Storyline: Ian Mahinmi Injury

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The Wizards (29-20) have to determine if he’ll be able to contribute by Feb. 16. That’ll be the last chance to survey their options before playing again Feb. 24 – one day after the trade deadline. “The reaction to everything I’ve done is much better,” Mahinmi said of how his knees feel compared to earlier in the season after he came back for a procedure in October. “I felt like seeing Dr. (James) Andrews was great. It was obviously the right move. I feel like I’m fixed.”

Mahinmi, the 6-foot-11 center who underwent surgery to repair a partially torn medial meniscus on Oct. 14, has not appeared in a regular season game. After the latest step in his recovery, in which he fully participated in the light practice while wearing a compression sleeve over his left knee, he expects to return to the court by the end of November. “Obviously it’s not a live full-blown practice but it’s my first time being on the court with everybody. I went through every drill, no restriction,” Mahinmi said after the session. “That’s the goal, to come back before the end of the month, and everything depends on how my knee reacts going into a full-blown practice.”
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February 21, 2018 | 9:00 am EST Update
Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk missed a portion of Tuesday’s practice, while being examined following a car accident in Arkansas over All-Star break. Monk suffered from upper-body soreness when he arrived for Tuesday’s late-afternoon practice, so a team doctor checked him out. Monk returned to practice at Spectrum Center in time to put up some jump shots after most of the other players left the practice court. “They just had to make sure he was OK,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “He wasn’t able to practice today, but he says he feels better. He’s just stiff. So, we’ll just see tomorrow how he feels and where he is at.”
Asked if he anticipates Steve Clifford, who has a season remaining on his contract, being the coach here next season, Polk responded, “I would today.” Like each of Clifford’s previous four seasons, he and his staff will be evaluated in the spring. “Once we get a new general manager on board, we’ll talk about the coaching staff,” Polk said. “Steve has brought a lot of strong organization” to the franchise, Polk said, adding Clifford’s health crisis (a six-week leave to address severe headaches) concerned everyone in management.
February 21, 2018 | 5:07 am EST Update
“He’s not [coming back to Miami]. But the fact when ESPN polled 48 players about what they thought might happen with LeBron that they even mentioned the Heat shows that, at worst, the Heat remain relevant in players’ consciousness,” Winderman wrote. “Basically, the NBA players polled still consider the Heat a desirable landing spot. And that is a good thing. But I cannot fathom, as you pointed out, the Heat having enough on their roster to attract such a level of free agent. There was a time when I thought Hassan Whiteside could have been such a lure, but with his role minimized, I don’t see that as the case anymore.”
Storyline: LeBron James Free Agency