NBA News & Rumors: Tyrus, Al’s Achilles, LaMarcus’s extension and Stephen Jackson keeping it cool

Tyrus Thomas not happy about coming off the bench. “I don’t think it should even be questionable from what I contributed to this team last season and what I did throughout camp, but like I said, he [Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro] is the guy that makes the decisions.” Del Negro gave the start to rookie Taj Gibson, who has started much of the preseason and has played pretty well, averaging 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. Del Negro said not to read too much into it, so keep Thomas on your list of breakout candidates.

Al Jefferson is out indefinitely with Achilles tendinitis. Coupled with Kevin Love’s hand surgery and the T-Wolves’ front line is not off to a very good start. Jefferson has been going in the second round of fantasy drafts, but expect him to fall into the fourth or fifth depending on what kind of news comes out of Minnesota. It’s starting to look like Big Al is injury-prone.

LaMarcus Aldridge pledges to get an extension signed by Oct. 31.
Aldridge’s camp seems to think he’s a max contract player, but the Blazers don’t agree and aren’t willing to do a deal just to get him signed. It’s going to be interesting to see what he eventually signs for. I pegged his value at $13-$14 million per season, but with the projected drop in next year’s salary cap, I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed a deal that averaged a bit less.

Stephen Jackson plans to keep his cool tonight against Kobe.
“I’m going to be me, but I guarantee I won’t feed into the nonsense. If it came down to a real fight, I know what would happen. I’m just going to leave that alone, go out and play basketball and try to help my team win.”

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