Steven Adams

Western Notes: Henderson, Brooks, Jones, Jackson Jr.

The biggest knock against No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson entering the draft was his shooting — he made just 27.5% of his 3-point attempts in the G League. His trainer, Brandon Payne, brushes off criticism regarding Henderson’s shot as he heads into his rookie season with the Trail Blazers.

“Scoot can shoot the ball,” Payne told Mark Medina in a Sportskeeda article. “When he feels one go down the right way, you better watch out because there’s a bunch coming behind him. But like with any young player, there’s going to be ups and downs. He will just have to weather those and work through them.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • LeBron James shook off Dillon Brooks‘ tactics in the playoff series between the Lakers and Grizzlies. James shot 61.1 percent when guarded by Brooks, yet the new Rockets swingman has a different interpretation of how his matchup with LeBron played out, he told Arash Madani in a Sportsnet interview (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). “I feel like I always had him,” Brooks said. “I feel like that series was thrown upon me cause of the words that I say, but I’ve been saying things all year and we won 50 games.”
  • Derrick Jones‘ guaranteed one-year contract with the Mavericks is worth the veteran’s minimum, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Jones will earn approximately $2.71MM on the deal, while Dallas takes on a cap hit of $2.02MM.
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. has been manning the middle for Team USA this summer and that may be his future spot with the Grizzlies, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Veteran center Steven Adams is signed through the 2024/25 season but Jackson could be his eventual replacement.

Grizzlies Notes: Bane, Smart, Morant, Jackson, Adams, Clarke

Desmond Bane believes Marcus Smart is a perfect addition for the Grizzlies‘ style of basketball, writes Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. Memphis acquired the former Defensive Player of the Year from the Celtics in a three-team deal that was finalized late Thursday night, and Bane is thrilled to welcome him to the team.

Bane sees Smart as a replacement for free agent Dillon Brooks, who Memphis isn’t expected to re-sign. Bane said Brooks’ defensive prowess relieved him of the burden of having to guard the opponent’s best player, and he expects Smart to do the same.

“Marcus Smart brings a lot to the team,” Bane said. “I mean I think you guys are going to love him. He kind of brings that Dillon edge, a little bit more playmaking. It’s going to be fun.”

Bane added that he’s making progress after having toe surgery in mid-May, and he hopes to resume shooting soon. He’s expected to receive a rookie-scale extension after averaging a career-best 21.5 PPG this season.

There’s more from Memphis:

  • At a post-draft press conference, general manager Zach Kleiman offered the Grizzlies’ first public statement on Ja Morant since his 25-game suspension was announced last week, Cole states in a separate story. Kleiman said team officials have maintained a dialogue with Morant and the relationship isn’t strained, but the troubled guard has to prove he can change his behavior. “We’re going to continue to pour into him, we’re going to continue to hold him to account for everything that he’s doing day-to-day,” Kleiman said. “It’s on him to follow through, but he’s going to have every opportunity to do so.”
  • Second-round pick G.G. Jackson will likely receive a two-way contract and spend most of the upcoming season in the G League, Cole adds in another piece. The 18-year-old forward out of South Carolina was taken with the 45th pick Thursday night. “We see someone who for his size is incredibly skilled,” Kleiman said. “We see someone who is a hard worker and is committed to doing the hard work. … G.G. is going to have to put in the work to achieve his potential.”
  • Kleiman expressed confidence that Steven Adams will be ready for the start of next season, Cole tweets. The team’s starting center wasn’t able to return after suffering an injury to his right knee in January. Kleiman believes Brandon Clarke will be available for a “good portion” of the season after tearing his left Achilles in March.

Grizzlies Notes: Morant, Jackson, Bane, Adams

Adam Silver will wait until after the NBA Finals to announce Ja Morant‘s punishment for his latest gun-related incident, but the commissioner dropped some hints about the length of a potential suspension during his press conference last week, writes Mark Giannatto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Giannatto examines five statements from Silver to get an idea of what Morant’s suspension might look like. He suggests that the commissioner seemed more disappointed than angry about Morant’s behavior when he talked about creating “better circumstances going forward” for the Grizzlies star.

Silver mentioned the involvement of the players’ union in the process, which Giannatto believes may be encouraging for Morant. He points out that no player has ever been suspended for more than 30 games without being charged with a crime and theorizes that the NBPA won’t let that happen to Morant without putting up a fight.

There’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Appearing on Paul George‘s podcast, Jaren Jackson Jr. expressed support for Morant and said he’s holding up well amid the likelihood of suspension, relays Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. “He’s good,” Jackson said. “That’s my brother, though. No matter what, I stand by my brother, and I think that’s the lesson everybody should take away from this. … Everybody is going to say whatever, but they’re everybody. It never matters at the end of the day. This is your family. This is your brother.”
  • The absence of Morant will make this an especially important season for Desmond Bane, Cole adds in a separate story. Bane, who will be on the final year of his rookie contract, will have to assume a larger leadership role on the team and Cole states that he might have All-Star potential. Cole also points to Santi Aldama, Ziaire Williams, Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Tyus Jones as players to watch heading into next season.
  • The Grizzlies never fully recovered after losing Steven Adams to a right knee injury in January, Cole states in another Commercial Appeal piece. The team’s starting center appeared in a career-low 42 games this season and was especially missed in the playoffs when Memphis was outmuscled in a first-round loss to the Lakers. Cole adds that in addition to his rebounding, the Grizzlies also missed Adams’ screen setting and his leadership as the oldest player on the team.

Western Notes: Landale, Grizzlies, Towns, Gobert

Backup center Jock Landale, who will be a restricted free agent if Phoenix gives him a qualifying offer, hopes to remain with the Suns long term.

“This is a city and a fanbase and an organization I’d love to be a part of for the rest of my career if I could,” Landale said (Twitter video link via PHNX Suns).

The 27-year-old Australian had relatively modest numbers in the regular season, averaging 6.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 69 games (14.2 MPG).

However, after making just one brief appearance in Phoenix’s five-game series against the Clippers, Landale made his mark against Denver, as Phoenix was plus-34 over his 106 minutes in the series, with a positive plus/minus in five of his six games despite the club losing four of those contests and ultimately getting eliminated.

Here’s more from the West:

Grizzlies Notes: Adams, Brooks, Bane, Offseason

Grizzlies center Steven Adams didn’t play after January 22 due to a knee injury, but the team is hopeful he’ll be ready to go in October, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal tweets.

“The target for Steven Adams is to return at the beginning of next season,” Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman said. Adams signed a two-year, $25.2MM extension last offseason that kicks in next season.

We have more on the Grizzlies:

  • Dillon Brooks didn’t have any trouble talking to LeBron James during the first-round series but he got fined by the league for not talking. He was docked $25K for violating league rules governing media interview access, the league’s communications department tweets. The fine stemmed from Brooks’ failure to participate in team postgame media availability during the first round.
  • Brooks did meet with the local media on Sunday and expressed no regrets for trash talking, including called James “old,” Cole reports. “No, that’s who I am,” Brooks said. “I don’t regret it. I’m a competitor. I compete.” Kleiman was noncommittal on Sunday when asked about Brooks’ future with the franchise. The veteran forward is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Regarding that issue, Mark Giannotto and Cole believe it’s best if the Grizzlies let Brooks walk. Both Commercial Appeal reporters feel the club should re-sign Brooks only as a last resort after exploring many other options to upgrade the wing spot.
  • What should the Grizzlies do this offseason after their first-round flameout? Yossi Gozlan of Hoops Hype and Bobby Marks of ESPN both explore that topic, including how much Desmond Bane could receive in an extension.

Southwest Notes: Adams, Lofton, McCollum, Vogel, Borrego

Grizzlies center Steven Adams has slowly progressed during his recovery from a sprained right knee, which is why he’s likely to sit out the postseason, coach Taylor Jenkins told Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“We thought we were making headway with the process and all that, but each evaluation we had with the doctors kind of revealed it’s not progressing like we need it to. … No setbacks, no reinjuries, it was just not progressing to a level,” the Grizzlies’ head coach said. “Obviously some unfortunate news, but that’s why we’re going to try to do everything possible to try to get the best decision possible for him.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Due to Adams’ injury, the Grizzlies wound up signing G League Rookie of the Year Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a standard contract. It wasn’t a given, Cole tweets. Jenkins said the Grizzlies did their “due diligence” on bringing in a free agent big man for the playoffs, but ultimately decided to reward Lofton for how well he’s played and his knowledge of the system.
  • Pelicans guard CJ McCollum will undergo right thumb surgery next week, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweets. McCollum, who previously revealed the injury and the likelihood of surgery, said it’s been an issue for several months. McCollum also indicated his shoulder has bothered him in recent games and he’ll have it evaluated, Will Guillory of The Athletic adds in another tweet.
  • Frank Vogel, the Lakers’ head coach during their championship run in the Orlando bubble in 2020, was interviewed for the Rockets’ head coach position on Wednesday, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tweets. The Rockets are interviewing a number of former head coaches, as well as some prominent assistants, for the job.
  • In a separate piece, Iko takes a closer look at whether former Hornets coach James Borrego would be a good fit as the Rockets’ head coach. Iko spoke at length with former Hornets assistant Nick Friedman to get a better feel for Borrego’s coaching style.

Grizzlies’ Steven Adams Likely Out For Postseason

Starting Grizzlies center Steven Adams will likely miss Memphis’ entire postseason run, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Adams has been sidelined for Memphis since suffering a PCL sprain in his right knee in late January. Last month, he received a stem cell injection to treat the ailment and was ruled out for another four weeks.

As Tim MacMahon of ESPN notes, the Grizzlies initially expected Adams to miss three-to-five weeks with the injury.

Memphis had high expectations for the 29-year-old coming into the season, and accordingly had signed him to a two-year, $25.2MM extension during training camp. The 6’11” Adams had been an integral part of the Grizzlies’ defensive identity when healthy this season, averaging 8.6 PPG on 59.7% shooting from the field, 11.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.1 BPG and 0.9 SPG.

The Grizzlies will miss not only his rebounding acumen, impossible screens and defense around the rim, but also his solid play-making from out of the high post.

Memphis, the No. 2 seed in the West at 51-30, will need to lean more heavily on Adams’ backup, Xavier Tillman, who has performed ably in his stead. Across his 29 starts sans Adams, Tillman is averaging 9.7 PPG and 6.7 RPG.

Rookie two-way forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. is being elevated onto Memphis’ standard roster to help address the loss. The Grizzlies are also without key reserve big man Brandon Clarke for the 2023 postseason due to a torn left Achilles tendon.

Injury Notes: Brunson, Bulls, Cavaliers, KAT, Grizzlies

Knicks starting point guard Jalen Brunson will miss his second straight game on Monday with a sprained right hand, the team has announced (Twitter link).

The 6’1″ Brunson is enjoying a career season with his new club. Across 65 healthy games, he’s averaging 23.8 PPG on .489/.411/.833 shooting. The 26-year-old is also averaging 6.2 APG, 3.6 RPG and 0.9 SPG for New York.

Reserve guard Derrick Rose, who has been out of the rotation since the calendar rolled over to 2023, will also be inactive for this evening’s bout against the Rockets due to an illness, the Knicks add.

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

  • Bulls forward Javonte Green, who continues to recover from a January knee surgery after making a brief return to the lineup last week, will be out tonight against the Clippers, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link). Johnson adds that veteran Chicago guard Alex Caruso is considered questionable to play.
  • Several Cavaliers players comprise the club’s injury report ahead of the team’s game Tuesday against the Hawks, per Chris Fedor of (Twitter links). Starting center Jarrett Allen is questionable with a groin strain, while starting small forward Isaac Okoro is also questionable due to a sore knee. Swingman Danny Green and point guard Raul Neto will not play. Wing Dean Wade is doubtful to play through an illness. Isaiah Mobley, Sam Merrill and Dylan Windler are all going to be working with Cleveland’s NBAGL affiliate, the Cleveland Charge.
  • Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns will sit out tonight’s game against the Kings as he manages his right calf strain injury on the second night of a back-to-back, the team has announced (Twitter link). Two-way player Matt Ryan is out with an illness. All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards is questionable due to a sprained right ankle. Guard Jaylen Nowell is also questionable with a left knee tendinopathy.
  • At least five Grizzlies players will be shelved for Tuesday’s contest against the Magic, Memphis has announced (via Twitter). Beyond Brandon Clarke, who’s out for the year with a left Achilles tear, Ziaire Williams, Vince Williams, Jake LaRavia and Steven Adams are all also sidelined. All-Star point guard Ja Morant is considered doubtful to play due to a sore right thigh.

Steven Adams Out At Least Four More Weeks

Grizzlies center Steven Adams had a stem cell injection on Wednesday as part of his treatment for a PCL sprain in his right knee, the team announced (via Twitter). His condition will be reevaluated in about four weeks.

Adams hasn’t played since January 22, but there had been hope that he was nearing a return. He was doing 5-on-5 work in practice in late February, and coach Taylor Jenkins floated the possibility that he might be able to play on the team’s recent road trip, which wrapped up Tuesday.

With a month left in the regular season, it’s almost certain that Adams won’t be back before the playoffs. His availability for the postseason will depend on how his knee responds to the latest treatment.

The news on Adams continues a brutal week for the Grizzlies, who saw Ja Morant step away from the team for an indefinite time following a gun-related incident over the weekend and learned that Brandon Clarke will be lost for the season with a torn Achilles. That means Memphis, which has fallen into third place in the West after three straight losses, will have to finish the season without two of its frontcourt rotation players.

The Grizzlies’ recent downturn began after Adams suffered his injury. He’s averaging 8.6 points and 11.5 rebounds in 42 games and brings a physical presence in the middle that has been missed.

The 29-year-old agreed to a two-year extension before the start of the season and is under contract through 2024/25.

Grizzlies Notes: Morant, Adams, Jones, Clarke

At some point before Ja Morant flashed a gun at a strip club on an Instagram Live video over the weekend, the Grizzlies held a players-only meeting in which veteran center Steven Adams spoke out about the need for better discipline during road trips, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter video link via The Rally).

As Charania explains, the Grizzlies are 26-5 at home this year but just 12-20 in road games, and part of Adams’ message was about cutting back on going out and partying while on the road.

“I’m told those in the room when Steven Adams spoke about, they knew exactly who he was directing this to,” Charania said. “It was no one other than Ja Morant.”

In the wake of Saturday’s incident and the news that Morant will be away from the team for at least two games (and likely longer), Marc J. Spears of Andscape suggests that the young point guard could look to Carmelo Anthony‘s career arc as a blueprint worth following.

Anthony entered the NBA as No. 3 overall pick and a rising star who had just won a title at Syracuse, but made a series of off-court headlines in his first few years in the league — he allegedly got into a fight at a New York nightclub, was charged for possession of marijuana, and was arrested for a DUI, among other incidents. However, he eventually surrounded himself with more positive influences and shifted his focus more to basketball. The onus is now on Morant to choose a similar path.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • In an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (YouTube video link), Brian Windhorst suggested that while the NBA announced a new investigation into Morant on Saturday following the Instagram Live video, that was more like a continuation of an ongoing process due to previous allegations. “The NBA isn’t starting an investigation into the situation because their last investigation from Ja never stopped,” Windhorst said. “They’re concerned, and they have been doing background information and gathering information even more than normal over the last few weeks trying to understand what’s going on here.”
  • Grizzlies point guard Tyus Jones has long been considered one of the best backups in the NBA. Now, with Morant away from the team indefinitely, Jones will be a key factor in ensuring the team keeps pace in the West’s playoff race, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jones adjusted nicely in his first game as a starter on Sunday, racking up 25 points, 12 assists, and five steals in a six-point loss to the Clippers. Memphis outscored L.A. by three points when Jones was on the court.
  • While Morant and Dillon Brooks – who was suspended for Sunday’s game – have dominated the headlines, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton (Insider-only link) writes that Brandon Clarke‘s season-ending Achilles injury shouldn’t be overlooked. As Pelton writes, Clarke has proven his value in certain playoff matchups – like last year’s series vs. Minnesota – and his absence will further weaken a frontcourt that has already been shaky without Adams in recent weeks.