NBA Rumors: Latest on Andrew Bynum's Return and Potential Lakers Moves

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2013

Feb 01, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum (33) prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Kings 89-80. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA trade deadline came and went without any big moves, but there's still plenty of speculation swirling around all facets of the NBA.

Whether it's a star returning to the court after a longterm injury or a franchise looking to acquire pieces in order to make the playoffs, there's plenty of news and rumors to soak up coming out of the All-Star break.

Let's dig into some of the hottest rumors on the hardwood.


Andrew Bynum Progress

The Andrew Bynum acquisition for the Philadelphia 76ers has been a nightmare so far, as the seven-footer has yet to suit up for Philly.

The Sixers are 22-31 and have fallen to fourth place in the Atlantic Division and desperately need a healthy Bynum on the floor, which could come sooner than later.

According to John Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bynum has returned to practice with his teammates.

The long and protracted wait by the 76ers to get center Andrew Bynum on the floor ended Friday as the center participated in a spirited practice, according to multiple sources.

According to at least two of the sources, Bynum, who has been working out with coaches and team medical personnel exclusively, participated in a five-on-five scrimmage with teammates. Just how long the scrimmage lasted was unknown.

At this point, getting Bynum back on the court is more about his future with the franchise than where Philadelphia finishes this season.

I think it's safe to say they're not contenders in the East without a healthy Bynum, but what the center does when he finally gets on the court and his chemistry with his teammates will determine if he remains a 76er for years to come.


Raja Bell to the Lakers?

Raja Bell's relationship with the Utah Jazz has soured, as he's at odds with the franchise after making comments about coach Tyrone Corbin, according to Bill ORam of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Bell hasn't played in a single game for Utah this season and has been seeking a buyout—a buyout the Lakers may also be hoping for.

According to HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy, Los Angeles is interested in Bell, and backing that pursuit is Kobe Bryant.

Bell's last two seasons have been subpar, but the 36-year-old has shown a propensity for hitting the three and making big shots, as he shoots it better than 40 percent from beyond the arc for his career.

The veteran would also bring a defensive presence to the Lakers that they've certainly lacked this season.

It'd be weird to see Bell and Kobe playing together—given their tumultuous relationship—but it sounds like they've put that in the past, and the move would reunite Bell with former Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash and could provide some chemistry for the Lakers.

Kennedy also speculates that L.A. could look to bring back Derek Fisher, who played for the Lakers for 13 seasons and won five NBA championships.

Some may see these moves as desperation while others might see them as smart moves.

Regardless, the Lakers are just three games out of the playoffs and are playing better basketball of late.


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