Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 2 months ago

Jefferson has been fully cleared by the Hornets' medical staff after dealing with a knee injury near the end of the regular season.

GM Rich Cho addressed the media Thursday and confirmed that Jefferson has been in Charlotte for several weeks working with the team's strength coach in preparation for next season. Jefferson battled both knee and groin injuries in 2014-15, limiting him to just 65 games as his per-game scoring averaged dipped to 16.6 points per game, his lowest number since the 2006-07 season. When healthy, Jefferson is among the most productive big men in the league, and the Hornets will be expecting a bounce-back season in 2015-16.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 2 months ago

Jefferson (knee) will opt into the final year of his contract with the Hornets, ESPN reports. He will remain with the team through the 2015-16 season and then be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016.

Jefferson sat out the Hornets' last seven games of the season due to soreness in his right knee. He had fluid drained from the knee at least twice down the stretch in an effort to continue playing and trying to make the playoffs, which the team failed to do. Jefferson plans to lose 25 pounds this offseason in an effort to reduce the weight put on the rest of his body and help keep him healthy next season. Though there was no mention of it in the story, the fact that Jefferson is taking $13.5 million over one year instead of seeking out a long-term deal for more total money is somewhat suspect, and it may lead to speculation regarding the health of Jefferson's right knee. If he were 100 percent healthy going into free agency, it would seem prudent to secure more guaranteed money, so the health of Jefferson's knee should be followed closely going into next season.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 2 months ago

Jefferson (knee) dealt with groin and knee injuries throughout the 2014-15 season, but still managed to play 65 games. His numbers, however, did take a dip as a result, as his average of 16.6 points per game is his lowest since the 2006-07 season, while he failed to average at least nine rebounds per game (8.4) for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Between the injuries and drop in production, it was a disappointing season for Jefferson to say the least, especially after he played like the best big man in the league in the second half of last season. Instead, this year, Jefferson had an up-and-down season following a strong start and finished as the 25th ranked center fantasy-wise. Jefferson posted 21 double-doubles on the season, but there were far too many times where he failed to reach double figures in both points and rebounds. Furthermore, Jefferson ended the season by missing the final seven games with a knee injury, but is expected to make a full recovery. Now, Jefferson will have the opportunity to exercise a $13.5 million player option for next season or choose to opt out of his contract, and given his decline in production, Jefferson says he does not anticipate that he will opt out. Assuming Jefferson does return to Charlotte next season, he will be looked at once again as a key contributor if the Hornets wish to make a return to the playoffs. The team, at this point, does not have many reliable options on offense, and if Jefferson can return to being a big man who can consistently put up at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, it will make Charlotte's offense run much more fluidly.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson said he doesn't anticipate opting out of his contract this summer, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Jefferson inked a three-year, $41 million deal with Charlotte in the summer of 2013, and the deal includes a player option for next season. The big man's numbers took a dip this season, but he was banged up for much of the year and missed 17 games. Charlotte may be trending in the wrong direction after missing the playoffs, but a healthy Jefferson, teamed with Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, is certainly a core that should contend for a playoff spot next season.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson (knee) won't play in the regular season finale Wednesday against the Raptors.

Jefferson will miss his seventh straight game because of a knee issue, and that absence will continue through the regular season finale. Jefferson finishes the 2014-15 campaign averaging 16.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 assists in about 31 minutes, but was limited to just 65 games.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson (knee) will not play Monday against the Rockets.

It's looking increasingly likely that Jefferson won't play again this season, as his final chance will come in the season finale Wednesday. Cody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Lance Stephenson and P.J. Hairston will also be out for Charlotte, which will play with 10 active players.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson (knee) will not play in Sunday's game against the Pistons.

Jefferson continues to deal with a knee injury and it seems doubtful that he'll return to the court before the season comes to end. Nevertheless, his next opportunity to play will be against the Rockets on Monday.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson (knee) will remain out Friday against the Hawks, KL Chouinard of Hawks.com reports.

Jefferson will miss a fourth straight game with soreness in his right knee. It's been bothering him for several weeks, and he's had to have the knee drained on numerous occasions. The big man should be deemed questionable going forward, and he'll be evaluated on a game-to-game basis with three contests remaining.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson (knee) won't return to the lineup until Friday at the earliest, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Jefferson was sidelined Saturday due to a sore right knee, which limited him to a cardio workout in a pool during Monday's practice. With his potential return date, he won't take the court Tuesday at Miami or Wednesday versus the Raptors, leaving four possible appearances for the rest of the season. Cody Zeller (shoulder) is expected to join Jefferson on the bench both Tuesday and Wednesday. If the preceding comes to pass, Bismack Biyombo would get the nod at center, but his broken nose suffered Saturday could limit his effectiveness.

Al Jefferson PF/C CHA 4 months ago

Jefferson (knee) won't suit up Saturday against the Sixers.

Jefferson's sore right knee has capped his workload in four consecutive games, which has spurred suspicion that he may be shut down for the season. In his absence Saturday, Bismack Biyombo will get the nod at center.