NBA Rumors: Sifting Through the Latest Buzz Around the League

Bryant Knox@@BryantKnoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

NBA Rumors: Sifting Through the Latest Buzz Around the League

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    The 2012-13 NBA season may be young, but there are a number of storylines stirring when it comes to the league’s hottest rumors.

    It’s no secret that the firing of Mike Brown and the potential return of Phil Jackson (according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears) has created the loudest buzz around the league. The Los Angeles Lakers are in the spotlight, and everybody wants to know what’s going to happen next.

    That being said, buried under the drama in L.A. is plenty more to talk about. Rumors won’t truly begin flying until we get closer to the trade deadline, but early-season stories can cause a stir, and there's plenty to talk about as the season heats up.

Who Will Coach the Los Angeles Lakers?

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    Update: The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Mike D'Antoni as their head coach according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.

    The Los Angeles Lakers made the move to fire head coach Mike Brown just five games into their season, and the question now becomes, who will be their next coach?

    There are a number of viable candidates at this point, but the real question on everyone’s mind is, will it be Phil Jackson?

    According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Phil Jackson is the first option, and he is expected to give his answer Monday, Nov. 12. He’s won five championships alongside Kobe Bryant, he’s found success with big men throughout the years and he’s beyond familiar with the culture—both good and bad—that comes with the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles.

    The team met with Jackson following the departure of Brown, and the legendary head coach had a number of stipulations to be satisfied before he would consider returning. Those conditions were reported by Broussard as “travel restrictions, a salary in line with what he previously earned…and significantly more say over basketball decisions.”

    Broussard has stated on Twitter that a phone interview with Mike D’Antoni “went very well”, and that Mike Dunleavy will be “strongly considered” if Jackson doesn’t take the job.

Kenyon Martin Will Sign with Anybody?

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    Without trying to sound desperate, of course, Kenyon Martin has stated that he’s willing to sign with any team that comes calling, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

    The 34-year-old played 42 games for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2012-13 season, and he was a valuable role player during their postseason run, which included a series victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

    The power forward averaged 5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and one block with the team, but he’s yet to receive any interest as a free agent for the 2012-13 season.

    According to Spears, Martin believes that people are afraid he’s a bad influence in the locker room. Martin admits to having problems in the past, but he believes that the negative sentiments are overblown.

    Martin originally wanted to sign with a championship-caliber team, but he has gone on to accept the fact that any offer is a good one at this point. Unfortunately for the big man, those offers have yet to come his way.

When Will Chauncey Billups Return?

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    Chauncey Billups joined the Los Angeles Clippers for the start of the 2011-12 season, but his year was cut short following a torn Achilles tendon after just 20 games. He’s yet to play a game since, but he may be close to returning to the floor.

    According to ESPN’s Arash Markazi, the Clippers’ guard is “hoping to be back in a month.” Billups stated that he is practicing with the team, and that “everything is looking good.”

    Los Angeles added a great piece to their backcourt in Jamal Crawford in the offseason, but there’s no denying what a player of Billups’ caliber brings any NBA roster. He averaged 14.9 points, four assists and shot 38.4 percent from deep range before getting hurt, and his leadership on the court is something the team missed during their playoff run last spring.

    Markazi says that Billups should be able to make his season debut sometime before the team goes on a four-game road trip in December.

    The Clippers are also without veteran forward Grant Hill, and according to Dan Woike of The Orange Country Register (via ESPN Insider), there is no timeline for his return.

Are the Indiana Pacers in Search of Danny Granger's Replacement?

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    According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Danny Granger is expected to sit out up to three months while treating patellar tendinosis.

    Granger is the team’s go-to player on offense, and while his absence won’t be made up for by anybody on the current free-agent market, the team seemingly needs to make a move to remain competitive out East.

    Mike Wells of The Indianapolis Star has reported via Twitter that Mickael Pietrus is a “possible replacement” at this point.

    Pietrus has averaged 8.4 points and 3.1 rebounds for his career. He’s not on the level of Granger, but he is a solid two-way player who can step into the small forward position and keep a talented Indiana team competitive.

    According to Shams Charania of RealGM, Josh Howard is another leading candidate.

An Update Coming on Andrew Bynum’s Status?

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    It seems right now that the only thing we know about Andrew Bynum’s injury status is that he’s yet to play a single minute following the trade that sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers and moved Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets.

    That could change this week, though, as CSNPhilly has reported that an update could be coming as early as Monday, Nov. 12.

    The Sixers have been dreadful on offense this season. It took them five games to post more than 88 points, and they’re near the basement of the league in scoring with a points-per-game average of just 88.7.

    Defensively, the team has been one of the best, as they’re second in the NBA in points allowed.

    If Bynum is able to make his debut soon, he will help boost both categories. This team has the potential to challenge out East, but having a healthy Bynum is going to be a crucial part of finding success.