Recent NBA Player News

The Athletic: Sixers will likely include Shake Milton in starting lineup

According to Derek Bodner and The Athletic, "the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting five will likely be Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Joel Embiid, Josh Richardson and Tobias Harris.

What It Means:

After displaying "shooting and playmaking" ability in multiple roles including on-and-off the ball, Milton seems like the logical candidate to start for the Sixers after the NBA restarts their season. Expect Milton to ultimately share minutes with Al Horford in a fifth starter or sixth man type role.

In a 611.5 minute sample size this season, Milton is averaging 0.86 FanDuel points per minute and a usage rate of 20%.

Jon Leuer retires after 8 seasons

According to his Instagram, Jon Leuer announced his retirement from professional basketball after playing eight seasons.

What It Means:

Leuer will retire from basketball after recently dealing with several major injuries. "I love the game of basketball. I still want to play, but I know deep down it’s not the right decision for my health anymore," said Leuer on his social media account. "The past 3 years I’ve dealt with a number of injuries, including 2 that kept me out this whole season. It’s taken me a while to come to grips with this, but I’m truly at peace with my decision to officially retire."

In 377 career games, Leuer will end his NBA career averaging 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists.

Source: Instagram

Portland's Rodney Hood (Achilles) not ready to return

Portland Trail Blazers guard / forward Rodney Hood (Achilles) "will not return under any circumstance this season."

What It Means:

According to The Athletic, Hood will not play again this season despite gaining access to continue his rehab at Portland's practice facility. Expect the 27-year old to return for the start of next season if his recovery continues to positively progress.

In 21 starts before his injury, Hood averaged 11.0 points with a shooting percentage of 50% including 49% of his three-point attempts.

Utah's Mike Conley 'will be asked to score and create more'

Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley "will be asked to score and create more and become the No.2 offensive option behind Donovan Mitchell in the starting lineup."

What It Means:

According to the Athletic, the Jazz will need Conley to step up his offensive production after losing Bojan Bogdanovic for the remainder of this season with a wrist injury. Expect the veteran to see a slight uptick in shot attempts and overall playing time whenever the Jazz return.

In a 272.2 minute sample size with Bogdanovic off the court this season, Conley is averaging 0.87 FanDuel points per minute and a usage rate of 24.0%.

Jazz's Bojan Bogdanovic undergoing wrist surgery

Utah Jazz guard/forward Bojan Bogdanovic will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist.

What It Means:

Bogdanovic wasn't known to be dealing with an injury, but he apparently hurt his wrist in 2019 and it became a lingering issue. He's expected to be back for the start of the 2020-21 season. Royce O'Neale figures to be the primary beneficiary from Bogdanovic's absence.

Bogdanovic averaged 27.3 FanDuel points, 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 3.0 3-pointers over 63 starts in his first season with the Jazz. He shot 44.7 percent from the field and 41.4 percent on threes.

Source: Utah Jazz

Detroit's Blake Griffin (knee) 'ready to get back to playing'

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (knee) said on Monday he is ready to return after undergoing surgery in January.

What It Means:

Griffin is feeling healthy after missing extended time with a left knee injury. “I feel great," said the Pistons' star when asked about his status. "I’ve basically been cleared for a while now, I just have been stuck in my house. So, I’m ready to go whenever things pick back up. I’m just working out and trying to stay ready and stay sane. So it’s nice to be healthy, though.”

Expect Griffin to ultimately speak with the Pistons about his short and long term future especially considering the franchise's recent rebuilding efforts. In just 18 games this season, the 31-year old averaged a career-low 15.5 points on a Field Goal Percentage of 35.2%.

Source: mlive.com

Berman: Knicks unsure if Kevin Knox 'is part of their future'

According to the New York Post and Marc Berman, New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox's "inner circle was supremely frustrated" with his playing time in March.

What It Means:

Knox's "inner circle" reportedly believed "interim coach Mike Miller would be ordered to step up the minutes for Knox and make him a starter" after Leon Rose was named the Knicks' president. According to Berman's source, one of Rose's "biggest regrets was not getting a closer look at his second-year forward", and the new team president "still doesn’t know what to make of Knox." Expect the Knicks to move on if Knox can't improve at least his offensive production.

In 1166 minutes logged this season, Knox has averaged 6.4 points with a True Shooting Percentage of 47%.

Washington's John Wall 'going to wait until next season' despite additional recovery time

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall "will not be returning in the 2019-20 regular season".

What It Means:

Despite extended recovery time from his Achilles' surgery, Washington's star point guard is not ready to push his return this regular season. "One of my ultimate goals is to make sure I'm fully, all the way healthy," said Wall when asked about his status on Thursday. "In our best-case scenario, we're just going to wait until next season."

Expect Wall to be fully healthy for the 2020-2021 regular season whenever it is scheduled to begin. During his most recent season in 2018-2019, Wall produced an average of 28.4 points per game with a 52.7% True Shooting Percentage (32 game sample size).

Source: NBC Sports

Bulls hire Arturas Karnisovas as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations

The Chicago Bulls have hired Arturas Karnisovas as their Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

What It Means:

In a corresponding move, the team has also moved on from former general manager Gar Forman. Karnisovas, who has previously worked with the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets, should be much-needed breath of fresh air for the stagnant Bulls franchise.

Expect Karnisovas to hire a new general manager in the near future. The Bulls were a mostly mediocre team for the majority of Forman's tenure as general manager (dating back to 1998), though did experience some hope in the early 2010's.

Jazz's Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell medically cleared from COVID-19

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and shooting guard Donovan Mitchell have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health for COVID-19.

What It Means:

Gobert and Mitchell both completed their respective periods of isolation and quarantine following exposure to COVID-19. The NBA season remains suspended indefinitely.

Detroit's Christian Wood reportedly cleared from coronavirus on Wednesday night

Detroit Pistons forward / center Christian Wood has reportedly tested negative for coronavirus.

What It Means:

According to Charania, Wood has been cleared from the coronavirus after receiving a positive test two weeks ago. The Pistons' big man was the third player officially diagnosed with the pandemic since the NBA regular season was suspended.

In 62 games this season, Wood is averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assist.

Warriors' Klay Thompson participating in drills

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr noted that Klay Thompson had begun to participate in team activities prior to the league's suspension.

What It Means:

Thompson, who tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2018-2019 NBA finals, appears to be progressing well in his recovery. He has already been ruled out for the remainder of this season, but is on track to suit up for the 2020-2021 season.

The 15-50 Warriors have sorely missed Thompson this season. He averaged 19.5 points per game last season, as well as 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals.

Kevin Durant, 3 other Nets test positive for coronavirus

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has tested positive for the coronavirus.

What It Means:

Durant is one of four Nets players to test positive. "Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine," said Durant. "We're going to get through this." There are now seven confirmed cases among NBA players.

NBA (COVID-19) best-case for return is reportedly mid-June

NBA owners and executives are "bracing for the possibility of mid-to-late June as a best-case scenario for the league's return," reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

"Fears exist of a season completely lost, especially based on what some experts see as the slow response of the United States to flatten the curve of the coronavirus and make testing available on a widespread basis," Woj adds. The season was suspended indefinitely last week.

Source: ESPN.com

Pistons' Christian Wood tests positive for coronavirus

Detroit Pistons forward/center Chris Wood tested positive for the coronavirus, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Wood scored 30 points and brought down 10 rebounds against Utah's Rudy Gobert on Saturday, March 7th. Wood is reportedly doing well and has shown no symptoms.

Wood is averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 25 FanDuel points per game this season.

NBA to be suspended at least 30 days

The NBA hiatus will last "at least" 30 days, league commissioner Adam Silver announced.

What It Means:

There's a decent chance that the suspension lasts longer, as the Chinese Basketball Association is facing a 10-week hiatus. If and when the league does return, it's not clear if they will play an abbreviated regular-season schedule, or proceed directly to the postseason.

Source: ESPN.com

Christian Wood scores career-high 32 in Pistons' loss

Detroit Pistons forward/center Christian Wood scored 32 points (14-of-18 field goals, 1-of-4 free throws) with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 3 3-pointers, and 3 turnovers in 39.0 minutes of a 124-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

What It Means:

Wood set a new scoring career-high for the third time in the last four games and also contributed everywhere else. It was the fourth time this season Wood recorded multiple steals and blocks in the same contest. The 24-year-old should continue operating as the Pistons' go-to offensive option if/when the NBA returns this season.

Wood is averaging 42.1 FanDuel points in nine games since the All-Star break, bringing his average to 25.0 FanDuel points for the season.

Mavericks' Boban Marjanovic erupts for career-high 31 points

Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic scored 31 points (12-of-20 field goals, 7-of-8 free throws) with 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 3 turnovers in 31.5 minutes of a 113-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

What It Means:

Marjanovic made his second start of the season and proceeded to score the most points of his career. It was just the third time he's turned in 20-plus. The minutes and boards both set new season-highs. He will likely return to a reduced role off the bench whenever the NBA resumes play.

Boban put up a season-best 55.9 FanDuel points on Wednesday. He's averaged 39.4 FanDuel points in the four games he logged at least 20 minutes this season.

Jazz's Donovan Mitchell tests positive for coronavirus

Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

Mitchell's teammate, Rudy Gobert, also tested positive for the disease on Wednesday night, leading to a league-wide suspension. Wojnarowski adds that Jazz players privately say that Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings.

Mitchell is averaging 36.2 FanDuel points per game this season, with 24.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 2.5 3-pointers.

NBA suspension to likely last over 2 weeks

The NBA suspension will be at least 2 weeks.

What It Means:

The regular-season stoppage will be at least two weeks so all players affected can go through quarantine, but league insiders believe it will be longer. For perspective, the Chinese Basketball Association suspended play in late January and remains inactive. In related news, the NBA is telling players from the Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Cleveland Cavaliers to self-quarantine because they have all played the Utah Jazz in recent days. Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday night.

Source: ESPN

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings postponed on Wednesday due to illness concerns

Wednesday's game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings has been postponed.

What It Means:

Following the suspension of the NBA season, Wednesday's contest between the Pelicans the Kings has been postponed.

Richaun Holmes starting for Kings on Wednesday, Harry Giles coming off the bench

Sacramento Kings forward Richaun Holmes is in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

What It Means:

Holmes will make his first start since January 6th, after coming off the bench for two games following his return to action on March 7th. Harry Giles will come off the bench. As of right now, the contest will go on as planned, despite the suspension of the NBA season moving forward.

Holmes' Wednesday projection includes 9.1 points, 6. rebounds, 0.8 assists, and 21.5 FanDuel points.

Utah's Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus, according to The Athletic HQ.

What It Means:

Gobert, who entered the day listed as questionable with an illness, was ruled out before the game. The situation resulted in the contest between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder being postponed. Following Gobert's positive test, the NBA has decided to suspend the season indefinitely. Games will be suspended while the league determines next steps.

NBA season suspended indefinitely

The NBA has suspended it's season indefinitely.

What It Means:

The decision comes after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19. Games will be suspended while the league determines next steps.

Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder postponed on Wednesday due to illness concerns

Wednesday's game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder has been postponed amid concerns of an illness before the game.

What It Means:

The game was delayed and both teams were sent to their locker rooms as a decision was being made. Nearly 25 minutes later an announcement was made that the game had been postponed due to an illness before the game. The official reason given for the postponement was unforeseen circumstances.

Source: Erik Horne

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