Victor Oladipo

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/17/19

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

  • For the second time this week, the Pacers have assigned All-Star shooting guard Victor Oladipo to the team’s G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, per a team press release. Like he did in his first assignment, Oladipo will practice with the Mad Ants this afternoon in Fort Wayne before being recalled to Indianapolis after practice.
  • One day after recalling him, the Spurs have again assigned rookie Keldon Johnson to their Austin affiliate, tweets Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. Orsborn adds that the Spurs have also assigned Chimezie Metu, and that both Johnson and Metu will play for Austin in this afternoon’s game against the Stockton Kings.
  • The Nets have assigned Rodions Kurucs to the Long Island Nets for today’s G League contest against the Windy City Bulls, tweets Brian Lewis of the New York Post. It’s Kurucs’ first assignment of the 2019/20 season.
  • After assigning both to the G League just yesterday, the Magic have recalled Melvin Frazier Jr. and Amile Jefferson from Lakeland, tweets the team’s official Twitter account (link).
  • Nearly three weeks after assignment, the Timberwolves have recalled rookie big man Naz Reid from the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s G League affiliate, according to a press release from the team. Reid is averaging 18.0 points, 8.6 boards, and 1.4 blocks for Iowa so far this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/12/19

Here are Tuesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • Victor Oladipo was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to practice with the G League squad. He then was recalled by the Pacers and as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link), there remains no timetable for his return. Oladipo has another appointment with his doctor in a few weeks, according to Scott Agness of The Athletic (Twitter link), who hears the shooting guard has impressed during drills.
  • The Clippers have assigned two players to the G League. Mfiondu Kabengele and Derrick Walton Jr. will both report to the Agua Caliente Clippers, per the team’s Twitter feed.
  • The Knicks have recalled Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, per the team’s Twitter feed. New York’s second-round pick was sent to the G League on Monday.
  • The Celtics have assigned four players to the G League for practice and then recalled each one. Grant Williams, Vincent Poirier, Carsen Edwards and Romeo Langford all practiced with the Maine Red Claws today.
  • The Rockets sent Gary Clark and Isaiah Hartenstein to the G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as Mark Berman of Fox26 tweets.

Central Notes: Oladipo, Bledsoe, Brogdon, Bulls

Pacers star Victor Oladipo scrimmaged with teammates Saturday for the first time since suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee last season, Scott Agness of The Athletic writes. 

“I felt good,” Oladipo said, according to Agness. “I ain’t played in nine, nine and a half months, so it felt pretty good. It felt good just being out there and making a pass, shooting a jumper, shooting a floater, layup, something. It feels like I never left at all, honestly, but I’m just taking my time.”

Oladipo, a two-time All-Star, appeared in just 36 games with Indiana last season due to the injury. He was coming off a 2017/18 campaign that saw him average a career-high 23.1 points in 75 games, holding shooting marks of 48% from the floor, 37% from deep and 80% from the charity stripe.

“You can’t really simulate playing,” Oladipo said about finally scrimmaging. “No matter how hard you try, no matter if you imagine it, dream about it, you got to go out there and actually do it — and then your body will adapt. My wind is actually really good. Probably the hardest part is not doing too much. Everything else will come. I’ve been out for nine months, so you’re not going to see any ounce of frustration on my face. S–t, I’m just happy I can play again.”

The Pacers will need a healthy Oladipo to maximize their chances of competing for a playoff berth this season, adding the likes of Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb and T.J. McConnell in free agency to a core that already includes Oladipo, Myles Turner, T.J. Warren and others.

Oladipo plans to travel with the team for most road games, according to Agness, though it’s unclear when he’ll make his official return to the court. Indiana opens its season with a home game against Detroit on Wednesday, followed by a three-game road trip against Cleveland, Detroit and Brooklyn.

There’s more from the Central Division tonight:

Eastern Notes: Oladipo, McCaw, Richardson, Prince

Victor Oladipo will begin participating in some full-contact 5-on-5 half-court scrimmages in the coming days but he still has more hurdles to clear before he’ll return to action, Tyler Kraft and Nathan Brown of the Indianapolis Star report. The Pacers have yet to announce a target date for the star guard, who suffered a ruptured quad tendon last season.

“He’s been doing some things 1-on-1,” Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. “But this is a good sign. They’re going slowly to try to work him into being able to go every day, but it’s good news to know he’ll be able to participate in that first part of practice.”

We have more Eastern Conference news:

  • Raptors swingman Patrick McCaw had an MRI on his left knee which revealed no structural damage, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. McCaw suffered the injury during a preseason game last weekend. The Raptors re-signed McCaw to a two-year deal in July.
  • The Sixers were interested in acquiring Josh Richardson last season from the Heat before they traded for Jimmy Butler, Michael Lee of The Athletic reports. The Sixers were open to being a third party when the Heat were in trade talks with the Timberwolves for Butler with Philadelphia targeting Richardson. When those talks collapsed, the Sixers eventually worked out a trade for Butler. Those two swingmen were the main components of the sign-and-trade this summer when Butler agreed to join Miami.
  • Forward Taurean Prince is hopeful that he can reached an extension agreement with the Nets prior to Monday’s deadline, as he told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension. “I want to be here as long as I can. And whatever happens, happens, but I’m just happy to play good basketball,” Prince said. “One hundred percent, yeah. For sure. This is the best organization I’ve been in.”

Latest On Victor Oladipo

Several NBA teams have shared health updates on their injured players as they report for training camps and attend Media Day sessions, but the Pacers – who held their Media Day on Friday – still aren’t providing a specific recovery timetable for Victor Oladipo. The All-Star guard, who is coming back from a ruptured quad tendon, has been ruled out for the start of the season but participated in everything except scrimmages on Indiana’s first day of camp, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

“He spent the first 20 to 30 minutes of practice going through drills,” head coach Nate McMillan said of Oladipo. “Nothing with contact. Basically the warm-up part of practice. That was good enough for me to see him out on the floor with his teammates.”

Oladipo has at least been ruled out for the start of the season. Beyond that, there’s no specific return date that he and the Pacers are aiming for, or at least none that they’re willing to announce publicly. But Michael suggests that December or January might be a good bet for when we can expect to see Oladipo back on the court. Teammate Myles Turner expressed optimism for a December or January return as well, per Michael Marot of The Associated Press.

“I’ve heard some people say after the All-Star break, but I just know how Vic’s wired,” Turner said. “He’s been attacking the whole process. He’s already doing stuff on the court.”

With Oladipo out, newly-signed guard Malcolm Brogdon will be leaned on even more heavily in the first couple months of the season. In the wake of his $85MM payday, Brogdon acknowledged that there’s a “different level of expectations” for him in Indiana than in Milwaukee, writes Michael.

For his part, Oladipo sounds confident that Brogdon and his other Pacers teammates will be just fine in his absence — and that he’ll help elevate them even further when he returns. As Mark Montieth of Pacers.com relays, Oladipo said on Friday that he believes Indiana is “the best team in the East” and that he’s going to play even better upon returning than he did before his injury.

“When I say I’m coming back better than ever, I’m not just saying that because it sounds good,” Oladipo said. “I truly believe that.”

Eastern Notes: Oladipo, Sixers, Celtics

There is still no timetable for when Victor Oladipo will return to the court. Oladipo, who ruptured his quad tendon back in January, continues to make progress and the Pacers are encouraged by his rehab.

“He’s not playing live, but he’s moving. He’s in a good position mentally,” head coach Nate McMillan said. “He feels that everything is going well. I like what I see with him. … He’s doing great. He’s not doing any live contact, still in that rehab stage of working with the trainers.

“I just know [opening night on October 23] he probably won’t be there. The time frame, we have no idea of when he will return.”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Romeo Langford has been medically cleared to play, Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops hears (Twitter link). The Celtics rookie had thumb surgery in April.
  • Xavier Silas has joined the Delaware Blue Coats’ coaching staff, Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice reports (Twitter link). Silas briefly played for the Sixers back in 2011.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports examines the Celtics‘ most intriguing storylines heading into training camp. Gordon Hayward has worked hard all offseason and Forsberg wonders if the veteran wing will look much better than he did last season.

Central Notes: Oladipo, Lopez, R. Jackson, Gilbert

Nearly eight months after having surgery on a ruptured quad tendon, Victor Oladipo doesn’t want to talk about the rehab process, writes Scott Agness of The Athletic. Oladipo began on-court workouts in June, but he hasn’t practiced against anyone. He said he’s working on “a little bit of everything,” but doesn’t want to give away any secrets.

“Ah, I’m getting there,” Oladipo said. “I’m working my way there. You can’t rush these things, you just got to take your time. At the end of the day, Rome wasn’t built in one day.”

People close to Oladipo have talked about his work ethic and dedication. He has adapted his shooting method and now has a smoother shot with a quicker release. The Pacers are monitoring his progress, but haven’t set any sort of timetable for his return.

“I’m just excited to play basketball again, honestly,” Oladipo said. “Just go out there and compete at the highest level possible. I got a lot to let go, so I’m looking forward to letting it go.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks center Brook Lopez tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype that he enjoyed July’s free agent frenzy just like any other fan. “Man, it was so entertaining – first and foremost,” Lopez said. “Just as a fan of the game – waiting for all of those Woj Bombs and news updates – it really was exciting! As a player, it’s exciting too. I mean, everyone has said it, but I think the level of parity is really exciting because there are a number of teams that, I think, are contenders now. It’s just great for basketball because it’s going to be such a competitive league this year.” 
  • Getting past the effects of two serious injuries helped Pistons guard Reggie Jackson enjoy a revival last season, observes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Jackson was slowed by left knee tendinosis during the 2016/17 season and a grade-3 right ankle sprain in 2017/18. Jackson started to feel fully healthy around mid-season and averaged 16.9 PPG after February 1.
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was released from a Chicago rehabilitation facility this week after spending two months there following a stroke, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Central Notes: Oladipo, Anthony, Young, Blatt

Victor Oladipo is sure the Pacers will make the playoffs due to the additions of Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren and Jeremy Lamb, among others, as he told J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

“I feel like we got some great additions. We got a chance to be really special. I feel like the league is wide open,” the Pacers’ guard said. “I was excited for the opportunity to play with (Brogdon). I know what type of player he is, the level that he plays on and has been playing on the last couple of years from Milwaukee. To have him as an addition is pretty big for us.”

Oladipo is working his way back from a quad injury and it’s uncertain whether he’ll be ready by the time the Pacers open training camp. “I’m not sure yet,” he told Mark Monteith of the team’s website.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Adding free agent Carmelo Anthony to the mix never made any sense for the Pistons, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press explains in his latest mailbag. Anthony’s game is predicated on isolation plays and that doesn’t fit the Pistons’ system. He’s also spent most of his time at power forward in recent seasons and the Pistons already signed Markieff Morris, a better defender, to back up Blake Griffin. They also added another veteran forward, Michael Beasley, to compete for a roster spot, Ellis adds.
  • Thaddeus Young is a quality finisher and that will help boost the Bulls’ offense, according to Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. Young shot 67.9% from inside three feet for the Pacers last season, while Chicago ranked 28th in the NBA in field goal percentage inside five feet, making just 58% of its attempts, Strotman notes. Young jumped teams on a three-year, $41MM pact early in the free agent season.
  • Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt is battling multiple sclerosis but plans to continue coaching, according to an Associated Press report. He’s currently the coach of the Greek team Olympiacos Piraeus. “I am a coach and my job is to lead and teach and inspire a lot of people,” Blatt wrote in the statement. “Not being as agile or active doesn’t affect my ability to do those things.”

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Frazier, Oladipo, Stoudemire

Bulls head coach Jim Boylen is excited about the new players his team brought in this offseason, and he hopes that the additions of veterans Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky alongside rookies Coby White and Daniel Gafford will allow him to deploy a deeper roster during the 2019/20 season, writes Sean Highkin of NBC Sports Chicago.

“What we (the Bulls) talked about is we wanted to bring in high character depth that could support our current roster,” Boylen said. “I also wanted a team that was duplicit and redundant so we could play the same way (when we go to our bench).”

Specifically, Boylen spoke on how the last couple years’ lack of depth caused the Bulls to rely on G League level players whenever stars like Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen were out with injury or sickness.

“We’ve struggled the last couple years to play on a night when we had injury or illness, where we had to change our style of play before the game. I don’t want that (for the Bulls). The good teams don’t have that.”

There’s more news out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Veteran point guard Tim Frazier is eager for the opportunity that awaits him with the Pistons, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. While Frazier may see limited minutes behind Reggie Jackson and Derrick Rose, Detroit sees value in having a young and experienced option in case Jackson or Rose get hurt.
  • As Jackie MacMullan of ESPN explains, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has seen his appreciation for basketball grow as he’s been sidelined with a ruptured right quadriceps tendon. Regarding watching his team’s performance during the playoffs last season, Oladipo said “It was so hard. It makes you appreciate the game more, your teammates more, even yourself more… Sometimes we don’t realize our own impact. You take it for granted. I won’t ever do that again.”
  • The Knicks do not plan on signing former NBA All-Star big man Amar’e Stoudemire to a contract for the 2019/20 season, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Stoudemire worked out for the Knicks and 14 other teams in Las Vegas on Monday. He last played in the NBA for the Heat during the 2015/16 season.

Pacers Rumors: Oladipo, Bitadze, Turner, Young

Speaking on Thursday night to reporters, including J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard acknowledged that the team isn’t expecting to have Victor Oladipo ready to go to start the 2019/20 season. Oladipo continues to recover from the torn quad tendon he suffered in January.

“I’m hopeful that he’s going to be back in December, January,” Pritchard said of Oladipo. “To put a true timeline is not really fair.”

Here are several more Pacers notes worth passing along:

  • First-round pick Goga Bitadze will join the Pacers right away rather than being stashed overseas, Michael writes. “Of any of the guys we’ve drafted in the last few years, I think he’s more polished and ready to play in an NBA game than a normal kid coming out of college,” Pritchard said of the Georgian center.
  • While the Pacers are committed to playing Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis together, with one of the two at power forward, the team will have trade options available, Michael writes. Multiple league sources have told Michael that no one on Indiana’s roster is really untouchable, though he doesn’t expect the team to move Turner, as he tweeted prior to the draft.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic remains the Pacers’ top priority in free agency, while Thaddeus Young appears less likely to be retained, per Michael.
  • Pritchard expects to be active in free agency as the Pacers look to fill out their roster, Michael relays. “We’ve got a lot of holes to fill. We’re going to have a lot of money to go out into the marketplace,” Pritchard said. “July 1 is going to be where the real dirty work starts. We got to make some hay in free agency.”
  • More from Pritchard, via Michael: “We’ll try to be a good team next year. We’re not going to go young and try to start at the bottom. We want to win again.”