NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kristaps Porzingis, Paul George's Return and More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 8, 2019

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 11: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks smiles before game against the Orlando Magic on October 11, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
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There's never a dull moment on the NBA's rumor mill.

The buzz comes early and often, sort of like a Mike D'Antoni-led offense operating at full tilt.

From the rationale behind past transactions to a recent NBA rotation player heading overseas, the latest batch of basketball chatter has a little of everything. We're breaking it all down below.

                    

Porzingis Lacked Faith in Knicks?

Kristaps Porzingis' trade away from the New York Knicks ahead of last season's deadline felt like it moved at ludicrous speed.

One minute, the All-Star big man was hurrying through a meeting with team officials that ended with a trade request. The next, he was on his way to the Dallas Mavericks in a seven-player swap that dramatically reshaped two franchises.

With Porzingis slated to face his former team for the first time Friday, more information has surfaced about why the split went down.

"According to some around the team, Porzingis remained fully committed to staying in New York in the weeks prior to the trade," SNY.tv's Ian Begley reported. "It's unclear what, specifically, changed in January that led him to alter his thinking.

Begley continued that sources close to the team said Porizingis' issues "stemmed from a lack of faith that the Knicks could create a winning environment, one where he could thrive individually and on the team level."

Considering New York is stuck in a six-plus-year playoff drought that looks nowhere near its end, maybe Porzingis was on to something. That said, it's far too soon to say how the Knicks fared in the deal.

They might be saddling an unsightly 1-7 record, but they also didn't make the move for 2019-20 competition. The Knicks grabbed two firsts plus 2017's No. 9 pick, Dennis Smith Jr., in the deal, so until it's clear what New York can add with those selections and how these young pieces develop, it's tough to assess the trade from the Knicks' side.

                   

Clippers Eyeing Return Dates for Paul George?

The Los Angeles Clippers look like world-beaters in the early portion of this campaign. With Kawhi Leonard already playing his way into the MVP race and a deep roster of role players providing more than sufficient support, it seems only injuries could keep the Clippers from contending.

Oh, and there's this: Paul George hasn't even debuted for his new squad.

The six-time All-Star and 2018-19 MVP finalist is working his way back from surgeries on both shoulders, and it sounds like he's almost ready to go.

"In terms of a specific return date for George, sources tell The Athletic the Clippers are focused on the back-to-back set of road games at Houston (Nov. 13) and New Orleans (Nov. 14)," Sam Amick reported. "If he plays against the Rockets, he's not expected to play in the Pelicans game."

Amick added there is "a less likely chance" of George returning before or after that set, but the back-to-back games are "considered the most likely for his Clippers debut."

George, who spent the past two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, set multiple career-high totals in 2018-19, including 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.8 threes per game. He was traded to the Clippers in July for a pick-heavy package that also included Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

                 

Kenneth Faried Headed to China?

Kenneth Faried struggled to find an NBA rotation spot last season, barely getting run with the Brooklyn Nets and later filling an injury void for the Houston Rockets before being benched for five of their final six postseason games.

The Manimal might soon be filling a much more prominent role—just not in the Association.

Multiple reports say Faried will be continuing his career in China. Sportando's Emiliano Carchia said Faried "plans on signing a $4.4 million contract with Chinese team Zhenjiang Lions." Stadium's Jeff Goodman reported Faried "has signed a one-year deal in excess of $2 million to play in China."

Not matter the money, it will be interesting to see what comes next for Faried. His energy and athleticism make him a strong presence on the glass and above the rim, but his game has holes on both ends. He's never developed an outside shot and owns a career average of only 0.8 blocks per game.

He should get a chance to post major numbers in China, but only time will tell whether that will convince an NBA team he's still worth a roster spot once his overseas tenure has completed.

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