NBA notebook: Lakers PG Ball expects to return after All-Star break

NBA notebook: Lakers PG Ball expects to return after All-Star break
By Reuters

15/02/2018 at 01:12Updated 15/02/2018 at 01:14

Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball said Wednesday he expects to return from a sprained left MCL in the first game after the All-Star break.

Ball missed his 14th consecutive game on Wednesday night at the New Orleans
Pelicans. He also will miss Thursday's game at the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Ball, who sustained his injury on Jan. 13 against the Dallas Mavericks, also
will not play in Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge game. He plans to use
the extra week during the All-Star break to work out any lingering discomfort
in the knee.

"I practiced yesterday, (and) it's at a point where I can play but it still
hurts a little bit," Ball said after the team's shootaround Wednesday, per
ESPN. "So they want to just get that out and take this week and we are playing
good right now, so no need to rush it."

--Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox will replace the injured Ball on the
U.S. Team in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night at Staples Center in
Los Angeles, the NBA announced.

The 20-year-old Fox, the fifth pick in the 2017 draft, is averaging 11.3
points and 4.3 assists in 27.2 minutes while starting 37 of 49 games in his
rookie season. His selection gives the Kings three players in the Rising
Stars, with second-year guard Buddy Hield (Bahamas) and rookie guard Bogdan
Bogdanovic (Serbia) representing the World Team.

The Rising Stars Challenge is an annual showcase of premier young talent at
NBA All-Star weekend. For the fourth consecutive year, the game features 10
first- and second-year NBA players from the U.S. against 10 first- and
second-year NBA players from around the world.

--Injured point guard John Wall and center Marcin Gortat of the Washington
Wizards met last week in an attempt to improve their salty relationship.

According to reports, the players are still on thin ice with one another.

Here's where things became frosty for Wall: In the aftermath a 122-119 win
over the Eastern Conference front-running Toronto Raptors on Feb. 1, the third
Washington win in a row with Wall sidelined due to knee surgery, Gortat
tweeted: "Unbelievable win tonight ! Great "team" victory!"

Wall, who is out at least another month, responded to the perceived dig: "It
was more just shock to hear it from him, understanding he gets the most
assists from me and the most spoon-fed baskets ever," Wall said.

--Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey officially announced the signing
of veteran guard/forward Joe Johnson in a press release.

According to multiple reports, the seven-time All-Star will be in uniform and
available to play against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

The Kings agreed to a buyout with the 17th-year veteran on Sunday following a
three-team deal before the Feb. 8 trade deadline that delivered Johnson from
the Utah Jazz. Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

--The Cleveland Cavaliers' revamped roster reportedly almost included a trade
for big man DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the reason the Cavaliers didn't land
Jordan at last week's trade deadline was the Clippers did not want to take on
Iman Shumpert's salary in return. The deal never materialized as the Cavs
instead acquired Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Rodney Hood
in two significant trades.

According to Wednesday's report, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman had
approval from ownership to send a package in exchange for Jordan that included
Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Shumpert and the Cavs' 2018 first-round pick.
Clippers general manager Michael Winger explained to Altman that he did not
want another shooting guard, and he hoped to find a third team that would take
Shumpert and his $21 million contract but a third team never materialized and
the trade talks broke down.

--The Golden State Warriors will be without Patrick McCaw for at least the
next month.

The second-year guard suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left wrist in
Monday night's 129-83 victory over the Phoenix Suns, the team announced.
According to the team's Twitter account, McCaw will sport a cast for the next
10 days and will be reevaluated in four weeks.

The 6-foot-7 McCaw is averaging 3.7 points in 15.6 minutes per game this
season as a deep rotation player. McCaw, 22, was originally chosen by the
Warriors in the second round (38th overall pick) in the 2016 draft.

--Field Level Media