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NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Will Steve Nash Ever Play Again?

Steve Nash’s playing days could be over… Joel Embiid out with back issues again… Tony Mitchell signing with the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Check out our breakdown of the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Nash’s season likely over

Mike D’Antoni says he “doubts” Steve Nash plays again this season, but wouldn’t rule him out.

Via David McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles on Twitter

If Nash is indeed done, he’ll have played in just 10 games this season due to back and lower body injuries. In his absence, the Lakers have seen Jordan Farmar and Kendall Marshall emerge as capable threats at the point guard position, making the need for Nash, especially at over $9 million, minimal at best.

Odds are the Lakers will give strong consideration to using the stretch provision on his contract, which would allow them to spread the remaining $9.7 million remaining to him over the next three years. So he’d only count on the books for a third of the $9.7 million next year, giving them added flexibility and funds for free agency this summer. Every million helps when you have $23.5 already going to Kobe Bryant, who is also likely out for the season.

Nash has stated on multiple occasions that if the Lakers let him go, he will retire.

Joel Embiid out two games

Joel Embiid will sit out the final two regular-season games for No. 8 Kansas so that he can rest a lower back strain that has already caused him to miss a game, and it’s possible the freshman center could be out through the Big 12 tournament.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self said Monday that Embiid re-aggravated the injury and that experts have told the team’s training staff that the best remedy is simply rest. An MRI exam taken on his lower back came back negative.

Via the Associated Press

This is a big blow for the Jayhawks, who are a legitimate championship contender with Embiid manning the middle. As far as beyond this season goes, it’s easy to make a case that being limited by injuries late could make Embiid want to secure his spot in the league quickly, or return to Kansas and finish on a better note.

Because this back issue has become a consistent deterrent for Embiid, NBA teams are going to take a deep, thorough look at it and make sure that there’s no long-term concerns.

Embiid has established himself as the top overall pick in just about the eyes of every talent evaluator.

Bucks signing Tony Mitchell

D-League Fort Wayne F Tony Mitchell, who is averaging 19.4 points, is expected to sign a 10-day contract with the Bucks, sources told Yahoo

Via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports on Twitter

Tony Mitchell is a high-flying forward who has established himself as one of the most productive players in the D-League over the last two years. Last year he was named the Rookie of the Year and now he’s getting his shot in the NBA with the Bucks, where the potential for a fit beyond the next 10-days exists as long as Mitchell excels.

Mitchell was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2012 after a premature, abrupt ending to his college career at Alabama. There were concerns about his maturity and character, but Mitchell has answered both in the D-League and proven to be quite the professional.

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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