Friday was a quiet day for NBA news altogether but especially on the Illinois-native front. But there was one bit of news shared by Stadium’s Sham Charania. He reported that Niles North grad and Phoenix Suns forward Abdel Nader has been cleared from his regular season knee procedure and is set to play this weekend.
Abdel Nader is in his fourth year in the NBA and is playing for his third team. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft with the 58th overall pick. Nader spent his first two professional season with the Maine Red Claws and saw NBA action with the Celtics during the 2017-2018 season. In the summer of 2018, Nader was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Rodney Purvis and cash.
His workload with the Thunder was much higher compared to his Celtics’ days. He played in 116 Thunder games which included seven starts over the two years he played in OKC. Nader would soon be on the move yet again.
About a month before the 2020-21 season began, on November 16, 2020, Abdel Nader and Chris Paul were traded to the Phoenix Suns for Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, and a protected 2022 first round pick. While Chris Paul was the key piece of the trade, Nader was a solid pickup and gave solid minutes for the Suns in between his injuries.
He missed some time at the start of the season after getting a concussion a preseason game. He went on to play 24 games off the bench between January 11-March 21, 2021. He averaged 6.7 points on a career-best 49.1 percent shooting with 2.6 rebounds in just 14.8 minutes. He shot 41.9 percent (18 for 43) from three this season.
After 20 missed games at the end of March and most of April due to knee soreness, Nader elected to have an arthroscopy knee procedure. Originally was supposed to be out indefinitely but is now good to go.
Despite playing just minimal minutes in his career, he has played for three playoff contenders (now four) and has played in the last three playoffs. If he plays this weekend or at any point during the 2020-21 playoffs, he’ll add to that.
Phoenix holds a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers heading into Game 4. Tipoff is schedule for 8 P.M. central at the Staples Center on Saturday, June 26.