The Los Angeles Lakers announced that point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to miss a “minimum of two weeks” after receiving a PRP injection in his left knee this afternoon. Russell (16.1 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.4 RPG in 2016-17) had missed two of the Lakers’ past three games and appeared to have limited mobility in the 23 minutes he played against the Chicago Bulls last Sunday.
The recovery time for Platelet Rich Plasma injections varies depending upon the severity of the injury and the individual, but Russell is expected to be re-evaluated in one week. Veteran point guard Jose Calderon filled in for Russell in their last game (12 points, six rebounds, four assists in a win over the visiting OKC Thunder), but the team does have several additional options in the event that Russell’s recovery period goes a bit longer than initially anticipated.
Beyond also having seldom-used veteran Marcelo Huertas, Jordan Clarkson (14.9 PPG, 2.3 APG, 2.7 RPG) also has experience running the point. Clarkson may have embraced a role more focused on providing scoring through the first 15 games, but he could be asked to focus on playmaking and generating offense for other players a bit more throughout this stretch.
Coach Luke Walton has continued to encourage rookie Brandon Ingram to initiate the offense and take advantage of his ability to create thus far, so it also leaves the additional option of moving the 6’9 small forward into the starting rotation in order to further balance things if they so choose. In addition to potentially allowing Ingram to have even more of an impact on the way the team starts offensively, he might also be able to help slow some of the opposing perimeter scorers down before they get into a rhythm.
Russell’s loss will be tough as the offense has appeared a bit more stagnant and over-reliant upon iso-sets over stretches of the past few games, but this team has already proven to be pretty resilient over just the first few weeks of the season and does have one of the deeper rotations.
Sources: NBA, NCAA Meet to Discuss Changing One-and-Done Draft Rule
With momentum gathering to reshape the one-and-done draft entry rule, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts met with the new Commission on College Basketball in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, league sources told ESPN.
Silver and Roberts delivered the league and union perspectives on issues facing the basketball industry, including ways that changing the dynamics of the NBA draft could impact the pro and college games. The meeting was described as informational in nature, although the NCAA ultimately has no formal say in rules governing the league’s early-entry rules.
Draft eligibility rules must be collectively bargained between the NBA and the Players Association, and that conversation has been ongoing between the league and union, sources tell ESPN.
Nevertheless, there’s a growing belief within the league that Silver’s desire to end the one-and-done — the ability of college basketball players to enter the NBA draft after playing one year in college — could be pushing the sport closer to high school players having the opportunity to directly enter the league again. For that change to happen, though, the union would probably need to cede the one-and-done rule and agree to a mandate that players entering college must stay two years before declaring for the draft.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Luke Walton: ‘No talks of moving Lonzo to the bench’
Coach Luke Walton says rookie Lonzo Ball remains the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard and that there is no talk of moving the No. 2 overall draft pick to the bench.
Struggling with his shot, Ball has not played in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ past two games — a win against the Phoenix Suns and a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Walton instead rode with the strong play of sixth man Jordan Clarkson.
“He’s our starting point guard,” Walton said of Ball after practice Thursday. “So there’s no discussion, no talks as of now of moving Lonzo to the bench. Nah. He’s our starting point guard.”
Walton said he was told Ball came to the practice facility late Wednesday night and worked on his shot after going 1-for-9 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range, in the 115-109 loss to the Sixers at Staples Center.
Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN
Okaro White Out Indefinitely with Fractured Left Foot
The Miami Heat is down another man.
Okaro White, who started four games at power forward, but hasn’t played since Nov. 6 at Golden State, will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone his left foot, the Heat announced shortly before Wednesday’s home game against the Washington Wizards.
White (6-8, 215) said he felt his foot “pop” as he went up for a reverse layup in practice Tuesday. He has been ruled out indefinitely, a Heat spokesman said.
White, a second-year forward out Florida State, averaged 3.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 13.3 minutes and shooting 43.8 percent from the field in six games this season.