Bismack Biyombo

Injury Notes: Zion, J. Brown, Middleton, Schröder, Biyombo

Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin announced on Thursday that Zion Williamson would remain out indefinitely as he continues to deal with a right hamstring strain that has kept him sidelined since January 2.

According to Christian Clark of, Griffin clarified on Friday that Williamson will not suit up for the play-in tournament, and he might miss a potential first-round playoff series as well.

I would just say that if you looked at the logistics of where we are at, it’s not possible to get the work in that would put him in a 5-on-5 workout in time for any play-in,” Griffin said. “Based on today, our best possible outcome would be if everything lined up perfectly, maybe you’re in a position to practice prior to a first round. Or maybe during a first round. But it’s going to take more than one, right? It’s really hard. We may never get to that point, either. If it’s not a situation where those things align and he feels the way he needs to feel, we’re not going to let him go to the next phase.”

Williamson had a setback in February, which delayed his return to the court. Griffin said the All-Star forward hasn’t experienced another setback since then, but he lacks confidence in the hamstring.

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

  • Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown cut his right hand and had to get five stitches as he was picking up a glass vase he broke while watering his plants on Thursday night, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Brown expects to be ready for the playoffs, Weiss adds.
  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton had an MRI on Thursday after he aggravated a right knee injury, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Nothing showed up on the imaging and Middleton is expected to rehab for the next week “in hopes of being ready” for the postseason, according to Charania. While it’s a positive development that the MRI was clean, Charania’s wording suggests it’s no lock that Middleton will be healthy when the playoffs start on April 15.
  • Lakers guard Dennis Schröder was ruled out of Friday’s matchup with Phoenix due to “extreme neck soreness” that stemmed from “general wear and tear,” head coach Darvin Ham told reporters, including Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). The team had previously listed Schröder as questionable due to neck spasms.
  • Suns center Bismack Biyombo was in a lot of pain and needed assistance to leave the court after taking knee-to-knee contact in Friday’s matchup with the Lakers. He was later ruled out for the remainder of the contest with a right knee injury, as Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports relays (All Twitter links).

Suns Notes: Durant, Ayton, Booker, Shamet

The Suns won their first three games with Kevin Durant in the lineup, but they’ve gone into a skid since his injury that could put them in danger of falling into the play-in tournament, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix is just 2-4 since Durant sprained his left ankle during warmups two weeks ago. The Suns are still fourth in the Western Conference standings, but they’re just two-and-a-half games away from the seventh spot, which is currently occupied by the Thunder and Mavericks.

Durant will miss his seventh straight game tonight, and although he recently started participating in shootarounds, there’s no indication of when he might be able to return. He’s scheduled for a medical reevaluation later this month, according to Rankin.

“We have some things to clean up,” Devin Booker said of the team’s recent play. “We know roles are going to change when KD comes back, but polishing everything up before he comes back is important, too.”

There’s more on the Suns:

  • Deandre Ayton will miss his second straight game tonight with a hip contusion he suffered last Thursday, Rankin adds. Bismack Biyombo took over as the starting center in Sunday’s game at Oklahoma City, and coach Monty Williams expressed confidence in his backups’ ability to contribute while the stars are injured. “You obviously need the guys that are important to the program, but all of our guys are,” Williams said. “That’s why player development, being ready to play is important also. That doesn’t diminish what Kevin and DA bring to the table. We all understand that, but we’ve prided ourselves having guys ready to play.”
  • With 11 games remaining, Booker understands that the Suns need to finish strong to give themselves the best possible chance in the playoffs, Rankin states in another Arizona Republic story. “You want homecourt advantage,” Booker said. “Honestly, if that’s not the case, I’m fine, too. I don’t think you want to be in the play-in. I think them adding the play-in kind of dices things up. It’s a one-game thing, but we just want to be there.”
  • Landry Shamet provides a balance of offense and defense that could lead to an important role for the rest of the season, observes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Bourguet assesses the strengths and weaknesses of all the Suns’ wing options and notes that Durant’s injury has prevented Williams from establishing a set rotation around his top four players.

Suns Notes: Ayton, Crowder, Saric, Obama

When the Suns announced on Saturday that Deandre Ayton had sustained a sprained left ankle, the team indicated that its starting center would be reevaluated in one week. However, it appears that Ayton may be able to return before hitting that one-week mark.

Suns head coach Monty Williams told reporters on Thursday that he didn’t have a “definitive answer” on whether Ayton would be available for Friday’s game vs. Portland, but the big man practiced in full on Thursday and has been listed as probable for tonight’s game, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

Reserve centers Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale have handled the five spot in Ayton’s absence, with Biyombo replacing the former No. 1 overall pick in the starting lineup. Biyombo blocked a total of nine shots in his two starts.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • With Jae Crowder still on the Suns’ roster nearly a month-and-a-half after he and the Suns reached an agreement to work together to seek out a trade for the veteran forward, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports puts together a few hypothetical Crowder packages, exploring what deals with the Wizards, Jazz, Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, Clippers, and Spurs might look like.
  • After missing the entire 2021/22 season due to a torn ACL, Dario Saric hasn’t been part of Phoenix’s rotation so far this season, logging just seven total minutes in two appearances this season. The Suns forward, who averaged 21.6 MPG in 116 games from 2019-21 before getting injured, is trying not to get discouraged by his lack of playing time, Rankin writes for The Arizona Republic. “I try to come into the gym every day, work hard,” Saric said. “Keep my conditioning up and wait for my chance or come in and have some positive things on the court, but it’s not easy. I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy when it’s not. I don’t know. Just try to keep conditioning up and do whatever I can control.”
  • Appearing at a political rally in Phoenix, former U.S. president Barack Obama addressed rumors that he’s part of a prospective ownership group with interest in buying the Suns, neither confirming nor outright denying that claim. “I didn’t know I was in the market and, by the way, neither did Michelle,” Obama said, per Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “But I will say this. The Suns are looking pretty good. I’ve got to admit that. I think they have a few more wins than my Bulls right now.”

Pacific Notes: Biyombo, Wiseman, Haliburton, Vezenkov

According to Suns center Bismack Biyombo, “winning teams” showed interest in him in free agency and he potentially could’ve made more money elsewhere, but he’s comfortable in Phoenix and believes the team’s system allows him to “excel,” writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

Biyombo also said that he’s looking forward to being a Sun from day one this season after joining the team midway through the 2021/22 campaign.

“All the structure was set, and you’re kind of catching a rhythm of a team and trying to join the dance,” Biyombo said. “I think it’s always good to start the dance at the beginning, which is training camp. Have a better understanding of the team.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Warriors center James Wiseman looked good in his return to the court on Sunday in Las Vegas, scoring 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and blocking a couple shots in 19 minutes, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. It’s an encouraging first step for the former No. 2 overall pick, who missed the entire 2021/22 season due to a knee injury. “Walking into the locker room after the game and all the players cheering for him I think he can kind of (say), ‘Ah, I can breathe again,'” Warriors Summer League coach Jama Mahlalela told ESPN. “Every conversation I have with him is, ‘I am so proud of you but now the real work begins.'”
  • Now a member of the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton says he still has love for Sacramento, despite unexpectedly being traded to Indiana prior to the 2022 deadline. Haliburton told Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 in Sacramento (video link) that his feelings toward the Kings organization and Kings fans are “completely different” from one another.
  • After having his NBA rights acquired by the Kings in June, Olympiacos forward Sasha Vezenkov had reportedly planned to meet with the team in Las Vegas this month. However, Vezenkov isn’t traveling stateside after all, according to Vangelis Ioannou of, and he recently made comments hinting he may remain in Greece for the 2022/23 season, per Antonis Stroggylakis of Vezenkov has an NBA opt-out deadline of July 20 in his deal with Olympiacos, so he’ll have another nine days to see if he and the Kings can work out a deal. Sacramento has a small portion of its mid-level exception available to offer the 26-year-old more than two years, or could dip into its bi-annual exception to offer a two-year deal worth more than the rookie minimum.

Bismack Biyombo Re-Signs With Suns

JULY 3: Biyombo has officially re-signed with the Suns, according to’s transactions log. That means it’s a minimum-salary deal for the veteran big man, since minimum signings can be completed during the July moratorium.

JULY 2: The Suns are re-signing free agent center Bismack Biyombo, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Biyombo, 29, appeared in 36 regular-season games last season for Phoenix, averaging 5.8 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 14.1 MPG. Biyombo, who spent the bulk of his NBA career with Charlotte, also appeared in nine playoff games last season.

Biyombo provides depth in the middle with Deandre Ayton‘s status with the franchise still very much up in the air.

Biyombo joined Phoenix last season on a 10-day contract, then signed a rest-of-the-season deal in early January for the prorated veteran’s minimum.

Pacific Notes: Biyombo, LaVine, Holmes, Kings

Suns center Bismack Biyombo expects to be fined for his altercation with Mavericks big man Marquese Chriss in the closing seconds of Tuesday’s game. They both ran down the same tunnel after being ejected and had to be separated by security. Biyombo explained his side of the incident in a video posted by Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“I think it was nothing serious,” Biyombo said, adding that Chriss seemed upset that Phoenix was still trying to score with the game already in hand. “… I think when we play here they play all the way until the end, and I think that’s understandable. It’s the playoffs, you know.”

Any fines or suspensions will be announced sometime in advance of Thursday night’s Game 6. Biyombo is only averaging 8.6 minutes in seven games in this year’s playoffs and Chriss is at 3.8 minutes in four games, so any disciplinary action won’t have a significant impact on the series.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers may be a long shot to land free agent guard Zach LaVine, but they shouldn’t be discounted entirely, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. There has been speculation this week that LaVine may be interested in joining the Trail Blazers, but L.A. could be another option if he wants to head west, particularly since LaVine is represented by Klutch Sports. Pincus examines potential trades involving the Bulls, Thunder, Pacers and Magic that could clear LaVine’s path to the Lakers if he decides he wants to join them.
  • Kings big man Richaun Holmes has won a court victory in the custody battle that led to him missing the season’s final 11 games for personal reasons, according to James Ham of ESPN 1320. Holmes was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife, but judges in Los Angeles and Georgia ruled in his favor, granting him sole physical and legal custody of his son.
  • The Kings hosted six players Wednesday in their second round of pre-draft workouts, Ham tweets. On hand were Grayson Murphy of Belmont, AJ Green of Northern Iowa, Jalen Adaway of St. Bonaventure, Buddy Boeheim of Syracuse, Keve Aluma of Virginia Tech and Grant Golden of Richmond. Sacramento owns two second-round picks at No. 37 and 48. Its first-round pick will be determined by next week’s lottery.

Mavs’ Chriss, Suns’ Biyombo Separated In Tunnel Following Ejections

Mavericks forward Marquese Chriss followed Suns center Bismack Biyombo off the court and into the tunnel after the two players were ejected near the end of Phoenix’s Game 5 win on Tuesday night, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN details.

With the Suns up by 28 and just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Biyombo went up for a dunk and was fouled hard by Chriss (video link). The two big men exchanged words and had to be separated, as referees assessed technical fouls to both players and immediately ejected them from the game.

When Biyombo exited through the tunnel toward the Suns’ locker room, Chriss followed him instead of heading into the tunnel on the opposite side of the court. As McMenamin writes, several members of the teams’ security staffs – along with Mavs center Boban Marjanovic – ran after the two players.

Chriss and Biyombo were separated by the Suns’ security team before any physical contact was made, according to TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce (Twitter link). Chriss was then escorted back through the tunnel and toward the opposite end of the court.

“I get the competitiveness of the game, but we’re just trying to win the game,” Suns coach Monty Williams said during his postgame media session, per McMenamin. “All the stuff that happens that’s extra-curricular, I don’t have anything to say about that. I understand how chippy it can be. We just want to win the game and that’s it. We’re trying to get one more win, and that’s our focus right now.”

While the confrontation didn’t come to blows, it seems likely the NBA will review the incident — it’s possible one or both players could face a fine.

The Suns lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Thursday in Dallas.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Biyombo, Westbrook, Poole

The Suns are surging despite missing star point guard Chris Paul (thumb fracture), going 9-4 in the games they’ve played without him, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Phoenix owns the league’s best record at 57-14, leading the second-place Grizzlies by 8.5 games.

“We know how talented this team is and we always pride ourselves on that,” Devin Booker said. “I always say nobody can replace what Chris does out there. We know how much we’re going to need him when it comes into this playoff run, but in the meantime, we’re just trying to hold it down.”

Phoenix is coming off its first NBA Finals appearance since 1993. The team lost to Milwaukee in six games, but it kept most of its core for this season. It has the chemistry, motivation and talent to make a title run — though it’ll be important to have a fully healthy team.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific:

  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype hosted a Q&A with Suns center Bismack Biyombo, who discussed how and why he’s donating his salary, why he fits in well with the team, and several other topics. Biyombo signed a 10-day hardship deal with Phoenix in January, impressing the club enough to earn a rest-of-season commitment. The 11-year veteran has averaged 6.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game.
  • The Lakers embraced Russell Westbrook‘s feel-good moment in Toronto, rallying behind him after he helped the team earn an overtime win on Friday with a game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. “One of the highlights of our season – and it’s been a tough season for us, and specifically for him,” head coach Frank Vogel said. Contrary to public perception, Westbrook’s shooting percentages have only dipped slightly from last season, but his 15.7 shot attempts per game represent his lowest mark since 2009/10.
  • Warriors guard Jordan Poole is proving he’s ready for the NBA spotlight, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Poole is averaging a career-best 17.1 points on 46% shooting this season, establishing himself as a valuable scoring threat in his third season.

And-Ones: Brown, Brogdon, Biyombo, Udoka, Snyder, Russia, Smith

Jaylen Brown, Malcolm Brogdon and Bismack Biyombo have been re-elected as VPs on the National Basketball Players Association’s Executive Committee, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. They’ll serve new three-year terms, according to the players’ union.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Celtics’ Ime Udoka and Jazz‘s Quin Snyder were named Coaches of the Month for February, NBA Communications tweets. Boston had a 9-2 record during the month, while Utah went 8-1.
  • In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the NBA has suspended all activities in Russia, Mark J. Burns of the Sports Business Journal tweets. According to Burns’ source, that includes activities related to content distribution such as digital and broadcast. There is no timeline on when business activities will resume in Russia.
  • Forward Roscoe Smith, who has appeared in 149 G League games, has signed in Palestine with Orthodoxi Beit Jala, agent Derek James of Global Pipeline Agency told JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Johnson, Bazemore, Craig, Biyombo

Magic Johnson stepped down from his post as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations in 2019 but team owner Jeanie Buss still leans on the Hall-of-Famer for advice, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic. “To me, he’s still working with us,” Buss said. “In terms of an official capacity, in the NBA, you have to be very clear as to who can negotiate on your behalf and who can’t. So he doesn’t have that official designation. But in terms of his support, his wisdom, his insight, I freely call on him as needed.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kent Bazemore hasn’t been part of the Lakers rotation since mid-November and hasn’t played since February 3. However, he’s not sulking over his lack of playing time, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times writes. “Some nights, it gets hard having to hold back that competitive nature. Especially if a guy gets going, I know defensively, I made a living off of taking guys out of the game, shutting off the water, so to speak. That gets the best of me sometimes,” Bazemore said. “But that’s just the competitor in me. … I’m doing what I love. I don’t mind putting in the work for it, even though I’m out of the rotation.”
  • The Suns wanted to bring back Torrey Craig during the offseason but prioritized signing JaVale McGee with their mid-level exception, John Gambadoro of of 98.7 FM Phoenix tweets. Craig found a two-year deal with Indiana before the contract with McGee was finalized. Craig was traded back to Phoenix last week. The Suns still have a portion of the mid-level available to use on the buyout market, Gambadoro adds.
  • Craig said the trade back to the Suns was a deadline-day surprise to him, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. “It just happened so fast,” Craig said. “I was literally practicing in Indiana and then I noticed it was an hour before the trade deadline. Came to my phone and I had a couple of missed calls from my agent. And then he called me and told me (the) situation and I was like, wow. It had just happened. It was a quick turnaround. I packed and I came here. I’m excited to be back.”  
  • Bismack Biyombo told his agent, former NBA player B.J. Armstrong, that he only wanted to sign with a title contender in free agency, Marc Spears of The Undefeated reports. “That was the hardest part,” Biyombo said. “I talked to my agent and I said, ‘Look, the only way I will do it is for a contender. Otherwise, I’m not doing it.’ Biyombo remained unsigned until a 10-day with Phoenix under the hardship exception. He later signed a rest-of-the-season deal with the Suns last month.