Cody Martin

Injury Notes: Curry, Martin, Booker, Craig, Giannis, Markkanen

The Hornets will be without injured wings Seth Curry and Cody Martin for at least two weeks, the team announced on Monday (Twitter link). Both players were injured in Friday’s loss to Philadelphia, with Curry spraining his right ankle and Martin suffering a left ankle sprain.

The banged-up Hornets had already been playing without a pair of key starters in LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams. Martin had been a fixture in the starting lineup for the better part of the past two months, while Curry got his first start on Friday since being traded to Charlotte at last month’s deadline.

It’s an unfortunate setback for Martin, who missed most of last season and the first two months of this season due to a knee issue. The Hornets guard/forward had been looking more like his old self in recent weeks before heading back to the injured list over the weekend.

As for Curry, this injury clouds his availability for a showdown vs. the Warriors in Charlotte later this month. That game is expected to reunite Seth with his brother Stephen Curry and their father Dell Curry (a Hornets broadcaster) in the city where the brothers grew up. If Seth is ready to return – or at least close to returning – when he’s reevaluated in two weeks, he could still suit up for that March 29 game.

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

  • Sources told Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic on Monday that Devin Booker‘s recovery timeline for his sprained right ankle is expected to be in the range of five-to-14 days, with five days as a best-case outcome and two weeks representing a worst-case scenario. Earlier in the day on Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic had projected a seven-to-10 day timeline for the Suns guard.
  • Injured Bulls wing Torrey Craig is ramping up his activity as he makes his way back from a right knee sprain, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, who says Craig was doing individual work on Monday. Head coach Billy Donovan told reporters that the veteran will be on a minutes restriction upon his return, which may not be far off. “I don’t know about this road trip, (but) it’s not out of the question,” Donovan said. “A lot of it depends on how he continues to progress, but I think the medical guys are pretty optimistic of where he is at this point and time, so he’s definitely progressing closer and closer to playing.”
  • A pair of star forwards sat out on Monday, as Giannis Antetokounmpo (left Achilles tendinitis) missed the Bucks‘ game against the Clippers while Lauri Markkanen (right quad contusion) was unavailable for the Jazz‘s matchup with the Wizards (Twitter links via Eric Nehm of The Athletic and Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune). There’s no indication at this point that either injury is more significant than a day-to-day issue.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Bridges, Fultz, Coulibaly

Injuries and losses continue to pile up for the Hornets after a brief upturn last month, but head coach Steve Clifford won’t consider tanking over the final 21 games, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

With five rotation members sidelined, Charlotte dropped a close game at Toronto on Sunday night for its fifth loss in the last six games. At 15-46, the Hornets have the league’s fourth-worst record and are two games ahead of San Antonio for a chance to become one of three teams with the best odds at the No. 1 pick, but Clifford doesn’t want to approach the rest of the season that way.

“Look, we’re shorthanded and there’s a big difference between in some of the games you play, there’s going to be a real challenge to win,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean you play losing basketball. And there’s a big difference between teams that just pack it in and teams that play the right way and win. And I think as an organization, I think trying to win every game is a big thing.”

Seth Curry, Cody Martin and Nick Richards are the latest additions to Charlotte’s injured list, and they were on the bench in street clothes Sunday along with LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams. Boone notes that two-way players Amari Bailey and Leaky Black have been called up to provide some depth, and Marques Bolden was re-signed to a two-way contract last week two days after being waived.

Clifford points out that the remainder of the season will be crucial for those inexperienced players as they try to establish themselves in the NBA, and he doesn’t want to expose them to a culture that’s focused on losing.

“With younger players, to me, it’s absolutely critical that they understand the importance of getting better every day,” Clifford said. “I’m a firm believer, especially for younger guys, that their first experience is the way they view the league, the way they have to be taught how to be a good NBA player. I think they have to gain an understanding of how to win.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Miles Bridges didn’t experience any customs issues during this trip to Canada, Boone tweets. The Hornets forward was denied access to the country during the team’s December 18 visit because of his legal issues.
  • Markelle Fultz was the only Magic reserve to score in double figures Sunday night as he continues to come off the bench after missing three games due to an aching left knee. Fultz told Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel that he isn’t concerned about not starting (Twitter link). “If I’m in the game, [I’m] playing as hard as I can,” Fultz said. “But I don’t really care about that, man. I care about winning any way possible.”
  • After missing three games with a pelvic contusion, rookie Bilal Coulibaly isn’t on the Wizards‘ injury report for tonight’s game at Utah, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Southeast Notes: Pokusevski, Curry, Martin, Forrest, Wizards

The Hornets signed young forward Aleksej Pokusevski to a two-year contract which is non-guaranteed for the 2024/25 season, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto (Twitter link). Charlotte will get a chance to monitor the 7’0″ forward and see if he can live up to his former 17th overall draft selection status.

Pokusevski became the fourth former Thunder player to join the Hornets after the deadline, joining Vasilije Micic, Tre Mann, and Davis Bertans. According to Sam Perley of (Twitter link), those connections are helping him feel comfortable in his new home.

It feels good,” Pokusevski said. “The guys are great. [Having former OKC teammates here] makes it easier. Vasa, Tre, Bertāns. It feels better that I can talk to the guys that I know and they can explain how things are going here.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets guards Seth Curry (right ankle) and Cody Martin (left ankle) exited the second half of Charlotte’s Friday matchup against the Sixers due to injuries, according to team PR (Twitter link). They will both be evaluated on Saturday.
  • Hawks guard Trent Forrest is seeing his hard work pay off after getting his two-way contract converted into a standard deal, writes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Lauren Williams (subscriber link). According to Williams (Twitter links), coach Quin Snyder lauded Forrest’s progression and work ethic. “He’s just he’s been a guy that’s, it’s hard to, have durability and in this league and Trent’s, a guy that’s continuing to work to put himself in a position where he is where he is right now,” Snyder said. “And I say that with full confidence that he’s going to continue to work. And that’s one of the things that we really appreciate about him. Happy for him. I think he he’s earned everything everybody’s given him in this profession.
  • As the Wizards continue to deal with injuries, their bench players are starting to see more opportunities, according to The Washington Post’s Ava Wallace (subscriber link). Eugene Omoruyi, Jules Bernard, Jared Butler, Johnny Davis, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Justin Champagnie have all received first-quarter minutes as of late. Omoruyi was promoted to a standard deal from his two-way contract on Friday. “Right now, it’s a lot of discovery,Kyle Kuzma said. “Trying to figure out what a lot of guys do, what they can do, what they can’t do, what they bring to winning basketball.

Southeast Notes: Adebayo, Wright, C. Martin, Magic Rookies

Bam Adebayo will become the first Heat player to start in an All-Star Game since Dwyane Wade did it in 2016, having been named to the Eastern Conference starting lineup by head coach Doc Rivers as an injury replacement for Joel Embiid, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

As Rivers observed on Saturday, with the East’s All-Star roster relatively heavy on guards and wings, Adebayo was the most obvious choice to replace Embiid in the middle.

“My lineup decision was easy,” Rivers said. “I looked at Big Joel out, what other (center) do we have on the team, and Bam got the honor. It’s good for him, too. It’s funny, I told him in locker room. He didn’t know. I thought he knew because I told the league yesterday that he did know. You could tell he was very happy about it.”

As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes, Adebayo had already joined an exclusive group by becoming the sixth player in franchise history to earn three All-Star nods as a member of the Heat, joining Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. However, Sunday will be his first All-Star start.

“It’s going to be a dope experience,” Adebayo said. “Just going to really cherish that moment and thankful to God and all the people who support me through all the ups and downs. We’ve added something new to our list.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • In a separate story for The Miami Herald, Chiang examines how Delon Wright will help the Heat once the veteran guard clears waivers and officially signs with the team. Wright may not play a significant role when Miami’s roster is fully healthy, Chiang acknowledges, but he’s a talented defender who takes care of the ball on offense (82 assists to 11 turnovers this season) and will upgrade the club’s depth.
  • Cody Martin has been beset by injuries since finalizing a four-year, $31MM deal with the Hornets in 2022, but he’s finally healthy and is producing like Charlotte hoped he would when he signed that contract, notes ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link). Lowe refers to Martin as a tough and selfless player who would have real trade value if he finishes this season strong, given his team-friendly contract ($8.12MM guaranteed in 2024/25; $8.68MM non-guaranteed in ’25/26).
  • Anthony Black has played a far more significant role this season than fellow Magic lottery pick Jett Howard, but the team’s front office remains “really excited” about both players, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman tells Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. “Jett’s done really well in Osceola,” Weltman said, referring to the Magic’s G League affiliate. “Those guys are on different paths right now but we’re very high on Jett as well. He’s got a lot of gifts.”

Hornets Notes: Miller, Washington, Martin, Play-In Chances

Not much has gone right for the Hornets this season, but Brandon Miller is looking like a solid choice with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The 21-year-old forward out of Alabama may not be part of the Rookie of the Year discussion, but he quickly won a starting job and is averaging 14.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists through 29 games.

“It doesn’t even feel like he’s a rookie,” teammate Miles Bridges said. “He knows the insides and outs of the game. He plays with amazing pace, which is not something that a rookie plays with. So he’s been very good with us and he’s going to be great within the next few years and I’m just excited to see how he grows.”

Along with making the adjustment to the NBA, Miller has been forced to take on different roles as the Hornets deal with a constant string of injuries. The team didn’t expect him to be a featured part of its offense so soon, but the absences of LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward and others have made it necessary.

“With all the injuries he’s become more of a primary scorer,” coach Steve Clifford said. “He gets more play calls and also the other part of it now is with these other guys being out, he’s getting more primary defenders guarding him.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • The Hornets’ injury list got larger when P.J. Washington left Friday’s game at Chicago at the end of the first quarter, Boone notes in a separate story for the Observer. Washington landed on Nathan Mensah’s foot and had trouble putting weight on his right leg.
  • Cody Martin made his second consecutive start Friday night, Boone adds. Martin’s role has been expanding since he returned to the lineup two weeks ago after a nearly year-long absence due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. “He’s made a big difference for our team,” Clifford said. “Our defense has gotten a lot better and he’s a professional player. So, I think it’s going to take him a little time to get back to what he’ll do. But he’s worked so hard. He’s done everything he can do since he’s been out.”
  • The Hornets have been stuck in 13th place for much of the season, but they haven’t given up on the possibility of reaching the play-in tournament, Boone states in another piece. Charlotte is six games behind 10th-place Chicago, and the players believe they can make a move once the roster is closer to full strength. “It’s the beginning of January,” Bridges said. “We have a big month here, build off that in February and we could be in play-in talk. So we just want to continue to get better.”

Hornets Notes: Martin, Miller, Injuries, Smith

A nearly year-long absence ended for Hornets forward Cody Martin when he returned to the court Saturday night, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Martin came off the bench to score six points in 17 minutes in his first NBA game since January 14.

After appearing in just seven games last season, Martin had a long road back after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Boone notes that he was limited to individual drills in training camp and has been slowly increasing his activity level to the point where he was recently able to be a full participant in practice.

“Specifics-wise, I could go and talk about it all day with just trying to figure out what the exact reasoning is, and the reality of it is I know that I wasn’t right,” said Martin, who admits to being frustrated by the slow recovery process. “My body wasn’t feeling good. I was having pain and I wasn’t feeling like myself. And it was a variety of different things. It’s tough, especially when you are out that long. It’s tough when you know you are not yourself and you are preparing and doing everything you can, and you are still not there. You want to get back out there, but in reality you are not helping yourself or helping your team. So the best thing I can do is make sure that I am myself so that I can contribute the way I need to.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Even with Martin’s return, the Hornets continue to be plagued by injuries, Boone states in a separate story. With starters LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams and Terry Rozier already sidelined, the team got another scare as rookie Brandon Miller was forced out of Saturday’s game when Denver’s Peyton Watson landed on him after a drive to the basket in the first quarter. Miller didn’t return to the game and is considered day-to-day with a sprained right ankle.
  • The injuries have contributed to a seven-game losing streak, but the players believe they can be much better than their current 7-20 record if the roster ever gets healthy, Boone adds. The Hornets have 114 missed games due to injuries, second only to Memphis, and seven players have been inactive for five or more. “Our defense and our rebounding is getting better,” Miles Bridges said. “So we’ve just got to build off that and when we get those guys back it will help us even more so we can start putting these Ws up.”
  • Nick Smith Jr. thrilled the Charlotte crowd with a 17-point outburst in the fourth quarter Saturday night, per Shane Connuck of The Charlotte Observer. The rookie guard has seen limited playing time, but he showed he’s capable of providing an offensive spark. “He’s got to get better at the other things so that the team functions well when he’s out on the court; he knows that,” coach Steve Clifford said. “But he’s a shot maker. And tonight, he got going.”

Southeast Notes: Carter, Wizards, Ball, Martin

The Magic welcomed back starting center Wendell Carter Jr. this week after he missed 20 games due to surgery on a fractured bone in his left hand, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Carter got an immediate test with games on back-to-back nights against Miami and Milwaukee, and he said he’s still getting used to being on the court again.

“It’s solid,” Carter responded when asked how his hand is feeling. “I go through my stretches where I’m just more timid than anything but constantly being out there, I’ll get over it. … Walking right into a back-to-back after missing 20 games was tough, but that’s really no excuse for anything.”

Carter’s return should solidify the frontcourt for an Orlando team that has dropped four straight games after a strong start. He was greeted with two significant challenges right away, facing Bam Adebayo, who posted 18 points and seven rebounds against the Magic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who followed with 37 points and 10 rebounds the next night.

“It just shows that I’ve got to get back to where I was at before I got injured,” Carter said. “A lot of the plays out there, I felt like I was one or two steps slower than I usually am. It just gave me somewhere I can look at in terms of getting back to at some point. I definitely got a lot of respect for the coaches trusting in me [and] putting me out there when I might not be able to play my best game.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Suns guard Bradley Beal doesn’t want to see his former team move forward with relocation plans to northern Virginia. Beal, who spent 11 seasons with the Wizards before being traded this summer, appealed to owner Ted Leonsis to reconsider last week’s announcement (video link). “D.C, there is no moving to Virginia, like what is that?” Beal said. “Ted, we love you to death. We understand what you want to do and trying to do, but you can’t take the team out of D.C.”
  • It appears unlikely that Hornets guard LaMelo Ball can secure a spot in the All-Star Game even if he returns soon from his right ankle sprain, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer states in a mailbag column. Ball was making a strong All-Star case, averaging 24.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists before the injury, but he has only played 15 games and his candidacy figures to be affected by Charlotte’s poor record.
  • Hornets forward Cody Martin has been cleared to make his season debut tonight, Boone tweets. Martin underwent surgery on his left knee last season and hasn’t played since January 14.

Injury Notes: Martin, Porzingis, Tatum, Towns, Cavs

Fifth-year wing Cody Martin was unfortunately limited to seven games last season following left knee surgery, and he has yet to play in 2023/24. However, he could make his season debut on Saturday against Denver, as the Hornets have officially listed him as questionable (Twitter link).

As Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer tweets, Martin’s last appearance was on January 14, so it’s been 11-plus months since he suited up. Second-year center Mark Williams (low back contusion) seems likely to miss his seventh straight game though, as he’s doubtful for Saturday’s contest.

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

  • After sustaining a left ankle sprain on Wednesday against Sacramento, Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis has been ruled out for Saturday’s contest vs. the Clippers, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Jayson Tatum, who missed his first game on Wednesday, is questionable with the same injury as Porzingis. Adam Himmselsbach of The Boston Globe speculates (via Twitter) that Porzingis won’t be sidelined for very long, as he spotted the Latvian big man carrying his own massage table at the team’s hotel on Friday.
  • Timberwolves forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns (left knee soreness) is out for Saturday’s contest in Sacramento, the team announced (via Twitter). However, Towns’ absence is only “precautionary,” according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, who reports that the big man isn’t expected to miss extended time (Twitter link).
  • Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell will miss his third consecutive game on Saturday due to an illness, while Sam Merrill is questionable for the matchup with Chicago with a right wrist sprain, per Chris Fedor of

Hornets Notes: Miller, Jordan, Smith, McGowens, Martin

Hornets forward Brandon Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 draft, has been named in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Jamea Jonae Harris, per Chris Low of ESPN. Harris was shot and killed on January 15 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Miller attended the University of Alabama during his lone college season.

The others named in the lawsuit are former Alabama player Darius Miles and Michael Davis, both of whom are facing capital murder charges for Harris’ death.

Miller has faced scrutiny for his connection to the shooting. He brought former teammate Miles the gun that was used in the killing of Harris, but insisted that he didn’t know the weapon was in the car. He cooperated in the investigation and was not charged with a crime.

According to Low, the lawsuit alleges that Miles, Davis and Miller “knew or should have known that bringing a dangerous weapon to a dispute and discharging said weapon would likely result in harm.” The complaint also alleges that the “negligence or wantonness” of the three men led to Harris’ death.

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • In an interview with Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer, Miller says his veteran teammates have been “welcoming” and he’s been working on building rapport with the Hornets since he was drafted. “Like I’ve said since day one when I came here, it’s really all about the bonds with everybody,” Miller said. “I feel like the stronger the bond, the better play on the court, just as far as knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. But getting to know each other off the court is kind of more important too, just to see what kind of person everybody is.”
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic spoke to 12 current and former Hornets for an oral history of what it was like to play for Charlotte with Michael Jordan as the team’s majority owner. Jordan sold his majority stake over the summer, but remains a minority shareholder.
  • Veteran point guard Ish Smith, who was recently signed as a backup with Frank Ntilikina sidelined, says he was considering retirement before he received an unexpected call on Saturday, according to Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “I was driving up to a Wake Forest football game,” said Smith, a North Carolina native. “I got the phone call from (assistant general manager) Buzz (Peterson) and my agent was like, ‘Man, do you still want to play?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. It’s home and it’s the perfect situation.’” As Boone writes, Smith worked out for Charlotte on Monday and was signed on Tuesday. The 35-year-old suggested this might be his last season. “I wasn’t going to any other state and I preferred to be here, and be home with family, friends … I was born and raised here and it will be a great story to close out here,” he said.
  • Wings Bryce McGowens (left ankle sprain) and Cody Martin (left knee soreness) will be sidelined for Wednesday’s season opener against Atlanta, the Hornets announced (via Twitter). It’s a discouraging start to 2023/24 for Martin, who only played seven games last season following knee surgery.

Steve Clifford “Really Optimistic” As Hornets Prepare For Camp

In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, coach Steve Clifford describes himself as “really optimistic” as he prepares for his second season since returning to the Hornets. Clifford had a full offseason to get ready for the upcoming campaign, unlike last year when everything felt rushed as he got hired shortly after the draft.

Clifford is particularly encouraged by the level of commitment he saw during the summer, with as many as 13 players showing up for optional workouts last month. Veterans Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward had a hand in organizing those sessions, which Clifford believes will set the tone for training camp.

“Terry, Gordon, they were great,” Clifford said. “They kind of set the whole thing up. When we do the drills — because you are limited to what you can do — they are the first guys in. So I really feel like we got a lot out of September.

Charlotte was just 27-55 in Clifford’s first year back with the team, but the season was derailed by injuries to key players and the suspension of Miles Bridges. Clifford has a much healthier roster heading into camp and hopes to fully instill his vision for the team, which involves an up-tempo approach and stresses good decision making with the ball. He points out that the Hornets ranked eighth in transition opportunities a year ago, but only 27th in efficiency.

“This team was built to run, and so last year we actually did a good job in terms of our pace, getting the ball up and down the floor,” he said. “But we were inefficient in the first eight seconds of the clock.”

Clifford touches on a few other topics in the interview:

On Bridges’ performance after being out of the league for an entire year:

“I thought he’d be a lot further behind, But he’s obviously spent a lot of time in the gym. You can see it when he works out. I think his individual skills and stuff are good and he’s on it, but also playing. He was in a lot better shape and everything. So he’s already getting back to where he was. And we still have training camp and then we have to have a good plan for him through the first 10 games (as his suspension continues). But he’s put himself in a good spot.”

On second overall pick Brandon Miller and how he’s fitting in with his teammates:

“They like playing with him already just because to me it’s his decision-making. To me, everything makes sense when you watch him. And he can really shoot. But he can really pass. He knows how to play without the ball. He’s been coached. He plays in a way that helps his teammates play better. So even in pickup games, the ball moves quickly. He knows who he’s on the floor with, where they want the ball and he’s a very quick learner. So he’s also coming off the mono. His Summer League, he wasn’t quite back to full strength. He’s done a good job in the weight room. He’s gained a lot of that weight back and you can tell he’s getting more and more confident here as we get through September.”

On the importance of having Cody Martin back after missing almost all of last season because of knee issues:

“Yeah, look guys like him, there’s just not many of them. Tough-minded, very smart player, plays well at both ends of the floor. He’s a winning-type player. He’s a throwback. He’s got great toughness and his teammates love him when he’s on the floor. So, obviously we miss him, we missed him last year. He’s worked really hard all summer to get ready, and I think he does feel a lot better about where he’s at right now. We just have to be smart because he’s had a couple times where he felt good and then we’d have a setback. So, we’ve got a great performance staff here and they are all over it and we just hope for the best.”