Tyler Hansbrough has been working hard to prepare for the upcoming season, doing everything but actually playing basketball. Doctors have restricted Hansbrough to non-contact activity as he's worked to return from an inner ear ailment that has kept him off the court for several months now.
In general, we know basketball is a contact sport but for Hansbrough contact is a critical part of his game. Conrad Brunner talked with Hansbrough about his status yesterday which I took as a great sign that the team is willing to make him available for public comment. Hansbrough's comments were extremely guarded, promising nothing about when he might return, other than that he'll know more after meeting with doctors later this week.
Hansbrough did let his guard down a little when Bruno asked about dealing with the "non-contact status" for so long. "Once I start taking contact, I'll be very happy," he admitted.
So when will that be? I was hoping this was the first of the positive preseason reports on Hansbrough getting back in action, but then a comment by training camp invitee, Lance Allred put things back in a holding pattern, not only for Hansbrough but for Jeff Foster as well.
The source for D-League info, Scott Schroeder caught up with Allred at The FanHouse to ask him about signing with the Pacers for training camp.
"I arrived in Indiana (Sunday) night and had a good day of training for my first day," Allred told FanHouse. "(Tyler) Hansbrough and (Jeff) Foster are both out with injuries, and so I was very excited to come, knowing I would get some reps."
So did Allred mean Hansbrough and Foster are out now so he's getting plenty of reps with the players as they prepare for camp next week or did he mean he chose to camp with the Pacers because Hansbrough and Foster would be out giving him more opportunties for reps in camp?
Let's hope it's the first option, but with the way things have played out around here over the past few years, I'd mentally prepare for option two. Maybe the NBA will allow Hansbrough to wear the padded headgear amateur boxers use in the ring.
After the jump, more links to add to these stories including Earl Watson settling on Utah and other free agent news.
PACERS: Hansbrough hungry for return
Caught in the Web: Tyler Hansbrough isn't taking anything for granted, considering he's been out since January with an inner ear disorder, but the gifted young power forward feels like he's closing in on a long-awaited return to the court.
Lance Allred, First Deaf Player in NBA, Invited to Pacers Training Camp -- NBA FanHouse
Allred comments on his arrival in Indy but also mentions his opportunity in camp coming at the expense of Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster.
Earl Watson to Sign With Utah Jazz
Sam Amick reports that former Pacer Earl Watson has agreed to a deal to play with the Utah Jazz this season.
Nets emerging as front-runner for Carmelo Anthony with Troy Murphy in the discussion
ESPN updated its story on Melo trade rumors with news that New Jersey may be the trade partner. According to their sources, the Nets are offering Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy and his wonderful expiring contract and Kris Humprhries and a future first round pick. Seems like Denver would make out OK if they are going to lose Melo anyways.
Nuggets Shop Anthony, Saying Knicks Can’t Afford Melo, But Houston Does
Jonathan Abrams and Howard Beck report that the Knicks don't have the goods to deal for Melo, but the Rockets do thanks to the Knicks draft picks they acquired last season which they could combine with Kevin Martin.
Free-agent center Dampier mulling Rockets' offer
Erick Dampier may end up back in Texas, this time with Houston.
Toronto Raptors rookie F Ed Davis undergoes knee surgery
Things are looking better for rookie Ed Davis. Knee surgery is never a good thing but six weeks on the mend will have him ready for the bulk of his rookie season.