Two of the league's premier franchises received good news this afternoon. Knicks coach Mike Woodson announced that Amare Stoudemire was cleared for practice and will practice with the club's D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. Meanwhile, sources told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that Lakers guard Steve Nash is eyeing a return to the Lakers' lineup Saturday against the Warriors if practice goes well this week. The Lakers have considered trading Pau Gasol, but reports have indicated that they are waiting to see what the club looks like with Nash in the fold before making a drastic change. Here's more from around the Association..
- The Kings are still saying that they plan on holding on to Tyreke Evans, according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (via Twitter). Evans and General Manager Geoff Petrie recently had a productive meeting, but a source close to the guard told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that the club will move him if they don't think they can afford to re-sign him. Evans will be a restricted free agent this summer.
- More from Kyler (via Twitter), who was asked if Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard might look to trade guard D.J. Augustin. It seems like a possibility, but Kyler writes that his weak play as of late may mean that no one wants him. Meanwhile, the one-guard's name is coming up frequently as a trade candidate.
- Jay Bilas and Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) run down the
top players in the 2013 NBA Draft. Neither analyst sees a
franchise-changing superstar in the class but both agree that Kentucky's
Nerlens Noel is the top talent in the draft, not Maryland's Alex Len.