Storyline: Jon Leuer Injury

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Leuer, 28, has scheduled the procedure for next Friday and will have a four-month rehabilitation process. “It’s extremely frustrating. Disappointing, anger, all those emotions … we were trying to do whatever we could to avoid this,” Leuer told The News. “I knew even a month and a half ago when I saw the specialist that he kind of suggested (surgery) right away, but we wanted to see if we could try to manage the pain and hopefully get through the season.

“There’s a bone fragment stuck in my ligament on the inside. It’s in the joint, so it’s causing a lot of sharp pain every time I jump and run — even light running and jumping,” Leuer said. “They’re going to take that out. I had a pain on the outside of my ankle too, so they’re going to clean that up and take out a piece of cartilage. “It’s not necessarily from the (last) injury I had. I rolled it a lot; they think it’s an accumulation of things. You don’t know for sure, but the last ankle sprain aggravated it and things moved around in there.”

Surgery has been broached. Leuer keeps pushing back, hoping the ankle he’s rolled so many times responds as it always has before. “I haven’t been even trying to think about that,” he said. “I try to just eliminate that from my mind while I’ve been going through this rehab process. Doctors have said that may be the only option, but I’m not trying to think about that yet.” If surgery is necessary, Leuer is looking at another extended absence. “Hopefully not the whole season, but that’s something that … I would cross that bridge when I get there.”

It’s unclear how long Leuer will be out, but coach Stan Van Gundy indicated it’s likely not serious, but they’re being cautious. While Leuer is sidelined, Tobias Harris will start in his place. “Obviously, we’re concerned; we don’t think it’s any major problem but he’s got some fluid in there,” Van Gundy said following Tuesday morning’s shootaround at Golden 1 Center. “(Team physician) Dr. (Stephen) Lemos will look at the MRI today and then we’ll get a better idea of where we’re headed. From a comfort standpoint, he’s not able to go tonight.”

Jon Leuer was able to start Sunday’s double-overtime marathon game, but apparently couldn’t finish it. The Detroit Pistons forward came out of with 5:45 left in the first quarter of the 125-124 win over the Portland Trail Blazers complaining of a sore right knee. No official details were given Sunday on the severity of the injury or Leuer’s condition, but Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said early indication showed nothing too serious. “I only got the word that was put out right away — that they were going to try and get an MRI here in the second half,” Van Gundy said. “There didn’t seem like there was any ligament or meniscus damage. “He did have some fluid in there. … But I didn’t have a follow-up email.”
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July 17, 2018 | 10:32 am EDT Update
According to sources, Okafor, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, worked out for four teams last Wednesday in Las Vegas, and remains hopeful of signing with a team ahead of training camp next fall. Okafor averaged 17.5 points per game as a rookie in Philadelphia in 2015-16. He has spent the last few months working out in Miami with trainers David Alexander and Idan Ravin, fueling speculation that he could land with the Heat, especially if Miami finds a trading partner for Hassan Whiteside.
Storyline: Jahlil Okafor Free Agency
These are the real boys of summer, the grinders using the 12-day audition in the desert to impress NBA executives enough to earn the honor of an invitation to training camp. Take Cooley, 27, the unofficial dean of NBA Summer League stars. This is Cooley’s sixth stint in Vegas. He’s a member of the Phoenix Suns now, a teammate of Ayton’s. Before that he was a Sacramento King, setting screens for De’Aaron Fox, and before that a Cleveland Cavalier, throwing outlet passes to Andrew Wiggins. For Cooley, this was never a dream. In 2009, he chose Notre Dame, not for a springboard to the NBA, but because it had a top business school. “I used basketball to get the best education,” Cooley said.
Storyline: Jack Cooley Free Agency
There’s Justin Harper, with the New York Knicks. Casper Ware, with the Portland Trail Blazers. Brady Heslip with the Memphis Grizzlies. There are no paychecks for playing in Summer League. There’s per diem, around $100 per day. There’s a hotel room, two-hour practices, daily bus rides and no guarantee of playing time. “It’s a grind, man,” Machado said. “Every time you come out to Summer League, everyone is trying to prove themselves. Me, trying to facilitate, sometimes you overthink it. Every time you come back, you think, ‘Man I did this already.’ It’s a constant grind and constant pressure you put on yourself.”
As Summer League winds down, most of the boys of summer will disperse. Some will sign on with G League teams, to maximize exposure. Others will ink European contracts, where the money is better. They will ride buses to small towns in the U.S. or live in isolation in far-flung cities around the world. They will do it, and they will hope for an invitation back to Las Vegas next summer, for the opportunity to impress once again. “There’s only about 1% of me that thinks about not playing,” Cooley said. “This life is pretty intense. But I love it, I’m glad it’s not easy. Not playing would be a terrible itch that I wouldn’t be able to scratch. I know once the time comes, I will definitely be a part of the game, because I’ll go crazy if I go cold-turkey out of basketball. But right now, I’m a player. The body of work I have put together has caused a pretty good stir here. I believe I’m an NBA player. I believe I can play in the league for a long time.”
Storyline: Jack Cooley Free Agency