Terrance Ferguson

Hamidou Diallo To Be Re-Evaluated In 7-10 Days

Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo was taken off the court on a stretcher on Wednesday night after suffering a scary fall, but he appears to have avoided a major injury (link via ESPN’s Royce Young). The Thunder announced this afternoon that Diallo sustained a left ankle sprain and will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days (Twitter link via Brett Dawson of The Athletic).

Diallo, who has played regular minutes off the bench for Oklahoma City during his first NBA season, landed awkwardly after going up for a defensive rebound during the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s win over Golden State.

There was initially a fear that Diallo’s injury was severe – possibly a broken leg – but X-rays performed at the arena were negative, per Young. The 20-year-old had a boot on his left foot after the game and was using crutches, but was in good spirits after having avoided a major injury.

Although Diallo’s injury could have been worse, the Thunder may still find themselves short-handed on the wing when they resume play after today’s Thanksgiving holiday. With Diallo and Andre Roberson sidelined, Oklahoma City will have to see if Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson are ready to go. Abrines has misses the club’s last three games with an illness, and Ferguson suffered a left ankle sprain of his own during the first quarter of Wednesday’s contest.

Thunder Exercise Option On Terrance Ferguson

The Thunder have exercised their 2019/20 team option on Terrance Ferguson‘s rookie contract, the team announced today in a press release. The move locks in Ferguson’s $2,475,840 cap hit for next season.

Ferguson, the 21st overall pick in the 2017 draft, appeared in 61 games for the Thunder in his rookie season, averaging 3.1 PPG in 12.5 minutes per contest. The Tulsa native has moved into a starting role this year with Andre Roberson still sidelined, but has struggled in the early going, posting just 2.8 PPG on .273/.077/.500 shooting in 20.8 MPG. Still, he’s just 20 years old and his affordable contract provides value for an Oklahoma City team above the luxury tax line.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2019/20 Rookie Scale Team Options]

Interestingly, the Thunder’s announcement today doesn’t mention Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who has a fourth-year 2019/20 option worth $2,529,684. Oklahoma City has until Wednesday to pick up that option, but teams often announce all their rookie scale option pickups at the same time, so the club may be opting to make Luwawu-Cabarrot an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Thunder Notes: Westbrook, George, Grant, Patterson

The Thunder remain the only winless team in the Western Conference but Russell Westbrook said it’s far too early to push the panic button, Royce Young of ESPN reports. Oklahoma City is 0-4 after blowing a 16-point halftime lead against the Celtics on Thursday. Westbrook had a brutal fourth quarter, missing all seven of his shots while making three turnovers. “We’re OK. We’ll be all right,” Westbrook said. “It’s early. I’m confident in my guys in this locker room, I’m confident in myself and my abilities to make sure that we have an opportunity to win a ballgame. There’s no need to panic. Obviously we’re not starting the way we wanted to, but we’ll be OK and I will make sure of that. So, not worried.”

We have more from Oklahoma City:

  • While Westbrook rubs some people the wrong way, he was an integral reason why Paul George decided to stay instead of joining one of the Los Angeles teams in free agency. “A lot of it was I liked our chemistry,” George told Young in a detailed piece on OKC’s year-long recruitment of George. “I liked what he brings to the table, I liked his competitiveness and I loved him as a teammate, as a friend, as a brother, as a dude in the locker room. He had a lot to do with me coming back here.”
  • Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson continue to share starting duties at the power forward spot, Thunder digital reporter Nick Gallo relays. Grant got the nod against Boston because coach Billy Donovan wanted to play a smaller, quicker unit. Against a more rugged frontcourt, Donovan will go with Patterson. “For us, it’s going to be game-to-game in terms of the roster and having a plan of how to utilize those guys,” Donovan said.
  • What can the Thunder do to fix their issues? Erik Horne of The Oklahoman takes a closer look.
  • The Thunder have until the end of the month to decide whether to pick up the rookie scale options on Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Terrance Ferguson. Find out more here.

Injury Updates: Curry, Bell, J. Brown, Collison

After tweaking his right ankle last week, Stephen Curry twisted that same ankle during Thursday’s game against San Antonio. While Curry’s injury doesn’t appear serious, the Warriors will hold him out of their next two games on Friday and Sunday, writes Chris Haynes of ESPN.

“With Steph’s ankle injuries, it’s always a worry,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “Especially … he’s done it so many times where you can kind of tell immediately whether he can get through it or not by his reaction. Just by that reaction that he had tonight, it’s kind of a worry.”

Given how often Curry has tweaked or turned an ankle this season, it makes sense for the Warriors to play it safe with the former MVP. As Anthony Slater of The Athletic points out, the latest incident may also prompt the Dubs to consider adding Quinn Cook to their 15-man roster. Currently, Cook is on a two-way deal that allows him to play for the club during the regular season, but not in the postseason.

In order to make Cook playoff-eligible, the Warriors would have to convert his two-way contract into an NBA deal before the final day of the regular season. Golden State is unlikely to rush that decision, since Cook still has plenty of time left on his 45-day NBA limit, and the team would have to waive a player – possibly Omri Casspi – in order to add the guard to the 15-man roster.

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

  • The Warriors also avoided a serious ankle injury earlier this week, when Jordan Bell‘s latest sprain was deemed a minor one (video link via Slater). Even though Bell’s ankle injury isn’t considered as serious as the sprain that sidelined him for over a month earlier this season, he won’t be re-evaluated until Tuesday, tweets Melissa Rohlin of The Bay Area News Group.
  • Jaylen Brown suffered a scary fall during Thursday’s game against Minnesota, losing his grip on the rim after a dunk and hitting his head on the court. While the Celtics may initially have been having Gordon Hayward flashbacks, Brown tweeted late on Thursday night that he’s “OK” — with the exception of a headache. While Brown has avoided a worst-case scenario, he’ll continue to undergo tests and be monitored for concussion-like symptoms in the coming days, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes.
  • Darren Collison, who last played on February 3, has a chance to return to the Pacers‘ lineup on Friday night after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, says Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star. “I had a chance to get up and down with the guys the past few days,” Collison said. “A lot of hard work trying to get back in shape. I feel really good about (Friday).” The veteran figures to come off the bench behind Cory Joseph until head coach Nate McMillan is ready to reinsert him into the starting lineup.
  • The Thunder announced today in a press release that rookie Terrance Ferguson suffered a concussion on Thursday night and has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/11/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

10:04pm: 

  • The Warriors have assigned Patrick McCaw to their affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced (Twitter link).

2:52pm:

  • The Grizzlies have assigned forward Brice Johnson to their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced in a press release. Johnson was acquired by the Grizzlies prior to the trade deadline on Thursday. In 24 G League games this season, Johnson has averaged 13.4 PPG and 9.5 RPG.
  • The Thunder have recalled guard Terrance Ferguson and center Dakari Johnson from their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. Ferguson has appeared in 41 games with the Thunder this season while Johnson has racked up 24 appearances.
  • The Pacers recalled center Ike Anigbogu from their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, the team announced on its website. While the rookie has played sparingly with the big league club, he’s averaged 6.3 PPG, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 12 games with the Mad Ants this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/10/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

10:26pm: 

  • The Warriors recalled Patrick McCaw from their Santa Cruz affiliate, the team announced in an email. The second-year guard has played 49 NBA games this season and averages 3.7 points and 1.4 assists per night.

8:12pm:

  • The Thunder have assigned Terrance Ferguson and Dakari Johnson to OKC Blue, tweets Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The G League squad plays tonight, and both are expected to be recalled for Sunday’s game against the Grizzlies.
  • The Bucks recalled rookie power forward D.J. Wilson from the Wisconsin Herd, the team announced on its website. The first-round pick is averaging 14.9 PPG and 5.2 RPG in nine G League games.

O’Connor’s Latest: Thunder, Bradley, Simmons

When we relayed the latest rumors on the Thunder‘s search for wing help on Tuesday, Avery Bradley was one player we mentioned, with a report suggesting Oklahoma City has done its due diligence on the Clippers guard. It wasn’t the first time Bradley’s name has surfaced as a potential OKC target, and multiple league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that Bradley’s name “keeps popping up” as a player of major interest to the Thunder.

As O’Connor observes, one deal that would make sense on paper and would work financially is Bradley for Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson. However, the Thunder are reportedly very reluctant to part with Ferguson, recognizing that they’ll need inexpensive role players for the next few years if they hope to keep their current core together.

Still, some sort of deal involving Abrines could be possible. O’Connor hears from a league executive that Clippers director of pro player personnel Johnny Rogers – who played and broadcasted in Spain – “loves” Abrines, a former Barcelona standout.

O’Connor shares a few more items of interest in his latest piece for The Ringer, so let’s round them up…

  • Although the Thunder have kicked the tires on Magic swingman Jonathon Simmons, multiple sources tell O’Connor that Simmons isn’t expected to be available — at least not for what Oklahoma City would offer.
  • Two front office sources have informed O’Connor that the Thunder would be among the frontrunners to sign Joe Johnson if he’s bought out by the Jazz this month.
  • The Hawks have had some trouble gaining traction on deals for some of their veterans, according to O’Connor, who says that the Thunder and Pacers are among Atlanta’s potential trade partners for players like Marco Belinelli, Dewayne Dedmon, or Ersan Ilyasova. O’Connor notes that the Hawks had interest in T.J. Leaf prior to last year’s draft, but he’s skeptical that the Pacers would surrender the rookie forward for a veteran rental.

Trade Rumors: Suns, Smart, Pistons, Ferguson

While Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is working the phones, one source tells Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic that there hasn’t been a whole lot of Suns-related chatter this week. The odds of Phoenix completing a major deal in advance of the deadline appear slim, according to Bordow.

Still, as Bordow details, there are a few Suns players who make some sense as trade candidates. The team would like to shed Tyson Chandler‘s contract, which includes a $13.6MM guaranteed salary for 2018/19, a source tells Bordow. Alex Len, who wants to be a starter – or at least a backup on a contender – next season, is another trade candidate. As is Troy Daniels, who says he’s prepared to move if necessary, but would rather stay in Phoenix for now.

“I’m prepared for whatever. I’ll be prepared to play wherever it is,” the fifth-year Suns guard told Bordow. “Everything is smooth running right now. If I was going to get traded I would like it to happen in the summertime.”

Here are a few more trade notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Marcus Smart trade rumors may be somewhat overblown, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, who writes that the Celtics will likely only move Smart if they can land a player who helps the team more this season — or if they can acquire a draft pick that can be flipped to secure a player who fits that bill. Bulpett also expressed skepticism that Boston will surrender Smart solely for a rental player.
  • Based on the Pistons‘ cap situation, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press believes it’s “highly unlikely” that either Luke Kennard or Stanley Johnson gets moved before Thursday’s deadline. Both players will attract interest from other teams, but their affordable contracts are valuable to the Pistons, who are on the hook for a few big contracts, including Blake Griffin‘s.
  • Several teams have expressed interest in Thunder rookie Terrance Ferguson, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. However, those teams came away with the impression that Oklahoma City has no desire to move Ferguson, as we heard earlier this week.

Latest On Thunder’s Search For Wing Help

With Andre Roberson sidelined for the rest of the season, the Thunder are on the lookout for help on the wing. With less than 48 hours left until the arrival of this year’s trade deadline, let’s check in on the latest reports on OKC’s options…

  • There’s a “growing expectation” that the Thunder will make a move in advance of the trade deadline, since there’s a lot riding on this season, says ESPN’s Royce Young. Oklahoma City would prefer not to give up rookie Terrance Ferguson in a deal for a veteran rental though, Young adds.
  • TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link) identifies Maurice Harkless and Tony Allen as two potential targets to watch for the Thunder. Harkless would be an interesting fit, though it may be difficult for the Trail Blazers and Thunder to figure out a deal, since both teams are projected taxpayers and will be reluctant to add salary. As for Allen, Aldridge tweets that the veteran swingman has been cleared to play after recovering from his broken leg, but will need some time to get back to full speed.
  • The Thunder have done “due diligence” on Clippers guard Avery Bradley and Magic swingman Jonathon Simmons, per Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports. Mannix suggests that the Thunder might wait until closer to the deadline in the hopes that teams’ asking prices come down, noting that they could also wait until after the deadline and take their chances on what’s expected to be a “robust” buyout market.
  • Within his trade deadline preview, Jake Fischer of SI.com writes that the Thunder have shown interest in Clippers guard Lou Williams and expressed “serious” interest in Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans.
  • Oklahoma City has also been linked to Rodney Hood.

Thunder Interested In Avery Bradley

In the wake of losing All-NBA defender Andre Roberson to a ruptured left patellar tendon for the remainder of the 2017/18 season, the Thunder are interested in trading for newly-acquired Clippers guard Avery Bradley, reports Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.

Bradley, who is in the final year of his contract, likely doesn’t fit into the Clippers’ long-term plans, and Oklahoma City appears interested in taking advantage of a potential deal as a result.

Long considered an elite man-to-man defender in this league, Bradley would be able to step in for Roberson admirably, while at the same time giving the Thunder an upgrade on the offensive side of the ball, where Bradley is a career 36.8 percent shooter from long range (Roberson’s career three-point percentage is 25.7%).

Despite the Thunder’s interest, however, it’s difficult to envision a plausible scenario in which a potential trade would occur. The Clippers are building for the future and the Thunder don’t have a first-round pick to trade until 2022 at the earliest.

Also, Bradley is making $8.8MM this season and the Thunder’s best pieces for salary-matching purposes include some combination of Alex AbrinesPatrick Patterson, and Kyle Singler, none of whom are on an expiring deal or overly productive.

The Thunder would likely have to throw promising rookie Terrance Ferguson into any plausible deal in order to realistically pique the Clippers’ interest, and the Thunder are thus far unwilling to do so, per Bontemps.