The calendar has flipped to a new year, and it’s that time in the season where action starts to heat up around the league:
Former Blazer Gerald Henderson has a new gig
Former NBA player Gerald Henderson is joining Charlotte Hornets’ TV broadcast team for FOX Sports Southeast in what appears to be for remainder of the season, sources say.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 8, 2019
Apparently Hendo isn’t going to try to make it back to the league any time soon. Henderson was acquired by the Blazers along with Noah Vonleh in exchange for Nic Batum in 2015. Henderson averaged 8.7 points per game in his lone season with the Trail Blazers.
The Utah Jazz are dealing with injuries
The Utah Jazz are fighting to get into the playoff mix in the Western Conference, but they now have two injury setbacks to deal with:
Sources with @Tjonesonthenba: Utah's Ricky Rubio and Thabo Sefolosha both had clean MRI results today on injured hamstrings -- with Rubio expected to miss approximately two weeks and Sefolosha out 10-12 days.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 8, 2019
While Sefolosha doesn’t play big minutes for the Jazz, Utah will definitely feel Rubio’s absence. He’s started Utah’s first 40 games, averaging 13 points and six assists per game. The Jazz have the second-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, but they will have to turn the keys over to the likes of Raul Neto for the time being (backup point guard Dante Exum is also out, thank you to user leasdef for pointing this out!).
DeMarcus Cousins is returning this month
After missing the entire season so far, the Golden State Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins is expected to make his return to the court soon:
Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins plans to make his season debut against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 18, a league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 9, 2019
The Warriors have seen some let up this season, sitting in second place in the Western Conference at 27-14. Most concerning for them has to be the six losses on their home court halfway through the season. How successful they are at integrating Cousins into the offense will be a major story line in the season’s second half.
NBA investigating Cavs/McCaw deal
After the Cavs signed the Warriors’ Patrick McCaw as a restricted free agent, they waived him just days later, making him an unrestricted free agent with an additional year of tenure (relevant for salary scale purposes). Now the NBA is looking in to the transaction:
The NBA will launch a formal review into Cleveland’s signing and near-immediate release of restricted free agent Patrick McCaw at the request of Golden State, @NYTSports has learned— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 8, 2019
Zach Randolph headed back to the Big Apple?
New York and Sacramento discussing an Enes Kanter-Zach Randolph trade of expiring contracts, but nothing close yet, league sources tell ESPN. Kings would want to send out more expirings in a deal. A third team could be helpful.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2019
Randolph previously played for the Knicks for the 2007-08 season before being traded to the Clippers early the next year. He won Most Improved Player with the Blazers in 2003-04.
Scary fall for Noel
Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel took a terrifying fall to the floor in last night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Noel took an elbow to the face while contesting an Andrew Wiggins dunk attempt, and he appeared too dazed to brace his fall — bouncing his head off the court and knocking himself unconscious. Shams Charania has provided a great update to a scary situation: