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Bucks exercise contract options on D.J. Wilson and Thon Maker

The Milwaukee Bucks have exercised the third-year contract option on forward D.J. Wilson and the fourth-year contract option on forward Thon Maker.

Wilson, 22, was the 17th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. He appeared in 22 games for the Bucks in his rookie campaign and averaged 1.0 point and 0.5 rebounds. In 11 games for the Wisconsin Herd, the G League affiliate of the Bucks, Wilson averaged 15.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season.

The 10th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Maker, 21, is averaging 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds over three games this season. In his first two seasons with the Bucks, Maker averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option.

The Charlotte Hornets today exercised their third-year option on guard Malik Monk.

The 6-3 Kentucky product is in his second NBA season after appearing in 63 games during his 2017-18 rookie campaign in Charlotte. Through seven games this season, Monk is averaging 11.0 points per game on 35.1% shooting. He holds career averages of 7.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 14.6 minutes per game in 70 contests. Monk was selected by the Hornets 11th overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Hornets host the Miami Heat tonight at 7 p.m. at Spectrum Center in the first game of a four-game homestand. Charlotte hosts Oklahoma City on Thursday, Nov. 1, Cleveland on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Spurs to retire Manu Ginobili jersey

The San Antonio Spurs will retire Manu Ginobili’s No. 20 jersey on Thursday, March 28 when the Silver and Black host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. CDT. A special postgame ceremony honoring Ginobili will take place on the AT&T Center floor.

Ginobili will become the ninth player in Spurs franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Tim Duncan (21), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).

In 16 seasons with the Spurs, Ginobili captured four NBA championships while posting a career winning percentage of .721 (762-295), which is the best winning percentage in NBA history among players who have appeared in at least 1,000 games.

Selected by San Antonio with the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Ginobili appeared in 1,057 career games, averaging 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.32 steals in 25.4 minutes. He is the Spurs all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,495) and steals (1,392), while ranking third in games played (1,057), fourth in assists (4,001), fourth in free throws made (3,380) and fifth in points (14,043). Ginobili was named to the All-NBA Third Team in both 2008 and 2011 and was a two-time All-Star (2005 and 2011). The 2008 NBA Sixth Man of the Year is the first sixth man, as well as the first South American, to earn All-NBA honors.

Ginobili and LeBron James are the only two players in NBA postseason history with at least 3,000 points and 300 three-pointers in the playoffs. Ginobili appeared in 218 career playoff games, averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.34 steals in 27.9 minutes. One of 10 players ever to appear in over 200 playoff games, he came off the bench 165 times and is the all-time leader in NBA postseason history as a reserve in points (2,014), assists (576), rebounds (635), steals (205), field goals made (630), three-pointers made (226) and free throws made (528). Ginobili and Tony Parker combined to record 132 playoff wins together, which are the most victories by any teammates in postseason history.

After signing with the Spurs in the summer of 2002, Ginobili became one of just seven players in NBA history to spend his entire career with one team while playing at least 16 seasons, along with Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, John Havlicek, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki and John Stockton. He is the first South American and just the second player drafted in the second round or later to appear in at least 1,000 games with one team.

Ginobili is one of only two players in history, along with Bill Bradley, to win a EuroLeague title, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.

The Philadelphia 76ers unveiled today their 2018-19 City Edition uniform, which the team says “celebrates Philadelphia’s rich history of the challenger’s mentality that inspired the “Rocky” and “Creed” films.”

Per the team: The uniform’s core displays the iconic circle of 13 stars derived from the boxing ring where Rocky Balboa first squared off against Apollo Creed, while the gray sweatsuit-textured base was influenced by both Adonis Creed’s and Rocky’s legendary training scenes throughout the streets of Philadelphia. The crisp blue, red and white waistband trim on the shorts is inspired by Rocky’s championship belt. Meanwhile, the phrase “PHILADELPHIA, USA,” is embroidered on the lower left hem of the jersey as a nod to the city’s fans, heart and determination.

“We are excited to unveil this season’s City Edition uniform, which pays tribute to the heart, determination, and tenacity of our city and fan base,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck said. “In partnership with StubHub and MGM, we developed a concept that speaks to the mentality that has defined our city for generations. It’s a nod to a city with a fighter’s toughness and mentality, a mentality that our team and players embody every time they take the floor. As stewards of the 76ers brand, we have an obligation to honor old Philadelphia and celebrate new Philadelphia. We are proud to wear this uniform and represent the City of Brotherly Love.”

Warriors exercise contract option on Damian Jones

The Warriors have exercised the fourth-year contract option on center Damian Jones, which is for the 2019-20 NBA season.

Jones, 23, has started all eight games for the Warriors this season, averaging 6.0 points on 77.8 percent from the field to go with 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 16.9 minutes per game. Originally selected by the Warriors with the 30th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Jones has appeared in 33 career regular season games in addition to eight postseason games as a member of both of Golden State’s previous two championship teams.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first-round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option.

The Chicago Bulls have exercised the third-year option on Lauri Markkanen, and fourth-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine.

By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2019-20 season.

“According to the Chicago Tribune, “all three players, who are currently injured, are on their rookie scale contracts. Exercising the team option is a formality to keep them on those rookie scale deals for another season.”

Markkanen came to the Bulls in a Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 22, 2017, in which his rights were acquired, along with Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the rights to the 16th selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Markkanen was selected to the All-Rookie First Team last season after playing in 68 games (68 starts) and averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game. Markkanen set a Bulls’ franchise record for most 3-point field goals made in a rookie season (145) and was the fastest rookie in NBA history to reach 100 3-pointers made when he hit 101 through his first 41 games. Markkanen was also a participant in the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game and a finalist in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

The Bulls acquired Dunn in the Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 22, 2017. Last season, he played in 52 games (43 starts) and averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.00 steals in 29.3 minutes per game. His career averages are 7.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.39 steals over 131 games. Dunn scored a career-high 32 points to go along with nine assists on Jan. 5, 2018, at Dallas, and he joined Michael Jordan as the only two players for the Bulls to have a game with at least 20 points, 12 assists, four steals and two blocks on Dec. 26, 2017, at Milwaukee. Dunn has played in one game this season on Oct. 22 at Dallas, and he scored nine points with four rebounds and seven assists.

Valentine was selected 14th overall by Chicago in the 2016 NBA Draft. He played in a team-high 77 games in 2017-18 (37 starts), and averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 27.2 minutes per game. He has averaged 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his career over 134 games. Valentine’s 143 3-pointers made last season rank as the 11th-highest single-season total in Bulls history. On March 17, 2018, vs. Cleveland, he recorded career highs in points (34), field goals made (13) and 3-pointers made (eight).

The Warriors beat the Bulls in Chicago 149-124 on Monday. They had an incredible 92 points at the half to the Bulls’ 50. Klay Thompson scored 52 points and set an NBA record with 14 three-pointers made in a single game. His final stats for the evening: 18-of-29 from the field, 14-of-24 threes and 2-of-2 free throws, plus five rebounds, no assists. An epic performance that served further notice to the rest of the NBA just how scary and powerful this Warriors team is. As if they needed such a reminder.

NBC Sports Bay Area: “Thompson scored 22 points in the first quarter, 36 for the half and 52 points in a total of 27 minutes. He smashed Stephen Curry’s single-game record for 3-pointers in the process when he drained his 14th triple in the third quarter. Kevin Durant and Curry, so tremendous in holding up the offense while Thompson struggled, could take a breath, become gracious teammates and behold the white-hot offensive pyrotechnics of Thompson. “It was an unbelievable night,” Curry told reporters at United Center. “Everything was clicking from the jump. Klay starts off hot and we’ve been waiting for him to shoot like himself. Obviously, he did that.”

NBC Sports Bay Area: Thompson may not have broken the record without Curry’s encouragement. He said after the game that Curry told him at halftime the record was in sight, and that Thompson should “go get it.” “It’s great, it might not last for long though,” Thompson told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke after the game. “[Curry’s] a pretty good player, he might do it pretty soon.”

Mercury News: “Thompson tied for his second highest scoring performance of his eight-year NBA career, trailing only his career-high 60-point effort against Indiana on Dec. 5, 2016. Thompson also set an NBA record with most 3-pointers made in a game (14), eclipsing Stephen Curry’s 13 3-pointers he made against New Orleans on Nov. 7, 2016. The Bulls called timeout after Thompson made his record-breaking 3-pointer for a 113-69 lead with 4:53 left in the third quarter, prompting the Warriors’ bench to greet Thompson at halfcourt with chest bumps and high fives.”

Mavericks assign Ray Spalding to G League

The Dallas Mavericks have assigned forward Ray Spalding to the Texas Legends of the NBA G League.

Spalding (6-10, 215) made his NBA debut in the final minute of the Mavericks’ season opener at Phoenix on Oct. 17. It’s his lone regular-season appearance thus far in 2018-19.

Spalding was selected by Philadelphia with the 56th overall pick in this past year’s draft after a three-year college career at Louisville (2015-18). His draft rights were acquired by Dallas, along with the draft rights to the 60th overall pick Kostas Antetokounmpo, in exchange for the 54th overall selection Shake Milton.

As a junior in 2017-18, Spalding averaged 12.3 points (second on team), a team-high 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, a team-best 1.5 steals, 1.7 blocks and 27.7 minutes in 36 games (34 starts) for the Cardinals. He ranked fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage (.543), sixth in rebounding (8.7 rpg), third in offensive rebounding (3.14 orpg), 10th in steals (1.5 spg) and ninth in blocks (1.7 bpg).

Thunder exercise option on Terrance Ferguson

The Oklahoma City Thunder exercised its third-year contract option on guard Terrance Ferguson.

Ferguson has appeared in 65 games (16 starts) with the Thunder, averaging 3.0 points and 0.8 rebounds in 12.9 minutes. The Tulsa native became the third player in NBA history to record 24 points and six three-pointers in his first career start on Jan. 3, 2018 at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ferguson was originally selected 21st overall by the Thunder in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Coach Tyronn Lue fired by Cavs

Coach Tyronn Lue fired by Cavs

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue was released today by the team. Associate Head Coach Larry Drew has been named interim head coach. The announcement was made from Cleveland Clinic Courts by Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman.

“This was a very difficult decision. It is especially so, considering Coach Lue’s time with us over the last four years, including four straight trips to the NBA Finals,” said Altman. “We have respect and great admiration for Ty, not only as a coach, but a person. We thank him for the many ways he has contributed to our success, wish him the best and he will always be remembered for leading a very special Cavs team back against the odds to win the title in 2016. This is a different team equation, though, and one that we felt needed a different voice and approach that required this change.”

Coach Lue joined the Cavaliers coaching staff in June of 2014 as associate head coach. He was promoted to head coach in January of 2016, thus becoming the 20th head coach in franchise history. As head coach of the Cavaliers, he had a combined regular season record of 128-83 (.606) and a 41-20 (.672) mark in the playoffs.

Drew was named associate head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers in September of 2016. He spent his first two seasons with the Cavaliers as an assistant coach (2014-2016), including the 2015-16 campaign when Cleveland won the NBA championship.

Before his arrival in Cleveland, Drew served as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013-14. Prior to that, he was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2010 through 2013, where he compiled a 128-102 (.557) overall record and led the Hawks to the postseason in each of his three campaigns on the bench.

Jazz guard Raul Neto remains out

Jazz guard Raul Neto remains out

Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (right hamstring injury) was reevaluated on Thursday by the Utah Jazz medical staff and is showing progress to make a return but remains out. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Entering his fourth season with the Jazz, the guard appeared in 41 games last year, owning averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per contest, also seeing action in eight postseason games.

Tyreke Evans will miss Saturday Pacers game due to team rules violation

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday that Tyreke Evans will miss Saturday night’s game at Cleveland due to a violation of team rules.

“I was late for practice,” said Evans. “This is the most professional and team-oriented organization I have been with in my career. They deserve my best every day and I am disappointed in myself for causing a distraction that prevents me from being able to help my team tomorrow. I will do better.”

The Sacramento Kings exercised team options on Buddy Hield, Justin Jackson, De’Aaron Fox, Harry Giles and Skal Labissiere today.

In his second season out of Kentucky, Fox is averaging a team-leading 17.6 points and 6.6 assists to accompany 4.8 rebounds and 1.42 steals through five regular season contests. As a rookie in 2017-18, he posted 11.6 points, 4.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.10 steals in 73 games (61 starts).

Giles has appeared in five games as a rookie this season, posting 3.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 13.2 minutes per contest. The Duke product was originally selected 20th overall by Sacramento in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Acquired by Sacramento in February of 2017, Hield has averaged 14.0 points (.457 FG%, .432 3pt%, .852 FT%), 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.96 steals in 110 games with the Kings. The former Naismith Collegiate Player of the Year and sixth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft earned First Team All-Rookie honors after posting 16.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 82 games in 2016-17.

Jackson has posted 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.87 steals per game to start his second NBA campaign after being selected 15th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. The former ACC Player of the Year appeared in 68 contests as a rookie last season, making 41 starts.

Currently in his third NBA season out of Kentucky, Labissiere has accrued averages of 8.5 points (.466 FG%, .355 3pt%, .766 FT%), 4.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 96 games (41 starts).

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned rookie center Moritz Wagner to the South Bay Lakers on rehab assignment.

Wagner, who sustained a left knee contusion on July 10, has been medically cleared to return to play and will continue his rehab progression with the South Bay Lakers. The Michigan product was selected by the Lakers with the 25th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Nuggets are off to a great start this season, but their first loss came courtesy of a LeBron James triple-double fueled Lakers squad. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

The Nuggets were up 106-98 with 6:11 left in the game before the Lakers closed on a 23-8 run. LeBron James’ triple-double helped, as did Lonzo Ball’s clutch step-back 3-pointer, but give Lance Stephenson credit. He had a personal run of eight straight, including back-to-back 3-pointers that energized the Staples Center crowd with Kobe Bryant sitting courtside.

“Six minutes is a lifetime on the road with a guy like LeBron James,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said.

Veteran Paul Millsap, who struggled from the floor with just six points, put the onus on the Nuggets.

“Something we haven’t been all year, got a little rattled, little rattled down the stretch. Forced a few shots. We didn’t stay poised like we normally do,” he said…

Monte Morris finished with a career-high 20 points, seven assists and three steals as the third Nugget to notch at least 20 points (Nikola Jokic 24, Jamal Murray 22).

Full article

Bobby Portis injured, out 4-6 weeks

Bobby Portis injured, out 4-6 weeks

The Chicago Bulls say that an MRI has confirmed that forward Bobby Portis sustained a moderate sprain of the MCL of his right knee during the October 24 game against the Hornets.

It is estimated that Portis will be out for 4-6 weeks.

Starting all four games that he played in so far this season, Portis in 28.3 minutes per contest has been averaging 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds.

The 1-3 Bulls have been led in scoring by Zach LaVine, who is posting big numbers: 32.3 ppg on impressive 57.1% shooting. But no one else on the team is scoring more than 14.8 ppg.

But so far the team’s offense has been fairly average for the league. The problem early this season has been defense.

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA G League team that will play in the renovated Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The team is expected to debut in Birmingham in the 2022-23 season following the renovations.

In an effort to accelerate player development, the team will begin play next season in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the Erie BayHawks, while its permanent home at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) undergoes renovations. The name and identity of the team in Birmingham will be announced at a later date. The Pelicans organization will engage with the Birmingham community to determine an identity that best represents the city and the region.

“I’m so pleased to welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the NBA G League’s growing family,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “The Pelicans join the league at an exciting time: We’re on the brink of 30 teams and are coming off our most productive season to date. I look forward to fans in Birmingham enjoying NBA G League basketball for seasons to come.”

“This is a tremendous day for the Pelicans organization,” said Pelicans owner Gayle Benson. “I’d like to thank the City of Birmingham, Mayor Woodfin and Tad Snider of the BJCC for being such fantastic partners in the endeavor. These are exciting times for this region, and we feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”

“We know this has been a lengthy process, but we wanted to ensure that we found the best partner for this endeavor, as we are fully invested in our team and building basketball in the Gulf South,” said Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha. “We’ve done our due diligence and researched markets across the region, and no one matched the interest and investment that the City of Birmingham will provide. Our NBA G League franchise is prepared to move to Birmingham as soon as the infrastructure and resources are in place, and we are willing to wait until renovations to Legacy Arena are complete to ensure we have the best facilities in the entire NBA G League. We are very anxious in becoming an active member of the Birmingham community. Additionally, we are excited to be able to accelerate our commitment to player development and establish our presence in the NBA G League by beginning play next year in Erie. We feel fortunate to be able to keep professional basketball in Erie, a city that has supported the team since 2008.”

“We are so excited to enter the NBA G League with our own exclusive affiliate,” said Pelicans Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Dell Demps. “As a former coach and general manager in the G League, I fully understand the importance of player development and the significance behind giving players a chance to gain valuable experiences in game situations ones that can’t be replicated in practice or the film room. The opportunity to begin our operations next year in Erie is a great situation for our organization. The infrastructure is already in place, the transition in taking over basketball operations for the BayHawks will be seamless, and it allows us to accelerate our player development program. We’re thrilled that Birmingham will be the permanent home to our NBA G League team and look forward to bringing our brand of basketball and investment to the community. I’d like to thank Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha and Mickey Loomis for their efforts to make this happen and their commitment to providing the resources we need to be successful.”

The Pelicans will partner with the BayHawks’ current management team, led by Owen McCormick and Matt Bresee, to operate the team in Erie. Most recently, the group in Erie has been in partnership with the Atlanta Hawks to host that team’s NBA G League affiliate while its arena in College Park, Georgia, is being completed. Erie has been the home to an NBA G League team since the 2008-09 season.

“We’re grateful to the New Orleans Pelicans organization for this opportunity to keep NBA G League basketball in Erie,” said Bresee, president of the BayHawks. “The league continues to experience tremendous growth and we’re thrilled for our fans, corporate partners and the Erie region as a whole that the Pelicans will be starting their NBA G League franchise here.”

Located just under 350 miles northeast of New Orleans, Legacy Arena will undergo a $123 million renovation and expansion prior to welcoming an NBA G League team. As part of the updates to the building, enhancements to Legacy Arena will include a new façade, new entrances and an expansion that will add a suite level and premium club space.

“We’re thrilled to have the Pelicans coming to Birmingham,” said Birmingham Mayor Woodfin. “We have worked hard to make sure we have the right assets in place so that we’re ready when opportunities come along to make our community an even better place to live. This is good for our residents, it’s good for our economy and it’s a great day for Birmingham.”

“Since opening in 1976, Legacy Arena has been fortunate to enjoy a rich sports history. We look forward to the opportunity to open the next chapter with the announcement that the New Orleans Pelicans organization will make Birmingham the home of its NBA G League team,” said Snider, CEO of Legacy Arena and BJCC. “When renovations to the arena are complete, Birmingham will have a very special venue that we’re confident will be a great facility in which to enjoy a first-class basketball experience.”

Five current Pelicans have NBA G League experience: Ian Clark, Cheick Diallo, Tim Frazier, Solomon Hill and Darius Miller. Since the NBA G League began in 2001, New Orleans has called up a total of 31 players, including 18 over the last three seasons, and assigned four players to the NBA G League for development or injury rehabilitation. Additionally, Demps and assistant coach Chris Finch both spent time honing their craft in the NBA’s official minor league with the Austin Spurs and Rio Grande Valley Vipers, respectively.

With today’s announcement, the NBA G League expands to a record 28 teams for the 2019-20 season.

Guard Tyler Ennis, listed at 6-3, 194, selected mid first round in the 2014 NBA Draft, played college ball at Syracuse, played for the Bucks, Suns, Rockets and Lakers in the NBA between 2014-15 and 2017-18. But now in 2018-19 he’s playing overseas. And unfortunately has suffered a very nasty injury, as Euroleaguebasketball.net reports:

Fenerbahce Istanbul guard Tyler Ennis suffered a broken leg in a Turkish League game on Sunday that will keep him sidelined indefinitely. He went down during the first quarter of the game against Istanbul Arel University and was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken tibia in his left leg.

Full article

The Utah Jazz have assigned center Tony Bradley (6-11, 248, North Carolina) to the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team. This marks Bradley’s first assignment to the Stars this season.

Entering his second season with the Jazz, Bradley saw action in 24 games (all starts) on assignment with the Stars last year, averaging 15.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks in 29.6 minutes per contest. The 20-year-old also played in nine games with the Jazz in 2017-18, totaling a career-high four points and three rebounds at Oklahoma City on Dec. 20.

The Theme Night Mini-Plan for the 2018-19 season is on sale now, which includes tickets to the following six nights at the Stars: Wizard Night, Princess Night, Star Wars Night, World Record Night, Superhero Night and Fairy Tale Night. The mini-plan also guarantees fans will receive that evening’s giveaway item, with tickets starting at $10 per ticket. To purchase the Theme Night Mini-Plan, call (801) 325-STAR (7827).

Will Barton out after surgery

Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton has undergone surgery to repair core and hip muscle injuries. The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, PA.

Barton’s status will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

According to the Denver Post, “Nuggets coach Mike Malone said Torrey Craig, Juan Hernangomez and Trey Lyles were the most likely candidates to fill Barton’s minutes for the time being.”

The Nuggets are off to a 3-0 start this NBA season. they came extremely close to making the playoffs last year and look excellent early on. It’s a shame they’ll be without Barton for a while.

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