The Golden State Warriors are getting ready to host the Portland Trail Blazers for the first of four meetings between the teams, in a game added to the schedule after both teams were eliminated from the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament.
For the Dubs, it’s their first look at a new-look Blazers team that traded Damian Lillard over the offseason and hit the reset. Golden State might not get to face all of Portland’s primary players, but they will get their first look at exciting lottery pick Scoot Henderson.
Even though both teams had a three-day break in the schedule, there are a lot of players that might not be able to play.
Here’s the full injury report.
Out — Gary Payton II (right calf strain)
We haven’t had a GPII update in a while, but it’s safe to say that he’s going to be sidelined for quite a bit as he recovers from a calf strain suffered just over a week ago. This is bad news for the Dubs, particularly on defense, but it does open the door for Moses Moody and Brandin Podziemski to play more minutes.
Probable — Chris Paul (left lower leg nerve contusion)
Given that Paul is the third-oldest player in the NBA, is 26th in NBA history in regular season minutes played, is 40th in NBA history in playoff minutes played, and has a fairly extensive injury history, I was prepared for the worst when Paul left a game last week and didn’t return. So it was very exciting to see him upgraded to probable on Tuesday. It’s hard to imagine the Dubs getting where they plan on going without Paul being part of it.
Probable — Andrew Wiggins (right finger contusion)
All things considered, Wiggins dodged a bullet when he slammed a car door on his shooting hand. I’m sure he was (and probably still is) in all kinds of pain, and missing two games is a bummer. But that could have been a lot worse.
Out — Jerami Grant (concussion protocol)
The Blazers kicked off the offseason by signing Grant to a five-year deal worth $160 million. At the time it was seen as a necessary overpay to try and stay competitive around Lillard ... and then Dame asked for a trade, and now Portland is saddled with a massive contract for a player who’s a tier below being an All-Star, all while they try and rebuild. It’s not an ideal situation ... unless you’re Grant and his bank account. Unfortunately, Grant suffered a head injury on Saturday ... here’s hoping he’s OK. Brain injuries are scary things.
Out — Robert Williams III (right knee ligament)
The Time Lord might not have been the biggest acquisition Portland made this offseason, but it was a very exciting move for the Blazers to get such a talented young center to back up the other talented young center they traded for. So it was quite a bummer for team and player when Williams’ first season on the West Coast lasted just six games, before sustaining a knee injury that required season-ending surgery. Heal up!
Out — Ish Wainwright (left knee MCL sprain)
Wainwright is also playing his first season with the Blazers, and trying to find his spot in the NBA in his third year. Unfortunately, he only played five minutes this year before suffering a knee injury. Thankfully he’s expected to return sometime this month.
Doubtful — Deandre Ayton (right knee soreness)
We may never know the extent of what happened with Ayton — known, through no fault of his own, as being the No. 1 pick in a draft that featured not just Luka Dončić, but also Trae Young, Jaren Jackson Jr., Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr. — but he sure seemed happy to get off a contending team in Phoenix. He seems more at home with the rebuilding Blazers, even though he’s averaging a career low in points.
Questionable — Anfernee Simons (right thumb ligament tear)
With Lillard and CJ McCollum shipped out of Portland, Simons gets to join Henderson in a new backcourt that the Blazers hope they can build around. He’s done nothing but exceed expectations since being drafted late in the first round in 2018 (side note: Simons kicked off a historically good run for that part of the draft — from Nos. 24 through 27, the picks were Simons, Mo Wagner, Landry Shamet, and Williams. The next pick? Jacob Evans.). He had a career year last year, when he averaged 21.1 points, and he’s still just 24. But an injury has limited him to just one game this year ... perhaps we see his return tonight?
Enjoy the action, Dub Nation!