NBA Rumors and Updates: Andrew Bynum's Future Role and the Latest in Trade Talks

Chris Faig@@ULuminaryCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2010

NBA Rumors and Updates: Andrew Bynum's Future Role and the Latest in Trade Talks

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    With the NBA Trade Deadline getting closer and closer, many teams around the league are beginning to explore all of their trade options as they try to mold their organization into a serious playoff contender.

    The Orlando Magic have made it known that they are in the process of searching for a backup center or two, while it has been rumored that the Chicago Bulls are looking for an upgrade at shooting guard.

    While rumors will continue to fill up the headlines, there are also some updates that you must keep up to date with, such as Andrew Bynum's role with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    The following slides exhibit the biggest trade rumors currently circulating around the NBA, along with some injury and role updates.

PF Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

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    Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

    Dirk Nowitzki left Monday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with soreness in his right knee.

    MRI's were taken at the arena and they came up negative.  Nowitzki told that the knee had been bothering him for about two weeks.  He told the website, "hopefully it's just a strain, and hopefully I'll be back in action soon."

    ESPN's Marc Stein has reported that Nowitzki's MRI has revealed a sprain and the Dallas Mavericks have listed him as day-to-day on their injury report.  It has been decided that Nowitzki will sit out on Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors and Shawn Marion may be started at power forward in his place.

C Yao Ming, Houston Rockets

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Houston Chronicle has reported that the Houston Rockets have been exploring all possible trade options, which include deals for Yao Ming.  

    The Rockets have allegedly been discussing potential deals with the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats.  

    The report also included that Ming was told that his expiring contract could be used in a future trade.

The Chicago Bulls' Pursuit of a Shooting Guard

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Chicago Bulls have been in search of an upgrade at shooting guard and some possibilities that have come to light are J.R. Smith, J.J. Redick and Courtney Lee.  

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has reported that, "The Bulls have scouted Rockets guard Courtney Lee, who is well-regarded for his defense and toughness."

    Lee seems to be the top target for the Chicago Bulls as of now.  Expect some kind of move to be made before the trade deadline this season.

PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Russell Westbrook left Monday night's contest against the Dallas Mavericks with an injured right elbow after hitting the floor hard.  

    John Rohde of The Oklahoman has reported that Head Coach Scott Brooks said that Westbrook was "fine" and expects him to participate fully in practice.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!Sports posted the following on Twitter.  "Westbrook, who left the loss to the Mavs clutching his elbow, is fine" source close to him says. 'Just hit his funny bone.'"

    Westbrook isn't expected to miss any time, but if he does Eric Maynor will be his replacement in the starting line-up.

G Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    All season Tyreke Evans has been bothered by plantar fascitis in his left foot.  Evans told The Sacramento Bee the following about his injury: "It's tough, especially in the morning.  A lot of people have had it in the NBA.  I just have to try to be a warrior and try to play through it.  

    Evans has been contemplating undergoing treatment, but Sam Amick of FanHouse has reported that "the sudden rediscovery of his game and swagger might mean he delays the procedure until after the All-Star break or perhaps the off season."

    Evans had a terrific 32-point performance on Monday night against the Clippers, so he will continue to play through the injury and see where it takes him.

C Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Head Coach Phil Jackson announced on Friday that Center Andrew Bynum could potentially see more minutes within a few weeks.  

    Jackson told ESPN Los Angeles, "I think our big lineup could [be an advantage].  Of course, I don't think Andrew is ready to start yet or play those kind of minutes, but hopefully he will be in another week or two."

    Bynum told Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson, "I think I'm probably still about a month away (from starting).  I don't care if I start or not as long as I get the opportunity to help the team.  That's all I really care about.  It's tough to put an exact date on (being 100 percent), but give or take a month or so."

    Bynum has been attempting to bounce back to full strength after recovering from knee surgery that had him sidelined for Los Angeles' first 24 games of the season.

Orlando Magic's Interest in a Backup Big Man

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    It has been no secret that the Orlando Magic have been looking to revamp their roster with some big men after the trade for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu left them with some holes in their line-up.

    Chris Mannix of posted the following comment on Twitter this past Monday: "Don't be surprised if Orlando goes after Troy Murphy if Murphy is bought out after the deadline. "

    It is very likely that the Nets will be moving Troy Murphy before the February trade deadline due to his large $11.96 million contract, which expires at the end of this year.

Cleveland Cavaliers Interested in G Alonzo Gee

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images's Marc Stein tweeted the following earlier this morning: "After working out a handful of free agents as per Sam Amik of FanHouse, Cavs making plans to sign Alonzo Gee as long as ex-Spur/Wizard passes physical."

    The contract being offered to Gee is non-guaranteed and there is a possibility that he would be waived before January 10th.  This would be done because on this date all contracts become guaranteed for the remainder of the season.  

    Gee will fill in the last roster spot that was opened when the Cavaliers waived Jawad Williams.

SG Vince Carter, Phoenix Suns

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Today, Vince Carter went through his first full practice as a Phoenix Sun. Head Coach Alvin Gentry believes that Carter could receive some playing time on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers.  

    Due to Carter's swollen left knee, he hasn't played since the Suns acquired him from the Orlando Magic on December 18th.  

F Al Harrington, Denver Nuggets

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Kenyon Martin and Shelden Williams will see increased minutes this week with an injury to Forward Al Harrington.  Harrington has been sidelined for at least Tuesday and Wednesday's games, against the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves, with a dislocated thumb.  

    Harrington has been listed as day-to-day and is expected to return shortly.

SF Devin Ebanks, Los Angeles Lakers

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Rookie Small Forward Devin Ebanks has been assigned to the NBDL's Bakersfield Jam this past Monday by the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Ebanks was the 43rd overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft and has only averaged 2.9 PPG and 1.5 RPG in his debut season.  After playing a total of 77 minutes in the National Basketball Association, the Lakers have decided to send him to the D-League to re-shape his game.

SF Terrence Williams, Houston Rockets

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Small Forward Terrence Williams has not played any games since being acquired by the Houston Rockets on December 15th.  Rockets Head Coach Rick Adelman has said that he will clarify the exact role Williams will play within the next 7-10 days.  

    Adelman told the Houston Chronicle that, "This week we'll be able to see him practice and get an idea of where his strengths are.  It's hard to get him into the rotation right now.  We'll have to wait and see."

    Adelman went on to say, "We're trying to be consistent with what we're doing right now.  We're trying to get Aaron back into it at the same time. That's a change, too.  We're going to go with what we're doing and go from there."