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Southwest notes: Morant, D. Jones, Wembanyama, Sochan

Southwest notes: Morant, D. Jones, Wembanyama, Sochan

Southwest notes: Morant, D. Jones, Wembanyama, Sochan

Grizzlies guardian Yes Morant shared an update on the condition of his right shoulder while conducting his youth basketball camp Saturday afternoon, DaMichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Morant underwent season-ending surgery in January to repair a labral tear in his shoulder. He expects to receive medical clearance to resume basketball activities within the next two weeks.

“I hate being around basketball and not being able to play” Morant said. “I don’t have much left. I can’t wait to make sure I can play and be out when the season comes.”

Morant was hoping to regain his status as one of the NBA’s best players after a pair of suspensions cut short his 2022-23 campaign, but injuries have hindered them. The two-time All-Star and former Most Improved Player was limited to just nine games before the shoulder problem ended his season. He was pleased with the response to his youth camp, which is the first he has held since his legal troubles became public.

“In a camp like this, the turnout made it better to show how much support I still have and people are still my fans.” Morant said. “It’s just one of those moments where you look at yourself and you’re proud.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The mid-level exception might be enough for Mavericks keep Derrick Jones Jr., who is the only member of the rotation headed to free agency this summer, suggests HoopsHype’s Mark Deeks. Deeks notes that Jones played a valuable role for Dallas in its run to the NBA Finals, but adds that he probably isn’t shooting well enough to earn an offer close to the two-year, $45 million contract that Bruce Brown landed last summer. The Mavs’ only other notable free agent is the veteran forward Markieff Morrisand Deeks thinks he’d be willing to come back with another partially guaranteed minimum offer.
  • spurs phenomenon Victor Wembanyama gets offseason dribbling lessons from former NBA guard Jamal Crawford, according to Nick Moyle of the San Antonio Express-News. Crawford said they started talking in January when Wembanyama appeared on TNT’s pregame show, where Crawford served as an analyst. Crawford taught him some moves at the Rising Stars Challenge in February, and they decided the lessons should continue in the offseason. “It was funny, when I started showing all the other rookies and sophomores on the court (they gave us) their full attention, I came over and they stopped shooting.” Crawford recalled. “So I’m like, OK, let’s keep it surface level because everybody’s watching now.”
  • spurs redirect Jeremy Sochan is back from arthroscopic ankle surgery and is training with Poland’s national team for an upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament in Spain, Moyle adds in a separate story. Poland are in Group B with the Bahamas and Finland, while Group A consists of Spain, Angola and Lebanon. The tournament will run from July 2-7, with the winner claiming one of the four remaining spots at the Olympics.