NBA Rumor: Andre Roberson Injury

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Midway through the third quarter, a quiet gym suddenly got loud. When Andre Roberson checked into Oklahoma City’s scrimmage against Boston on Friday, it marked the first Roberson’s first appearance since January 27th … 2018. When Roberson stepped onto the floor, the Thunder bench rose and saluted Roberson with a standing ovation. “It was a lot of emotions,” Roberson said after the game. “Anxious, happy, just overly ecstatic to get back on the floor.”

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Andre Roberson recovered from injury?

Andre Roberson seems to give the impression that he could be on the court sooner rather than later. “I’m kinda past the rehab stage. I’m almost to the point where — I should be playing, honestly. But I’m still taking it a day at a time until I get back into our medical staff’s hands and get reevaluated. Just staying patient through it all and knowing that the light is right there at the end of the tunnel… It’s definitely been a long journey and it’s coming to an end.”

A few months ago, the sight would have been benign. But at the beginning of December, Roberson (left knee injury recovery) moved his injury rehabilitation to Los Angeles. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Roberson made trips back to Oklahoma City and was in regular contact with the Thunder medical staff during his time in California. But Roberson hadn’t been in the Thunder locker room during pregame availability since he first left for L.A.. On Sunday, Roberson returned to OKC for the foreseeable future.

The Thunder was hopeful that Roberson would return to the court during preseason this year, but after graduating to five-on-five drills, Roberson hit a wall in his rehab. Eventually, he tried a change in scenery. Before returning to OKC, Roberson worked out with Olin Simplis, the same personal trainer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander goes to in the offseason. “O has helped a lot with me in terms of knee pains in the summer and stuff like that,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “And I know Dre is dealing with some knee pains, so O should be good for him.”

Thunder guard Andre Roberson is expected to play in Sunday’s Blue & White scrimmage. The question is how much. “Because he’s just got back to training camp, back to doing things, obviously we’re taking inventory of how he’s feeling, how he feels the next day, all those kinds of things,” Donovan said. “Obviously we want him to go out there and play. I think the medical staff with Andre will probably give me some direction on what the minutes would look like.”

Roberson was asked what he missed most since rupturing the patellar tendon in his left knee and battling through almost two years of rehab. “Locking people up,” Roberson said without hesitation about his defense. Then the 27-year-old sounded like a man who was sick of seeing the likes of Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins and even his new teammate Danilo Gallinari torch the Thunder. “Let’s just put it this way,” Roberson said. “… some of these guys have been too happy, too free.”

Last season, Andre Roberson targeted a return to action in preseason but instead ended up missing the entire season after two setbacks in the fall during rehab. John Roberson thinks Andre is in a better spot compared to last preseason. “He feels really good,” John said. “When you get injured, it takes a toll on you mentally because you’re constantly doubting yourself and that things are going to hold up mentally. I think that’s the biggest hurdle he’s had to get over. I think he’s at that point where training camp will tell a whole lot.”

It’s no surprise that when Andre Roberson ruptured his left patellar tendon in January of 2018, he attacked his rehab with a vigor that led to great progress but ultimately setbacks. “I know that was disappointing for him, not being able to go out there and help the way he wanted to help,” John told The Oklahoman. “For me, it’s more important for him to be 100 percent as opposed to going out there and messing himself up further, or being a detriment to the team as opposed to being someone that’s going to actually help the team.”

It’s been more than eight months since Roberson ruptured the patellar tendon in his left knee. His rehabilitation process was going well until the Thunder announced Thursday he’d be re-evaluated in two months following a procedure to remove a suture that was irritating the knee and causing discomfort. “I think he’s worked really hard to get to this point, but he’s battled to this point and I think he’ll battle to get himself back as soon as he can and he’s able to,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said after Friday’s shootaround.


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June 25, 2022 | 6:51 am EDT Update

Teams already preparing in case Kevin Durant becomes available?

But whatever the case, teams are reportedly making preparations for the Nets star potentially being available in the coming days. That’s according to ESPN insider Zach Lowe on a post-NBA draft episode of his Lowe Post podcast: “I can tell you this. This is what teams are doing. Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but ‘we need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days or seven days.’ … The whole league is now.”
Rumors have it that if Irving ends up leaving the Nets, Durant could also ask out. For Windhorst, trying to trade for KD after the Irving situation blew up would be something the Heat could do. “The godfather move is not to trade for Kyrie Irving. The godfather move is to let the Kyrie Irving situation to blow up and then wait for Kevin Durant to say he wants out of there. That’s the Miami Heat move,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s Get Up.

Kyrie Irving x Nets situation 'getting acrimonious'

Woj also said that while Irving has given the Nets six NBA destinations he’d prefer if there’s no agreement, there is limited interest in him at max money. The ESPN insider said the only team with any real interest is the Lakers. Still, he argued, getting Irving a contract paying more than $6.3 million — the taxpayers MLE — seems unlikely. “This is getting acrimonious,” Woj told a panel on ESPN’s NBA analysts. “and I think that’s the concern when you look at not only Kyrie’s future in Brooklyn, but also Kevin Durant’s future and whether they can hold this thing together.”
Woj also was clear that with some of Irving’s six landing spots, not all of them reciprocate. “The interest isn’t mutual in several of these places,” Woj said. “Obviously the Lakers are the ones that loom. And will Kyrie Irving walk away from a $36.9 million player option that he can opt into and have that money guaranteed, especially after a year where he lost about $17 million by not being vaccinated last year and untold more with a sneaker deal that isn’t going to be there anymore, certainly at the level it was.”
Several teams have already been linked to a potential swoop on Kyrie if his contract negotiations with the Nets continue to deteriorate. Be that as it may, NBA analyst Chris Broussard believes that Irving’s options aren’t actually as vast as some might think: “Half of these teams don’t even want Kyrie,” Broussard said on First Things First. “I was texting with someone that works for one of these teams yesterday, ‘You want Kyrie?’ ‘No!’ It was the fastest return text I’ve ever got. And then, ‘What do you think of his wish list?’ ‘Tomfoolery & wishful thinking.’ That was the answer.”