Josh Howard will at some point come off the bench and round out a pretty good guard rotation in Washington with John Wall, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich. Plus, with Al Thornton the only legit three on the roster, Howard as the swingman seemed a perfect fit. So the Wizards gambled on him bouncing back from his knee injury and signed him to a one-year deal this summer.
Now, it appears we will be at least a month into the season before Howard joins that trio.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge has a great breakdown on where things stand with some of the key offseason NBA injuries (Kobe, Bogut, Yao, Bynum, Perkins, etc.) and there were not a lot of surprises, save how long Howard will be out recovering from the knee injury he got three games into last season.
While Howard does not have any swelling in the knee and his strength is good, and he can walk on an anti-gravity treadmill, he still can’t run or do any full-speed basketball drills, and certainly has not been cleared yet for contact or any basketball activities. Right now the Wizards are saying December looks possible, but a return from an ACL injury usually takes a year at least. Whenever Howard comes back, it’s likely there will still be minutes available at small forward, where Al Thornton is Washington’s only proven player entering camp.
“I think people forget what a good player Josh was,” GM Ernie Grunfeld said Sunday. “He played very well for us those four games. Unfortunately he got hurt. But we felt he would be a good fit for us. We knew he wouldn’t be ready for the beginning of the season but we’re in rebuilding mode. We have a young team and we need somebody from a winning environment who plays hard every night.”
While the rampant speculation continues about whether the Celtics may or may not trade for a superstar, Danny Ainge is filling out his roster with veterans. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports that they’ve agreed to a one-year minimum deal with guard Gerald Green:
Green was originally drafted by the Celtics in 2005 at No. 18 overall, and after bouncing around different teams and overseas in the first few years of his career, he’s carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA as a scoring guard off the bench. He played 69 games for the Heat last season after two solid years in Phoenix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.