Victor Oladipo

Eastern Notes: Simmons, Smart, Heat Injuries, Knicks

Ben Simmons will miss his sixth game this season on Wednesday due to a sore left knee. Nets point guard Kyrie Irving said Simmons’ absences impact the club in many ways, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

“When he’s not out there we don’t have our point forward, our point guard, being able to initiate easy opportunities, push the ball in transition; so we’ll definitely miss him in the lineup,” Irving said. “Hopefully he comes back [soon], but if he’s dealing with it we just want him to get as healthy as possible and we’ll figure it out.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • In Joe Mazzulla, Celtics guard Marcus Smart feels he has a head coach that fully trusts him, he told Steve Bulpett of “I think once Coach put his trust in me, we’ve seen how it’s allowed me to blossom and this team to blossom,” Smart said. “So just having a coach that can believe in you and allow you to run the team like he needs you to, that means everything. And then on top of that him being a point guard, that’s just an extra bonus, because he understands the pressure that I have to go through as the point guard in making everybody else happy and sacrificing your own for the team.”
  • The Heat released their injury report for Wednesday’s game and there’s no less than a dozen names on the list heading into their showdown with the Celtics, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven are listed as out, while Nikola Jovic, Dewayne Dedmon, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith and Duncan Robinson received the questionable tag. Two other players are probable.
  • The most realistic path to improvement for the Knicks is still the trade route, Ian Begley of SNY TV opines. They’ll continue to seek out top talent and have a surplus of draft picks and some young players to offer teams. Stuck in mediocrity, the only question is whether they’ll make a big move before the trade deadline or wait until the offseason.

Heat Injury Updates: Oladipo, Herro, Yurtseven, Adebayo, Dedmon

Victor Oladipo is traveling with the Heat during their four-game road trip, which starts with Wednesday’s contest at Toronto, but that was more about helping him feel involved with the team rather than an indication that a return is imminent, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The veteran shooting guard has yet to play in the 2022/23 regular season due to left knee tendonosis, and his future availability remains murky.

Just time will tell,” Oladipo said when asked about a return timetable. “When I feel right and everybody’s on the same page, then I’ll be ready to play.”

According to Chiang, Oladipo acknowledged that the injury may have been a result of “overwork,” which head coach Erik Spoelstra previously characterized as “overcompensation.” The 30-year-old has undergone a couple of right knee surgeries in the past few years, and apparently put extra strain on his other leg while ramping up to play this season.

I think it’s more of a making-sure thing, and then taking the proper steps before going out there, instead of just going out there recklessly,” Oladipo said when asked if pain remains in his left knee. “As long as we’re all on the same page, we’re trying to make sure that I get out there as safely and as great as possible. That’s what we’re working on.”

Here a few more health-related updates on the Heat:

  • Wednesday marks the fifth straight game that Tyler Herro will miss with a left ankle sprain. Spoelstra said the starting guard is considered day-to-day and it’s “a possibility” that he could return at some point during the road trip, per Chiang.
  • Second-year center Omer Yurtseven, a restricted free agent this summer, underwent left ankle surgery Tuesday. Spoelstra commented on his status Wednesday, as Chiang relays. “He really tried to manage and fight through it,” Spoelstra. “It’s admirable that he was trying to do that. If he was like me or you and just walking around, you can get away with it. But if you’re trying to play NBA basketball games at the highest level, it’s something that you for sure have to take care of. It was successful and the prognosis looks good. I don’t have a definitive timeline. But everything that everybody has told me, after some rest and some rehab and the appropriate time to build it back up, he will be available at some point this season.”
  • According to Chiang, starting center Bam Adebayo was downgraded from questionable to out Wednesday due to a left knee contusion. Spoelstra said Adebayo is day-to-day after bruising his knee a few games ago, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  • On a positive note, backup center Dewayne Dedmon (left foot plantar fasciitis) is officially listed as questionable Wednesday, but Spoelstra said he’s likely to play, according to Winderman (Twitter link).

Heat Notes: Yurtseven, Herro, Haslem, Oladipo, O. Robinson

As expected, Heat center Omer Yurtseven underwent surgery on his left ankle Tuesday. The team announced in a press release that the procedure, which was completed in Miami, addressed an impingement, bone spur, and stress reaction in Yurtseven’s ankle.

As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets, Yurtseven said on Monday that a recovery timeline had yet to be established. That still appears to be the case — all the Heat said in today’s statement was that the big man will be reevaluated “at a later date.”

A report on Sunday indicated that Yurtseven would likely be out for at least three months or so, suggesting there’s still hope that he’ll be able to return this season, perhaps by March.

Here are a few more notes on the Heat:

  • The Heat have a four-game road trip on tap that begins on Wednesday in Toronto and concludes on Monday in Minnesota. According to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link), Tyler Herro (ankle) and Udonis Haslem (personal reasons) aren’t traveling with the team to Toronto, but Victor Oladipo (knee) is. It’s possible Herro and Haslem will join the Heat later on the trip. As for Oladipo, he’s still not ready to return, but it may be a positive soon that he’s traveling with the club across the border.
  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra said that Herro’s ankle sprain, which has cost him four games and counting, isn’t any more serious than the Heat initially believed, per David Wilson of The Miami Herald. “You just never know with ankle sprains,” Spoelstra said. “They’re never on necessarily your timeline, so he just doesn’t have the mobility yet, but he’s getting better. He’s making progress.”
  • Signing a two-way contract doesn’t guarantee he’ll become part of the Heat’s rotation, but Orlando Robinson recognizes that he has a potential path to frontcourt minutes with Yurtseven unavailable, Chiang writes for The Miami Herald. “After I analyzed the fact that I’m here and I looked at the roster and everything, I saw I have the potential to actually play a little bit,” Robinson said. “Just knowing that, I’m going to just be ready when my time is called just like everybody else and make the most of my opportunity.”
  • As Chiang notes, Robinson is eligible to play in 43 regular season games instead of the usual 50 for a two-way player. That amount is prorated based on the fact that Robinson’s contract covers 148 regular season days instead of all 174.

Jimmy Butler Back, Tyler Herro Questionable For Heat Monday

After missing two straight contests for the Heat with left hip tightness, All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler is set to suit up for Miami tomorrow night against the Trail Blazers, reports Adam Lichtenstein of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

With their best player sidelined, the Heat went 1-1. The club sports an underwhelming 4-6 record overall on the young 2022/23 NBA season.

“I think it’s good for us to be able to compete and have legitimate chances to win games while he was out,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But yeah, he gives you a great emotional boost when he’s back. It was good to have him running around. He looked fully healthy to all of us. We’ll get him ready for tomorrow night.”

Butler is returning just in time, as the Trail Blazers have looked formidable thus far, with a surprising 6-3 record. Through his eight available contests for the club, the 33-year-old Butler has maintained his All-NBA output. He is averaging 21.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.5 APG and 1.5 SPG. The 6’7″ vet is also enjoying an excellent shooting season, boasting splits of .470/.391/.873.

Lichtenstein adds that Miami shooting guard Tyler Herro, diagnosed with a sprained left ankle, has been downgraded to questionable ahead of the team’s game against Portland on Monday.

Victor Oladipo remains unavailable as he continues to battle the left knee tendinosis that has restricted him thus far from the taking the court all year. Reserve big man Omer Yurtseven is also still sidelined due to a left ankle impingement.

Southeast Notes: Anthony, Bridges, Oladipo, Butler, Avdija

Magic guard Cole Anthony, who suffered a right internal oblique injury on October 26, will likely return to the court for individual work within the next few days, a person with knowledge of the situation tells Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. However, Anthony is expected to remain sidelined for a few more weeks. Price’s source indicated that the former first-round pick will probably be out until after Thanksgiving, with a late November or early December return possible depending on how he responds to rehabilitation and treatment.

Here are a few more notes from around the Southeast:

  • In the wake of news that restricted free agent Miles Bridges has agreed to a plea deal and will be sentenced to three years of probation, the Hornets released the following statement on Thursday (via Twitter): “We are aware of today’s developments regarding Miles Bridges’ legal situation. We will continue to gather information before determining any potential next steps. Until then, we will have no additional comments.”
  • With Bridges’ case settled, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report considers whether or not the Hornets will move forward with a deal for the RFA forward. As Pincus observes, the NBA’s history suggests that it’s probably only a matter of time before Bridges returns to the court, despite the horrific allegations against him. If and when he officially signs a contract, the league would have the option of suspending him based on its findings in his domestic violence case.
  • In a Hoop Collective segment earlier this week (video link), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he doesn’t get the sense that Heat guard Victor Oladipo (left knee tendinosis) is “anywhere close” to returning to action. “They haven’t put a timetable on it, but I was kind of led to believe it ain’t happening in the near future,” Windhorst said. Jimmy Butler also missed a second consecutive game on Friday for the Heat due to left hip tightness.
  • Wizards forward Deni Avdija has been out of the starting lineup for the team’s last three games and admits the demotion is “not easy,” writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. However, he’s determined to maintain a positive attitude. “I learned that I need to be patient,” Avdija said of the experience. “I learned that I need to stay ready. I learned that I’m strong mentally, and I’ll figure it out in any situation.”

Southeast Notes: Oladipo, Hayward, Kispert, Bol

Heat reserve guard Victor Oladipo, still dealing with left knee tendinosis, will miss at least the first seven contests of the 2022/23 season, as he will not be joining his Miami teammates on their upcoming three-game road trip, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Miami will next play at home on November 1 against the reigning champion Warriors. Oladipo, who has undergone two knee surgeries since 2019, signed a two-year, $18.2MM deal to remain with the Heat during the 2022 offseason.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • With several Hornets players missing games due to injuries and Miles Bridges unsigned due to legal issues, Charlotte is relying heavily on Gordon Hayward, writes Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (subscription required). Through three games, the injury-prone 6’7″ veteran small forward has responded well, averaging 19.3 PPG on .550/.300/.786 shooting splits. The 32-year-old vet is also chipping in 4.7 APG and 3.3 RPG.
  • Wizards small forward Corey Kispert, still rehabilitating from a left ankle sprain, has practiced with Washington’s G League affiliate club, the Capital City Go-Go, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link). The No. 15 pick in the 2021 draft out of Gonzaga, Kispert averaged 8.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 1.1 APG across 77 games during his 2021/22 rookie campaign with Washington. The 23-year-old has yet to play for the 2-1 Wizards.
  • Magic forward/center Bol Bol is doing his darnedest to carve out a definitive role, despite limited run, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. For Orlando, the 22-year-old has appeared in 10+ minutes a night across four straight contests for the first time in his NBA career, according to Price. Bol, who boasts a 7’7″ wingspan, is averaging 10.0 PPG on 65.4% field goal shooting, along with 4.8 RPG, across 16 MPG. “It’s been very important for me because I feel like every game I’ve gotten better,” Bol said of his more consistent playing time.“I’m seeing stuff happen each game. The game’s starting to slow down the more I play.” 

Heat Notes: Martin, Yurtseven, Oladipo, Dedmon

Heat forward Caleb Martin and Raptors center Christian Koloko face fines and possible suspensions after being ejected for fighting in Saturday’s game.

According to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, the skirmish happened midway through the third quarter as both players were chasing a rebound. Koloko was knocked over and Martin was whistled for a loose ball foul. Koloko seemed to accidentally swipe Martin in the back of his head on his way down, and Martin angrily stood over Koloko before they began throwing punches.

“I just think that there’s a lot of plays that were kind of leading up to it. It was a chippy game,” Martin said. “That’s typically how the game goes with Toronto. It’s chippy back and forth. But ultimately I just think that emotions were high and the game was a close game. It was back and forth. Overall, I got to be more professional in the way I handle those type of situations.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra credited assistants Malik Allen and Caron Butler for keeping other players on the bench and not escalating the fight, which could have led to multiple suspensions. Koloko, who was playing just his third NBA game, said he didn’t understand what made Martin so angry.

“When he fouled me, he was basically grabbing me and pushing me,” Koloko said. “I don’t know … I’m confused. I don’t know why. I don’t even know him, so I don’t know what was going on in his head. He just stood there looking at me like crazy. I just stood up. I don’t know.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Omer Yurtseven is listed as day-to-day with a left ankle impingement, but the Heat haven’t set a timetable for him to return, Chiang writes in a separate story. Yurtseven was competing for the backup center spot heading into training camp, but the injury has kept him out of action since the first preseason game. “They said structurally [it’s fine],” Yurtseven said. “I went to like five different doctors just to make sure everything was fine just to double, triple and quadruple check.”
  • The Heat also don’t have a timetable for Victor Oladipo, who has missed the first three games with left knee tendinosis, Chiang adds. The team is being careful with Oladipo after he underwent two surgeries on his right knee in a little more than three years. “I wouldn’t say extra cautious. I would say appropriate and measured approach with this,” Spoelstra said. “We’re looking at the long game. This has been about investing in him and his health for two years and we just want to make sure that we’re taking all the necessary steps to get him back out there where there’s not a setback.”
  • Reserve center Dewayne Dedmon has gotten off to a slow start and could see a reduced role as the season wears on, suggests Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Southeast Notes: Banchero, Goodwin, Bridges, Hunter, Oladipo

Paolo Banchero‘s rookie season begins in Detroit on Wednesday. The Magic forward knows he’ll have a target on his back as the top overall pick and he’s looking forward to the challenge, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post.

“Every guy on the opposite team knows who I am and probably wants to prove something and is probably going to test me — especially with me also being a rookie — and try to see what I’m made of,” Banchero said. “So the key is just being ready for it and accepting the challenge. That’s not something I back down from.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Guard Jordan Goodwin had his Exhibit 10 contract converted into a two-way deal by the Wizards over the weekend. He will try to live up to the contract by being messy — in a good way, as he told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “[I’m] just a guy that can do a lot of things,” Goodwin said. “I think my main focus here is just going to be defensively. Try to come in and muck things up, make things a little messy. Just make the right play offensively, whether that’s shoot the ball or make the extra pass, screening.”
  • A preliminary hearing regarding Miles Bridges’ felony domestic violence case in Los Angeles was delayed for the seventh time Monday and moved to November 3, according to Michael Gordon of the Charlotte Observer. In the hearing, prosecutors will be required to produce evidence to show the Hornets free agent forward committed a crime. Bridges was arrested on June 29 and faces three felony domestic violence charges.
  • De’Andre Hunter got his rookie scale extension. Now, the Hawks forward wants to show he’s worthy of the four-year contract, which can be worth up to $95MM, Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. “I mean, it’s gonna be my home for the next four or five years, whatever,” Hunter said. “Like I said, I’m just grateful, thankful that they gave me the opportunity, that they have so much faith in me as a player, just trying to work my butt off and do what I need to do to become a better player for the team.”
  • The Heat’s Victor Oladipo (left knee tendinosis) and Omer Yurtseven (left ankle impingement) are listed as out for Wednesday’s opener against the Bulls, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets.

Heat Notes: Oladipo, Strus, Haslem, Adebayo

There are health concerns regarding Victor Oladipo as the Heat prepare for their season opener, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Oladipo was held out of today’s practice due to left knee tendonosis and may not be able to play Wednesday night. The team’s official injury report will be released later this afternoon.

Miami will proceed cautiously with Oladipo, who has undergone two surgeries on his right knee in a little more than three years. Even though this condition affects his other knee, there is speculation that it may be related to his injury history.

“When you really start to ramp it up, there’s still a little bit of overcompensation and a lot of load on the other leg,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Everybody downstairs feels like this is the normal process. I know how badly he wants to be out there right now. But we’re looking at this big picture still and we don’t want to skip steps. We want to make sure his body is feeling great and so things like this don’t linger.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • After earning a starting role in late March, Max Strus will have to get used to coming off the bench again, Chiang adds. Strus spent the preseason working on his fit with the reserves. “I would imagine I would be more aggressive in the second unit because I’m not playing with Jimmy (Butler), Kyle (Lowry), Bam (Adebayo). Maybe I’ll look for my shot a little more,” Strus said. “But I am still going to play the same way I always do, get everybody else involved and find my shots throughout the offense.”
  • Strus may be the only bench player with regular minutes every night, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Roles for Dewayne Dedmon, Duncan Robinson and Haywood Highsmith could depend on matchups, and Spoelstra may go back and forth between Oladipo and Gabe Vincent in the backcourt. First-round pick Nikola Jovic will have to prove he’s ready to contribute right away.
  • Udonis Haslem has been the Heat’s inspirational leader for most of his 20-year career, but he’s getting ready to pass the torch, Chiang states in a separate story. As Haslem prepares for his final NBA season, the 42-year-old believes Adebayo is ready to take on that leadership role. “He can have it now. It’s time for him,” Haslem said. “… We’ve had these conversations about physically, vocally, emotionally. I think it’s time for him.”

Fischer’s Latest: Suns, Johnson, Oladipo, K. Martin, G. Williams

When the Suns engaged in trade talks for Kevin Durant this offseason, they made it clear that Cameron Johnson was off limits, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

While it’s hard to believe that the inclusion of Johnson would’ve been a deal-breaker for the Suns if they had a realistic shot to land Durant, Fischer’s report suggests the team is high on the fourth-year wing and is hoping to lock him up long-term.

According to Fischer, “early indications” suggested that Phoenix would like to sign Johnson to an extension in the range of $72MM over four years. Whether that’s enough to get anything done with the young sharpshooter remains to be seen.

Fischer’s first roundup of NBA rumors for Yahoo Sports focuses primarily on the Suns and Jae Crowder, as we detailed earlier today. But there are a few more odds and ends within the article about other teams and players. Here are some of the highlights:

  • According to Fischer, the Wizards were one of the teams with legitimate interest in signing Victor Oladipo in free agency this past summer. Fischer writes that Oladipo turned down a “potential starting opportunity” in D.C. in order to remain with the Heat.
  • The Suns have had discussions about the possibility of acquiring Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., who has also drawn interest from the Trail Blazers and Heat, Fischer reports. Martin reportedly spoke to Rockets management this offseason about the idea of being dealt.
  • Interestingly, Fischer cites sources who say there doesn’t seem to be a contract extension coming for Celtics forward Grant Williams. The team still has five more days to work out a potential deal with Williams before this year’s rookie scale extension deadline of October 17. If Williams doesn’t sign a new contract by then, he’ll become a restricted free agent next summer.