Tim Thomas not expected back for remainder of the season

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If you’re only scraping the surface of the events that have unfolded between Tim Thomas and the Dallas Mavericks this year, you probably think you’ve seen this all before.

The Mavs added Thomas in the off-season, taking a chance on a veteran and a shot-maker, as so many teams have before. Thomas put on his happy face and went to work, winning over fans with his versatile offensive game, as he’s done so many times before. He enjoyed a relative level of success considering his standing on the team, as Thomas has done so many times before. Then, he disappeared. He wasn’t traveling with the team, he wasn’t at practice, and certainly wasn’t playing in games.

It had to be the same old Tim Thomas, right? His act would inevitably wear down in a matter of time, and the same act that’s forced his divorce from so many franchises in the past would grind on Rick Carlisle and the Dallas Mavericks, until ultimately, they told him to just go home.

Any other season and you’d probably be right; Thomas hasn’t been without hardship in his career, and most of it was self-inflicted. He has all the talent in the world and struggles most to rein in that force between his temples, and that’s the very reason he’s had nine tours with seven different NBA teams. He could never quite figure it out.

But this season, Thomas was anything but a problem. There wasn’t a peep from within the Mavericks organization indicating that there was trouble brewing. He was doing a terrific job as a deep reserve for a veteran Dallas team, hitting big shots (like a game-tying three against Houston in December to force overtime) and putting up impressive point totals on occasion (22 vs. Houston in a different game, 23 vs. Cleveland).

It looked more and more like Thomas’ destructive tendencies had vanished, and though he lacked the star potential he once had, he was an able contributor and a perfect fit for his role with Dallas.

Then trouble hit, but a different kind of trouble than anything Thomas has brought on himself during his career. Thomas’ wife, Tricia, is very ill, and his mysterious disappearance from the team was nothing more than a man answering the call for his family.

Not exactly a predictable event when considering the Tim Thomas canon, but perhaps a gentle reminder that some of these guys deserve the benefit of the doubt, even when they haven’t necessarily earned it.

Report: Bulls close to deal with former Celtic R.J. Hunter

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  R.J. Hunter #28 of the Boston Celtics carries the ball against the New York Knicks during the third quarter at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The No. 28 pick, R.J. Hunter became the first first-rounder from last year’s draft to fall out of the NBA when the Celtics waived him.

He won’t be out of the league for long.

The Bulls, the only team with an open roster spot, appear close to adding him.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Hunter belongs in the league.  Though he must knock down shots far more reliably than he has, Hunter has potential as an outside shooter with complementary ball skills to provide value. Boston just had more NBA-caliber players than roster spots.

He’s far from a lock to succeed in the NBA, but I value Hunter about as much as Tony Snell – whom the Bulls just traded for an upgrade at backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. That they could so cheaply replace Snell makes that deal look even better.

Celtics’ Gerald Green braids shamrock into his hair (photo)

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15:  Gerald Green #30 of the Boston Celtics dribbles up the court against the New York Knicks during the second half of their preseason game at Madison Square Garden on October 15, 2016 in New York City. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Gerald Green was drafted by the Celtics and spent two seasons with them before being traded (in the Kevin Garnett deal).

After stints with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Suns and Heat, he signed with Boston this summer.

Think he’s happy to be back?

Abby Chin of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

Quote of the Day: Joel Embiid says he learned to shoot by watching ‘just regular white people’ on the internet

CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 26: Joel Embiid #21 and Dario Saric #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers participate in media day on September 26, 2016 in Camden, New Jersey. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Joel Embiid couldn’t endear himself by playing in an NBA game, because he’s been too injured to do that in two pro seasons.

He’s had to resort to witty nicknames, practice-gym dunks, fun-loving stunts, attention-seeking tweets and self-deprecating humor.

Embiid is scheduled to make his NBA debut tonight, when the 76ers play the Thunder. Soon, we’ll judge him more for what he does on the court.

But, first, Embiid went out with one last bang of a quote.

Embiid, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

“You know how I learned to shoot?” Embiid says. “I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”

Tyronn Lue says ‘they said’ LeBron James has a body of a 19-year-old, but nobody else knows where Cavaliers coach got that

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LeBron James might be the greatest athlete in NBA history.

But even he has shown signs of decline at age 31.

He has gotten multiple back injections and even took a break during the season to rehabilitate in Miami. The forward has treated the last two regular-seasons as glorified warmups for the playoffs.

Just where does LeBron stand physically?

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue gave quite the answer.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Lue said James, at 31, “had a chance to get tested this summer and they said he had a body of a 19-year old. Maybe he’s getting younger. Benjamin Button.”

It was a little perplexing because neither James, nor his personal trainer, Mike Mancias, nor general manager David Griffin had any real idea what test Lue was talking about.

This reminds me of Derrick Rose attributing the Knicks and Warriors being super teams to “They’re saying.” Who is they, and what are they smoking?

That LeBron, Mancias and Griffin won’t cop to knowing is quite revealing.

LeBron does not have the body of a 19-year-old. Years of other-worldly play and long playoff runs has taken a toll.

Because he’s declining from such a high peak, LeBron should remain elite for a while. His athleticism might even fluctuate as it trends downward overall.

But Father Time is undefeated, and LeBron didn’t just get a mid-career reset to his rookie physical form.