NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman graded every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there. The full results with links to each writeup:
But just as it appeared as his game was rounding into form, Oubre – who averaged 20 points and two steals in 12 games since moving into the starting lineup – will get shut down.
Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will undergo a minor procedure on his left thumb and miss the rest of the season, league sources told ESPN.
Oubre is expected to make a full recovery in four to six weeks, sources said.
This could be a blessing in disguise for Oubre, who’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. He ends his season on a high note on the court. There’s no opportunity for regression to the mean. This also isn’t an injury that will last long into the offseason.
The 23-year-old Oubre is a versatile defender. When his 3-pointer is falling, he looks really good. In a league that can’t get enough productive wings, he should draw a solid contract.
Kevin Durant made himself public enemy No. 1 in Oklahoma City by leaving the Thunder for the Warriors three years ago.
Nick Collison, on the other hand, remains beloved in Oklahoma City. Like Durant, he moved with the franchise from Seattle. But Collison stayed until retiring last year.
With the Thunder retiring his number yesterday, Collison vouched for his former teammate.
Collison, in a Q&A with Royce Young of ESPN:
Kevin Durant gave you the nickname “Mr. Thunder.” Do you think the Thunder should eventually retire No. 35?
It’s their decision to make, but I would certainly think so. He’s meant a ton to Thunder basketball and spent a huge majority of his career here. A lot of these honors are just kind of what the team decides to do, and I think players are appreciative of them. I don’t get too worked up about it. I’ll let other people debate that, but to me, he’s a big part of what we did here.
The Thunder will probably retire Durant’s number. Time heals most wounds, likely including this one.
Durant spent eight seasons in Oklahoma City. He won MVP and made five All-NBA first teams and an All-NBA second team there. He helped the Thunder win 10 playoff series.
No matter when each player retires, Oklahoma City will almost certainly retire Russell Westbrook‘s number first. He’s the one who stayed.
But some time after that, I’d bet on Durant getting his number retired.
Add the Knicks to the list.
Bryant in a Q&A, via Frank Isola of The Athletic:
What other teams would you have liked to play for besides the Lakers?
There are some teams … I always kind of dreamed about playing in New York and what that would have been like. It’s true. As a fan, the Garden was the historical arena.
So, I always wanted to be a part of that history and play in it. So, New York was a team … it would have been pretty good to play in that city.
For a while, the best thing the Knicks have had going for them is their arena. That gets them only so far.
They need better ownership, better management, better coaching.
Maybe Kevin Durant will help turn the tide. If he chooses New York, it surely won’t be for only Madison Square Garden.
The Timberwolves are all but officially eliminated from the playoff race.
Covington has missed the last 34 games while recovering from a right knee bone bruise, originally suffered on December 31 at New Orleans. Covington had made improvements in his recovery and had progressed to on-court activities, in preparation to rejoin the team. However, he recently suffered a setback which will require further treatment before returning to the court and as a result, is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Rose has missed the last four games while experiencing soreness and swelling in his right elbow. An MRI taken Tuesday at Mayo Clinic Square revealed a chip fracture and a loose body in his elbow. The team and Rose are currently exploring further treatment options and he is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Teague has missed the last four games after reaggravating a left foot injury, originally suffered in December. On Tuesday, Teague received an injection designed to treat chronic inflammation. He will wear a boot and is scheduled to be reevaluated in approximately three weeks. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
The language – “expected to miss the remainder of the season” – allows the possibility of the players returning. But the Timberwolves wouldn’t set this expectation unless they were pretty certain the players were finished.
Covington deserved All-Star consideration, and maybe Minnesota would still be in the playoff mix if he remained healthy. He was also heading toward an All-Defensive team before getting hurt. I doubt 35 games, even at 34 minutes per game, will be enough to get him selected now. Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Draymond Green clearly belong ahead of him. Covington has an outside chance for that fourth spot, though.
Rose had a bounce-back year after it appeared he could fall out of the NBA entirely. He looks like a solid backup point guard. He’ll draw plenty of interest in free agency this summer.
Teague has a $19 million player option for next season. He already seemed likely to exercise it, and this only increases the odds. The 30-year-old had a relatively down season.
Teague’s and Rose’s absences will leave the ball in Tyus Jones‘ hands at point guard. Jones has looked good in a small role, and this offers him an opportunity to prove himself before restricted free agency this summer.
Importantly for Towns, Minnesota’s depth at point guard allows him to play with someone credible at the position while he attempts to finish the season strong. There’s a lot of room to produce for the Timberwolves now, though Towns will likely face double-teams even more frequently.