The first quarter of the 2013-14 NBA season has yet to conclude, but already there has been a surge of rumors around the league.
Much of this buzz concerns the biggest stars and most popular teams, which has fans even more excited about the potential for these signings, trades, hirings, firings and other transactions.
Let’s take a look at the latest talk swirling about in the Association in Wednesday’s rumor roundup.
Jason Kidd Reassigns Top Assistant
The Brooklyn Nets have struggled mightily this year—limping to a 5-13 record so far—and it should come as no surprise that there have been reports of infighting amongst the coaching staff.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, head coach Jason Kidd has reassigned top assistant Lawrence Frank to writing daily reports and removed him from his bench, a demotion stemming from a blowup on Nov. 4.
Wojnarowski noted that the first-year head coach lost his temper with Frank during a staff meeting that followed a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic—Kidd’s first contest on the sidelines following a two-game suspension.
While discussions had been ongoing about repairing the relationship, Kidd ultimately decided to all but fire Frank this past Tuesday.
In regards to his decision, a source told Wojnarowski: "With Jason, once he turns on you, he turns. That's how he was as a player, and that's what we're seeing again now."
Frank recently inked a six-year contract worth over $1 million annually with the Nets, which will certainly complicate this situation. It’ll be interesting to see if the club can find a way to resolve these differences or if it will have to part ways with one of the coaches.
Lamar Odom Eyeing January Return
Lamar Odom was a productive member of the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2012-13 campaign, but has yet to catch on with a club for the current season. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, that may not be the case for long.
Berger found that Odom recently returned to his Los Angeles area home after a fortnight of intense workouts with trainer Rob McClanaghan and is now just awaiting word on his potential NBA comeback.
A source noted that the 34-year-old may be able to step onto the hardwood by mid-January, although he’s admittedly not ready as of early-December.
As per ESPN’s Marc Stein, Odom last checked in with the Clippers organization a few weeks ago. The veteran swingman met face-to-face with head coach Doc Rivers to discuss his tumultuous summer—which included a DUI arrest.
The Lakers also reportedly expressed interest in Odom’s services at that time, a wise move considering he won two titles and a Sixth Man of the Year award during his seven-year tenure with the club.
However, it seems most likely that Odom will once again come off the Clippers bench at some point this season. The 6’10”, 230-pound forward came off the pine almost exclusively last year, participating in all 82 games and averaging 4.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per.
He’s a solid veteran presence that will add some size and savvy to the end of a deep L.A. roster that is eyeing a championship this coming spring.
Knicks Inflating Iman Shumpert’s Value
The New York Knicks are a paltry 3-13 so far this season and drastically need to shake things up if they are going to make the playoffs. One option is to trade star guard Iman Shumpert, an oft-rumored move since the summer.
According to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley, the organization is doing its best to increase Shump’s value to potential suitors by playing up his youth, defensive skills and cheap contract.
It’s a wise move, as the third-year guard has been struggling on the court. He’s averaging a mere 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from deep in 16 games.
The 23-year-old also was seen getting into a dustup with star forward Carmelo Anthony on Sunday evening after New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson—‘Melo’s defensive assignment—hit a wide-open three-point shot.
Head coach Mike Woodson benched Shumpert for his actions, but it may not be enough. It seems the Knickerbockers are hoping to remove the youngster from the roster completely in order to get a fresh start and hopefully turn things around.
It seems like it may be too little, too late, but at least the team brass in the Big Apple is trying.
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