Kyle Anderson

Injury Updates: Vanderbilt, Kawhi, Giannis, Suggs, Anderson, Allen

Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who hasn’t played since February 1 due to a right midfoot sprain, is targeting a Game 3 return, a source familiar with the situation tells Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

According to McMenamin’s source, Vanderbilt has been ramping up his workouts in the past couple weeks and had one of his most intense on-court sessions yet on Monday. His availability on Thursday will be determined based on how his body responds to that increased intensity.

As previously reported, Lakers big man Christian Wood (left knee surgery) is also aiming to make it back for Game 3 vs. Denver. It remains to be seen how much the team would use Vanderbilt and Wood – and how effective they’d be – following long layoffs. Still, given that they’re in a 2-0 hole against the Nuggets, head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers will likely welcome all the help they can get as they look for a way to beat the defending champions.

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

  • Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (knee inflammation) is considered questionable to play in Game 2 vs. Dallas on Tuesday, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Leonard took part in Monday’s practice, though head coach Tyronne Lue described it as a walk-through session with no contact.
  • Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf strain) went through a “pretty good, brisk workout” on Sunday, then had a “maintenance day” on Monday, per head coach Doc Rivers (story via Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). While Antetokounmpo appears to be making some progress in his recovery, he’s listed as doubtful to play in Game 2 vs. Indiana on Tuesday.
  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs was carried off the court in the first quarter of Monday’s Game 2 with what appeared to be a significant left knee injury, but he was able to return and play for most of the second half, according to Tom Withers of The Associated Press. Suggs, whose injury was initially diagnosed as a left knee strain, expects to remain available going forward. “I’m good,” he said. “I was able to finish. It will be cool to get back home and get treatment for a couple of days. We play Thursday at 7 p.m. and I’ll be ready.”
  • Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson was able to practice on Monday, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, but he’s listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game due to a right hip pointer. Suns wing Grayson Allen is also considered questionable to suit up for that contest after spraining his right ankle in Game 1, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports.

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Alexander-Walker, Anderson, Conley

Anthony Edwards scored 33 points in leading the Timberwolves to a convincing Game 1 victory over Phoenix, and he got to tell his basketball hero all about it, writes Baxter Holmes of ESPN. After sinking a three-pointer late in the third quarter, Edwards pounded his chest as he had an animated, one-sided conversation with Kevin Durant (video link). It was a dream come true for Edwards, who grew up cheering for Durant.

“I think everybody here knows that’s my favorite player of all time, so that was probably one of the best feelings ever in my whole life,” Edwards told reporters.

The Wolves hope today’s rout sends a message about their approach to the playoffs being eliminated in five games last season. They also got some revenge for last Sunday, when they were embarrassed by the Suns and missed a chance to claim the No. 1 seed in the West.

“These guys came here and whooped us in our home court in the last game of the season and were giggling and laughing,” Edwards recalled. (Bradley) Beal, he told our coach that he doesn’t think we play hard enough — and he was right. (Chris) Finch didn’t like that. He came in the next day and was like, ‘Man, you’ve got guys on the other team telling me that y’all don’t play hard enough for me.’ And he was totally right.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • The Timberwolves’ edge off the bench was evident in Game 1, particularly from Nickeil Alexander-Walker, observes Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune. The reserve shooting guard had a career-best playoff performance with 18 points and registered the highest plus-minus rating of anyone with a +28. His four steals also set a franchise playoff record for a bench player. He and Naz Reid shifted the momentum and helped to erase the lead the Suns held after the first quarter. “Those guys have been so big for us all year,” Finch said. “They have so much confidence no matter what role they’re playing or where we need them. We need those guys to produce, and tonight they did a great job.”
  • Kyle Anderson was declared out for the game after suffering a hip pointer in the second quarter. There’s no word on his status for Tuesday’s Game 2.
  • At age 36, Mike Conley is hoping for at least one more long playoff run before the end of his career, per Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. Although Conley has played for several good teams, he hasn’t reached the conference finals since 2013. “I told the guys that, selfishly, do it for me, man,” Conley said. “Help me out. Meet me at my level right now because I don’t got long. Y’all got forever, it feels like.”

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Anderson, Jokic, KCP, Blazers

The NBA’s league office hasn’t taken any public stance on the Timberwolves‘ ownership battle, but has kept up to date on the details of the situation and wasn’t caught off guard when longtime team owner Glen Taylor announced last week that he intended to retain his majority stake in the franchise, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Within a look at what might be next for the Timberwolves as Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez look to wrest majority control from Taylor, Windhorst shares a few new details on the standoff. Sources tell ESPN that the sales agreement between the two sides is about 50 pages long and features “numerous protections” for Taylor, so his side believes it’s on “firm legal ground” despite claims for the Lore-Rodriguez group that they met all the requirements.

Windhorst also hears from sources that Taylor – who has paid less than $2MM in luxury tax penalties since 2005 – remained very involved in operating the team as the Wolves made several significant financial commitments in recent years that project to take them well beyond the luxury tax line in 2024/25 and beyond. Last fall, for example, he was “haggling over details” in Jaden McDaniels‘ $131MM extension, Windhorst says.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Kyle Anderson has looked like “the Kyle of old” in recent weeks, according to head coach Chris Finch, which has helped key an offensive resurgence for the Timberwolves, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. As Krawczynski details, Anderson has played more power forward during Karl-Anthony Towns‘ absence and often orchestrates the offense when he’s in the game. The veteran wing figures to play a key role in the postseason for Minnesota before becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
  • Despite dealing with some pain in his right wrist and left hip as of late, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic isn’t looking to take any time off as the team attempts to secure the No. 1 seed in the West, writes Bennett Durando of The Denver Post. “My goal is to play every game, and that’s my mindset,” Jokic said on Tuesday after matching his season high with 42 points to hold off the Spurs. Denver currently holds the West’s top spot by a half-game over Minnesota and Oklahoma City.
  • Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette takes a look at Nuggets wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s quest to earn an All-Defensive nod for the first time in his 11th NBA season.
  • A 10-game losing streak has put the Trail Blazers (19-56) in position to possibly slip below San Antonio (18-58) and Charlotte (18-57) in the standings and finish as a bottom-three team, which would result in the best possible draft lottery odds, notes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian.

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Wolves, Ayton, Henderson, Sharpe, SGA

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert picked up an ill-timed technical for making the “money” sign to officials after fouling out Friday night, but he didn’t back away from his accusation that their calls can be influenced by gambling, according to Joe Vardon and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

The technical, which allowed the Cavaliers to tie a game that they went on to win in overtime, came after Gobert was whistled for his sixth foul with 27.8 seconds remaining. He admitted that his reaction was a mistake, but he believes the reasons behind it are justified.

“Mistakes happen. Referees make mistakes, too,” Gobert said. “But sometimes I think it’s more than mistakes. I think everyone that’s in this league knows. I think it’s got to get better.” After saying he expects to be fined for his comments, Gobert added, “I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Gobert has a history of being outspoken about officiating throughout his career, the authors note. Speaking to reporters because head coach Chris Finch was ill, assistant Micah Nori called it “unacceptable” to get T’d up in that situation, no matter how strongly Gobert feels about the subject.

“We just have to be smarter,” Nori said. “I think he made a visual or something, it’s kind of automatic. And we all know Rudy. There’s no more professional guy than him. In that moment, for him to do that, obviously he feels awful about it. We just gotta be a little bit better.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune examines how the Timberwolves can survive without Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s lost for at least four weeks with a torn meniscus. Hine points to Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid, Jaden McDaniels and Mike Conley as players who have to contribute more until Towns returns.
  • The Trail Blazers welcomed back starting center Deandre Ayton and rookie point guard Scoot Henderson tonight. Ayton had been sidelined since spraining his right hand in a February 27 game, and Henderson hadn’t played since before the All-Star break because of an adductor strain. Coach Chauncey Billups said Henderson will start out under a minutes restriction, but will eventually be reinstated into the starting lineup, tweets Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. Billups also expressed hope that Shaedon Sharpe can return from core muscle surgery before the end of the season (Twitter link). “This has been tough on him,” Billups said. “He wants to play 82 games. He’s one of those guys. … If he’s healthy, we’d love to have him back. I don’t care how much of the season is left. He’s a guy who needs those reps.”
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander believes the Thunder have the talent to compete for an NBA title this season, telling ESPN (video link), “I think we’re capable of anything.”

Timberwolves Notes: Edwards, Sale Process, Anderson

The Timberwolves got off to an inauspicious start on Monday night vs. Portland, as star guard Anthony Edwards didn’t report to the court on time for the opening tip. According to reports from Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune and ESPN, Edwards – who does resistance band work outside the team locker room before each game – said he lost track of the time.

The Timberwolves were hit with a delay of game violation as Nickeil Alexander-Walker ended up starting in Edwards’ place and playing the first 35 seconds before the All-Star checked in.

“Sixth Man of the Year,” Edwards joked after the game, per Zgoda.

As Zgoda details, the Wolves weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders for much of the night against a Trail Blazers team missing several key players due to injuries, but they did just enough to come away with a five-point win, avoiding a third consecutive loss. Rudy Gobert led the way with 25 points and 16 rebounds on a near-perfect shooting night. He went 9-of-10 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the foul line.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Following up on a pair of tweets over the weekend discussing the situation, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic takes a more in-depth look at the Timberwolves’ unconventional sale process, which remains on track to be finalized in the coming weeks. As Krawczynski explains, the incoming group led by Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez already controls 40% of the franchise and exercised its option in late December to purchase another 40%. That option pick-up opened a 90-day window to complete the transaction, so it should be completed by the end of March. Longtime team owner Glen Taylor will retain 20% of the franchise even after Lore and Rodiguez assume majority control.
  • There have been some questions throughout the process about whether Lore and Rodriguez have the money to complete their purchase of the Wolves, but sources tell Krawczynski that “everything is in order.” The new ownership group, which recruited some minority investors along the way to help with financing, will have to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors as majority stakeholders.
  • Second play-maker Kyle Anderson got off to a slow start in his second season in Minnesota, but has looked more comfortable as of late, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Anderson has three assists or more in 14 straight games, the longest streak of his career, and has shot 50.0% from the field during that time, bumping his season-long mark to 46.9%. “He understands that he needs to be a play-maker for us at all costs. He’s a guy we can trust with the ball, a guy who makes the right decisions whether it’s scoring the ball, posting up or finding guys in the right spots,” teammate Mike Conley said of Anderson. “Defensively he’s a guy who can switch onto different guys, guard other guys and give Jaden (McDaniels) a break, give Ant a break. He has been those things so far. He’s just confident in that role.”
  • In a separate story for The Star Tribune, Hine says there’s not a specific playoff matchup that Minnesota fears, since the Wolves believe they’re capable of beating any team in the West if both clubs are playing their best basketball.

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Anderson, Finances, Sale Date

After Anthony Edwards helped the Timberwolves beat Memphis by shutting down Jaren Jackson Jr. on Wednesday night, he told reporters he deserves a spot on the All-Defensive Team, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Jackson had 29 points midway through the third quarter when Edwards volunteered to guard him, even though he’s about six inches shorter than his World Cup teammate from last summer. Jackson was limited to four points the rest of the way as Minnesota rallied for the victory.

“They just got to watch the games because this is not my first time doing this,” Edwards said, referring to media members who will vote for All-Defensive honors. “I have nights like this all the time where somebody gets hot, their best player gets hot and I go shut ’em down the rest of the game.”

Edwards also sparked the offense with 17 points in the third quarter, Hine adds, bringing some energy on a night when the Wolves were mostly lifeless in a matchup with a sub-.500 team. Edwards, who played nearly 40 minutes despite turning his ankle in Tuesday’s game, said every victory is important to him.

“I come from winning 20 games my rookie year, so I don’t care how we win,” he said. “… If we win the game, I’m happy. I have nothing bad to say.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Kyle Anderson sat out Wednesday’s contest with a sprained left knee, but coach Chris Finch is optimistic that it won’t be a long-term concern, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “I don’t know. It’s, I would say, more day to day,” Finch said. “I don’t think it’s super long, but you never know how these things respond over 48 hours.”
  • Success will be expensive for the Wolves, who are facing heavy tax bills and second-apron restrictions if they keep the current roster together, Keith Smith of Spotrac states in an overview of the team’s finances. They currently have nine players under contract for next season at a combined $183.7MM. Filling out the roster with five minimum-salary signings brings the total to $189.5MM, which is right at the second apron and $18.2MM above the tax line. If free agents Anderson and Monte Morris both re-sign for $10MM per season, Smith adds, the team salary will balloon past $207MM, which is higher than the Warriors or Clippers. Smith notes that the payroll will get even more expensive if Edwards receives All-NBA honors, which would increase of the first year of his new extension from 25% to 30% of the cap max, bumping it from $35.25MM to $42.3MM.
  • Owner Glen Taylor tells Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) that the sale of the franchise to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez won’t be finalized today, which was originally the target date. Taylor said a new closing date will be set.

Western Notes: Wolves, Graham, Suns, VanVleet, Rockets

The Timberwolves‘ front office has been scouring the trade market in the hopes of addressing a couple areas of concern on the bench and better positioning the team for a deep postseason run, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. According to Krawczynski, Minnesota would like to bolster its second unit by adding another ball-handler and/or a scorer or shooter.

Krawczynski confirms a number of previously reported point guard targets for the Wolves, including Tyus Jones and Monte Morris, while also naming Dennis Schröder and Kyle Lowry as a couple more players of interest. Lowry would have to be a buyout target, since Minnesota isn’t in position to match his $29.7MM salary on the trade market.

If the Wolves focus on a scorer rather than a point guard, Alec Burks and Bones Hyland are among the players who could be fits, Krawczynski writes.

Krawczynski doesn’t expect Minnesota to move Kyle Anderson, referring to him as a key part of the team’s defense and an important voice in the locker room. That’s notable, since hanging onto Anderson and their other five highest-paid players (Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, and Naz Reid) would leave the Wolves with no trade chips earning more than $5MM, limiting their ability to salary-match for players earning much beyond the mid-level.

Here are a few more notes and rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • Veteran point guard Devonte’ Graham hasn’t griped about not having a role with the Spurs this season and has enjoyed being in San Antonio, but he acknowledged that he wouldn’t be opposed to a trade if it gives him an opportunity to play more, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “I mean, yeah,” Graham said. “Everybody wants to play.”
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic previews the trade deadline for the Suns, noting that a potential package of Nassir Little and second-round picks hasn’t generated a ton of interest among prospective trade partners.
  • The Rockets will be without starting point guard Fred VanVleet on Tuesday in Indiana, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, who says VanVleet has been ruled out due to a left adductor strain. That injury often requires a multi-game absence, but Houston hasn’t issued an update on the guard’s status beyond Tuesday.
  • Rockets center Jock Landale and forward Jae’Sean Tate are trying to tune out the trade rumors surrounding them as Thursday’s deadline nears, Feigen writes in another story for The Chronicle. “Whether they choose to trade me or keep me is completely up to them. I signed here to play for (head coach) Ime (Udoka),” Landale said. “I signed here to help the Rockets to get back to their winning ways. It’s not a decision that’s in my power or my control. We’ll see what happens.”

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Finch, Reid, Ownership

Anthony Edwards is already one of the NBA’s top players, but he suggested this week that he might want to see how he could fare in the NFL, according to an ESPN report. Appearing with comedian Marco Summers on his “Open Thoughts” talk show, Edwards said “I might be the first one” to succeed in both leagues.

It’s unlikely the Timberwolves would agree to let Edwards risk his future by playing football after signing him to an extension that could be worth more than $205MM over five years. However, it would be intriguing in theory to watch Edwards give the NFL a try after being one of the nation’s best Pop Warner running backs as a youth. While speculating about a football career, Edwards emphasized to Summers that his priority is to “handle his business in the NBA.”

“As a team, [the] Minnesota [Timberwolves] organization, we want to win a championship,” he said. “After that, we’ll figure that out.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • The Wolves will eventually face salary decisions and second-apron concerns, but fans should enjoy a team that has become one of the NBA’s best rather than worrying about what might happen in 2024 or 2025, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Holding the top spot in the West at 11-3, Minnesota is off to its best start ever and may be a legitimate contender for the first time in the franchise’s 35-year history. There’s a stronger focus, Krawczynski notes, as players who may have overlooked some opponents last season are now locked in every night. “I think it’s very much a serious tone,” coach Chris Finch said. “There’s a conversation about what needs to be done, what they hadn’t done.” 
  • Part of the increased focus comes from resolving financial situations during the offseason, Krawczynski adds. Mike Conley and Kyle Anderson are the only rotation members with expiring contracts, and Krawczyski believes they’re mature enough that it won’t affect their performance. “Everybody’s here to win. Everybody has one goal. Everybody’s got their money situation out of the way,” said Naz Reid, who signed a three-year, $42MM contract extension this summer. “Now we’re here to play basketball and win the game. We’re not really too much worried about anything other than that.”
  • New owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are negotiating with the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, to invest in the Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, sources tell Dan Primack of Axios. Primack believes the move will help to quell rumors that Rodriguez and Lore might not have the funding to complete the remainder of the sale from Glen Taylor.

Wolves Notes: Edwards, KAT, Anderson, McDaniels

Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns developed a chemistry on offense that helped the Timberwolves reach the playoffs in 2022, but that connection was missing last season, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. The obvious reason, according to Hine, is that both players were trying to adjust their games to incorporate Rudy Gobert. Rekindling the connection between Edwards and Towns will be a priority in training camp.

“The key for us is to recapture the chemistry that Ant and KAT have always had,” coach Chris Finch said. “I’m not overly concerned about that, but because we played in a very different rhythm for most of the season, when Karl came back, that two-man game between him and Ant wasn’t as prevalent as it needs to be or should be.”

Towns missed much of the season with a calf injury, which slowed down any progress he and Edwards might have made in figuring out the best way to utilize Gobert. Edwards expects things to be different now that they’ve all had time to work together.

“We’re going to see it this year, man,” Edwards said. “KAT, he’s super healthy. He’s feeling good. I’m feeling good, so I think it should be fun. As long as we stay healthy, I think it should be super fun to see how we start to jell together, try to get back to where we was probably two years ago.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Kyle Anderson was worried that his career might be over after suffering an injury to his left eye in the playoffs, but he’s almost completely recovered after offseason surgery, according to Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune. At Thursday’s media day, Anderson said he still can’t see well in the dark, but otherwise his vision is normal. “It was obviously rough like early July, late June,” he said. “I’m playing pickup in these small New Jersey gyms, it’s dark, and I can’t see a thing. But it’s gotten a lot better now. I’m sure an NBA arena, with great lighting, it should be fine.”
  • The Wolves opened training camp on Friday without an extension for Jaden McDaniels, notes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The 23-year-old forward, who’s gaining a reputation as an elite defender, said he’s more focused on basketball than his contract. “I know the contract thing is there,” McDaniels said, “but I just try to let my agents handle it and continue to get better as a player.”
  • The Wolves are emphasizing maturity after failures in that area derailed last season, Hine adds in a separate story. McDaniels wasn’t available for the playoffs because he broke his hand by punching a wall, and Gobert was suspended for the play-in opener after taking a swing at Anderson on the bench in the final regular season game. “Our lack of organizational success is very evident and clear,” team president Tim Connelly said. “So until we take ourselves more seriously, no one else will take us more seriously. There’s been a very loud mandate and risen bar about how we handle ourselves.”

Western Notes: Kings, Brooks, Jones, Lillard, Timberwolves

The Kings decided to tweak the roster rather than make major changes this offseason after finally reaching the postseason in the spring. They acquired Chris Duarte in a trade and re-signed Harrison Barnes and Trey Lyles. They also signed EuroLeague star Sasha Vezenkov.

Kings coach Mike Brown is excited to have his core group back and is eager to see how they respond to the newfound respect they’ve gained after snapping the franchise’s long playoff drought.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we can handle the pressure,” the Kings coach said. “It’s flipped now. We’re no longer hunting people; people are hunting us. And there are expectations, so how do we handle that? I believe our guys are ready for it, and with the fans that we have here and the juice they brought last year – let’s go. Let’s get it. I’m excited for Sasha, I’m excited for Chris Duarte, I’m excited about our young guys. It’s good to have the new guys, but I’m more excited about having our guys to be able to run it back and give them the opportunity to grow as a nucleus than anything else.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Grizzlies allowed Dillon Brooks in free agency and traded Tyus Jones. So what have they lost? Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal explores that topic. The Grizzlies have become known for their flashy style and trash talking and Brooks was a major reason for that. Jones was a locker room leader and led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio in each of his four seasons with the club.
  • Trail Blazers fans want the Damian Lillard saga to be resolved soon. In a poll conducted by Jason Quick of The Athletic, 80.4% want the front office to take the best offer for their longtime All-Star and prioritize the team ahead of Lillard. However, the high-scoring guard was voted as the franchise’s greatest player (51.9%), ahead of Clyde Drexler and Bill Walton.
  • Anthony Edwards (United States), Karl-Anthony Towns (Dominican Republic), Rudy Gobert (France), Kyle Anderson (China), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Canada) and draft-and-stash prospect Matteo Spagnolo (Italy) are participating in the World Cup, while Luka Garza played for Bosnia and Herzegovina in a pre-qualifying Olympic tournament. That should give those Timberwolves players a head start to the NBA season, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Alexander-Walker agrees with the notion. “I want to use it to propel me for the season,” he said.