CJ Wilcox out after knee surgery

Portland Trail Blazers two-way guard CJ Wilcox underwent successful arthroscopy on his right knee today, it was announced by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Evan Ellis at Southwest Washington Surgery Center.

The Trail Blazers signed Wilcox to a two-way contract on August 9. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

The Denver Nuggets have assigned rookie Tyler Lydon and transferred rookie Monte Morris to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and transferred rookie Torrey Craig to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Craig, 6-6, 215, appeared in four preseason games for Denver, averaging 6.8 minutes per game. He also played in six summer league games (two starts) for the Nuggets, averaging 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.33 steals and 1.00 blocks per game.

Lydon, 6-10, 225, was acquired by Denver along with Trey Lyles in a draft night trade with Utah. He appeared in all five of Denver’s preseason games, averaging 1.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per game.

Morris, 6-3, 175, was selected by Denver with the 51st pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He played in three preseason games for the Nuggets, averaging 3.0 points and 4.3 minutes per game.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a game official, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Curry was ejected, occurred with 43.6 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter of the Warriors’ 111-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, Oct. 21 at FedEx Forum.

As part of the same incident, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has been fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official.

Nets assign Isaiah Whitehead to G League

Nets assign Isaiah Whitehead to G League

Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead has been assigned to the Long Island Nets, the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.

The assignment marks Whitehead’s first career stint with the LI Nets and also marks Long Island’s first assignment of the 2017-18 season. In 73 games (26 starts) with Brooklyn last season, Whitehead recorded averages of 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 22.5 minutes per contest.

Celtics hope to utilize Marcus Morris soon

The Celtics came into the season optimistic about their new stars. Then, right away, Gordon Hayward was lost, and Boston’s hopes were put into a tailspin. But at least some partial relief should soon be on the way. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Celtics hope to utilize Marcus Morris soon

The Celtics are not going to find one player to replace Gordon Hayward, but they are a little closer to adding a big forward who can score.

Marcus Morris is hoping to get into the rotation this week after arriving late to training camp because of his legal matter in Arizona and then dealing with left knee soreness that cost him the club’s first three games. Brad Stevens said Morris will be reevaluated this week, but if he can participate in today’s practice, there is at least a chance that Morris could see time against the Knicks here tomorrow night.

As one would expect, the Celts are being cautious.

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The Miami Heat have assigned center A.J. Hammons to their NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Derrick Walton Jr. will also join the Skyforce as part of his two-way contract.

Hammons, who was selected in the second round (46th overall) by Dallas in the 2016 NBA Draft, appeared in 22 games with the Mavericks last season and averaged 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 7.4 minutes of action while shooting 40.5 percent from the field. Additionally, he was named the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-Big Ten First Team during his senior season at Purdue.

Hassan Whiteside dealing with knee bruise

Here’s the Palm Beach Post reporting on a very key member of the Heat:

Hassan Whiteside dealing with knee bruise

Center Hassan Whiteside will miss his second game because of bruised left knee when the Heat host the Atlanta Hawks tonight and coach Erik Spoelstra will go with the same starting five from Miami’s home-opening win against Indiana.

Whiteside sat out the 112-108 victory Saturday after bumping knees with Magic center Nikola Vucevic three nights earlier. The Heat are giving no timetable for his return, only saying he is day-to-day.

“He’s feeling better, he’s doing more but he won’t play tonight,” Spoelstra said today after the team’s shootaround. “Stay with the routine and he’s doing a great job at that.”

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Julyan Stone injured, out 4-6 weeks

Julyan Stone injured, out 4-6 weeks

Charlotte Hornets guard Julyan Stone has suffered a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. The injury occurred in practice on Sunday, Oct. 22 and he did not travel with the team to Milwaukee.

Stone is listed as out for tonight’s game against the Bucks and his expected recovery time is estimated at four to six weeks. Further updates on his status will be provided when available.

Stone, a 6-6 guard and fourth-year player out of Texas-El Paso, appeared in the Hornets first two games and averaged 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 9.0 minutes per game. For his career, he has averaged 1.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 49 games with the Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors and Hornets. Stone signed with Charlotte as a free agent on Aug. 23, 2017 after playing with Reyer Venezia Mestre of the Lega Basket Serie A in Italy.

Milos Teodosic out with a plantar fascia injury

Clippers guard Milos Teodosic suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot during the second quarter of the Clippers’ game against Phoenix on October 21. Teodosic will be out indefinitely.

Teodosic, 30, has started in two games this season, and has averaged 5.5 points and 4.0 assists in 16.0 minutes. He appeared in four games for the Clippers in the preseason (three starts), and averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 assists and 1.00 steals in 24.9 minutes.

Jonas Valanciunas out with ankle sprain

Jonas Valanciunas out with ankle sprain

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is out with a sprained left ankle.

Valanciunas travelled with the team on its six-game road trip, which begins Monday against San Antonio.
The injury occurred after Valanciunas landed on the foot of the Philadelphia 76ers’ Dario Saric in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game. He did not return.

His condition will be evaluated on a regular basis.

Kyrie Irving fined by NBA

Kyrie Irving fined by NBA

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has been fined $25,000 for using inappropriate language when responding to a fan, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred at halftime of the Celtics’ 102-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, Oct. 20 at Wells Fargo Center.

The Phoenix Suns have relieved Earl Watson of his duties as head coach. Suns associate head coach Jay Triano will take over as interim head coach.

Watson was originally named interim head coach on February 1, 2016, and then was retained as the 17th head coach in franchise history on April 19, 2016. In parts of three seasons as head coach, Watson’s teams compiled a 33-85 (.280) record.

Triano joined the Suns’ staff as associate head coach in the summer of 2016. Triano had previously served as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2008-2011, compiling an 87-142 (.380) record as he was the first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history. In addition to his NBA coaching experience that includes six seasons as an assistant coach with the Raptors and four seasons as an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers, Triano is head coach of the men’s national team for Canada Basketball.

Pelicans waive Jordan Crawford, sign Jameer Nelson

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has signed guard Jameer Nelson. And in a subsequent move, the Pelicans have waived guard Jordan Crawford.

Nelson, 6-0, 190, most recently played for the Denver Nuggets. In 148 games (59 starts) from 2014-17, Nelson averaged 8.9 points, 4.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds. Last season, Nelson averaged 9.2 points, 5.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 27.3 minutes over 75 games for Denver.

A 13-year NBA veteran, Nelson has appeared in 828 career regular season games (639 starts) with Orlando, Dallas, Boston and Denver, holding career averages of 11.7 points, 5.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 28.4 minutes per game. Additionally, Nelson has appeared in 44 career postseason games, averaging 15.0 points, 4.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 steals. During the 2008-09 season, Nelson helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals.

Selected 20th overall by Denver in the 2004 NBA Draft out of St. Joseph’s (PA), Nelson was named an All-Star in 2009, averaging a career-best 16.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.

Nelson will be available for New Orleans’ game tonight at the STAPLES Center against the Los Angeles Lakers.

In two games for New Orleans this season, Crawford, 6-4, 195, has averaged 9.0 points, 5.0 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 18.5 minutes.

Raptors waive K.J. McDaniels

The Toronto Raptors have waived forward K.J. McDaniels. McDaniels appeared in three preseason games, totaling six points, five rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes. He was inactive for the first two games of the regular season. Toronto’s roster now stands at 16 players.

Bucks sign Joel Bolomboy to two-way contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Joel Bolomboy to a Two-Way contract.

Bolomboy, 23, was the 52nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. He appeared in 12 games with the Jazz in 2016-17 and averaged 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. The Weber State product also played 24 games for the Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA G League and averaged 16.4 points and 13.2 rebounds per contest.

NBA rules permit teams to have two Two-Way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A Two-Way player for the Bucks will provide services primarily for the team’s G League affiliate – the Wisconsin Herd – but can spend up to 45 days with Milwaukee, not including any time prior to the start of the Herd’s training camp and following the conclusion of the G League regular season.

Bolomboy will wear No. 24 for the Bucks.

Frank Ntilikina twists ankle in practice

We look forward to telling you about how Frank Ntilikina is doing in basketball games, but so far we’re forced to mention him a lot in regard to injuries. And it’s happened again. Hopefully minor. Here’s New York Newsday reporting:

On the eve of the Knicks’ home opener, first-round draft pick Frank Ntilikina had to be helped off the practice court Friday after twisting his left ankle in the final minutes of practice.

Ntilikina writhed in pain at the baseline for several minutes before leaving practice. He later told the Knicks’ staff that he injured the ankle when he changed direction while boxing out for a rebound.

“Looked like I thought he maybe stepped on Willy’s [Hernangomez’s] foot,” coach Jeff Hornacek said shortly after the incident. “He went to box him out and it looked like he stepped on his foot. Hopefully, it’s not too bad.”

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Alexis Ajinca out with knee injury

Alexis Ajinca out with knee injury

New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca sustained an injury to his knee patellar tendonitis, the team announced today.

Ajinca underwent successful bilateral knee injections yesterday by Pelicans Director of Medical Services/Head Team Physician Dr. Misty Suri and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Fortunately for the Pelicans, they’re super-strong at the center and power forward spots, with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis as starters. Ajinca is a backup, but will still be missed.

Hawks hire Michelle Leftwich as Vice President of Salary Cap Administration

The Atlanta Hawks have hired veteran NBA executive Michelle Leftwich as Vice President of Salary Cap Administration, the team announced today.

In this role, Leftwich will assist and advise Hawks General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk with all aspects of the league’s salary cap rules, as well as player contract planning matters.

“Michelle’s expertise and knowledge of the CBA and its complexities will be a great asset to the Hawks,” Schlenk said. “She is widely respected throughout the NBA and brings a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge that will benefit our organization.”

Leftwich joins the organization after 21 years at the league office, including the last 10 years as NBA Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, where she assisted Rick Buchanan, NBA General Counsel, and Dan Rube, NBA Deputy General Counsel, with a variety of legal matters. Her broad duties at the NBA involved salary cap and player contract matters, collective bargaining with the players’ union, player trade approvals, and operation of the CBA’s escrow and tax system.

Prior to joining the NBA in 1996, Leftwich worked for the New York law firm formerly known as Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting from Canisius College and her Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.

Kings add Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

Kings add Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

The Sacramento Kings today have added Jenny Boucek as an Assistant Player Development Coach on Head Coach Dave Joerger’s staff.

With 18 years of professional coaching experience and two WNBA championships under her belt, Boucek returns to Sacramento after most recently serving as the head coach of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm for three seasons (2015-17). Her resume includes two-plus seasons at the helm as the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09, where she led the team to a 40-41 record.

Boucek was involved in the WNBA since its inaugural season, suiting up for the Cleveland Rockers in 1997. Following a career-ending injury in 1998, she began her WNBA coaching career as an assistant with the Washington Mystics in 1999. She then spent three seasons (2000-02) in the same capacity with the Miami Sol. In her first stint with Seattle from 2003-05, Boucek was an assistant coach on staff that included the franchise’s first WNBA Championship in 2004. The Storm won their second WNBA crown in 2010 with Boucek on staff in a similar role. Boucek is distinguished as the first athlete to play in the WNBA and subsequently serve as both an assistant and head coach in the league.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, the Tennessee native was voted Foreign Player of the Year after leading Keflavik to the Icelandic Championship and Icelandic Basketball Cup in 1998. A four-year starter at the University of Virginia from 1992-1996, Boucek helped lead the Cavaliers to four regular season ACC Championships and three NCAA Elite Eight appearances.

Knicks sign Isaiah Hicks to two-way contract

The Knicks have signed forward Isaiah Hicks to a Two-Way contract.

Hicks, 6-9, 230-pounds, is an undrafted rookie who most recently played for the Charlotte Hornets, appearing in one 2017 preseason game. The Oxford, NC-native averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in his senior year for the 2017 NCAA National Champion University of North Carolina.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way players on their roster at any given time – Hicks joins center Luke Kornet on the Knicks. A Two-Way player will provide services primarily to the team’s G League affiliate - the Westchester Knicks - but can spend up to 45 days with New York, not including any time prior to the start of Westchester’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

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