Odds & Ends: Lakers, Young, Heat, Beyer

It has been a busy day and night for the Lakers on this early-September Friday, which is certainly nothing new considering the influx of material since they landed Dwight Howard.  Today they signed their second round pick, finalized their offseason coaching staff overhaul and their GM, Mitch Kupchak, spoke with SI.com's Sam Amick about all things Lakers.  In addition to the earlier stories, Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles gives his take on three of the small, but meaningful issues facing the team. 

But there are 29 other teams in the NBA, so let us round up some of the odds and ends from around the Association here tonight:

  • Chauncey Billups is way ahead of schedule in his recovery from a left Achilles injury, writes Helene Elliot of the L.A. Times.  Billups hasn't set a target return date yet, but said, "When my body feels right, that's when I'll be back.  That being said, I'm far ahead of schedule.  It's not even like I had a summer. I've been on the whole time, doing rehabbing and other work every day. I'm looking forward to getting back to playing and being with the guys and resuming my normal life as a player."
  • Tommy Beer of HoopsWorld, via USA Today, writes that with the moves that the Knicks made – getting older and wiser – the team should be better equipped to compete and that the window to win is now.  One interested tidbit from Beer – there are only five active NBA players over the age of 38 and the Knicks acquired three of them this offseason in Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas.
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News evaluates the chances of the Mavericks ending up with Kevin Martin and/or Josh Smith next summer, both of whom are free agents.  After striking out this summer in free agency, the Mavericks should be in position to try again in a year with a similar level of financial flexibility.
  • Dei Lynam of CSN Philly is doing a player by player breakdown of the revamped 76ers roster, and today she tackles swingman Thaddeus Young.  The small forward position is much less crowded in Philadelphia after the departure of Andre Iguodala, and Young has made it an offseason goal to slide into that position as a starter. 
  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside says that while the D-League has been increasingly effective as an NBA farm system, there is additional room for growth.  He uses Andre Drummond as an example of a guy who would never be a D-League candidate, but for his development's sake, should be.
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel addresses a few questions about the world champion Heat, including his thoughts on what roles of Rashard Lewis and Udonis Haslem may play on the Miami bench.
  • The NBA coaching carousel continues as the Warriors have reportedly hired Bob Beyer as an assistant coach, who spent the last five years in Orlando on Stan Van Gundy's staff, says Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area.  Beyer will replace Wes Unseld Jr., who joined Jacque Vaughn's staff in Orlando.

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