Abby Chin, Cedric Maxwell and Chris Forsberg break down what has made Boston a destination for free agents
BOSTON – It didn’t take long before footage from Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert’s right ankle injury made its way to Gordon Hayward.
The injury suffered by LeVert on Monday against Minnesota had similarities for many to the season-ending ankle injury suffered by Hayward last year.
“I didn’t see it live,” said Hayward, who has returned to the Celtics lineup this year after missing all of last season following his left ankle/leg injury. “I hate to see that. I heard the timeline (for LeVert’s return) is a little better, but still … he was playing really well. You hate injuries for anybody; it’s tough.”
All things considered, the news is indeed optimistic for LeVert, who is expected to return to the Nets lineup at some point this season.
“Fortunately, tests performed revealed that there are no fractures and only moderate ligament damage,” Nets team orthopedist Dr. Martin O’Malley said in a statement. “While the optics of this injury may have appeared to be more severe, surgery will not be required.”
LeVert, in an attempted chase-down block with 3.7 seconds to play in the first half of Brooklyn’s game against Minnesota, came down hard on his right leg after a collision with Jeff Teague.
He was carted off the court and taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.
At the time of his injury, LeVert had 10 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds, the kind of stat line that spoke to the kind of breakout season the third-year guard was having.
In 14 games this season, LeVert is averaging 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists – all career highs.
Hayward was among the many to tweet their support for LeVert as he begins the road to recovery.
“For sure, anytime somebody goes through a major injury you feel for them,” Hayward said. “And what I’ve been through, I know first-hand what it’s like.”
For Hayward, having others reach out to him, both athletes and non-athletes, following his injury last year was extremely beneficial in helping keep his spirits up as he began his journey toward getting back on the basketball floor this season.
“The fact that people cared, especially initially,” Hayward said. “Even people who hadn’t gone through an injury, you’re getting like random people that saw the injury took the time to reach out and show support. That meant a lot to me.”
And he’s willing to be there for LeVert if needed.
“If he ever needs to reach out, he knows how to get a hold of me,” Hayward said.
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Carmelo Anthony's days with the Houston Rockets reportedly are numbered.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday, citing league sources, that the Rockets are "moving toward waiving Anthony in the near future." Anthony isn't the top-tier player he used to be, and his defense leaves a lot to be desired, but he's still a good scorer and can stretch the floor with competent outside shooting. He also would bring 72 games of playoff experience to a contending team.
With Anthony likely to be a free agent soon, here are four teams that should consider signing him for the rest of the season.
Golden State Warriors
This one's obvious, right? Anthony has great career stats, one of the most impressive Olympic resumes in history and an NCAA championship. The one accolade he doesn't have is an NBA championship, and there's no better place for him to chase a ring than Golden State. The Warriors don't have the same depth they did a few years ago, and their bench currently ranks 28th in the league with 31.4 points scored per game. His scoring (currently 13.4 points per game) would be valuable, and the Warriors' winning, veteran-laden culture should be able to absorb his ego without any major issues. Golden State probably is the best spot for Anthony.
The 76ers, even after acquiring Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, still need a lot more shooting, and Anthony can help address that weakness. The Sixers rank 22nd in 3-point field goal percentage, and only Furkan Korkmaz is shooting above 35 percent from deep. Anthony is a career 34.7 percent 3-point shooter, and could receive a lot of open looks from the perimeter when defenses focus most of their attention on stopping Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
The Heat average the seventh-fewest bench minutes in the league. Miami also ranks 19th in bench field goal percentage and 17th in bench 3-point percentage. Josh Richardson (20.5) and Goran Dragic (16.7) are the only Heat players scoring more than 15 points per game, so there's clearly a need in South Beach for another proven scorer. Let's not forget Anthony is good friends with Heat guard Dwyane Wade, too. Miami is 5-8 in an Eastern Conference that has proven to be more competitive than many predicted, so rolling the dice on 'Melo might be worth the risk.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers don't have a lot of dependable veterans on the wing, and they rank 19th in bench scoring. Anthony is a better outside shooter than Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and is even shooting 3-pointers at a higher success rate than LeBron James this season. Anthony and James know each other well, and whether it's starting or leading the second unit, 'Melo should be able to find a role in Los Angeles.