The Golden State Warriors are 18-0 but will be without starting small forward Harrison Barnes for at least three games.
Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reports that the Warriors said Barnes, who is recovering from a sprained ankle, will not be rushed back to action. The good news is that the MRI didn’t reveal any broken bones.
Barnes was injured in the third quarter of Friday’s win at Phoenix and he missed Golden State’s victory over Sacramento on Saturday. He will miss Monday’ s game against Utah as well as Wednesday’s tilt against Charlotte and Saturday’s game versus Toronto.
Barnes is Golden State’s third-leading scorer, averaging 13.4 points and five rebounds. The 23-year-old is shooting 50 percent from the floor and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc as well as 83 percent from the charity stripe.
Brandon Rush had a terrific night filling in for Barnes against Sacramento and will likely do so again, at least, against Utah. Rush scored a season-high 16 points against the Kings, on 5-of-8 shooting including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. The 30-year-old added three rebounds and an assist in 19 minutes of action. He has appeared in 10 games overall this season, compiling four points and 2.4 rebounds.
In other NBA news, ESPN is reporting that the Washington Wizards have cut ties with injured forward Martell Webster and signed center Ryan Hollins.
Webster, a 6-foot-7 small forward, was scheduled to miss the entire 2015-16 season after undergoing surgery to repair the labrum and damaged cartilage in his right hip on Nov. 20. Webster, who signed with the Wizards prior to the 2012-13 season, appeared in just 186 games over three seasons for Washington. He averaged nine points and three rebounds during his time with the Wiz.
Webster was drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft and has played in 580 career games, making 266 starts, over his 10 -year career that also includes stints in Portland and Minnesota. The soon-to-be 29-year-old has posted 8.7 points and 3.1 rebounds for his career while shooting 41.8 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Webster’s best season came during the 2012-13 season, in which he posted a career-high 11.4 points and was shooting 42.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Washington still owes Webster the remainder of his $5.6 million salary this year and the $2.5 million he is slated to make next year unless he is claimed off waivers according to the Washington Post.
The Wizards signed Hollins to a non-guaranteed deal. The 31-year old has yet to play a regular season game after getting cut by the Memphis Grizzlies at the end of the preseason. The 7-footer appeared in 46 games for the Sacramento Kings last season and averaged three points and 2.2 rebounds in 9.6 minutes.
Hollins, who is now with his eighth team, is averaging 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in a nine-year NBA career.
Brooklyn, Houston and Minnesota have trade exceptions that are set to expire according to Hooprumors.com.
The Memphis Grizzlies may be looking to add depth to their frontcourt if Brandan Wright’s knee injury persists, per Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. Wright has not appeared in a game since suffering the injury versus Utah on Nov. 7. In seven games, The 6-foot-10 power forward averages 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 16 minutes of action.
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor apologized for his recent troubles, which included getting arrest for going 108 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone.
Toronto Raptors small forward Terrence Ross, who signed a three-year-$31 million extension in the offseason, has been held scoreless in four games. In 12 games this season, Ross is averaging 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16.4 minutes of action while shooting a paltry 26.5 percent from the floor and 26.7 percent from beyond the arc. He has only scored double-figures twice and none in his last nine games.
The Orlando Magic are 3-0 since moving Victor Olidipo to the bench. Over the past three games, Oladipo has averaged 20 points on 44 percent shooting to go along with six rebounds, 5.7 assists and one steal in 27 minutes per game.
Golden State opens up a seven-game road trip tonight against Utah. The Warriors trip spans 13 days and includes stops in Charlotte,Brooklyn, Indiana, Boston as well as Milwaukee.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio is reporting that the Los Angeles Clippers have initiated calls to see about potential trade partners. However, at this time there has been no specific players names thrown around.
The Detroit Pistons, who have lost four-of-five games, are attempting to end a two-game losing streak against the Houston Rockets. The Pistons held a 29-21 lead after one quarter and are currently in command with a 64-41 halftime advantage.
[Photo by Christian Peterson/Getty Images]