Ty Lawson, who couldn’t sit up straight for days, expected to be out ‘a little while’

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Before the season, it seemed the Nuggets had a surplus of point guards: Ty Lawson, Andre Miller and Nate Robinson.

But Miller was sent home. Robinson had season-ending surgery. And now Lawson is hurt.

Lawson, the Nuggets’ top player, broke a rib in a loss to the Pistons on Saturday. He missed Monday’s loss to the Pacers, a 39-point setback and Denver’s third straight defeat, and it doesn’t sound as if he’ll return soon.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, via Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:

“I would imagine it would be a little while,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. “I saw when he (got injured), how he writhed in pain, and it took him pretty much until (Monday) to be able to sit up straight. Luckily for us, after (Monday’s) game and Wednesday’s game we have the all-star break, so that will give us a built-in three, four, five days before our next game.”

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At 24-26, the Nuggets’ playoff hopes are faint, anyway. They’re 10th in the West and six games behind the No. 8 seed.

But attempting to play an extended stretch without a point guard – Randy Foye started at the position Monday and Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton filled in off the bench – will sink Denver much deeper.

The Nuggets have used five lineups that include Lawson, Miller or Robinson for at least 10 minutes this season. Predictably, they’ve floundered. Their net ratings:

  • +5.8 (34 minutes)
  • -41.4 (11 minutes)
  • -5.6 (10 minutes)
  • -7.5 (10 minutes)
  • -84.5 (10 minutes)

Perhaps, Foye, Fournier and Hamilton can adjust to their new roles and improve those lineups, but they’re starting in a deep hole. Denver definitely needs Lawson or Miller.

The only question now is whether Lawson’s rib or Shaw’s relationship with Miller heals first.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

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The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.