UPDATE 8:12 pm: The Trail Blazers are now saying this is not a quadracept injury, not a hip flexor.
We’ll assume that is true, but I’m not sure it changes much. LaMarcus Aldridge will be out for a little while but the Trail Blazers need to let this rest because they don’t want this to linger into the season.
6:20 p.m.: It’s nothing major, but if it’s the kind of thing that lingers it could put a damper on the start of a Portland season that should be bright compared to recent years.
LaMarcus Aldridge has a hip flexor strain that could keep him out a few days at the least, reports Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com.
“Anytime a player misses time because of an injury, it’s a concern,” (Portland coach Terry) Stotts told CSNNW.com. “But hopefully it doesn’t keep him out for an extended period of time. But there’s always concern when a player has an injury….
“I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” he said. “I don’t know even want to say if it’s a few days or weeks. It’s just too early to say.”
The injury came during a non-contact drill. While Aldridge did not participate in practice Thursday he was riding a stationary bike.
The All-Star forward averaged 21.1 points and 9.1 rebounds a game last season for Portland. While Damian Lillard grabbed the headlines, this team needs Aldridge to play well to reach the playoffs.
In other news on the Blazers injury front, Will Barton suffered a concussion when elbowed in the head by Meyers Leonard during a drill. He will not return to practice until he clears the league’s concussion protocol.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.