NBA Rumors: Buzz on Rockets, Timberwolves and More Around the League

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

Nov 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Chase Budinger (10) looks on during a free throw in the second half against the Orlando Magic at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 90-75. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

The NBA, unlike any other sports league in this country, is so controlled by its players that it makes sense the rumor mill really never ends. When you want to know if/when something is going to happen, just find a team that is playing below expectations. 

Case in point: The Los Angeles Lakers and Mike D'Antoni. It was obvious, even last year, that the Lakers and Mike Brown weren't right for each other, but because the team made the playoffs as the No. 3 seed, he wasn't going to get fired this offseason. 

A slow start this year, after adding Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, gave the Lakers all the motivation they needed to pull the trigger on Brown after just five games. 

Everyone was saying Brown would get fired, just not necessarily that quickly. Rumors get started, pick up steam and eventually things happen. 

Here is the latest batch of rumors from around the NBA to get your weekend off to a rousing, speculative start. 


Rockets and White At Odds

Royce White's career with the Houston Rockets has not gotten off to the start either side was hoping. White, who has social anxiety problems, doesn't feel the team is doing enough to help and support him. 

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the team is going to fine White for the time he misses with the team.

While blaming the Rockets for failing to consistently support his treatment for anxiety issues, White is being fined every day he remains away from the team or chooses not to attend sessions with a therapist the club has arranged for him, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

This is a very delicate situation that the team has to play carefully. While the Rockets have set White up with their therapist, it is hard for them to not look like the bad guys because White has a serious problem. 

White has yet to play in a game with the Rockets this season. 


Minnesota Timberwolves' Injury Problems Piling Up

As the games go by, the Minnesota Timberwolves lose more and more players to the injury bug. They started the season without Kevin Love, who suffered a broken right hand. Now, Chase Budinger will miss an extended period of time. 

According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500, Budinger is expected to miss three or four months with a torn meniscus. 

To compensate for Budinger's absence, ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Timberwolves signed Josh Howard. 

Minnesota & Josh Howard agree to terms on 1-year, vets minimum deal, sources say

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 15, 2012

Howard played 43 games with Utah last season and averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 23 minutes per game. 


Tyler Zeller Moving Closer to Returning

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller has been sidelined for the last four games with a concussion, but, it appears, his wait to get back is coming to an end. 

Head coach Byron Scott told Jodie Valade of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Zeller could be ready to go on Saturday against Dallas. 

I'm very hopeful that Tyler will be ready Saturday. I think it's realistic.

Zeller was having a strong rookie campaign before getting hurt, averaging 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, coming off the bench. The Cavaliers have lost their last four games to drop their record to 2-6, so they need to find a spark somewhere.