The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Brandon Jennings has been assigned to the team’s NBA Development League (D-League) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. Jennings, who is continuing his rehabilitation process, will see his first game action on Saturday, December 19 vs. the Iowa Energy.
The six-year NBA veteran missed 41 games last season and has not played this season after suffering a ruptured left Achilles tendon at Milwaukee on January 24, 2015. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard was acquired in a trade from Milwaukee on July 31, 2013 and has averaged 15.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 121 games with Detroit.
“This is a great example of the many benefits our D-League team offers, supporting Tom Gores’ vision to push for a hybrid affiliation with the Grand Rapids Drive,” said Jeff Bower, general manager of the Detroit Pistons. “It gives Brandon an opportunity to go play in a game, work on his conditioning and compete in a similar system that’s being run by Otis Smith and his staff.”
Jennings will join Festus Ezeli of the Golden State Warriors as one of the most notable NBA players to play in a D-League game on a rehab assignment to date. Ezeli played in two games with the Santa Cruz Warriors in late January 2015 after missing 16 games due to sprained left ankle. He returned to help the Warriors win the 2015 NBA Championship. Other prominent NBA players who practiced with D-League teams, but did not play, while on rehab assignments include Rajon Rondo, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kawhi Leonard and Carl Landry.
Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert experienced a right groin strain during the Cavaliers game Tuesday night in Boston. He is Out for tonight’s game in Cleveland vs. Oklahoma City and will continue to receive treatment. His status will be Questionable thereafter pending further evaluations.
Shumpert recently returned to action from injury and has played in just two games so far this season, coming off the bench both times. It’s likely that he may eventually return to the starting lineup. But for now, J.R. Smith has played 19 games and started all 19 of those outings at the shooting guard spot.
The Cavs are an Eastern conference-best 16-7 so far this season, and still waiting the return of point guard Kyrie Irving.
Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, who is still in recovery from injury but expects to return soon:
Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings told reporters he is planning a rehabilitation stint with NBA Development League affiliate Grand Rapids.
And as he nears a return to the NBA from the ruptured left Achilles that ended his 2014-15 season, Jennings is set on playing Saturday, when Grand Rapids hosts the Iowa Energy.
“There’s about an 80% chance I will be playing in the D-League on Saturday,” he said at the Pistons practice facility after team preparations for tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics (7:30 p.m., FSD). “I don’t care. I just want to play, man. I just want to get out there and hoop and see where it’s at.”
Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with good news on the Bucks, whose center Greg Monroe doesn’t expect to miss much time:
Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe said he was confident his knee injury would not keep him out too long, even before he underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Wednesday.
The exam revealed a left knee medial collateral ligament sprain, similar to an injury that sidelined him for 11 games last season when he was with the Detroit Pistons.
“I know how it felt last season and this is not nearly as much,” Monroe said in the Bucks locker room before they met the Los Angeles Clippers.
Monroe missed his second game on the road trip after injuring his knee during a drill at the Bucks’ shootaround Tuesday at Beverly Hills High School. The Bucks lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-95, on Tuesday night after Monroe warmed up but could not go because of the injury.
Here’s ESPN.com with the latest on Rockets center Dwight Howard, who may see his future in existence someplace else, but for now isn’t rocking the boat in Houston:
With the Houston Rockets struggling to get over .500, questions have begun to surface about the happiness of star center Dwight Howard.
While acknowledging Howard is unhappy with losing, sources said Howard has not expressed a desire to be traded.
Howard has a player option for next season at $23.2 million. The team expects him to become a free agent, taking advantage of a salary cap that is projected to expand from $67 million to nearly $90 million.
Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who is having a fantastic season as his value rises:
Heat officials firmly denied a report that Miami is shopping Hassan Whiteside in an effort to acquire Kings center DeMarcus Cousins or Rockets center Dwight Howard.
And although there have been cases during Pat Riley’s 21-year tenure that the team denied talks, and then a deal was consummated, this time it has good reason for citing a report as implausible.
Specifically, it relates to Whiteside’s contract, which is virtually worthless to an acquiring team, unless that team is trying to make a title run with him this season.
He’s making just $981,348 this season, meaning that Miami would need to include several other contracts just to get anywhere near the necessary salary for Howard ($22.8 million) or Cousins ($15.8 million).
And, as is the predicament for the Heat now, any team acquiring Whiteside would not have his “Bird Rights,” meaning that it would need to use salary cap space to re-sign him.