As we turn the calendar to 2013, two Eastern Conference contenders are prepared to welcome back players who missed the 2012 portion of the '12/13 season: Amare Stoudemire is expected to play his first game of the season tonight, while Avery Bradley is prepared to make his season debut on Wednesday. While the Knicks and Celtics prepare to welcome those guys back to their respective lineups, let's round up a few more notes from around the NBA….
- All signs point to Nate Robinson's contract being guaranteed for the rest of the season by the Bulls, according to Dave van Dyck and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The deadline for the Bulls to waive Robinson and avoid guaranteeing his deal is today, so as of tomorrow, the point guard will be in line for a full-season salary.
- Eric Koreen of the National Post examines a number of question marks facing the Raptors as 2013 begins, including the futures of GM Bryan Colangelo and big man Andrea Bargnani.
- Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today that it's not fair to expect Nicolas Batum to drastically improve his game overnight just because he signed a lucrative new contract. However, as Zillgitt writes, Batum has been living up to the deal so far.