HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Andrew Bynum’s Return Likely Delayed?
By Stephen Brotherston
The Philadelphia 76ers knew about Andrew Bynum’s history of knee problems when they acquired the 24-year-old center this summer and it doesn’t appear to have come as much of a surprise that the big man was going to require treatments prior to the start of the season. However, the plan to inject both of Bynum’s knees with Synvisc-One on Monday, October 22 could delay Bynum’s return to the lineup, or even the practice court, a lot longer than team officials are letting on.
According to the company website, Synvisc-One is designed to treat Osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis pain in the knee. Pain and stiffness is caused by the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones deteriorating and the joint fluid losing its shock-absorbing qualities. Synvisc-One supplements a person’s own joint fluid and can provide up to six months of relief.
However, Synvisc-One takes four weeks after the injection before most patients experience pain relief, there can be side effects such as swelling or fluid buildup and 29 percent of patients do not experience pain relief as a result of the procedure.
Beal Adjusting to NBA Without Wall
By Alex Raskin
It wasn’t that the Washington Wizards needed more depth in the backcourt. If nothing else, the team already had lightening-fast point guard John Wall — the top pick of the 2010 NBA Draft — and athletic shooting guard Jordan Crawford.
But by using the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft on Bradley Beal, a shooting guard with a 39-inch vertical and a ¾-court sprint time of just 3.28 seconds, Washington may have given itself the fastest backcourt in the NBA.
Unfortunately, before Wall and Beal could take their marks, the former sustained a stress injury in his right knee, which means the Wizards will be without their “backcourt of the future” when the season opens in early November. Wall hopes to be back soon thereafter, but in the meantime, Beal is being asked to develop into a professional without the aid of Wall.
Who Survives the Cut?
By Eric Pincus
In most cases, a guaranteed contract means job security heading into training camp. Of course, that didn’t help Kelenna Azubuike of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Jordan Williams of the Atlanta Hawks, who were both waived well before the season starts.
Teams must cut their head count down to 15 before opening night, which means there are still players fighting for spots.
The following is a franchise-by-franchise breakdown of players scrambling to crack the regular season roster.
Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks have 13 guaranteed contracts along with three playing on partial or non-guaranteed deals. It’s going to be difficult for James Anderson to make a squad that is already loaded at shooting guard. Where are minutes to be found with Lou Williams, Anthony Morrow, John Jenkins and DeShawn Stevenson? Add in Kyle Korver and Devin Harris, both who can play off-guard, and there’s just room.
Is Goran Dragic the Next Star In Phoenix?
By Derek Page
Replacing a player the caliber of Steve Nash is never easy.
Heck, just ask current Atlanta Hawks point guard Devin Harris how easy that transition was the first time, when he replaced Nash on the Dallas Mavericks. A solid point guard in his own right, Harris was never able to sufficiently fill the void Nash left and ended up being traded to the New Jersey Nets – and that was before Nash won two Most Valuable Player awards.
Both as a man and as a player, Nash’s contributions to the Phoenix Suns organization over the last eight seasons may never be duplicated.
That’s the somber truth for returning Suns point guard Goran Dragic as it’s going to be nearly impossible to replace Nash, who was not only an exceptional player but also a Phoenix fan favorite.
Lawson, Nuggets Nearing Extension?
By Yannis Koutroupis
For months, Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson has voiced confidence that he’ll receive a contract extension that will keep him from hitting free agency at season’s end. Despite the fact that a deal still isn’t done with the Oct. 31 deadline looming, Lawson believes something will get worked out.
“I’m still confident,” Lawson said to HOOPSWORLD. “My agent is working with Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke so I feel like in the next couple of weeks something will get done. We’ll see.”
According to sources close to the situation, the Nuggets’ current offer is in the neighborhood of $44 million over four years, which is just south of what it will likely take to get a deal done before free agency. The 2013 free agency class isn’t going to be overflowing with starting-caliber point guards like Lawson. On the open market, he could very easily receive an offer in the $12-13 million range per year.
Is The Wolves Season Over Already?
By Steve Kyler
Where Do The Wolves Go Now?: The Minnesota Timberwolves, who were already set to begin the season without starting point guard Ricky Rubio, have lost All-Star power forward Kevin Love for what could be the first 6-8 weeks of the NBA regular season after he broke two bones in his shooting hand. NBA recovery estimates are always more cautious, so he could be back in action sooner than 8 weeks. However, the truth of the matter is the Wolves without Love become fairly average, fairly quick – unless someone steps up in a big way.
The Wolves have a couple of guys that could fill the void a little; none of them are Kevin love but they could get the Wolves more than half way there.
It was not that long ago that Derrick was the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and labeled the most NBA-ready player in the draft. In Minnesota he has been woefully inconsistent and looked more like a bust of a pick than a future star, however, with Love out for an extended stretch Derrick could get his shot at major minutes and more importantly more touches on offense as the Wolves try and replace Love’s 21 points and 15 rebounds per game. Williams’ logged 38 minutes in the preseason opener for the Wolves and kicked in 25 points and six rebounds on 9-19 shooting from the field, so if there is a singular candidate to replace the scoring punch it could be Williams.