Celtics

Cavs: 'Not going to put a timetable' on Thomas' return

Cavs: 'Not going to put a timetable' on Thomas' return

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – While all signs continue to point towards Isaiah Thomas missing some time this season to recover from his hip injury, it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers have all but ruled out surgery as an option.
 
“Our plan is a non-surgical plan,” said Cavs general manager Koby Altman, who said did not want Thursday's introductory press conference to turn into the "Isaiah Thomas hip press conference."

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That's understandable, but as Altman knows all too well, it's totally unavoidable considering how significant Thomas' injury played in negotiations that were prolonged due to the hip. 

When Thomas asked about the latest on his hip and a timeline for his return to action, Altman stepped in to address the question before Thomas could speak.
 
“To be fair to Isaiah,” Altman said, “We’re not going to address any specifics of the hip injury. We’re also not going to put a timetable on his return. We’re not going to rush it, at all.
 
Altman added, “the goal is to bring him back at some point this year and be healthy, and compete and get back to I.T. status. That’s our goal and responsibility to him. We’re not just going to address the specifics of the injury and not going to comment on a timetable.”
 
Thomas, who has been working with Cleveland’s medical team since the trade, said he’s getting treatments every day with the plan to get him back to “100 percent as soon as possible.”
 
On Aug. 22, both sides agreed to a four-player trade that would send Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2018 Brooklyn first-round pick to Cleveland for Irving pending physicals.
 
That’s where things got messy.
 
Cavs doctors believed Thomas’ injury would keep him out for a longer period of time than they were led to believe in the negotiations with the Celtics, prompting Cleveland officials to ask for additional compensation in the form of another first-round pick.
 
The Celtics didn’t want to put any more compensation into the deal but ultimately reached a compromise by sending Cleveland a 2020 second-round pick from Miami to be added to the deal.
 
Thomas was third in the NBA last season and tops among all Eastern Conference players last season with 28.9 point-per-game average. He was named to his second straight All-Star team and was on the All-NBA second team.
 
While the Cavs did add former league MVP Derrick Rose to the mix as well as Jeff Green, the former Celtic who is a career 13.5 points per game scorer, they will need a dynamic scorer like Thomas if they are to continue their reign atop the Eastern Conference.


 

Bleacher Report puts Jayson Tatum on 'overhyped' list

Bleacher Report puts Jayson Tatum on 'overhyped' list

Bleacher Report ran a piece Tuesday listing the NBA's five "most overhyped players" entering the coming season. Jayson Tatum leads the list. Hold me back. 

These pieces are obviously subjective as hell, as they rely on "people probably think X," which may or may not be the reality of the situation. In the case of Tatum, writer Grant Hughes acknowledges that he feels Tatum is a franchise player, but that he could be a victim of the team for which he plays. 

Writes Hughes

Kyrie Irving has never been one to take a backseat, and with him back on the floor, it'll be much harder for Tatum to build on his postseason takeover. Throw Gordon Hayward into the mix, and there will be even fewer touches for the 20-year-old wing. And that's to say nothing of Jaylen Brown, who's a superior defender at the moment and averaged 18 points per game in the playoffs on more efficient shooting than Tatum managed. He's due for an increased role as well.

C's fans can first breathe at the fact that Hughes most certainly is not calling Tatum overrated. Then, if they're rational, they can wonder whether Hughes has a point. 

Tatum's five best scoring games of the regular season came with Kyrie out of the lineup, one of which was prior to Irving being shut down for the season. He obviously went on to average over four and a half points more in the postseason without Irving (18.5) than he did in the regular season (13.9). 

No, Tatum is not going to be the Celtics' top scorer this season. He also won't be a rookie again. Dude looked like he tacked on like 80 pounds of muscle like a month after the season ended. He's been in gyms destroying everyone from Joel Embiid to a hilarious assortment of camp-going children. He's out here mentoring Kobe

Even if Brad Stevens wants to get creative and have Tatum come off the bench (that doesn't need to happen; he can start the five best players), Tatum is a lethal enough offensive player to put up 20 a night. 

But back to the idea of him being overhyped. I don't think anyone's putting the kid in the MVP conversation. They probably just saw the third overall pick have a really good rookie year and figure that he'll continue to blossom into a star, if he isn't one already. 

The other players listed in the piece were DeMarcus Cousins, Zach LaVine, Josh Jackson and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard falls into the rule of thumb that if you're one of the five best players in the league, as Kawhi is, it's really easy for people to overhype you. That's not Leonard's fault. 

But the other guys? Who the heck is hyping -- let alone overhyping -- Zach LaVine? The only time Zach LaVine made headlines this summer was when he was given an offersheet by the Kings that most felt was too much and the Bulls matched it. Everyone thinks he's a stinky defensive player who's coming off an ACL injury. Unless there's some expectation that he's going to start averaging six or seven more points a night than he ever has, he isn't being overhyped. He's just overpaid. 

The Cousins pick could very well be fair. As Hughes writes, Boogie is a "luxury, not a game-changer for the Warriors." It's very possible that his impact on the Warriors won't be as significant as the league fears. Maybe he takes longer than expected to come back. Maybe when he does come back, he proves to be a divisive player with that group. Then again, maybe he gives them 25 and 12 a night and the Warriors go undefeated in the postseason. 

Selling Jackson as overhyped is tough. He's a second-year player who finished his rookie year on fire, including a 36-point performance against the Warriors. He sure as hell won't average 22.6 points like he did over his last 10 games as a rookie, but does anyone think he will? Nobody thinks he's a great shooter, but it's reasonable to expect something approaching the 18.7 he averaged post All-Star break, plus his usual strong defending.

Anyway, this Hughes fellow should have put Ben Simmons on the list. Guy never shoots threes. 

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Knicks, Nets reportedly in mix for Kyrie-Butler combo in '19

Knicks, Nets reportedly in mix for Kyrie-Butler combo in '19

Remember those rumors of Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler teaming up in free agency next year? Well, that buzz is back and Boston isn't the rumored destination.

Two league sources told Business Insider that the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players, with one source saying the chatter is "substantial."

"It wouldn't surprise me if either New York team or potentially both New York teams hit it big next summer," one source said.

That echoes a Chicago Sun-Times report from July which said the Celtics and Timberwolves stars had been talking about how they could team up. Each player can opt out after this season and Irving has made it known he'll be heading to free agency. The Kyrie-to-the-Knicks rumors have been around for a while. 

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