Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving has been out for three weeks with a heel contusion, but there are some indications that he might be back soon. Irving was given a 3-to-4-week timetable to return to the court after sustaining the injury on December 8. He is expected to miss his 13th straight game as he is listed as doubtful for Dallas‘ game against the Golden State Warriors tonight. But as Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News noted, it is somewhat promising that Irving has the doubtful tag as it is the first time he has been considered anything but out following the injury.
NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving Expected To Miss 13 Straight Game, Luka Doncic Update & Rockets Down 2 Starters
Even more pressing for the Mavericks (18-14), who are 2-5 in their last seven games, is the status Luka Doncic. Doncic missed his third game of the season as he sat out Thursday’s night loss to Minnesota due to left quad soreness. He is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest.
Doncic has been dealing with the quad issue since after the All-Star break last year. But according to Dallas coach Jason Kidd, Doncic “aggravated it” on Christmas Day when he torched Phoenix for 50 points and 15 assists.
“I think just with [Doncic’s] left quad soreness, he aggravated it in the Christmas game,” Kidd said before Thursday’s game. “This is not enough time to recover on a back-to-back. So, he’s out.”
Maxi Kleber remains sidelined for the Mavericks.
Kidd made a lineup change earlier this week, inserting Dante Exum as a starter for Grant Williams. Kidd said that Exum and Derrick Jones Jr. would be part of his starting five once Irving returned. However, with Doncic out Thursday, Williams was back with the first unit instead of Tim Hardaway Jr., who had started the previous four games. Jaden Hardy took Doncic’s place with the first five.
Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and Gary Payton II
Payton has missed the Warriors previous 13 games with a right calf strain. There was thought to be a chance that Payton would return Thursday against Miami after practicing on Wednesday, but that did not occur. However, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters yesterday that Payton would be active today and be on a minutes restriction.
Gary Payton II is available to play tomorrow against the Mavericks, Steve Kerr says. He’ll be under a minutes restriction.
— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) December 29, 2023
Looney is dealing with a non-Covid illness, so he will likely be a game-time decision. If he does sit out, Dario Saric will probably get the starting nod, with Trayce Jackson-Davis also seeing an uptick in minutes.
Meanwhile, Green may return soon from his indefinite suspension, as this is the ninth game of his absence.
On Christmas Day, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there was a “general belief” that Green’s suspension would be 11-to-13 games.
However, the Warriors have been pretty quiet on the Green front, and it appears that is how it will stay.
“The Draymond stuff, everything is just private,” Kerr told Jon Schultz of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s behind the scenes, and I really don’t have anything to comment on that front.“
Anfernee Simons has missed the Portland Trail Blazers (9-22) last two games due to illness. Simons’ status for Monday’s game against the Phoenix Suns is unknown.
Current NBA free agent Goran Dragic plans on retiring in August 2024 following a two-day farewell event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, according to BasketNews. The event is slated to be hosted by Spontanzo and the Goran Dragic Foundation, with details of the game to be unveiled on Jan. 4. Dragic has not played since ending last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news at noon today that the New York Knicks were finalizing a deal that would send RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors for OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa.
The Toronto Raptors are acquiring a New York 2024 second-round pick via the Detroit Pistons, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/Rj8sBnmBV1
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 30, 2023
The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted that Malachi Flynn is also headed to New York as part of the trade.
Raptors are also sending Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa to the Knicks in the OG Anunoby-RJ Barrett-Immanuel Quickley trade, sources said. https://t.co/YC7yWNw1cr
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 30, 2023
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