Cavs: Taurean Prince’s season likely over due to expected ankle surgery

Cleveland Cavaliers wing/forward Taurean Prince signals to teammates in-game. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing/forward Taurean Prince signals to teammates in-game. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had their share of injury woes throughout this season, and that’s been well-documented.

In terms of more recent news on that front, for one, Dylan Windler, who has had his own problems staying healthy throughout his first two seasons, and missed all of 2019-20, had surgery on his left knee. He had been sidelined for Cleveland’s past 12 games prior to Wednesday’s win over the Chicago Bulls with what was designated as “knee soreness,” for further context.

He is set to miss the rest of this season, and is reportedly expected to miss Summer League, even, and you can view more in relation to the reported details/the team’s announcement on that here.

From there, though, unfortunately, there was more news regarding banged up Cavaliers wings on Thursday. Per a report from Kelsey Russo of The Athletic, Taurean Prince is “expected to undergo season-ending surgery for an ankle injury,” which is another blow.

This news is particularly rough for the Cavs’ perimeter shooting/bench scoring efforts.

Prince has been dealing with that left ankle issue for a while, and had missed a four-game span at one point because of that, came back briefly and then missed two more games. And considering it was also reported by Chris Fedor of nearly two weeks back that Prince would “probably” need ankle surgery in the upcoming offseason, this report from Russo wasn’t surprising, really.

The Cavaliers still have mostly an outside shot at a play-in berth, so I can understand the reasoning here, and given the condensed season, this wasn’t a shock. Hopefully Prince can recover from that in due time.

This is tough news, though, and even with that aforementioned prior Fedor report/those comments, it is still a blow.

Prince has looked much less bothered of late regarding the ankle and after following a few games back after missing a 10-game span due to a left shoulder sprain, had had 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 24.6 minutes per outing in his past 10 games active.

He had also hit 45.7 percent of his 4.6 three-point attempts per game in that span, too, and was rolling as a shooter.

Nonetheless, Prince had his share of injury woes, which has led to some inconsistencies game-to-game in his time since having been acquired by the Cavs in mid-January via trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

With Cleveland, he’s objectively aided their perimeter shooting efforts and has provided some additional on-ball shot creation, though.

In his 29 games active with the Cavaliers post-trade acquisition this season has had 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 23.7 minutes per outing, and has hit 1.7 of his 4.1 triple attempts per contest, a 41.5 percent clip.

There were again some inconsistencies game-to-game with Prince with the Cavs, albeit the ankle and shoulder ailments didn’t help.

And projecting onward, given that Prince, along with Cedi Osman, for instance, was a key player mentioned in trade rumors leading into the prior March 25 deadline for this season, one would think he could be moved in the upcoming offseason.

Prince is set to be on an expiring $13 million deal for next season, and one would imagine that with Isaac Okoro and the team seemingly having a real chance of drafting a wing again, Prince could be moved before next season.

That’s not factoring in guys such as Larry Nance Jr. and Dean Wade, regarding at least current rotational 4s, either, of which Prince has played a bunch at with Cleveland. Albeit we’ll see with the 27-year-old Prince.

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Hopefully he’s able to recover fully from that likely surgery to come very soon in due time, regardless.