J.J. Redick returned to practice Tuesday after being sidelined for two weeks with a left quad contusion. He is expected to play Friday in the Los Angeles Clippers' preseason game against the Sacramento Kings, according to ESPN Los Angeles
He said that the most frustrating part of being sidelined is not being able to gel with his new teammates.
"It's one thing to sit out a couple games during the season, here and there, 30-40 games in," Redick told ESPN Los Angeles. "But training camp and the first two months of the season is when you get accustomed to a new situation, but there's nothing you can do about it. Injuries are a part of it."
The former Duke Blue Devil was part of a three-team deal this summer that sent him to Los Angeles. Redick averaged 15 points on 45 percent shooting last season with the Orlando Magic before being shipped to Milwaukee mid-season. The Bucks experiment went all kinds of haywire, but it's likely he'll find stability alongside Chris Paul in the City of Angels.
Timberwolves to pick up Derrick Williams, Ricky Rubio contract options
The Minnesota Timberwolves will pick up the $6.3 million contract option of Derrick Williams and the $5 million contract option of Ricky Rubio.
Williams -- the second-overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft -- has improved just enough for the Timberwolves to keep their options open with the 22-year-old forward.
The former Arizona Wildcat dropped a considerable amount of weight this summer to ease the transition as a full-time small forward. While Williams has been more effective as a power forward, the T-Wolves are hoping that he can fit at the three-spot, where he can be paired with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.
The team also plans to exercise the option to keep its 23-year-old point guard, Ricky Rubio, according to the Star Tribune. Rubio -- the fifth-overall pick in the 2009 draft -- returned to the Minnesota lineup in December last year after recovering from an ACL tear. He averaged 11 points and seven assists in 57 games last year. No surprise here.
Josh Smith says he never thought about staying in Atlanta
Smith, an Atlanta native, signed a four-year, $54 million deal with the Detroit Pistons this summer after having played with the Hawks for nine seasons. He told Hoopsworld that his move from Atlanta to Detroit, "wasn't as hard as other people saw it."
"It was time for me to experience a different thing in my life, a new situation, new opportunity and I'm happy where I'm at."
The nine-year veteran forward has never made an All-Star Team despite being the best, or second-best, player on a consistent playoff team and filling stat sheets night-in and night-out. Maybe a change of scenery is all he needs.
Kevin Love accepts obscure general manager survey award
"Which player makes the most of limited natural ability?" is what general managers are asked for NBA.com's yearly survey. Well, the GMs have decided that that player is once again Kevin Love! For the third year in a row! What an honor it must be for Love. He really turned that big body into a double-double, three-point sniping machine of a power forward. What kind of acceptance speech will K-Love make? Oh.. what's that...
Keep on keepin' on, K-Love.
Apparently the commissioner-to-be played a significant part in keeping an NBA team in Sacramento. From John Lombardo and Terry Lofton of Sports Business Daily:
Silver listened as debate raged between NBA owners, a phalanx of lawyers and Stern; the point of contention was whether ownership would allow the Sacramento Kings to be sold to a group that would move the team more than 625 miles north to Seattle. In the balance was an astounding franchise price of $406 million, along with a relocation fee rumored to be around $75 million, which would be split among ownership.
None of that mattered to Silver as he surgically cut through the posturing, pushing to keep the Kings in California and sending a message to owners and the fans about the importance of franchise stability.
"Adam was very blunt and it changed the conversation in the room," Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said. "The lawyers spoke and David spoke, but Adam found a higher calling that all of us tapped into."
Pretty cool story and an even better profiling of the NBA's next commissioner.
Are the Nuggets shopping Kenneth Faried?
Grantland's Zach Lowe dropped 32 predictions for the upcoming NBA season on Tuesday. One of the more interesting predictions is that the Nuggets will trade Kenneth Faried. Lowe called the prediction a "semi-educated guess."
Multiple sources around the league have reported in the last month that Denver has put out targeted feelers on Faried, gauging his value and demanding very good return. The Nuggets, for their part, deny they've put Faried's name out there at all.
Faried has been an electric rebounder and and high-flying talent in his first two seasons in the NBA, so it's a little surprising to read his name in trade rumors. But the Nuggets have changed the makeup of their team: the fast-paced style of George Karl is no more and new head coach Brian Shaw will regard defense in a much higher light.
Will Faried fit in with those changes? SB Nation's Drew Garrison talked more about this subject in this piece.