Jalen Suggs

Southeast Notes: Hornets Workouts, Bridges, Suggs, Banchero

The Hornets have begun working out draft prospects as they try to bounce back from a 27-win season. They brought in six prospects on Tuesday — Angelo Allegri (Eastern Washington), Malique Jacobs (Kent State), Jarkel Joiner (NC State), Seneca Knight (Illinois State), Jake Stephens (Chattanooga) and Qudus Wahab (Georgetown), the team’s PR department tweets. Joiner barely makes the cut on ESPN’s Best Available rankings — he ranks No. 100 on the list.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended his suspension of Hornets forward Miles Bridges, which will keep him out of action for just 10 games next season, Shauntel Lowe of The New York Times writes. Bridges, who didn’t play this season, was technically suspended for 30 games for domestic violence but was given credit for 20 games for time served. Silver said crediting Bridges for 20 games seemed like the right thing to do because he missed a year of income.
  • Jalen Suggs showed signs of living up to his draft status during the second half of the season, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel opines. The fifth pick of the 2021 draft appeared in just 14 of the Magic’s first 38 games due to right ankle ailments. His health improved as the season went along and he averaged 10.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 24.3 minutes in his final 28 games. He also knocked down 38.1% of his 3-point attempts during that stretch.
  • Italian Federation President Gianni Petrucci is pessimistic that Paolo Banchero, the league’s Rookie of the Year, will play in the FIBA World Cup this summer, Sportando relays. “Banchero has been overwhelmed by events in recent months. If he won’t be with us for the World Cup, we now hope for the Paris Olympics,” Petrucci said of the Magic forward.

Southeast Notes: Yurtseven, Butler, Hornets, Smith, Suggs

Omer Yurtseven‘s second season was derailed by an ankle injury that required surgery and caused him to miss the first 65 games of 2022/23. After returning in early March, he struggled to gain traction in the Heat‘s rotation despite feeling “100 percent” healthy, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

It’s not been, I guess, the best,” Yurtseven said regarding the uncertainty currently surrounding his role. “But in terms of the opportunity, it’s there and I think the toughest part has been not knowing and staying ready. But that’s my job right now, so I’m embracing it.”

As Chiang writes, Yurtseven was getting an extended look during the preseason playing alongside Bam Adebayo in a two-big lineup, and Yurtseven started his lone preseason game before the injury. Now his role and future are uncertain — the 24-year-old center will be a restricted free agent this summer if the Heat give him a $2.2MM qualifying offer, Chiang notes.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Heat star Jimmy Butler was ruled out of Tuesday’s loss to Toronto due to neck soreness, Chiang adds in the same story. It’s unclear if he will be available for Wednesday’s game in New York.
  • The Hornets surprisingly have the NBA’s top defense since the All-Star break, writes Nekias Duncan of BasketballNews.com, who takes a look at how Charlotte has made strides on the less glamorous end of the court. One player making a major impact is point guard Dennis Smith Jr., according to Duncan. Smith, who missed Tuesday’s win over the Thunder due to a sprained right big toe, is on an expiring minimum-salary contract and is set to his unrestricted free agency in the offseason.
  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs had a strong performance in Sunday’s win over Brooklyn following a four-game absence due to a concussion, notes Nathaniel Marrero of The Orlando Sentinel. The 2021 No. 5 overall pick recorded 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 24 minutes. Suggs has been hampered by a variety of injuries in his first two pro seasons, but has been playing better the past couple months when active, averaging 10.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.2 APG and 1.6 SPG on .444/.388/.732 shooting over his past 19 games (25.2 MPG). Unfortunately, he finished just 1-of-10 from the field in Tuesday’s loss at Memphis.

Bamba, Rivers, Suggs Suspended For Fight

The NBA has announced suspensions (via Twitter) for three players involved in an altercation during Friday night’s game between the Magic and Timberwolves.

Orlando center Mohamed Bamba was suspended for four games and Minnesota guard Austin Rivers received three games for their roles in the fight. Magic guard Jalen Suggs received a one-game suspension for escalating the incident, and Wolves forward Jaden McDaniels was fined $20K for running into the fray and pushing Bamba in the back.

All four players were given technical fouls and were ejected from the game. Minnesota’s Taurean Prince was also ejected, but he wasn’t disciplined by the league.

Bamba appeared to start the fight with a comment to Rivers after his missed three-pointer late in the third quarter. Rivers took exception and challenged Bamba on Orlando’s bench. Both players threw punches, although it looked like none of them connected. Suggs tackled Rivers, and McDaniels and Prince also got involved.

The NBA’s press release states that Bamba tried to “continue to engage with Rivers in a hostile manner in the corridor outside the locker rooms where he also aggressively shoved a security representative,” which explains why he got the longest suspension.

Five Players Ejected From Magic-Wolves Game After Scuffle

Orlando’s Mohamed Bamba and Jalen Suggs, as well as Minnesota’s Austin Rivers, Taurean Prince and Jaden McDaniels, were ejected from Friday’s MagicTimberwolves game after a scuffle broke out, reports Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link)

It appears as though Bamba may have initiated the incident by saying something to Rivers after he missed a three-pointer, as Markelle Fultz looked absolutely shocked by whatever was said (Twitter video link via Rob Perez).

Clearly Rivers didn’t appreciate the comment, as he returned to Orlando’s bench (Bamba wasn’t in the game at the time), and then a fight broke out between Bamba and Rivers, with punches thrown, though none appeared to connect (Twitter video link via Bally Sports North).

Suggs then ran into the fray and tackled Rivers, with chaos ensuing. Prince and McDaniels were both shoving and trying to get involved, so apparently they were ejected for escalating the altercation.

According to Pierre Noujaim of Fox 9 Minneapolis (Twitter link), Bamba and Rivers tried to continue the fight in the arena hallway after being ejected, and had to be restrained, presumably by security.

All five players are likely to face suspensions and/or fines, with Bamba and Rivers almost certain to receive the most significant penalties.

Bamba is typically a backup center, but he started the game for the Magic, with Suggs a reserve guard. Losing them to suspensions would affect the team’s rotation, but not as substantially as it would the Wolves, as McDaniels is a starter and Prince and Rivers are two of Minnesota’s primary reserves.

Southeast Notes: Suggs, Isaac, Adebayo, Martin

After being a “full go” at practice Monday and Tuesday, Magic guard Jalen Suggs is hoping to be ready for game action this week, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Suggs has been sidelined with right ankle soreness since November 25 and has only played in 14 games this season.

It’s been a frustrating start for Suggs, who was limited to 48 games as a rookie after being taken with the fifth pick in the 2021 draft. At Wednesday’s shootaround, coach Jamahl Mosley said Suggs won’t play tonight against the Thunder, but “there’s a possibility” he might be available when Orlando hosts the Grizzlies on Thursday.

“I’ve had the biggest smile on my face these past two weeks, just being able to do more every day, ramping up,” Suggs said. “Going from the weight room to actual on-court workouts to (1-on-1 games) to 3s to now playing 5s. All of it’s been great.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Although Jonathan Isaac also practiced this week, the Magic aren’t planning for him to start playing soon, Price tweets. Isaac, who hasn’t played since the NBA bubble at Disney World, is recovering from a torn ACL in 2020 and a setback he suffered in March. “Jalen is obviously going to be further along than (Isaac),” Mosley said. “JI’s going to be sometime down the road. Have to get some more practices under his belt to get comfortable with these guys and group.”
  • Heat center Bam Adebayo has responded to management’s desire for him to take on a larger role in the offense by averaging career highs this season with 21.5 points and 15.6 shots per game, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Adebayo posted his second consecutive 30-point game in Monday’s victory over the Clippers. “I saw him this summer,” Victor Oladipo said. “I saw the work he put in, I saw his growth. It’s no shock to people who’ve seen his grind. So, it’s no shock. I’m not surprised he’s having the year he’s having.”
  • Hornets forward Cody Martin feels ready to return following his long absence caused by an opening-night knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery, tweets Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Martin has been listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against Memphis. “It’s just tough,” he said. “Nobody wants to sit out any games, much less however many games I sat out. So, I’m just looking forward to getting back.”

Eastern Notes: Isaac, Suggs, Herro, Oladipo, Embiid, Brunson

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley told reporters, including Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link), that forward Jonathan Isaac and guard Jalen Suggs were a “full go” in Monday’s practice. While that is certainly an encouraging update, there is still no return timetable for either player, tweets Price.

The Magic are notoriously cautious when it comes to injured players, but Isaac’s absence has been exceptionally long even by their standards. He last played on August 2, 2020, when he tore his ACL, so he has missed nearly two-and-a-half years of action.

As for Suggs, he has missed 18 consecutive games with right ankle soreness. The 21-year-old has unfortunately been plagued by injuries since he was selected fifth overall in the 2021 draft. After playing in 48 of 82 games as a rookie, he has appeared in just 14 of 37 games thus far in 2022/23.

Here are a few more notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Heat guard Tyler Herro, who signed a four-year extension before the season started worth a guaranteed $120MM, is emerging as a go-to clutch scorer, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro hit his third game-winner of ’22/23 on Saturday in Utah, Chiang notes, capping off a 29-point, nine-rebound, six-assist effort.
  • Victor Oladipo has had a difficult stretch over the past four years, missing a significant amount of time due to a series of leg injuries. While he has played strong defense since returning from left knee tendinosis, he has mostly struggled offensively. However, the Heat guard broke out of his slump by recording 23 points, five rebounds and five assists on Saturday. Head coach Erik Spoelstra believes it could take most of the season for him to really find his rhythm, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I told him the other day, I want him to have a little bit of grace with himself going through this process,” Spoelstra said as part of a larger quote. “We love being on this journey with him and, ultimately, I think it will still take 40 or 50 games for him to get fully in rhythm. But we got a snapshot of what it could look like at the end of this.” Oladipo has now played 11 games in ’22/23, and the Heat have 45 games remaining on their regular season schedule.
  • Sixers star Joel Embiid is questionable for Monday’s contest against New Orleans, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. All-NBA center is dealing with lower back soreness. Embiid is having another excellent season, posting career highs in points (33.2, second in the NBA), assists (4.6), steals (1.2) and FG% (.528).
  • After missing the past three games with right hip soreness, point guard Jalen Brunson will return to action for Monday’s matinee against Phoenix, the Knicks announced (via Twitter). Derrick Rose, who had been out of the rotation until Brunson got hurt, will be sidelined with a contused left knee, per the Knicks (Twitter link).

Injury Updates: GPII, DiVincenzo, LaVine, Middleton, Suggs, Grimes

Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II, who continues to recover from offseason abdominal surgery, could will be out for at least two more weeks, reports Chris Haynes of TNT (Twitter link). According to Haynes, Payton’s earliest possible return date will be November 15 vs. San Antonio. That will be Portland’s first home game following a six-game road trip that begins this Friday.

The Blazers issued a press release confirming the timeline reported by Haynes and noting that Payton has been cleared to increase his conditioning and on-court activity.

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

  • The Warriors announced today (via Twitter) that guard Donte DiVincenzo is “making good progress” as he recovers from a strained left hamstring, but isn’t ready to return quite yet. DiVincenzo will be reevaluated when the Warriors return home this weekend, per the team. That means he’ll miss at least three more games, since the Dubs will be in Miami on Tuesday, Orlando on Thursday, and New Orleans on Friday.
  • Bulls star Zach LaVine, listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. Brooklyn, is expected to play, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, LaVine will likely sit Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte, the second half of a back-to-back set, as the team continues to manage his return from knee surgery.
  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton, who underwent offseason wrist surgery, has been assigned to the G League to practice with the Wisconsin Herd as he advances to the next stage of his rehab, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A previous report indicated the Bucks hope to have Middleton back at some point in November.
  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs, out since October 21 with an ankle injury, has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday’s game in Oklahoma City, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, Knicks wing Quentin Grimes, who hasn’t played yet this season due to a foot injury, has been listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. Atlanta, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Magic Decline R.J. Hampton’s 2023/24 Option; Exercise Four Others

The Magic will decline to exercise their 2023/24 rookie scale option on guard R.J. Hampton, multiple sources tell Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required). The third-year combo guard will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Hampton, 21, was the No. 24 pick of the 2020 draft. He was technically drafted by the Bucks, but was traded to the Nuggets shortly thereafter. During his rookie season, he was sent to Orlando along with Gary Harris as part of the Aaron Gordon trade.

In 94 games (22.4 MPG) with the Magic, Hampton has averaged 8.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 2.5 APG on .402/.343/.649 shooting. His declined option was worth $4,220,057, which means the Magic will be prohibited from offering him a first-year salary worth more than that in free agency next summer if he finishes the season on the roster.

Price also reports that the Magic have exercised their 2023/24 options on guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, as well as forwards Chuma Okeke and Franz Wagner. The team confirmed the news (via Twitter).

Suggs, the No. 4 pick of last year’s draft, will earn a guaranteed $7,252,080 in his third season, while Wagner, the No. 8 pick last year, will earn $5,508,720. Anthony (No. 15 in 2020) and Okeke (No. 16 in 2020) will make guaranteed salaries of $5,539,771 and $5,266,713 for their fourth seasons, respectively.

Wagner, Suggs, Anthony and Okeke have all been rotation players for the Magic when healthy, so it was expected that their options would be picked up. Hampton, however, is only averaging 11.0 minutes per night in four games this season despite several injuries to the backcourt (including Suggs and Anthony) after averaging 21.9 minutes last season.

The deadline for ’23/24 rookie scale team options is October 31. The full list of those decisions can be found right here.

Southeast Notes: Suggs, Martin, Bogdanovic, Leonsis

Jalen Suggs hasn’t been able to avoid injury issues since coming to the NBA, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. After being limited to 48 games as a rookie, the Magic guard suffered a capsule sprain and bone bruise in his left knee in an October 7 preseason contest, then had to leave Friday’s game with a sprained right ankle.

Suggs twisted the ankle in the third quarter after being fouled and landing awkwardly on a drive to the basket. He was able to shoot his free throws, but then hopped to the locker room with help from trainers and didn’t return. An MRI today confirmed that it’s a sprain, and Suggs’ return will depend on how he responds to treatment, the Magic tweeted.

“My heart goes out to the kid,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “He’s working and continuing to battle no matter what happens. He’s continued to put the work in despite injuries. He’s doing the work with the film. He’s a resilient, tough kid. He’s going to continue to bounce back.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets may be without Cody Martin for a while, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Martin sat out Friday’s game with left quad soreness after getting injured in the first quarter of the season opener. He also missed all but one preseason game while recovering from left knee tendiopathy. “Hopefully, it’s not anything that’s going to linger,” coach Steve Clifford said. “When he first went in (Wednesday’s) game … he kind of stumbled and his knee bent, the one that he’s had issues with. So it flared back up and so obviously we need to be careful with this. They had done a great job getting him back. He’s, to me, is a critical, critical player on our team and we need what he brings. But the priority right now is just to get him healthy.”
  • Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic still has a way to go before returning from knee surgery, per Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coach Nate McMillan said Bogdanovic hasn’t progressed beyond light shooting and drills, and the medical staff can’t determine how close he is to playing until they can watch him at practice.
  • A group led by Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has emerged as the frontrunner to buy baseball’s Washington Nationals, report David Aldridge, Brittany Ghiroli and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Leonsis also owns the NHL’s Capitals and the WNBA’s Mystics.

Injury Updates: Suggs, Nets, Westbrook, Bogdanovic

Magic guard Jalen Suggs, who was diagnosed with a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise after leaving the team’s October 7 preseason game, will be available when Orlando opens its regular season on Wednesday in Detroit, head coach Jamahl Mosley said on Sunday (link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).

It’s a somewhat surprising update, since bone bruises can be troublesome ailments and the Magic have generally taken a conservative approach when bringing back young players from injuries during the last couple years.

One orthopedic surgeon who spoke to Price last week speculated that the capsule sprain would take about two-to-four weeks to heal, while the bone bruise might extend Suggs’ recovery timeline beyond that. However, that surgeon didn’t assess Suggs first-hand, and it appears the former No. 5 overall pick will comfortably beat that estimated timeline.

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

  • The Nets confirmed today that Joe Harris (foot) and Seth Curry (ankle) will not be available for the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, tweets Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. Harris and Curry, both of whom are coming back from ankle surgery, will continue to go through contact practices this week, with Brooklyn expecting to offer another update on Thursday.
  • Russell Westbrook‘s left hamstring injury isn’t considered serious, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who tweets that the Lakers guard will be listed as day-to-day after undergoing some tests. There’s no structural damage to the hamstring, Haynes adds.
  • Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic is making progress as he continues to recover from knee surgery, but he’s unlikely to be available for the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, head coach Nate McMillan told reporters on Sunday (Twitter link via Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
  • While Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray isn’t dealing with an injury, he has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, reports Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 Sacramento (Twitter link). It’s unclear if Murray will be cleared to play in the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday.