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Kyle Lowry To Undergo Wrist Surgery, Aims To Return For Playoffs

2:22pm: Sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link) that Lowry has a chance to return in four or five weeks and play in regular season games prior to the postseason.

2:11pm: Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry is scheduled to undergo wrist surgery on Tuesday morning to remove loose bodies from his wrist, the team announced today (via Twitter). While an exact timeline for Lowry’s recovery isn’t provided, the club suggests that he’s aiming to return for the playoffs, so it sounds like the All-Star guard will be sidelined for at least a few weeks, if not longer.

As we noted on Saturday after Lowry was originally ruled out indefinitely, the 30-year-old injured his wrist prior to the All-Star break, but participated in the three-point contest and the All-Star Game in New Orleans since he didn’t think it was a serious issue.

“Honestly, I thought I’d slept on it wrong — I thought it would go away,” Lowry said last week. “It was a little sore, but I paid no attention to it.”

Without Lowry in the lineup, the Raptors have won their first two games following the All-Star break. Cory Joseph has started in Lowry’s spot, DeMar DeRozan has averaged 38 points per game, and newcomers Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker have fit in well. Still, Lowry has been the Raptors’ most important player in recent years, and his absence will be felt by the team in the coming weeks. As NBA.com’s advanced stats show, the club has a +8.0 net rating this season when Lowry is on the court, and a -3.5 rating when he’s not.

Lowry, who is earning a $12MM salary this season, has a $12MM player option for 2017/18. This injury is unlikely to affect his decision on that option — he’ll turn it down, though the Raptors are viewed as a strong favorite to re-sign him.

Joakim Noah Likely To Miss Rest Of Season

2:03pm: The Knicks have confirmed that Noah underwent a left knee arthroscopy today to remove a loose body (Twitter link). According to the team, Noah will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks, though I imagine the center would only try to get back on the court this season if the Knicks push for a playoff spot. They’re currently four games back of the No. 8 seed, with four teams to pass.

11:01am: Knicks center Joakim Noah is expected to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, which would sideline him for the remainder of the 2016/17 season, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Noah’s injury, which has kept him out of action for most of February, had been classified as hamstring soreness, but it seems his knee is an issue as well.

Noah, who turned 32 on Saturday, signed a four-year, $72MM contract with the Knicks last summer. New York received some criticism at the time for that deal, and it doesn’t look any better now than it did then. Noah has struggled to produce for his new team this season, averaging 5.0 PPG and 8.7 RPG in 46 games (all starts). As NBA.com’s advanced stats show, the Knicks have a -6.0 net rating with Noah on the court, compared to -2.5 when he’s on the bench.

Assuming Noah is indeed ruled out for the season, he’ll join Brandon Jennings in having played his last game for the Knicks this year. Unlike Jennings though, Noah won’t be released, since he still has three more years left on his contract.

Jazz, Favors Unlikely To Renegotiate Contract Before Deadline

The Jazz and Derrick Favors are unlikely to renegotiate and extend the big man’s contract before Tuesday’s deadline, Favors’ agent tells Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Assuming his contract is unchanged this week, Favors will remain on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2018.

There are only about two dozen NBA veterans currently eligible for contract extensions, since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement won’t take effect until July and the old CBA is fairly restrictive on extensions. Of those veterans eligible for an extension, fewer still are eligible to have their contracts renegotiated. However, Favors and teammate George Hill are intriguing renegotiation candidates due to Utah’s salary cap situation.

Generally speaking, players are limited to small raises on veteran extensions, which would dissuade guys like Favors ($11.05MM salary) and Hill ($8MM salary) from working out a new deal early. However, teams below the cap have the option to give a player an immediate raise using cap room, allowing for a more lucrative extension. And as we noted on Saturday, no NBA team is further below the cap in 2016/17 than the Jazz, who have about $13.64MM in cap room. So if Utah wanted to extend either Favors or Hill, the team could use that leftover cap space to bump one of the two up to a near-max salary, and tack on extra years from there.

The deadline for teams to complete contract renegotiations is February 28, so the clock is ticking for the Jazz and their extension candidates. For Favors, at least, it looks like such a deal probably isn’t in the cards. It’s possible that Utah is focused on Hill instead, but I’d expect the veteran point guard to want to explore the open market now that he’s so close to free agency — while Favors has an additional year left on his contract, Hill’s deal expires at season’s end.

Knicks Cut Brandon Jennings, Sign Chasson Randle

11:50am: The Knicks have officially confirmed Jennings’ release and Randle’s new deal, tweeting a photo of the rookie guard signing his contract.

7:23am: The Knicks are set to cut ties with veteran guard Brandon Jennings, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). After waiving Jennings, the club will use its open roster spot to sign free agent guard Chasson Randle, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter).

Randle, who went undrafted in 2015, appeared headed toward a roster spot with the Knicks in October, but was waived after suffering an orbital bone fracture. Randle subsequently joined New York’s D-League squad as an affiliate player, and a solid showing in Westchester earned him an audition with the Sixers, which in turn led to two 10-day contracts and a rest-of-season deal. However, he lost his roster spot last week when the club needed to clear a spot to complete its Nerlens Noel trade with Dallas.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Randle will ink a multiyear deal with the Knicks that features a partial guarantee for the 2017/18 season.

As for Jennings, the former 10th overall pick signed a one-year, $5MM contract with the Knicks last summer, and has averaged 8.6 PPG and 4.9 APG in 58 games for the club, with a .380/.340/.756 shooting line. Per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (via Twitter), Jennings recently informed the Knicks that he’d like to join a playoff team, so the Knicks will release him to potentially give him that opportunity.

If Jennings clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with any team, but as Bobby Marks of The Vertical observes (via Twitter), that $5MM contract could be appealing to teams below the salary floor, since there’s only about $1.2MM left to pay on it. We identified the teams below the floor over the weekend, including the Jazz ($4.23MM below) and Wolves ($3.24MM below).

Hornets Sign Briante Weber To 10-Day Deal

FEBRUARY 27: The Hornets have officially signed Weber to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. Charlotte now has a full 15-man roster.

FEBRUARY 26: Briante Weber, whose 10-day contract with the Warriors expired Saturday, will sign a similar deal with the Hornets, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com.

Weber appeared in seven games during his two 10-day stints in Golden State, averaging 1.7 points in 6.6 minutes per night. The Warriors elected not to sign him for the rest of the season, reportedly to open up a roster spot to add Jose Calderon, who is discussing buyout options with the Lakers.

The Hornets had two roster spots to fill after 10-day contracts for Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey expired Friday. Both players have returned to the D-League. Charlotte signed power forward Johnny O’Bryant to a 10-day contract Friday afternoon.

The Hornets will be the fourth stop for Weber in his brief NBA career. He played six games for the Grizzlies and one for the Heat last season.

Joel Embiid Out Indefinitely

Joel Embiid didn’t take part in the Sixers’ shootaround today, and the team is now listing him as out “indefinitely” after he experienced some swelling and soreness in his injured knee (Twitter links via Sixers and Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com).

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Sixers had announced that Embiid would miss at least the first four games of the second half, but it now appears that his absence will extend beyond March 1. The young center is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee this afternoon, per Camerato.

For the Sixers, the news comes on the heels of Friday’s announcement that No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons won’t make his NBA debut until next season, having been ruled out for the remainder of 2016/17. While Philadelphia fans may be disappointed not to see the highly-touted duo of Embiid and Simmons on the court together this season, there’s no need for the team to rush either player back, since a playoff spot is almost certainly out of reach — the Sixers are 5.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Pistons, with four other non-playoff teams ahead of them.

The Sixers provided an update on Simmons today as well, announcing (via Twitter) that he underwent a minor procedure – a bone marrow injection, per Camerato (via Twitter) – to stimulate bone growth and accelerate healing. Simmons is expected to resume training by the end of the week.

Nets Waive Luis Scola

The Nets have waived veteran big man Luis Scola, the team announced today in a press release. The move, which opens up a spot on Brooklyn’s roster, will allow Scola to retain playoff eligibility if he joins a new team, since he was waived prior to March 1.

“We appreciate everything Luis has done for our team this year,” GM Sean Marks said in a statement (Twitter link). “His approach and dedication to the game will continue to serve as lasting models for our young players. While we would have loved for Luis to be with us for the remainder of the season, we felt that he deserved the opportunity to contribute to a playoff contender.”

Scola, who will turn 37 in April, inked a one-year, $5.5MM deal with the Nets last summer. In 36 games this season, his numbers are not far off his career averages on a per-minute basis. However, he has played a career-low 12.8 minutes per contest, resulting in career worsts in several other categories, including PPG (5.1) and RPG (3.9).

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical explains (via Twitter), Scola’s $5.5MM contract featured $500K in incentives which will be removed from his cap charge. Assuming Scola clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with any team, while the Nets will be on the hook for his salary.

It remains to be seen how Brooklyn will use its newly-opened roster spot, but adding a young player on a 10-day contract would make sense.

Hawks Waive Lamar Patterson

The Hawks have waived Lamar Patterson, according to a team press release. Atlanta and Patterson agreed to the release in order to allow Patterson to tend to a personal matter.

The team recently signed Patterson to a two-year deal, though his contract only was partially guaranteed. The team also signed Ryan Kelly, a move which brought the team’s roster count to 15 players, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. After waiving, Patterson, the team’s roster is at 14 players, which means Atlanta has the ability to examine the buyout market in search of a possible contributor.

Patterson played 40 games for the Hawks over the last two seasons. He’s averaging 2.3 points in 10.9 minutes per game.

 

Andrew Bogut Expected To Join Cavaliers

Andrew Bogut is expected to join the Cavaliers once he reaches a buyout agreement with the Sixers, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cleveland is expected to add Deron Williams on Monday and it currently has only one open roster spot, so the team will need to make a corresponding move should it plan to add both players.

Bogut was sent to Philadelphia as part of the Nerlens Noel trade, but he hasn’t reported to the team. He must be waived before Wednesday’s deadline in order to be eligible for postseason play, per league rules. He has spoken to Sixer coach Brett Brown, explaining his desire to play for a championship contender and a buyout agreement is considered likely.

Cleveland is among the five teams which reportedly reached out to Bogut’s representatives. The Spurs, Rockets, Celtics and Jazz were also interested in adding the Australian big man.

Bogut has battled injuries this season, but when he’s healthy, he remains one of the better interior defenders in the league. ESPN’s Real Defensive Plus/Minus ranks him as the second-best center in the league on defensive this season.

Mavs Sign Quinn Cook To 10-Day Contract

FEBRUARY 26: The Mavericks have formally signed Cook to a 10-day deal, the team announced today in a press release. With Ben Bentil‘s signing also official, the club now has a full 15-man roster.

FEBRUARY 24: The Mavericks are expected to sign Quinn Cook to a 10-day contract, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports. The development was foreshadowed by Eddie Sefko of Dallas News, who reported that Cook was on a list of possible 10-day contract candidates.

Cook, 23, has yet to make his NBA debut but excelled with the Canton Charge this season- averaging 26.1 points on 47.7% shooting through 35 games. The former Blue Devil signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Pelicans entering training camp, and was waived in October despite an impressive preseason.

It remains to be seen when Dallas will formally announce the signing.

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