NBA Rumor Round Up For Tuesday, December 1:
Washington Wizards: Prior to waiving Martell Webster and signing free agent center Ryan Hollins, the NBA did approve Washington's request for a Disabled Player Exception, according to The Washington Post. It's worth $2.8 million and can be used to bring in a player via trade, free agency and the waiver-wire. Any player coming in via the DPE must have a contract that expires in June. ... In other news, the Wizards still don't know when Alan Anderson, signed in July, will be cleared to join the active roster. Anderson is currently going through the rehab process after left ankle surgery in October. "It's not going to be next week," Wizards coach Randy Wittman told CSN Washington. "I got to let them (medical staff) tell me."
Brooklyn Nets: Swingman Joe Johnson is the second highest paid player in the NBA this season as he's making $24.89 million. Johnson becomes a free agent on July 1 and he already knows his top priority when we get to that point. "Winning. Winning is going to be important to me," Johnson told The Record. "I’ve made enough money, man, throughout my career. So, yeah, winning will definitely be top priority for me." ... There is a chance Johnson, 34, and the Nets will break up by March 1 via buyout so he can sign with a top 2016 playoff team. The Nets are major long-shots to make the postseason in April.
Philadelphia 76ers: People close to the Sixers top 2015 pick want to make sure the recent troubles of rookie center Jahlil Okafor stop immediately, so a request was made. ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard writes: "Okafor will now be accompanied by a security guard whenever he goes out, according to league sources. The request for security came from Okafor's handlers, who asked the 76ers to make a security guard available to their first-round draft pick out of Duke."
Chicago Bulls: Forward Mike Dunleavy did have a "setback" and a timetable to be cleared to play is uncertain. "Mike's had a little setback with his back," head coach Fred Hoiberg told ESPNChicago.com. "He had a little pain this last week. He feels better after taking a couple days off. [We] had him seen by the doctor today, and the recommendation is for him to get off the floor and to really focus just on straight rehab for about two weeks. We've also consulted with some other doctors, some specialists around the country, so he's going to see a couple of those [doctors] this week as well."
Minnesota Timberwolves: Center Nikola Pekovic (right Achilles' tendon) is working his way through rehab and he might start practicing in two weeks, according to the Pioneer Press. Pekovic had surgery in April to repair the injury.
Memphis Grizzlies: Can Jeff Green and Zach Randolph coexist on the floor at the same time? Chris Herrington of The Commercial-Appeal writes: "There’s still reason to be skeptical about Green’s starting lineup fit when the Grizzlies are playing both Randolph and Marc Gasol. Of the 30 most-used two-player combinations since that Nov. 9 demarcation point, Randolph-Green has been by far the least effective. On the season, the Grizzlies have been better with one or the other on the floor than with both, and each player has shot worse with the other on the floor." ... If Green is moved back to the bench, there is a chance Matt Barnes could get the starting small forward position.
Cleveland Cavaliers: On Monday, guards Kyrie Irving (fractured left knee cap) and Iman Shumpert (surgically repaired right wrist) participated in the practice. "We were able to engage them in moderated fashion for the practice," Cavs head coach David Blatt told ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin. "We had a moderated practice that we were able to get them to take part in a good piece of it. Day to day, making a little bit more progress." ... There is hope both players will be ready to play by Christmas, but that may not happen. "I really can’t say," Blatt said. "Every day I’m watching them and making progress and we’re being very cautious and conscientious about keeping them within their limits and not rushing them back."
Houston Rockets: Good news for PF Donatas Motiejunas could come on Tuesday as he is set to meet his doctor. If all goes well he may gain clearance to start practicing with the team. "He's moving in the right direction," J.B. Bickerstaff said on Monday night, per ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins. ... In other news, Bickerstaff says he is not done tinkering with his rotation. “We’re still a work in progress there,” Bickerstaff told the Houston Chronicle. “There’s guys we know what they’re going to bring and there’s guys we know we need to be at their best for us to be the team we want to be. I still believe in Ty Lawson. I still believe in Corey Brewer. So we’re going to give those guys opportunities to get back to being the players that they are. We don’t win as big as we want to win if those guys are not playing at their best.”
Charlotte Hornets: The team will be without starting center Al Jefferson for an estimated two to three weeks due to the strained left calf. With Jefferson sidelined, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford may start Cody Zeller at center.
Milwaukee Bucks: Head coach Jason Kidd has played Michael Carter-Williams and Jabari Parker off the bench for the last two games as Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo were promoted to the first unit. Kidd will probably stay with this rotation moving forward. "We're going to go with the vets on the floor, the guys that are talking that are kind of setting the tone for us," Kidd told the Journal Sentinel.