Malcolm Brogdon

Trail Blazers Notes: Injuries, Sharpe, Henderson, Reath

At 19-52, the Trail Blazers don’t have much left to play for, but they don’t intend to shut down any of their injured players for the rest of the season, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Portland started five rookies Saturday night because of injuries to rotation members, but coach Chauncey Billups hopes to eventually have his regular lineup together.

“I think we have so much growth and development that needs to happen,” Billups said. “Obviously, we know we’re not going to the playoffs. But these dudes need to get better. They need to get to know each other while paying. The only way you get better at basketball is playing basketball.”

Jerami Grant is dealing with a hamstring issue that has sidelined him for the past two weeks, and Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t played since February 2 because of tendinitis in his elbow. Billups expressed hope that both players can return before the end of the season, along with Shaedon Sharpe, who has been out since January due to core muscle surgery, and Anfernee Simons, who had an MRI on Sunday after leaving Friday’s game with a knee injury. Simons is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, which suggests that the injury isn’t that serious. Deandre Ayton, who missed the past two games with tendinitis in his left elbow, is also questionable.

The Blazers ended the past two seasons by sitting out players to improve their lottery odds, but Billups would rather see progress from his current group than focus on the draft. His teams have been hit hard by injuries since he took over as coach three years ago, but he hasn’t lost 60 games in a season and he wants to avoid reaching that total this year.

“I hate that I’m used to it,” he said of dealing with injuries. “But I’ve learned that it’s something that I can’t control, obviously. I try to always be positive and give whatever I have to whoever is playing the best I can. But it has been tough.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • Sharpe has been assigned to the organization’s G League team, marking an important step in his comeback, per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report. Sharpe will practice with the Rip City Remix while the Blazers are on a two-week road trip and if he responds well, he may be back in the NBA during the final week of the season.
  • Scoot Henderson is sad to see the G League Ignite shutting down after it helped prepare him for the NBA, Highkin adds in a separate story (subscription required). “The coaches, they don’t get enough credit for having to get guys from high school, to get them up to speed in a few weeks to play some grown men that have children to feed,” Henderson said. “You don’t see that. You see them getting beat a lot and having a horrible record. You don’t see the things that they go through day-to-day. From my viewpoint, they helped me in a huge way to be where I am right now. I can’t thank them enough.”
  • Andrew Lopez of ESPN traces the remarkable journey of Duop Reath from his childhood in war-torn South Sudan to becoming an NBA rookie at 27. Reath was playing in Australia when he got a scholarship offer from Lee College in Texas. He eventually transferred to LSU, spent some time in Serbia, China and Lebanon, landed a spot on the Australian Olympic team and played four years in Summer League before getting his NBA opportunity. “I felt a sense of gratitude,” Reath said. “Reflecting on my journey, I feel like every experience played a major role to put me in the position I am today.”

Northwest Notes: Trail Blazers, Henderson, Gobert, George

The Trail Blazers started five rookies in tonight’s game against Denver, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The lineup consisted of Scoot Henderson, Kris Murray, Rayan Rupert, Toumani Camara and Duop Reath, marking only the second time that a team has started five first-year players since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970/71. The 2012 Warriors were the first, according to a tweet from the Blazers.

The move was necessitated by the team’s lengthy injury list, which grew even longer when guard Anfernee Simons had to leave Friday’s game in the third quarter after hurting his left knee. Coach Chauncey Billups told reporters that Simons will undergo an MRI on Sunday.

Deandre Ayton missed Friday’s game with tendinitis in his left elbow, which is also keeping him out tonight. Jerami Grant is already sidelined with a hamstring issue, and Malcolm Brogdon has been out of action since early February with elbow tendinitis. Billups expressed hope that Grant and Brogdon can return before the end of the season.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Friday marked Henderson’s best performance since suffering a groin injury during the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend, observes Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (subscription required). The No. 3 pick in last year’s draft, who posted 24 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in the Trail Blazers‘ loss to the Clippers, talked about his experience with the “rookie wall.” “It’s a longer season now, so you kind of get that wall a little later,” Henderson said. “After 50 games in the G League, you’re like, ‘OK, let’s play another one.’ But when you hit 50 or 60 [in the NBA], it’s a little tougher now.”
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is determined to not let the pain from a sprained rib keep him out of the lineup, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops“You got to embrace the pain sometimes. Sometimes the pain of watching hurts more than the pain of the injury itself,” Gobert said. “It is all about playing through that. As long as I can move, able to impact the game, I am going to be out there.”
  • The Timberwolves fired a team employee this week for stealing thousands of files, some of which contained “strategic NBA information,” according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN. Somak Sarkar was charged with felony third-degree burglary.
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune examines the high turnover rate for Jazz rookie guard Keyonte George and how it might impact his NBA future.

Northwest Notes: McDaniels, KAT, Edwards, Blazers Injuries, Kessler

With Karl-Anthony Towns out indefinitely, the Timberwolves are going to need Jaden McDaniels to step up on the offensive side of the ball in order for Minnesota to reach its potential, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes.

For most of the season, the Wolves’ late-game offense consisted of Mike Conley getting Towns and Anthony Edwards in the best positions to succeed offensively. With or without Towns, McDaniels getting more involved could increase the team’s ceiling, Rand writes.

McDaniels is averaging 10.5 points per game while shooting 50.5% from the field and 36.0% from deep this season. However, he’s taking roughly the same number of shots per night as Conley and Rudy Gobert, and with the Wolves ranking 26th in offensive rating in fourth quarters, Rand believes McDaniels’ high ceiling holds the key to Minnesota’s improvement.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • There’s no replacement for Towns and his All-Star production, but Conley expressed optimism in the rest of a roster that has helped the Timberwolves post a West-best 43-19 record this season. “We’ve got full confidence in our roster for guys to step up and make plays in his absence,” Conley said, per Alan Horton of Wolves Radio (Twitter link). “We’ve had some experience with this [last season] and we’re gonna have to do it by committee, there’s no way to take up what he does with just one guy.
  • In their first game after the Towns injury news, the Timberwolves defeated the Pacers 113-111 behind 44 points from Anthony Edwards. Edwards exited for the locker room with a foot injury (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski), but returned to propel Minnesota to the win with 16 points and a big game-sealing block in the fourth quarter.
  • The Trail Blazers are dealing with a plethora of injuries to key players as the season winds on, with Malcolm Brogdon (elbow, out since Feb. 2), Shaedon Sharpe (abdominal, out since Jan. 11) and Scoot Henderson (thigh, out since Feb. 15) among them. Head coach Chauncey Billups provided updates on that trio, according to Rose Garden Report’s Sean Highkin (Twitter link). Brogdon is doing more work but is still experiencing discomfort in his elbow while Sharpe has begun light shooting. Henderson is further along and could be back this weekend (Twitter link).
  • Jazz center Walker Kessler, who hasn’t played since Feb. 27, was a full participant in practice on Thursday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen (Twitter link). While there isn’t definite news for his status in Utah’s Saturday game against Denver, it’s a step in the right direction, Larsen adds. In 51 games (17 starts) this season, Kessler is averaging 8.5 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Malcolm Brogdon Out At Least Two Weeks With Elbow Tendinitis

Trail Blazers combo guard Malcolm Brogdon underwent treatment in his right elbow for tendinitis, Portland has announced (via Twitter).

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is set to have the joint reevaluated in two weeks. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will actually back on the hardwood in two weeks, only that the club’s medical staff will take stock of his recovery process at that point.

The Trail Blazers acquired Brogdon, center Robert Williams III and two first-round future draft picks from the Celtics for Jrue Holiday prior to the season. The 31-year-old has served as a veteran leader on a rebuilding young Blazers squad this season, and will be eligible for an extension with the club this summer before earning $22.5MM in the final year of his current deal.

Through just 39 healthy contests this season, the 6’4″ guard is averaging 15.7 points per game on .440/.412/.819 shooting splits. He has also handed out 5.5 assists and grabbed 3.8 rebounds per contest.

Blazers Notes: Grant, Brogdon, Williams, Ayton

Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told reporters on Thursday that he doesn’t have a firm timeline in mind for when he expects the retooling Trail Blazers to return to the playoffs, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. However, Brian Windhorst of ESPN suggested on the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link) that one reason the team decided against trading any veterans at the deadline was a desire to push for the postseason next season.

“I actually think the Blazers are hoping, dare say, for a Rockets-like rebound, and I think they are hoping that next year they are competing for the playoffs,” Windhorst said. “I think that’s one of the reasons why you didn’t see Jerami Grant or Malcolm Brogdon (traded). Jerami Grant’s name wasn’t out there for an iota, that I heard, and Brogdon’s name never got serious.”

The Blazers had a handful of potential veteran trade candidates on their roster, including Grant, Brogdon, injured center Robert Williams, and swingman Matisse Thybulle, but ended up just making one minor deal, acquiring Dalano Banton from Boston. Cronin said he was “very content” with that outcome and that he wanted to give the current group more time to jell rather than just selling off players for draft picks.

“If there’s great value, we’ll add picks. If it’s great value, we’ll add players,” Cronin said. “But generally speaking, the deals we were pursuing were more player-oriented. Could we find a guy that provides immediate and long-term help? And is there proper value there?

“… We received lots of offers. I think it did make it somewhat more difficult to pry from us because we are happy with who we have and where we’re at. So, of course, we always want to be opportunistic and not just be thorough in this market, but have a great feel for what our options are and what’s available.”

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • Head coach Chauncey Billups was happy the front office didn’t make any real changes to Portland’s roster, as Fentress relays. “A lot of people wanted Malcolm, and rightfully so, I’m one of them people,” Billups said. “So, I was happy that we were able to keep him. A lot of people wanted Rob, and rightfully so. I’m one of those people. I think when it’s our turn to actually really compete and be competitive, those are the type of dudes that you want to do it with. So I’m happy we didn’t let them slip away.”
  • According to Fentress, Cronin said one reason the front office stood pat was that he was encouraged by how the Blazers responded to an early-January stretch in which they lost six of seven games by an average margin of 33.2 points per contest. Portland won five of its next 10 after that brutal stretch and Cronin suggested he’s pleased with what he’s seen from both the veterans and youngsters: “I really like where we’re positioned. I like where we’re headed. I like what we’re capable of. I like our team. I like our staff. I like our organization. I think we’re well on our way to good things in the future.”
  • In a post-deadline column for The Athletic, Jason Quick argues that the Blazers should have made a bolder move this week, such as trading center Deandre Ayton. Ayton’s first several months in Portland were “defined by tardiness and tantrums,” according to Quick, who cites team sources. “The quicker the Blazers can move off Ayton,” Quick writes, comparing him to former Blazers center Hassan Whiteside, “the sooner I will believe this franchise is headed in the right direction.”
  • In case you missed it, the Blazers reportedly received $3MM in cash from Boston in the Banton trade.

Sixers Rumors: Brogdon, Bogdanovic, Hield, Morris, Covington

The Sixers contacted the Trail Blazers about Malcolm Brogdon, but Portland appears reluctant to move him, sources tell Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. Neubeck hears that Philadelphia is attempting to add a combo guard who’s comfortable either running the offense or playing off the ball. That description fits Brogdon, who handled both roles while winning Sixth Man of the Year honors last season in Boston.

An efficient shooter throughout his career, Brogdon is connecting at 44% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range this season. He’s currently making $22.5MM and is owed the same amount for 2024/25, and the Blazers are content to hold onto him unless they’re “bowled over with an offer,” according to Neubeck.

Neubeck reports that the Sixers also made exploratory calls to the Hawks about Bogdan Bogdanovic, but Atlanta is asking for a high price in return. Part of Bogdanovic’s value stems from his team-friendly contract, which pays him $17.3MM next season and $16MM in 2025/26 with a $16MM team option for 2026/27.

Neubeck has more on the Sixers:

  • Philadelphia has interest in Pacers guard Buddy Hield, but Neubeck cites a “gap in valuation” between the teams that makes it unlikely they can agree on a deal. A source tells Neubeck that Indiana wants a first-round pick in exchange for Hield, while the Sixers are limiting their offer to expiring contracts and second-rounders.
  • The front office is hoping to find a starting-caliber center to replace Joel Embiid while he recovers from a knee procedure. Andre Drummond from the Bulls and Kelly Olynyk from the Jazz are widely reported options, but Neubeck hears that the Sixers have explored other possibilities and will likely sign someone if they can’t work out a trade before the deadline.
  • A source tells Neubeck that Marcus Morris and Robert Covington are the most likely Sixers to be traded. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had a similar report on his Hoop Collective podcast.

Stein’s Latest: Wiggins, Mavs, Finney-Smith, Bucks, Wizards

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Mavericks and Warriors weren’t engaged in any active discussions about an Andrew Wiggins trade, Marc Stein reports within his latest Substack article.

Dallas has repeatedly been cited as a team with interest in Wiggins, but sources tell Stein that interest has been overstated. As Stein previously reported, the Mavericks have been prioritizing power forwards over small forwards. Wiggins has played at the four, but is more of a small-ball option there and is a more traditional three.

That stance may explain why one recent report suggested that Dallas also hasn’t shown serious interest in Dorian Finney-Smith, another player who would be a smaller four. According to Stein, P.J. Washington of the Hornets and Kyle Kuzma of the Wizards are two of the players who remain on the Mavs’ radar.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Speaking of Finney-Smith, Stein and Ian Begley of each confirm that the Bucks have shown interest in the Nets forward. However, Brooklyn has sought at least one first-round pick in return for Finney-Smith and Milwaukee doesn’t have one to trade, so it’s unclear whether the two sides would be able to find common ground. The Nets have been signaling that they’re willing to hang onto Finney-Smith beyond the deadline if their asking price isn’t met, Stein writes.
  • After reporting that the Bucks and Mavericks had exploratory talks about Bobby Portis and Grant Williams, Stein says those discussions didn’t advance any further because Milwaukee isn’t interested in a one-for-one swap and would want additional compensation from Dallas to make a move. Stein doesn’t specify what sort of additional compensation the Bucks sought, but given that they’re in win-now mode, presumably they wanted another rotation player or the sort of draft assets that could be flipped for one.
  • Among potential Wizards trade candidates, Tyus Jones and Delon Wright are “increasingly” viewed as more likely to be moved than Kuzma, says Stein.
  • Like Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Stein has heard that Kuzma, Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon, and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic could all stay put this week, though he acknowledges there’s a chance one or more of those teams is posturing to gain leverage.

Multiple Factors Slowing Down NBA Trade Market

The rumor mill was relatively quiet at the start of NBA trade deadline week on Monday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who suggested to colleague Bobby Marks in the latest Woj Pod podcast that teams are a bit underwhelmed by what’s available on the market.

“There’s a bit of a logjam. There’s a bit of a sense of, I would almost say, ‘Is this all there is?'” Wojnarowski said. “I think a lot of GMs who want to get better – some have the assets to do it, some don’t necessarily have as many – are looking around going, ‘I just don’t see many guys out here who move the needle for us.'”

Wojnarowski still expects a busy deadline day on Thursday, perhaps with two or three trades completed on Tuesday or Wednesday. However, he’s not convinced that many of the deals made this week will involve difference-making players, noting that there haven’t been many recent conversations about presumed trade candidates such as Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon, Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

“I think we’re going to have trades and pieces are going to move around,” Woj said. “… We may see a lot of player number seven through 11, seven through 12 on rosters, second-round picks, a lot of those changing hands over the next 72 hours.”

Of course, a handful of major trades have been made since the 2023/24 season began, with players like James Harden, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam on the move. Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday were traded just ahead of training camp. In addition to the fact that some of this season’s top trade candidates have already been dealt, there are several other factors contributing to the slow development of the trade market.

One of those factors, according to Wojnarowski, is the continued impact of the play-in tournament, which has given teams more avenues to qualify for the postseason and has created more buyers than sellers during the season. Of the few sellers, some have set very high asking prices for their players, particularly the ones on multiyear deals. Meanwhile, many prospective buyers don’t have the assets or the flexibility to make significant deals, with three-quarters of the tradable future first-round picks controlled by just 11 teams.

A belief that the 2024 draft class is weaker than average may also slow down the trade market. “Nobody’s excited” about this year’s draft, according to Wojnarowski, so a team may be less inclined to move a useful veteran if the return package is headlined by a ’24 draft pick.

The new rules introduced in the league’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement are another wild card in play as teams seek potential deals. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the more strict salary-matching rules for teams above either tax apron appear to be creating challenges for some front offices — those teams aren’t permitted to take back more than 110% of the salaries they send out in a trade. Under the previous CBA, it was 125%.

As previously noted, several of this season’s bigger-name trade candidates are also under contract for multiple seasons, affording sellers the opportunity to be patient if they don’t get offers they like this week. Fischer points to Atlanta and Dejounte Murray as one example, suggesting the Hawks could be in a better position this offseason to land the type of first-round compensation they’re seeking for Murray, since more teams will be able to move more picks at that time. The Lakers, for instance, could move up to three future first-rounders this summer, but can only trade one this week.

The more punitive restrictions facing tax apron teams after the end of this season has also made certain clubs hesitant to take on sizable long-term contracts or to trade for a third player on a maximum-salary deal, especially if that player isn’t an All-NBA caliber talent, per Tim Bontemps and Marks at That’s one reason why interest in Bulls guard Zach LaVine was so tepid even before the team announced he’d be undergoing season-ending foot surgery.

With over 48 hours to go until Thursday’s 2 pm CT deadline, there’s still time for the trade market to roar to life, but it certainly doesn’t sound like we should expect a repeat of 2023’s deadline, when stars like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving changed teams.

Trade Rumors: Wiggins, Pacers, Brogdon, Lakers, More

While the 21-25 Warriors have had a disappointing season to this point and are once again projected to have a record-setting payroll and luxury tax bill, ownership hasn’t given a mandate for the front office to do anything but try to improve the roster, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says Golden State won’t be looking to simply offload the large salaries of players like Andrew Wiggins or Chris Paul.

Charania includes Klay Thompson in that group as well, though ESPN’s Brian Windhorst previously stated the Warriors aren’t interested in moving Thompson.

Charania confirms the Mavericks are interested in Wiggins, and adds the Pacers to the list of teams intrigued by the former No. 1 overall pick. Any deal sending Wiggins to Indiana would likely have to include Buddy Hield for salary-matching purposes, though that’s just an observation, not reporting.

According to Charania, unless the Warriors are blown away by an offer, they’re unlikely to trade any of those three veterans, particularly with their values at low points for various reasons. To this point, Charania says Golden State hasn’t received an offer that “moves the needle.”

Here are some more trade rumors from around the NBA, all courtesy of Marc Stein at Substack:

  • Once viewed as a strong trade candidate, Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon may have swung in the opposite direction. He has publicly said he’s happy in Portland and would prefer to stay, with Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports later reporting there was skepticism Brogdon would be moved. According to Stein, there have been “recent rumblings” that Brogdon is actually hoping to sign an extension with the Blazers. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is not eligible for an in-season extension, but will become extension-eligible during the 2024 offseason, when he will make $22.5MM in the final year of his deal. Given Portland’s place in the standings and the presence of Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson, Stein wonders whether the Blazers will actually consider an extension for a 31-year-old veteran like Brogdon, but says the idea of a “longer stay than anticipated” has “gained credence.”
  • Given their limited asset pool — they can only trade one future first-round pick right now — the Lakers appear more likely to make a minor trade than a major one, Stein says. They continue to be linked to the RaptorsBruce Brown, but Jarred Vanderbilt‘s injury weakened the roster, and Stein suggests Los Angeles may not see a major difference-makers in the market, particularly for what it can offer. Waiting until the offseason would free up more options, as the Lakers could then trade as many as three first-round picks.
  • According to Stein, Bulls guard Zach LaVine (foot surgery), Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga, Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, and the CavaliersDonovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen are among the “marquee players” who won’t be moved this season. Dejounte Murray and Kyle Kuzma are “two of the most coveted players” ahead of the February 8 deadline, but because they’re on long-term contracts, the Hawks and Wizards, respectively, might need to be patient to receive the assets they want in return, as first-round picks are hard to come by at the moment, per Stein.

Fischer’s Latest: Carter, Brogdon, Smart, Hawks, Jones, Hornets

While there will likely be plenty of trades completed between now and next Thursday’s deadline, many of the players whom rival teams had hoped would hit the market aren’t expected to be available this season, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer details, that list of players who are believed to be off-limits includes several current and former All-Stars, such as Lauri Markkanen, Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It also features talented forwards Mikal Bridges and Jerami Grant, as well as rising talent Jonathan Kuminga.

Fischer isn’t the first to report that those players likely won’t be on the move at the deadline, so no names in that group come as real surprises. However, Fischer adds a few more players to the list of unlikely trade candidates, writing that Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is no longer considered available and citing league personnel who are skeptical that the Trail Blazers will part with Malcolm Brogdon.

Additionally, while a handful of clubs – including the Bucks and Lakers – have called the Grizzlies to inquire about Marcus Smart, according to Fischer, Memphis has shown no interest in moving the veteran guard, who remains in the team’s plans beyond this season.

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from Fischer:

  • The Hawks are viewed by rival executives as the most “active and aggressive” team in the trade market, with Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and AJ Griffin among the players who could be moved. While previous reports have indicated that Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are Atlanta’s only two untouchable players, Fischer says the club values Bogdan Bogdanovic as highly as any player on its roster outside of Young and Johnson.
  • Even though the Wizards are seeking a first-round pick for Tyus Jones, rival executives are confident that Washington will ultimately accept a package consisting of multiple second-rounders for the veteran point guard, per Fischer. Jones is on an expiring contract and wouldn’t be a starter on many teams, so a first-rounder would be a high price to pay.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington and center Nick Richards are generating a good deal of interest from potential trade partners, league sources tell Fischer. Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, and Miles Bridges are among Charlotte’s other trade candidates.
  • We also passed along several of Fischer’s trade rumors related to Western Conference teams in a separate article.