As the season inches near, we will have an update of all the offseason moves and analysis of every team in the league from Chris Bernucca. Here is the scoop on three teams from today, with updates: New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets.
Also, check out our new writer Bruce Wrigley on our Fantasy Spin. Will Damian Lillard be relevant?
And of course, here is your daily dose of news from Thursday around the league:
- Derrick Rose was brought to tears after re-watching his knee injury through a video, from Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago: “Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose started to cry Thursday when a video of him tearing his left ACL and rehabbing was played during a promotional event for his new adidas products. But Rose said his rehab is going well and that he started jumping and shooting drills a few days ago. ”My recovery has been good, where (I’m) rehabbing every day, five times out of the week,” Rose said. “On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do lower and upper body and bike workout. ”I’m starting to shoot now, I started to jump a little while ago, like a couple of days ago, where I’m still improving every week. My leg does get sore sometimes, but I’m able to fight through it, but my trainers and the people that have been working on me have been making sure that I’ve been doing a great job … I’ve been good.”
- In Wednesday’s blog, Kendrick Perkins stated that a deal between the Thunder and Harden is close. A deal is not close at all, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN:
- Warriors general manager Bob Myers is expecting Andrew Bogut to return for the season opener, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News: “Golden State Warriors fans have yet to see the guy in uniform who just might be the team’s most important player, but they can take some comfort in knowing that center Andrew Bogut is on track to be in the starting lineup when the season tips off Oct. 31 in Phoenix. “Yes, we expect that,” Warriors GM Bob Myers told Sporting News. “That’s just me prophesizing, but all indications are that will be the case. We’re hoping that he is in there for us on opening night. But if he needs two games, if the difference is waiting because he is not quite there, then we’ll wait. But we expect Bogut to play opening night.”
- Brandon Roy has had no setbacks so far and is excited about the way his knee is reacting, from The Associated Press: “This is the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Roy said Thursday. “The reason why I say that is I’m able to improve. I’m able to come in the gym and work on my game and get better. Where I felt that the last couple years in Portland I was just doing my best to maintain. ”That’s the biggest thing I’m excited about is I’m in the gym, I’m working hard and coach has to tell me to stop playing instead of me saying, `OK that’s enough. I’m feeling my knees.”‘ That’s going to be the balancing act the Wolves perform with Roy, in training camp and in all likelihood for much of this season. The former Portland Trail Blazers All-Star had his contract cleared with the amnesty clause before last season, and he abruptly retired because of knee issues that derailed a brilliant young career.”
- Carmelo Anthony knew Jeremy Lin was difficult to let go of, from Ian Begley of ESPN New York:
- O.J. Mayo is already very impressed with the work ethic of his new teammate Dirk Nowitzki, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “After arriving in Dallas a month ago to work on his game, O.J. Mayo was stunned to see a certain 7-foot German dude sweating on the American Airlines Center practice court. Rest assured that there won’t be a repeat of a rusty, out-of-shape Dirk Nowitzki showing up at training camp. “He was in here working out and staying in shape,” Mayo said. “It was a crazy, crazy thing to see because he’s a franchise player and he was here early like it’s his first or second year. I think that’s enough said there.”
- Matt Barnes has apparently told the Clippers that he will sign with them, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated: “Sources say the 32-year-old Barnes has told the Clippers he will sign with them, and a deal is expected to be finalized as soon as Friday. Barnes turned down a more lucrative deal with Cleveland two summers ago to sign with the Lakers at the behest of Kobe Bryant, and it appears a similar superstar dynamic could be in play with the Clippers and Chris Paul.”
- Tracy McGrady is trying to catch on with the Spurs or the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: “Still searching for an NBA franchise willing to guarantee a contract for next season, seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady worked out for the San Antonio Spurs this week at the team’s practice facility, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Next up for McGrady on Thursday is a workout for the New York Knicks, league sources said. Time is running out for the 33-year-old McGrady to secure a guaranteed contract for the season. Sources say he will likely have to choose between accepting a “make-good” training-camp invite or going overseas – perhaps to China.”
- Doug Collins is ready to unleash Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, from Dei Lynam of CSN Philly: “The Holiday/Turner tandem will be the playmaking duo this season. It will be rare to see both on the bench at the same time, Collins said earlier this week at the Coaches vs. Cancer golf outing. ”I have put a lot of thought into it and me and my coaches are ready to put our plans into action,” Collins said. “With losing Lou, we are going to have to have a guy who can handle the ball with that second unit. I mean we did sign Royal Ivey but depending who comes off the bench it could be based on matchups. I could sub for Jrue early in the game with another perimeter guy and let Evan play out the quarter and then come back with Jrue as the point guard with our second unit and let Evan rest. I think what you will see is Jrue and Evan playing point guard with the second unit based on night to night.”
- The Mavericks hope to lighten the load for Dirk Nowitzki after acquiring Chris Kaman and Elton Brand, from Earl K. Sneed of NBA.com: “But with the additions of big men Chris Kaman and Elton Brand, Nowitzki’s offensive load might be lightened this season as the Mavericks try to bounce back from having their title reign ended with a first-round playoff series sweep at the hands of Oklahoma City. That at least is the plan, after the Dallas front office surrounded Nowitzki with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 Draft in Brand and another former All-Star and German teammate in Kaman. “On the floor, we’ve got some weapons that are going to be really fun to watch,” Mavericks president of basketball operations and GM Donnie Nelson said when the team introduced its off-season signees on Monday. “We have a low-post presence we haven’t had in a while in Chris. We’ve got some versatility with Elton, who can score low and then take his guy out. … And so, we literally can not wait to hit the ground running in a few weeks for training camp.”
- MarShon Brooks put on some weight over the summer to prepare for his second season in the league, from Roderick Boone of Newsday: “At one point during the lockout-shortened season, MarShon Brooks was feeling like most rookies do during their inaugural campaign. His body wasn’t used to that daily grind and it took a bit of a physical toll on the Nets shooting guard. So Brooks really hit the weight room with a sense of purpose these last few months, all in preparation for his second season.”
- Brooks also opened up about how difficult it was to see his name attached to all the Dwight Howard trade rumors, from Boone: ”It was tough,” Brooks told Newsday on Thursday in a conversation from Moscow, Russia, where he’s participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. “It was my first time going through that, my first time going through trade rumors. But at the end of the day, I looked at myself in the mirror and I said, ‘We are talking about Dwight Howard right now, so get out your feelings, young man.’ ”Dwight Howard is Dwight Howard, so I got over it as time went on. But it was tough at first, seeing my name in so many different trade rumors. But I got over it. It’s a business. This is what I signed up for, so this is what I get.”
- Kobe Bryant took some time to help serve the homeless, from Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles: “Kobe Bryant spent Tuesday night walking around Los Angeles Mission, a nonprofit organization serving the homeless living on downtown’s Skid Row. He was walking the streets, looking for answers to the growing problem of homelessness in Los Angeles, which he has tried to tackle for the past year. “I was trying to hear some of their stories and some of their backgrounds and how they got to this position,” Bryant said. “I wanted to know when that switch went off inside of them and they said, ‘I need help; I want to turn my life around.’ It gave me great perspective.” While Bryant was there he met a 58-year-old man, who has been in and out of the mission for the past year. “He was extremely articulate and he had a great life and he made a poor choice and ended up on the streets,” Bryant said. “He came to the L.A. Mission weighing 135 pounds and now he’s healthy and his weight is back up. He’s 58 but he’s in better shape than I am. … You get to hear their stories and you get to find out first-hand what’s going on.”
- Joey Dorsey shattered the backboard with a big dunk in Europe. Here is the video.
- Watch Stephen Jackson go on a three-point shooting barrage, from NOC.