NBA announces All-Star starters

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains in the 2023 All-Star Game at Vivint Arena in Utah, the league announced Thursday.

In the East, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell were named starters, while in the West, James will be joined by Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, and Stephen Curry in the starting lineup.

James(7,418,116), who made his NBA-record-tying 19th All-Star appearance, was the leading vote-getter overall, and Antetokounmpo(6,761,032) was the leading vote-getter in the East.

Fans, current NBA players, and a media panel selected starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the starters, while players and media accounted for 25 percent each.

Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes. The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.

The All-Star reserves will be named on February 2, and the NBA All-Star game will take place on February 19.  On that night, James and Antetokounmpo will select their teammates.

Notes:

-At 23, Doncic joins Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas, and Anthony Davis as the only players to earn four All-Star nods before their 24th birthday.

-This is Mitchell’s fourth NBA All-Star selection and his first time being selected as a starter.

-Williamson, who is also an All-Star starter for the first time his career, becomes the fourth New Orleans player to be voted a starter, joining Chris Paul (twice), Anthony Davis (x3), and DeMarcus Cousins.

Pels’ Williamson remains out due to hamstring, will be re-evaluated in two weeks

The New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson was recently re-evaluated for his right hamstring injury. The re-evaluation showed that Williamson’s hamstring is healing as expected, and he is making good progress with his recovery, the team announced on Tuesday. 

According to the team, Williamson will continue his rehabilitation process, which includes strengthening his hamstring and gradually progressing to more movement. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Williamson has missed the last ten games after he suffered a right hamstring strain on January 2 in Philadelphia against the 76ers.

In 29 games, he holds season averages of 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per contest.

New Orleans(26-21) is fourth in the Western Conference.

Embiid, Williamson named NBA Players of the Week

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and 76ers center Joel Embiid were named Western and Eastern Players of the Week for games played December 5-11, the league announced Monday.

Embiid tallied at least 35 points in all three contests throughout the week, extending his streak to an NBA-best four straight games.

In three games played, including a pair of home victories against the Lakers (Dec. 9) and Hornets (Dec. 11), Embiid produced a league-best 43.3 points on .639 shooting, 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks. He became the 10th player in league history to average 43.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and a shooting mark of at least 60-percent over a three-game span.

Embiid capped off his week with a 53-point, 12-rebound performance against Charlotte, making him the only player in the NBA this season with multiple games of 50-plus point.

The only 76er with more Eastern Conference Player of the Week Awards than Embiid is Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, who captured the honor 20 times during his time with Philadelphia.

Back to Williamson, he led New Orleans to a 3-0 week, recording averages of 33.0 points (second among Western Conference players), 8.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 37.3 minutes per contest, while shooting 70.4 percent from the field (first in the NBA among players that registered 13.0 or more field goal attempts per game). Williamson finished the week as one of two players in the West to average at least 30 points per game and the only Western Conference player to average at least 30 points and eight rebounds. Williamson also averaged an NBA-best 24.0 points in the paint per game during this stretch.

Williamson’s Player of the Week honor is the first of his career.

Currently, New Orleans(18-8) has the best record in the Western Conference.

 

Pels’ Ingram suffers concussion against Jazz

The New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram sustained a concussion against the Jazz on Sunday, the team announced Monday. 

Ingram has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

The injury occurred during the first quarter when Ingram’s teammate Naji Marshall inadvertently hit Ingram in the face after the two went for the ball.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Ingram must go through the return-to-participation process, which can begin no earlier than 24 hours from the time of injury. The return-to-participation process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming full basketball activities. There is no timeframe to complete the process, as each injury and player is different, and recovery time can vary in each case.

New Orleans, who also lost Zion Williamson(hip) in Sunday’s loss to Utah, returns to action Tuesday night at home against the Mavericks.

Report: Jokic, Booker, Towns get supermax contract extensions; Morant, Williamson get rookie max extensions

Booker gets supermax extension:

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker agreed on a four-year, $224 million supermax extension; the deal begins in 2024-2025 and brings Booker’s total contract value to six years and $295 million.

The 25-year-old Booker was named All-NBA(First Team) for the first time in his career and averaged a career-best 26.8 points per game (8th in NBA) as he earned his third-straight Al-Star appearance while helping lead the Suns to the NBA’s best record.

Jokic gets supermax extension:

Denver Nuggets two-time MVP Nikola Jokic has agreed to the largest deal in NBA history – a five-year, $270 million supermax contract extension; the deal includes a player option and trade kicker; the total value of Jokic deal: six years and $303 million, according to Wojnarowski,

The reigning MVP averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.47 steals, and 0.85 blocks per game, setting career highs in each category except assists (second highest). The 27-year-old Jokic, who played 74 games and averaged 33.5 minutes, ranked sixth in the NBA in points, second in rebounds, eighth in assists, 12th steals, and 33rd in blocks per game.

The seven-year veteran became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a season and was named All-NBA First Team.

KAT gets super max extension:

According to Woj, Minnesota Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed on a four-year, $224 million supermax extension, which begins in the 2024-25 season and delivers Towns’ total contract value to six years and $295 million.

In his seventh NBA season, the 27-year-old Towns finished the 2021-22 campaign ranked 11th in scoring (24.6 PPG), 14th in rebounding (9.8 RPG), 16th in field goal percentage (52.9%), and 17th in three-point percentage (41.0%).

The three-team All-Star was named All-NBA Third Team.

Morant gets rookie max extension:

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant agreed on a five-year, $193 million designated rookie maximum extension that could become worth $231million, according to Wojnarowski.

Last season, the 22-year-old Morant was named All-NBA Second Team and NBA Most Improved Player after setting career highs for scoring average(27.4 points), rebounds per game(5.7 rebounds), steals per game(1.16), field goal percentage(49.3%) and 3-point percentage(34.4%).

Williamson gets rookie max extension:

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson is nearing a five-year rookie max contract extension worth up to $231 million. The commitment will take Williamson’s new deal through the 2027-28 season.

Williamson, 21, missed all of the 2021-22 season after recovering from foot surgery and has played in only 85 games in three seasons. 

In 2020-21, the last time he was on the court, Williamson averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per contest.

Great news for Zion Williamson, Pelicans

On Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans announced that recent imaging of Zion Williamson’s right fifth metatarsal showed continued improvement. Williamson has been cleared in his return to play progression without any restrictions.

It’s been a long road for Williamson. The third-year forward did not play a game this season after recovering from foot surgery in the offseason.

In November, Williamson was cleared to participate in contact drills, beginning with 1-on-1 workouts and progressively working towards full-team workouts.

However, a month later, Williamson had a setback as he needed a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot.

In January, the team announced that Williamson would be continuing his rehab away from the team.

New Orleans had a successful season as they made the playoffs and pushed the Suns to six games in their first-round series.

Williamson is eligible for a max extension, which he said he would be interested in signing. However, he’s played only 85 games in three seasons, so it should be interesting to see what happens next.

Pelicans give update on Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans got some decent news about Zion Williamson.

Recent imaging showed improved bone healing of the fifth metatarsal in Zion Williamson’s right foot. He will gradually progress to full weight-bearing exercise and basketball activities, the team announced Wednesday.

According to the Pelicans, Williamson remains out indefinitely.

The third-year forward has not played a game this season after recovering from foot surgery in the offseason.

In January, the team announced that Williamson would be continuing his rehab away from the team.

In November, Williamson was cleared to participate in contact drills, beginning with 1-on-1 workouts and progressively working towards full-team workouts. However, a month later, Williamson had a setback as he needed a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot.

New Orleans(25-36) is currently the 10th-seed in the West and would be in the play-in tournament if the season ended today.

Pelicans’ Zion Williamson to rehab away from team

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will be continuing his rehabilitation away from the team, the Pelicans announced Wednesday.

Williamson  has not played a game this season after recovering from foot surgery in the offseason.

“Since we notified everyone on December 16 of his latest imaging, it was decided then by our medical team to dial his rehab back to only partial weight-bearing activities. He continues along that path,” Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin said from a press release . “We also agreed that in order to put Zion in the best position to succeed, he will rehab away from the team at this time so he can focus on the task at hand.”

In November, Williamson was cleared to participate in contact drills, beginning with 1-on-1 workouts and progressively working towards full-team workouts. However, a month later, Williamson had a setback as he needed a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot.

“As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult process for me,” Williamson said via a press release from the team. “I know there’s work to be done in my recovery before I can safely return to the court, but I will continue to put in the time necessary so I can get back on the floor with my team and represent Pelicans fans and the city of New Orleans at the highest level. Basketball means everything to me, and I am thankful for the Pelicans organization and everyone who has surrounded me with love and support throughout this journey – my family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans, and everybody who has stood behind me and uplifted me when I needed it most.”

New Orleans is 13-25, and at this point, it might be in their best interest to let the third-year forward sit out the rest of the season.

 

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Williamson suffers setback

Zion Williamson’s return to the court will have to wait a little longer.

According to the Pelicans, Williamson had persistent soreness in his right foot, and an MRI showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal. As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing. 

Williamson, 21, has not played a game this season after undergoing foot surgery in the offseason. In late November, New Orleans announced that Williamson was cleared for full-team activities.

At this point, it might be in the best interest of the Pelicans, who are at the bottom of the West, to take their time putting him back on the court.  

 

 

Pels’ Williamson cleared to participate in full team activities

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson is slowly working his way back.

Williamson has been cleared to participate in full team activities, the Pelicans announced Friday. According to the team, Williamson, who underwent imaging on his fractured right foot on Wednesday (Nov. 24), was medically cleared by doctors.

Also, Williamson played 4-on-4 full-court today and will continue his progression towards returning to play, according to the team, according to the team.

An estimated date to return to game action has not been determined.

Williamson, who underwent foot surgery in the offseason, has not played a game this season. In 2020-21, the 21-year-old Williamson averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per contest.