Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel missed Saturday’s road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture in his left cheek, the team announced.
His status will be updated next week.
Noel, 25, has averaged 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds on 67.6 percent shooting in 38 games (six starts) this season, his second with the Thunder. The sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Noel has career averages of 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 338 games.
The Thunder play at home Monday (vs. Dallas), then have road games in Sacramento (Wednesday) and Phoenix (Friday) to close out the month.
--New York Knicks rookie guard RJ Barrett, who sprained his right ankle in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 16, is expected to miss at least another week as he recovers from the injury, the team announced.
Barrett has moved from walking on crutches to wearing a boot, the team said, and will be re-evaluated a week from now. After that, a series of tests during practice will be required before he’s pronounced fit for action.
Barrett, the third overall selection in the 2019 draft, is averaging 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 41 games.
--A day after it was first reported, the Dallas Mavericks announced they have acquired center Willie Cauley-Stein from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Cauley-Stein, 26, provides the Mavericks size to replace Dwight Powell, who sustained a ruptured right Achilles tendon during Tuesday’s 110-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Powell is out for the remainder of the season.
Cauley-Stein signed a two-year deal with the Warriors in the offseason after spending his first four campaigns with the Sacramento Kings. The 7-footer was averaging 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and a team-leading 1.2 blocks in 41 games (37 starts) for the Warriors.
--Field Level Media
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