Victor Oladipo

Pacers Notes: Brogdon, Sabonis, Oladipo, Warren

Malcolm Brogdon has taken on the closer’s role in his first season with the Pacers, at least until Victor Oladipo returns, writes Scott Agness of The Athletic. In training camp, it wasn’t clear who might get that designation with nine new players on the roster, but Brogdon, who was acquired from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade, feels comfortable making decisions that will win or lose games.

“It’s a privilege,” he said. “Being the closer, sometimes it’s about making the last shot, but sometimes it’s about making the right play, making the right pass. My teammates, this organization, my coach — they trust me with the ball, and I’m going to continue to make good decisions.”

Indiana is using Brogdon as a full-time point guard, Agness adds, instead of a floor spacer like he was in Milwaukee. As a result, he has eight double-doubles this season after just three in his first three years in the NBA.

“I was hoping for it,” he said of the point guard duties. “Especially with Vic being out, I was hoping I could be that guy, but I knew I had to prove myself. And now that I’ve proven myself, Coach and my teammates allow me to do that and empower me to do that.”

There’s more from Indiana:

  • Doctors don’t believe Domantas Sabonis is risking further injury by playing with a bone bruise in his left knee, Agness relays in a separate story. After he was checked by the team doctor, his representatives had two other specialists examine the knee before any decision was made. “There’s swelling in the bone that all doctors say can’t get worse unless you get hit in that same spot,” he said. “It’s the same thing if I get hit in my healthy knee. There’s the same chance. It’s not a muscle or anything, so by doing more stuff, you can’t technically get it worse.”
  • Oladipo remained in Indiana as the team left for a nine-day road trip, Agness adds in the same piece. He plans to practice with the team’s G League affiliate as he prepares for his season debut January 29.
  • Picking up T.J. Warren in an offseason trade with the Suns has provided a boost for the Pacers’ offense, observes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. Warren is averaging 18.1 PPG and his versatility has made the team more difficult to defend. “He can score any way possible,” Jeremy Lamb said. “Off the dribble. Catch and shoot. Floaters. Threes. Pull-ups. Post-ups. However you want it, he’ll give it to you.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/9/20

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

  • The Pacers assigned Victor Oladipo to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for practice as part of his injury rehab, per the team (Twitter link). Oladipo is targeting a January 29 return to action.
  • The Magic assigned swingman Melvin Frazier to the G League, according to the team (Twitter link). Frazier has bounced back and forth between the NBA and NBAGL this season, with 11 appearances for Orlando and three for Lakeland.
  • After re-signing him to a 10-day contract today, the Cavaliers sent Tyler Cook to the Canton Charge, the team noted in a press release. We have more on Cook’s new deal right here.
  • The Clippers assigned rookies Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann to the G League, the club announced today. The Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario are in action on Thursday night and both Kabengele and Mann are in the starting lineup for L.A.’s affiliate.
  • According to the G League’s assignment log, the Sixers sent Zhaire Smith to the Delaware Blue Coats today, while the Jazz assigned Miye Oni to the Salt Lake City Stars.

Victor Oladipo Targeting January 29 Return

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is aiming to return to action on January 29 when Indiana hosts the Bulls, he tells Shams Charania of Stadium (video link).

“That can change, that might not change, who knows,” Oladipo said. “But it’s definitely good to have something to look forward to, especially after 12 months of wondering and hoping and not being sure and 12 months of the unknown.”

Oladipo hasn’t played in an NBA game since January 23, 2019, when he suffered a torn quad tendon. An ESPN report last month suggested that the 27-year-old was aiming to make it back onto the court in late January or early February, so his new target date lines up with that timeline.

While the Pacers will be thrilled to have Oladipo back in their lineup, they’ve played well without him this season, led by the likes of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis.

Currently, Indiana is 23-14, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. The five teams between No. 2 and No. 6 in the East are separated by just 3.5 games, so the Pacers remain very much in the hunt for a top-four seed. Their playoff push should be buoyed by Oladipo’s return, though he may need some time to shake off the rust.

Before going down with his quad injury, the veteran guard had been named an All-Star in each of his first two seasons in Indiana. He has averaged 21.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 2.1 SPG on .461/.362/.780 shooting in 111 games since joining the Pacers in a blockbuster 2017 trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/6/20

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

  • The Hornets recalled forwards Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. Martin, an undrafted rookie, has appeared in five games for the Hornets, averaging 1.8 PPG in 6.4 MPG. Martin has appeared in 17 games for the Swarm, averaging 19.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.8 APG in 35.1 MPG. McDaniels, a second-round pick who has made two cameos with the Hornets, has appeared in 20 games with the Swarm, averaging 17.3 PPG and 7.7 RPG.
  • Point guard Chris Clemons has been recalled by the Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Clemons had a 40-point game for the Rio Grande Vipers on Sunday. The previous Sunday he racked up 16 points and nine assists for the Rockets against New Orleans.
  • The Mavericks assigned small forward Isaiah Roby to the Texas Legends, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round pick has been rehabbing a foot injury.
  • The Suns recalled Jalen Lecque from their Northern Arizona affiliate, the team tweets. The undrafted rookie guard has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Pacers recalled star guard Victor Oladipo from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. Oladipo practiced with the Mad Ants as he continues his rehab from a right knee ailment.
  • The Raptors assigned Matt Thomas to Raptors 905, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. He’ll play in a G League contest on Monday, then return to the NBA club and suit up against Portland on Tuesday, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. The shooting guard has been sidelined by a finger injury and hasn’t played for the Raptors since November 23.
  • Raptors forwards Stanley Johnson and Malcolm Miller have also been assigned to Raptors 905, Murphy adds in another tweet. Johnson, who asked to be sent to the G League, will also play on Monday as he works his way back from a groin injury, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link). Miller has appeared in 20 games with the NBA club this season but is only averaging 5.5 MPG.
  • The Lakers recalled Talen Horton-Tucker from South Bay, the G League affiliate tweets. The second-round rookie has appeared in two NBA games this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/31/19

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

  • The Pacers assigned Alize Johnson to their affiliate in Fort Wayne, then recalled him and Victor Oladipo later in the day, the team announced in a pair of tweets. Oladipo has been practicing with the G League team as he rehabs from a quad injury he suffered last season.
  • The Warriors recalled Alen Smailagic from Santa Cruz, according to a press release. Smailagic is averaging 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 12 G League games.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/30/19

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

  • Pacers star Victor Oladipo was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants as he continues his rehab from a quad injury, the team’s PR department tweets. Oladipo, who reportedly could make his season debut in approximately one month, joined the Mad Ants for practice.
  • The Wizards recalled rookie forward Admiral Schofield and guard Justin Robinson from the Capital City Go-Go, the team’s PR department tweets. Schofield posted 19 points and seven rebounds in Capital City’s game on Sunday, while Robinson had 22 points and six assists. The Wizards, who have been riddled with injuries, played the Heat on Monday.
  • The Celtics assigned rookie guard Carsen Edwards to the Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. Edwards has appeared in 24 Celtics games, averaging 3.4 PPG in 10.2 MPG.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Naz Reid from the Iowa Wolves, according to a team press release. Reid is averaging 18.4 PPG,  9.8 RPG and 1.9 BPG in 16 games for Iowa.

Central Notes: Porter Jr., Oladipo, Green, Forman

One of the big reasons why the Cavaliers made the Jordan Clarkson trade was to open up minutes for rookie Kevin Porter Jr., according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The team was aware that Clarkson would likely leave as an unrestricted free agent over the summer, while Porter is one of the team’s building blocks, Fedor continues. Teammates, coaches and members of the front office have raved about Porter’s talent for months, Fedor adds, and by moving Clarkson there’s more playing time available for the 30th overall pick in the draft.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • While ESPN reported that Victor Oladipo is aiming to return in late January or early February, Pacers coach Nate McMillan insists no timetable has been set for his star guard’s return, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star relays.  Oladipo continues to work his way back from a serious quad injury suffered last season.“No. We haven’t come up with a date,” McMillan said. “I saw that report. We haven’t come up with a timeline for him to return.”
  • Veteran forward Jeff Green could fill a need for the Bulls, according to Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago. They are dealing with injuries at the small forward spot and Green, who was waived by Utah earlier this week, could help in that area. Otto Porter Jr.‘s foot ailment seems to be a long-term issue, Walton notes. The Bulls would have to open up a roster spot to sign Green since they’re currently at the maximum level.
  • Gar Forman’s draft record with the Bulls has been solid but unspectacular over the past four years with the club in rebuild mode, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times opines. Forman’s best pick was selecting Lauri Markkanen in the 2017 draft, Cowley notes.

Victor Oladipo Hopes To Return In Late January

Injured Pacers guard Victor Oladipo continues to recover from a ruptured right quad tendon and is aiming to return to action by late January or early February, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

With Oladipo’s potential return still likely at least one month away, there’s no specific date or game targeted as of yet. However, Wojnarowski notes that if Oladipo achieves his goal of returning by the end of January or early February, he could end up being the most impactful “addition” made by any Eastern Conference contender before the February 6 trade deadline.

Even without Oladipo, the Pacers are off to a great start this season, with a 21-10 record. That’s a 55-win pace, though it only puts Indiana sixth in what has been a competitive Eastern Conference playoff race so far. The Pacers are just 1.5 games back of the No. 2 seed, so they could make a run at a top seed once Oladipo returns.

If Oladipo is able to make it back by early February, he’ll ultimately have missed just over one year as a result of his quad injury, which occurred on January 23. Before going down with that injury, the veteran guard had been named an All-Star in each of his first two seasons in Indiana. He has averaged 21.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 2.1 SPG on .461/.362/.780 shooting in 111 games since joining the Pacers in a blockbuster 2017 trade.

Central Notes: Love, Griffin, Wood, Oladipo, Bulls

In a Q&A with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love acknowledged that it will probably take a while for the club to become a legit title contender again. However, he was evasive when asked if he could envision himself asking management for a trade.

“What’s going to happen with us this summer? Or at the trade deadline? I just don’t know,” Love said. “It’s just tough because, and I’m not a religious guy by any means, but the old saying ‘You want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.’ Listen, obviously it’s a tough go right now. We’ve got (seven) wins. But in some ways, the grass isn’t always greener. You just don’t know how the s–t is going to shake out. Ever. In anything.

“So could I see it? Yes and no. It’s tough for me to answer. If we got a year or two down the line — I don’t know what their plans are for me even in the short term. But if it got there and we weren’t getting any better, it might make sense for them to completely go young. Maybe it’s that way now.”

Reports this month have indicated that Love may want to be dealt, with Portland said to be among his preferred landing spots. However, moving him won’t be easy, given his pricey long-term contract.

Here’s more from around the Central:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/17/19

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

  • The Pacers have assigned Victor Oladipo to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants as the former All-Star continues his rehabs, the team announced on Twitter. Indiana also recalled Edmond Sumner, Alize Johnson, and JaKarr Sampson.
  • The Knicks have assigned Ignas Brazdeikis to the Westchester Knicks, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Brazdeikis was available for the G League contest tonight.
  • The Wizards assigned Justin Robinson to the Capital City Go-Go, per the team’s Twitter feed. The guard has appeared in six games for Washington this season.
  • The Rockets have assigned Isaiah Hartenstein to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston tweets. The center has appeared in nine games for Houston this year.
  • The Clippers have assigned Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Terance Mann to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, per the team.
  • Jalen McDaniels is making another trip to the Greensboro Swarm, the Hornets announced on their website. The second-round pick has appeared in 13 games in the G League this season.