Kurt Helin

Grizzlies Brandan Wright undergoes ankle surgery, to miss two months

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Brandan Wright missed all but 12 games last season due to knee surgery.

He has yet to set foot on the court for the Grizzlies this season due to ankle issues, including getting an injection because the posterior tibial tendon had become inflamed. That didn’t solve the problem, and on Wednesday Memphis announced that Wright had  undergone surgery on that ankle. From the press release:

Wright underwent a successful arthroscopic debridement of his left ankle Tuesday afternoon after non-surgical interventions failed to eliminate his posterior tibialis tendinopathy. The procedure was performed at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis and Wright will begin rehabilitation in Memphis immediately.

There is no timetable for his return, although this is not considered a “major” surgery and Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports says it should be eight weeks or so.

The Grizzlies could use him, they lack depth up front — Memphis is 17.5 points per 100 possessions worse when Marc Gasol is off the court, and that’s more about his backups than anything. Wright is an athletic backup center who is strong in the pick-and-roll and can provide some rim protection. Hopefully, he can be back around Christmas.

Nuggets sign deal to bring in Alonzo Gee for wing depth

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Gary Harris will be out about a month with a foot issue. Will Barton tried to practice Tuesday but couldn’t because of a sore ankle. Wilson Chandler has been hobbled by a hamstring injury.

The Denver Nuggets could use some help on the wing right now. Enter, Alonzo Gee, something first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports.

The team has since confirmed that they have signed Gee.

Gee is an athletic wing who will work hard on the defensive end and can get out and run in transition. What ultimately holds him back is a lack of shooting range, but he knows how to play at an NBA level and can give the Nuggets the short-term depth they need.

Gee was the final cut of the Pelicans in preseason (they chose to keep Lance Stephenson instead of him, which worked out well as Stephenson played great until he tore a groin muscle that needed surgery). Gee played 39 games for the Nuggets two seasons ago, they are familiar with him. Gee hung around the fringes of the NBA since 2009, having played for Cleveland, New Orleans, Denver, Washington, Portland, and San Antonio.

Watch Julius Randle drop a triple-double on Brooklyn

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Lakers’ forward Julius Randle is the most improved player in the NBA so far this season. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win the award — there’s a lot of season left, plus some voters don’t like to give it to third-year players who should be making the leap anyway — but the guy has stepped up his skills and closed holes in his game. He has a PER of 19.6 and looks like an All-Star level player.

Tuesday night against Brooklyn he dropped 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. He has developed a good right hand, shown shooting range, and become a quality playmaker, not just a finisher.

Check it out above in what he did to the Nets.

Ricky Rubio threw as good a full-court pass as you’ll see, Towns finished it

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Ricky Rubio knows how to pass the rock.

And when he’s on the court Karl-Anthony Towns knows if he runs the floor he will get rewarded — in this case, by as good a full-court pass as you’re going to see. Aaron Rodgers was impressed how he threaded that needle.

Charlotte went on to get the 115-108 win behind 30 from Kemba Walker in the most entertaining game of Tuesday night.

As expected, Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey elected USA Basketball chairman

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been elected chairman of USA Basketball.

Dempsey replaces Jerry Colangelo, who held the position for two terms but will focus now on his role as managing director of the U.S. men’s national team.

Dempsey was elected during a meeting of USA Basketball’s board of directors on Monday. His term is from 2017-2020.

He retired last year after 41 years in the military, the last four as the senior officer in the Armed Forces and the military adviser to the secretary of defense and to the president. He was appointed special adviser to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in January.