Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

Andrew Bynum: “I’m definitely playing tomorrow”

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The Lakers had a full practice today in Washington D.C. before heading off to meet President Barack Obama, and it sounds like Andrew Bynum had the one full hard practice he wanted before he steps back out on the court (via the LA Times Mike Bresnahan’s twitter account).

“I’m definitely playing tomorrow”

The Lakers take on the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center Tuesday night.

Bynum had knee surgery this summer but what was supposed to be a simple procedure ended up being more complex, meaning a longer recovery. Add in the usual slow healing of Bynum and you have him missing the first seven weeks of the season.

Without him the Lakers have been good but missing something on defense — Derrick Rose was slashing to the hoop with impunity last Friday night. When John Wall does it Tuesday night the 7’6” wingspan of Bynum will be there to alter and block shots. Bynum brings that and a real big body at the five which allows Pau Gasol to play his natural four, which makes the Lakers that much better (plus Lamar Odom goes to the bench and now that unit is better).

Nobody is rejoicing at the return like Gasol. Who likely will celebrate with a long soak in an ice bath. While in Texas Tim Duncan is barely getting into the fourth quarters of games and is getting a lot of rest early in the season, Gasol is playing more than 40 minutes in 8 of the last 10 Lakers’ games. If you don’t think that kind of rest can matter, remember the run the rested and healthy Celtics went on in the playoffs.

Mark Cuban suggests supplemental draft for undrafted free agents

Mark Cuban
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A lot of people around the NBA have ideas to improve the draft, free agency and the D-League, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been shy about sharing his. His latest idea seems pretty logical: a supplemental draft for undrafted free agents.

Via Hoops Rumors:

“I would have a supplemental draft every summer for undrafted free agents of the current and previous 3 years,” Cuban wrote in an email to Hoops Rumors. “If you are more than 3 years out you are not eligible and just a free agent.”

The supplemental draft would have two rounds, and teams would hold the rights to the players they select for two years, Cuban added. Players can opt out and choose not to make themselves eligible, but those who get picked would receive fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts when they sign, according to Cuban’s proposal.

“That would make it fun a few weeks after the draft and pre-summer league,” Cuban wrote. “It would prevent some of the insanity that goes on to build summer league rosters.”

It’s an interesting proposition. Most undrafted players who sign during the summer don’t get guaranteed contracts, so when deciding to enter this supplemental draft, they would have to weigh the value of having guaranteed money versus getting to decide where they sign. It’s unlikely that anything like this could happen anytime soon, because of all the hoops to jump through to get the league and the players’ union to sign off on it, but it’s a worthwhile idea that deserves some consideration in the next CBA negotiations.