NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on LeBron James' Injury Timeline, Karl-Anthony Towns

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IINovember 6, 2021

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on LeBron James' Injury Timeline, Karl-Anthony Towns

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    The NBA is filled with big-name stars who are consistently making headlines, whether it's for their play, their injuries or other reasons. And so far, the 2021-22 season has been no different.

    Trade rumors are already swirling around the league, and players such as LeBron James and Ben Simmons aren't currently taking the court with their team, albeit for different reasons. The season is only a little more than two weeks old, and yet there's already been a bunch of news.

    Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.

When Will LeBron Be Back in Action for Lakers?

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    LeBron James was inactive for the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. And it appears the 36-year-old forward is going to be out for at least a little while longer.

    On Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that James is dealing with an abdominal strain is expected to miss "at least one week" as the team wants to be "cautious with James’ injury early this season." And that makes sense, considering Los Angeles has played only nine games and it hopes to be playing deep into the postseason.

    ESPN's Dave McMenamin shared that the Lakers' medical staff is planning to "take their time" with James' recovery. If that's the case, perhaps he'll end up being out beyond one week. But that's still unclear at this point.

    James averaged 24.8 points, 7.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds in his first six games of the season. Los Angeles is having a bit of an inconsistent start, as it's currently 5-4, and it may not be able to afford James missing too much time.

Teams Watching Towns' Situation in Minnesota 'Closely'

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Twitter was abuzz on Thursday when fans noticed that Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns had liked a tweet that used "#FreeKAT." That implied that the 25-year-old may not be too happy with his current situation with the team. However, he later cleared things up.

    Towns said that his account had been hacked and that he's since changed his password. But the incident occurred at a time when Minnesota had dropped three games in a row, a losing streak that has since stretched to four with a defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

    After Towns shared what had happened, The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski noted that there's not any reason to believe that Towns would want to leave the Timberwolves. But that doesn't mean there aren't teams out there that would have interest in trying to acquire Towns at some point.

    "That said, there are those around the league who are watching his situation closely," Krawczynski wrote.

    Towns, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, is currently in his seventh season with Minnesota. He's averaging 23.4 points and 9.3 rebounds through his first eight games of the 2021-22 campaign.

76ers Again Fining Simmons for Missing Games

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia 76ers started fining Ben Simmons when he missed training camp and the preseason. They stopped when the 25-year-old point guard made it known that he was sitting out to work on his mental readiness to return to action. Now, it appears the team is fining him again.

    According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons was fined his $360,000 game salary for missing the 76ers' win over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. Philadelphia is going to continue fining him until he "cooperates with team physicians on his mental health and fulfills other basketball-related obligations," per Wojnarowski.

    Wojnarowski added that Simmons' salary will go into an escrow account, which is also what the Sixers were doing with the money when they were previously fining him. It's unclear how long this may continue, as there's been no indication of when/if Simmons will get back on the court for Philadelphia.

    There have been plenty of trade rumors involving Simmons, but nothing has materialized. Meanwhile, the 76ers are off to a 7-2 start this season without their All-Star point guard.