A vital piece of Miami Heat’s roster will miss the big Christmas Day showdown against the Cleveland Cavaliers and now an important part of the Cavs roster will miss tomorrow night’s clash.
VAREJAO DONE FOR THE SEASON
Cleveland Cavavliers center Anderson Varejao is out for the season with a torn Achilles, it was revealed today.
There is also talks of a possible replacement coming to Cleveland to fill the void.
The Cavs said an MRI showed the tear and that Varejao will undergo surgery “in the near future.” A timetable for his return and rehab will not be established until after the operation.
Varejao landed awkwardly in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 125-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and left the floor without being able to put weight on his left leg. He left Quicken Loans Arena following the game on crutches with his leg in an immobilizing air cast.
It is believed the Cavs will intensify their monthslong efforts to trade for a big man. The team has been seeking additional help for its front line going back to the summer, having specifically targeted Timofey Mozgov of the Denver Nuggets and Kosta Koufos of the Memphis Grizzlies.
SMITH TO JOIN HOUSTON
After being waived earlier in the week by Detroit, it seems Josh Smith has found a new club.
Wanting to play for a winning team with a chance to win the title, Josh Smith has decided to join the Houston Rockets, sources told ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard on Wednesday.
Multiple media outlets also are reporting a Smith deal with Houston.
The veteran forward, let go Monday by the Detroit Pistons less than halfway into his four-year, $54 million contract, cleared waivers Wednesday.
The Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzliesall had been listed as potential suitors for Smith’s services.
The Rockets next take the court against the host Grizzlies at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Houston is three games behind Golden State in the Western Conference standings and just a half-game behind Memphis for the 3-seed.
As ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported late Tuesday, Houston assured Smith that he would start if he joined the Rockets, which essentially clinched his decision.
The Rockets also had their biannual exception, valued at $2.1 million, to offer Smith, who is 29.
KOBE DISAPPOINTED RONDO DIDN’T COME TO LA
Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant took a couple of days to come to terms with the fact that Rajon Rondo is now a Dallas Mavericks player.
He wanted the point guard to come to Hollywood.
Via USA Today:
“I really do trust management,” he reiterated. “I mean I really, really do. They’ll get things turned around pretty quickly. I’m not really concerned about that.”
Bryant admitted his disappointment in the Rondo development, as the recent recruiting breakfast that captured so many headlines in Boston and beyond was apparently for naught. Rondo is still set to be a free agent this summer, but the Mavericks are confident he will re-sign and it seems only a disastrous showing by Dallas can change that now. So, after the Lakers had inquired about a Rondo trade but ultimately lacked the assets to pull one off, was he disappointed to see him head for Dallas?
“Oh yeah,” said Bryant, who has insisted that he plans on retiring after next season. “Of course. Of course. But all you can do is control what you can control. We did our part. We did what we could. … It’s not from a lack of effort. It’s not from a lack of smarts, so I trust the process. It’s hard going through this (expletive), but our management will figure it out.”
SIXERS WANT AK TO PLAY BUT HE REFUSES
Andrei Kirilenko doesn’t want to play for the Philadelphia 76ers right now. Why?
Via Yahoo! Sports:
For now, Kirilenko and his representatives are resisting the Sixers’ overtures, preferring the organization waive Kirilenko and let him become a free agent, sources said.
The Sixers want Kirilenko to start working his way back into playing condition and eventually be activated to play in games. Ultimately, this could set up the opportunity for Philadelphia to deal Kirilenko for an asset at the NBA’s February trade deadline, or let him reclaim his market value for free agency this summer. Nevertheless, it is unlikely the Sixers would keep Kirilenko past the trade deadline – either hunting down a way to deal him for an asset, or simply waiving him.
After Philadelphia and the Brooklyn Nets completed a trade for Kirilenko on Dec. 11, Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie has repeatedly expressed to Kirilenko’s camp that there are no immediate plans to cut him loose, league sources said. […] Kirilenko, 33, wants the balance of the $3.3 million owed to him this season, and ultimately the freedom to sign elsewhere on a new deal this season, sources said. So far, he’s been unwilling to join the rebuilding Sixers, who have the worst record in the league at 3-23, but he eventually could be mandated to report to the team to collect on his contract.