Report: Four teams have conversations with Amundson

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Around this time of year, with the playoffs looming and growing closer, teams start to think about adding a little bit of veteran depth to the roster. Guys that will not get a lot of run but can be trusted in small roles, plus will be professional in practice and preparation.

That’s where Louis Amundson comes in. The veteran energy forward was let go by the Timberwolves and now is in conversations with a few teams, he told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.

Amundson said in a phone interview Thursday that his agent, Mark Bartelstein, has had conversations with Heat president Pat Riley about him. But he said the recent signing by Miami of Chris Andersen might be too much of a duplication as the Heat seek to possibly fill their 15th spot….

The 6-foot-9 Amundson said other teams in mix for him are Chicago, Boston and New York. The Knicks have a full roster of 15, but Amundson said they’re waiting to see how it works out with Kenyon Martin, who recently signed a 10-day contract. The Knicks also could clear a roster spot by waiving Rasheed Wallace, out for the season due to a foot injury.

With Miami having Andersen in the rotation and Joel Anthony still on the roster, it’s hard to see where Amundson fits there. As mentioned, the Knicks have Kenyon Martin and he likely sticks there.

We’ll see if the Bulls or Celtics — or previously rumored teams like the Sixers — decide to make a late season addition. Boston is giving D.J. White a chance first and it seems more and more like Amundson is everybody’s fallback position. But eventually someone likely gets to their fallback.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.