One of the most important keys to a successful NBA career is staying healthy, and some players struggle in this area.
Take Brandon Roy, for instance. He was a talented scorer a few years ago, but his knees got so bad that he actually retired prior to the lockout ending last year.
Now, Roy is back in the NBA on a multiyear deal after a season away from the game. He had better be in top form, so he neither disappoints the fans, nor makes team management regret gambling on him. He's being paid to contribute—not ride the pine in a suit.
As it turns out, Roy is just one of a handful of players who need to get healthy next season.
As a whole, 2012 was a disappointing season for Stoudemire. He struggled to find his shot most of the season and averaged just 17.5 points per game, which is low by his standards.
To add insult to injury, he hurt his back toward the end of the season, and once he was back for the playoffs, he missed more time when he injured his hand punching the glass around a fire extinguisher.
Moreover, Stoudemire needs to get healthy this year for a reason besides his value to the team. His contract has an early termination clause that can be exercised after the season.
If he wants to keep earning big money and not have to play somewhere on a one-year deal, then, he had better get into tip-top shape and be ready to put up big numbers in 2012-2013.
After being brought up in Dwight Howard trade talk for most of the season, the Nets have officially locked up Brook Lopez in the form of a four-year, $61 million contract, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. While a talented scoring center, there's just one problem with the deal. Lopez only appeared in five games last year.
This isn't necessarily something to be concerned about, as Lopez had never missed a regular-season game prior to last year. Still, after missing the first two months of the season with a broken foot, it wasn't long before he twisted an ankle and missed the remainder of the season.
Thus, he's got a lot to prove entering his team's inaugural season in Brooklyn.
Rubio was having a great rookie season in Minnesota, averaging 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game, but then, he tore knee ligaments in March. I understand that he's only 21, and his recovery is progressing well, but an ACL injury is nothing to take lightly.
The Spanish sensation needs to be at 100 percent all year long and prove that he's the man to run the Timberwolves offense. If he misses more time, he'll just be on the road to becoming a talented player who gets hurt too much.
In a brief five-year NBA career, Roy established himself as one of the league's best shooting guards. He averaged 19 points per game over that stretch and shot 35 percent from long range.
Yet, his knees were so bad that he only ever played in over 70 games for two of those five seasons. In fact, Roy actually retired prior to this past season because of his knee issues.
Yet, the soon-to-be 28-year-old Roy decided to attempt a comeback for 2012-2013. He must be in good game shape because the Minnesota Timberwolves inked him to a two-year, $10.4 million deal.
I hope, for his sake, that his knees are better, because that's a big chunk of change to spend on someone who was just out of the NBA for a year.
Bogut has had injury problems throughout his career, but this coming season carries a bit more weight. He's playing for the Golden State Warriors, who have needed a center for a long time.
More importantly, they traded their best player in Monta Ellis to acquire Bogut at last year's trade deadline. Thanks to an ankle injury, he didn't appear in one game for the Warriors and played in just 12 games overall.
Thus, seeing as how he's expected to play a big role in the team's system this year, Bogut simply has to stay healthy this year. That's easier said than done since he has only played a full season in two of his seven NBA seasons, but he has a couple of years left on his contract. That's plenty of time for him to get well for 2012-2013.
Given how much the Warriors and their fans are relying on him, he had better be ready to go soon.
As we all know, Dwight Howard wants to be traded. Yet, since no deals have been made yet, Howard has to focus less on what team he'll be on at the start of the season and more on getting himself well.
You see, Howard had back surgery last season, and according to a recent Twitter rant he went on, he can't even run yet.
If he wants to keep his trade value where it is now, he needs to get better soon and show teams that he's actually worth trading for. Otherwise, his trade/contract offers could very well top out at mediocre.