Ben Simmons targeting Friday vs. Hawks to return from calf strain Suns, Hawks reportedly show interest in Kuzma trade, Wizards see him as cornerstone Magic send Jonathan Isaac to G-League for practice, rehabilitation Antetokounmpo talks about plans for his 28th birthday while holding Simpsons plush Watch Pacers rookie Nembhard drop 31, outduel Curry, lead Pacers past Warriors


Ben Simmons missed the Nets’ last three games with knee pain related to a left calf sprain, and he also won’t be out on Wednesday when Brooklyn faces Charlotte.

However, he plans to return on Friday (December 9) against the Hawks.

Simmons was adjusting to his new role in Brooklyn. In Philadelphia, he was a ball point guard. Joel Embiid (at least at first), but in Brooklyn, the ball had to be in the hands Kevin Duran as well as Kyrie Irving in a half court. Simmons is more of a five-man smallball player and is asked to be aggressive and attack when he gets the ball, rather than throwing jumpers and pushing a rock in transition. It took some time for Simmons to settle into that space, but he seemed to succeed in games against Philadelphia (11 points, 11 assists), Toronto (14 points, 6 assists) and Indiana (20 points). . Then the injuries followed.

Brooklyn is 13-12 with an average offense and defense this season. While there are doubts about the ceiling for this team, it has a level of talent that should be better than this record, it has just been beset by injuries, controversies that saw Kyrie Irving miss time and a change in coach. The Nets haven’t reached their success yet.

But they could have a clean injury record on Friday night and maybe that could be the start for this team.

Kyle Kuzma was the kind of quality two-way role player the Lakers needed. LeBron James as well as Anthony Davis to win a 2020 NBA title (the type of player the Lakers would love to have now).

In Washington, his role has risen – he scores 20 points per game (to be exact, 20.6 points per game this season), which plays a key role in forming an attack, and not just playing with the stars Bradley Beal as well as Kristaps Porzingis. As he told Shams Charania of The Athletic:

“As soon as I was traded, I was ready for more,” Kuzma told The Athletic.

That was enough to draw the attention of several teams looking for a trade, adds Charania. However, Wizards are not necessarily interested in moving on.

According to league sources, several teams such as the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns have expressed trading interest in Kuzma. In addition, the Wizards have shown interest in the Hawks forward. John Collinsand the parties were seriously discussing a potential deal in the off-season, league sources added…

However, the Wizards front office, led by general manager Tommy Sheppard, has made it clear that they see Kuzma as a cornerstone in moving forward as the franchise has seen him flourish after a mega-trade in the 2021 off-season. Westbrook’s deal provided future flexibility and assets for the Wizards, who are known for being aggressive and active in research across the league.

Kuzma has a $13 million player option for next season, which he will no doubt waive, making him a free agent looking for a solid raise (north of $20 million a year, though expect something more within a four-year contract). $104 million Jalen Brunson agreement). If the Wizards are willing to pay, they can probably keep him (they have his rights to the bird). But if Washington isn’t sure it wants to pay market value, or if management sees a change in course for future seasons, it should consider trading Kuzma on a deadline.

If he becomes available, many more teams will be interested in him than the Hawks and Suns, quality two-way forwards are in demand in the league. Kuzma will have some leverage over where he gets sent because he could leave as a free agent (teams would offer less if they thought Kuzma would be on loan for this season only).

There was a time when they thought Jonathan Isaac could be Magic’s next big star.

However, he hasn’t played an NBA court since he was in a bubble (February 8, 2020) and then tore his cruciate ligament in August of that year (which happened after he missed most of that season from -for injury, the same knee). He had a setback and another procedure last March and has missed two full seasons plus the start of this one so far.

Isaac is still working on his recovery and the Magic sent him to the G-League Lakeland Magic to practice.

With NBA teams barely practicing during the season—almost every other day’s game schedule plus travel and recovery doesn’t allow for more than filming sessions and screenings—this sort of minor league baseball-style rehab assignment is becoming more and more common.

An article from the official Magic website notes that this is the first time Isaac will be playing 5v5 with other players during rehab, which is a significant step forward.

There is no timeline for his return, but the Magic has a $17.4 million contract this season and two more fully guaranteed years at the same price. There is no reason for the franchise to leave, even if some in the league wonder if his knees will ever allow him to return to the NBA court again.

The Magic have found their next star in Paolo Bankero and built a promising young core that Isaac – an elite defender before injuries – should fit in well with. If he can recover and return to the court.

Happy birthday, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek freak turns 28 today.

After losing an accidental (to him) 34-13-5 line last night in the Bucks’ win over the Magic, Antetokounmpo discussed plans for his birthday. He doesn’t go out, maybe he just has lunch, plays with his kids, and once they’re asleep… well, you know.

I can safely say that Antetokounmpo is the first NBA player to talk about birthday sex while holding a Homer J. Simpson plush doll.

If you’re asking why the Simpson doll…why not? Bucks reserve forward