Cameron Payne is nearing his return to the Thunder, but first he’ll have to suit up for the Oklahoma City Blue. Thunder coach Billy Donovan didn’t specify which games Payne would play in, but the 22-year-old is expected to play this week for the Blue, possibly as early as Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. It’ll be Payne’s first live game action since suffering an acute fracture in his right foot in the Thunder’s Blue and White scrimmage Sept. 27. The Blue has three games this week: Tuesday at Salt Lake City, Thursday at Reno and Saturday at home against Greensboro (7 p.m., Cox Convention Center).
But he participated in full-contact three-on-three at the end of Wednesday's practice, as did guard Victor Oladipo, who's missed the past eight games with a sprained right wrist. Oladipo also will sit out against the Grizzlies unless something “unforeseeable” happens before the game, Donovan said. But both players appear to be closing in on returns.
Randy Renner: From today's #Thunder practice "Neither Oladipo Nor Payne Expected To Play On Roadtrip" at InsideThunder.com pic.twitter.com/7k70q8z7X78
Chris Haynes: ESPN Sources: Oklahoma guard Cameron Payne nearing season debut from fractured foot. Potential return date: Dec. 29 in hometown of Memphis.
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that guard Cameron Payne suffered an acute fracture to his fifth metatarsal in Tuesday night’s Blue-White Scrimmage.
Royce Young: Cameron Payne suffered an "acute fracture" to his fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the same one he had surgery on this summer.
Randy Renner: #Thunder say Payne will talk to doctors this week to see about treatment going forward. No word on whether he will make trip to Spain.
Anthony Slater: Thunder point guard Cameron Payne had surgery for a Jones fracture in his right foot today. Expected to be ready for training camp.
Randy Renner: #Thunder coach Billy Donovan says both Cameron Payne and Nick Collison are back from injury and cleared to play https://t.co/SWFkptAQEc
Anthony Slater: Cameron Payne to miss Game 1 vs Mavs with hip soreness. But Billy Donovan "optimistic" he'll be back for Game 2: newsok.com/article/5492263
March 20, 2023 | 11:58 am EDT Update
Shaquille O'Neal undergoes hip surgery
Shaquille O’Neal sparked concern after sharing a photo of himself in a hospital bed on Sunday … but TMZ Sports has learned the NBA legend simply needed to fix a nagging injury, and he’s now doing OK. Our sources tell us the 51-year-old went under the knife over the weekend to have an issue with his hip corrected — and everything went according to plan. We’re told he’s already on the mend.
March 20, 2023 | 11:35 am EDT Update
Both Lakers and Austin Reaves interested in re-signing
Austin Reaves’ surge is setting him up for a fascinating offseason. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will undoubtedly have multiple suitors looking to pry him from the Lakers — especially after stat lines like Sunday’s. Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they coud speak freely. The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.
The coming weeks will ultimately determine how the situation plays out. The Lakers have 10 regular-season games remaining, and possibly some postseason games as well. In the meantime, Reaves is thriving as his role expands and his confidence grows down the stretch of this season. “It’s special,” Reaves said of playing for the Lakers. “I mean, I grew up a Lakers fan. To do it for this organization, especially, is surreal. Sometimes I gotta stop and really think about what I am doing. … All I’m really happy about is the win.”
NBA Communications: Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers can become the third team from the Eastern Conference to clinch a spot in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The 76ers host the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. ET on the NBA App. Clinch scenario ⬇️
Temple University interested in hiring Sam Cassell as head coach
Michael Scotto: 76ers assistant coach Sam Cassell has drawn interest from Temple University for its head coaching job, @hoopshype has learned. At this time, however, Cassell is focused on helping the Sixers compete for a championship. Cassell has interviewed for NBA head coaching jobs in the past and is in his 14th season as an assistant coach. He also works closely with Tyrese Maxey in Philadelphia.