LeBron James is expected to miss the next two weeks of action thanks to injuries to his back and left knee, the Cavaliers have announced. Coupled with the season-ending injury to Anderson Varejao, Cleveland suddenly finds itself a bit short-handed. The league has approved the franchise’s request for a disabled player exception, but with the league maximum 15 players already on their roster the Cavs would need to waive or deal a player to be able to utilize it.
Here’s more from around the league:
- The Thunder are edging closer toward the summer of 2016, which is when Kevin Durant can elect to depart Oklahoma City as a free agent, and the speculation is that it will take an NBA title to keep him in town beyond then. The team’s play as of late has gotten it back on track for the season after enduring a multitude of injuries, Jeff Caplan of FOX Sports Southwest writes. “I’m excited. Obviously we need everybody healthy,” coach Scott Brooks said. “But I like the fact that our guys compete regardless of who’s on the floor. They get out there and compete. We haven’t had as many wins as we would like, but we’re competing every night. We put ourselves in a position to win games and we have a no-excuse mentality.”
- Derek Fisher said that the Lakers never reached out to him after last season, and the Knicks were the only offer he had to become a head coach, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “I never had any conversations with the Lakers of coaching the team,’’ Fisher said. “This was the only one. It doesn’t disappoint me in any way. I never pretended to run the Lakers or make decisions for them. I did the best I could when I played. They don’t owe me anything. I don’t owe them anything.’
- Brandon Jennings has emerged as a leader since the Pistons released Josh Smith, Brendan Savage of MLive.com writes. “Brandon has noticeably gotten back to probably what is his natural personality,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He’s really having fun. He’s talking a lot, joking with guys, things like that. I think he had been suffering. He hadn’t been playing real well, we hadn’t been winning. He had gotten really quiet.” There were conflicting reports regarding Detroit shopping the veteran point guard prior to Smith being released.
- The Raptors have recalled Bruno Caboclo from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, the team announced in a press release. This was Caboclo’s first D-League assignment of the season.