Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul could be out for up to a month with the knee injury that kept him out on Wednesday. With only 14 players currently on the roster rumors have the Rockets discussing a contract with veteran point guard Jameer Nelson.
Paul could be seen limping near the conclusion of Tuesday’s win over the Golden State Warriors and spent the final five minutes of the slugfest on the bench. There’s no report of serious knee damage or the need for surgery, instead it’s been described as a bruise or soreness.
There’s debate over the seriousness and timeline of the injury however. Lots of sources on Twitter are reporting a 2 - 4 week timeline, while the Houston Chronicle has Mike D’Antoni saying Paul is out tomorrow, but they’ll take another look at him on Monday:
Chris Paul to miss home opener, perhaps much more, with bruised knee https://t.co/bZ5UdX1hpp via @houstonchron— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 20, 2017
Several other sources are reporting the injury will last 2 - 4 weeks:
Chris Paul will miss 2-4 weeks with a knee injury.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 20, 2017
Sources say the Rockets are calling around for available PGs. https://t.co/GHwJpbZtwm
There are fears that Chris Paul's knee problem could sideline him for a month in Houston, according to league sources— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 20, 2017
If you like Woj bombs, then the Ruler of Rumor is reporting Houston spent all day on the phone trying to find a point guard to cycle in to rotation:
Sources: Houston's been on phones today, feeling out agents on available point guards for possible 2-to-4 week stretch without Chris Paul.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 20, 2017
If Houston’s on the phone for another point guard, then they likely don’t expect him back on Monday. Going in to the season the expectation was for Paul or James Harden to be running the point at all times during a game.
The whole story has the impression of an injury that will leave Paul out of the lineup for a few weeks with Houston trying to downplay the situation as damage control. Keeping Paul listed as day-to-day could help avoid a narrative of Paul’s acquisition being a mistake or forcing a conversation about Paul’s pending free agency.
With no further information on Paul’s knee that’s the best speculation one can offer.
In Houston’s first two games it doesn’t seem like Demetrius Jackson is ready for serious NBA minutes. He mostly played a role in moving the ball in 10 minutes against Sacramento, but looked timid and surprised by the speed and pace of the game. In the preseason D’Antoni went with Luc Mbah a Moute in the backcourt when Paul was out.
For now one would expect Eric Gordon in the starting lineup and Luc Mbah a Moute consuming minutes as a shooting guard when possible.
Current Twitter conversations are tying Houston to veteran point guard Jameer Nelson. The one-time All-Star was waived by Denver last week for Richard Jefferson after playing 27 minutes in 75 games for the Nuggets last season.
Other available names include Deron Williams, Trey Burke, Leandro Barbosa, Andre Miller, Steve Blake and Isaiah Canaan.
The Rockets also own the international rights to a dude named Sergio Lull who is currently injured.