Myles Turner

Injury Notes: Turner, Harden, Leuer, Ball

Pacers center Myles Turner has missed his club’s last three games and has already been ruled out of the remaining four contests on Indiana’s current road trip, the team announced today in a press release. Turner won’t require surgery, but he has been diagnosed with a ligament sprain and muscle strain in that troublesome elbow, and isn’t close to returning. Following the Pacers’ current road trip, Turner will be considered week to week, according to the team.

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

  • Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni hopes that James Harden will be able to return from his hamstring injury before the end of this week, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN details. “It could be Thursday or Saturday, I don’t know,” D’Antoni said on Sunday. “He’s got to get better. We’ll see. Whenever he’s ready.” Harden would presumably like to be back on the court for those showdowns later this week against Minnesota (Thursday) and Golden State (Saturday).
  • Jon Leuer continues to battle ankle issues, having recently received a second injection in his ankle, according to Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy (Twitter link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News). Season-ending surgery looks like an increasingly likely possibility for the veteran big man.
  • After undergoing an MRI, Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball was diagnosed with minor left knee sprain, the Lakers announced last night (via Twitter). It’s not viewed as a significant injury.

Injury Updates: Harden, Millsap, Allen, Turner

James Harden is showing signs of improvement as he recovers from a strained hamstring, but the Rockets‘ star guard won’t get the chance to lobby for a quicker return to the court, Mike D’Antoni said on Wednesday, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

“I walk into there to the trainers,” the Rockets head coach said. “‘Can he play?’ ‘No.’ Then he can’t play. There is no challenge. He’s going to try to push the envelope because he wants to play. That’s on trainers and doctors. I don’t figure into it. He’d beat me up.”

The Rockets announced on January 1 that Harden would be re-evaluated in two weeks, so he’s likely still at least a few days away from returning to action.

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

  • Paul Millsap has been out of the Nuggets‘ lineup since undergoing wrist surgery in late November, but he recently had his cast removed and is progressing toward a return, writes Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. According to Mizell, Millsap is on track to get back on the court around the time of the All-Star break next month.
  • Pelicans guard Tony Allen suffered a setback in his recovery from a fibula fracture, per Jennifer Hale of FOX Sports New Orleans (Twitter link). Allen, originally expected to be back around this time, will likely miss another two to four weeks, says Hale.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner, who sat out last night’s game against Miami with a right elbow injury, will also miss Friday’s contest vs. Cleveland, the club announced in a press release.

Central Notes: Turner, Thomas, Calderon

It’s been eight games since Myles Turner returned to action for the Pacers after suffering a concussion in the team’s season opener. The big man, Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star writes, has been struggling to find his groove ever since.

The third-year center has failed to top the 13-point plateau in each of the past five games and he hasn’t cracked double-digits in rebounds either. Last season, in contrast, the 21-year-old averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Pacers, setting the stage for a significant step forward in the first season without Paul George in the lineup.

Sometimes when you miss games, it sets you back and you lose your rhythm,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “He had some shots that he’s very capable of making. I told him, ‘Don’t get down on yourself. Keep shooting the ball. That rhythm will come for you.'”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • It’s coming, but the Cavaliers are still adapting to life without Kyrie Irving, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer writes. There has been a noticeable hole in Cleveland’s attack at the point, although injuries to Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose have played a large part of that.
  • The Cavaliers will turn to Jose Calderon to fill a gaping hole at the point guard position, Joe Vardon of writes. The 36-year-old has only played 6.7 minutes per game for the Cavs this season.
  • The rehabilitation process inherent with Isaiah Thomas‘ hip injury has helped the player build a unique sense of respect with the Cavaliers franchise. “I’m protecting myself, so, even if they wanted me to hurry back, I’m not going to hurry back, just because I’ve got a long career ahead of me and an important summer as well,” Thomas, a pending free agent, told Joe Vardon of “So, I’ve got to make sure I’m 100 percent healthy before I step out on the floor. But these guys have not rushed me one bit. They’ve taken their time with me and I appreciate that. Because most teams, they want you out there, especially if things aren’t going well.

Central Notes: Portis, R. Jackson, Vaughn, Turner

Bulls forward Bobby Portis will be eligible to return from his eight-game suspension on Tuesday, but there’s no guarantee he’ll get playing time right away, tweets Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. Coach Fred Hoiberg responded, “We’ll see,” when asked whether he plans to use Portis in that game.

Portis was punished for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic in an altercation during a scrimmage last month. Mirotic suffered a concussion and fractured two facial bones, and is expected to be out until mid-November. Hoiberg told reporters today that Mirotic remains in good spirits and has progressed to doing pool work, relays Nick Friedell on ESPN Now.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Two front office sources from the Pistons confirmed to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that the organization has no plans to trade Reggie Jackson for Eric Bledsoe. One source said there was no substance to the rumored deal, while another confirmed communication between the Pistons and Suns but indicated a trade is unlikely.
  • Bucks guard Rashad Vaughn wasn’t surprised that the team elected not to pick up his option for next season, relays Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressbox. Considered a gamble when Milwaukee made him the 17th pick in the 2015 draft, Vaughn played 70 games as a rookie, but slipped to 41 last season. He is still just 21 and hopes for a long NBA future, although as he heads into unrestricted free agency following this season, he knows it probably won’t be with the Bucks. “It’s a business,’’  Vaughn said. “You just have to respect their decision and move on. I’m not going to let this stop me. I’m going to keep striving. That’s all I can do.’’
  • Myles Turner saw his first action for the Pacers Friday since an opening-night concussion and is now ready to return to the starting lineup, according to Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star. Turner will be the starting center Sunday against the Knicks, with Domantas Sabonis returning to the bench. “It”ll take me a few games to get my rhythm back,” Turner said, “but being back out there is what’s important.” Coach Nate McMillan has been impressed by Sabonis’ play during Turner’s absence and plans to give him a steady dose of minutes off the bench.

Central Notes: Turner, LaVine, Antetokounmpo

The Pacers will see Myles Turner return to action tonight, Nate McMillan told the media, including the team’s official Twitter account. Turner has missed seven games since suffering a concussion in the team’s season opening victory.

Turner, 21 years old, is the new cornerstone of the Pacers franchise now that Paul George is off with the Thunder. He will, however, be charged with the tough task of sliding into a lineup that has found success playing a faster style of basketball than what he saw over the course of his rookie and sophomore seasons.

Last year Turner averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. If he can return to action alongside his new and familiar Pacers teammates without disrupting the 5-3 squad’s flow, Indiana could be even better than they’ve looked thus far. Turner will come off the bench in his debut.

There’s more from the Central Division:

Pacers Notes: Young, Sabonis, Turner, Future

While many saw the Thunder’s acquisition of Paul George for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo as a heist for the ages, Pacers forward Thaddeus Young has a differing viewpoint, Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star writes.

Sabonis posted 16 points on perfect 7-for-7 shooting in Wednesday’s season-opener against the Nets. Indiana defeated Brooklyn 140-131 and Young — after watching Sabonis’ performance — feels the team made out well in the trade.

“Honestly,” Young said, “I think we stole him from them.” 

Sabonis, selected 11th overall by the Magic last season, was acquired by the Thunder in a draft night deal with Orlando. He did not see as much improvement as he would have liked last season, averaging 5.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 81 games. However, playing for the rebuilding Pacers will give him that opportunity. Whether or not Sabonis can have a George-like impact on Indiana remains to be seen.

Check out other news surrounding the Pacers:

  • Pacers center Myles Turner has been diagnosed with a concussion, the team announced. He missed yesterday’s game against the Trail Blazers and will miss tonight’s contest in Miami against the Heat.
  • Pacers owner Herb Simon discussed a succession plan for the team once he is no longer in charge of the team, Gregg Doyle of The Indianapolis Star writes. Simon’s 53-year-old son, Steve, is likely to take over the team. He also spoke in-depth about the future of the team, including his thoughts on Paul George’s departure.



Eastern Rumors: Jefferson, Dedmon, Pacers, MCW

The roster spot of Cavs veteran forward Richard Jefferson is in jeopardy, according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd. The signing of Dwyane Wade gives the Cavs 16 fully guaranteed contracts, along with Kay Felder’s partial guarantee. Even if Felder is traded or released, the Cavs will have to rid themselves of a guarantee contract and Jefferson is a likely candidate, Lloyd continues. Jefferson, 37, has a $2.5MM contract but if he’s released it will cost the club approximately $10.5MM in luxury taxes since it is a repeat offender, Lloyd points out. A second-round pick may have to be packaged to move Jefferson, Lloyd adds.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Center Dewayne Dedmon probably won’t be with the Hawks beyond this season but he can help them in the short term, as Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains. Dedmon, who played with the Spurs last season, will make $6MM this season with the Hawks and holds a $6.3MM player option for next season. But Dedmon would probably benefit from testing the market again if he has a solid season, Cunningham continues. He’s adept at rolling to the basket in the pick-and-roll and he’s efficient in transition but needs to cut down on his fouls, Cunningham adds.
  • The Pacers will start Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo at guard, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic at forward, and Myles Turner at center in their preseason opener on Wednesday, coach Nate McMillan told Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star.  The surprise on the second unit, as Brown notes, is forward Damien Wilkins. The 37-year-old hasn’t played in the league since the 2012/13 season. He’s signed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.
  • Hornets backup guard Michael Carter-Williams expects to be cleared for contact early next week, he told the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell. Carter-Williams received platelet-rich plasma injections in both knees to promote healing of patella tears, Bonnell continues. He’s been restricted to noncontact drills during the first week of training camp.

Pacers Exercise 2018/19 Option On Turner

The Pacers have exercised their team option on center Myles Turner for the 2018/19 season, Keith Smith of tweets. Turner, who is locked into a salary of $2,569,920 for the upcoming season, will make $3,410,284 that season.

The team option was a mere formality for a player that has become the face of the franchise in the aftermath of the Paul George trade to the Thunder. Turner, 21, turned out to be a steal with the 11th overall pick of the 2015 draft. He started half of the 60 games he appeared in during his rookie campaign, averaging 10.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG.

Last season, Turner started 81 games and posted averages of 14.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 2.1 BPG. His shotblocking average ranked third in the league. His scoring totals should increase with the continued development of his offensive game and the departure of George.

Turner will be eligible to sign a contract extension next offseason. Indiana will likely offer a max extension, barring a major injury to Turner.

Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors has compiled a list of all rookie scale team options for the 2018/19 season. You can find it here.

Central Notes: Jackson, Turner, Pacers, Bucks

The Pistons have postseason aspirations in 2017/18 and those plans will significantly hinge on the performance of Reggie JacksonJackson is coming off an injury-riddled 2016/17 season in which he was limited to 52 games and averaged just 14.5 PPG and 5.2 APG, both totals being his lowest in a single season since his 2013/14 season with the Thunder.

With Jackson a liability last year, head coach Stan Van Gundy trotted out Ish Smith in favor of Jackson. Entering this season, Smith remains the backup to Jackson at point guard; despite their standings, Smith tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that Jackson has been working hard this summer and is showing glimpses of the player who averaged just under 19 PPG two seasons earlier.

“He’s out there in California enjoying himself, but he’s getting better,” Smith said. “He’s getting back to the Reggie Jackson everybody knows and loves.

Jackson’s coach echoed Smith’s sentiments, boasting about his point guard having a renewed confidence.

“He’s doing well and feeling good, and I think feeling confident too,” Van Gundy said. “Things are going in the right way so I’m going to go out there sometime in the next couple weeks and spend some time with him.”

Read additional stories around the NBA’s Central Division:

Pacers Notes: Teague, Bird, George

Coach Nate McMillan said Jeff Teague, who will be a free agent this offseason, wants to be back with the Pacers next season, as the team’s Twitter feed relays. The coach added that he believes he can get the best out of the point guard. “He needs to be better. I think I can make him better,” McMillan said.

Teague previously said he loves playing for the team. The point guard made $8.8MM last season in the final year of his contract. Teague will likely see a raise on that figure and the Pacers will have upwards of $32MM in cap space, as our Offseason Salary Cap Digest indicates:

  • Larry Bird has an incredible pulse on Pacers and that gives him the ability to make the best moves for the team, as Indiana’s Twitter feed passes along. “Larry [Bird] is at every practice, every game… He knows what this team needs. That was the reason he went out and got Lance [Stephenson],” McMillan said.
  • The Pacers cannot afford to add long-term money in free agency if they feel Paul George will leave next summer, Bobby Marks of The Vertical opines (video link). Indiana doesn’t currently have many long-term commitments and if George leaves, the team can build around Myles Turner and its cap space. However, if the organization makes a few bad signings, the eventual rebuild becomes more difficult.
  • McMillan expects George to return to Indiana next season, as the Indianapolis Star relays (video link). The coach added that he and George both want the same thing and that’s to win.
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