The Miami Heat are feeling the ramifications of a three-team trade that saw them part with backup center Joel Anthony. With Anthony gone and backup center Chris Andersen out of action with a knee injury, center Greg Oden will suit up Wednesday as an active player for the first time this season, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
Yet, it's unlikely Oden plays. He has not practiced with the team, teammate LeBron James told the Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman. The center whose career seemingly ended because of chronic knee issues did, however, hit the court briefly in the preseason.
Billy Hunter's case against players association moves on
A judge ruled on Wednesday that former NBA Players Association executive Billy Hunter may continue his wrongful termination lawsuit against the organization he once led, reports CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
Superior Court judge Huey Cotton did throw out 12 of 14 charges against point guard Derek Fisher, the former NBAPA president who Hunter said conspired with former business manager Jamie Wior to oust him.
The NBAPA ended its relationship with Hunter in February 2013, saying his contract was invalid. The organization had ousted Hunter after claiming he had ongoing and improper business dealings. With Wednesday's rulings, Hunter will continue to seek $10.5 million that he believes is contractually owed to him. Berger reports that if it's confirmed Hunter was unlawfully terminated, there could be arbitration to settle the case.
Nerlens Noel cleared by doctor
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Nerlens Noel has reportedly been cleared by knee specialist Dr. James Andrews to resume basketball activities. While the team would also need to clear the 2013 NBA Draft's sixth overall pick, it's seemingly good news for Philadelphia.
Now it's a matter if the Sixers will want to push Noel to return from an ACL tear suffered in February 2013.
Sources close to Andrews believe Noel could return to game action in four to six weeks, which puts his debut after the All-Star break. But because the Sixers are looking more toward the draft and less at the postseason, it's a wonder if they would rather hold the former Kentucky Wildcats center out of action for the entirety of the season.
Celtics, Heat and Warriors make a swap
The Boston Celtics traded guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors in a three-team trade that also involved the Miami Heat. The Celtics received draft picks and Heat center Joel Anthony in the deal, while Miami made big savings in terms of luxury taxes and acquired backup guard Toney Douglas.
Golden State immediately gains youthful backcourt depth that was lost when Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland this past offseason. The Celtics gain some draft picks and move Crawford, who would have been taking a backseat to the returning Rajon Rondo.
Rondo has short D-League stint
Speaking of Rondo, the point guard made a quick trip to work out with the Maine Red Claws on Wednesday before being recalled less than two hours afterward. Rondo will suit up for the Celtics on Wednesday night as Boston faces Toronto, but he likely won't debut until Friday against the Lakers, according to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe.
D-League rookie no further in contract talks with Pelicans
Pierre Jackson, who is the D-League's second-leading scorer at 29.9 points per game, has not received any interest from the New Orleans Pelicans, according to USA Today. The Pelicans are without starting point guard Jrue Holiday because of an ankle injury, but despite holding the draft rights to Jackson, have not shown interest in signing the 5'10 point guard out of Baylor.
The Idaho Stampede guard is averaging 5.1 assists per game in D-league action and is hitting 45 percent of his shots while shooting 37 percent from three-point range.
Thunder ready to ink Royal Ivey
The Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to sign point guard Royal Ivey to a 10-day contract. Ivey played in 59 games for the Thunder from 2010-12 and gives coach Scott Brooks insurance with a shortened bench in the wake of Russell Westbrook's recovery from knee surgery.