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Nets say Kyrie Irving still out Tuesday; Grizzlies Jackson expected to play vs. Pelicans

Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a break in the action during the first quarter of the game of the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on November 01, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

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A critical player for his team is expected to make his return Tuesday night, but it’s not the one everyone is talking about.

Kyrie Irving will not make his return from a team suspension on Tuesday in Sacramento, the Nets announced Monday night. That will make seven games Irving will have missed with no return timeline set.

Irving was suspended following a Tweet promoting an antisemitic movie, followed it up by being defensive, not apologizing, and not (at first) seeming to grasp the gravity of his offense. Irving apologized in an Instagram post (right after he was suspended), then last week met with both NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Nets’ owner Joe Tsai and his wife.

There has been considerable frustration and pushback from the players’ union – and individual players such as LeBron James — about the six “remedial” steps the Nets and Tsai laid out for Irving to return. This situation could get messier as the week goes along.

There is good news coming out of Memphis: Jaren Jackson Jr. may make his return Tuesday night.

Jackson is officially listed as questionable for Tuesday in New Orleans, but Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report says to expect him to play.

Jackson has been recovering from off-season foot surgery. He is the defensive anchor in the paint for the Grizzlies and finished fifth in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season.

The Grizzlies have missed his rim protection dearly this season, with their fourth-in-the-league defense a season ago falling to 14th this season without him in the paint. The Grizzlies are 9-5 this season and are about to get much better.