NBA Rumor Round Up For Monday, November 30:
Los Angeles Lakers: While Kobe Bryant will play his last NBA game in April, he may not be done as he could make the 2016 Olympic team that will compete in Brazil. "We have this whole season to look at all of our players," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com's Marc Stein on Sunday.
Golden State Warriors: Starting small forward Harrison Barnes missed Saturday's game due to a sprained left ankle and he is expected to sit out at least three more to begin their road trip. Barnes will be reevaluated next week before he is cleared to rejoin the active roster. ... Acting head coach Luke Walton started Brandon Rush on Saturday at small forward and that may not change while Barnes is sidelined.
Charlotte Hornets: Starting center Al Jefferson was forced out of Sunday's game against Milwaukee due to a left calf injury. “He’s going to have a MRI tomorrow (Monday) and we’ll know more,” head coach Steve Clifford told the Gaston Gazette after the game. “He’s been our best rebounder, which has been a weakness.” ... Should Jefferson miss any upcoming games, Clifford will likely start Cody Zeller or Spencer Hawes at center.
Washington Wizards: The Wizards have played 14 games and some of the players are still struggling to adapt to the new offense. “It’s tough also because in the system we play — four outside, one inside — I’m by myself in there fighting for rebounds, and usually we got two, three guys inside the paint,” Marcin Gortat tells The Washington Post. “So it’s a little bit different without Nene Hilario being at the four. Jared Dudley is a different player. He’s giving a lot to the team, and I love to play with him, but just as Jared is giving us offensively great opportunities, we are suffering on the rebounds a little bit.” ... Head coach Randy Wittman tweaked the first unit on Saturday as Kris Humphries was moved to the bench and Dudley started at power forward. “I thought it was okay,” Wittman said (regarding starting Dudley). “We got off to a decent start in the first quarter, so I’ll have to look at it and get an idea from it.” ... In other news, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports the Wizards have agreed to terms with free agent center Ryan Hollins. If this is true, the Wizards need to remove a player from the team as they currently have a full 15-man roster. The player likely to be waived or traded is Martell Webster as he is out for the season due to right hip surgery. Webster is signed through 2016-17, however he only has $2.5 million worth of salary protection if he's waived prior to July 1.
Milwaukee Bucks: Head coach Jason Kidd decided a change to the starting lineup was needed, so he made two moves on Sunday against Charlotte. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams and power forward Jabari Parker were benched, while Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo landed in the starting group. "The past couple games my play has been down," Carter-Williams told the Journal Sentinel. "If I'm a coach, I wouldn't start me, either. Whatever minutes I get, I'm going to come in and try to help the team, cheer from the bench and try to cheer my teammates on. I know it's hard right now. I think things will get better." ... The changes didn't work on Sunday as the Bucks lost to Charlotte.
Los Angeles Clippers: Head coach Doc Rivers changed the starting small forward spot again on Sunday as the job was given to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Rivers has used Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson in that spot and all three have not produced enough with the starting group. “He (Mbah a Moute) was great tonight. He is a team-first guy,” Blake Griffin told The Orange County Register. “He is out there playing defense, [made] big stops down the stretch, and made some shots for us; he did everything for us.” ... Rivers has used eight different starting lineups through 17 games.
Miami Heat: Forward Luol Deng has missed the last two game due to the strained left hamstring and he might need more rest. “I’m able to slide and do a lot,” Deng told The Miami Herald. “My jump shot is fine. It’s when I try to sprint, and I’m trying to just take off. That’s when it’s troubling me. I dealt with a hamstring before, but it was a lot worse than this one."
Chicago Bulls: Forward Mike Dunleavy has been out since the preseason due to back surgery. Dunleavy is feeling soreness in his back, so he's going to visit a doctor on Monday, per CSN Chicago. “Mike is going to see a doctor again (Monday), and then we should have a better update after that,” Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He had a little bit of soreness. But we’ll have more on that (Monday).” ... A tentative timeline has Dunleavy returning in a few weeks, however that could be pushed out if he has suffered a setback.
New Orleans Pelicans: According to The Times-Picayune, head coach Alvin Gentry said on Sunday that Norris Cole (ankle) and Tyreke Evans (knee) may play for the first time this season on Tuesday when Memphis takes on the Pelicans.