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Point Guard Galore: Returning to teams, rotations and the league

This week’s edition of the NBA Weekly Wrap is point guard heavy.

While we have news on multiple point guards, the news ranges in comparison.

We have a point guard returning to his respective team, we have one returning to the rotation for another team and then you have an additional one who is making his return to the league.

Oh, and one more might have just ejected himself into superstardom.

Irving to return for Brooklyn

Point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to return as a part-time player for the Brooklyn Nets.

As an unvaccinated player, Irving can play in road games for the Nets.

He would not be eligible to play in games that take place in New York (both the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks) along with games in Toronto against the Raptors.

Brooklyn has 27 road games remaining on the schedule to go along with 26 home games, however two of those road games are against the Knicks.

Currently, the Nets are 21-8 this season.

Irving has yet to play this season but Brooklyn is on the road Thursday, Dec. 23 at Portland and leaves the door open for his season debut.

The Nets roster has been through its fair share of commotion with seven players currently in health and safety protocols including guard James Harden.

Leaving forward Kevin Durant to lead by himself, already averaging the most minutes since his MVP season in 2013-14 at 37 a game.

Thomas signs with Lakers, returning to league in process

Former MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas is signing a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, signifying the start of his 11th season in the NBA.

Thomas previously played with the Lakers back in 2017-18, averaging 15.6 points per game in 17 total games.

The 32-year old played one game for the Grand Rapids Gold and put up 42 points resulting in this call from the 2020 NBA champions.

Thomas last played in the Association with the New Orleans Pelicans last season and averaged 7.7 points per game in just three games played.

The Lakers were able to make this move under the hardship exemption allowing them to exceed their 15-man roster.

Health and safety protocols and injuries have rocked the Los Angeles roster as presently constructed.

Kemba’s Revenge Game

After being removed from the New York Knicks’ rotation for three weeks, as the Basketball Gods would have it, more roster woes forced the hand of head coach Tom Thibodeau.

So not only would Walker need to return to the rotation but the next game on the calendar is a road trip to Boston.

Making Kemba’s return game his revenge game as well.

In June, Walker was traded from Boston to Oklahoma City after spending two years in Celtic green.

He would reach a buyout with the Thunder before ever playing a game, clearing room for him to sign with the Knicks.

Walker responded with a 29 points with five made three-pointers in 37 minutes, recording season-highs in points and minutes played and tying a season-high in made three-pointers.

Not even fouling out could spoil the moment however, a seven point loss may have.

SGA springs into superstardom

There hasn’t been too much to get excited about with the Oklahoma City Thunder who are sitting at 10-19.

Although, a young point guard finding his way through trial and error could be the start to a superstar career.

That’s exactly what the Thunder may have on their hands in point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

SGA is averaging 21.6 points per game, 4.9 assists per game and 4.6 rebounds per game in a career-best 35 minutes per game.

In particular, he has emerged as the closer for this young OKC team.

Gilgeous-Alexander made a wild push shot from the logo against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday, Dec. 15 with 1.4 seconds left in regulation.

It would’ve been the game-winner had it not been for guard Devonte’ Graham’s game-winning three from three-quarters court.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points and pulled in five rebounds to go along with a steal and a block.

He struggled three nights later versus the Los Angeles Clippers going 7-of-15 from the field before his final attempt.

But that final attempt gave Gilgeous-Alexander that game-winner he was in search of.

He hit the game-winning three-pointer to finish with 18 points and the 104-103 win.

The win also ended a three-game losing streak for Oklahoma City and sparked a win streak of its own after the team beat Memphis 102-99 on the road.

SGA tallied 23 points, five rebounds and four assists in that one.

The Thunder host the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, Dec. 22.

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