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NBA roundup: Carter-Williams expected back Nov. 13

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The Philadelphia 76ers and point guard Michael Carter-Williams established Nov. 13 as the target date for Carter-Williams’ return, ESPN.com reported Thursday.

Carter-Williams, last season’s Rookie of the Year, had shoulder surgery in May.

He averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds for the 76ers last season.

Even if Carter-Williams is ready to play Nov. 13, it remains to be seen whether 76ers officials will put him in the lineup then.

Philadelphia’s first-round pick this year was Kansas center Joel Embiid, who might miss the entire season because of a foot injury.

Nerlens Noel, the 76ers’ first-round pick in 2013 who missed all of last season while recovering from a torn ACL, has missed the last three preseason games due to an upper respiratory infection.

—The Orlando Magic signed center Nikola Vucevic to a contract extension, the team announced.

The team did not provide details of the signing, but multiple media outlets reported earlier that it was a four-year extension. The Orlando Sentinel and ESPN.com reported the extension is worth $53 million. Yahoo Sports reported the deal will pay Vucevic $54 million. USA Today Sports listed the contract value at $48 million with incentives that could hike the total to $53 million.

—NBA Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah said he has no pain in his surgically repaired left knee, but it remains unclear how much playing time he will get early in the season.

“Yeah … I had surgery,” Noah said. “It’s fine. It’s a work in progress. It’s getting better. I’m happy with where it’s at. Let me live, man. Jeez.”

The Bulls are planning to manage Noah’s minutes, but coach Tom Thibodeau is not the type to commit to a detailed playing time restriction.

Noah said the Bulls have a plan for his workload and he is thrilled to be experiencing no pain.

—Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is ready for more touches, particularly in the paint.

“The offense is built that way but I just have to make a conscious decision to get myself in there,” Love told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “There are a lot of times where I just find myself fading to the three-point line. For me, it’s a mentality and that’s easy to fix.

“My entire life I’ve played the game from inside-out. So the more touches I can get inside to get myself going, the better. I’m not accustomed to starting out a game shooting a three, so it’s just something that I see.”

—Phoenix Suns rookie forward T.J. Warren has been fitted for a splint and will be sidelined while a small crack in a bone in his left thumb heals. The team has not set a timetable for the return of the 14th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Warren has averaged 5.0 points and 12.2 minutes in five preseason games.

—Kobe Bryant is ready for the regular season according to Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott, who shut down Bryant for the last two games of the preseason to rest him for the games that count.

Bryant sat out Wednesday as the Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 94-86 in Ontario, Calif., and he won’t play Friday when the Lakers oppose the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas.

—Former Memphis guard Geron Johnson signed with the Houston Rockets, who waived forward Akil Mitchell to create a roster spot.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens, Compare.bet, The Sports Daily, 90min, and TopRatedCasinos.co.uk. His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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