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NBA roundup: Clippers' Paul returns to practice

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul participated in his first full practice in nearly two months Tuesday.

Paul worked out with his teammates after being cleared for full contact. He is unlikely to play in Thursday's exhibition with the Miami Heat in China, coach Vinny Del Negro said.

Paul broke his thumb as a member of Team USA in the Olympics and required surgery. Del Negro said Paul isn't in game shape and his two-month layoff since the August operation.

Paul will suit up for Sunday's game in Shanghai but it is unlikely he'll play much, if at all.

The Clippers also welcomed back point guard Chauncey Billups, who will be worked back into practices slowly. Billups was cleared for full participation in practice for the first time since season-ending surgery to repair his Achilles tendon in February.

Billups is not expected to play in a game until sometime in November.

--Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant told CBSSports.com that he will retire after playing just two more seasons.

Bryant, 34, is entering his 17th year in the NBA, and he's coming off a season in which his average of 27.9 points per game was his highest in four years.

"It's not about health necessarily," he told CBSSports.com. "It's about, 'Do I want to do it? Do I have that hunger to continue to prepare at a high level?'"

Bryant's contract runs out after the 2013-14 season.

--Lakers center Dwight Howard will miss the team's preseason game Wednesday as he continues to recover from offseason back surgery. However, he has been cleared to begin limited participation in five-on-five scrimmages, according to the Los Angeles Times.

--Tracy McGrady is reportedly close to signing a one-year deal to play basketball in China this season.

Yahoo Sports reported the 33-year-old is ready to finalize the deal with Qingdao, which would be McGrady's fifth team in four seasons.

McGrady finished last season with the Atlanta Hawks.

He's struggled with injuries since making the All-Star team seven straight years with Toronto and Orlando. He has since played for the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Hawks.

McGrady was offered tryouts with the Knicks and San Antonio Spurs in the offseason but did not receive a contract offer from either team.
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