Shams Charania: Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. plans to undergo surgery on his left thumb on Monday, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. He will be sidelined up to three months.
The roller-coaster week for rookie Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. continued Friday when a follow-up examination on his injured left thumb revealed ligament damage, which the team has recommended surgery to address. The Bulls estimated his recovery and “return to sport time” at eight to 12 weeks. That likely would end Carter’s promising rookie season if he has the surgery, which a source said is almost certainly his plan.
After Carter visited Bulls hand specialists Friday, the team said in a release that Drs. John Fernandez and Mark Cohen used “repeat physical examination” and “testing under live fluoroscopic XR” to determine instability in the ligament. “We thought we needed him to see our people,” coach Jim Boylen said.
“If you look at it, we’ve lost two of our best defenders in the Justin Holiday trade and Wendell Carter being hurt,” Boylen said. “Somebody is going to have to step up. That’s what we’re preaching. Play those minutes with physicality. We’re desperately seeking more physical play. And maybe our most physical guy is hurt.”
KC Johnson: It should be noted that the Bulls still will shop Robin Lopez and Jabari Parker in advance of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, even with news of Wendell Carter Jr. injury and likely surgery. If they find deals, Cristiano Felicio or small lineup always can be used.
Shams Charania: Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. is expected to undergo surgery on his left thumb and miss 8-to-12 weeks.
Malika Andrews: Rookie big man Wendell Carter Jr. may need surgery on his thumb, but the Bulls are still awaiting further test results before proceeding, a league source told espn. @KC Johnson first reported.
A follow-up MRI exam Wednesday led Carter and the Bulls to believe the ligament was largely intact, and he was listed as day to day. Carter even tested his thumb at Thursday’s morning shootaround in Denver and vowed to play Saturday against the Heat at the United Center. But the follow-up exam Friday showed ligament damage that the first imaging didn’t detect. ... Carter is still considering his options, and it’s not certain he’ll need surgery or how long he’ll be sidelined.
KC Johnson: Jim Boylen said Wendell Carter has sprained left thumb and is out vs. Nuggets but day-to-day.
June 25, 2022 | 4:35 pm EDT Update
The Utah Jazz may be in the midst of the widest coaching search in recent NBA memory. In all, according to reports, they’ve interviewed at least 15 candidates for the job once held by Quin Snyder. But three weeks into the process, it looks like the team’s decision-makers are favoring the younger assistant coaches in their search for a new leader. In particular, it’s Celtics’ assistant Will Hardy that is considered by many league insiders to be a leading candidate at this point.
In terms of his relationships with the Jazz’s front office, it should be noted that Hardy and new Jazz CEO Danny Ainge’s time with the Celtics didn’t officially overlap. Another highly-considered candidate for the Jazz’s head coaching job is current Suns assistant Kevin Young.
June 25, 2022 | 3:24 pm EDT Update
Aaron J. Fentress: Source: Blazers fully guarantee Josh Hart’s contract that will pay him $12.9 million next season. Deadline was today. There is a mutual option for the following season. This was absolutely a no-brainer. #RipCity