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Rumor Roundup: Lakers Can’t Get Healthy

A look at how the injury updates on Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol effect the Lakers… Joakim Noah appears to be All-Star bound… The reality behind Lance Stephenson and the Pacer’s future…

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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.

Lakers Can’t Get Healthy

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was examined prior to tonight’s game by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo and still has pain and swelling in his left knee. Bryant will continue with a program of non-weight bearing exercise, consisting mostly of working out on a stationary bike. He will be examined again in approximately three weeks.

Via NBA Press Releases

Pau Gasol not 100 percent sure he’ll be able to play Friday with sore groin

Via Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times

Nash also said that he isnt playing Fri vs. Char “I havent practiced in 2 1/2 months” Thinks Tuesday might be a possibility.

Via Janis Carr of The Orange County Register

This has become all too familiar for the Lakers over the last two years. Every time someone recovers, someone else goes down. By missing at least the next three weeks Bryant will have to forfeit his spot in the All-Star game. It’s time to start wondering if we’re even going to see him again this season. There won’t be anything to play even if he can return in three weeks, although there’s not really anything to play for now and that didn’t deter him from still wanting to return in the least bit.

IN RELATED: Who will replace Kobe Bryant in the All-Star game?

Nash will be re-joining the Lakers with far less pressure to produce or handle major minutes thanks to the emergence of Kendall Marshall. With Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake set to return this season as well, Nash could actually find himself sitting because of a coach’s decision, not injury issues, if he doesn’t get back to being a serious contributor.

Gasol’s injury only has him questionable for Friday’s game as of right now. He’s coming off of a month in which he played like an All-Star. That, along with his expiring contract status, makes Gasol one of the more interesting players to keep an eye as the trade deadline approaches. However, if this injury turns out to be anything serious, the chances of him being traded virtually diminish.

Noah Earns Second All-Star Birth?

Joakim Noah has apparently made the 2014 Eastern Conference All-Star team as a reserve or the Bulls are just really convinced he will as the team’s official YouTube account prematurely uploaded a congratulatory video on Tuesday evening.  The reserves will not be officially announced until Thursday night on TNT. If true, Noah will make his second straight appearance.

Via Beyond The Buzzer

With averages of 11 points, 11 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.3 blocks a game, Noah is certainly deserving of the honor. Make sure to check out the video below as the hardworking folks at Beyond the Buzzer were able to save a copy of it before the Bulls realized their mistake.

Lance Stephenson’s Parents Talk Free Agency

Lance Stephenson, the player, says “I’m a Pacer,” and drops no hints that he wants to test the open market. His parents are more blunt.

“We’re optimistic that he will stay here,” Dad says. “I listened to Larry Bird (at the press conference to announce Paul George’s long-term contract last summer) say, ‘Lance, you’ll be sitting here with your dad.’ That’s what we believe. Until otherwise, that’s the plan. Larry Bird said that and we bought into it. We believe it, Lance believes it.”

“We don’t try to analyze the future to that point,” Mom chimes in. “That’s out of our control. I guess when we get to that point … right now we’re just focusing on day-to-day.”

Via NBA.com

The Pacers are fortunate that Stephenson’s focus is on the present and that all he has to say about the future is that he wants to stay where he is. Because, if he looked at the numbers, he’d realize there’s a great chance he could end up elsewhere.

Stephenson is performing near an All-Star level (we’ll find out Thursday night if it was enough) and is poised to get a considerable raise from the $1 million he’s making this season. The Pacers, after giving Paul George a four-year extension, are going to have $63.9 million in guaranteed contracts on the books for next season, if they guarantee Luis Scola’s contract and waive the non-guaranteed contracts of Donald Sloan and Orlando Johnson. They’ve repeatedly stated that they are not willing to pay the luxury tax, which the threshold for this year was $71.7 million. That leaves less than $8 million to give Stephenson. He’ll almost certainly have more lucrative offers from around the league.

That’s where we’ll find out just how much the Pacers are willing to give and do to keep Stephenson.

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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