Damian Lillard PG POR
Tue 5/26/20 1:50 PM
In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, Lillard said that if the NBA resumes regular season play, he will not participate in games unless the Trail Blazers have an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now. And you can put that in there," Lillard told Haynes.
At the time the season was suspended on Mar. 11, the Blazers were in the thick of the race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, sitting 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies. With Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and Zach Collins (shoulder) expected to return in the near future, Portland may have had an opportunity to close the gap. But as the future of the 2019-20 season hangs in the balance, it's still unclear if the league will opt to jump directly to the playoffs with the current top eight teams in each conference, or give teams like Portland a chance to qualify. Lillard noted that he would play if the league chose to employ a "play-in" style tournament, which has been rumored as a possibility,but is far from a guarantee. "If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games," Lillard said. "If they come back and say it's something like a tournament, play-in style, between the No. 7 and No. 12 seeds, if we're playing for playoff spots, then I think that's perfect."
OFSJohn Wall PG WAS
Tue 5/26/20 1:33 PM
During a conference call with the media on Tuesday, Wall (Achilles) once again reiterated that he feels "110 percent" healthy, Fred Katz of The Athletic reports.
Over the last few months, Wall has spoken openly about his progress as he works back from the torn Achilles tendon that's shelved him since midway through the 2018-19 season. While he once again stated that he feels healthier than ever, Wall and the Wizards remain aligned in the stance that the point guard will not play if the 2019-20 season resumes. The timeline is still very much up in the air, of course, but the goal is for Wall to return to action to begin the 2020-21 campaign.
Jon Leuer PF/C FA
Sun 5/24/20 2:53 PM
Leuer announced Sunday via his personal Instagram account that he has retired from professional basketball.
The 31-year-old noted in his post that he's contended with a number of injuries over the past three years, including two that sidelined him throughout the 2019-20 season after he was waived in July shortly after Milwaukee acquired him from Detroit. After taking some time to evaluate his future, Leuer determined it was best to step away from the game rather than attempting a comeback. He'll wrap up an eight-year NBA career with averages of 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game over 377 regular-season appearances between the Bucks, Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Suns and Pistons.
OUTJonathan Isaac F ORL
Fri 5/22/20 1:03 PM
Isaac (knee) intimated that his knee is feeling strong and Thursday he squatted the most weight he's done since his injury, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
Isaac suffered a sprained knee Jan. 1 against the Wizards and hasn't played since. He noted that it's possible he'll play if the season resumes again, but that he'd have to be "110 percent."
Frank Kaminsky PF/C PHX
Thu 5/21/20 1:59 PM
Kaminsky (kneecap) is fully healed and will be able to play once the NBA season resumes, Gina Mizell of The Athletic reports.
It seemed like Kaminsky was nearly ready to return when the season suspended. With the added time off, he'll be good to go once the league is back in action. Before getting hurt, Kaminsky was in the midst of a solid season, averaging 11.0 points and a career-high 4.9 rebounds across 22.4 minutes per game.
Victor Oladipo G IND
Thu 5/21/20 11:46 AM
Oladipo suggested in a recent interview with Michael Lee of The Athletic that he was only at "80 percent" after returning from a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his right knee in late January.
The injury ended Oladipo's 2018-19 season last January and sidelined him for a full year before he made his 2019-20 debut in a Jan. 29 win over the Bulls. He clearly struggled initially upon returning, shooting 33.3 percent from the floor through his first eight games. However, Oladipo began to turn things around after that, averaging 18.6 points on 47.1 percent shooting during his final five contests before the NBA suspended its season. Oladipo is likely even closer to 100 percent thanks to the league's lengthy hiatus, so he could be primed for a big finish when the season resumes.
Kenrich Williams F NOP
Wed 5/20/20 7:09 PM
Williams has been undergoing treatment for his back at the otherwise closed Pelicans practice facility, Christian Clark of NOLA.com reports. He will be able to practice when the NBA resumes.
Williams has appeared in just 35 games this season due to a back injury and coach's decisions. However, it seems that his back issue is mostly cleared up. Assuming the league starts up again, Williams will be a participant in practice.
Zion Williamson PF/C NOP
Wed 5/20/20 7:04 PM
Despite the Pelicans' practice facility being closed due to coronavirus, the NBA granted a special exception to the organization allowing Williamson to receive treatment there, Christian Clark of NOLA.com reports. Executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin noted, "They weren't able to do any court work during that period of time, but they were able to get the [flexibility] work in needed on the table, and so that was important."
The organization has been vocal about the amount of training that Williamson needs to do to prevent injuries, including teaching him better ways to run, jump and land. Unsurprisingly, flexibility is also part of that regimen. Due to a torn meniscus, Williamson didn't make his NBA debut until Jan. 22 against the Spurs.
OFSJohn Wall PG WAS
Wed 5/20/20 5:05 PM
In a recent interview with 247Sports, Wall (Achilles) expressed confidence in his game as he continues to work back from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Wall hasn't played in an NBA game since December of 2018, but he's gradually worked his way back toward full strength, and he's confident that he'll be able to return to playing at an All-Star level. "The sky is the limit," Wall said. "This is the healthiest I will have been, damn near my whole NBA career. That's why I took my time, that's why I didn't want to come back this season and be on a minutes restriction and try to do all of that. I just wanted to make sure I'm fully healthy, my body is where I want it to be and prepare for next season." Prior to the suspension of the NBA season, Wall had been practicing with the Wizards' G League affiliate and going through 5-on-5 scrimmages without restriction. Wall also noted that he's spent time improving his jumpshot, which has been an on-and-off issue since he entered the league in 2010-11. Wall implied that the injury -- as well as bone spurs in his ankle -- contributed to his at times inconsistent shooting. "People don't even know that sometimes when going full speed and then trying to stop was the worst, it was like somebody stabbed me with a knife in my heel and twisting it," Wall said. "It was so bad but like me just being able to take time off and get fully healthy. When I shoot one-dribble pull-ups and run and do certain things, it doesn't bother me at all, I just feel free."
OFSKevon Looney PF/C GSW
Wed 5/20/20 4:54 PM
Looney underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a core muscle injury.
The big man was nursing a hip injury at the time the NBA season was suspended in March, but this latest procedure addresses a core muscle issue that contributed to him missing a total of 45 games during the 2019-20 season. Per an official release from the Warriors, Looney is expected to begin rehabbing immediately with the expectation that he'll be ready for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.