Cavs wing Taurean Prince needs season-ending ankle surgery
— Kelsey Russo (@kelseyyrusso) April 22, 2021
The announcement doesn’t come as a total surprise. Prince was already dealing with ankle problems when he re-aggravated the injury in Cleveland’s loss to the Toronto Raptors on April 10. That incident seemed to jump-start his rehab process.
#Cavs Taurean Prince went down awkwardly and grabbed his ankle. He's shaking it off and staying in. But, remember, he's probably going to need ankle surgery in the offseason because he's been less than 100 percent for a little while.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) April 10, 2021
Prince, in his fifth NBA season, had been a steady rotation piece since being acquired by the Cavaliers as part of the James Harden blockbuster in January. Cleveland acquired center Jarrett Allen, too.
In 26 games for Cleveland (six starts), the 27-year old has averaged 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 23.7 minutes per game. He spent the first 12 games of the 2020-21 season with the Brooklyn Nets.
Prince is a career 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc and has made 41.5 percent of his three-point attempts with Cleveland.
He had increased his production since returning from a 10-game absence due to a shoulder injury in March. In 10 games since April 3rd, Prince was putting up 13.6 PPG on .475/.457/.864 shooting splits.
Prince is due to earn $13 million in 2021-22, the final season of his contract. Depending on how his ankle recovery goes, the two-way wing will be a likely trade candidate heading into next season for the rebuilding Cavs.
Entering Thursday, the Cavs record sat at 21-37, placing them in the no. 13 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They trail the 10th-seeded Washington Wizards (25-33) by four games for the final spot in the play-in tournament.
The Prince news hits one day after the Cavs ruled out 2019 first-round pick Dylan Windler indefinitely following knee surgery.