NBA News and Notes: November 1, 2018

Take a look at some of the most recent news and notes from the NBA:

Antetokounmpo Cleared To Return

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been cleared to play in Thursday night’s game against the Boston Celtics. The Milwaukee Bucks forward was forced to miss a game while in the league’s concussion protocol, but is healthy enough to return to the floor. Antetokounmpo suffered a blow to the head in an October 27 game against the Orlando Magic and complained of a headache and concussion like symptoms on Sunday after being reevaulated. The Milwaukee Bucks are the lone remaining undefeated team in the NBA entering the month of November. Antetokounmpo averaged 25.0 points and 14.2 rebounds in the month of October to lead the Bucks. This is the first concussion that the All-Star forward has suffered in his career.

Spurs To Retire Ginobili’s Jersey

The San Antonio Spurs have announced that they will retire Manu Ginobili’s number 20 jersey on March 28 during a postgame ceremony. Ginobili will be the ninth player in Spurs franchise history to have his number retired by the team. The Spurs selected Ginobili with the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and he played in 16 seasons with the team. Ginobili was a major part of teams that captured four NBA titles, and he appeared in 1,057 games with the Spurs. He has a career winning percentage of .721 (762-295) which is the best winning winning percentage in NBA history for a player that has played in over 1,000 games. He made two All-Star teams in 2005 and 2011 and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2008.

Bulls Exercise Options on Three Players

The Chicago Bulls have announced that they have exercised team options on Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Denzel Valentine for the 2019-2020 season. All three of these players are currently out with injuries for the Bulls team, but are important pieces in the future of the Bulls. Markkanen and Valentine have yet to play in a game with the Bulls this season, while Dunn is currently out with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Markkanen was the first round draft pick of the Bulls a season ago and set a rookie record with 145 made three point field goals. Dunn averaged 13.4 points and six assists for the Bulls a season ago after struggling with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Richard Bloch, 89, Dies

The Phoenix Suns have announced that co-founder Richard Bloch has passed away at the age of 89. Bloch was the driving force behind bringing an NBA franchise to Phoenix in 1968. The Suns were the first professional sports team in the state of Arizona at the time of their inaugural season. Bloch was part of the ownership group of the Suns until 1987 when they sold the franchise to former general manager Jerry Colangelo. The Phoenix Suns were a playoff team in their second season as a franchise and made it to the NBA Finals in 1976. Bloch also served as chairman of the Board of Governors from 1983 to 1986.

Howard Set to Debut For Wizards

All-Star center Dwight Howard is set to make his season debut with the Washington Wizards on Friday night when the team hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder. Howard missed all of training camp and also was forced to sit out the exhibition season with an injury. The former Orlando Magic phenom played in 81 of 82 games last season while a member of the Charlotte Hornets. Howard averaged 12.5 rebounds per game last season while also registering 53 double-doubles. Center Ian Mahinmi is expected to move to the bench to open up a starting spot for Howard on Friday night.

Love Out For “Weeks” With Injury

Kevin Love is still experiencing pain in his left big toe, and the big man is expected to miss up to a month while letting the injury heal. Love has been dealing with the injury since the preseason, but the pain has continued to get worse as the season has gone on. Both Love and the Cavaliers did not rule out a potential surgery to fix the issue. Love recently underwent an MRI and was seen wearing a walking boot on the sidelines during the Cavaliers’ latest loss.