The revolving door that is the Utah Jazz’s injury report got one move closer to getting on the good side Monday morning, as point guard Raul Neto was ruled probable for the Jazz’s Monday night game against the Indiana Pacers.
Neto, who has been out for more than a month because of a concussion and knee injury, was declared questionable for Monday on Sunday.
The third-year guard out of Brazil averaged 4.9 points and 1.9 assists in 17 appearances before getting hurt.
The Pacers announced Friday afternoon that starting center Myles Turner, who has missed the team's last three games, will be sidelined for at least the next four contests, all of which will be on the road.
Indiana started a five-game road trip Sunday night with a 120-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
MUM ON TRADES: Jan. 15 marks the day when players around the NBA who re-signed with their respective teams last summer for more than the minimum, got a raise of at least 20 percent and their team used what is known as “bird” or “early bird” rights to sign them are eligible to be traded.
For the Jazz, only Joe Ingles falls into this category, as he signed a four-year, $52 million deal last summer after earning just over $2 million last season. Of note for Utah, Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic, who has been linked to the Jazz in reports of trade talks, became eligible to be moved (he also has a provision in his contract in which he has to approve of a trade).
In all, just 16 more players around the league became eligible to be traded Monday than were eligible before, but the date often signals the real start to the trade season with 3½ weeks to go before the deadline.
On Monday, Utah head coach Quin Snyder was asked if he plays a role in trade discussions or if he leaves it entirely up to general manager Dennis Lindsey and his staff.
Typically one to give rather lengthy answers to questions, Snyder was short Monday, only saying, “I’m just, you know, I’m focused on coaching the team.”
EQUALITY: Wing Royce O’Neale, who entered the season as the Jazz’s 15th man at least in terms of being the final player to have his contract finalized, tallied the first double-double of his career last Friday against the Charlotte Hornets with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and was the player made available to speak with the media after the team’s shootaround Monday.
O’Neale joined teammate and close friend Donovan Mitchell in wearing special shoes in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The shoes for the rookie out of Baylor were white with the word “Equality” written all over them.
“It means a lot,” O’Neale said of the holiday. “The history of it, being able to play on this day is an honor. I’m blessed for it.”