Recent NBA Player News

Pacers' Myles Turner (ankle) misses Saturday's practice

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (ankle) did not practice on Saturday.

What It Means:

Turner is the 30th rated overall player according to numberFire's 2018 rankings.

Our models project Turner for 29.2 FanDuel points for Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzles.

Source: J. Michael

Knicks will reportedly waive Joakim Noah on Saturday

New York Knicks center Joakim Noah will be waived on Saturday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

What It Means:

Noah signed a 4-year, $72 million contract in the summer of 2016 but has had a disappointing tenure in New York. He missed 111 games in two seasons, including 75 last season. The Knicks are on the hook for the remainder of his deal. Enes Kanter and Mitchell Robinson will get the bulk of the minutes at center for New York.

He averaged 4.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game during his time with the Knicks.

Spurs' Rudy Gay downplays heel injury

San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay downplayed the severity of his heel injury.

What It Means:

Gay said his heel is "good," and said he sat out of Friday's preseason finale as a precaution.

Our models project Gay to average 15.1 points per game this year and shoot 46.7% from the field.

Kevin Knox will start for the Knicks on opening night, coach says

New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox will be in the starting lineup for the New York Knicks in their season-opener on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.

What It Means:

Knox was the ninth overall pick in the draft but shot just 32.7% from the field in five preseason games. Fizdale said Knox will "take his lumps but he needs to go through it."

Our models project Knox to score 13.9 points per game and shoot 43.1% from the field.

Bryn Forbes starting for Spurs at point guard

San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Bryn Forbes will start at point guard in Friday's preseason finale against the Orlando Magic.

What It Means:

Patty Mills will serve as Forbes' primary backup in the wake of Derrick White (heel) going down for 6-8 weeks. Forbes has mostly played off the ball during his two years in the league but the cupboard has run bare in San Antonio.

numberFire's models currently project Forbes for 4.8 points and 1.1 3-pointers per game this season.

Hawks' John Collins (ankle) sidelined at least 10 days

Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (left ankle soreness) underwent a non-surgical procedure on October 8 and will be re-evaluated on October 22.

What It Means:

Collins suffered the injury at the beginning of the month and also missed a couple games in March last season due to a sore left ankle. An MRI taken on October 2 revealed mild inflammation and soreness, and it'll cost him at least the first three games of the upcoming campaign. The Hawks will likely take a conservative approach with the young big man.

numberFire's models currently project Collins to average 14.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 0.8 3-pointers per game this season.

Gordon Hayward to play in Celtics' back-to-backs

Boston Celtics guard/forward Gordon Hayward is expected to play in back-to-backs, head coach Brad Stevens said.

What It Means:

Stevens also said there could be a minutes limit as Hayward works his way back to full strength but it's encouraging news for his season outlook.

numberFire's models currently project Hayward to average 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.9 3-pointers per game this season.

Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) out for Mavericks at least another 2 weeks

Dallas Mavericks forward/center Dirk Nowitzki (sore left ankle) will be out at least two more weeks, head coach Rick Carlisle said.

What It Means:

Nowitzki's earliest possible season debut will now be October 26 against the Toronto Raptors, meaning he will miss at least the Mavericks' first four games.

numberFire's models project Nowitzki for 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.5 3-pointers, 0.5 blocks, and 0.5 steals per game for the 2018-19 season.

Spurs' Derrick White (heel) out 6-8 weeks

San Antonio Spurs point guard Derrick White (heel) will miss 6-8 weeks, head coach Gregg Popovich said.

What It Means:

White was selected to replace Dejounte Murray, who was ruled out for the season with a torn ACL earlier this week, as the Spurs' starting point guard. Patty Mills will now likely open the year at the one, unless San Antonio opts to make a trade.

Prior to the injury, numberFire's models projected White to average 4.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.7 3-pointers per game this season.

Larry Nance Jr. sprains right ankle during Cavaliers practice

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Larry Nance Jr. suffered a sprained right ankle in practice on Thursday.

What It Means:

Nance Jr. will be re-evaluated over the next several days. He figures to be Cleveland's first big off the bench this season and could see occasional starts at center. The Cavaliers open their season next Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.

numberFire's models project Nance Jr. to average 10.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game this season.

Source: Joe Vardon

Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) to miss Mavericks' season opener

Dallas Mavericks forward/center Dirk Nowitzki will not play in the team's season opener against the Phoenix Suns.

What It Means:

Nowitzki underwent offseason ankle surgery, and his being sidelined to begin the regular season is as expected. It's not clear exactly when Dirk will make his return, but even when he's healthy, the longtime veteran will be relegated to a role off the bench.

Our models project Nowitzki for 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 blocks, and 0.5 steals per game for the 2018-2019.

Russell Westbrook (knee) taking 'controlled contact' at Thunder practice

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (knee) has progressed to "controlled contact."

What It Means:

Westbrook still hasn't been cleared for a full practice and it's not clear if he will be ready for next Tuesday's opener versus the Golden State Warriors.

numberFire's models currently project Westbrook to average 27.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 10.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.7 3-pointers per game this season.

George Hill confirmed as Cavaliers' starter for opener

Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill will start in the regular-season opener versus the Toronto Raptors, head coach Ty Lue confirmed.

What It Means:

Hill is 32 and coming off a rough season, so 8th overall pick Collin Sexton will likely take over the starting job before too long.

numberFire's models currently project Hill to average 11.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.5 3-pointers per game this season.

Stanley Johnson (toe) did not practice for Detroit on Thursday

Detroit Pistons guard/forward Stanley Johnson was absent from Thursday's practice due to a toe injury.

What It Means:

The Pistons have a preseason game on Friday, and Johnson's status is currently up in the air. Either way, the ailment isn't serious enough to endanger his availability for the regular season.

Our models project Johnson for 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game for this season.

Harrison Barnes (hamstring) may not be ready for Mavericks' opener

Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (hamstring) admitted he may not be ready for the season opener against the Phoenix Suns.

What It Means:

“The injury is coming along well and I’m just making progress every day," Barnes said. “The goal is to play in the first game. But if I can’t do that, just make sure that I’m taking the time to get 100 percent healthy and be ready to go.” Barnes suffered the injury during the first week of training camp. If he opens the season in street clothes, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith could both see an early boost.

numberFire's models currently project Barnes for 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.4 3-pointers per game this season.


Raptors' Delon Wright suffers a thigh injury on Wednesday

Toronto Raptors guard Delon Wright suffered a left thigh injury in Wednesday's preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets.

What It Means:

Wright limped to the locker room on Wednesday with what the team called a thigh strain. No word yet on the severity but strains are the type of injuries that can linger. His availability for opening night next week is in question. Fred VanVleet will likely see more minutes behind Kyle Lowry until Wright is healthy.

Our models project Wright for 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 20.6 minutes per game this season.

Nets' Allen Crabbe (ankle) seen using crutches on Wednesday

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Allen Crabbe (ankle) was seen entering the arena on crutches Wednesday night.

What It Means:

Crabbe suffered an ankle sprain on Monday night and is looking doubtful to be ready for opening night, just one week away. The team was officially calling the injury a mild sprain, but it appears worse. If Crabbe misses any regular season time, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert would see an uptick in minutes.

Our models project Crabbe for 13.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.4 three-pointers in 28.6 minutes per game this season.

Magic's Mo Bamba (wrist) cleared of a serious injury

Orlando Magic forward Mo Bamba (wrist) had an MRI on his injured wrist come back clean of any serious injury.

What It Means:

The rookie big man was feeling discomfort in his wrist and was sent for further testing as a precaution. As expected, he has been cleared of any serious injury and should be good to go for opening day. He is scheduled to start his career off the bench behind Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon up front.

Our models project Bamba for 6.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in just over 15 minutes per game this season.

Jimmy Butler practiced with the Timberwolves on Wednesday, per report

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler attended practice on Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

What It Means:

Butler has been public about his demand for a trade and had not practiced with the team since training camp opened in late September. He was reportedly emotional and intense during Wednesday's practice.

Our NBA models project Butler to be a top 15 fantasy asset this season and average 23.3 points per game.

Celtics' Gordon Hayward practiced in full on Tuesday

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward practiced in full on Tuesday, coach Brad Stevens said.

What It Means:

Hayward was held out of the team's preseason finale on Saturday, but that seems like a precautionary measure. He missed almost all of last season after a gruesome knee injury leg injury in the season opener.

Our models project Hayward to score 18.6 points per game this season.

Kyrie Irving (rib) practiced in full on Tuesday for the Celtics

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving practiced in full on Tuesday.

What It Means:

Irving was held out of the team's preseason finale on Saturday but it seems that was more of precaution than anything else. His 2017-18 season ended prematurely due to a separate knee injury.

He is tied for the eighth-most valuable guard spot in our preseason fantasy basketball projections.

Derrick White starting for Spurs Wednesday

San Antonio Spurs point guard Derrick White will start in Wednesday's preseason matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.

What It Means:

White is expected to start at point guard for the Spurs this season, with Patty Mills running the second unit. He was the 29th pick in the 2017 draft.

numberFire's models currently project White to score 4.1 points with 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.7 3-pointers per game this season, although those expectations should rise if he secures the starting job.

Draymond Green (knee) expected to be ready for Warriors' opener

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (sore left knee) is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

What It Means:

"We’re going to be cautious," Kerr said. "He’s still improving, but we feel more comfortable giving him one more day. ... Then we have six days until the opener. The plan is to start practice [Thursday] and play him on Friday. He’ll be ready for the opener." A sore knee likely wouldn't keep Draymond out if the games mattered.

numberFire's models project Dray for 11.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 3-pointers per game in the 2018-19 season.

Raptors to rotate starting lineups based on matchups

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse hinted that the team will use different starting lineups throughout the season based on the matchup.

What It Means:

"You guys know some spots are solidified," said Nurse, "but there are other spots that are fluid and there will be a reason we trot certain guys out there." Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry are locked into starting spots, but Serge Ibaka, OG Anunoby, and Jonas Valanciunas could play fluid roles throughout the season.

numberFire's models currently expect Ibaka to record 11.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game this season.

Source: Paul Jones

Dwight Howard's status (back) for Wizards' opener in air

Washington Wizards forward/center Dwight Howard's (piriformis) status for the regular-season opener is unknown.

What It Means:

"He’s going to get a pain-relieving injection and hopefully early next week, he’ll be back on the court and be ready to play," Brooks said. "I don’t know what that means for the first game, but we’re just gonna take it day by day." Howard's injury is reportedly minor but rest may be the only remedy, so Ian Mahinmi may open the year at center for the Wizards. They tip off their season versus the Miami Heat on October 18.

numberFire's models currently project Howard for 12.7 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season.


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