NBA Rumors and News Roundup: Chris Kaman and Kenyon Martin Closing in and More

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2012

NBA Rumors and News Roundup: Chris Kaman and Kenyon Martin Closing in and More

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    The Chris Kaman trade sweepstakes are heating up. A number of teams have expressed interest in acquiring the veteran center and his expiring contract.

    Additionally, Kenyon Martin's market continues to heat up, and although he's got a number of competitive teams vying for his services, he may already be leaning toward a certain club.

    As has been the case this season, there was some good news on the injury front for some and some not-so-good news for others.

Earl Watson

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    Watson has been regularly outplaying starter Devin Harris for a somewhat surprising Jazz team, but he may be forced to miss some time going forward.

    He suffered a severe left ankle sprain on Wednesday night and did not return to the game. Typically anytime the word "severe" is associated with ankle sprains, it indicates an absence from action is forthcoming.

    Utah will have to rely on the inconsistent Harris and Jamaal Tinsley off the bench at the point guard position until Watson is able to get back out onto the court.

Nikola Pekovic

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    Pekovic has been looking like a very serviceable center for the Timberwolves of late, and he's been outplaying starter Darko Milicic in emphatic fashion.

    Although Pekovic was back on the bench after starting three straight on Wednesday with Milicic (flu) healthy enough to play, Pekovic logged a double-double off the bench and played more minutes than the starter.

    He's really providing value inside and isn't afraid to bang around with bigger bodies beneath the hoop, and beat writer Jerry Zgoda believes Pekovic may be in line for a larger role going forward

Larry Hughes

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    Hughes has played extremely sparingly for the Magic this season. His comeback attempt didn't last as long as he may have liked in Orlando.

    After Wednesday's win over Washington, the team chose to waive Hughes, but it's not a surprise given the club needs help at point guard desperately.

    To replace Hughes, the Magic called up Ishmael Smith from the Los Angeles D-Fenders just hours after the D-League team acquired him.

Joel Przybilla

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    Przybilla has frustrated teams looking to add size to the active roster as he continues to delay his decision on where to sign.

    Fortunately for those teams, the wait is about to be over.

    The big man has been enjoying retirement to date, but he is ready to return to the league and is choosing between whether he'll sign with Chicago or Miami at the end of this week.

    Both clubs could undoubtedly use some depth beneath the cup. It will be interesting to see which Eastern Conference favorite he will ink with in order to continue his career.

DeShawn Stevenson

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    Stevenson signed late in the offseason with the New Jersey Nets to provide depth on the wing, but he's been disappointing to say the very least.

    He's averaged just 17 minutes per game and is logging just 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds on a pathetic 27.4 percent shooting.

    Now, he'll be out for at least two weeks with ongoing issues with his right knee, and it's safe to say that he hasn't exactly worked out as the team was hoping for when bringing him aboard.

Marcus Thornton

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    Thornton has been in and out of the lineup this season with what was initially described as a thigh contusion, but it was revealed to be a "significant hematoma" that has had him sidelined since January 21.

    His official timetable was one to two weeks when he was diagnosed with the injury, and Thornton has returned to a full practice after about a week and a half out of action.

    The Kings desperately need his offense back in the starting lineup as Jimmer Fredette has looked absolutely woeful in his place alongside Tyreke Evans.

Zach Randolph

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    Randolph's return from a slightly torn MCL has been shrouded in a bit of mystery, but Memphis got some good news on Wednesday when the power forward went for a follow-up MRI.

    He's making considerable progress in his rehab, but there is still no timetable for his return to the Grizzlies lineup at this time.

    His team will continue to plug along without him, but if Randolph is able to come back for the stretch run, it would be a monumental boost to a youthful core that could really use his production.

Kenyon Martin

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    Martin has a number of teams hot on his tail, but the chance to play with his friend Chauncey Billups in Los Angeles (where Martin owns a home) may be enough to convince him to sign with the Clippers.

    Although nothing is imminent, Martin is expected to make a decision by this weekend, and he has already spoken to both GM Neil Olshey and coach Vinny Del Negro about the possibility of signing with the team.

    The Clippers are also reportedly willing to give Martin the full mini-midlevel exception of $2.5 million. Other contenders chasing him may not be able to present him with such an offer.

Chris Kaman

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    It was reported on Wednesday that the Rockets were in the lead to acquire Chris Kaman from New Orleans, but Houston won't be without competition.

    The Hornets are also having discussions with the Pacers, and league sources indicated that Indiana "could, in fact, be the leading candidate" for Kaman's services.

    There is no doubt the Pacers desperately need a backup for Roy Hibbert with Jeff Foster battling constant back troubles. Kaman's expiring contract would provide the Pacers even more financial flexibility to make a huge splash during the offseason.