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Player Notes

  • Pau Gasol nears one-year deal with Barcelona
    Pau Gasol is nearing a one-year deal with Barcelona, in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

    Advice: A navicular stress fracture in Pau's left foot forced him to sit out since May, 2019, and it seems he didn't draw any interest from NBA teams headed to the bubble in Orlando. The future Hall-of-Famer is 40 years old but he wants to play in one final Olympics for Spain, and signing with Barcelona will keep him engaged with his Spanish teammates as they gear up for the rescheduled Games in July-August 2021. Today, 8:19 am
    Not Active
  • Brandon Clarke (quad) feels like he did pre-injury
    Brandon Clarke (right quad) said his health is "pretty much the same ... [as it was] pre-injury."

    Advice: "Over these past five to six weeks, I've gotten back to the player that I was," Clarke said. "I got the same balance and running habits [as pre-injury], so it'll all just be about my habits on the court." Memphis is also expected to have Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) and Justise Winslow (back) in the active lineup, which bolsters their chances of holding onto the No. 8 seed. Today, 7:25 am
  • Nikola Jokic not flying with Nuggets to Orlando
    Nikola Jokic is reportedly healthy and recovered from COVID but had travel complications that will keep him off of Tuesday's team flight to Orlando. 

    Advice: He reportedly tested negative in Serbia and is good to go for Orlando, but simply had flight complications that kept him from joining his teammates. Either way, Jokic should be in Orlando well before the Nuggets play a meaningful game. Yesterday, 12:06 pm
    Game Time Decision
  • Amir Johnson a 'prime target' for the Nets
    Marc Stein of the New York Times is reporting that veteran center Amir Johnson is a "prime target" for the Nets. 

    Advice: The Nets are in need of reinforcements up front as DeAndre Jordan and Nic Claxton will not play in Orlando. Johnson would likely be looking at minutes in the teens behind Jarrett Allen in Orlando if he lands a deal with the Nets, so there's minimal fantasy impact here. Johnson last played for the 76ers in 2018-19, averaging just 10.4 minutes per game for 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds. Yesterday, 9:52 am
    Not Active
  • Dwight Howard opts in, will play in Orlando
    Dwight Howard has opted in and will play for the Lakers in Orlando. 

    Advice: Dwight will head to Orlando on Thursday and plans to donate his game checks to his non-profit campaign Breathe Again. With Howard on board now, JaVale McGee's role will take a hit and Kyle Kuzma may see a few less minutes per game. But the Lakers have to be thrilled that Howard will be in uniform in hopes of helping LeBron James win his fourth title. Monday, 8:03 pm
  • Porzingis teases new elements to his game
    Kristaps Porzingis said that he developed new elements of his game during the stoppage.

    Advice: “It’s a secret," he said. "I’ll show it on the court.” Porzingis added that the time off has been great for his health and that he's 100 percent. "The extra time just gave all of us more time to recover from little things that we all have going on. Basically everybody has something, always, and we just play through it, so this extra time gave guys the opportunity to heal those little things, to be even in better shape and to feel better when we come back.” Monday, 7:52 am
  • Myles Turner has been working out for 4-5 weeks
    Myles Turner said he has been able to get access to a gym and continue basketball-related activities for 4-5 weeks.

    Advice: Prior to that, he built a makeshift gym in the family garage, and was running at a high school rack. Prior to the NBA shutting down, Turner was on a roll over his last eight with averages of 12.6 points, 8.6 boards, 0.8 steals, 1.4 treys and a whopping 3.9 blocks per game. With Vic Oladipo opting out there could be more shots going to Turner in Orlando. Saturday, 12:04 pm
  • Jusuf Nurkic expects to play some PF in Orlando
    Jusuf Nurkic expects to play some power forward in Orlando.

    Advice: That almost certainly refers to playing alongside Hassan Whiteside, who leads the NBA in blocks per game (3.1) and is second in rebounds (14.2). Nurk hasn't played since March 2019, but the Blazers reportedly won't have him on any minute-limit. If he starts alongside Zach Collins and gets some overlapping minutes with Whiteside, his playing time should fall in the 24-30 range, depending on conditioning. Friday, 10:39 am
  • Vincent Poirier will leave ORL for child's birth
    Celtics center Vincent Poirier plans to leave the bubble in Orlando once his wife goes into labor.

    Advice: As with teammate Gordon Hayward, Poirier is likely to leave during the playoffs in September, which is when his wife is due. Unlike Hayward, though, Poirier's absence shouldn't disrupt the Celtics' rotation in any way -- he averaged 5.7 minutes in 20 appearances this season. Friday, 10:22 am
  • Zach Collins (shoulder) confirms 'no limitations'
    Zach Collins said his surgically-repaired left shoulder has "no limitations ... like the surgery didn't even happen."

    Advice: Collins wasn't officially cleared for full basketball activities until mid-June, and he's had either limited or no contact work, but this is still a great update. "The shoulder feels great," he said. "I have had no reason to believe that it will hold me back from doing anything. I feel pretty normal on the court like the surgery didn’t even happen, so I’m ready to go." Collins is expected to start alongside Jusuf Nurkic when the season resumes -- coach Terry Stotts didn't rule out a Nurk/Hassan Whiteside frontcourt, but then suggested that was just "to give [reporters] something to talk about." Friday, 9:37 am
  • Deandre Ayton says he's making 3-pointers
    Deandre Ayton said that he's been shooting 3-pointers like they're mid-range shots.

    Advice: On top of going 0-of-3 from three this year, Ayton was still only able to make 32.0% of his shots beyond 16 feet, so it's hard to totally buy him turning his perimeter game around this quickly. Ayton also said he's been working on getting rebounds and pushing the tempo. Thursday, 1:12 pm
  • Muscle Watch: The Marvin Bagley Edition
    Marvin Bagley (left foot) said he added 10 pounds of muscle with the expectation that he'll be playing more center.

    Advice: One day after coach Luke Walton said Bagley is ready to play in Orlando, Bagley confirmed he's 100% and said he can't even remember the last time he had discomfort in his foot. When Bagley returned in January, he didn't get any of his 122 minutes with Richaun Holmes, so it sounds like that's the plan again. Considering how Bagley played just 13 games, his minutes will likely be in the low 20s when the Kings get back on the court. Thursday, 1:03 pm
  • Jakob Poeltl ready to 'step up' without Aldridge
    Jakob Poeltl said he's ready to "step up" in the absence of LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder surgery).

    Advice: “Losing a big man, I have to step up,” said Poeltl. “I’m going to take on that challenge." He only started 10 of his 58 games this season, as the Spurs settled on using Aldridge at center to begin games. That limited Poeltl to 5.3 points, 5.3 boards and 1.4 blocks in 16.6 minutes, but the per-minute boards and blocks can't be faulted. Thursday, 11:16 am
  • Anthony Davis says he's '100 percent healthy'
    Anthony Davis said the NBA's shutdown has allowed him to get "100 percent healthy."

    Advice: Davis had a minor left elbow injury on March 11 when the season halted. Prior to that he had a sore right knee, a bruised right calf, a sprained right finger, and a sore right shoulder that plagued him for months. He said the break helped all of those minor issues to heal completely -- hopefully that means the Lakers won't list him as 'probable' for every single game in Orlando, as they have all year. Thursday, 11:09 am
  • Caleb Swanigan opts out of Orlando
    Caleb Swanigan has opted out of the NBA restart in Orlando.

    Advice: This is an update from coach Terry Stotts earlier today saying that Swanigan was uncertain to head to Orlando. The Blazers should be OK without him in their rotation, especially with Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic ready to play and without restrictions. The Blazers will be allowed to sign a replacement player to their roster. Wednesday, 2:36 pm
  • Hassan Whiteside expected to move to bench
    Hassan Whiteside is expected to move to the bench and could even start next to Jusuf Nurkic.

    Advice: Coach Terry Stotts said that "in all likelihood" Nurkic will start with Carmelo Anthony, but he hasn't decided if Zach Collins will start at the four. Damian Lillard had said that he is expecting Nurkic to start, so it sounds like it's very likely Whiteside will be in the second unit. He had a monster season as a first-round value in season-long leagues, but obviously Nurkic's return will cut into Whiteside's upside. Wednesday, 1:03 pm
  • Thomas Bryant is '100 percent', will play in ORL
    Thomas Bryant (foot stress fracture) said he's "fully healed, 100 percent healed."

    Advice: Bryant will be playing in Orlando for the Wizards, unlike teammate Davis Bertans and possibly even Bradley Beal, who is undecided. He was trending down prior to the break, in both minutes and per-minute production, so even eight games in Orlando would give him a chance to regain confidence and momentum. Wednesday, 11:33 am
  • Joel Embiid put in more gym time than any Sixer
    Sixers coach Brett Brown said that no player on the Sixers "put in more time than Joel Embiid" during the NBA's shutdown.

    Advice: "Forget what he has actually done in the gym for a minute," Brown said. "Just go to the man-hours and consecutive days and the amount of days he has put in over the past few months." Embiid admitted he wasn't "up to [his own] standard" early in the season, but has clearly put in the work to be at his peak when play resumes. That's music to the Sixers' ears. Wednesday, 11:28 am
  • Dwight Powell (Achilles) begins jogging, shooting
    Dwight Powell (right Achilles surgery) has begun jogging on a treadmill, as well as "light shooting and agility work."

    Advice: Powell had surgery in late January, so we'll consider him questionable for the start of the 2020-21 season. Achilles rehab is a slow, painstaking process, but it's great to see him taking the first steps toward a full recovery. Interestingly, the Mavs will bring their injured players with them to Orlando. Wednesday, 10:46 am
  • Meyers Leonard (ankle) ready to play in Disney
    Heat coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that Meyers Leonard (sprained left ankle) is ready to play.

    Advice: Leonard was a beneficiary of the extended hiatus, having suffered a severe sprain shortly before the season screeched to a halt. He's ready to go now, giving Miami a capable backup big with 3-point range. Wednesday, 10:12 am
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