notebook: Nuggets may get G Thomas back before break
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[January 19, 2019]
After missing the entire season while recuperating from hip
surgery last March, Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas reportedly
may return to the court before the NBA's All-Star break in
League sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday that the
two-time All-Star has been progressing in his rehab and that the
Nuggets are optimistic that he could debut with the team as early as
Feb. 11, when the Nuggets host the Miami Heat shortly before
All-Star weekend. According to the report, the team believes at
worst he should be activated for the Nuggets' first game after the
break against the Mavericks on Feb. 22 at Dallas.
Thomas, who turns 30 next month, has not played a game since last
March 22 while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He signed a
one-year contract as a free agent with the Nuggets last summer, with
Denver being his third team in less than a year and sixth of his
Thomas has averaged 18.9 points and 5.1 assists per game during his
oft-injured career that began in the 2011-12 season after he was
drafted by the Sacramento Kings. His finest success came with the
Boston Celtics, with whom he averaged 24.7 ppg in two-plus seasons
-- including a career-best 28.9 ppg in 2016-17.
--Chicago Bulls rookie forward Wendell Carter Jr. is expected to
undergo thumb surgery that will sideline him eight to 12 weeks, the
Carter injured his left thumb when he fell during Tuesday's game
against the Los Angeles Lakers. An MRI exam on Wednesday appeared to
show the ligament wasn't detached but a follow-up exam on Friday by
two hand specialists showed instability with surgery being
Carter hasn't yet determined whether he will undergo surgery. The
6-foot-10 Carter is averaging 10.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 44
games, all starts. He didn't play for the first time all season when
he sat out Wednesday's game against the Nuggets.
--Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has received clearance to resume
full-contact practices, the team announced.
Rondo has missed the team's past 12 games after surgery to repair a
Grade 3 sprain to his right ring finger, suffered during a win over
the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. While he finished out
the game, during which LeBron James also suffered a left groin
strain, Rondo was in considerable pain the next day and unable to
use his hand. He had surgery three days later and was expected to
miss at least four weeks with the injury.
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This is the second injury to his right hand that Rondo has rehabbed
this season. In November he fractured a bone in the hand and missed
17 games. In 14 games this season, Rondo is averaging 8.4 points,
6.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds.
--The impasse between the Dallas Mavericks and second-year point
guard Dennis Smith Jr. continues, and coach Rick Carlisle said that
Smith won't be on an upcoming two-game road trip.
Smith, who is unhappy with the club, didn't report to practice on
Friday, according to Carlisle. The Mavericks visit the Indiana
Pacers on Saturday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
Smith has missed the past four games while reportedly being
frustrated with his role and having heavy friction with Carlisle.
--Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell will not defend his crown at the
2019 All-Star Dunk Contest, he told reporters at the team's
"It really stems from when I got hurt, the three different times I
got hurt this year. I remember last year when I came back from
All-Star, I was tired," said Mitchell, who captured the title as a
"Fortunately, we had some days where I could rest, but there would
be days where I wouldn't go to the gym and I would just sleep and
--Carmelo Anthony has "multiple options" available to him if he
wants to return to the NBA, The Athletic reported.
Anthony, 34, is on the roster of the Houston Rockets, but he and the
team divorced in mid-November. He signed a one-year, $2.4 million
contract in the summer.
He is expected to choose one of the options before the NBA trade
deadline on Feb. 7. It is unclear whether the Rockets would try to
trade him or waive him. No potential suitors were named.
--Luka Doncic takes his All-Star campaign to the Midwest on Saturday
night when the Mavericks open a two-game trip against the Pacers.
The rookie sensation ranked second to James among Western Conference
frontcourt players when the most recent fan-voting tabulations were
announced this week.
Balloting ends Monday night, giving Doncic two more games -- both on
the road -- to get enough votes to remain ahead of the likes of Paul
George, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis in a loaded Western race.
--Field Level Media
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