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 ‘angling’ to Cancel Rest of 2020 Season
The NBA suspended its season mid-March after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. A timetable to return isn’t clear as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its rapid spread throughout the United States and the world.
On that note, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst provided the latest thinking inside the league, citing increased pessimism the NBA can resume the 2019-20 campaign:
“The talks between the players union and the league this week, I’ve talked to both sides of this issue, and it is clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down.
“Now they don’t have to do that yet, and the way they’re negotiating they’re leaving themselves an option either way, but they’re not having talks about how to restart the league, they’re having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there is a significant amount of pessimism right now.”
Sources: Bulls Begin Search to Hire New Lead Executive
The Chicago Bulls have embarked on a formal search process to hire a new top executive with full authority on basketball decisions, sources told ESPN.
Among the Bulls’ initial plans will be to seek permission to interview Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas and Toronto GM Bobby Webster, among other candidates, sources told ESPN.
Chicago ownership has discussed the plan with executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson and GM Gar Forman, sources said. Paxson is likely to continue in an advisory role with the franchise; there are expected to be more ownership conversations with Forman about his future, too, sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett to be Inducted into Hall of Fame
Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball @Hoophall Class of 2020, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Formal announcements will be made on Saturday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 3, 2020
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter