NBA AM: Bynum Almost Ready For Court Work?
Bynum Talking Smack And Hoping For Good News: Philadelphia 76ers big man Andrew Bynum was awfully chatty before his 76ers team got dismantled by the Lakers yesterday.
Bynum, who is expected to get a medical update on his bothersome knees this week, said he was glad to see his old teammates and friends, but that he’s moved on with his life after being traded away from L.A.
“Winning championships there was fun,” Bynum said to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. “But obviously my time there is done. Health is the main concern with me now. I don’t regret anything. Personally, they traded No. 1 for No. 2 and that is what happened. I think Dwight is a great player and has to get accustomed to playing and not touching the ball on every play.”
Bynum is hoping to be cleared for more work by his doctors this week and believes he can be the missing link in some regards.
“I think I could do wonders for this team because right now we don’t have a lot of post threat and that would help free up a lot of our guys from the outside – knock down shooters and Jrue [Holiday] and Evan [Turner] are playing a lot with the ball right now so it would be good to join them and Thaddeus [Young], also,” Bynum said.
Bynum says that the rehab work he has been doing is working, that his pain and discomfort level is going down and that he hopes to be cleared for some impact work this week.
“I’m feeling much better,” Bynum said. “From the beginning of this year, the state of the injury when I see the doctor hopefully I’ll be cleared for impact. Only the left knee (is hurting) the right knee is fine.”
The 76ers continue to say there is no urgency to get Bynum back on the floor and that their primary concern is getting Andrew healthy so he can stay in the lineup and not deal with in and out kinds of setbacks from trying to force too much, too soon.
Bynum missed all of training camp and the first 24 games of the season. Without Bynum, the Sixers are 12-12 and sitting at .500 on the season, which is a half a game behind Boston for the eighth seed in the East.
The Warriors’ Other Rookie: Harrison Barnes was the coveted rookie in the 2012 NBA Draft. He was expected to be an impact player, but for the Warriors they are getting dividends from not only Barnes, the expected rookie standout, they are also getting major production from Festus Ezeli and second-round pick Draymond Green.
Draymond talks with HOOPSWORLD about the trust the team has shown in him and how much he’s learning as a rookie playing a role for the Warriors.
Gasol And The Hawks?: Despite speculation from the L.A. Times, in which the Times claims, “The Hawks called this summer to inquire about a Smith-for-Gasol trade,” the Atlanta Hawks have zero interest in Pau Gasol and according to well-placed sources in Atlanta, they never have.
Like most in Lakers nation, the L.A. Times is offering up scenarios that would “fix” the Lakers and moving Gasol continues to be the front and center topic being kicked around by those that cover the team.
The Hawks for their part found the trade notion laughable, mainly because Gasol’s deal flies in the face of what they are trying to do with their salary cap. As much as the Lakers and their fans would like to trade to get a younger and more potent Smith, he was, at least according to sources in Atlanta, never discussed with the Lakers.
There is some truth to the idea that the Hawks tried aggressively to get into the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but only to land Howard for themselves.
Hawks sources said they have heard from most of the league on Smith in one way or another, validating their interest in keeping Smith long-term and clearly establishing a large marketplace should they want to trade him.
The Hawks continue to take the stance that they have heard enough from Smith’s camp to know that they have the inside track on keeping him long-term. With the way the team is playing, they feel like they can use their upcoming salary cap space to either sign a free agent out right or trade for another piece either at the trade deadline, using their ending contracts, or this summer in free agency.
The Hawks have a very open and two-way conversation going with Smith and believe him to be happy in his situation. As long as that’s the case, the Hawks say they are not entertaining trade offers on Smith.
Should the situation in Atlanta change with Smith, the Hawks may change their course, but to believe that the Hawks have even a hint of interest in Gasol or his massive cap-killer of a contract is not only misplaced, it’s the last thing the Hawks say they have interest in.
The message in Atlanta has been unwavering on Smith since Danny Ferry took over the team. The Hawks view Smith and Al Horford as the tent poles of the franchise, they plan to add to those two players so unless someone is offering a better tent pole, which Gasol is clearly not, the Hawks have a plan in place and Gasol is not part of that plan.
In Related: The L.A. Lakers continue to sniff around the free agent market, having been linked to the likes of Delonte West, Mike James and Jonny Flynn. The Lakers have a maxed out roster and would have to cut a contract to make room for a new addition. They seem reluctant to eat a contract only to pay for another one. Both of the Lakers second-round rookies, Robert Sacre and Darius Johnson-Odom, have non-guaranteed contracts, but the Lakers value both too much to just cut them.
There has been chatter that the Lakers have shopped Devin Ebanks in trade hoping to flip him for a draft pick of some value or a serviceable backup point guard. The Lakers continue to weigh the virtues of adding another player to the roster, and whether that could do more harm than good.
Moving Ebanks clears a roster spot, especially if it returns only a draft pick. However, there seems to be limited interest in Ebanks at this point.
Rose On Course, But Not Near Return: With Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio back on the court after tearing the ACL in his left knee last March, many in Chicago are wondering when Derrick Rose will make his return.
Rose tore his left ACL almost two months later, and while reports have put Rose “ahead” of Rubio’s timeline, Rose’s injury and surgery type was a bit more complex than Rubio’s and the injuries happened some 48 days apart.
Rose’s surgery used a graft from his patellar tendon to repair the injury, and that procedure usually takes three months before a player can return to court work and typically another 4 to 6 months before being cleared to play.
The Bulls have said repeatedly that they have no plans to rush Rose back and risk setbacks or additional injuries. While Rose has advanced his rehab considerably in the last few weeks, Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau cautioned that Rose still has a lot of hurdles to clear in his rehab.
“Derrick is doing fine. We just have to be patient and let him keep doing the things he’s doing.” Thibodeau said to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
“But he’s still a ways away from the actual practice. He has to do a lot of things off the court still.
“The way medicine is today, you see guys fully recovered and come back in some cases even better than they were before the injury. You just have to be patient. It’s an injury that takes time. Hopefully everything works out.”
The Bulls have said from the beginning of the process that they expected Derrick to miss 8-12 months with the surgery and rehab. If those estimates hold true, the earliest the Bulls could see Rose is in 2013, although everyone involved is trying to avoid picking a firm date, but the end of December will mark the eighth month mark since the injury, so Rose’s eventual return could happen sooner than later.
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