The Lakers have been completely silent about when Dwight Howard could return, refusing to give any timeline. Howard himself has been dead quiet on the subject, using the “I just want to get where I need to be” stuff. There has been talk of December, January, even Febuary for a possible return of the Lakers’ newest addition after back surgery to repair a herniated disc last spring. But now Yahoo! Sports reports something very different, and it could have a huge impact on the season.
Five months after back surgery, All-Star center Dwight Howard has targeted his Los Angeles Lakers debut for opening night of the 2012-13 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Howard is determined to play against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30 at Staples Center, and his progress in recent weeks has strengthened the possibility, sources said.
via Dwight Howard aiming to play in Lakers’ opener – Yahoo! Sports.
Howard being ready that soon could shift the West dramatically. At the very least, Howard being available for the entire season puts their probability at a top-two seed somewhere in the 80-90 percent range and gives them at the very least a pick ’em with the Thunder for the top spot. It means easier first-round series, more rest time, and a better path to the Finals.
There is, of course, the concern of rushing him back, and a possible step backwards. Howard has been shown to be impatient and impulsive, sometimes making decisions with his heart and not with his head. He seems committed to keeping himself in the best condition possible, but he’s obviously excited about the possibility of getting back on the floor and starting the year under Staples’ dimmed lights.
Lakers’ media day is Monday, and Howard can expect a barrage of questions on the subject, as can the rest of the Lakers’ starters. But where we thought it could be months before we see Howard dunking in Lakers gold, it could be a matter of weeks.
John Wall had a designated player super max contract sitting in front of him (figuratively) since July 1, but he wanted to wait and see what the Wizards would do this summer, and talk to his family about a decision that could lock him in Washington for six years.
He saw the Wizards spend — they matched a max offer sheet for Otto Porter. He also looked around the East and decided this is where he wanted to be. He agreed to the extension on Friday, a story broken by David Aldridge of TNT/NBA TV.
This is a four-year, $170 million extension that kicks in after the two-years, $37.1 million left on Wall’s current deal.
Wall has developed into one of the top five point guards in the NBA, averaging 23.1 points per game last season while making his first All-NBA team (the third team, which he thought was a let down). He is a strong defensive point guard and still arguably the fastest guy in the league with the ball in his hands. He and Bradley Beal have formed one of the more formidable backcourts in the NBA.
Wall is now getting paid like an elite point guard, and he is just entering his prime.
Jayson Tatum was one of the standouts at Summer League.
The No. 3 pick of the Boston Celtics, Tatum came into the draft considered the most NBA-ready player of the class. He showed that at Summer League — he is a fluid athlete who knows how to knock down mid-range shots (and gets to his spots), he has great footwork for a young player, and can attack the rim. He tends to take and make difficult shots, but that will get harder against NBA-level defenders, and he didn’t often play-make for others. That said, he averaged 17.7 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Check out his best plays from Summer League, and if you’re a Celtics fan try not to drool too much.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.
Peculiar is not a word that comes up often in NBA talk. Not sure it comes up much of anywhere unless a Four Non-Blondes song is on the ’90s station, but especially in NBA talk it doesn’t come up. Until this week. First, there was this cryptic comment from Kyrie Irving earlier in the week about the state of the Cavaliers.
“Like I said, we’re in a peculiar place. The best thing we can do is handle things with class and professionalism.”
Friday it leaked that Kyrie Irving has asked to be traded from the Cavs. Which led to Kevin Love using the word “peculiar” in a tweet.
If you’re unfamiliar, “kick some rocks” is an impolite way of telling someone to leave, or take a walk (kicking rocks on the dirt road).
Fun times in Cleveland. Kobe Altman must be having a fun week in his new job.