Joel Embiid health update

Here is the Philadelphia Daily News with an update on the Joel Embiid health saga. Embiid remains out for the year, but his recovery is worth tracking:

Joel Embiid health update

When the 76ers recently embarked on a four-game West Coast trip, injured center Joel Embiid joined them in Los Angeles after a loss in Portland. Embiid made the trip, the team said, to see some of the team of doctors that is overseeing his recovery from a slight meniscus tear in his left knee.

The team returned to practice Thursday, but Embiid remained on the West Coast. It was announced that he is in San Diego with Dr. David Martin to see more specialists about the knee. Apparently, a convention of orthopedic surgeons is happening this week in San Diego and the team decided it would be beneficial for Embiid and Martin to be there.

Isaiah Thomas out with bruised knee

The Celtics (43-25, second best record in Eastern conference through Wednesday’s games), will be without star guard Isaiah Thomas for a few games. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Isaiah Thomas out with bruised knee

Isaiah Thomas is not on the Celtics flight to New York today after the team announced a right knee bone bruise will keep him out of games against Brooklyn and Philadelphia tomorrow and Sunday.

A Celtics spokesman said he is staying back for treatment and rest, while a team source characterized the injury and his potential return as “day to day.”

The Hornets signed forward Johnny O’Bryant to a multi-year contract today.

The 6-9 Louisiana State product signed consecutive 10-day contracts with Charlotte on Feb. 24 and March 6 after becoming the D-League’s 23rd Gatorade Call-Up this season.

O’Bryant has played in four games with the Hornets, averaging 4.5 points on .533 percent from the field and 2.0 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per contest. The third-year pro scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-9 field goals in a win against Denver on March 4. He has also appeared in 25 games (all starts) for the D-League’s Northern Arizona Suns this season, owning averages of 18.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He was also selected as a 2017 NBA D-League All-Star‎.

Originally selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, O’Bryant has now appeared in 111 NBA games (19 starts) over three seasons with Milwaukee, Denver and Charlotte with career averages of 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game.

A native of Cleveland, Miss., O’Bryant was a three-year collegiate player at Louisiana State (2011-14) and posted career averages of 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He earned All-SEC First Team accolades following the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

Dwyane Wade season-ending elbow injuries

The Bulls are in 10th place in the Eastern conference, behind the 9th-place Miami Heat, and their season will continue without the services of veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade.

This morning, Wade underwent an MRI for a right elbow injury suffered in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The results of the MRI showed a sprain and a small fracture in the elbow.

The Bulls say Wade will be out the remainder of the regular season. This leaves open the possibility that he might return for the playoffs, should Chicago actually rally and reach the postseason.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “in the 57 games Wade played in his first year as a member of his hometown team, he not only played Robin to Butler’s Batman in the scoring department, but was also grabbing 4.5 rebounds, handing out 3.9 assists and nabbing 1.5 steals per game, as well as emerging as a big-time leader in a relatively young locker room. Butler has been the team’s No. 1 option late in games, but Wade was definitely 1B. Now, coach Fred Hoiberg will have to figure out which one of his young players can step up, with the likes of Denzel Valentine, Nikola Mirotic, Paul Zipser and Michael Carter-Williams each possibilities to replace Wade’s 30.2 minutes per game.”

Sixers sign Shawn Long

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that the team has signed forward-center Shawn Long.

Long first signed a 10-day contract with the Sixers on March 6 after being called up from the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers’ NBA Development League affiliate. He has appeared in four NBA games, averaging five points and three rebounds in eight minutes per game.

In 39 games with Delaware, he led the team with averages of 20 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field. He was named a 2017 NBA D-League All-Star. Long originally signed with the Sixers on July 8, 2016 before being waived on October 24 and joining the Sevens.

Long played four collegiate seasons (2013-16) at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, posting 17 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes per game. As a senior, he was named 2016 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.

Nets sign Archie Goodwin to 10-day contract

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent Archie Goodwin to a 10-day contract.

Goodwin (6’5”, 205) has appeared in 153 games in parts of four NBA seasons with Phoenix (2013-16) and New Orleans (2016-17), recording averages of 6.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.5 minutes per game. He saw action in three games with the Pelicans earlier this season, averaging 5.0 points in 10.0 minutes per game. Most recently, the 22-year-old Goodwin appeared in 34 games with the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA D-League, averaging 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.7 minutes per game.

Goodwin was originally selected with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to the Suns via Golden State on draft night. He spent one year at the University of Kentucky, earning SEC All-Freshman team honors.

Brooklyn’s roster now stands at 15 players.

LaMarcus Aldridge back for Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been cleared to resume all basketball-related activities. After Aldridge had an occurrence of a minor heart arrhythmia in Oklahoma City on March 9, the Spurs medical staff led a process that included multiple tests and examinations as well as consultation with numerous experts in the field.

“We are thankful that LaMarcus will be able to rejoin the team,” said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. “All of us have been impressed with the professionalism and grace he has shown in dealing with this difficult situation.”

Aldridge is available to play in tonight’s Spurs-Blazers game with no restrictions.

Kevin Love and Kyle Korver should return to action for the Cavaliers sometime in the very near future. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting the latest:

kevin love return date soon

The time that Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has long awaited, and with it the decisions that he’s been agonizing over, are nearly upon him.

Barring something unforeseen, the Cavs’ roster will soon be whole.

Kevin Love and Kyle Korver both participated in Wednesday’s 20-minute practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts and Love put himself through a sweat-drenching 30-minute workout with the coaching staff afterward.
Neither Love nor Korver have been cleared to play, but both seem likely to return soon.

Love has been sidelined since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Feb. 14. Korver missed his fourth consecutive game Tuesday with an inflamed tendon in his left foot.

Goran Dragic set to return for Heat

Good news for the Heat as guard Goran Dragic is returning quickly after taking a hard elbow to the face. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

Goran Dragic set to return for Heat

The veteran point guard is back in the mix for the Miami Heat after missing Sunday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers with a right orbital contusion.

“I mean, it’s a little bit blurry, but that’s normal,” Dragic said Wednesday, in advance of facing the New Orleans Pelicans at AmericanAirlines Arena. “Doc said it’s going to take time to clear the fluids, the swelling, but it’s much better.”

Dragic was injured on an inadvertent elbow from Toronto Raptors guard Cory Joseph in a Saturday victory, before sitting out the loss to the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Playoffs very unlikely for Knicks

We’ve reached the time of the NBA year where teams must finally be fully realistic about whether they’re a playoff team or a lottery squad. As for the Knicks, here’s NY Newsday reporting:

Playoffs very unlikely for Knicks

Jeff Hornacek is no longer saying the Knicks can make a playoff run. The Knicks coach conceded the race is just about over and it’s time to start building for next season.

But Tuesday night the Knicks looked like they were playing for something, especially in the second half. They erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit, held Indiana to 29-second points and earn an 87-81 win over the Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Knicks (27-41). Derrick Rose added 16 and Willy Hernangomez had 13 and 16 rebounds.

Kristaps Porzingis left the game in the fourth quarter with a bruised left leg and didn’t return.

The Knicks remain in 12th place in the East, six games out of the final spot with 14 to play. They’re not mathematically eliminated, but they’ve been showing signs of being mentally done for a long time.

Center Larry Sanders was out of basketball, but thanks to the Cavs, he’s back.

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed Sanders today. And in a related move, the team waived center Andrew Bogut.

Sanders (6-11, 230), who had spent his entire five-year NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks, last saw action during the 2014-15 season when he averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.44 blocks in 21.7 minutes over 27 games (26 starts).

Originally drafted out of Virginia Commonwealth as the 15th overall pick by Milwaukee in the 2010 NBA Draft, Sanders went on to play in 233 games (113 starts) for the Bucks. He holds career averages of 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.84 blocks in 19.8 minutes per game and currently ranks sixth among active players in blocks per game. His best season came in 2012-13 when he ranked second in the NBA in blocks per game (2.83), while averaging 9.8 points on .506 shooting from the field and 9.5 rebounds in 27.3 minutes during 71 games (55 starts). Sanders also registered a triple-double that season with 10 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocks at Minnesota on Nov. 30, 2012.

Bogut (7-0, 260) was signed by the Cavaliers on March 2, 2017 and appeared in one game for Cleveland. In his lone appearance, he experienced a fractured left tibia after 58 seconds of play against Miami on March 6, 2017.

Justin Harper back with the D-Fenders

Justin Harper back with the D-Fenders

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have reacquired forward Justin Harper following the completion of his 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, it was announced today.

Harper (6-10, 225) appeared in three games after signing with the Sixers on March 3, averaging 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per contest. In 37 games (all starts) with the D-Fenders this season, the two-time NBA D-League All-Star has averaged 16.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Additionally, Harper is shooting 49.1 percent from the field this season, including a 40.1 clip from three-point range.

Harper and the D-Fenders will be back on the court against the Iowa Energy at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard David Nwaba to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Rob Pelinka announced today.

Nwaba (6-5, 204) averaged 2.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 11.2 minutes through five games after earning an NBA Call-Up with the Lakers on February 28. He originally joined the club from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he played in 39 games (30 starts), averaging 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in 29.0 minutes per contest.

The Lakers roster stands at 15.

According to the San Antonio Spurs, forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be out for an indefinite period of time due to an occurrence of a minor heart arrhythmia.

All parties have concluded that at the current time it is best for Aldridge to refrain from play until further tests and examinations are completed.

Dell Curry was a fantastic NBA player. His son Stephen Curry is other-level, though. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune with the latest:

Stephen Curry passes father Dell Curry in NBA points

Golden State superstar Stephen Curry surpassed his father in NBA career points scored with a three-pointer in the third quarter of Friday’s game against the Timberwolves at Target Center.

Dell Curry scored 12,670 points a 16-year career with five teams, the longest stint being with Charlotte. Stephen Curry did it in his eighth season, finishing the game with 26 points and 12,682 for his career. According to Elisa Sports Bureau, they are fourth all-time by a father-son duo, behind Joe and Kobe Bryant (38,895), Dolph and Danny Schayes (27,218) and Rick and Brent Barry (26,883).

And then there’s Seth Curry, who has found his way in the NBA with Dallas.

The Heat are only 31-34, which is the 9th best record in the Eastern conference, but after a lousy start to the season the team has been on a winning path. They’re moving on up. And a big reason why has been the play of guard Dion Waiters. Here’s the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporting:

Dion Waiters has become a fan favorite in Miami

Since the team’s second-half revival, Waiters has taken on the role of fan favorite. He appears in Internet memes, is arguably the most popular player on social-media and even had a song written about him.

While Waiters is flattered by the attention, he says it’s mostly because of the team success.

“I just think of what we did as a team,” Waiters said. “What we’re doing from a team standpoint, just how we fought back and into the position that we’re in now.”

The Waiters phenomenon hit an all-time high when a song based on the theme of “Gilligan’s Island” hit the Internet earlier this week. The lyrics are cleverly based on Waiters’ arrival in Miami, while also sprinkling in mentions of teammates.

The track is titled, “Waiters Island.”

Markelle Fultz will enter 2017 NBA Draft

Talented guard Markelle Fultz, who will likely be one of top picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, will officially leave school and go pro, the school announced today. Here’s their announcement:

University of Washington freshman Markelle Fultz will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft, the University announced Friday. Fultz, who was an All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Freshman Team performer after leading the league in points at 23.2 per game, will hire an agent and not return to play for the Huskies.

“It’s been an honor to play in front of the Husky fans and I really appreciate all of the support you guys have given me,” Fultz said. “After sitting down with my Mom and the coaching staff, I’ve made the decision to enter the NBA Draft. Although the season hasn’t gone as planned, it’s really truly been a blessing to be here. I’ve learned a lot of lessons on and off the court, especially from coach Romar and his coaching staff. I’m always going to be a Husky for life.”

“The last three years of Markelle Fultz’s basketball career have been nothing short of amazing,” said head coach Lorenzo Romar. “He has made one of the quickest improvements of any athlete I’ve seen in a long time. Markelle has decided to enter the NBA Draft and we totally support his decision. We appreciate him giving his all, on and off the court, while he was part of our program and I will enjoy watching him play for many years to come. Even though he was only here for a short time, I truly believe he will be a Husky for life and that started before he even enrolled at UW as he went and supported our women’s team last year in the postseason in Maryland. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to following what will likely be an exciting career.”

Fultz finished his time at UW averaging 23.2 points per game, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds while setting the Husky freshman scoring record with his 579 points. He is the first guard in 25 years to average 20-5-5 and was on the watch lists for numerous national awards including the Bob Cousy Award, Naismith Trophy, John R. Wooden Award and the Waymon Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.

Markieff Morris fined for kick to Mason Plumlee

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris has been fined $25,000 for kicking Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee in the groin, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Morris was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 123-113 win over the Nuggets on March 8 at Pepsi Center.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Troy Williams to a 10-day contract. Williams is the 38th “Call-up” of the 2016-17 season.

And immediately with this move, the Rockets have assigned Williams to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Williams (6-7, 218) was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Indiana University and signed as a free agent with Memphis on Aug. 8, 2016. He appeared in 24 games for the Grizzlies this season.

In 23 D-League games, Williams is averaging 12.8 points in just 20.0 minutes per game. He won the D-League Dunk Contest held during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

Like that mythical guy pushing the boulder, the Timberwolves still have lots of uphill work to do before they reach the playoffs this season, but Wednesday’s 107-91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers showed again that they’re beating the rock, step by step.

The Wolves won for the seventh time in 11 games, and they did so against a Clippers team featuring Chris Paul and Blake Griffin back in the lineup together.

The last time these teams played, the Clippers played without either superstar and the Wolves prevailed by a mere three points in L.A. in January. This time, the Wolves won in both measurable and immeasurable categories, starting with the lopsided scoreboard, of course, but also including rebounding (50-36) and points in the paint (62-40).

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

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