NBA news roundup: Kemba Walker will undergo MRI Sunday

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kemba Walker is scheduled for an MRI, Dwight Howard is happy to be without trade rumors and more NBA news from Saturday.

Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker suffered a serious-looking ankle injury Saturday in the third quarter against the Miami Heat and will undergo an MRI Sunday, the team announced, after initial X-rays were negative.

Walker is a key cog in the Bobcats' offense as one of the few guys who can create a shot for himself and for others. The third-year guard is averaging 19 points, five assists and four rebounds per game this season, leading Charlotte to a 17-25 record, good enough for ninth place in the East.

Sitting right outside of the top eight, Charlotte looks like a team ready to challenge for a playoff spot, but it will face a serious uphill battle if it has to do so without its young, emerging point guard.

Dwight Howard said he was 'promised' a trade to the Nets

The Rockets' All-Star center spoke with Jessica Camerato of the recently launched Basketball Insiders about how he is excited to finally be out of trade rumors.

"You can’t help but look at the clock," Howard said. "It’s a tough situation for anybody."

Howard headlined the last few trade deadlines, but his name will not be mentioned this season. That has to be nice for the 28-year-old.

He also spoke on the Brooklyn Nets trade rumors that clouded the past few seasons.

"I thought the Brooklyn thing was going to come through at the end of the season," Howard said of a potential trade to the Nets. "It was something that was promised, but it didn’t happen. Once it didn’t happen I figured everything happens for a reason. I just let it go. I was upset for a while, but I just let it go."

That's a mature answer from Howard, who is having quite a bounce back year in Houston. The big man is averaging 18 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks and is playing as a star alongside James Harden on a team with legitimate championship aspirations.

Nicolas Batum feels he deserves All-Star recognition

The Blazers wing man told Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com that he deserves a spot in the All-Star game.

"If they have to pick one small forward behind K.D. (Kevin Durant), I think it should be me."

...

"Because of the numbers that I have and the way I play with this team," he responded. "I got two triple-doubles and I should have about five or six. And we’re 31-9, maybe the best team in the West so far. I think it’ll be tough to get three All-Stars because Damian and L.A. are going to be in it. And our coach, too. But I deserve consideration."

After fan voting, it's up to coaches to fill out the rosters for their respective conferences. While it's highly unlikely Batum receives a nod from fans, it's completely plausible that the coaches side with the 25-year-old Frenchman.

Whether you agree with it or not, a team's record plays a big part in how All-Stars are selected, and the Blazers are atop the powerful Western Conference. Even aside from that, Batum is having a very good season.

He's averaging 13.4 points, 6.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds on the year. The do-it-all Batum is a versatile defender, a knock-down shooter and he plays a major role in what Portland hopes to accomplish on offense.

Jason Smith to undergo knee surgery

The Pelicans big man will undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove loose cartilage in his right knee, according to Nakia Hogan of NOLA.com.

The Pelicans announced just hours before the Pelicans-Warriors game Saturday night that Smith was out indefinitely with a knee injury and an MRI revealed that he had suffered damage to the cartilage in his knee.

Smith, 27, joins Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday on New Orleans' injury list and all three are out indefinitely.

The veteran big man is averaging 9.7 points and a career-high 5.8 rebounds on 46.5 percent shooting from the field.

More from SB Nation NBA:

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NBA All-Star jerseys are sleeved monstrosities | #Lookit

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Deeks: For his sake, send Anthony Bennett to D-League | Worst No. 1 pick ever?

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