The holiday season brings out the best and worst in NBA teams. The needs of the few will set in motion a chain of events that has a huge ripple effect on everyone else, be it positive or negative.
What makes the NBA so great, and different, from every other sport is that teams identify their weaknesses, or the plans for the future, and more often than not make a big deal that turns the fortunes of a team around.
Since teams now have a much clearer sense of where they are and what they need moving forward, here are the latest rumors following teams around.
Lakers Would Move in on Ryan Anderson, If...
The Pau Gasol talks just keep getting stranger and stranger with each passing day. Kobe Bryant calls out the power forward, telling him to "put on his big boy pants." Then Bryant backs off, saying he loves and supports Gasol.
Now, SheridanHoops.com is reporting that the Lakers have an idea of what they want to do if they trade Gasol.
Ryan Anderson is the No. 1 target of the Los Angeles Lakers if they decide to trade Pau Gasol, an NBA source tells SheridanHoops.com.
The report does note that there are internal debates about what to do with Gasol. General manager Mitch Kupchak wants to keep Gasol, while Jim Buss wants to move him and find pieces to fit Mike D'Antoni's system.
Anderson has been the best player for the Hornets this season, averaging 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor, and would give the Lakers the versatility they so desperately need and want.
But moving Gasol has to be priority No. 1 before the Lakers can even think about doing anything else.
Celtics Won't Use Kenyon Martin to Solve Depth Woes
The Boston Celtics, usually one of the most fundamentally sound teams in the NBA, rank 15th in points per game, 17th in points allowed and last in rebounding. Despite those pedestrian numbers, they are still hanging around .500 right now.
Considering their lack of size in the middle, free agent Kenyon Martin would make a nice option for them. He is not the scorer he used to be, but is capable of being an impact rebounder.
Despite the need, and Martin's availability, the Celtics are going to wait and look elsewhere for a big man because of concerns about Martin's attitude, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
The Celtics are going to be patient filling their roster because there is not a plethora of quality big men on the market to help immediately with rebounding. They are wary of the attitude and disposition of Kenyon Martin, who was not asked back to the Clippers because of his unhappiness with coach Vinny Del Negro.
The wait-and-see approach is when teams usually start asking themselves what went wrong. Given the way that Doc Rivers has run the Celtics since taking over in 2004, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Bulls Anticipating Derrick Rose's Return Soon
When Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a torn ACL last May, no one was really sure what it would mean for his future, specifically the 2012-13 season. Using the NFL model, recovery time is usually around nine months, which would put Rose on track for a February return.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Rose is not that far away from starting to practice with the Bulls for the first time all season.
According to an NBA source, while ‘‘The Return’’ to the court for NBA games is still up in the air for Rose, the all-everything point guard could be just weeks away from practicing with the Bulls again after surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament last May.
The Bulls are playing .500 ball right now, thanks in large part to their defense and rebounding. The offense has been dreadful, ranking 21st in shooting percentage and 24th in scoring.
To illustrate how important Rose is, the Bulls were 12th in shooting percentage and 18th in scoring last season. Neither total is great, but considering how strong they are on defense, it is more than enough to make them one of the top teams in the NBA.