NBA Rumor Round Up For Friday, October 9:
Derrick Rose: The plan is still in place for Rose to return to the team next week, although getting him back on the court might be delayed as the swelling around his left eye has not abated yet. "His eye is still pretty swollen," head coach Fred Hoiberg tells the Chicago Tribune. "The vision hopefully doesn't have any issues once he starts working out again and gets his blood pressure up." ... The Bulls tip off the regular season on Oct. 27 and the Bulls are hoping Rose will be in the lineup by that time.
Jimmy Butler: There has been rumors that Butler has issues with Derrick Rose and that talk will continue until both players are on the floor and playing well together. Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago writes: "No matter how many times both deny there’s any existence of a feud or real issues, it’s gonna be there. Unfortunately, the age of new media dictate there’s a good guy and a bad guy, and right now everything Butler says about asserting himself as a leader will be viewed as a referendum on a perceived lack of leadership from Rose’s end. Or worse, that Butler’s words are somehow aimed at Rose because of this perceived rift between the two. ... With Butler’s new status comes inherent responsibility — the equal responsibility on making his on-court relationship with Rose work."
Kevin Martin: Martin has started 491 of 659 regular season games, however going into his 12th season in the NBA he has been relegated to a backup role at the shooting guard position as interim head coach Sam Mitchell has given the spot to Zach LaVine. Martin says he will accept his new position with the Minnesota Timberwolves. “At the end of the day, I’m a low-maintenance kind of guy, so they know what they’re getting in me,” Martin tells the Star Tribune. “I came off the bench for a 60-win team and I started 10 years in this league, so whatever it is they know they’re going to get a pretty damn good basketball player. That’s where it is right now.” ... Mitchell could move Martin back to the starting spot if LaVine struggles to keep up with the demands of the position. And while Martin may not start, he will surely play a key role and receive plenty of minutes in the playing rotation this season.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Guard Jared Cunningham is one of the players on the preseason roster with a non-guaranteed contract, which puts him on the bubble to be cut prior to the start of the regular season on Oct. 27. So far in the preseason, Cunningham is showing he deserves a roster spot as he scored 31 points against Philadelphia on Thursday. "I thought without question Jared sort of separated himself tonight," head coach David Blatt told the Northeast Ohio Media Group. "He was exceptional. That's what the opportunities are for, you know. You get a chance, you grab it and he made good use of it." ... Now it's up to Cunningham to keep putting in strong performances for the duration of the preseason. "You know I've been in every situation the past three years and just to get out there and play everyday is a blessing, so I don't take anything for granted," he said. "I just go and play my heart out." ... In other news, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports the Cavs are going to sign shooting guard Dionte Christmas and the deal should be completed over the weekend. Per Chris Haynes, the Cavs will open a spot on the 20-man preseason roster by waiving Mike Dunigan.
Detroit Pistons: Backup point guard Steve Blake is still feeling the pain from the concussion last week and his return to the lineup could come in about 10 days. "He finally started to turn a corner a little bit yesterday, to where he seemed like himself a little bit," Stan Van Gundy told MLive on Thursday. "But from there, you have to take the baseline test again and go through the protocol. So I think probably what we're looking at with him is getting back to practice after the San Antonio game."
Sacramento Kings: Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein is playing well in the preseason and there is a good chance he could win a spot in the starting lineup when the regular season tips off. “Right now my feeling is Kosta Koufos probably fits the bench better than Willie does,” Kings head coach George Karl told CSN Bay Area. "And Willie probably fits Cuz a little better, too. I’m not sure that’s where I’ll go, but that’s probably where I’m tilted right now.”
Washington Wizards: The team is dealing with a few injures and J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic: offers this update: "Kelly Oubre turned his right ankle earlier this week but it doesn't appear to hinder him while walking. He has been able to walk on it since getting injured in practice Monday and his ability to play could be a game-time decision. Jared Dudley (lower back surgery) did some contact drills for the second day in a row also. He didn't have any setbacks and is on pace to be a full participant by next week. Alan Anderson (left ankle) had treatment again and has yet to practice with the Wizards in training camp or preseason. Martell Webster (right hip) is a different story. He says he still has significant pain in the area and this could be the type of injury that lingers."