There is some belief around the league that, if Kobe Bryant can stay healthy this year, he might want to play one more season before hanging up his sneakers. The problem is that his contract runs out this after this season, and some have suggested that he could be a fit in New York with his friend Carmelo Anthony, as well as his ties to coach Derek Fisher and team president Phil Jackson. Bryant decided to address the issue head on in the locker room after the Lakers picked up their first win of the season Friday night. Bryant flatly denied that he would consider playing anywhere else, stating “I’m a Laker for life.” We’ll see.
The Pacers have been hiding former top high school recruit Glenn Robinson III on their bench this season, keeping him out of their first four games completely. But after starting 0-3, the Pacers have won their last three games, in part because they’ve allowed Robinson to play some in the past two. He’s averaged 17.5 minutes over the two games, and scored 10 points and 7 points against Boston and Miami, respectively. The 21-year-old forward has looked good on both offense and defense, and he’s finally starting to show some of the promise that many saw in him as a teen. He’s earning more minutes in an expanded role, but that creates a problem for the Pacers, who have Paul George, C.J. Miles, Chase Budinger and Rodney Stuckey blocking him.
It’s no surprise to anyone that has paid attention to the Chicago Bulls over the last few years that the relationship between the Bulls and Derrick Rose has steadily declined. With one year left on his contract after this season, Austin Peters of Hardwood Paroxysm ponders the options the Bulls have concerning their injury-riddled star point guard. They, of course, could attempt to trade him. However, Rose’s contract is large (although not too long), and most teams already have their point guard entrenched. It’s hard to get a decent return if you trade him. The Bulls could waive him, which means they could use the stretch provision of the CBA to lower the cap burden that Rose’s contract would have, giving them more flexibility next summer. The most likely course, though, is Rose staying until his contract runs out.
The Pelicans took another blow to their already disappointing season today, finding out that center Kendrick Perkins could miss up to three months with a pectoral injury. Perkins is one of the least skilled NBA players that has worked his way into a real role on the court, so it’s not as if the Pelicans are losing Anthony Davis. They still have Omer Asik, who is dealing with a lesser injury as well, so they should be able to weather the storm of the Perkins injury. But at 0-5 on the season, injuries are not the kind of news you’re hoping for if you’re a Pelicans fan.
The Atlanta Hawks, owners of the Eastern Conference’s best record at 6-1, have done well with taking players in the second-round of the NBA draft the last few years and turning them into quality role players. Mike Scott, Mike Muscala, Walter Tavares and Lamar Patterson are all former second-rounders, and with both their own first-round and second-round picks coming up in next summer’s 2016 draft, as well as an additional second-round pick from Washington, the Hawks could be looking at different ways to use those picks to add more pieces around their core. Patrick Laney of Peachtree Hoops investigates how the Hawks might go about using those draft picks.