NBA news roundup: Rajon Rondo out until December?; Jeremy Lin ready for Dwight Howard experience

Jared Wickerham

A Celtics teammate says Rondo may not return from an ACL injury until December, while Jeremy Lin hopes to build pick-and-roll chemistry with D12.

Both Rajon Rondo and Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge have done their part to fuel speculation that Rondo would return from a torn ACL by opening night. However, that timetable may be a bit optimistic, at least according to Celtics big man Jared Sullinger.

Sullinger did an interview with WSYX Columbus on Friday, and he hopes Rondo will be ready by December. That means the All-Star point guard would miss at least the first month of the season and possibly more depending when he returns.

Rondo underwent surgery on his right knee in February. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery, and Rondo has spent some of his rehab in Florida working with the good doc. Rondo has said he wants to make an Adrian Peterson-like return, which would put him on pace to reappearance around the start of the season.

But as much as Rondo would like to return as soon as possible, it's probably in his best interest to take his time and not rush back to a Celtics team in rebuilding mode.

Lin looking forward to playing with Howard

Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin hasn't had the chance to work out with the newly acquired Dwight Howard just yet, but he is eager to get to down to business with the big man, according to the Associated Press.

Lin told reporters in Beijing that he's especially excited about the pick-and-roll possibilities with Howard:

"We're not yet in Houston and haven't trained together so I don't know yet," said the 25-year-old point guard, who was in China to oversee a basketball camp.

"But he really likes to play pick-and-roll and I really like to play pick-and-roll, so I hope we can work really well together and really happily learn how to play with each other," Lin said.

Howard is a natural fit for the pick-and-roll, however, he reportedly had issues with Mike D'Antoni's pick-and-roll system with the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard preferred to have the offense run through him in the post, something D'Antoni said wasn't an option due to the big man's back problems.

Howard's resistance to pick-and-roll in Los Angeles doesn't necessarily bode well for pick-and-roll dominance in Houston, but perhaps the center will again embrace the system. If he does, the Rockets will be that much more dangerous.

Kings announce lead architect for new arena

The Sacramento Kings announced Sunday that they have selected international firm AECOM to be the lead architect for their new arena in downtown Sacramento.

AECOM has served as lead architect on 11 NBA arenas, with the most recent being the Brooklyn Nets' Barclays Center. AECOM is currently designing the 2016 Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro.

AECOM plans to have conceptual renderings for the new stadium sometime in the fall, with a final design hopefully completed in early 2014. The goal is that construction on the new arena will begin in August or September 2014.

Bynum 'not close' to being ready for full basketball activities

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andrew Bynum is putting a lot of effort into rehab from his knee issues, but Bynum still isn't close to being ready to participate in full basketball activities, according to Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer.

Bynum has been working out nearly every day at the Cavs' facility since signing with the team six weeks ago. He wants to lose about 20 pounds in order to be in better shape whenever he does return. The center hasn't played a game since April 2012 due to multiple surgeries on his knees.

Kidd setting double-digit assist goal for D-Will

Nets' star point guard Deron Williams used to average double-digit assists like it was nothing, but he hasn't achieved that feat since the 2010-11 season. Rookie head coach Jason Kidd, a star point guard in his own right, is pushing Williams to get back to that high level in terms of assists, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News:

"I'm going to push him. I want the best for him," Kidd said after signing autographs at the Nets' merchandise store in Coney Island. "When we sit down and talk about goals, team goals and also individual goals, I'm going to push him and I want to get him back to double-digit assists."

Kidd wants Williams to push the pace and get out on the break more often, which is where the point guard thrives. The acquisition of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce may slow down the Nets' running game a bit, but there should still be opportunities for Williams to display his wizardry in the open court.

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