It’s still early in the NBA season, but various reports are already beginning to swirl about in the NBA rumor mill. Let’s explore injuries, trades or extraneous moves that could shift the balance of power as it stands in the association.
Andrew Bynum’s Injury Likely Worsened After Latest Report
Philadelphia 76ers fans were excited to see the talented big man finally make his Sixers debut this upcoming December. Unfortunately, it appears that his previously slated debut may be rescheduled. Early reports out of Philly (via ESPN.com) have indicated that Bynum’s knee injury has been further aggravated after a recent outing at the bowling alley. Apparently, the rather innocuous leisure time activity did untold damage on his knees, and this could further delay not only Bynum’s development, but the development of the entire Sixers’ team.
They need to have Bynum back on the court if they truly want to compete in the Eastern Conference, but if he’s unable to return by this season, it certainly doesn’t look good for their prospects. Philly’s future this season and beyond is definitely in jeopardy.
Brandon Roy’s Come Back Season Dealt Crushing Blow
One of the season’s best feel-good stories was former Portland Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy’s return to the NBA following what was considered career-ending surgery. Unfortunately for his sake, a recent MRI determined that the cartilage damage in his knees was still too severe to continue playing at this time, and now, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be without someone who could’ve been extremely productive for them as the season progresses.
There is no official timetable for his return, but considering it’s the seventh surgery for Roy in regards to this knee issue, he will likely be out of action way longer than “a few weeks,” as Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter.
Although this latest setback doesn’t really surprise anyone, the Wolves’ five million dollar investment in Roy demonstrated they hoped he’d have a positive impact on their season, but Roy is now another casualty of injury woes on a Minnesota roster riddled by them.
Rockets Rookie Still Not Same Page With Team
When the Rockets drafted Royce White, they were not only getting someone with an incredible array of talents, but they were also acquiring a player with anxiety and other mental health concerns. Since most of the offseason, White and the Rockets have been at odds over his travel arrangements. Apparently, White has a big fear of flying, and for all road games, he requested that special accommodations be made to cater to his unique health concerns.
It’s been reported that White will be meeting with Rockets GM Daryl Morey very soon to iron out any issues White may have with the team. Although White is certainly a raw prospect, he’s a phenomenal talent that could play a key role for the Rockets if he can settle his off-the-court issues.
When Will D’Antoni Make His Debut?
Arguably the biggest NBA headline this season has been the tumultuous beginning for the Los Angeles Lakers. After being touted as the favorites to win it all this season, the Lakers’ optimism quickly waned in the wake of mounting losses and eventual firing of former head coach Mike Brown.
Now, with Mike D’Antoni as the new coach, fans are awaiting to see his first game as the Lakers head coach. Many expected his first game to be this past Sunday, but due to concerns following knee surgery, reports indicate D’Antoni’s debut has been pushed back. ESPN reports that D’Antoni may be back as early as Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets at home, but if the previous report is any indication, it’s possible that could change.
If D’Antoni can re-energize the Lakers, who have looked impressive as of late, he could transform them into one of the league’s most fearsome offenses.
Could Josh Smith and Pau Gasol Be on the Move?
A trade that would certainly shake up things in the West would be the Josh Smith to Los Angeles trade that has been the subject of rumors for a while. The rumors flared up again recently when it was reported that sources within the Lakers organization reportedly talked about doing a new deal involving Pau Gasol and the Hawks’ ultra-athletic forward.
If the Lakers make the move, they would become younger and more athletic overnight—a change that further benefits their newly-implemented D’Antoni offense that favors a faster tempo and more pick-and-roll action.
Although the same report mentions the Hawks have no interest in Gasol as part of the deal, it wouldn’t be surprising if either Gasol or Smith are moved elsewhere at some point in the season.
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