Michael Carter-Williams

Injury Updates: Burks, Lecque, MCW, Haliburton

Veteran guard Alec Burks, who has missed the Knicks‘ last four games due to a sprained left ankle, underwent further testing on that ankle and is now in a walking boot, according to the team (Twitter link). He’ll be re-evaluated in about 7-10 days.

It’s an unfortunate setback for Burks, who scored 22 points in each of the Knicks’ first two games and had already racked up 18 points in 21 minutes when he was injured on December 27. However, the club has managed to win four of five games since he suffered that ankle injury (including the one he left early).

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

  • Pacers guard Jalen Lecque has suffered a Grade 2 left ankle sprain and has been ruled out indefinitely, the team announced in a press release. Lecque, acquired by Indiana in an offseason trade, will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
  • Michael Carter-Williams has been diagnosed with a mild bone bruise and a sprained ligament in his left foot, according to the Magic (Twitter link). Carter-Williams has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game vs. Cleveland and may miss additional time — his return will depend on how he responds to treatment, per the team.
  • Kings rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton, who has missed the team’s last two games due to a bone bruise in his left wrist, has been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s contest against Chicago, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Even if Haliburton isn’t able to play tonight, it sounds like he’s close to a return.

Magic Notes: Bamba, Gordon, MCW, Bacon

The Magic announced earlier this week that Mohamed Bamba hasn’t been cleared for contact drills, with head coach Steve Clifford suggesting that the big man was still “a ways away” from being 100%. However, in a conversation with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Bamba said he’s feeling healthy after a bout with COVID-19 earlier in the year.

“I haven’t felt any symptoms since the summer — in fact, June,” Bamba said. “But we all know that it takes a toll on conditioning, and I just want everybody to know that I’m working my ass off to get back in peak shape. I think I’m getting pretty close. Literally every day is valuable towards this. But definitely, I’ve been working.”

Bamba went on to say that he can’t predict exactly when he’ll be back on the court, since the Magic “don’t necessarily do timelines.” However, he added that he’s working to return as soon as possible and appreciates that the organization is being cautious with his health.

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Several teams – as many as 10, and maybe even more than that – called the Magic during the offseason to show interest in trading for Aaron Gordon, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe. While we don’t know the full list of potential suitors for Gordon, Lowe confirms that the Timberwolves were among the teams to inquire, as was previously reported. Orlando ultimately decided to hang onto the veteran forward, whom Lowe still believes in as a potential breakout candidate.
  • Michael Carter-Williams, who played for six teams in his first six NBA seasons, drew interest from other clubs this offseason, but wanted to return to the Magic since he feels like he’s found a home in Orlando, writes Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. “It is great to have some stability for myself, not only for myself but my family as well,” Carter-Williams said. “We can start to build a little routine and get comfortable.”
  • Dwayne Bacon called it “a blessing” to join the Magic and is looking forward to being reunited with Steve Clifford, Steve Hetzel, and Bruce Kreutzer, who coached him during his rookie season in Charlotte. “I know as long as I’m here they’re going to push me, and they’re going to do and tell me whatever it takes to get to where I want to be and to where they want me to be,” Bacon said, per Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com.

Southeast Notes: Bradley, Adebayo, Gallinari, Pasecniks, MCW

Introduced on Tuesday as a newly-signed member of the Heat, guard Avery Bradley cited the oft-lauded “Heat culture” as one of the key reasons why he wanted to join the team, as Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald write.

“I always felt like if I ever got an an opportunity to play here, I would fit in perfect,” Bradley said. “Once the opportunity presented itself, I knew I would take advantage of it. I’m excited because I do feel like I’m a perfect fit. We all know what it means to be a Miami Heat player — the passion, the dedication it takes to be a part of this culture. I think our team is going to be really good. I’m excited to be part of Miami and part of a great culture like this. I felt wanted.”

Maurice Harkless, who also officially signed with Miami this week, said talking to former Portland teammate Meyers Leonard helped convince him to join the Heat.

“The big thing that Meyers said and he talked about all the time was just the people in the organization and how everyone carried themselves and how everyone came to work every day,” Harkless said. “It’s just what everybody else talks about, the culture. He really embraced it and he spoke highly of everything that goes on in this organization. Hearing that from him, it made my decision a lot easier.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • After reaching an agreement with the Heat on a maximum-salary extension on Tuesday, Bam Adebayo told reporters – including Chiang and Jackson – that he never really had a conversation with the team about waiting until next year to sign his new deal. “Me and (Heat president Pat Riley) met one on one, and we kind of talked through it,” Adebayo said. “We both thought it was the right decision.”
  • The third year on Danilo Gallinari‘s new $61.5MM contract with the Hawks will only be partially guaranteed, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who tweets that the forward will be assured of $5MM of his $21.4MM salary in that final year (2022/23).
  • The Wizards and big man Anzejs Pasecniks have agreed to push back his salary guarantee deadline from this week to February 1, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Pasecniks, who currently has a $350K guarantee on his $1.5MM salary, may have been waived if Washington had been forced to make an immediate decision.
  • Michael Carter-Williams‘ new two-year deal with the Magic features two fully guaranteed seasons worth $3.3MM apiece, according to Marks (Twitter link).

Magic Re-Sign Michael Carter-Williams

NOVEMBER 24, 12:02pm: The Magic have officially announced their new deal with Carter-Williams.

NOVEMBER 21, 11:32am: It’s a two-year deal for Carter-Williams, with no player or team option on the second year, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. It’s believed to be worth in the range of $3MM per year, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

NOVEMBER 21, 8:00am: Free agent point guard Michael Carter-Williams has agreed to a deal to return to the Magic, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Terms of the contract agreement aren’t yet known.

Initially acquired by Orlando for the stretch run in 2018/19, Carter-Williams re-signed with the club last summer and came off the bench in 45 games during the ’19/20 campaign. He averaged 7.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 1.1 SPG in 18.5 minutes per contest.

With veteran guard D.J. Augustin unlikely to return to Orlando, there may be a path to a larger role in 2020/21 for Carter-Williams, a former Rookie of the Year, though that will depend on what other moves the Magic make this offseason.

The Magic have now made deals with two of their own free agents, agreeing to bring back both Carter-Williams and James Ennis. The team is also adding Dwayne Bacon on a two-year deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Lowry, Westbrook, Magic, Porzingis, Rondo

A foot injury suffered by Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was the only blemish on Toronto’s blowout win of Brooklyn on Sunday, as the team completed its sweep and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

According to Andrew Lopez of ESPN, Lowry was scheduled to undergo an MRI on the arch of his left foot after turning his ankle early in the Raptors’ win on Sunday. Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweets that Lowry had that MRI last night and the team is expected to provide an update on his status at some point on Monday.

The Raptors’ second-round series against Boston is scheduled to get underway this Thursday, so if Lowry’s injury is considered a day-to-day issue, he’ll have some time to get ready for Game 1. The Raptors had no issue beating the Nets without Lowry on Sunday, but will need him back in the lineup to increase their chances of getting past Boston and returning to the Eastern Finals.

[UPDATE: Kyle Lowry Has Ankle Sprain, No Timeline Provided For Return]

Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, who is on the shelf with a quad strain, stepped up his workouts on Sunday, but has been ruled out for Game 4 on Monday, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Westbrook did on-court work, including quick stops and starts, yesterday, per Feigen.
  • Aaron Gordon (hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) will remain sidelined for the Magic in Game 4 against Milwaukee this afternoon, the team announced (via Twitter). Neither player has been active for a playoff game so far.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis was set to undergo an MRI on his right knee on Sunday, per head coach Rick Carlisle. As Tim MaMahon of ESPN tweets, Porzingis’ status for Game 5 on Tuesday remains up in the air.
  • Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo is ready to return from his thumb injury, but has been nagged by back spasms in recent days. After being scratched for Game 3, Rondo is listed as doubtful for Game 4 on Monday, per the NBA’s official injury report.

Gordon, Carter-Williams To Miss Game 3

Aaron Gordon and Michael Carter-Williams will miss the Magic’s Game 3 contest against the Bucks on Saturday, Iliana Limón Romero of the Orlando Sentinel writes.

Gordon (strained left hamstring) and Carter-Williams (strained tendon, left foot) have both been sidelined since early August with their respective ailments. As Orlando tries to upset the Bucks, the East’s No. 1 seed, the return of Gordon and Carter-Williams in the series would help matters.

Orlando is hopeful that Gordon, who has been out since Aug. 5,  can return for Game 4.

“He’s doing a lot better. He just wouldn’t be able to get up and down the floor, frankly,” Magic head coach Steve Clifford. “He’s made good progress and he’ll do his work today and tomorrow and then we’re hoping maybe there’s a chance (he can play) by Monday.”

 Meanwhile, Carter-Williams has not played since Aug. 4 and Clifford indicated he’s further behind Gordon in recovery.

“I would say (Carter-Williams) is definitely behind Aaron still,” Clifford. “Mike hasn’t even been able to do more on the floor than just shoot spot-ups. So he’s doing a little bit more, but for sure, Aaron’s closer than Mike is.”

Injury Updates: Dort, Harris, Beverley, Magic, Rondo, Hayward

After initially being ruled out for Game 2 vs. Houston, Thunder wing Luguentz Dort was updated to questionable and is now being considered available, head coach Billy Donovan confirmed today (Twitter link via Royce Young of ESPN). One of Oklahoma City’s top defenders, Dort will look to help slow James Harden.

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

  • Nuggets guard Gary Harris will remain sidelined for Game 3 against Utah, but head coach Michael Malone believes Harris is moving in the right direction, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. While he acknowledged that it’d be great to have Harris back during Denver’s first-round series if possible, Malone added that the team doesn’t want to put pressure on him by setting a specific timetable.
  • Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said he doesn’t have a sense of the severity of Patrick Beverley‘s calf injury, which caused him to miss Game 2 vs. Dallas on Wednesday. “Obviously it is something that has lingered,” Rivers said, per Youngmisuk. “But I have no sense whether he plays next game or if this is one of those things that takes a week or so. I just don’t know.” Beverley will likely be a game-time decision on Friday, according to Rivers (Twitter link via Youngmisuk).
  • Aaron Gordon (hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) will be on the shelf again for the Magic in Game 2 vs. Milwaukee today, according to the team (Twitter link). Neither player has been active since early August.
  • Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo, who hasn’t played this summer due to a fractured thumb, is listed as questionable for Game 2 vs. Portland on Thursday night, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.
  • The Celtics are “aggressively treating” Gordon Hayward‘s ankle sprain, head coach Brad Stevens said on Wednesday (Twitter link). The club should have a better idea within the next few days of what the next steps for Hayward’s rehab will be. The veteran forward is expected to miss about four weeks.

Gordon, Carter-Williams Remain Sidelined For Magic

The Magic will be without a pair of key rotation players when their playoff series with the Bucks opens this afternoon, having announced today that Aaron Gordon (strained left hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (strained left foot tendon) are both out (Twitter link).

Gordon, who suffered his hamstring injury on August 5 vs. Toronto, missed Orlando’s last four seeding games. He had initially been listed as questionable, and there’s still optimism that he’ll return at some point during the series, but he won’t play on Tuesday.

As for Carter-Williams, he has been on the shelf since August 4 due to his foot injury. His absence doesn’t come as a surprise, as he was previously listed as doubtful.

The Magic are also missing Jonathan Isaac (torn ACL), Al-Farouq Aminu (knee surgery), and Mohamed Bamba (COVID-19 complications), leaving the East’s No. 8 seed awfully shorthanded in the first game of what could be a brief series against the Bucks, who owned the NBA’s best record in 2019/20.

With Gordon unavailable, Gary Clark will start for the Magic and will get the first crack at guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, head coach Steve Clifford said today (Twitter link via Josh Robbins of The Athletic). The hope is that Gordon will be able to return for Game 2, Clifford added (Twitter link via Robbins).

Mo Bamba Leaves NBA Campus, Out For Season

Magic center Mohamed Bamba has left the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus, the team said today (Twitter link). According to the Magic, Bamba is undergoing a “comprehensive post-coronavirus evaluation” on the advice of team doctors and performance staffers.

Bamba has been ruled out for the rest of the season, per the Magic.

Josh Robbins of The Athletic reported last week that Bamba contracted COVID-19 in June and that his recovery from the virus had been a slow process. The illness led to fatigue and muscle soreness and temporarily removed Bamba’s senses of smell and taste, according to Robbins. He has barely played at all this summer due to conditioning issues, last appearing in a game on August 2.

The former No. 6 overall pick spoke last week about wanting to continue working to get back to 100% and being ready to play when called upon. However, it appears the Magic determined that it’s in Bamba’s best interest to shut things down for the 2019/20 season and focus on getting healthy for next year.

Bamba, 22, appeared in 62 games during his second NBA season, averaging 5.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 14.2 minutes per contest as a backup behind starting center Nikola Vucevic. He’s under contract for $5.97MM next season, with a $7.57MM team option for 2021/22.

Bamba is the second Magic player who has been ruled out for the season since the restart began, as Jonathan Isaac tore his ACL earlier this month. The club has also been missing Aaron Gordon (hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot), who was said to be in a walking boot on Thursday. Additionally, Al-Farouq Aminu didn’t travel to Disney World with the team as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Beverley, Dragic, MCW, Nuggets, More

Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley left Tuesday’s game against Phoenix in the first quarter with a left calf injury and didn’t return, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details. The injury isn’t considered serious, but Doc Rivers suggested after the game that the team will play it safe, with the postseason not scheduled to begin until August 17.

“I don’t think it’s bad,” the Clippers’ head coach said. “We’re going to be very cautious, I can tell you that.”

Beverley’s injury occurred just as Lou Williams returned to action for the Clippers following his 10-day quarantine period. If Beverley is able to get back on the court soon and Montrezl Harrell reports to the team within the next week or so, L.A. should be back at full strength before the playoffs get underway.

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

  • Heat guard Goran Dragic suffered a slight ankle sprain near the end of Tuesday’s win over Boston, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that X-rays on the ankle came back negative.
  • Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams, who left Tuesday’s game with a sore left foot, has been diagnosed with a tendon strain after undergoing an MRI, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Carter-Williams is doubtful to play on Wednesday vs. Toronto.
  • The Nuggets will once again be without Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee) on Wednesday, but the team has upgraded Jamal Murray (hamstring) to questionable (Twitter link). Denver is in action again on Thursday, so it won’t be a surprise if Murray ends up playing one half of the back-to-back set.
    [UPDATE: Murray was ruled out for Wednesday’s game]
  • Speaking of back-to-backs, the Heat held Jimmy Butler (right ankle soreness) out of the second leg of a back-to-back set on Tuesday, while the Celtics are doing the same with Kemba Walker on Wednesday (Twitter link). Both teams are likely just playing it safe with their All-Stars.