Luke Walton says the injury occurred when Memphis Grizzlies’ big man Jonas Valanciunas yanked Metu off the rim.
The Sacramento Kings will be without forward Chimezie Metu for an extended period due to a wrist injury. Head coach Luke Walton believes Metu hurt his wrist in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 124-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
Jason Anderson of The Sac Bee broke the news about the injury:
Sources: Kings forward Chimezie Metu will be sidelined for several weeks after fracturing his wrist on what coach Luke Walton called a “dangerous play” by Jonas Valanciunas in Sunday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Exclusive story right here.https://t.co/MMFzdRTfmL
— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) February 16, 2021
The play in question happened with 3:18 left in the game, with the Kings trailing 118-105. Nemanja Bjelica had the ball near the free-throw line and found a cutting Metu, who dunked it over Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas.
Metu put his legs on Valanciunas, and the Lithuanian wasn’t happy. Valanciunas reacted by yanking Metu’s leg, who fell awkwardly to the ground, breaking the fall with his hand, which resulted in the wrist injury.
“That was a dangerous play,” Walton said. “He hooked him by the leg and tried to throw him down, so I didn’t understand how that is not, in what today’s NBA is, is not even considered a flagrant foul. I don’t see how that’s a basketball play.”
Valanciunas was given a technical foul for the play, but officials told Walton that they didn’t believe it was excessive. Memphis superstar Ja Morant says Valanciunas had a right to be upset with Metu.
“(Metu) went a little overboard,” Morant said. “He got the dunk; probably was excited. I felt like he wrapped his legs around (Valanciunas) and that’s a little disrespectful to a man. I don’t blame JV at all.”
Per Anderson, Metu began to feel discomfort while warming up before Monday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets. He didn’t play in the game, but an X-ray following the loss showed that Metu had a broken wrist.
The 23 year old is in his third NBA season and averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per game. Metu — who was picked in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs — signed a two-way deal with Sacramento in December of last year.
UPDATE: Per a team release, Metu will be evaluated again in four weeks after the MRI confirmed a right wrist fracture.