Forward Justise Winslow out for season, yet to make Grizzlies debut

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Justise Winslow’s season with the Memphis Grizzlies has ended before it even got started for the former Miami Heat forward.

The Grizzlies issued a statement Tuesday that read, “During Monday’s practice, Justise Winslow fell after absorbing contact during an intra-squad scrimmage. Medical evaluation revealed a hip injury, which will cause him to miss the rest of the season. Winslow is expected to make a full recovery.”

Winslow was acquired from the Heat at the Feb. 8 NBA trading deadline, at the time recovering from a lower-back bone bruise that had limited him to a single Heat appearance since Dec. 6.

The No. 10 pick in the 2015 NBA draft had planned to make his Grizzlies debut in mid-March. Those plans, however, were scuttled with the NBA’s March 11 shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last night during a scrimmage, I experienced a contact injury in my hip that unfortunately will keep me out until next season,” Winslow posted Tuesday on Twitter, in the wake of the Grizzlies’ announcement. “I was excited to join my brothers on the court and will be supporting them throughout. I’m focused on coming back 100% towards a full recovery.”

Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson were acquired by the Grizzlies from the Heat in exchange for Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. Waiters was immediately waived by the Grizzlies, since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson was rerouted by the Grizzlies to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Iguodala, Crowder and Hill all have seen action for the Heat.

The last of the Heat’s three scrimmages during the league’s quarantine at Disney World had set up as a reunion with Winslow. Instead, that will have to wait beyond that July 28 exhibition, with the 2020-21 NBA season not to open until December, at the earliest.

Winslow signed a three-year extension with the Heat at $13 million a season that kicked in this season. The final year of that contract is a team option.

Just Monday, during his video media interview, Winslow said he was upbeat about what stood ahead.

“I feel good, man, you know, it’s a blessing,” he said. “NBA bubble, it is what it is. And I get to live my dream under very uncertain circumstances. But I’m just feeling good today.”

Winslow has appeared in just 11 games this season. He missed 16 games in 2018-19 and 14 in 2017-18. Before that, a shoulder injury limited him to 18 games in 2016-17, his second season with the Heat.


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