NBA Rumors: Marcus Smart, Luke Kennard, Keyonte George, LeBron James & Zion Williamson Status
On Wednesday, Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins told The Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Damichael Cole that the Grizzlies aim to integrate Smart in some 5 -on-5 work this weekend. Smart was diagnosed with a left foot sprain on November 17 and was expected to miss three to five weeks. This is week No. 4 of Smart’s absence, so he could soon return. However, the Grizzlies are probably waiting to see how the foot responds to competition.
Grizzlies are targeting this weekend for five-on-five reps for Marcus Smart. He’s already doing individual work. Luke Kennard is “probably a step behind” Smart, Taylor Jenkins said.
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) December 13, 2023
Kennard also could be close to returning. Almost two weeks ago, the Grizzlies said that Kennard, dealing with a bone bruise on the left knee, was expected to return in two to three weeks. Kennard has only appeared in eight games, with his last action being on Nov. 14.
Memphis is currently on a three-game losing streak and is 6-17. The Grizzlies have been without three key players all season long– Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, and Ja Morant. Smart has only played in 11 games this season. Meanwhile, Desmond Bane missed his first game of the season last night due to an illness.
Keyonte George Among Five Jazz Players Out For Game Against Portland Tonight
The Utah Jazz, playing the second of back-to-back games, will be shorthanded when they face the Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. (ET) tonight. Keyontae George, Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, John Collins, and Luka Samanic are the Jazz players who have been declared out.
George will miss his first game of the season during the road trip after the non-contact injury he suffered against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. George didn’t travel with the Jazz to Portland.
After scoring a career-high 30, Keyonte George plays just 4 minutes tonight, leaving with a foot injury against New York. pic.twitter.com/b8EFXj3bkB
— Dana Greene (@dana_greene) December 14, 2023
However, according to multiple reports, George avoided serious injury.
MRI in Keyonte George determined he avoided serious damage pic.twitter.com/OE2JTNTQxs
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) December 14, 2023
The Jazz said that the rookie point guard will be will be re-evaluated after the team returns from their current road trip. The Jazz (8-16) will return to Salt Lake City following their contest in Sacramento on Saturday.
Markkannen, who scored 23 points in his return on Thursday after missing eight games due to a hamstring injury, is out for injury management. Collins and Clarkson continue their absences from the last game. Clarkson is missing the second game of what is expected to be a two-week absence due to a hamstring issue. Collins is dealing with a lingering illness, while Semanic is also out due to an illness.
Jalen Smith May Return to Game Action In the Next Two Weeks
Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith last played on Nov. 27 due to a left knee bruise. Pacers’ head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that Smith has begun on-court work and could return shortly.
Carlisle said Jalen Smith is starting to do things on the court. “It’s possible within the next week to 10 days we could see him in a game.”
— Dustin Dopirak (@DustinDopirak) December 13, 2023
Smith had gotten off to a smashing start to the season. The 23-year-old big man averages 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds while producing a shooting slash line of .707/.667.741. He also has produced one double-double in his 14 appearances despite averaging just 15 minutes of court time a game.
Phoenix Suns Injuries
Phoenix Suns have three players dealing with injuries. Josh Okogie, Eric Gordon, and Grayson Allen miss the Suns loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. The trio are considered day-to-day and questionable for the Suns game versus the New York Knicks on Friday.
Okogie sustained a right hip injury and was sidelined for Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn, per Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Gordon missed Wednesday’s affair due to a calf injury. Meanwhile, Allen has missed three straight games with a groin injury.
LeBron James missed just his second game of the season when he sat out the Los Angeles Lakers victory over the San Antonio Spurs last night. A calf injury was the reason for James’ absence, but he has frequently played through the issue this season. But the game was a second of back-to-back affairs for the Lakers, so he is not expected to miss any extra time. The Lakers face the Spurs again on Friday.
Zion Williamson sat out the New Orleans Pelicans 142-122 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday with ankle soreness. It was the fifth game the Williamson had missed this season. However, this injury shouldn’t force Williamson to miss much time, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com.
“His ankle is getting better,” head coach Willie Green said. ” ... His ankle is fine. Day to day.”
Here’s the play where Zion hurt his ankle last night. He landed on Jaden McDaniels’ right foot after finishing the and-one.
Z stayed in the game, but this was his final bucket of the night. pic.twitter.com/8hEErMpUPA
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) December 12, 2023
Williamson hurt his ankle during New Orleans’ victory over Minnesota on Monday. With 4:51 left in the contest, Williamson drove toward the hoop and put up a shot over Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels. Williamson landed on McDaniels’ foot. He stayed in the game but began experiencing soreness afterward, Green said. On a two-game winning streak, New Orleans (14-11) travels to Charlotte on Friday.