NBA Rumor Round Up For Monday, October 12:
Golden State Warriors: Head coach Steve Kerr informed the media on Sunday that he has been sidelined due to a spinal fluid leak. Kerr had back surgery in late July and that is when the leak occurred. "The leak is fixed, but still getting some symptoms, but that's why I'm out," Kerr said, according to ESPN.com's Ethan Sherwood. ... At this time, Kerr doesn't know when he will return to the bench. "It's a matter of your body sort of recalibrating," he said. "Unfortunately, it's not like a sprained ankle, one to two weeks. There's no telling. It's a little bit open-ended, but everyone's confident I'm going to be fine. That's where I am. I'm not going to be put a timetable on when I'm going to come back." ... While Kerr is out, Luke Walton will be the interim head coach.
New Orleans Pelicans: The team is without their two top centers Omer Asik (calf) and Alexis Ajinca (hamstring), so last week they signed Greg Smith, however he failed his physical. With limited options, the Pelicans signed Jerome Jordan on Saturday. "More than anything we needed more size to practice as I said we don't know how long Alexis or Omer is going to be out," Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told The Times-Picayune. "But we brought him (Jordan) in for protection." ... Jordan played with the Brooklyn Nets last season.
Thabo Sefolosha: Even though he is not 100 percent recovered from the broken leg, Sefolosha will likely get some game action on Wednesday. "We’ll see how these next couple of days go but I’d say I am, we are, hopeful that he’ll at least be able to play a few minutes on Wednesday,” Sefolosha told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Nene Hilario: The power forward has been a starter for most of his time in the NBA, which includes the last four years with the Washington Wizards. Head coach Randy Wittman has installed a new offense, so moving forward Nene will likely be used off the bench as the backup center. “Nene’s going to continue, whether he’s a starter or non-starter, to get the minutes he’s gotten since he’s been here,” Wittman tells The Washington Post. “I’m not going to play him any differently whether he’s a starter or not.” ... In 13 years, Nene has started 601 of the 747 regular season games he has played in. 2015-16 may be Nene's last season with the Wizards as his contract, paying $13 million, is set to expire at the end of June.
Sacramento Kings: The NBA regular season tips off in two weeks and over the next 15 days head coach George Karl needs to settle on his starter at the shooting guard position. On Saturday, Karl started Darren Collison next to Rajon Rondo. “I would say right now I have to figure that out,” Karl told reporters, per James Ham of CSN Bay Area. “There’s one discussion this afternoon about playing maybe Rondo and Collison and Marco Belinelli together because that could be a team when you’re in a catch-up situation that might play.” ... Karl's options are Collison, Ben McLemore, last season’s starter, or Belinelli. ... While the starting shooting guard position is still to be determined, the rest of the group will likely include: PG - Rondo, SF - Rudy Gay, PF - Willie Cauley-Stein and C - DeMarcus Cousins.
Arron Afflalo: According to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, the Knicks are hoping Afflalo can return this week and possibly play on Friday or Saturday. Afflalo is currently dealing with a hamstring injury. Until Afflalo returns, Sasha Vujacic will start at shooting guard.
Chase Budinger: The Indiana Pacers acquired the small forward in July via trade with Minnesota and he may get his first games action on Tuesday. “I hope so; that’s the plan,” Budinger told The Indianapolis Star. “I’m excited. It’s a great group of guys and they’re very talented. I think I will fit in well with them. I can’t wait to get out there on the court and get that chemistry going with them.” ... Budinger will likely be used as a reserve this season to provide depth at small forward and shooting guard. 2015-16 is big for Budinger as his contract, paying $5 million, expires after the season.
Ricky Rubio: The team is hoping to have their starting point guard in the lineup next Sunday against Memphis. The plan is to have Rubio go through full-contact practices on Friday and Saturday. “If he’s not going to practice, it wouldn’t make sense to play him,” Sam Mitchell told the Star Tribune regarding the games Monday and Wednesday against Toronto.
Chicago Bulls: The team has a new head coach in Fred Hoiberg and one the changes on offense is to shoot more three-point shots. So far in the preseason the Bulls are taking 33 three-pointers per game, which is almost 11 more then they took in 2014-15, according to the Chicago Tribune. This change in philosophy means Doug McDermott has a chance to really help the Bulls this season. "I just want to stay aggressive," McDermott said. "Coming off screens and letting it fly will be the big part. There will be times they're closing out hard and I'll have to put it on the floor. That's part of the game. But I do think I'll have a lot of (3-point) opportunities with Derrick and Jimmy Butler and their ability to get into the lane." ... McDermott has made 11-22 three-point shots so far during the preseason.
Dallas Mavericks: Head coach Rick Carlisle is planning to keep all four of his point guards (Deron Williams, Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton), which means some tough cuts will need to be made at the wing and frontcourt positions by Oct. 26 when the regular season rosters are set. The five likely locks to be cut include Brandon Ashley, Jarrid Famous, Maurice Daly Ndour, Dwight Powell and Jamil Wilson.
Houston Rockets: Head coach Kevin McHale likes Sam Dekker at the power forward position and that is where the rookie is going to play. “If (Dekker) gets time this year, unless there is an injury, it’s more likely at the four than at the three,” McHale tells the Houston Chronicle. “We’ll keep him there. We’ll probably play him a little three also."
Golden State Warriors: Rookie forward Kevon Looney, recovering from right hip surgery, is set to meet with his doctor on Wednesday and he is expecting good news. “I’m feeling better,” Looney told the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. “The process is slow, but I’m feeling good.” ... Once Looney is cleared to play, he will likely be sent to the D-League to get some game time with the Santa Cruz Warriors.