The Cavaliers‘ Kyrie Irving is being cautious about his return to basketball after fracturing his left kneecap in the NBA Finals, writes Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group. Irving had surgery the day after suffering the injury in Game 1, and the team estimated his recovery time at three to four months. That should have him ready for the start of training camp in late September, but the star guard isn’t focused on that timetable. “I’m honestly not putting a date on anything,” Irving said. “People are going to put a date regardless. I’m just continuing to be on the journey I’ve been on and that’s continuing to get better every single day and rehabbing my leg.” Irving said he expects the Cavaliers to be even better next season after adding veterans Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson through free agency.
There’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- The Knicks have given their approval for Carmelo Anthony to attend a USA Basketball minicamp next month in Las Vegas, according to Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News. It’s the latest indication that Anthony will be healthy in time for training camp after February’s surgery on a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. The August 11th-13th event will bring together players who have participated in the USA Basketball system. Non-contact workouts are planned with an informal all-star game capping off the proceedings. Anthony, who is still recuperating from the surgery, is not expected to participate in all the events.
- If Joel Embiid had slipped to the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA draft, there is a good chance the Celtics would have taken him, reports Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. “[The Celtics] did have the go-ahead from their medical staff to make that pick,” said an unidentified source. “They weren’t going to say no to him.” The Sixers recently announced that Embiid will undergo another surgery on his right foot and probably miss a second consecutive season.
- Doug Smith of the Toronto Star compares the Raptors‘ philosophy under GM Masai Ujiri to the team’s under former GM Brian Colangelo in the writer’s latest mailbag. Smith believe the main difference is that the current regime tends have more patience with the team and lets things develop longer.
Arthur Hill contributed to this post.