NBA rumors: Damian Lillard to rest against Detroit

Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard (abdominal pain) is expected to rest tonight against the Detroit Pistons, league sources tell @YahooSports.

More on Damian Lillard Injury

Jay Allen: Chauncey Billups says Lillard is "day-to-day." Billups says because Damian doesn't like to miss games, he "kind of had to force him to sit tonight."
Lillard is giving his all to be available and to keep faint championship aspirations alive in Portland, all while fighting a number of injuries. The 30-year-old has battled a left ankle injury, tender ribs, a lower abdomen strain, and knee soreness from continual screen clashes, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Jamie Hudson: Damian Lillard will make his return tonight. Blazers Injury Report: Derrick Jones Jr. (right hip, contusion) is probable and Zach Collins (left ankle, stress fracture) is out for tonight’s game vs. Denver.
Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard (knee contusion) will return today against the Toronto Raptors and Norman Powell will start over Derrick Jones Jr., league sources tell @YahooSports.
Jamie Hudson: Blazers Injury Report: Damian Lillard (abdominal strain) and Derrick Jones Jr. (left foot sprain) are questionable. Nassir Little (left knee sprain) is out for Thursday’s game at Philadelphia.
An awful game for the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers became much worse in the third quarter when Damian Lillard left the court with a right knee injury. Lillard walked off under his own power. After the game, he underwent an MRI that turned out to be inconclusive, according to the Blazers. Lillard is scheduled to undergo another MRI on Tuesday.
Jay Allen: Terry Stotts says @Damian Lillard will play tonight, and probably wear a splint. Says Dame got to the arena early to test it out. #RipCity
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard offered a definitive answer on his status for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday after dislocating his left index finger. "I'm playing," Lillard said.
Lillard left the court at the end of the third quarter to receive treatment and a splint on his left and middle index fingers. Though x-rays turned out negative, the Trail Blazers kept Lillard on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. "It’s just sore and a little bit tender," said Lillard, who had 18 points on only 6-of-14 shooting. "A little bit sore, swollen and uncomfortable."
But now, in the second of three scrimmage games, Portland will be without their point guard Damian Lillard, who is dealing with inflammation in his left foot. Stotts says Lillard had an x-ray on his left foot. The x-rays came back negative. From the sounds of it, it seems the inflammation is at the bottom of Lillard's left foot. He did have an x-ray. The x-ray was negative. He just has some inflammation. I don’t expect it to be a long-term deal. Hopefully he’ll be able to play our last scrimmage. I think it’s a little bit on the bottom of his foot, but I’m not quite sure about that, but I think it is. -- Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts
Chris Mannix: Terry Stotts says @Damian Lillard did everything at practice today. Was a non-contact practice. Stotts says Lillard status for tomorrow’s scrimmage is TBD.
Damian Lillard on healing: [I have] nine full days [during the All-Star break]. A lot of treatment and a lot of time to try and figure it out and test it out. But the groin is nothing to play with, so I’m going to take my time and just try to do all the things I can do to give myself the best chance to be ready when we come back after the break. But if not, maybe miss one game after the break, or one or two more games.
Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard suffered a right groin strain (grade 1-2) and is unlikely to participate in Sunday night’s All-Star Game, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
John Hollinger: Steph Curry and LeBron James both had groin strains last year. Curry missed 11 games, LeBron missed 17. Obviously degrees of strain matter here, and the week off with no games helps ... but Blazers can't really afford to lose Dame for very long.
Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard — who sat out last two games with back spasms — will return to action tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
NBA rules require teams to announce whether a player is probable, questionable, doubtful or out by 5 p.m. the day before a game. Lillard's injury was diagnosed Thursday night in Oakland, sources said, but it was not put on the injury report. It was reported by several media outlets after the game Saturday and confirmed by Lillard on Sunday.
It is long tradition in sports to keep certain injuries secret, especially in the playoffs, when opponents can potentially use the information against a team. "I wasn't much aware of it," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said of Lillard's injury, denying he knew the health status of his most important player. "I didn't know how much it was bothering him until [Saturday]."
Shams Charania: Portland Trail Blazers All-NBA star Damian Lillard has separated ribs and is playing through the injury, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium . Lillard shot 5-of-18 in Game 3 loss to Warriors.
Tim MacMahon: A source confirmed that Damian Lillard has a separated rib but downplayed the impact of the injury on his performance. “Not a story, he always plays through injuries.”
Joe Freeman: The Blazers list Damian Lillard (left elbow sprain) as questionable and Moe Harkless (left knee sorness) as out for the Blazers' game vs. the Hornets on Friday.
Mark Medina: Warriors say Damian Jones has a Grade One MCL strain in his right knee. Warriors are listing him as day to day.
Jason Quick: “I feel pretty good about tonight” Lillard said, citing his sprained ankle history.
Jason Quick: Damian Lillard tells me his plan is to play Saturday in San Antonio. Says his left ankle sprain is feeling better.
Tim MacMahon: Portland coach Terry Stotts says Damian Lillard is “feeling better” but won’t play tonight against the Rockets. Stotts does expect Lillard to get some playing time before the playoffs.
Star point guard Damian Lillard rolled his left ankle in the fourth quarter and later had to be carted from the locker room to the team bus following the Blazers’ 115-109 loss to the lowly Mavericks at American Airlines Center. With about five minutes left in Tuesday’s game, Lillard jumped to make a pass in the lane and landed on the foot of Dallas center Sal Mejri. His ankle rolled with all his weight on it. He played the final five minutes of the game with a slight hobble, but he said once the game ended, more pain and swelling rushed to the ankle.
The Blazers have four regular season games remaining before the playoffs begin April 14. Portland plays at Houston on Thursday, and Lillard said he will wait and see how the ankle responds. “I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but I’m going to be smart about it,’’ Lillard said. “It’s the end of the season, we are going into the playoffs, so I have to be smart that one thing doesn’t turn into another.’’
Jason Quick‏: Damian Lillard says he felt better today than he did last week before he returned against Atlanta. Went through extensive weight lifting Monday and thorough workout pregame. Says he doesnt want to speculate on playing vs. Houston.
Mike Richman: Blazers have ruled out Damian Lillard for Tuesday’s game vs. OKC. He will miss his second straight game with a right calf strain.
Jason Quick: Lillard was clearly disappointed in decision to hold him out vs. Spurs, but says he has learned to respect the health experts.
Jason Quick: Lillard says it is the right calf that is keeping him out. Says health & performance staff feels it is “smarter” to take it easy. Says he feels same as before Friday game vs. Atlanta, when he said he felt he made impact.
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May 27, 2022 | 12:40 pm EDT Update
I’m writing a book about P3 called BALLISTIC. This week, that has meant spending quality time in P3’s sports science-infused headquarters in Santa Barbara, where a huge number of NBA prospects (Bill Duffy clients like Chet Holmgren, E.J. Liddell, Leonard Miller, Christian Braun, Jalen Williams, and many others) have been intensively preparing for next month’s draft. Draft experts have had plenty of smart things to say about Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin. The Athletic’s John Hollinger calls Mathurin the fifth-best prospect in the draft. He raves about his shooting, and highlights a play where Mathurin entirely denies a pass to a smaller guard desperate to receive the ball. Hollinger also notes that Mathurin has good size and “plus athleticism.” It’s that last thing that stands out in this building. If he had competed, I imagine Mathurin would have done well on the vertical jump and sprint tests at the combine in Chicago, but tests like those would miss his Jimmy Butleresque solidity. P3 founder Marcus Elliott uses the phrase “damn strong” to describe Mathurin. It’s obviously true.
Vivek Jacob: Why yes I did ask Pascal Siakam for a Chamions League final prediction, he’s going with Real Madrid. “Shoutout Karim Benzema, I think he’s supposed to win the Ballon d’Or. He’s playing incredible.” pic.twitter.com/t4MfKzqgVq

May 27, 2022 | 11:52 am EDT Update

Nikola Jokic set to sign supermax contract extension with Nuggets

After Jokic publicly stated his desire to sign the extension late last month, sources say the 27-year-old has reiterated his long-term commitment to the franchise this week and made clear his belief in the organization’s future in the wake of Connelly’s exit. Multiple sources tell The Athletic that when the Nuggets offer Jokic the five-year, $260 million supermax deal in July, the All-NBA center plans to sign the contract.
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Jokic’s brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, met with Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth and assistant GM Tommy Balcetis in recent days to discuss the team’s future. All sides, sources say, left the meeting aligned in their vision. For the new Nuggets regime, it was important to spend time with the Jokic family in person stateside in the aftermath of Connelly’s departure. Booth and coach Michael Malone have also spoken to Nikola Jokic over the phone, as the big man remains on his annual offseason respite in Serbia. Both sides reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the partnership in that conversation.
Yet while the Nuggets are expected to move forward with their core of Jokic, Murray and Porter, sources say this Booth-led front office plans on being aggressive when it comes to improving the roster around them. The focus, sources say, is on adding the kind of long and versatile defensive-minded players who are on display in the Boston–Miami Eastern Conference finals. If that means discussing the team’s draft assets as a way of upgrading the level of win-now talent, sources say, then there will be an openness to doing just that.

Teams still interested in Christian Wood

It’s obvious why teams have been intrigued with Wood in the past. He’s a unicorn of a big man. That interest hasn’t waned, even in the early weeks of the offseason, sources told The Athletic. Wood is talented enough to where the Rockets can’t let him walk without getting assets back if their tenure is headed for an ending.
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