Kobe Bryant (Achilles) says he's aiming to return to game action at some point in November or December.
Kobe said Wednesday he's fully mobile aside from being unable to run still. More importantly though, this is the first time we've heard Bryant admit he probably won't be ready for opening night after undergoing surgery on a torn Achilles on April 13. The normal recovery timetable for such an injury is six to nine months and a December return would slot right into the middle of that timeline. We'll have to see how Kobe progresses over the summer before coming anywhere close to a realistic return timetable.
Pacers owner Herb Simon says he expects a decision from Larry Bird on whether he'll return to the organization "shortly."
Simon added he expects a resolution at some point next week. Bird took last season off and then briefly flirted with the Kings' GM position earlier in June before withdrawing his name from consideration. Donnie Walsh, who replaced Bird as team president, has said he plans to step aside as soon as Bird returns, which Walsh believes will happen at some point this summer. Walsh expects to run the Pacers' draft, but it sounds like Larry Legend could be back in the fold after that.
Brian Shaw will meet with Clippers owner Donald Sterling for the first time Wednesday, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Shaw is having his second interview with the Clippers on Wednesday. The sit-down with Sterling is a sign that Shaw is clearly one of the finalists for team's vacant head coach position and the outcome of this interview will definitely go a long way to determining the Clippers' next head coach. With Doc Rivers now out of the picture, it appears Shaw and Byron Scott are the two favorites to replace Vinny Del Negro.
The Raptors announced Wednesday that Dwane Casey will return as coach next season.
There had been speculation regarding Casey's future after new GM Masai Ujiri stopped short of guaranteeing his job security for 2013-14. However, it's clear Ujiri was content with what he heard from Casey in their one-on-one meetings to keep him in place to at least begin the year. It should be noted that Casey has only one year left on his contract and Ujiri likely won't be shy pushing him out the door during or after the season if things go poorly.
Dwyane Wade says he missed the start of the third quarter Tuesday night because his surgically repaired left knee swelled up at halftime.
Wade said Wednesday afternoon his left knee, which he had operated on following last season, was still swollen and sore after Tuesday's Game 6 overtime win. The Heat guard is already dealing with bone bruises in his right knee, which Wade said is more painful than last season's knee injury. Wade only managed 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting in 36 minutes Tuesday night, but we can't foresee any injury or ailment keeping him off the court for Thursday's Game 7. Whether Wade is healthy enough to make a difference is another issue entirely.
Bradley Beal (leg) is expected to receive clearance to resume basketball activities in early July, sources told the Washington Post.
Beal's season ended early due to a stress fracture in his fibula, and after nearly three months of inactivity, Beal is almost ready to return. However, Beal's status for summer league is up in the air, and there's a chance he winds up missing it in order to recover. The Wizards will treat their shooting guard of the future with kid gloves. Beal is expected to be ready for Team USA minicamp.
The Mavericks are "almost certain" to trade the No. 13 overall pick to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency, a source told the Dallas Morning News.
We've heard previously that the Mavs are likely to move their draft pick, and this confirms that chatter. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Mavs trade the pick or take someone from the international ranks and stash him overseas during the 2013/14 season.