LAS VEGAS – Zion Williamson, the top overall pick in last month’s NBA draft, did not play in the second half of the New Orleans Pelicans’ first summer league game Friday in Las Vegas after taking a knee-to-knee hit in the first half.
ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth reported that the injury was to Williamson’s left knee and was not expected to be serious. New Orleans reportedly was acting primarily out of caution with its star rookie.
In the first half, Williamson played nine minutes, scoring 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. The Pelicans were down to the New York Knicks 56-49 at the half.
Last season at Duke, Williamson missed the final five games of the regular season with a right knee injury after his Nike shoe blew out during a game against North Carolina.
On Friday, the summer league game was halted for good with 7:53 remaining in the fourth quarter after an earthquake shook the inside of the Thomas & Mack Center. The Pelicans led the Knicks 80-74 at the time.
Play was suspended for about 30 minutes and both teams were sent to their locker rooms, with arena technicians sent to check on the safety and status of the arena’s large speakers — hanging above midcourt — that remained swaying after the quake, according to ESPN’s televised report.
Hubbarth later reported that the NBA decided to postpone the game, in addition to the Phoenix Suns-Orlando Magic game scheduled at the arena later Friday night. The summer league games at the neighboring Cox Pavilion continued without major delay.
The earthquake was reported as a 7.1 magnitude with an epicenter of Ridgecrest, Calif., which was also the epicenter of a 6.4 quake on Thursday.
Denver Nuggets rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. sprained his left knee in a minicamp scrimmage Wednesday night and is not likely to play for the team in summer league action at Las Vegas, according to the Denver Post.
The upcoming summer league was finally a chance to see Porter play after he missed the entire 2018 season for Missouri while recovering from a back injury. He was selected 14th overall in the 2018 draft.
The injury is not expected to be serious, and Porter should be ready to play well in advance of the 2019-20 season opener.
Porter played in just three games at Missouri in the 2017-18 season, starting one. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 10 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
The Memphis Grizzlies are looking for trade partners in order to deal newly acquired forward Andre Iguodala and do not intend to buy out his contract before the season, ESPN reported.
The Grizzlies acquired Iguodala this week in a trade with the Golden State Warriors, who were looking to shed his $17.2 million salary for the upcoming season in order to sign D’Angelo Russell. A contract buyout of Iguodala, which would allow contenders to court him, was speculated for the rebuilding Grizzlies.
But the Grizzlies are reportedly now looking at the 35-year-old veteran as a trade chip in an effort to add young players to a rebuilt roster.
The Sacramento Kings opted for Yogi Ferrell over Frank Mason III. They waived Mason on the day in which they had to release Ferrell if they didn’t want to be on the hook for his $3.15 million contract for the 2019-20 season.
That makes Ferrell the third point guard at the moment behind standout starter De’Aaron Fox and recently signed reserve Cory Joseph.
Ferrell, 26, averaged 5.9 points and 1.9 assists in 71 games (three starts) last season in his first campaign with the Kings. His scoring average was 10.2 points one season earlier, when he played 82 games (21 starts) for the Dallas Mavericks.
Amar’e Stoudemire, 36, and Monte Ellis, 33, reportedly are aiming for NBA comebacks.
The two plan to hold a private workout for at least five teams on Monday in Las Vegas, ESPN’s Jordan Schultz tweeted late Wednesday. They both hope to sign with contending teams, according to Schultz.
Stoudemire, the 2002-03 Rookie of the Year and a six-time All-Star, last played in the NBA in 2015-16, when he averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Miami Heat. Ellis most recently played for the Indiana Pacers in 2016-17, producing 8.5 points, 3.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.
–Field Level Media