Rockets guard Demetrius Jackson can expect a lot of trips to and from Rio Grande Valley over the next few weeks, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Jackson, who is serving as the team’s backup point guard while Chris Paul is sidelined with soreness in his left knee, signed a two-way contract over the summer and is limited to 45 days in the NBA. Every day in Houston will count against that total once G League camps open tomorrow, so Jackson will be making repeated journeys to the Rockets’ affiliate.
Jackson played 17 minutes in Saturday’s win over the Mavericks, delivering four points, five rebounds and two assists. The Rockets may decide to convert his deal into a full NBA contract if Paul’s absence is prolonged and the team can’t find another point guard. “Definitely, a different confidence level after going back, reviewing the film, trying to grow from the positive and the negative,” Jackson said. “I definitely got some good looks. Just have to step up and knock those down.”
There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:
- The left knee effusion suffered by Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. may not be as bad as it sounds, cautions Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. There is concern in Dallas because an effusion, which means swelling due to fluid building up in a joint, is what sidelined Dirk Nowitzki for two months in 2013. However, Sefko notes that Nowitzki was much older, and Smith played a lot in preseason without any knee issues.
- The Mavericks are getting Gian Clavell, who also has a two-way contract, some NBA experience before G League camps begin, Sefko adds in the same piece. The rookie out of Puerto Rico got into games Friday and Saturday as the third-string point guard. Johnathan Motley, the team’s other two-way player, hasn’t appeared in a game yet.
- There are indications that Spurs star Kawhi Leonard might return to action sooner than expected, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Leonard, who has been sidelined since training camp with quadriceps tendinopathy, traveled with the team to Chicago Saturday. “He’s progressing,” said coach Gregg Popovich. “I’ll just leave it at that.”