George Hill (concussion) has been cleared to play in Game 6 on Saturday and will start with no limitations.
He remained symptom-free the whole way following the NBA's Return-to Participation Exertion Protocol and team physicians cleared him to play tonight. The Pacers were a different team with Hill out in Game 5, shooting 36.2 percent from the field while not taking care of the ball with 19 turnovers. D.J. Augustin will move back to the to the bench.
An NBA GM said that Andrew Bynum won't get more than a one-year deal.
This isn't exactly earth-shattering news on Bynum and conventional wisdom would suggest that most teams would be extremely apprehensive to sign him to a multi-year contract. He missed every game this year and over the previous five seasons, Bynum missed 26.0 games per season. A 25-year-old center already having serious durability issues is going to make it tough on his agent to get leverage in contract negotiations.
Aaron Gray exercised the $2.6 million player option in his contract, according to beat writer Josh Lewenberg.
Much like his teammate Linas Kleiza, Gray has no reason to decline the option. The five-year veteran had fits of fantasy usefulness in very deep leagues but is mostly an end-of-the-bench player. He averaged 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.
Linas Kleiza reportedly exercised the $4.6 million player option in his contract, according to beat writer Josh Lewenberg.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone because there's no way Kleiza's getting anything close to that much on the open market. Kleiza barely played this season due to injuries and then was shut down by the Raptors for the final month of the season despite being healthy. He's candidate for Toronto's amnesty clause.
Tyson Chandler had his wrist taped at practice Saturday but said it's "fine."
"Fine" is the same way Chandler described his back and neck, which have hindered him for much of this postseason. We have no doubt that Chandler will be in the lineup for Game 6, but we also don't think he's anywhere close to as healthy as Chandler and the Knicks say he is. The Knicks must win Game 6 to avoid elimination.
Thunder GM Sam Presti said Russell Westbrook (knee surgery) is expected to make a full recovery and should be the same player he was before the injury.
Westbrook should get a firmer rehab timetable once he sheds his crutches within the next month. At that point, we'll have a better idea of when he can begin working out and eventually resume basketball activities. Westbrook should be completely healed and ready to go by the start of training camp.
Kevin Garnett is not expected to need surgery on his foot/ankle.
The Celtics' medical staff thinks Garnett's injury issues will subside with rest, which is the first of three big offseason question marks for KG. The second and third ones, of course, are whether Garnett, who turns 37 on Sunday, will return to play next season and if that will be for the Celtics. It's unlikely Garnett will remain with Boston if Paul Pierce heads elsewhere and Pierce's future with the Celtics appears very tenuous at this point.
Thunder GM Sam Presti said the amnesty exemption is not something Oklahoma City has considered using.
Presti was asked the question in relation to Kendrick Perkins, who is due $18.63 million over the next two seasons. Presti said the Thunder believe Perkins has "a lot of value to our team," which certainly didn't seem to be the case in OKC's second-round loss to Memphis. We'll just have to wait and see if Presti is true to his word.