KC Johnson: Wendell Carter Jr. will play vs. Pacers, per Donovan.
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Wendell Carter Jr. practiced fully on Sunday and, barring a setback, is in line for an earlier-than-expected return from his right quadriceps injury that he suffered in practice on Jan. 20. “He’s certainly moving closer and closer to playing,” coach Billy Donovan said.
On Jan. 26, the Bulls announced Carter would be re-evaluated in four weeks after an MRI exam revealed a “significant” bruise. Instead, less than three weeks from those test results, Carter took contact and participated in the Bulls’ practice that even featured 5-on-5 work. “I thought it was a step in the right direction that he was able to complete everything,” Donovan said. “He has certainly made some progress.”
KC Johnson: Bulls list Wendell Carter Jr. out vs. Celtics.
Mike McGraw: Otto Porter listed out tonight vs Lakers. Donovan talked this week about possibly resting him on back-to-backs to keep his back healthy. Could open up minutes for Hutchison’s return. Wendell Carter (quad) also out. #Bulls
Mike McGraw: Donovan says he doesn’t see Wendell Carter (thigh bruise) playing Sat vs Lakers. #Bulls
Mike McGraw: Wendell Carter will not play Thu. #Bulls
“I’m definitely feeling a lot better,” Carter said as the freshmen and sophomores prepared for practice. Continuously doing therapy. I want to be back the next game. That’s what I’m shooting for right now. I don’t know if that’s going to happen; that’s definitely what I’m shooting for.” The Bulls are hoping that Carter as well as Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen will return to play during the next week or two and the Bulls can take a shot and make one final push for that long discussed playoff goal for this season. Carter still believes it’s possible despite the season of setbacks and disappointments. Plus, Carter said after a shaky start he’s on board with coach Jim Boylen.
It was estimated then he would miss four to six weeks. This Monday will be six weeks. Carter was replaced for the Friday night game with Zion Williamson. “I’m definitely feeling a lot better,” Carter said as the freshmen and sophomores prepared for practice. Continuously doing therapy. I want to be back the next game. That’s what I’m shooting for right now. I don’t know if that’s going to happen; that’s definitely what I’m shooting for.”
“I feel we have to get healthy,” Carter added about the priority. “Just the fact I haven’t been healthy again (missing the last three months of 2018-19 with a thumb fracture). It kind of sucks I wasn’t able to help my team as much (again). I feel like the health aspect is the most important right now and once we get healthy we can evaluate what we need to work on. I see a (playoff) possibility for this year. I feel once I come back and am able to play for my team I feel we can win enough games to get into the playoffs. That’s my mind set.”
Eric Woodyard: Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle sprain) could miss up to 6 wks but doesn’t want the tag as injury-prone. “It’s been tough knowing that I got hurt at this same point last year,” he told ESPN. “At the same time, I feel like it’s a good time for me to learn in my 2nd year in the league.” pic.twitter.com/iLh6bwPCeR
Darnell Mayberry: Wendell Carter (eye inflammation) will play at Cleveland tonight.
Rick Bonnell: Wendell Carter good to go, and starting for Bulls tonight.
KC Johnson: Chandler Hutchison didn’t practice. Shaq Harrison and Wendell Carter Jr. did. Hutchison is doing on-court work now. Boylen said “he’s getting there” but no timeline.
Mike McGraw: Wendell Carter tweaked thumb, Boylen says, GTD for ATL tonight. #Bulls
KC Johnson: Wendell Carter Jr. is out vs. Pelicans with that bruised tailbone. He participated in morning shootaround.
Joe Cowley: Carter said his ankle is a non-issue.
Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. has had surgery to repair an abdominal muscle injury. The Bulls said the rehabilitation from the Tuesday procedure in Philadelphia is six to eight weeks. They expect him to be ready for the start of training camp. The 6-foot-10 Carter showed promise last season after being drafted with the No. 7 overall pick, averaging 10.3 points and seven rebounds in 44 games before a season-ending left thumb injury.
Malika Andrews: The Bulls announce that center Wendell Carter Jr. will undergo a procedure on July 9 to repair a core muscle injury. Carter will not play in summer league, but the Bulls say he will likely be ready for training camp. Carter’s rookie season was cut short by thumb surgery.
KC Johnson: Wendell Carter Jr. got pin from surgically repaired thumb removed Friday AM.
Joe Cowley: Wendell Carter (thumb) is about to get his pin out.
Darnell Mayberry: Wendell Carter Jr. says he can take off the cast in about 10 days and resume workouts with a splint on his thumb. pic.twitter.com/Mc2owL6KEC
Joe Cowley: Carter Jr. had the surgery on his left thumb this morning and all went well. He will miss 8-12 weeks, which could cost him the season.
Shams Charania: Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. plans to undergo surgery on his left thumb on Monday, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. He will be sidelined up to three months.
Malika Andrews: Jim Boylen said that Wendell Carter’s surgery has not been scheduled yet.
The roller-coaster week for rookie Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. continued Friday when a follow-up examination on his injured left thumb revealed ligament damage, which the team has recommended surgery to address. The Bulls estimated his recovery and “return to sport time” at eight to 12 weeks. That likely would end Carter’s promising rookie season if he has the surgery, which a source said is almost certainly his plan.
After Carter visited Bulls hand specialists Friday, the team said in a release that Drs. John Fernandez and Mark Cohen used “repeat physical examination” and “testing under live fluoroscopic XR” to determine instability in the ligament. “We thought we needed him to see our people,” coach Jim Boylen said.
“If you look at it, we’ve lost two of our best defenders in the Justin Holiday trade and Wendell Carter being hurt,” Boylen said. “Somebody is going to have to step up. That’s what we’re preaching. Play those minutes with physicality. We’re desperately seeking more physical play. And maybe our most physical guy is hurt.”
KC Johnson: It should be noted that the Bulls still will shop Robin Lopez and Jabari Parker in advance of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, even with news of Wendell Carter Jr. injury and likely surgery. If they find deals, Cristiano Felicio or small lineup always can be used.
Shams Charania: Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. is expected to undergo surgery on his left thumb and miss 8-to-12 weeks.
Malika Andrews: Rookie big man Wendell Carter Jr. may need surgery on his thumb, but the Bulls are still awaiting further test results before proceeding, a league source told espn. @KC Johnson first reported.
A follow-up MRI exam Wednesday led Carter and the Bulls to believe the ligament was largely intact, and he was listed as day to day. Carter even tested his thumb at Thursday’s morning shootaround in Denver and vowed to play Saturday against the Heat at the United Center. But the follow-up exam Friday showed ligament damage that the first imaging didn’t detect. … Carter is still considering his options, and it’s not certain he’ll need surgery or how long he’ll be sidelined.
KC Johnson: Jim Boylen said Wendell Carter has sprained left thumb and is out vs. Nuggets but day-to-day.
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Kevin O’Connor: I’ve heard two other teams that could be connected to JJ (Redick) and a potential trade and that’s Denver, and Dallas.
Rival scouts and executives believe the Lakers are looking for upgrades in their frontcourt. Obviously, Cleveland’s Andre Drummond would be high on their wish list if bought out. Rival executives have wondered if the Lakers could either try to add Sacramento’s Hassan Whiteside or maybe even reunite with JaVale McGee if the former Laker gets bought out and becomes a free agent.
It’ll be a buyout. This is a given. It’ll be a buyout at some point. When they get to that stage, and he’s a free agent, he’s still a guy who is a really smart player, who has become a really great playmaker late in his career, a great passer out of the post and on the perimeter, who can still get by some guys, can knock down a jumper and has a little bit of range. So I think he can be a useful player—a rotation guy. But not a starter on a good team, likely a bench guy. And we can talk about possible destinations, but I think there are a few times that could use him.
“It’s situational,’’ Thibodeau said of Rivers. “He’s got to keep working.’’ Rivers seemed to anger Thibodeau last week when he raised the prospect several times of being traded at any moment. When asked if Rivers has an injury, Thibodeau confirmed he has “an ankle issue.’’ Nevertheless, Rivers has not been put on the injury report.
With New York on track for its first winning season and playoff appearance since the 2012-2013 season, a lot of teams and players around the league have taken notice. In fact, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed on his podcast that he believes an All-Star caliber player would demand a trade to the Knicks within the next 12 months. While Windhorst declined to name a specific All-Star player, he added that he has guesses about which players could potentially be lured to play in the Big Apple. He cited several reasons as to why players would want to play for the Knicks, from its status as one of the league’s biggest markets, the team’s collection of draft picks, and sizeable cap space that could be used to sign more players.
As James Harden prepares to face his former team for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, the superstar guard reflected on his eight-year tenure with the Houston Rockets and said that when he enters Houston’s Toyota Center on Wednesday night (7:30 ET on ESPN), he hopes to be “received with love.” “The love and the appreciation that I’ve given to that city and that I still give to that city, I’m hoping that the favor can be returned,” Harden told ESPN in a wide-ranging interview.