Charles F. Gardner: 76ers say Nerlens Noel is out with a left ankle sprain, so Jahlil Okafor should get minutes off bench. Okafor played well Sat. vs. Wash.
“It’s not ideal to put anybody in it,” Okafor said of not playing. “Obviously, it’s a funky situation. Funky for all of us. Right now, I’m the person who’s sitting out.”
“Obviously, it’s not what I want to be in a position,” Okafor said. “I know I’m not the type of player that’s DNP. But that’s what it is right now. Coach Brown has been phenomenal with communicating with me. I know in the long run, I’ll be fine.”
Brian Mahoney: Sergio Rodriguez back but McConnell remains starter at PG for 76ers. Brett Brown vague when asked if Okafor would play.
Meanwhile, Okafor didn't play at all vs. the Celtics, as Brown inserted Noel into the rotation and moved Okafor out, at least temporarily. That marked the first time in Okafor's 1½-year pro career he was a "DNP-CD (Did Not Play-Coach's Decision)." Okafor needs to be a starter, but that won't happen with Embiid here. Noel is better than Okafor in a reserve role because of his defensive work. "We are learning," Brown told reporters afterward. "It's difficult to play three 'bigs' in a 48-minute window."
August 14, 2022 | 12:04 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Dallas Mavericks are signing guard McKinley Wright IV and undrafted Pittsburgh forward Mouhamadou Gueye on training camp deals to compete for a roster spot, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium .
One of the most experienced Serbian national team members is in danger of missing EuroBasket 2022, according to Mozzart Sport. Via the report, Nemanja Bjelica injured his calf during a friendly match against Montenegro behind closed doors. Due to swelling, it’s not completely clear how serious the injury is. This will be determined after further examinations in the near future.
August 14, 2022 | 3:06 am EDT Update
Brian Windhorst spent much of his Friday episode of “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast talking about Durant’s situation. Windhorst said he felt the Nets won the recent showdown between Durant and team owner Joe Tsai. But Windy doesn’t necessarily think that means all is over between the sides. In fact, Windhorst says he now could see a world where Durant holds out of training camp. “A week ago, if you had asked me, ‘Will Kevin Durant hold out of training camp if he is not traded?’ I would have been like, ‘eh, I can’t see it.’ Now I can see it. That is what we are headed towards,” Windhorst said.
Some analysts speculated that the Nets would play hardball with Durant. Brooklyn’s calculation would have depended upon Durant’s love of basketball. The thinking was that KD loves playing too much to sit out a season in order to get his way. Now Windhorst says he thinks a scenario of Durant sitting out could be on the table.