition were announced.
  • Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe continues to recover from a fibula avulsion fracture and is nearing a return to the court, coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters before tonight’s game (video link from the team). Bledsoe may go through contact drills tomorrow in hopes of playing next week. “He’s making progress and getting close,” Budenholzer said.
  • The Celtics got Marcus Smart back tonight after an eight-game absence caused by an infection in both of his eyes, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
  • Celtics center Robert Williams will undergo another MRI in about a week to monitor the healing of a bone edema in his left hip, Blakely adds (Twitter link). He hasn’t been able to do any basketball-related activities since the injury was discovered nearly two weeks ago.

Injury Updates: Fox, Bagley, James, Looney, Washington, Winslow

The Kings offered some good news on guard De’Aaron Fox‘s latest ailment, according to a team press release. Fox left Thursday’s game in the first quarter against Minnesota with back spasms. A precautionary MRI revealed no structural damage and he will be listed as day-to-day. Big man Marvin Bagley III, who also made an early departure on Thursday, will have his left foot evaluated by a specialist Saturday.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Lakers star LeBron James thought he’d miss some time after getting injured on Christmas Day but that may not be the case, according to an ESPN report. James has a groin contusion and is listed as questionable to play against Portland on Saturday.
  • Big man Kevon Looney will miss the Warriors’ games this weekend with abdominal soreness, Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Looney has played just 10 games this season, mainly due to a hamstring issue.
  • Hornets rookie forward PJ Washington is listed as probable to play on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. Washington suffered a fracture of his fifth finger on his right hand during a game against Chicago on December 13.
  • The injury to Justise Winslow‘s back is now listed as a bone bruise rather than a strain, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. The Heat’s point forward has not played since December 6.

Marvin Bagley III Ready To Return For Kings

Marvin Bagley III is ready to return to action for the Kings, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, who writes that the big man is listed as probable for Sacramento’s Wednesday night game vs. Oklahoma City.

Bagley, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, has been sidelined since opening night as a result of a broken right thumb suffered in the Kings’ first game of the season. The club initially estimated that Bagley would be out for four to six weeks, but his absence extended to seven weeks and 22 games.

When the Kings opened the season, Bagley and Dewayne Dedmon were the starters in the frontcourt. Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica have taken over those roles in recent weeks. As James Ham of NBC Sports California observes, it’s unclear how exactly Bagley will fit back into the rotation now that he’s healthy, since Holmes has been one of the team’s best players and Bjelica has been on fire as of late, averaging 17.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 3.4 APG on .515/.448/1.000 shooting in his last five games.

Bagley is one of the Kings’ key building blocks, so the club will certainly find minutes for him. Still, he’ll be brought along slowly and head coach Luke Walton will likely try to stick with the Bagley/Bjelica pairing in certain lineups.

De’Aaron Fox (ankle) remains on the shelf for the Kings and is expected to be re-evaluated within the next week or two.

Latest On De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III

Two Kings starters, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III, are making progress in their recoveries from injuries, but neither player is ready to return to action, the team announced today in a press release.

Fox, who has been sidelined since sustaining a left ankle sprain on November 11, has resumed on-court basketball activities, but isn’t taking contact. According to the team, he’ll remain in Sacramento during the club’s upcoming four-game road trip – which begins in Portland on Thursday – and will be re-evaluated in about two or three weeks.

The Kings have tread water without Fox, winning five of the nine games he has missed. The team will have to continue to do so if it hopes to remain in the playoff hunt in the West. Even if the star point guard is ready to return in three weeks, he’d miss another 11 games.

Meanwhile, Bagley – out since opening night due to a broken right thumb – will be re-evaluated at the end of this week, per the team. The Kings’ initial October announcement on Bagley after he suffered the injury called for a recovery timeline of approximately four-to-six weeks — this Thursday will represent the six-week mark.

With Fox and Bagley on the shelf, Cory Joseph, Richaun Holmes, and Nemanja Bjelica are among the players who have received bumps in minutes. Holmes (+3.8 net rating) has been particularly effective, so it will be interesting to see how his role is adjusted once Bagley is good to go.

Pacific Notes: Booker, Ayton, Doncic, Bagley, Joseph

With the Suns playing above expectations to start the season, the development of Devin Booker has been a focal point of the team’s season. A recent three-game skid has put Phoenix two games under .500 but Booker’s play has been generally solid this season.

The 23-year-old is averaging 24.5 PPG and 6.3 APG while shooting from the field (51%) and from three (41.9%) at career-best rates. As the season has progressed, new head coach Monty Williams has taken a proactive approach in trying to get his young star to the next level, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes.

Whether it’s late-night text sessions, extra work after practice or going over film and studying, Williams has been impressed with the work Booker has dedicated to improvement. While Williams feels he drives Booker nuts, the guard says he’s thankful for his new head coach.

“I understand most of it, I mean, all of it,” Booker said. “It’s just the way I am. I’ve said since the beginning, I trust him.”

Check out more Pacific Division notes:

  • Deandre Ayton is nearing a return from his 25-game suspension and the young center’s role is still unclear, Rankin writes in a separate story. The Suns’ big man has appeared in just one game this season but given Phoenix’s recent struggles, some scoring punch from the 21-year-old could help the team.
  • Mavericks‘ guard Luka Doncic has started off his sophomore season with a bang, becoming a daily triple-double threat and an early MVP candidate. Rankin writes once again how Doncic’s development makes Suns fans think about how different things would have been if Phoenix took Doncic in lieu of Ayton in last year’s draft.
  • Kings‘ forward Marvin Bagley III has only played in one game this season after breaking his thumb. Five weeks after the injury, Bagley is still not cleared to return but is getting closer, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes. “Marvin is much closer than De’Aaron [Fox] is, but it’s one of those things that he hasn’t been cleared to go contact yet without (a brace) on,” head coach Luke Walton said. “So will he play tomorrow or Monday? No, but is he getting closer? Yes.”
  • While the personal stats may not be outstanding, the play of Cory Joseph, given the absence of Bagley and De’Aaron Fox has helped the Kings maintain pace in the Western Conference, James Patrick of the Sacramento Bee writes.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic answered several Clippers questions in the latest mailbag. Buha covered the possibility of the team pursuing Andre Iguodala, Landry Shamet‘s return, and more.