Rudy Gobert

Injury Updates: Davis, James, Doncic, Wiggins, Gobert, Haliburton

The Lakers will play without both of their superstars against the Nets on Monday, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes.

LeBron James has a sore left ankle ankle, while Anthony Davis will rest his right foot. It’s the first game of a back-to-back, so they both could return on Tuesday against the Knicks.

We have more notable injury updates:

  • Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic is listed as questionable to play against Detroit on Monday, the team’s PR department tweets. Doncic suffered a left ankle sprain three minutes into their game against Phoenix on Thursday. He missed their loss to Utah on Saturday.
  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who missed the last two games due to a non-COVID illness, is not listed on the injury report for Monday’s game against Oklahoma City, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is listed as questionable to play against Sacramento on Monday due to right groin soreness, the team’s PR department tweets. Gobert played 36 minutes in Minnesota’s victory over the Kings on Saturday.
  • Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton hopes to practice Tuesday and Wednesday with “the aim to play this weekend,” according to coach Rick Carlisle, Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star tweets. Indiana plays home games against the Lakers, Kings and Cavaliers later this week. Haliburton has missed 10 games due to knee and elbow injuries.

Northwest Notes: Holmgren, Thunder, Winslow, Gobert

A Lisfranc injury that required surgery on his right foot is preventing Thunder draftee Chet Holmgren from playing during his first NBA season. Instead, he has immersed himself in learning and getting ready for next fall, writes David Gardner of The New York Times.

Holmgren was expected to be among the headliners in this year’s rookie class after being selected with the second pick in the 2022 draft. That changed when he suffered the injury during a summer pro-am game that was eventually canceled because of wet court conditions.

While recovering from the operation, Holmgren has become dedicated to film study as he tries to envision his role with Oklahoma City once he can return to the court. He also meets once a week with coach Mark Daigneault, discussing both philosophy and strategy.

“I don’t think anything can replace playing this year,” Holgren said. “I don’t think anybody could convince me of that. But at the end of the day, I could let this be a blessing or a curse, you know? So I got to figure out how to turn it into a blessing, how to make the most out of it.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder are surprisingly in the Western Conference play-in race at 22-24, but they don’t consider their rebuilding project to be ahead of schedule, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Daigneault explains that the organization is committed to doing things the right way, regardless of how long it takes to be competitive. “There’s no schedule,” he said. “There’s a way of operating that we’re very confident in and that we’re just going to bet on. And that’s having, first of all, competitive guys and the team guys that we’ve known developing them, helping them grow through experiences, teaching professionalism, having a good environment and trying to play a style that scales forward.”
  • Justise Winslow has become a reliable veteran since being traded to the Trail Blazers last February, but he had a difficult journey through most of his NBA career. He talks about those challenges, including high expectations after being drafted by Miami and the difficulty of overcoming injuries, in an interview with Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I was very selfish; I thought the world was centered around me, especially when basketball was taken away,” Winslow said. “I didn’t know how to fill myself up. That’s when a lot of the negativity and darkness started to creep in.”
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is missing his third straight game tonight with a groin injury, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Coach Chris Finch said Gobert was able to participate in shootaround and the pregame workout, so he should be back soon.

Wolves Notes: KAT, Gobert, Russell, Connelly, Nuggets

Karl-Anthony Towns has been sidelined since November 28 after suffering a right calf strain. As Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes, the Timberwolves‘ star big man recently expressed frustration regarding the reporting surrounding the injury.

It was never a Grade 2 [strain], it was never going to be a Grade 2, unfortunately,” Towns said on his livestream. “I prayed to God almighty that it was a Grade 2, but I knew it wasn’t. It was a Grade 3.”

Hine notes that Grade 3 strains are more severe and a recovery timeline could be more than two months. ESPN reported on November 29 that Towns would miss four-to-six weeks, but was expected to make a full recovery and return in January. Towns said that timeline was never in the cards.

I wish it was four-to-six weeks. I knew then it wasn’t going to be four to six,” Towns said. “The team was trying to say four to six. There was no way with the injury I sustained, it’s a very significant injury. I don’t know if they were trying to give false hope to the fans or what the case may be.”

Hine points out that the Wolves ruled Towns out indefinitely and never gave a definitive recovery timeline. Still, it’s understandable that he would be frustrated about an inaccurate timeline that was leaked almost immediately after taking his MRI. The 27-year-old also gave a positive (if vague) update on his recovery.

I’m getting better. Everything is going good. Going really well,” Towns said, per Hine. “Just getting better, man. It takes time. This is a very real injury. Significant, but it could’ve been way worse.”

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Grading the team to this point is “premature and pointless,” according to Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune, who argues that the Wolves still need to see what they have with a fully healthy lineup before declaring the season — and the Rudy Gobert trade — a lost cause. Souhan says it has been a disappointing 47 games, and they clearly have some issues, but it’s too early to make broad declarations. They’ve gone 13-13 without Towns and are still in the playoff mix at 23-24, currently the West’s No. 7 seed.
  • D’Angelo Russell showed both his strengths and weaknesses in Thursday’s game against the Raptors, but ultimately came through in the clutch with several big shots in leading the Wolves to a comeback victory, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Russell has been the subject of recent trade rumors, and his high-variance play can be frustrating, so Minnesota will have a tough decision to make ahead of the deadline, Krawczynski adds.
  • President of basketball operations Tim Connelly, who was hired away from the Nuggets in the offseason, says he still wants to see his former team succeed, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscriber link). “… I watch every Nuggets game, I root for them like crazy,” he said. “It’s neat that me and my family played something super small.” Minnesota visited Denver for the first time this season on Wednesday, and while Connelly enjoyed seeing his former co-workers, he also said it was “super weird.”

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Simons, Adelman, Conley

The Timberwolves are off to a disappointing 22-24 start this season, but Rudy Gobert‘s former teammates continue to preach patience and still believe the center can be successful in Minnesota, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Gobert’s fellow All-Star in Utah, Donovan Mitchell, says he let friends Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell know that building rapport with the big man on both sides of the ball wouldn’t be an overnight process.

“I told them, ‘It’s not just going to happen,'” Mitchell said. “‘You’ve gotta stay building that bond and chemistry. It’s going to take time to see it continuously build gradually.'”

Meanwhile, ex-colleagues of Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly have faith in the former Nuggets executive’s ability to right the ship in Minnesota, raving about his ability to stay positive in the face of adversity, as Krawczynski details in another story for The Athletic.

“This may sound strange, but in a long, emotional NBA season, he’s going to find a way to bring some comedy and some lightness to it, which I think is needed,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said of Connelly. “I’m sure everybody here in Minnesota is not happy with their play. Getting down and getting negative will not help that. That will only make it worse. So Tim is definitely the guy that can get this team out of that.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Appearing on the Rip City Radio 620 show in Portland, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said he hasn’t heard anything so far about the Trail Blazers dangling players in trade talks, though he acknowledged that could change within the next three weeks (story via Matthew Legros of Blazer’s Edge). Haynes added that the team considers guard Anfernee Simons close to untouchable.
  • Filling in this week for Michael Malone, who was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman received a strong endorsement from two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). Jokic believes it’s just a matter of time before Adelman is named a permanent head coach by an NBA team. “I really think that DA’s a guy who’s gonna be next head coach because he has that, I’m gonna say ‘head’ for a head coach,” Jokic said. “… He knows the answers. He reads, reacts.”
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune explores the rumors linking Jazz point guard Mike Conley to the Clippers and considers what a trade package might look like. Larsen suggests that a combination like Robert Covington, John Wall, and one minimum-salary or near-minimum player might work, adding that Utah could seek a second-round pick depending on who that third player is.

Northwest Notes: Gobert Trade, Malone, Porter Jr., Anderson

The Timberwolves’ acquisition of Rudy Gobert could eventually go down as the most lopsided trade in NBA history with the Jazz as the beneficiary, Andy Larsen of Salt Lake Tribune opines.

Jazz rookie center Walker Kessler has played as well or better than Gobert has this season, in Larsen’s view. Utah also received Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, who could potentially be flipped for first-round picks, plus the Timberwolves’ first-rounder this year as well as first-rounders in 2025, 2027 and 2029 and a pick swap in 2026.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Michael Malone did not coach the Nuggets’ game against Portland on Tuesday because he entered the league’s health and safety protocols, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Assistant David Adelman filled in for Malone.
  • Michael Porter Jr. is feeling healthier and it’s reflected in his increasing dunk total, Harrison Wind of notes. Porter had 13 dunks this season entering Tuesday’s contest with four coming in the last three games. Porter was sidelined for 13 games last month with a heel injury. “I think my foot’s getting better and I just think my nerve is healing from my back surgery and stuff like that,” Porter said. “I feel like I’m getting my legs back under me a little bit. I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near where I will be toward the end of the season, but I feel like I’m in a good place overall.”
  • The Timberwolves used their mid-level exception last summer to sign forward Kyle Anderson to a two-year deal. He’s proving to be a very valuable addition, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Anderson, who is averaging a career-best 3.9 assists, had a triple-double in Monday’s loss to the Jazz. “He’s just such a solid basketball player that when he’s out there, he’s always keeping things steady,” guard Austin Rivers said.

Western Notes: Clarkson, Booth, Gobert, Ingram, Eason

Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson denied the rumor that he turned down a contract extension offer, according to Karlo Sacamos of At least three reporters have stated that Clarkson’s representatives and the Jazz have discussed an extension.

I’ve really had no communication in terms of extension from my side or my team that I know of,” the Filipino-American combo guard said in a recent online media availability with Manila-based reporters. “And if those talks are happening, sometime soon, I would love to be here in Utah, continue to play with my teammates further.”

Clarkson, who turns 31 in June, is posting career highs in multiple categories for Utah, including points (21.1), rebounds (4.2), assists (4.4) and minutes (32.6) per game, Sacamos notes. However, due to CBA rules regarding veteran extensions, the Jazz are limited in what they can offer him at the moment.

If the summer comes and it’s nothing else or it’s not an agreement or anything comes through, we just have to wait and see,” the Clarkson said, per Sacamos. “I can’t tell that far in the future, but in terms of right now, I don’t think there’s really been much talking.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • In an interview with Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports Radio (Twitter link), GM Calvin Booth suggested the Nuggets might have a relatively quiet trade deadline. “When healthy, I don’t think we need much. I think we have a lot of what we need inside our locker room,” he said. The Nuggets are currently 30-13, the No. 1 seed in the West.
  • After being limited to 13 minutes in Saturday’s over Cleveland, Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert attempted to play on Monday against Utah, his former team, but was ruled out after just five minutes of action (Twitter link). The three-time All-Star is dealing with right groin soreness.
  • Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram missed his 25th straight game on Monday in Cleveland due to a left big toe contusion, and his extended absence is frustrating some people in the organization, writes Christian Clark of (subscriber link). Clark notes that injuries have long been an issue for Ingram. He has played just 15 games this season.
  • Rookie first-rounder Tari Eason plans to appeal his $30K fine for his role in an altercation between the Rockets and Kings on Friday, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link). “There is an appeal process and I’m working on one as we speak,” Eason said. The forward was docked for escalating the fracas and making inadvertent contact with a game official. Eason added that he “was surprised” that he was penalized and that he didn’t realize he had come in contact with an official, according to Feigen.

Injury Notes: Doncic, Green, Morant, Gobert, Edwards, Harris

Luka Doncic didn’t play on Sunday, with the official explanation being left ankle soreness, according to the team’s PR department (Twitter link). According to the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend, the Mavericks superstar was simply being rested in the second game of a back-to-back.

Doncic played a career-high 53 minutes in Thursday’s double-overtime victory of the Lakers, then scored a season-low 15 points in 35 minutes against Portland on Saturday night.

The Mavs’ Josh Green, out since Dec. 9 due to a sprained right elbow, could return to action on Wednesday, Townsend tweets.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Grizzlies star Ja Morant delivered an electrifying hammer dunk against the Pacers on Saturday but there’s no guarantee he’ll play on Monday. Morant is listed as questionable to play against Phoenix due to left hip soreness, the team’s PR department tweets.
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is listed as questionable to play against his former team, the Jazz, on Monday due to right groin soreness, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Anthony Edwards is also questionable due to left hip soreness.
  • Magic guard Gary Harris started on Sunday despite what the team’s PR department labeled a mallet finger on his shooting hand, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. It’s an injury to the end of a finger that causes it to bend inward toward the palm. A torn or stretched tendon prevents the finger from straightening out.

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Clarkson, Markkanen, Murray

Rudy Gobert hasn’t made a smooth transition to his new team after the Timberwolves acquired him in an offseason trade, but his performance Friday indicates that things may be turning around, writes Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune. Gobert posted 25 points and 21 rebounds and scored on six lob dunks, showing that he’s building a connection with his teammates.

“I try to just be in the right spot,” Gobert said. “Make it easy for them. And those guys have been getting better. A lot of guys [had] turnovers trying to throw me the ball earlier this season. And, every night, that’s going to happen here and there. But I really try to reward them by finishing those plays and being in the right spot.”

The Wolves talked a lot after Friday’s game about how long it takes to get used to a new teammate after a major personnel move. Kyle Anderson, who’s also in his first season in Minnesota, said he studied film of Joe Ingles passing the ball to Gobert when they were together in Utah.

“You just have to trust him,” Anderson said. “I mean, it’s hard. It is a lot of pressure on someone to come into a new team and be good in October and November. Like, that’s rare. So I think he’s getting his rhythm in the pocket. We’re starting to trust him more and he’s making the right play.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Tony Jones of The Athletic has confirmed a report by Marc Stein that the Jazz and Jordan Clarkson have discussed a contract extension. In a series of tweets, Jones cites “mutual interest in moving forward” and states that negotiations are expected to continue. Sources tell Jones that the team views the 30-year-old Clarkson as young enough to be part of the rebuilding process.
  • In his first season with the Jazz, Lauri Markkanen has turned into the player the Bulls were hoping for when they traded for him on draft night in 2017, says KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Utah visited Chicago tonight, and Markkanen said he always looks forward to returning to his first NBA home. “I think I’m a better player than I was a couple years ago when I was here and I’m just getting more mature. And then being in the right system utilizes my strengths,” he said. “Being on the move is getting me to my right spots. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do this stuff earlier on.”
  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is getting to the point where he’s not afraid to test his surgically repaired ACL, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Murray turned in a vintage performance Thursday with 13 first-quarter points. “For the most part, I’m just playing out there,” he said.

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Gobert, Reid, Garza, Prince

Anthony Edwards‘ evolution into the franchise player in Minnesota remains a work in progress, but the Timberwolves guard is viewed by teammates and coaches as a great listener who is willing to put in the work necessary to reach stardom, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports writes in a profile of the former No. 1 overall pick. One area of focus for the Wolves this season has been encouraging Edwards to find his teammates rather than forcing shots when opposing defenses double-team him.

“One thing we preach to him a lot is the essence of offense in the league is not how much you score, but when they put two on you and you create an advantage,” head coach Chris Finch said. “No matter how they do it, pick-and-roll trap, early gap help, all that stuff that comes from the gravity he creates, just trying to continue to find the right play and trusting his teammates to score. Keep trusting the right pass.”

While Edwards is averaging a career-best 4.4 assists per game through 40 appearances this season, it’s his scoring ability that makes him special. He’s averaging a career-best 23.7 points per contest so far this season and led the Wolves to a victory over Portland on Wednesday with a game-high 32.

“He’s six years away (from his prime) and he’s already this good,” teammate Austin Rivers said that night, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). “Franchise player. He’s the guy here. There’s no doubt about it.”

Unfortunately, Edwards exited Friday’s game in the third quarter due to a sore left hip that has been bothering him as of late, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. The Wolves still managed to pull out a solid 128-115 win over the visiting Clippers.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Seth Partnow of The Athletic took a closer look on Friday at some advanced stats that suggest Rudy Gobert‘s defensive impact has declined this season, writing that the big man’s regression is a cause for concern. Hours later, Gobert delivered perhaps his best game since arriving in Minnesota, piling up 25 points and 21 rebounds in the team’s victory over the Clippers. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best Rudy yet,” he said after the game (story via Hine). “I’ve been putting in a lot of work. My teammates are sticking with me. The coaching staff is sticking with me. And I know that it’s going to pay off. It’s a long season. My goal is to just keep raising my level every day and set the tone for these guys.”
  • After missing the Wolves’ previous two games due to back spasms, backup center Naz Reid played just nine minutes on Friday before exiting early due to the same injury, Hine writes.
  • With Reid and Karl-Anthony Towns both sidelined, two-way player Luka Garza got a chance to crack the rotation this week and delivered with 23 points in 27 minutes during the two games Reid missed. Though Garza felt comfortable on the offensive end of the court, he was more concerned about how he performed on defense, Hine writes for The Star Tribune. “I know that’s the decider of how long I can stay in this league,” Garza said. “If I could become a real rotation piece, it’s how good I get at that end. … I think at the end of the day, just playing hard is going to help you most of the time.”
  • Taurean Prince‘s return has given the Wolves a shot in the arm, Hine says in another Star Tribune story. Prince has played 47 total minutes off the bench in his two games back after missing 20 consecutive contests due to a right shoulder injury. He scored double-digit points on Wednesday and Friday, both Minnesota wins. “He was our most consistent player in a lot of ways in his role, when he went out,” Finch said on Wednesday. “I knew what I was going to get from him every night. He knows who he is. His game is super well-defined and he sticks to his strengths, so definitely pleased to have him back.”

Wolves Notes: Gobert, Anderson, McLaughlin, Prince

The Timberwolves need much more from center Rudy Gobert, who hasn’t been the player they thought they were trading for, according Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

As Krawczynski writes, the Wolves lost a winnable game on Monday when Miami was down its two best players in forward Jimmy Butler and center Bam Adebayo. Gobert was outplayed by undrafted two-way Heat rookie Orlando Robinson, which is inexcusable for a player of his stature.

Gobert’s numbers are down across the board, and he doesn’t appear to be as mobile or changing shots at the rim like he did while winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards with the Jazz. Krawczynski points out that perhaps the most concerning statistic is that Gobert’s blocked shots have plummeted down to 1.2 per game — the lowest since his rookie year in 2023/14, when he averaged fewer than 10 minutes per contest.

There’s still time to turn things around, and injuries to key rotation players haven’t helped. But to this point, the blockbuster trade is looking like a disaster for the Wolves, per Krawczynski.

For what it’s worth, Krawczynski said (via Twitter) that Gobert played “great” in Wednesday’s one-point loss to the Pelicans, which dropped the Wolves’ record to 16-19.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • In a Q&A with Tania Ganguli of The New York Times (subscriber link), Gobert says he isn’t worried about being under a microscope as he adjusts to a new team. “It’s not hard for me. I want to win, I’m a competitor, so it’s hard to lose. But at the same time, I’m able to understand the bigger picture and to understand that you got to go through pain to grow. I’ve said every time people ask me, it’s going to be some adversity. And when adversity hits, obviously everybody will have something to say. People are always going to have opinions,” he said.
  • Prior to Wednesday’s game, head coach Chris Finch told reporters, including Chris Hine of The Star Tribune (Twitter link), that forward Kyle Anderson is nearing a return. The Wolves hope to have him back for Friday’s game in Milwaukee. The veteran play-maker has been dealing with a non-COVID illness and back spasms.
  • Finch also provided injury updates on point guard Jordan McLaughlin (left calf strain) and forward Taurean Prince (right shoulder subluxation), two key role players for the Wolves. As Hine relays (via Twitter), Finch said McLaughlin will be reevaluated in about a week, while Prince has been doing on-court work, but there’s still no timetable for his return. McLaughlin has now missed 10 straight games with his calf injury. Prince has been out since November 25, missing 17 consecutive games.