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NBA Rumors: Baron Davis Hoping for Comeback

Baron Davis is hoping to make an NBA comeback … Wes Johnson wants to re-sign with the Lakers … Paul George wants LeBron James as a mentor

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Baron Davis Hoping to Make Comeback

In the meantime, Davis’ No. 1 focus is making a return to the NBA, and he’s been training in Vancouver with Steve Nash at times. Davis hasn’t played since May 2012, when, during the first round of the playoffs, he suffered a partial tear of the patella tendon in his right knee and complete tears of the right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.

“I still want to see where I stand and chase that dream, especially the way I went out on that injury,” said Davis, who’s been chronicling his comeback trail in a mockumentary series on TNT. “I want to just get back to playing a little bit. I definitely want to get back on the court and conquer that.”

Davis, who also makes occasional NBA TV appearances, said there is “no real timetable” yet for playing again.

“I’m just going through the process, man,” he said. “I think that’s the most important thing.”

via Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report

Davis hasn’t taken the court since the 2011-12 season, when he was playing for the New York Knicks. That season, Davis appeared in 29 games for the Knicks (starting 14) and averaged 6.1 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 20.5 minutes. It was the first time that Davis failed to average in double-digits scoring since his rookie season, but he was a serviceable reserve.

As the article states, Davis suffered a partial tear of the patella tendon in his right knee and complete tears of the right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments during the postseason, which has sidelined him since. He’s still just 34 years old, so a return to basketball isn’t completely out of the question, but it remains to be seen what Davis has left in the tank.

Over the course of his 13-year NBA career, Davis averaged 16.1 points, 7.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals. He was a two-time All-Star. While Davis has a lot of other interests – such as writing screenplays, producing documentaries, appearing on NBA TV and TNT, etc. – it’s clear that his goal is to return to the court and end his NBA career on his terms.

Wes Johnson Hopes to Re-Sign With Lakers

Johnson joined the Lakers last summer on a one-year deal worth around $1 million, eager to shed his reputation as a bust after the fourth pick of the 2010 NBA draft had uneventful seasons in Minnesota and Phoenix. Johnson has carved out a niche with the Lakers. But has he also carved out a future with them?

“I want to come back,” Johnson told this newspaper. “Hopefully they feel the same way. I’ll have to continue to prove myself and show I can play hard.”

Still, the Lakers have a number of young players on one-year deals. Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and Kendall Marshall are under contract next season.

“Hopefully it’s a long-term thing,” Johnson said. “But we’ll have to see what happens with what the front office decides and how they move around things. I would like to be here.”

via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News

Johnson is making $884,293 this season, and then he’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Last year, there weren’t many teams pursuing Johnson when he was a free agent, which is why he inked such a small, one-year deal with the Lakers.

However, after a productive year in which he has averaged a career-high 9.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals, it’s possible that he’ll attract more potential suitors when he hits the open market this offseason.

Johnson wants to remain in L.A. but whether or not the team re-signs him will likely depend on what other dominoes fall this summer. The Lakers would love to attract a star free agent to Los Angeles with their cap room. They have just $34,116,243 in guaranteed commitments for next season.

If they are able to sign a star player to put next to Kobe Bryant, it may mean they can’t afford to re-sign Johnson, Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry and MarShon Brooks (all of whom will be unrestricted free agents on July 1) above the veteran’s minimum.

Paul George Wants LeBron James as a Mentor

There is no doubt George views LeBron James as fierce competition as they battle for the Eastern Conference. One day, though, he’d also like to call him his mentor.

“It would be great to be able to pick his brain, pick his mind and just talk about the game because I think he’s a player that can help me get to the next level and continue to keep going to the next level,” George told Basketball Insiders. “I wish some day we have that relationship where he is someone I can talk to—not during the season because I’m too competitive during the season—but maybe in the summertime.”

“He’s someone that motivates me,” said George, who is averaging 22.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. “This league is all about guys being competitive and competing. And don’t get me wrong, every time I’m matched up with him I’m going to try to get the best out of him and come out as the best player of that game. But at the same time, he’s been someone that I looked up to. He’s someone I’m going to continue to look up to because at the end of the day, the position I want to be in is where he’s at.”

via Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders

As Camerato points out in the article, LeBron James made headlines when he became a mentor for former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel throughout the past year and he has said that he’s open to advising other talented young athletes as well.

While George and James are ferocious rivals on the court, the Pacers swingman understands that he could learn a lot from James and would benefit from picking his brain.

While we often think of George as one of the game’s best players, it’s easy to forget that he’s still just a 23-year-old kid who is still developing and trying to reach his full potential. James, who is six years older, knows a thing or two about living up to expectations, dealing with criticism, handling the NBA lifestyle and marketing himself. James could be an excellent mentor for many NBA players, George included.

George said that he and James don’t talk much now, but he’s hoping that will eventually change. He also named Kobe Bryant as someone who he would like as a mentor, which makes sense since he grew up in California idolizing Bryant.

 

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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