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Jameer Nelson Ready for the NBA Finals?

D.Michael LeeSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2009

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 14:  Jameer Nelson helps out teammate Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 14, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The World Famous LayupDrill Rumor Mill
June 1, '09

The last time we saw Jameer Nelson running the point for Orlando, it was nearly four months ago. Nelson injured his shoulder in a game against the Dallas Mavericks, and at that time many of us, including myself and LayupDrill.com writer Brandon Ribak, thought the Magic were done.

Of course, Orlando would make a season-saving trade to acquire Rafer Alston, and the rest is history. Now, on the verge of their first NBA Finals appearance in 14 years, word out of Orlando is that Nelson might try to play this series.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Nelson is ahead of schedule in his rehab, and if he is able to pass tests the team doctors and training staff put him through, he may be able to suit up.

While no one would expect him to log the heavy minutes he is accustomed to, adding Nelson in to a backcourt rotation that includes Anthony Johnson, Courtney Lee, and Alston would give Orlando the decided advantage in the series at the point.

In other news, the Philadelphis 76ers have a new coach, but may soon be looking for a new center. The Philly Daily News reports that center Samuel Dalembert thinks he will be dealt, though he doesn’t agree with the reason.

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Dalembert talked to the media over the weekend, and said the lack of consistency from his past coaches were part of the reason for his up and down play. Dalembert was shopped around before the All-Star break, though nothing was able to get done. He is owed over $23 million dollars and two years on his current contract.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated over the weekend from the playoffs, and one of the areas the team will certainly look to improve on is their front court. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports updates on two key members of that group. Forward Anderson Varejao is expected to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, as expected.

Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas told The Plain Dealer he will not opt out of his final year, saying “There are no greener pastures for me,” “I’ve been a Cavalier and I’ll always be a Cavalier.”

Cleveland will be looking to upgrade the front court, as I wrote about yesterday, and Big Z along with Ben Wallace could be used as trade bait.

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