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Around the Association: Western Conference Goliaths, Season-Ending Injuries, Milwaukee is Boogie-ing, More

Chicago Bulls

We got a great week of NBA action ahead of us, and you’re going to want to clear your evening schedules for it. The Ball brothers square off tonight, and then we get a pair of Western Conference goliaths in the Warriors and Suns squaring off TWICE this week! We’re just getting ready to flip the calendar to December, and the NBA is already reached “can’t turn it off” status. Hell yes, and thank you very much, hoops gods.

•   Could we see a resolution to the John Wall holdout in Houston?

•   Wall met with general manager Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas on Sunday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Wall stressed his continued desire to return to the Rockets, but Wall wants it to be in a feature role. The Rockets, however, want Wall to return to the team in a complementary role to its younger players. Wall, 31, didn’t show the Rockets that he could return to his all-pro level in the 40 games he played last season after recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in Washington before being traded to Houston for Russell Westbrook. While no progress has been made, Wojnarowski floats the idea of Wall coming off the bench in a Derrick Rose-type role with significant minutes, opining that might be a plan that would sway Wall to return to the Rockets. Houston is 3-16 this season.

•   Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. will undergo back surgery for the second time since he was drafted in 2018. Porter Jr. signed a five-year, $172 million max contract with Denver in September.

•  Remember, the Nuggets will also be without guard P.J. Dozier, who is feared to have suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

•   Boogie is back:

•   DeMarcus Cousins, 31, will sign a non-guaranteed deal to join the Milwaukee Bucks. Cousins played parts of the 2020-21 season with the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers but hasn’t played this season. The veteran big will provide the Bucks some big man depth in the absence of Robin Lopez, who is dealing with a back injury.

•   The Bucks have won seven in a row and are now tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls at 13-8.

•   Klay Thompson has been assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors to receive increased practice reps in his rehab from a torn ACL and Achilles.

•   The five-time All-Star hasn’t played since the 2019 NBA Finals and was given an original return estimate of sometime near Christmas. When the Warriors get Klay back, it’s going to be time to pray for the rest of the league.

•   Speaking of praying for the league, how about those Phoenix Suns!?

•   The Suns have won 16 straight, and with the Bulls off on Tuesday, you’ll want to make sure you can tune in to TNT for a battle of the 18-2 Golden State Warriors and the 17-3 Phoenix Suns. We’re talking about a potential WCF preview on Tuesday night on TNT, with Round 2 set for Friday night in San Francisco. That’s primetime hoops in late November/early December!

•   This is what the red-hot Suns have waiting for them, not once but twice this week. Sheesh.

•   Enes Kanter is now Enes Kanter Freedom. The Celtics big man legally changed his name and became a U.S. citizen today.

•   A collective sigh of relief of Grizzlies fans:

•  Goran Dragic will be away from the Toronto Raptors indefinitely for personal reasons, and we have a statement from Toronto Raptors’ GM Bobby Webster on the guard’s absence from the team:

•  Dragic, 35, has played in only five games for the Raptors this season after Dragic and Precious Achiuwa from the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry this offseason.

•   That’s it for today, but be sure to get your popcorn ready for Ball vs. Ball tonight!



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.