Bulls injury update per Fred Hoiberg: Lauri Markkanen is shooting from deeper range, but is still 1-2 weeks away from playing with contact. Hoiberg says they will likely utilize the Windy City Bulls — the G League affiliate — to help get him back into game shape. Denzel Valentine's time frame is still "up in the air."
The original timetable called for Markkanen to miss six to eight weeks, but Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg bumped that back to eight to 10 weeks before the game against the Mavericks. The Bulls want to make sure Markkanen is pain-free and fully conditioned for the grind of the regular-season schedule when he returns. ‘‘He’s still not shooting a lot,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘He’s shooting short-range shots. He’s getting really good conditioning workouts in, so when he is cleared to start shooting and has no pain in that type of activity, hopefully he can get back soon as far as when he’s cleared for contact. He’s doing as much as he can right now.’’
Joe Cowley: According to Hoiberg, Markkanen (right elbow) is at least another two weeks from being cleared for contact, and then likely another two weeks to make sure there are no setbacks. Late November, might now be mid to late December before his return.
“Lauri had a good day as far as conditioning,’’ Hoiberg said. “Did more than he has. Denzel did some straight-ahead running and spot shooting, still has not cut on ankle. We’ll try to get Lauri in game shape as quickly as possible.’’
Malika Andrews: Lauri Markkanen is walking around without a brace. Fred Hoiberg says he is looking at the same timetable for a return but seeing him without a brace is a “relief.”
KC Johnson: Something else of note as Bulls practice/media access nears this AM: By all accounts, Markkanen had played like a monster in informal Sept. workouts and first 2 days of camp.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen out 6-8 weeks with a high grade lateral elbow sprain (right). Sustained the injury Thursday. Big blow to the Bulls
Vincent Goodwill: Kris Dunn will be out tomorrow, along with Lauri Markkanen. Zach LaVine will be a game time decision with tendinitis. Skeleton crew against Cavs, perhaps
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg says Lauri Markkanen (back) will play tonight vs. Sixers. He will not be on a minutes restriction but Bulls will watch him closely.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen will not play tonight; didn't travel with the team. Status for Monday vs. Philly unknown
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Lauri Markkanen is feeling better today, plans to do non-contact portions of practice. Sounds like it’s possible he plays Wed vs Utah, but #Bulls won’t push it, obviously.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen will be out tonight. Had back spasms flare up this afternoon. Will get treatment tonight and tomorrow. Nikola Mirotic will start
Mike McGraw: Markkanen on the elliptical machine; Hoiberg hopes to have him back on court tomorrow with ankle sprain. #Bulls
Markkanen practiced for the third straight day Saturday and has been cleared, barring an unexpected Sunday setback, to make his preseason debut against the Pelicans after overcoming back spasms.
Vincent Goodwill: Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen will miss the first two games of the preseason with back spasms. Fred Hoiberg said it's not a long term concern
Mike McGraw: #Bulls say Lauri Markkanen left today's morning practice with back spasms. Status: day-to-day.
Stephen Noh: Markkanen steps out of bounds on game-tying attempt, injures himself on the play. He's being helped off the court after the game.
Vincent Goodwill: Hearing from Bulls personnel that Markkanen's injury isn't bad, and it's likely he plays Sunday
July 2, 2022 | 1:14 pm EDT Update
Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has signed center Mark Williams. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Selected with the 15th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Williams appeared in 39 games with averages of 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 23.5 minutes per game as a sophomore during the 2021-22 season at Duke. Williams was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year after he led the ACC and ranked 12th in the nation in blocks per contest (2.8) and became just the second player in Duke history with 100 blocks (110) in a single season.
Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Bryce McGowens to a two-way contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. A native of Pendleton, South Carolina, McGowens averaged 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per game as a freshman at Nebraska in 2021-22, starting all 31 games in which he appeared. The 6-7 guard/forward earned All-Big Ten Third Team honors and was named Big Ten Newcomer of the Year by the media. McGowens led the Cornhuskers in scoring and ranked ninth in the Big Ten, while also ranking third in the conference in free-throw percentage (83.1%).
July 2, 2022 | 1:04 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Darius Garland has agreed on a five-year, $193M maximum designated rookie contract extension that could be worth as much as $231M, @Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. It is the largest deal in franchise history.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs All-Star point guard Darius Garland has agreed on a five-year, $193 million maximum designated rookie contract extension that could be worth as much as $231 million with escalators, sources confirm to @clevelanddotcom
To be clear: There is untapped potential with both former first-round picks. Walker shot 33.2 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s last season, but he shot better than 38 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Brown made 36.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3s last season, though he’s also had two seasons in which he shot worse than 32.2 percent (and one where he shot above 39 percent). The LeBron Bump is real. There is a long list of shooters who’ve had career seasons playing alongside James.