NBA rumors: Luka Doncic back on Sunday?

Marc Stein: Luka Dončić is exiting health and safety protocols and expected to meet the Mavs in Oklahoma City for a possible Sunday return to the lineup, league sources say. Dončić has missed 10 games recovering from a left ankle injury and a protocols stint. More: marcstein.substack.com

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Tim MacMahon: Mavs are optimistic that Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber will clear health and safety protocols and re-join the team in Oklahoma City, sources tell ESPN. Mavs went 5-5 without Doncic, who was out with sore ankle and then COVID-19. @Marc Stein first on Doncic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has entered Covid protocols – and rookie Josh Giddey has exited, according to league portal. OKC plays Dallas on Sunday.
Rod Beard: It looks like #Pistons Cory Joseph is in health and safety protocols again. His designation had switched to "return to competition reconditioning" yesterday. All the DET players who were in protocols are still listed as OUT for tonight vs. #Spurs ... at least for now.
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker has entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. He's out vs. Detroit tonight.
Mike Trudell: Vogel said that his case wasn’t mild, he was definitely sick, but he’s now feeling good, and is excited to be back. He stayed at a hotel so as not to expose his wife and daughters, who made him Christmas Eve dinner that he picked up. They did Christmas morning on FaceTime.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Starting today with the Clippers game, Toronto home games will be limited to 1,000 spectators at Scotiabank Arena, made in accordance with health authorities. Brian Shaw said, "I don't think anything is weird anymore" after all that everyone has been through during pandemic.
Harrison Wind: Another Nuggets player in health and safety protocols: Monte Morris He joins Jeff Green, Bones Hyland and Zeke Nnaji. All four are all out tomorrow against the Rockets, the team says.
Anthony Chiang: Erik Spoelstra is optimistic that the Heat will get players back sooner than expected with the NBA shortening the return-to-play quarantine to five days for those in protocols.
Alex Schiffer: Kessler Edwards has cleared health and safety protocols and is available tomorrow against the Clippers. Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris are the only Nets out.
Andrew Lopez: Jonas Valanciunas has entered health and safety protocols, Willie Green says. Herb Jones was a close contact but will be good to go tomorrow.
Joe Mussatto: Aleksej Pokusevski is out of health and safety protocols. He’ll be available tonight against the Knicks.
Tony East: Kelan Martin has tested positive for COVID-19. He has entered health and safety protocols.
Shams Charania: Wizards hardship guard Brad Wanamaker has entered health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Wanamaker had seven points, seven assists and five rebounds in Washington’s win vs. Cavaliers last night.

http://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/1476694196970872832
As the omicron variant rips through NBA players and coaches, it has reached a season-high among game officials: 36% of the league's referees are in COVID-19 protocols, sources told ESPN on Thursday. With 25 of the league's 70 active referees currently in quarantine, the league's been promoting G League referees to fill out the nightly roster of games, sources said.
NBA referees are 100% vaccinated and are required to be fully boosted prior to Wednesday, sources said. Only a percentage of refs currently on road-trips haven't been boosted, but must do by Wednesday. Officials don't have the protections that teams do with charter flights and five-star hotels, but the NBA has been working with the National Basketball Referees Association on improvements related to travel -- including hotels -- that might serve to lessen exposure to the virus, sources said.
Justin Grasso: Danny Green remains out for tomorrow's game vs. #Nets Shake Milton has been upgraded to questionable and Andre Drummond has been cleared to play #Sixers
Andrew Greif: Clippers G Reggie Jackson has cleared health and safety protocols and is rejoining team in Boston tonight but won’t play, sources told @latimessports. While there is hope he can be available at Toronto and Brooklyn, reconditioning is the next step after entering protocols 12/22.
Adrian Wojnarowski: This is the 10th NBA game postponed this season. Miami had a combination of Covid cases and injuries that left them short of eight available players.
Tommy Beer: Knicks bigs Nerlens Noels and Jericho Sims remain out for tonight's game vs. Detroit. The Pistons have ruled out the following players due to Health and Safety Protocols: Cade Cunningham Isaiah Stewart Josh Jackson Killian Hayes Saben Lee Trey Lyles Rodney McGruder Cory Joseph
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash on Kyrie Irving’s conditioning: “He looks great CONSIDERING he just came back from protocols.” Nash said Irving looks as good as he’s ever looked given the circumstances.
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA is adopting CDC guidance of five-day isolation exit for coronavirus-positive individuals — outside of team environment. For return to team activities, players must isolate for six days and meet testing requirements, or register two negative tests. After five-day isolation, positive players who are masked can now return to their team’s home market via commercial flight, interact in person with individuals in community, and enter indoor settings/establishments that are not the facility.
“No, I don’t have a response to Kareem at all,” James said. “And if you saw the post and you read the tag, you’re literally, honestly asking, ‘Help me out?’ Help me kind of figure it all out. We’re all trying to figure this pandemic out. We’re all trying to figure out COVID and the new strains and the flu. I think people forgot about the flu. People literally forgot about the flu during these times. Like, that’s still going around. This is flu season. So people have forgotten about the flu. People have forgotten about common colds. That happen, especially with a lot of our kids that are in school. My daughter is in first grade so a lot of these kids are getting common colds and getting the flu. “But, no. I don’t have any response to Kareem.”
Kyle Goon: David Fizdale said that he can say that Austin Reaves, who is past the 10-day mark of isolation, is “close” to returning, and there was discussion about the possibility he could join the Lakers on the trip. However as of now he’s still in LA and in the protocols system.
Kelsey Russo: #Cavs J.B. Bickerstaff said Isaac Okoro is available tonight.
Tim MacMahon: John Konchar has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Grizzlies announce. Konchar played well as a full-in starter in Memphis’ last two games.
Jared Weiss: Celtics injury report for tomorrow vs. Clippers: Jayson Tatum, Bruno Fernando, Enes Freedom, Aaron Nesmith & CJ Miles - H&S Protocols - OUT Marcus Smart - Right Hand Laceration - QUESTIONABLE Dennis Schröder, Josh Richardson & Justin Jackson return from protocol.
Fred Katz: Wayne Selden has entered health and safety protocols, Knicks say. He’s out for tonight in Minnesota.
Mike McGraw: Add Ersan Ilyasova to the #Bulls health and protocols list. Derrick Jones Jr. (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Wed's game vs. Atlanta
Adrian Wojnarowski: Toronto Raptors guard Malachi Flynn has cleared Covid protocols and will rejoin the team, sources tell ESPN. Flynn joins Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr., and Khem Birch who recently tested out of protocols.
Joe Mussatto: Mark Daigneault has entered health and safety protocols, per the Thunder. Mike Wilks will serve as the acting head coach tonight in Sacramento. Dave Bliss previously filled in for Daigneault, so the Thunder will have its third head coach of the season.
Chris Fedor: I’m told #Cavs are hopeful Evan Mobley, who is out of protocols and didn’t have symptoms during his absence, will play tonight against New Orleans. But the plan is to first put him thru some stuff in pregame and then talk to him to see how he feels conditioning-wise.
Fred Katz: Miles McBride is out of health and safety protocols, Knicks say. He’ll be with the team in Minnesota tonight.
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August 13, 2022 | 2:04 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant, James Harden back on good terms

ClutchPoints: “From what I’m told, the two former teammates are back on good terms now despite [James] Harden forcing his way out of Brooklyn.” @ramonashelburne on the Sixers’ reported interest in trading for Kevin Durant.

Grant Williams addresses Jaylen Brown trade rumors

After speaking with children during the Jr. Celtics camp, Grant Williams was asked how he felt about the trade rumors involving Brown. Williams responded by talking about the business side of the NBA while also praising Brown’s mindset and value as a player. “I feel like JB is mature in his mindset, and he knows that. I talk to him, texted him, reach out of as often as I can. It’s one of those things. It’s the league. It’s a business. It’s one of those things that you can’t be discouraged by because we love JB. It also shows how valuable he is.”
Obviously, Durant is one of the greatest players of all time. Williams explained that Brown having his name mentioned as the potential centerpiece in a deal for Durant just shows how great the Celtics star is. “It kind of shows how valuable he is. The fact that, top-10 player in the world, you’re the focal point. It’s one of those things, I remember, back in the day with Al Jefferson and KG [Kevin Garnett]. It’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘oh dang, Al Jefferson.’ It’s not even like a difference,” said Williams.
“I think he’s going to approach it even better. He’s going to take it with a competitive mindset, too. So, if it doesn’t work out, which, I don’t know what it is or not, I’m not involved in none of those processes,” stated Williams. “But I think that he’s going to come back with a chip on his shoulder, and I love that. Because I know how JB responds, and he’s going to be very, very, very, very secure because he’s secure of himself and he’s secure of what he’s going to be.”
Green then admitted that it’s usually him who takes the high road. Curry and Thompson don’t always clap back, so when they do, Dray knows that he has to take a step back in order to avoid an escalation: “That’s just not how we roll,” Green said. “So I usually do the majority of the talking most the time. It either leads to us having a conversation and discussing what I think and what they think and how we can figure it out. If it’s in a heated battle, a heat-of-the-moment situation and I’m like ‘Klay stop shooting the ball’ and he cuss and yell back, then we just keep it pushing and I run on and he run on. Or if I say something to Steph and he gets mad and snaps back every two blue moons then he says something back and I just run off and go about my day.”

Dwyane Wade on Heat Big 3: 'The hate was because of our skin color'

It was at this point where Wade decided to drop a shocking truth bomb about how the hatred for the Heat was racially motivated: “We knew that some of the hate was because of our skin color,” he claimed. “Because of being Black men and deciding to control the fate of our careers. … So, when we had the power, when we had the moment, we took it. But some of the hate came because we were three Black guys who decided and changed the way that the NBA probably would ever be because of that decision.”
Dwyane Wade recently made a guest appearance on JJ Redick’s The Old Man & The Three podcast, and it was an opportunity for the Heat icon to get brutally honest with his thoughts on why their Big 3 garnered so much hate. Wade was quick to point out that the way they teamed up to win a title wasn’t much different from how other iconic teams did it in the past (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter): “If you think about it, no one gives backlash to any championships that Larry Bird won, that Magic Johnson won, that Michael Jordan won,” Wade said. “… You don’t win championships without playing with other guys that are great, first of all.”
Clutch Points: Brandon Jennings has some thoughts on the state of today’s NBA… 🤔 Jennings mentions that he feels Chris Paul and LeBron James were among those who contributed to turning the NBA into a “player’s league,” which has hurt the league. (via @Tuff__Crowd) pic.twitter.com/0fKrdStGsK