NBA notes: Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Gordon Hayward sit out games Saturday
Disgruntled guard Jimmy Butler is skipping the second game of Minnesota’s first back-to-back set of the season, staying home to rest while the team traveled to Dallas. Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard is sitting out for the same reason while forward Gordon Hayward will miss Boston’s game to rest his sore ankle.
Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said the decision was made to rest Butler on Saturday night after the pair visited following his 33-point outing in a 131-123 win over Cleveland in the Timberwolves’ home opener. Minnesota is playing in the Mavericks’ first home game.
The Timberwolves had a tough travel schedule to start the season, with two trips to Texas in a span of three days. They lost the season opener at San Antonio before beating the Cavaliers at home.
Leonard did not travel with the Raptors to the nation’s capital for their game at the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. He had 31 points and 10 rebounds while playing 36 minutes in Toronto’s 113-101 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Friday.
Leonard played in only nine games for the San Antonio Spurs last season, mostly because of a quadriceps injury.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there wasn’t a plan to sit Hayward out of the second night of consecutive games, but the forward was feeling general soreness as he plays his way into shape on his surgically repaired left ankle.
Hayward has averaged 12 points in the first two games after breaking his ankle in the opening minutes of last season.
Memphis Grizzlies forward JaMychal Green has undergone surgery after breaking his jaw during a victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. Green broke his jaw while taking an elbow to the face during the third quarter of a 131-117 triumph. Tthe 6-foot-9 forward had surgery Saturday morning. No additional information was provided. The 28-year-old Green averaged 10.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 28 minutes last season. He has averaged 7.5 points and 6 rebounds in the first two games this season. …
Willie Reed was the No. 1 pick Saturday in the G League draft, his rights going to the Salt Lake City Stars. The 28-year-old Reed has spent parts of three seasons in the NBA, appearing in 152 games with the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons and the Clippers. His career NBA high is 22 points, done twice with the Heat in a span of four days in January 2017. And now he returns to the G League as part of Utah’s affiliate club, looking to prove himself again.
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