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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.
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.
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.
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.
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