Maxi Kleber

Mavs Notes: Kleber, Kidd, Irving, Holiday, Bertans

There’s optimism that Maxi Kleber will return to the Mavericks‘ lineup on Tuesday versus Indiana, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). The veteran forward/center has been sidelined since December 12 after tearing his hamstring, which required surgery.

As Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets, Kleber participated in his second 5-on-5 practice in the past four days on Monday, which is another promising sign that he’s nearing a return.

Integrating Kleber back into the lineup will be a welcome boost, as he is one of the Mavs’ best defenders — the club ranks just 22nd in defensive rating in 2022/23 after placing seventh last season. Through 22 games (25.6 MPG), the German big man is averaging 6.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 1.0 BPG on .490/.369/.786 shooting.

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • NBA teams were 138-0 when leading by 27-plus points in a game this season until the Mavs had an epic meltdown on Sunday against the Lakers, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Head coach Jason Kidd said the team’s lack of maturity was evident after blowing the huge lead at home. “I’m not the savior here. I’m not playing,” Kidd said when asked why he used only one timeout in the second and third quarters as the lead was slipping away. “I’m watching, just like you guys. As a team, we’ve got to mature. … We’ve got to grow up — if we want to win a championship. There’s no young team that’s ever won a championship, mentally or physically.”
  • The general consensus among rival executives that Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke to is that Kyrie Irving is likely to re-sign with the Mavs as a free agent in the offseason. “Kyrie’s goal in pushing out of Brooklyn was to get his rights with a team willing to pay him,” one front office source told Pincus. “Dallas is where he’ll want to be.” As the executive noted, the Mavs will hold Irving’s Bird rights, giving them the ability to offer him more years and money than a rival team could.
  • The Mavericks signed wing Justin Holiday after he reached a buyout agreement with Houston, and he looks like he’ll be a good fit, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. “He’s a pro,” Kidd said of Holiday. “He’s been in the league. Won a championship. He’s happy to be here and he’s going to do whatever it takes to help his team win.” After rarely seeing playing time over the past couple months, the 10-year veteran is averaging 10.5 PPG, 1.5 BPG and 1.0 SPG in his first two games (25.0 MPG) with the Mavs.
  • Dallas is hopeful Davis Bertans will return to practice sometime this week, tweets Townsend. Bertans has resumed on-court activities and has been making progress in his recovery. The veteran forward has been dealing with a calf strain, having last played on February 2.

Haynes’ Latest: Suns, Rose, Curry, Lonzo, Kleber, More

Sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that the Knicks will not be picking up Derrick Rose‘s $15.6MM team option for 2023/24. While that news is hardly surprising considering the 34-year-old former MVP is out of New York’s rotation, Haynes has also heard that the Suns would be interested in Rose if he reaches a buyout agreement.

There have been mixed reports regarding Rose potentially going for a buyout with the Knicks. While it still seems “unlikely,” sources tell Haynes not to rule it out entirely.

Haynes’ report came before the Suns filled their last remaining standard roster spot with Ish Wainright, who was promoted from a two-way deal. It’s unclear who the team would consider waiving if Rose became available, as there aren’t any obvious candidates.

Here’s more from Haynes:

  • Warriors star Stephen Curry is set to be reevaluated on Wednesday in his recovery from a left knee injury. Curry was optimistic about the injury but said it was frustrating with so few games remaining and the team in a precarious position. “I can’t give a target date because this isn’t an injury I’ve dealt with before. So, I just have to be careful and patient,” Curry told Haynes. “It’s a frustrating process because unlike the other injuries I’ve been through, this is one where games are running out and we need to climb up the standings fast to make these playoffs. That’s the hard part, but I’m going to do what’s right and try to help my team make this push when I return.”
  • Injured Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is planning to receive a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection to help combat the left knee soreness he’s been dealing with following two knee surgeries last year, sources tell Haynes. Chicago recently ruled Ball out for the season; he last played in January 2022.
  • The Mavericks are optimistic about Maxi Kleber returning from his torn hamstring within the next five games, per Haynes, though Kleber already said he’d be out Sunday versus the Lakers. One of the team’s best defenders, the versatile Kleber last played on December 12, having missed the past 34 games with the injury.
  • Serge Ibaka and Will Barton, a couple of veteran free agents, are “waiting for the right opportunities to present themselves,” Haynes writes. Ibaka was released by Indiana after being traded by Milwaukee, while Barton reached a buyout agreement with Washington.

Texas Notes: Dieng, McDermott, Graham, Kleber, Stone

Spurs veterans Gorgui Dieng and Doug McDermott will be tasked with helping to ensure that San Antonio’s young players continue to grow as the year winds down, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News.

The team is currently mired in a 14-game losing streak en route to a prime lottery pick. McDonald writes that some of the coaching burden falls onto the team’s two most experienced players, McDermott and Dieng, who can operate as unofficial coaches on the floor.

How long both players remain on the roster beyond this season is anyone’s guess. Dieng, 33, is signed to a one-year minimum deal, and will be a free agent this summer. McDermott, 31, is the team’s highest-paid player, and is set to earn $13.8MM in the final season of his very tradable current deal, 2023/24.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • New Spurs guard Devonte’ Graham is still acclimating to his new environs, McDonald reports in another piece. After arriving in San Antonio by way of the Pelicans in a trade, he has yet to suit up for his new club in a home game. “I’m just trying to get adjusted,” Graham said. “I just packed enough to maintain for a couple of weeks… I’m just living out of a suitcase right now.”
  • Mavericks big man Maxi Kleber indicated to Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) that he expects he will miss at least Dallas’ next two games as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Previous reporting suggested Kleber was hoping to return by the end of February.
  • Rockets team president Rafael Stone sat done for an extensive discussion about the team’s rebuild with Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “When we came into (the rebuild), we didn’t really have talent on the roster,” Stone said. “We didn’t have any cap space, we didn’t have any draft picks. We now have been able to recoup our draft picks, we have more cap space this summer than anybody else and I think we have a very talented roster… We need to translate those things into a team that becomes competitive and hopefully starts winning and winning big over time. And that’s the challenge in front of us starting this summer, but continuing on.”

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Wood, Valanciunas, Branham, JJJ

Luka Doncic is out tonight against the Warriors and Monday against the Jazz, but the Mavericks are optimistic that his right heel contusion won’t sideline him much longer, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Coach Jason Kidd told reporters that Doncic underwent an MRI on Friday, and the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility that he might play later in its five-game road trip, which runs through next Saturday.

“Luka — right heel contusion —healing, day to day, doing better, but will not join us in Utah,” Kidd said. “We’ll see where he’s at after that Utah game.”

Kidd also provided a few other injury updates, saying that Christian Wood participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage Friday without a setback and could be ready to play by Monday. Maxi Kleber took part in a 1-on-1 workout for the first time since having surgery on his right hamstring in mid-December. Kidd said Davis Bertans will “probably” be sidelined through the All-Star break after straining his left calf in Thursday’s game.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks appear willing to discuss a two-year extension with Wood, but probably nothing longer, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on Zach Lowe’s podcast. MacMahon is skeptical that a better deal exists in free agency, saying the teams he has talked to are showing limited interest in Wood. He also identifies Wood as the rotation player that Dallas is most likely to trade before Thursday’s deadline, although he’s not sure the team can find equal value in return.
  • Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas will undergo an MRI Sunday morning after leaving tonight’s game with a right knee injury, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN.
  • Spurs guard Malaki Branham reached new career scoring highs twice this week, notes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio has seen a lot of progress from Branham, who was selected with the first-round pick the team received when it sent Thaddeus Young to the Raptors at last year’s deadline. “Things are just slowing down, picking my spots on the court, and doing what I know how to do,” Branham said. “That’s just as simple as it gets.”
  • In an interview posted on the Memphis Commercial Appeal website, Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. talks about the excitement of heading to his first All-Star Game and a possible matchup against teammate Ja Morant.

Mavs’ Doncic Out With Heel Injury, Wood Nearing Return

Just days after returning from an ankle sprain that sidelined him for a game, Mavericks star Luka Doncic has been ruled out for Saturday’s contest in Golden State after sustaining a right heel contusion, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

The injury occurred in the third quarter of Dallas’ Thursday win over New Orleans when Doncic drove to the basket for a layup and collided awkwardly with Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas, landing hard on his right heel (video link).

Although Doncic didn’t travel with the Mavericks for the start of their five-game road trip and won’t play on Saturday, head coach Jason Kidd told reporters on Friday that the four-time All-Star wasn’t being ruled out for the entire trip.

“It’s too soon today to give an update on that,” Kidd said, per MacMahon. “As we get the MRI, we’ll be able to give an update on status.”

Like Doncic, Davis Bertans (left calf strain) has been ruled out for Saturday’s game and didn’t accompany the Mavs for the road trip, but the team did have a pair of positive health updates on Friday.

Big man Christian Wood, who has been on the shelf due to a fractured left thumb, went through a full practice on Friday for the first time since suffering the injury and said he’ll be “ready to go” after a bit more conditioning work. He won’t play on Saturday, but believes he’ll be cleared to play on Monday in Utah or in Wednesday in L.A. against the Clippers.

Meanwhile, forward Maxi Kleber has progressed to 1-on-1 workouts as of Friday, according to Kidd (link via Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News). Kleber underwent surgery on December 20 to repair a torn hamstring and has expressed hope that he’ll be able to return at some point this month.

Injury Notes: Ball, Kleber, Wade, Okeke, Okogie

Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball suffered his third left ankle sprain this season in yesterday’s victory over Houston. Ball and teammate P.J. Washington were contesting a layup by Jabari Smith Jr. when Washington landed on Ball’s ankle (YouTube link via ESPN).

While the injury certainly looked painful, the 21-year-old sounds fairly confident he won’t miss as much time as he did with his previous sprains, which sidelined him for 13 and 11 games, respectively.

It feels a little bit better,” Ball said, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “It doesn’t feel like those other ones. … I can walk, so take it day-by-day and see what it is.”

Boone writes that the young All-Star didn’t require an X-Ray or other tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Maxi Kleber, who underwent surgery on December 20 to repair a torn hamstring, says he’s targeting a return to the Mavericks‘ lineup next month, though he isn’t committed to that timeline (Twitter video link via Bally Sports Southwest). “I’m not out for the season,” the German big man said. “I can’t give an exact date, but I hope I’m gonna be back… preferably before All-Star break, but I don’t want to jinx anything or say anything or make promises. … But that’s the goal.”
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade, who has been sidelined since December 2 due to a shoulder ailment, suffered a setback in his rehab process earlier this month, injuring his ankle when he stepped on a player’s foot during practice, a source tells Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “He’s not (doing) five-on-five yet,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Tuesday. “Again, because of where he was before, it won’t need as much to get him back to going because it wasn’t as big of a setback.”
  • The return of Magic forward Chuma Okeke isn’t imminent, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). Okeke has yet to resume contact work after undergoing a procedure on his left knee in December. Price adds within the same story that forward Jonathan Isaac is expected to play in a third G League game for the Lakeland Magic on Thursday as he makes his way back from an ACL injury.
  • Suns wing Josh Okogie broke his nose in Monday’s game in Memphis when he took an inadvertent elbow from teammate Deandre Ayton, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Okogie is listed as out for Thursday — it’s unclear how much additional time he might miss.

Luke Adams contributed to this story.

Maxi Kleber Has Surgery For Hamstring Tear

Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber underwent surgery Tuesday for a torn right hamstring, the team announced (via Twitter). Kleber suffered the injury at a practice last week.

Rehab is set to begin immediately, and no timetable has been set for him to return.

The average recovery time for a player who suffers a hamstring tear is about 62 days, according to Jeff Stotts of (Twitter link). However, the average recovery time dips to 38 days in cases where surgery isn’t required, so Kleber could certainly be sidelined for more than two months.

As Stotts adds (via Twitter), Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd compared Kleber’s injury to one Khris Middleton suffered in 2016. Middleton returned to action 133 days (over four months) after undergoing surgery on his torn hamstring.

Dallas is just 2-8 this season in games that Kleber has missed, so a prolonged absence is an unfortunate break for a team locked in a tight battle for a playoff spot. The German forward is averaging 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds through 22 games.

Mavs Injury Notes: Doncic, Dinwiddie, Green, Kleber, Powell

The Mavericks will be without Luka Doncic (right quad strain), Spencer Dinwiddie (right knee, injury recovery), Josh Green (right elbow sprain), Maxi Kleber (right hamstring tear) and Dwight Powell (left thigh contusion) on Saturday in Cleveland, the team announced (via Twitter).

As ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweets, Saturday will mark Doncic’s third missed game of the 2022/23 season, all on the second game of a back-to-back — Dallas defeated Portland last night. MacMahon points out that fans will surely be disappointed with the Slovenian star’s absence, as Cleveland has the largest Slovenian population in the U.S.

The Mavs are almost certainly just being cautious with Doncic and fellow starting guard Dinwiddie, who will miss his first game of the season.

With three starters and two primary backups out, reserves such as Frank Ntilikina, Kemba Walker, Jaden Hardy, JaVale McGee and Christian Wood should see a significant uptick in minutes against the Cavaliers.

Here are some more notes on the Mavs’ injured players:

  • Head coach Jason Kidd told reporters, including Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link), that Green will travel on the teams week-long road trip that ends on Friday in Houston. Kidd said he’s hopeful Green has made strides in his recovery, but he won’t play in a game until he’s at least a full practice participant.
  • Kidd called Kleber’s torn hamstring a “freak injury” that occurred when his knee hyperextended while dribbling in Tuesday’s practice, Caplan tweets. No contact took place during the incident. The team plans to provide an update on Kleber’s recovery “pretty soon,” according to Kidd. As MacMahon relays (via Twitter), Kidd also said that Kleber’s injury was the same as Khris Middleton‘s back in 2016 — Middleton required surgery and missed 141 days, according to Jeff Stotts of (Twitter link). MacMahon says it isn’t certain that Kleber will require surgery, but called it a “strong possibility.” If so, there’s a chance the German big man could be out for the season, based on Middleton’s recovery timeline.
  • Powell sustained his left thigh contusion in last night’s blowout home victory over the Blazers, the Mavs announced (via Twitter). The starting center was limited to 11 minutes of action before exiting the contest. It’s unclear how much time he might miss beyond Saturday’s game.

Mavericks’ Maxi Kleber Tears Right Hamstring, Out Indefinitely

Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber tore his right hamstring at a team practice Tuesday, Dallas has announced (via Twitter).

The extent of the damage to the ligament had previously not been known, and the ailment had first been diagnosed as a sprain, but clearly further analysis has indicated that the outcome is more severe.

Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) initially reported that Kleber was expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, but Tim MacMahon of ESPN (via Twitter) suggests that treatment options, including surgery, are still being weighed, so it sounds like there’s no set timeline yet. The Mavericks have ruled the forward out indefinitely.

As Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweets, the Mavericks have gone just 1-5 in the six games Kleber has missed thus far this season. Reserve center Christian Wood seems to be in line for more minutes now, Townsend adds.

Across 25.6 MPG, the 6’10” Kleber had been averaging 6.2 PPG on .490/.369/.786 shooting splits in 22 games for Dallas. The 30-year-old also has chipped in 3.5 RPG, 1.0 APG and 1.0 BPG.

Losing Kleber for an extended period will be a major loss for the Mavs’ frontline. His relative mobility for his size and his ability to shoot triples at a solid clip (36.9% on 3.0 tries a night) made him a reliable bench option for the 14-14 club.

Southwest Notes: Lewis, Morant, Adams, Grizzlies, Kleber

Pelicans point guard Kira Lewis played in an NBA game for the first time in a little over a year in Tuesday’s loss to Utah, writes Christian Clark of The 21-year-old, who tore the ACL in his right knee last December, finished with four points and one rebound in six minutes.

It’s been a long year,” Lewis said. “If anything, I have learned patience. With this leg, I couldn’t rush it or nothing. I just had to be patient and take it day by day. Here we are.”

The third-year guard added that the most challenging part of the rehabilitation process wasn’t physical.

That’s probably the toughest, managing the mental,” he said. “Because you know you can’t play basketball. That’s something you have been doing your whole life. Just take it day by day. Talk to your people. And keep on moving. Use it as motivation.”

The Pelicans picked up Lewis’ fourth-year option for 2023/24, so he’ll earn a guaranteed $5,722,116 next year. Lewis, the No. 13 overall pick of the 2020 draft, will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason.

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Ja Morant and Steven Adams were both sidelined for the Grizzlies in Monday’s blowout victory over the shorthanded Hawks, but they were full participants in Wednesday’s practice and are “trending towards playing” on Thursday against Milwaukee, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Morant is averaging career highs in points (27.7), rebounds (6.6) and assists (7.8), while Adams leads the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (4.8) for the second consecutive season.
  • The Grizzlies‘ bench has struggled to an extent this season, partly due to injuries, but Monday showed why the second unit has a lot of potential, Cole writes for The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke and had productive games starting in place of Morant and Adams, and some little-used reserves also had strong outings. “We’re deep,” Xavier Tillman said. “It’s a real 15 deep. Nobody’s role is too extreme to where we need them to do more than they’re capable of.” Memphis is currently 18-9, tied with New Orleans for the best record in the West.
  • Head coach Jason Kidd told reporters on Wednesday that Mavericks big man Maxi Kleber suffered a hyperextended knee in Tuesday’s practice, which is why he was ruled out for Wednesday’s game against Cleveland, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The Mavs are still evaluating Kleber’s condition to determine how much time he might miss.