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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Brandon Rahbar: Billy Donovan on Roberson’s return: “It was great. The guys couldn’t be more excited for him. I know I was. You were able to see glimpses of what makes him such a great defensive player. He actually played really really well.”
Royce Young: Billy Donovan says Andre Roberson is available to play in today’s scrimmage and adds there are no restrictions on him.
Brandon Rahbar: Donovan: “If Andre is available to play, we are gonna play him.”
Brandon Rahbar: Billy Donovan on Andre Roberson: “I think we will have to see. But I’m encouraged by what’s he’s done the first two days.” Dre went through everything both days.
Brandon Rahbar: Donovan says he’s not opposed to starting Lu Dort. But mentioned Ferguson and Roberson were both out when Dort started. He won’t commit to Dort still starting. Which is mostly interesting because Roberson is possibly back…
Erik Horne: Chris Paul on Andre Roberson being back in practice: “It’s the best thing ever. When I talk about a guy being consummate teammate, for a guy to go through all the things he’s been through, I’m so happy for him. He’s had some of the toughest times people wouldn’t even know.”
Brandon Rahbar: Billy Donovan on the first Thunder media call in Orlando: “Andre did practice today. Went through everything. He looked really good. We’ll see how he develops.” Sounds promising. But there’s still doubt. Seems like a real 50-50.
Brandon Rahbar: Visual confirmation Andre Roberson is in Orlando with the Thunder from the best source possible: Dre’s long time girlfriend Rachel DeMita. pic.twitter.com/031Qh3t26s
Carson Cunningham: Lu Dort says Andre Roberson “looks great” and is “ready to go”.
Brandon Rahbar: Sam Presti on Andre Roberson’s return: “The time has really helped Dre. We haven’t got to see him in real basketball yet. We’re in a better place than we were on March 11 for sure. But we won’t know until we get into team practice but we’re hopeful.”
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.”
Maddie Lee: Andre Roberson has not yet joined team practices, but has been going through individual workouts consistently since coming back to OKC, per Billy Donovan. No word yet on when he’ll be able to join contact practices.
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan said Andre Roberson has been working out on a consistent basis since returning to OKC. Donovan said they’ll have a better feel this weekend for if Roberson will be back in practice. Thunder has three non-game days after Kings/Bucks back-to-back tonight and Friday.
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 next step for Roberson is to go through a series of medical tests. Roberson did not practice with the team Monday, Donovan said. But he worked out with development coaches after practice, running through situational drills on offense and defense. There is still no timetable for Roberson’s return.
“He’s back here now,” Donovan said. “Things can change, as they always do.” Roberson experienced multiple setbacks after rupturing his left patellar tendon in January 2018. Each extended his rehabilitation timeline, but none more than an avulsion fracture, which an MRI revealed 10 months after the initial injury.
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.”
Maddie Lee: Per a Thunder spokesperson: Andre Roberson will be handling his rehab away from the team, for a change of scenery. He does not have a return date.
Erik Horne: Steven Adams (left knee contusion) and Andre Roberson (injury recovery, left knee) are both listed as out for tonight’s game against Milwaukee.
Paul Garcia: Andre Roberson is OUT for OKC today. He’s out for “return to play management.” When I saw those words, I thought it said the infamous “return from injury management” words I saw almost daily during the 2017-18 season.
Erik Horne: Non-contact practice for the Thunder today before headed to San Antonio. Mike Muscala (hand soreness) did not participate in practice, and Andre Roberson is out for Thursday’s game, per Billy Donovan.
Maddie Lee: Andre Roberson is out for tomorrow’s game against Golden State, Billy Donovan said.
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan says Andre Roberson is out tonight against the Wizards. “He looks good physically. He’s moving well. We just want to see how he responds every day.”
Eric Walden: Jazz’s Dante Exum and Thunder’s Andre Roberson have been ruled out for Wednesday’s season opener. They are the only two players on the jury report.
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan said Andre Roberson went through contact practice today. No determination on if he’ll be available for the regular-season opener at Utah.
Maddie Lee: Andre Roberson update: He was able to participate in more of practice, per Billy Donovan. He still wasn’t involved in a lot of contact drills.
Royce Young: Andre Roberson is out again tonight, meaning no preseason action for him. Asked if he will be ready to go for opening night, Billy Donovan said, “I don’t know that.”
Maddie Lee: Andre Roberson isn’t “day-to-day” per se, Donovan said, because he’s still practicing and is expected to practice tomorrow. But his status for Thursday is TBD. The Thunder will keep evaluating him every day.
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan on Andre Roberson not playing in the scrimmage: “We’ve had three or four really good days. I think they felt like this was an opportunity to give him a little bit of rest. We’re not going to push him into situations where we’re going to set him back.”
Maddie Lee: Andre Roberson is not going to play in the Blue & White Scrimmage today, per the Thunder. He participated in parts of practice beforehand. Thunder is taking a conservative approach to bringing him back post-injury.
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.”
Roberson’s goal is to play in the Thunder’s first preseason game, Oct. 8 against the Dallas Mavericks in Tulsa. The Thunder is hopeful he’ll play in preseason, too, but there’s no rush to return. Whenever Roberson does, he’ll carry an unwavering self-belief. “It feels good to be back out there and going hard,” Roberson said Tuesday. “I won a couple games today with both teams, so it’s great.”
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.”
“He’s very selfless,” John said. “He doesn’t care about the limelight. He doesn’t care about star status or nothing like that. Whatever the team needs is what Andre’s gonna do. That’s just who he is as a person. He was trying to deal with it and play through the pain. He’d done that for a while. It’s time to heal 100 percent and start the grinding process all over again.”
Randy Renner: #Thunder guard Andre Roberson on track to fully participate in training camp this fall. Hear what he has to say about that and the frustration of not playing in the playoffs the last 2 seasons on today’s Thunder Game Report at 1340thegame.com pic.twitter.com/J43fKIV6zm
Erik Horne: Andre Roberson said he’s on a good track to return for training camp. Roberson said he was at about 85-90 percent when he had his last setback in November, went up for a dunk and heard a crack. “Everything happens for a reason. You continue to grow and learn from it.”
Erik Horne: Sort of a foregone conclusion with the playoffs starting next week, but Billy Donovan essentially said Andre Roberson will not return this season (2018/19). Donovan said Roberson is running but not doing anything in practice.
Brett Dawson: Billy Donovan says Andre Roberson still isn’t doing any on-court work, but says the Thunder still hope he can play this season. Want to remain optimistic rather than give up on the idea.
Royce Young: Billy Donovan on if Andre Roberson is getting any closer to returning: “I don’t have any timetable at all.” Says there’s no specific target date for Roberson to be back.
Tom Orsborn: Abrines (personal reasons), Nerlens Noel (concussion protocol), Andre Roberson (patellar tendon) are out for OKC. Adams is good to go.
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan on Andre Roberson’s setback: “I’m disappointed because of how hard he’s worked to get to this point, but I still believe he’ll have the impact he’s had while he’s been out with some of our younger players.”
Erik Horne: Donovan cont. on Roberson: “Obviously you want Andre back, but I still believe we can be a good defensive team. I’d love to have him back, but it’s not like he’s going down now and he played the first 20 games.”
Thunder guard Andre Roberson has had another setback while rehabbing his left knee injury and he will miss at least another six weeks. The team said Roberson had a basketball workout on Thursday and felt discomfort when he came down from jumping. An MRI showed a small avulsion fracture in his left knee. The Thunder said Friday he will be re-evaluated after the six weeks.
The Thunder likes to operate with caution in regard to any injury and any timetable for return. What’s clear, however, is the progress being made by Andre Roberson.
The 26-year-old is still rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee, but nearly two months since experiencing a setback in his recovery, Roberson is showing positive signs. “I’m sure for him there are some days he’s sorer than others,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “But overall, he just continues to progress and get better. You guys have seen him out here. He’s cutting, he’s moving. He’s been on a really good track.”
Monte Poole: Russell Westbrook (R knee), Andre Roberson (L knee) out for @Oklahoma City Thunder vs. @Warriors. Steven Adams (back) questionable. This is not exactly what the NBA had in mind for a marquee game on opening night in Oakland.
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.
Erik Horne: Paul George on Andre Roberson’s setback, says it’s on the Thunder to keep Roberson’s spirits up. “I ain’t re-sign here for Dre to be back immediately. With all injuries, it‘s gonna take time.” pic.twitter.com/etskjzhnpx
Roberson was on track to return sometime in November, but is now looking at a December return date at the earliest. That would be optimistic considering Dec. 4 would be the earliest re-evaluation for Roberson based on two months from his procedure, not to mention the Thunder has been adamant about not rushing him back in the process. “It’s unfortunate, but at the same point we’ve got to do what’s best for his safety,” Donovan said.
As former Thunder forward Taj Gibson walked down the hall of the Target Center on Friday afternoon, he was informed of Andre Roberson’s latest setback. Gibson then said what’s become clear to everyone monitoring Roberson’s fight to get back on the court. “That’s a tough injury to come back from,” Gibson said.
While Donovan didn’t say Ferguson was the guy going forward as the starting shooting guard, he all but assured he’d be the starter Friday night. “He’s been kind of the one constant in terms of who’s been out there and being healthy and being able to go through everything,” Donovan said. “… so he’s earned the right to go out there and play and start in these games just based on what he’s done so far in training camp.”
Brett Dawson: Roberson will be evaluated in two months. That’s not necessarily when he will return.
Royce Young: Roberson was on track to be back sometime in November from his original injury. With this setback, he’ll be re-evaluated in two months, but his return to play will likely be longer than that.
Erik Horne: Important to note: The Thunder doesn’t necessarily expect Roberson back in two months, but that’s when he’ll be re-evaluated, which would Dec. 4 if two months from today. The procedure to remove the suture was not a scope/arthroscopic.
Brett Dawson: Per Billy Donovan, Paul George will play tomorrow at Minnesota. Abdel Nader still out. Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson remain out.
Andre Roberson has been seen shooting after practice, but because of the physical sessions in the first week of preseason, his involvement in actual practice has been limited. The Thunder had its sixth practice this week on Friday and Roberson has not been cleared for contact. The Thunder won’t rush Roberson back in his rehabilitation from a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee.
“He just can’t do those things,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Someone asked me if he’s jumping in there. Really, it’s been hard for him to jump into anything with the way practice has been. There will be a time as we start to go forward where he’ll be able to do that.”
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan said Thunder had contact and running up and down the floor, so it was expectedly hard for Andre Roberson to participate in all aspects of practice. Roberson is still non-contact. “There’s things he can do as it relates to shooting and some movement.”
Randy Renner: #Thunder guard Andre Roberson with more about when he will be back. pic.twitter.com/sgk9YHFN4D
Randy Renner: Presti says Roberson will participate in parts of training camp. Hopeful that he will be back early in season. #Thunder
Thunder guard Andre Roberson’s 2017-18 season was derailed by a ruptured left patellar tendon. He hopes to be back to himself, however, by December. “My No. 1 goal right now is to come back 100-percent healthy and feeling comfortable like my self in the past with my movements and my overall feel for the game,” Roberson told KABB in San Antonio.
Andre Roberson: “Sitting out a whole year away from a high level of basketball is going to be tough in terms of coming back. I’m not really putting a particular time on it but I want to come back to myself somewhere in like December. So, it’d be great if it happened before. Christmas, that’d be great. But like I said, not putting a time on it. Just taking it a day at a time.”
Erik Horne: Andre Roberson on the Thunder’s summer league broadcast, if he’ll be ready for training camp: “That’s the plan. The plan is to come back for training camp and start the first game of the season. So far, so good.”
Brett Dawson: Andre Roberson went full third-person in talking about the Thunder’s offseason: “It’s a great summer, man. Dre getting healthy, Paul coming back, some great pickups. I’m excited.”
Brett Dawson: Andre Roberson was in the gym shooting free throws tonight, Presti says. His recovery is “a long process,” but he’s starting to get to the point where he can “ramp it up a little bit.”
Royce Young: Andre Roberson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today to address some swelling that’s come on as a result of his rehab from the ruptured patella. The recovery of the patella itself though is said to be going great.
Royce Young: Roberson and the Thunder made a collective decision to have the scope now rather than wait and see if the swelling reduced on its own in order to continue to aggressively rehab to be ready for the start of the 2018-19 season.
Fred Katz: Presti on the amount of time it took to adjust to the loss of Roberson: “We didn’t do a good enough job with that.”
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June 25, 2022 | 6:51 am EDT Update
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.
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.”
Jake Fischer on Dejounte Murray: The Spurs have a really high asking price for him. They’ve told multiple teams that I’ve spoken to have called them that the price is a Jrue Holiday-like deal, three first-round picks seems to be the benchmark.