Noah Rubin

Desmond Bane set to be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks with right toe sprain

Memphis Grizzlies v Houston Rockets
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With Jaren Jackson Jr. (foot) expected to make his return on Tuesday night, things were looking up for the 9-5 Grizzlies, who are currently 4th in the West.

Unfortunately, it’ll be a bit longer before we see Memphis at full strength. Desmond Bane was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain in his right big toe and is set to be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks, according to an announcement from the team.

Bane had been playing at an All-Star level so far this season, averaging 24.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.8 threes per game, which is 5th in the league. The third year guard out of TCU got off to a slow start to the season, but he’s more than proven his ability to be the second option behind Ja Morant over the past few weeks, if that was even in question.

For most teams, this would be seen as a big blow. While Memphis will certainly miss him, they’ve shown that they truly embody the “next man up” mentality. They went 20-5 without Ja Morant last season. They’re off to a solid start without Jackson Jr. this year.

Bane was sidelined on Sunday when the Grizzlies played the Wizards, and John Konchar started in his place. Konchar was solid to start the year as a starter when Dillon Brooks was out, and he should be serviceable over the next few weeks without Bane. David Roddy also played a large role off the bench, so Taylor Jenkins has a lot of options to help make up for the loss of one of the best young shooting guards in the league.

Kenneth Faried signs contract with G-League’s Austin Spurs

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Kenneth Faried, who hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2018-19 season, signed a contract with the Austin Spurs on Saturday.

Faried attempted to make an NBA comeback in 2021, landing a workout with the Lakers and playing with Portland’s summer league team. He eventually signed to play in Russia after failing to receive a contract from a team. He also had a workout with Golden State this past September.

He last played for Houston in 2019, averaging 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game in his lone season with the team. He played his first seven seasons for Denver after they drafted him with pick No. 22 in 2011.

The team announced that he’ll be available for their matchup with the Lakeland Magic on Saturday as he begins his quest to return to the NBA.

Pascal Siakam out indefinitely with right adductor strain

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat
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After suffering a groin injury on Friday night, Pascal Siakam has been diagnosed with a right adductor strain. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, but he is considered out indefinitely.

Siakam has been having a career year so far, averaging 24.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game, all of which are career-highs. His contributions have helped Toronto get off to a 5-4 start that includes wins over Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Cleveland.

His absence will likely impact Toronto’s chances of continuing their strong start. Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet, who is dealing with a back injury, will be relied on to lead the Raptors more for at least the next two weeks.

Rookie Christian Koloko has been starting games for Toronto and could fill the void with Siakam sidelined. However, Nick Nurse could opt to roll with Precious Achiuwa or Chris Boucher to fill out the starting lineup with more experience. Nurse will have to make a decision Sunday before they take on Chicago at 6pm ET.

Thunder, Clippers fined $25,000 for injury report violations

Thunder rookie Josh Giddey
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Both the Thunder and Clippers have been fined $25,000 for injury report violations, according to a statement made by the league on Twitter on Thursday.

The Clippers initially ruled out both Brandon Boston Jr. and Moussa Diabate ahead of their matchup with the Pelicans on October 30th, but both players ended up playing five minutes.

Oklahoma City “failed to disclose the availability of Josh Giddey in an accurate and timely manner” when the Thunder took on the Magic on November 1st.

Last season, Phoenix was fined $25,000 after not making it clear that Devin Booker would be available before Game 6 against the Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs.

The 76ers were fined $50,000 ahead of Game 3 against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after listing Joel Embiid as “out” the morning of the playoff game that Philadelphia ended up winning.

We’ll see if the league cracking down early will be a strong enough message to encourage NBA teams to follow the guidelines more strictly.

James Harden sidelined for one month after suffering foot tendon strain

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers
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After a slow start to the season, things aren’t getting any easier for the 76ers. Former MVP James Harden will miss one month after suffering a right foot tendon strain, a story broken by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Philadelphia hasn’t started the season as well as they planned. In their first full season with Harden, they lost their first three games and four of their first five. They had won three in a row before losing to Washington on Wednesday night.

Without their point guard for around a month, Doc Rivers will have to rely on Joel Embiid to lead the team the way he did at the beginning of last season before the Harden trade. Tyrese Maxey, who has blossomed to start the season, will also need to take another step up to help the team stay afloat.

Their depth should help them get through this phase of the season with Harden. The off-season additions of De’Anthony Melton and P.J. Tucker will be relied on to make big impacts on both sides of the floor.

Perhaps playing without Harden will allow the team to grow and be ready for his return to the floor in December, but only time will tell.