Danny Ainge says not to expect Rondo back until December

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The Boston Celtics roller coaster of an early season continued Wednesday — they lost the first four, won the next four, then showed up against the Bobcats Wednesday and simply got outworked.

Still, a 4-5 start without Rajon Rondo on the roster is better than expected… and by the way, when might Rondo return from his ACL surgery?

Not until you have the Christmas lights up on your house, apparently. From the official twitter of the Boston Celtics.

First off, we’re never going to get a really straight answer from the organization on his recovery, this is about as good as that will get.

Second, not sure Ainge’s answer is really a surprise. Ainge had hinted earlier that come December things could move week to week.

Rondo wants you to know he is still working out.

Pacers “hopeful” Victor Oladipo can return in December or January

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Last season, while everyone was focused on the stars in Philadelphia, the coming of age of Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, Kawhi Leonard in Toronto, and the self-destruction of Boston, The Indiana Pacers were right in the mix. They looked to be a dangerous team — maybe one that was a player away, but close — that could make the “big four” in the East a big five.

Then Victor Oladipo ruptured his right quadriceps tendon. That was the end of the Pacers as a serious playoff threat.

However, next season, with Oladipo back, a guy who can set the table at point guard (Ricky Rubio is reported to be a top target), and maybe a little more scoring the Pacers will be back to being a legit threat. Of course, it may be midseason at best before Olaidpo is back according to Kevin Pritchard, Pacers president, speaking to the Indy Star.

“He might be out a little bit,” Pritchard said of Oladipo. “I’m hopeful he’ll be back December or January.”

That is a longer timeline than was initially expected (before Thanksgiving was the guesstimate), but this also is an injury that is not common in basketball and recovery times tend to vary. This ultimately comes down to the doctors and how Oladipo feels.

Two other thoughts on Pritchard’s timeline. First, in the wake of how the Kevin Durant injury went down, you can be sure players, agents, and teams are going to make sure a star such as Oladipo is close to 100 percent and not likely to re-injure themselves before they step on the court. Second, even if Oladipo were on a Thanksgiving timeline, if I were Pritchard I would give a timeline such as “December or January” so there is a cushion, and if he comes back earlier he looks like a hero.

How Oladipo comes back, and if he can regain his All-NBA level of play, is the biggest question for the Pacers as they try to move back into the top of the East.

Report: Suns declining Jimmer Fredette’s team option, Warriors say he’ll join them in summer league

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The Suns signed Jimmer Fredette late last season, including a team option for next season in case he played well.

In a surprise to nobody reasonable, he didn’t.

So, Phoenix will move on and Fredette will fall to a lower level.

95.7 The Game:

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Even with his option declined, Fredette is still under contract with the Suns until June 30. So, Larry Harris’ public revelation looks like tampering.

But the NBA’s tampering rules are vague and arbitrarily enforced. A key consideration: Whether the aggrieved team presses for action. I can’t imagine the Suns doing that.

Fredette, 30, might light up summer league – which is primarily for rookies and other young players. If he does while playing for Golden State’s team, the Stephen Curry comparisons will be inevitable.

They’ll also be misguided. Curry is a superstar. Fredette didn’t translate to the NBA, though there remains a fascination with him because he scored a lot at BYU a long time ago and still fills a great-white-hope narrative to some.

Report: Nets interested in signing Kevin Durant’s friend, DeAndre Jordan

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The Nets are hot on the heels of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

What could put Brooklyn over the top to land those star free agents?

Maybe DeAndre Jordan.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

If Jordan would help the Nets attract Durant and Irving, great. Sign Jordan.

But Jordan would also fit well at center if Brooklyn signs Durant and Irving.

The Nets need another center with Jarrett Allen, as Ed Davis hits free agency. They could ideally use someone bigger, like Jordan. Though Allen has positioned himself well as Brooklyn’s long-term center, Jordan could even start – if he comes motivated.

Jordan has drifted lately. He fell out of favor with the Clippers, never meshed with the Mavericks then finished last season with the losing Knicks rather than taking a buyout. Jordan has ability as a finisher and rim-protector, but he’s not as active as used to be, and energy is important for playing that style.

The Nets’ room exception, which projects to be worth nearly $5 million, might be the right amount for him.

Andre Iguodala’s exit line on CNBC: “Nobody’s going to the Knicks. Sorry.”

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Andre Iguodala is a smart businessman who is heavily invested in tech startups (as are several Golden State Warriors players). That — and the fact he’s a famous NBA player — made him a good guest on CNBC’s Power Lunch show Monday.

Iguodala also has a few good connections to the thinking of the Golden State Warriors’ free agents Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Here is his response when asked about free agency and the Warriors on the show.

Of course, he said he expects Durant and Thompson to come back to the Warriors, what did you expect him to say? However, it was the exit line that got noticed:

“Nobody’s going to the Knicks. Sorry.”

More and more it’s looking like that.

Sources have said Thompson is staying with the Warriors since the start, he was never in play. Durant and the Knicks have been linked all season, but suddenly rumors of him going to Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving (and maybe Durant’s good friend DeAndre Jordan) have gotten a lot louder around the league. Brooklyn may be the frontrunner, with the Clipper still on the fringes of the conversation. The Warriors may be on the outside looking in.

The Knicks want a meeting with Kawhi Leonard, but that is a two-team race between the Raptors and Clippers, with Toronto seeming to have the edge after winning a title.

The smart play by the Knicks, if this happens, is not to spend wildly on the next tier of free agents but rather to sit on their cap space, develop and add to their young core, and wait for another star. That seems to be the plan, but how long before James Dolan gets impatient and forces something stupid to happen. For the Knicks, that’s always a concern.