Michael Carter-Williams

Injury Notes: Bazemore, Smart, A. Williams, MCW

Although Kent Bazemore‘s season has ended early due to a bone bruise in his right knee, the Hawks swingman still felt like 2017/18 was a better overall year for him than the 2016/17 campaign, writes Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’m in a great place,” Bazemore said on Tuesday. “Solid bounce-back season after last year’s efforts. I grew as a player and a leader. I’ve learned a new train of thought for an NBA season. Now it’s up to me to take it to the next level and be able to play all season. … I felt great all year. The injury was kind of a freak accident, in my opinion. I was available every night up to that point. It was a good year overall.”

According to Bazemore, the injury will take him about six to eight weeks to fully recover from, which is why the Hawks are shutting him down for the season — there are only about four weeks left in the regular season, and Atlanta obviously isn’t playoff-bound. Bazemore, who will look to enter the 2018/19 season fully healthy, will be entering the third season of his lucrative four-year contract with the Hawks.

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

  • A league source tells Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) that the Celtics sure aren’t sure what the odds are that Marcus Smart returns to the court this season. Smart, officially diagnosed with a sprained thumb, reportedly tore a tendon in that thumb. “(They’re) waiting for that second opinion,” the source told Murphy. “Don’t know if it’s a 50% chance or a 30% chance (that he can get back on the court this season). Just don’t know.”
  • Although it initially looked like he might play for the Suns tonight, Alan Williams is now targeting Thursday or Saturday for his 2017/18 debut, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Williams has been sidelined all season with a right knee injury.
  • The Hornets confirmed today in a press release that Michael Carter-Williams underwent successful surgery to address the torn labrum in his left shoulder. As initially reported last week, the former Rookie of the Year will miss the rest of the season before reaching unrestricted free agency this summer.

Hornets’ Michael Carter-Williams Out For Season

Hornets point guard Michael Carter-Williams will miss the rest of the season due to a posterior labral tear in his left shoulder, the Hornets announced today in a press release. Carter-Williams, who sustained the injury on Sunday, will undergo surgery on his shoulder.

Carter-Williams, 26, signed a one-year, $2.7MM deal with the Hornets last summer and has served as Kemba Walker‘s primary backup this season. However, he struggled mightily in Charlotte, enduring the worst season of his five-year NBA career. In 52 games (16.1 MPG), the former Rookie of the Year averaged 4.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.2 APG with a shooting line of .332/.237/.820.

With Carter-Williams on the shelf, the Hornets are expected to turn to Malik Monk and Julyan Stone to back up Walker at the point.

As for Carter-Williams, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so any teams interested in signing him will keep a close eye on his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Southeast Notes: MCW, Sessions, Heat, Hawks

After signing with the Hornets during the 2017 offseason, Michael Carter-Williams has served as the team’s primary point guard behind Kemba Walker. However, Carter-Williams’ season appears to be in jeopardy.

As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes (via Twitter), the former Rookie of the Year suffered a left shoulder injury on Sunday and is currently weighing whether to elect for surgery or rehab. According to Bonnell, it could be a few days before Carter-Williams makes a decision, but if he opts for surgery, it figures to end the 2017/18 season for the Hornets guard.

For now, the Hornets figure to turn to Malik Monk for the backup minutes behind Walker, and the team’s lone All-Star is also ready to play a few extra minutes if needed, as Bonnell notes (Twitter links).

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Southeast…

  • Although he didn’t play a single minute for the Wizards during his first 10-day contract, Ramon Sessions inked a second 10-day deal with the club on Monday. As he tells Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link), Sessions he’s prepared to see the court this time around. “If I sit for another 10 days, it’s nothing that I’ve got grudge on my shoulder or anything,” Sessions said. “But if they call me, I’ll be ready to go.”
  • Despite slipping to a tie for seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, the Heat like their roster and are confident they’ll finish the season strong, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We have everything we need,” said team president Pat Riley. “We have shot blocking. We’ve got pick-and-roll bigs who can catch lobs. We’ve got pick-and-roll bigs who can catch layups. We’ve got shooters, defenders. We’ve got a lot of versatility. … I think Coach (Erik Spoelstra) has done a great job in developing a system that’s for everybody. And so let’s get on with it.”
  • Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides an update on the Hawks‘ two-way players, tweeting that – as of Monday – Josh Magette had 25 days of NBA service left, while Andrew White had 13 days left. Given Atlanta’s place in the standings, the team won’t have to worry about making either player postseason-eligible via an NBA contract.

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are committed to a core that hasn’t been able to get the franchise over the hump and likely won’t be able to do so as key components of the rotation age out of their primes.

Much of the organization’s most recent woes can be attributed to injuries and health-related struggles but week-by-week that plucky, purple-shirt-guy-inspired squad that pushed the Heat to seven games in the first-round of the 2016 postseason seems like a distant memory.

Making matters worse for Hornets fans is that there isn’t exactly help in sight. The club projects to break camp close to $20MM over the salary cap and the contracts set to come off their books don’t represent much relief.

Michael Carter-Williams of the Charlotte Hornets verticalMichael Carter-Williams, PG, 26 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2.7MM deal in 2017
Desperate for a reliable backup point guard, the Hornets tried their luck on a former Rookie of the Year. Still just 26 years old, Carter-Williams was an intriguing option to be had for the minimum but bringing him back after a (thus far) career-worst shooting year is a different story. In theory Carter-Williams can fill the stat sheet if given an opportunity, but it’s hard to imagine he’s moved the needle enough at this point in the season to convince the front office to bring him back.

Johnny O’Bryant, PF, 24 (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $1.7MM deal in 2017
The Hornets, in need of healthy bodies to round out their rotation, have plugged O’Bryant into a bigger role of late and the forward has done a respectable job of producing in the time that he’s been given. If Charlotte continues to struggle in 2018, expect the organization to feature their younger players more often. That’s a perfect recipe for O’Bryant to make his case as one of the few in-house growth opportunities the franchise has available.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Whiteside, Simmons, Frazier, MCW

The knee soreness that forced Heat center Hassan Whiteside to sit out tonight’s game could become a long-term issue, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. In a video posted on the newspaper’s web site, Whiteside says the knee has been giving him problems since the season began. “It’s really bothering me, man,” Whiteside said. “We’re going to figure it out. We’re going to figure it out when we get back to Miami and figure out what’s wrong.”

The knee problems began on opening night when Whiteside suffered a bone bruise. He was held out of the next five games, but hasn’t missed another one until today. Whiteside has remained productive despite the pain, averaging 14.9 points and 12.7 rebounds in 15 games.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Free agent addition Jonathon Simmons was inserted into the Magic’s starting lineup Monday, and coach Frank Vogel plans to keep him in that role, relays Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Simmons took Terrence Ross‘ place in the starting five and responded with a team-high 21 points. Vogel said he will evaluate how he uses players before each game, but added, “I would anticipate ‘Simms’ being in the starting lineup indefinitely, until I decide otherwise.”
  • The Wizards just need a steady performance from point guard Tim Frazier as he fills in for the injured John Wall, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Frazier and Tomas Satoransky will both see increased playing time with Wall sidelined for about two weeks with knee inflammation. “He’s not going to play like John and we don’t expect him to play like John,” coach Scott Brooks said. “We want him to just play to his best ability, and that’s getting our team in the offense and not turning the ball over, take the open shot.”
  • Michael Carter-Williams, who joined his fourth team in four years when he signed with the Hornets this summer, believes he has found a comfortable situation in Charlotte, according to Sam Perley of NBA.com. Carter-Williams’ season debut was delayed after getting platelet-rich-plasma injections in both knees, but he has found a role as a defensive specialist off the bench, averaging a team-high 1.25 steals per game. “MCW is a difference-maker,” said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. “He changes our defense, he can guard multiple guys. He’s working his way into shape, he’s got terrific feel, he can play fast and slow [and] he can find people.”

Southeast Rumors: Monk, Heat, Simmons, Isaac

Malik Monk‘s spotty minutes in recent games is due to Michael Carter-Williams defensive ability and not some sort of punishment for the first-round pick, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. The Hornets have played much better defensively with Carter-Williams in the rotation and Monk became the odd man out, Bonnell continues. Monk is still learning to play point guard after being a shooting guard in college and has plenty of work to do defensively, Bonnell adds.

In other developments around the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat may have invested too much on complementary pieces, Ira Winderman of the Florida Sun Sentinel opines. It’s fair to question whether the club would be better off now and into the future by spending on top players rather than doling out large contracts to players such as Josh RichardsonTyler Johnson, James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk, Winderman adds.
  • Magic coach Frank Vogel made his first non-injury related change to the starting lineup Monday, inserting swingman Jonathon Simmons in place of Terrence Ross, John Denton of the Magic’s website reports. Vogel wants to give Simmons more playing time and Ross has spent most of his career coming off the bench, Denton notes. “Terrence and I have been in conversations about him maybe being more involved when coming off the bench and with Simmons, we’d like to see what we look like with him having a bigger role,’’ Vogel said.
  • Magic rookie power forward Jonathan Isaac could return as early as Wednesday from the ankle sprain he suffered on November 11th, Denton notes in a separate story. The lottery pick missed his eighth consecutive game on Monday. “It’s definitely taken longer than I thought it would,” Isaac told Denton.

Southeast Notes: Isaac, Vogel, Olynyk, Monk

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is missing his fifth straight game tonight with a sprained ankle, but the team hopes to have him back by the end of its current road trip, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. The sixth player take in this year’s draft, Isaac has averaged 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in his first 12 NBA games. At 6’10”, he is tall and versatile enough to defend several positions.

“You hate to say you’re missing a 20-year-old rookie, but we are,” Magic coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s a dynamic player, especially on the defensive end, and he’s missed. But every single team in the league has got guys out.” Orlando is starting a four-game road trip tonight that will run through Monday.

There’s more news from the Southeast Division:

  • Vogel considered making a lineup change, but decided to keep the same starting five for tonight to allow his point guards to get more comfortable in their return from injuries, Robbins adds in the same story. Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin both missed time with hamstring problems, with Payton coming back November 13 and Augustin returning Saturday. “[We’re] staying the course right now,” Vogel said. “I think we’re still dealing with not having been at full strength and we’re trying to keep guys in their roles while we try to achieve that.”
  • Pat Riley’s decisions to bring back most of last season’s roster and use future cap room on a small number of players aren’t working out so far, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. Miami is off to a 7-9 start and there are concerns that the current roster doesn’t fit well together. The problems have been particularly acute in the second half of games, where the Heat rank last in the league in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point shooting. The worst move of the offseason appears to be the four-year, $50 million deal for Kelly Olynyk, who at 18.4 minutes per game is playing less than in any of his four seasons in Boston.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford believes the lack of a team “identity” contributed to a recent six-game losing streak, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte snapped that slide Saturday as Clifford juggled the rotation, which included benching rookie guard Malik Monk for the first time this season. “You lose six in a row and the defense has been bad,” Clifford explained. “It’s not Malik’s fault, it’s just his position; [Michael Carter-Williams is] a difference-maker defensively.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/1/17

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:


  • The Lakers sent center Thomas Bryant to their South Bay affiliate for the fourth time this season, the team announced on its website.


  • The Grizzlies are sending Ben McLemore to the G League as he continues to recover from offseason foot surgery, reports ESPN’s Chris Haynes (via Twitter).
  • The Grizzlies also made a series of moves with rookie forward Ivan Rabb today, recalling him from the Memphis Hustle this morning, only to re-assign him to the G League and recall him again later in the day (all Twitter links). After participating in the Grizzlies’ shootaround and the Hustle’s practice, Rabb is with the Grizz for tonight’s game.
  • Point guard Michael Carter-Williams has been recalled from the G League by the Hornets, the team announced today in a press release. GM Rich Cho said that Carter-Williams scrimmaged with the Greensboro Swarm to test his knees — MCW may play on Charlotte’s upcoming four-game road trip, as Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets.
  • The Spurs have recalled Tony Parker, Davis Bertans, and Derrick White from the G League, according to a pair of press releases from the team. Parker continues to rehab his injured left quadriceps, so he’s not ready to play for San Antonio yet.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 10/31/17

Here are the G League assignments and recalls for Halloween, from across the NBA:

Southeast Notes: Schroder, Oubre Jr., Carter-Williams

It wasn’t long ago when Hawks guard Dennis Schroder was regarded as an up-and-coming star. Lately, however, the market has soured on the German export. In a fan mailbag column, Chris Mannix of The Vertical writes that there’s a toxicity surrounding the 24-year-old that has limited his trade value.

Given that newly appointed Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has been dead set on clearing cap room and maintaining financial flexibility, it seems logical that he would be looking to unload the final four years of Schroder’s contract. In reality, however, it may not be so simple.

While the idea of finding a buyer for Schroder a season or two seemed incredibly easy, concerns around the league about the guard’s maturity – especially after a recent assault charge – have limited what the Hawks could get for him.

In that case, Mannix writes, unless the Hawks want to give the 17.9-point-per-game guard away for next to nothing, they’d be better off sticking with him and hoping that he matures into a player they’re comfortable building around.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Point guard Michael Carter-Williams will have to wait to make his debut with the Hornets. Although the guard was recently cleared for contact, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that he suffered a setback on Monday that will bump back his timeline.
  • If Kelly Oubre can play as he did in Washington’s season opener, he may well find a bigger role than the one he saw with the Wizards last season. As Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes, Oubre thrived when he subbed in for Jason Smith, making a strong case to earn more minutes in a small ball version of the team’s lineup.
  • The Hawks have named Michelle Leftwich their new vice president of salary cap administration, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes.  She’ll work alongside general manager Travis Schlenk.