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NBA Rumors: LeBron James Still Recruiting Ray Allen

Rumors: LeBron still recruiting Ray Allen… Joel Embiid and Ricky Rubio updates…

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LeBron still after Ray Allen

While the principal reason LeBron James visited Miami during his recent two-week rest period was to seek out warmer weather while he rehabbed strains in his left knee and lower back, he also had another item on his agenda.

During James’ Miami jaunt, the four-time MVP met with free-agent guard and former Miami Heat teammate Ray Allen to try to appeal to the league’s all-time leader in 3-pointers again about joining the Cavs this season, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Via David McMenamin of ESPN

The Cavaliers have been the favorites to land Ray Allen since LeBron James signed back on with them in July. This is actually the second time that James has tried to lure Allen to Cleveland, as he also recruited him heavily during his first stint with the team. James is hoping for better results this time around, as the first time the Cavs missed out, settled for Larry Hughes and the rest is history.

However, it’s hard not to wonder if the Cavaliers’ recent activity bumped them down Allen’s list of top destinations in the case that he were to return. With J.R. Smith now in tow and Iman Shumpert soon to return from injury, the Cavaliers don’t exactly have the need for Allen that they did before that three-team trade that sent out Dion Waiters. Not to mention, the chemistry is a bit fickle right now, although the team is currently on a four-game winning streak.

Allen has been extremely non-committal about playing this season, but could likely call up any contender and have them make room for him. He has until March to decide if he wants to come back for a playoff run, but the more time that passes, the more we should wonder if we’re ever going to see one of the greatest shooters ever play again.

Brett Brown talks about Joel Embiid’s status

Brett Brown isn’t ready to say Joel Embiid won’t play this season.

Embiid, the rookie center who was the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is recovering from a foot stress fracture he suffered in June.

While it’s expected that the Sixers will sit Embiid all year, just like they did with Nerlens Noel (torn ACL) the season before, Brown insisted the only thing he knows is that Embiid won’t be back until after the mid-February all-star game.

“We’re not prepared to give any further timeline right now,” said Brown before Wednesday night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center. “I go right back to how we handled Nerlens. I think everybody’s got to see how we’re treating our guys and the risk involved when somebody is not 100 percent, especially with a man of (Embiid’s) size.”

Via Tom Moore of The Intelligencer

It was the possibility of him having to miss the entire season, along with just general chronic injury concerns, that dropped Embiid down to third in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, the 76ers, fresh off of a campaign in which their top draft pick Nerlens Noel missed the whole year while recovering from injury, were more than willing to make a similar investment again. It fit perfectly with their rebuilding plan, but they’ve encountered some unexpected issues with Embiid that weren’t an issue last year with Noel.

Embiid has reportedly not taken to the rehabilitation process like Noel did. He’s teetering near 300 lbs. and has clashed with some of the 76ers staff tasked to work with him. Being away from basketball has clearly taken its toll on Embiid, who is also still coping with the loss of his younger brother late last year.

While the 76ers preferred to delay Noel’s professional debut even after he was cleared to play last regular season, they may not do the same with Embiid if he receives clearance because right now he seems to need an outlet. He needs basketball, but unless he clears all the markers set for him by the 76ers, he’ll have to wait till next year – or summer league at the absolute earliest.

Ricky Rubio did more than just sprain his ankle

But on a night when the Wolves finally got center Nikola Pekovic back from a 31-game absence, coach Flip Saunders shed some light on the nature of Rubio’s injury. Saunders said Rubio not only suffered a high ankle sprain against Orlando on Nov. 7, but also damaged some muscles and ligaments that lead from his ankle to his toes, prolonging the recovery process.

“It’s not him not wanting to play or not working,” Saunders said before Wednesday night’s game against Dallas. “He’s doing everything he can. We as an organization and the doctors who are involved have been the ones who have tried to hold him back.”

Via the Associated Press

Once Rubio went out the Timberwolves’ chances of being even remotely involved in the Western Conference playoff race went out the window. They made a major financial commitment to him before the season, an indicator that they believed he could be their star in place of Kevin Love and help make the young players who they invested heavily in as well better. His original timetable for recovery was 8-12 weeks, but according to the AP doctors are cautioning him very strongly against returning too soon as it could lead to more re-occurring issues.

The Timberwolves’ veterans have been plagued by injuries this year. Not only has Rubio missed extensive time, but so has Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic. On the bright side, that’s freed up more playing time for the development of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng, the guys who are ultimately going to be critical in the Timberwolves’ quest to return to the playoffs. For now, though, the drought continues.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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