Devin Booker re-aggravated the left hamstring he initially strained against the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this season in Sunday’s 120-96 loss at Staples Center. The team’s leading scorer and assist man scored just six points on 3-of-8 shooting as he went down late in the first half. “I’m not sure how extreme it is right now, but of course, everybody knows we need him, desperately,” Suns wing Josh Jackson said. “The sooner we can get him back, the better, but hopefully, we can get him back 100 percent.”
A frustrated Booker noticeably limped to the team bus after the game and politely declined to comment about the injury. Suns first-year coach Kokoskov said he isn't opposed to shutting down Booker, who has had multiple injuries already this season. "I'm very open (to the idea), but that's not my jurisdiction when it comes to the medical staff," Kokoskov said. "We have a great medical staff. They're going to tell me as an organization what we should do."
Gina Mizell: Josh Jackson on Devin Booker's minor injuries: "Of course, everybody knows we need him desperately. The sooner we can get him back, the better." #Suns
Gina Mizell: Devin Booker left the #Suns locker room before media was permitted to enter. Igor Kokoskov said he did not have an update on next steps and how long Booker will be out. Next game is Tuesday vs. Sacramento.
Dave McMenamin: Devin Booker appeared to pull his hamstring on that last play, running off the court in pain. Both LeBron James and Tyson Chandler left the court to check on him before Booker went to the locker room accompanied by Suns medical staff.
Kyle Goon: LeBron was the first person to come out to Devin Booker from the court when he got hurt: “Book! Is it the toe or the hammy? Hammy?” Then called for the training staff to get him to the locker room.
Gina Mizell: Per #Suns, Devin Booker (left hamstring) is questionable to return to this game. Same hamstring that he originally hurt the last time Phoenix faced the Lakers. Elie Okobo is starting the second half for the Suns.
Gina Mizell: Per #Suns, T.J. Warren (ankle) is officially listed as doubtful to play tomorrow at Lakers and Devin Booker (toe) is listed as probable.
Gina Mizell: Late scratch: Devin Booker is also OUT tonight vs. Orlando with a left toe injury. T.J. Warren is also out with ankle soreness. #Suns
Gina Mizell: #Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said after practice that Devin Booker (hamstring) is doubtful to play tomorrow vs. San Antonio and that Isaiah Canaan (ankle) is questionable.
Duane Rankin: #Suns official game notes: Devin Booker listed OUT for Memphis game and is "day-to-day" after suffering hamstring injury Wednesday night against Los Angeles #Lakers. Earlier today, Igor Kokoskov said it was a "game-time decision." Booker said he'd see how it felt tomorrow.
Duane Rankin: Devin Booker "game time decision" with left hamstring strain for #Grizzlies Saturday, says #Suns coach Igor Kokoskov
Gina Mizell: Devin Booker on his return to the court in tomorrow’s #Suns opener vs. Dallas: “I’ve taken plenty of hits in practice now, and now I trust it and believe that it’s ready to go for full contact (in a game). That’s what I’ve been doing the past week.”
Devin Booker has taken another giant step in recovering from an injured right shooting hand. The Phoenix Suns’ franchise player has been cleared for contact and has been practicing 5-on-5 with the team. “He looked good,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said after Saturday’s practice. “As we all know, on any level that you play, when you’re recovering from something, an injury, there’s some kind of hesitation when it comes to the contact, but I don’t see that in Book."
Gina Mizell: Devin Booker on the state of his right hand: “I don’t all-the-way-trust it yet, but I’m out there competing...it feels pretty good right now. Want it to feel better before I step out there (on the court for a game).” #Suns
Gina Mizell: Devin Booker is running with the first team during a full-contact portion of today’s #Suns practice. He’s still got his fingers wrapped. James Jones said earlier today that he is “hopeful” Booker can play in Wednesday’s opener.
Duane Rankin: Looking at Devin Booker, he's not wearing wraps on his injured right hand. Maybe that's just because he's not shooting or in a practice, but that can be see as another sign of progress. #Suns
Gina Mizell: #Suns guard Devin Booker still has not been cleared for contact drills but said it felt "great" to start taking shots with his right hand for the first time in more than three weeks. He also recently had a checkup with the LA surgeon who performed his procedure.
Gerald Bourguet: McDonough says Booker got the sutures out of his hand last week, passed preseason conditioning test. He's been working on cardio and working out one-handed
“As you guys know he did have the injury late last year,” McDonough said, referring to a lingering issue for Booker during the end of the 2017-18 season for which he missed the final 12 games. “There were no symptoms over the summer. The hand died down, it calmed down a little bit, it looked good, there was nothing structurally wrong with it.”
The GM went on to explain that in recent weeks, the Suns have had members of their NBA roster in the gym for workouts and pickup games. That’s when the swelling happened. “Just in one of those games, the hand swelled up,” he said. “There was no trauma that we could see — it wasn’t like he hit it or jammed it or anything stood out unusually while he was playing. The hand just swelled up.”
Harrison Wind: Suns say Devin Booker will be out approximately six weeks after surgery to repair an injury to the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint in his right hand. If that timetable holds up, he’ll barely miss the Nuggets’ home opener vs Phoenix on Oct. 20.
Gambadoro reports Booker will miss at least four weeks. The bothersome right hand injury lingered for Booker throughout the end of the 2017-18 season after he jammed it in practice on March 14, a day before the team’s game against the Utah Jazz. Booker went on to play and shot 3-of-18. From that point on, Booker was required to wear a splint until his condition improved and he missed the last 12 games of the season.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker will undergo surgery Monday to an injured ligament in his hand that bothered him for much of the season in a procedure a source told ESPN was minor. Booker will have the surgery in Los Angeles.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Booker's availability for the start of regular season will be clearer after procedure on Monday, league source tells ESPN. Booker signed a five-year, $158M extension this summer.
Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker will undergo hand surgery on Monday and is out indefinitely, reports 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro. Booker will have the surgery in Los Angeles and is likely to miss the start of training camp.
Scott Bordow: Sounds like Devin Booker, TJ Warren, Elfrid Payton, Len all out. Triano expects same lineup as he had against Golden State
Scott Bordow: Update from Suns: Team still hasn't heard from NBA regarding possible suspensions tonight. Booker said he doesn't know if he'll be able to play. Golden State without Durant, Curry, Thompson, McCaw and Cassipi
Scott Bordow: Tyson Chandler just told me he’s playing. Booker is testing his triceps in warmup. No final determination yet
Harrison Wind: Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler and Tyler Ulis are all out tonight vs Nuggets, Suns say.
Gerald Bourguet: Devin Booker and Tyson Chandler (neck) are out tonight. Tyler Ulis remains to be seen.
Scott Bordow: Booker took a knee from Zeller right in that injured rib area. Triano said before the game that Booker will never mention an injury, so when he asks out of a game you know he's hurting
Chuck Cooperstein: Per Triano: @Devin Booker will play vs Mavs. 9:30 tip @1033fmESPN. Best offensive player in NBA no one talks about.
Scott Bordow: Triano to me: "Tell your daily fantasy players they probably shouldn't play Booker" tonight. So there you go. Good chance, though, that Booker returns on the 26th, assuming he comes out of tomorrow's practice without any issues
Scott Bordow: Triano said "it makes sense" for the Suns to be cautious with Booker. Lot will depend on how he responds to Sunday's practice.
Michael Gallagher: Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said Devin Booker has been doing work on the Versa-Climber, but hasn't really done any on-court work yet. Hopeful to get on-court work next week & return to games around Christmas.
Scott Bordow: Just got off phone with Ryan McDonough. He said Suns hoping to get Booker back before Dec. 29 game against Sacramento. Could be Dec. 26 against Memphis. But McDonough said Booker will have to practice first, see how his body responds before playing
Devin Booker's timetable for recovery remains at two to three weeks. He moved about dressed in a suit and smiled while answering questions about his injury. "I'm already walking. Every day it's felt better since it happened," Booker said Thursday night before the Suns' game against the Washington Wizards. "I'm on the right path."
Booker thought it was a cramp at first, but when he tried to move, he could not. "People said I was doing the 'Mannequin Challenge,'" Booker said. "I don't ever want to be carried off the court. Anything in my power, if I could have walked off I would have walked off. We had to resume the game, so my big fellas helped me out."
Gerald Bourguet: Also, for those who were curious, Devin Booker walked into the presser. Slowly, but he's walking. No crutches or wheelchair. Also says no Paul Pierce jokes from teammates yet. #SunsVsWizards
Doug Haller: Suns update: Guard Devin Booker is out for tonight's game at Atlanta. Earl Watson said he aggravated ankle vs Boston.
Phoenix guard Devin Booker is sitting out Sunday's game against the Detroit Pistons because of a sore right ankle. The Suns are also without guard Ronnie Price (left leg), guard Leandro Barbosa (illness) and forward Dragan Bender (right ankle).
May 31, 2023 | 12:39 pm EDT Update
Bulls, Nikola Vucevic have opened up extension talks
In Chicago, I’m told that the Bulls have opened up extension conversations with their starting center Nikola Vucevic. Sources tell me there is mutual interest in getting a deal done. Both sides have until June 30 to get an extension done. If there is no agreement by that point, Vučević would enter free agency and be one of the top centers available on the market. Vučević had the third-most double-doubles in the NBA this year (51), averaging 17.6 points and 11.0 rebounds with a 52.0 field goal percentage at a usage rate of 21.4.
Lakers want to use D'Angelo Russell in sign-and-trade?
My read on the situation is that the Lakers would prefer to use D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade, but I’m not sure the market is there. Landing Kyrie Irving for Russell is shaping up to be a pipe dream, especially with Dallas unlikely to help Los Angeles out. Fred VanVleet, a Klutch client, looms as a possibility, but adding him would require Toronto to agree to terms with Russell (or take on the Beasley and Bamba contracts). Where, exactly, is the free-agency and trade market for Russell? I just don’t see it.
Pistons heavily pursuing Monty Williams to be next head coach
Nearly two months after Dwane Casey stepped down from his role as head coach, the Detroit Pistons are heavily pursuing Monty Williams, the NBA’s winningest coach since 2021, to be their next man in charge, league sources tell The Athletic. The Pistons are preparing to offer Williams in the range of $10 million per year, league sources said, which would put him among the league’s highest-paid coaches. Detroit has been hopeful over the past several weeks that Williams would consider accepting the job, sources added.
If Williams declines the proposal, Lee, a Bucks assistant since 2018, is expected to emerge as the likely choice, league sources said.
Since the start of the first round of the NBA playoffs, four coaches — Williams (Suns), Mike Budenholzer (Bucks), Doc Rivers (76ers) and Nick Nurse (Raptors) — have been fired. Williams, immediately, was on Detroit’s radar, per league sources. Milwaukee, too, heavily pursued Williams, per league sources.
Duncan Robinson grew up in New Hampshire and was a Celtics fan throughout his childhood so it was a little surprising to see the New England native pour salt in the wound of Boston fans in Game 7. In an appearance on JJ Redick’s podcast on Monday, Robinson revealed the entertaining reason that motivated him to do the taunt.
“I don’t know how this happened but maybe someone I went to high school with but my number got put in a group chat somewhere,” Robinson said. It was a massive group chat so after we lose Game 6, my phone is randomly blowing up from a bunch of random New England numbers. They are saying, ‘Get ‘F*****’, Celtics in 7, sending me memes of Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.’ It’s just all these random numbers, 70 texts. “So I’m like what is going on and I’m also pissed since I’m on the heels of this bone-crushing loss, not to mention I missed some shots down the stretch I’d like to have back. I’m like really worked up about it. So then I’m like thinking, creating all these scenarios in my head, if I get the chance in the Garden, I’m going to do something.”
Robinson got that chance in the fourth quarter as the Heat put the game out of reach following his layup, leading to a Boston timeout. “I wanted to do it,” Robinson admitted. “There was a little of internal conflict because you are playing on the floor that you grew up being fortunate to go to some games on and grew up in Celtics country. You have this idea you want to do it but I have to be relevant enough to warrant that and I toed the line on that.”