NBA Roundtable

Training Camp Invites + Large Rosters

In General NBA on September 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm
This post is not a final word on all training camp invites (any updates will be appreciated). It will be updated for late additions, and also as players are waived (likely a delayed response). I’ll leave a link to the post under the pages section. I don’t have a comprehensive knowledge of most of these players but I’ll try to chime in with a comment where I can.

The NBA season is about to begin and the dreams of many are on the line, yes we’re talking about training camp and who survives the cut. Players are due to report to their teams no later than 11am on the 29th and camp will commence on the 30th. Preseason begins on the 5th of October.

This post is going to cover the who’s and where’s …. what players have been invited and by what teams. Maybe you want find out who your team is working out and if they have any hope of making the roster? Perhaps there’s a specific player you followed in college that’s getting his shot? Maybe someone you’ve seen in Europe or a past NBA season? Someone you’re pulling for and hoping they make an NBA roster?

Or maybe you’re cruel and like sparing a moment to have a chuckle at an old washed up vet who won’t let his past go? But seriously when is Allan Houston stop kidding himself? At least Penny Hardaway got the message last season.

Don’t sleep on training camp invites either. There’s a lot of players that have entered the NBA undrafted. Who do you think is going to join that list this season?

Are there any players that stand out beyond that, that could not only make a roster but perhaps the rotation? A hidden gem if you will? Someone who’s going to surprise the league? Is there another Jamario Moon?

Or another Bruce Bowen? How about Ben Wallace? Brad Miller? Or a Stephen Jackson? Maybe another Avery Johnson or David Wesley? Perhaps a Matt Carroll?

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have brought in at least two players for camp

The Hawks added to their roster by signing two free agents that participated in the team’s minicamp and summer league.

Thomas Gardner, a 6-foot-5 guard, and Othello Hunter, a 6-8 forward, signed non-guaranteed contracts on Monday.

There are also reports of Von Wafer training with several Hawks players through the summer and playing very well …. although I haven’t seen any reports of him being signed or invited to camp yet. Perhaps in a day or two.

The Hawks currently have 12 contracts on the books so they need to sign at least one more player to reach the league minimum of 13 bodies. Their roster has good depth at the point, on the wings and at center but I think they could do with another power forward.

Update: Von Wafer will not be in Atlanta’s training camp, and will instead report to Houston’s camp

Update: Official announcement of the training camp roster …. There are a few additional names – Olumide Oyedeji (6-10, 240, tough big, limited skill wise), Frank Robinson (rookie 6-4 guard), Marcus Hubbard (another big).

Update: The Hawks have waived Oyedeji, the roster now stands at 17

Reserve big man Olumide Oyedeji was the first player cut from the Hawks’ roster. He was released after Saturday’s workout, and the move leaves the Hawks with 17 players.

Update: Atlanta waive Hubbard and Robinson

The Atlanta Hawks today requested waivers on Marcus Hubbard and Frank Robinson, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Sund.

The Hawks roster is now down to 15 bodies. I count 12 certainties to be on their roster, plus Mario West who is very likely to be #13. That leaves the final two – Othello Hunter and Thomas Gardner – trying to prove they’re worthy of a paycheck.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are heading into camp with 16 players … well once they sign Sammy which Danny Ainge has already publicly said they intend to do and that the contract is close to being finished.

Darius Miles is on a non-guaranteed contract and is the most likely to get cut. Should he be a pleasant surprise it’s unclear who’s next for the chop, however Celtics boards have been looking at Gabe Pruitt as a possible victim.

Update: Cassell’s contract is non-guaranteed and the C’s won’t make any further invites

Free Throws: The Celtics have 16 players on their training camp roster and no more will be added, general manager Danny Ainge said. Sam Cassell and newcomer Darius Miles do not have guaranteed contracts. Even so, the Celtics might waive another player with a low contract or make a trade to accommodate both Cassell and Miles (the roster limit is 15). “We’ve got a month to find out,” Ainge said

Update: It looks the final roster is going to go to either Sam Cassell or Darius Miles. Danny Ainge has come out and said that Scalabrine will not be waived, which is smart, so that takes him out of the running. Gabe Pruitt has shown more than enough for his GM to patient, good prospect, not worth losing unless they have a sure thing that they need …. and right now neither Cassell/Miles have proved that.

The rumours of Sam Cassell moving to the coaching bench are getting stronger … with Miles staying on the active roster for awhile, with the idea that Cassell acts as a fail-safe. Also, Cassell hasn’t played at all this preseason.

Quick word on Miles, he’s been poor during summer league. He looks slow and overweight. Struggles to make consecutive plays, and to remain active for even small periods of time. Remember he hasn’t played in two years or so …. so he could get better with more practice and court time. So far, not looking good.

Update: Good article on Sam Cassell’s situation. Both Doc and Danny put down the idea that Sam will be a member of the coaching staff this season

Doc Rivers has taken to calling Sam Cassell a coach in uniform, and that’s apparently what he will stay. The veteran guard didn’t play again last night, but Rivers knows what Cassell can provide.

“He’s been really helpful to us, but he’s here to play,” Rivers said.

According to GM Danny Ainge, “I haven’t even discussed coaching with Sam. I know he wants to get into that some day, but I haven’t talked to him about it. He’s here to play.”

Update: The Celtics cut Darius Miles. This brings their roster down to 15 bodies, no further cuts will be made prior to the season.

Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats 13 players on their books including their two first round draft picks. I think Ryan Hollins still has an offer out there so that’s possibly 14 players.

Recently the Bobcats invited Donell Taylor to camp. Here’s an interesting report on how Larry Brown views both Taylor and Shannon Brown

You can see new coach Larry Brown’s defensive focus in the team signing Shannon Brown and Donell Taylor, at least for training camp. They’re guards with the tools to be rugged defenders if they apply themselves on that end. Brown has traditionally found roster spots for guys willing to raise defensive intensity.

An earlier report says the Bobcats are not planning on inviting more players to camp so it doesn’t look likely that there will be further invites.

Update: The earlier report of the Bobcats plans not to invite more players to camp was incorrect. The Bobcats ended up inviting two others, in addition to Donell Taylor, to give the Bobcats a squad for 17 bodies.

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins today announced that the team has signed Andre Brown, Donell Taylor and Marcus Williams. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed. The team now has 17 players under contract

The Bobcats have fantastic training camp coverage over at their website. Definitely worth checking out, videos, blogs, recaps of training sessions, picture galleries, rookie reports, interviews. Like I said it’s fantastic coverage and worth having a look at.

Update: The Bobcats have signed Justin Williams to a non guaranteed contract

Williams was recently waived by the Golden State Warriors after playing the previous two season with the Sacramento Kings.“He’s a young, live, active kid. So we’ll give him a chance,’’ said coach Larry Brown. “It will take a little time because he probably doesn’t know what we’re doing right now.’’

Bobcats advance scout Brendan O’Connor recommended Williams after coaching him on the Sacramento staff.

Williams could help this team. He’s a lot like their other athletic guys who guys like skills/intelligence overall … except he’s further along and is physically stronger.

Update: The Bobcats have waived Donell Taylor and Marcus Williams

Update: The Bobcats waive one more, Justin Williams. They are now down to 15 bodies.

Update: Short article on the Bobcats roster. It announces the decision to let Justin Williams go, also states that Andre Brown is safe and has been the team’s second best big in preseason (I agree), and then goes on to speculate that the club will be watching the waiver wire closely for late additions …. so their 15 man squad might be trimmed to accommodate a further acquisition.

Update: The Bobcats add one more player, Linton Johnson, and have waived another player – Davidson.

The Charlotte Bobcats plan to use their open roster spot to sign Linton Johnson, a forward with a strong defensive presence, the Observer has learned.

Johnson is expected to take a physical Tuesday and, assuming he passes, sign in time to participate in a morning practice. He’d replace Jermareo Davidson, who was waived Monday to reduce the roster one below the NBA maximum 15.

Cutting Davidson will cost the Bobcats approximately $700,000 in guaranteed money. However, he was playing little under coach Larry Brown, who is looking for more defensive presence on a team full of jump-shooters.

Johnson speaks on his role with the team

“My role on this team is to defend and rebound. With any type of sporting event, that’s how you win,’’ Johnson said. “You’ve got to play defense and you’ve got to be able to close it out. (Coach) told me that’s what my role is on this team, and I feel like I can contribute that

The Bobcats still need more quality in their big men, the article suggest at the bottom of the page that they’re looking at Dwayne Jones. Jones would be a solid addition. Not the answer they need but a small upgrade.

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have invited three players to training camp, and have one roster spot available (assuming Ben Gordon rejoins the team)

On Friday, the team announced three additions to its roster for training camp: forward/center Elton Brown (6-9 | 250 | 09/09/83 | Virginia | rookie), forward Roger Powell (6-6 | 225 | 01/15/83 | Illinois | 1 year experience), and guard Darius Washington (6-2 | 185 | 12/06/85 | Memphis | 1 yr. exp.).

Elton Brown is the most interesting player. He tore up the D-League and has a rep for being a tenacious rebounder. I know a lot of Nuggets fans were hoping the team would sign him for next season after his appearance on their summer league team.

Update: Some Elton Brown information

Update: Bulls add another, Michael Ruffin

The Bulls are set to sign forward Mike Ruffin for his second stint in the Windy City, Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald is reporting.

Ruffin, who was a former second round pick of the Bulls, will sign a one year, non-guaranteed contract.

Ruffin is a very good rebounder, particularly on the offensive. A tough physical player who plays decent defense and is an offensive liability. He spent last season backing up Bogut on the Bucks. I doubt he makes the roster but he’s certainly serious competition for Elton Brown.

Update: Chicago have waived two players – Elton Brown and Darius Washington. It appears Brown may have to wait another 12 months before getting an NBA opportunity. Hopefully someone else (perhaps Orlando) gives him a tryout to start the season. The Bulls are now down to 15 players, whether they make further cuts is unknown. It seems like a shame to keep Michael Ruffin instead of a guy like Elton Brown.

Update: Surprisingly the Bulls have waived Michael Ruffin. Following the dismissal of Elton Brown I thought Ruffin was a lock for a roster spot. The Bulls are left with 4 quality big men and Cedric Simmons, although both Nocioni and Deng can play some power forward if needed. Michael Ruffin wasn’t the only cut, also waived was Roger Powell. The Bulls roster stands at 13 players – Nichols made the cut.

Update: KC Johnson is reporting that the Bulls might re-sign Michael Ruffin within a few days

Update: The Bulls have now re-signed Michael Ruffin. The Bulls roster now stands at 14 players. Terms of the contract were not released but there’s likely less guaranteed money on the table, otherwise why did they waive him? Preferrable contract of some nature.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs currently have 14 players on their books for next season, however, the Cavs are still trying to figure out what to do with Eric Snow who is looking to retire due to injury.

The Cavs have invited Jawad Williams to camp, while Billy Thomas has left for Greece

Former St. Edward High School star Jawad Williams has been invited to take part in the Cavaliers’ training camp, which opens with media day on Sept. 29.

Update: Michael Dickerson is at the Cavs camp. Yes, the same Michael Dickerson that retired prematurely due to injury 5 or so years ago shortly after averaging 16-18ppg for the Grizzlies. Very surprising invite and I doubt that he can still play. Mike Brown’s description of Dickerson:

You can see he’s a little rusty in terms of the lingo and the knowledge and his reactions, but when it comes to competing, his athleticism and strength stands out.

Here’s the total list of Cleveland’s training camp invites – Lance Allred, Michael Dickerson, Ronald Dupree, Jawad Williams, Vernon Hamilton.

Update: Lance Allred has been waived after playing four minutes and 10 seconds against the Raps last night. That was a quick reaction.

Update: Mickael Dickerson has been waived

The Cleveland Cavaliers have granted a release to guard Michael Dickerson. Dickerson was excused from camp on October 1st in order to attend to a personal matter and has not been able to return. He was unable to pursue his return to the NBA at this time while addressing the personal matter but expects to still pursue a return to the league in the future.

Yeah, Dickerson had missed too much of training camp to make a case for inclusion. I think we’ll see him make another attempt at a comeback next season though. He sounds like he wants to give it one more good shot before giving up on his career.

Update: Cavs waive Vernon Hamilton

Update: Cleveland have also waived Ronald Dupree. This isn’t a surprise, he’s not the type of player Cleveland need. Simply put he has played 1700 minutes in his career and only made 5 three pointers. The Cavs need shooters to space the floor for LeBron.

Update: Short article on the Cavs survivor Jawad Williams

The 6-9 forward’s cause was helped when rookie forward Darnell Jackson broke his wrist, knocking him out for the first month of the season. He also impressed the Cavs’ coaching staff with his strong work ethic before and after practices.

His contract, however, is not guaranteed, so there is no assurance he will remain on the roster for the entire season. But for now, he has survived the hardest part.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have 15 players on their payroll including 2nd round draft pick Shan Foster.

The Mavericks signed Keith McLeod and Sean Singletary earlier in the summer, I presume to non-guaranteed contracts for them to try out at training camp.

Update: The Mavs add four to give themselves a roster of 19 players

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed 2007 second round pick Reyshawn Terry and rookie free agents Charles Rhodes, JaJuan Smith and Cheyne Gadson for 2008-09 training camp. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. With the group of signees, Dallas enters its first practice at the Crum Basketball Center (Southern Methodist University) with a 19-player roster.

Reyshawn Terry looked like a decent player during summer league last year, he just got caught up in the numbers game. He might have a chance of cracking the squad.

It looks like Dallas have 13 players who are close to being certainties to make their roster. So two spots up for grabs.

Update: Keith McLeod’s contract has been altered

The right hamstring injury to Keith McLeod has led the Dallas Mavericks to amend the point guard’s contract, giving them more time to determine if he can be the backup to Jason Kidd.

McLeod’s original contract was non-guaranteed. But if he were still on the team when rosters are set on Oct. 27, the deal would become fully guaranteed.

The Mavericks worked out a change to the deal, making it a totally non-guaranteed contract. That actually helps McLeod, who probably would have been waived next week because he is not scheduled to play any of the three remaining preseason games.

“I was kind of glad it happened,” he said. “I got on the treadmill today, so I’m hoping to get back on the court soon. But I don’t want to get out there too soon and re-injure it.”

Why is it important to have another backup guard? After all this team has Jason Kidd as it’s starter, a quality 6th man in Jason Terry as it’s backup, and just signed Juan Jose Barea to a long term contract. Why another?

Well so far in preseason the Mavericks Jason Terry has been playing at shooting guard, so an extra point helps keep that option open for longer. Not sure it’s necessary but ’tis what it is.

Update: The Dallas Mavericks have waived Charles Rhodes

Update: The Mavericks waive three more – Cheyne Gadson, JaJuan Smith and Reyshawn Terry.

Update: The Mavs have now waived Keith McLeod. The roster now stands at 14 so there’s unlikely to be any more cuts. I think it’s a good decision by Dallas to waive McLeod, the truly did not need to carry another point guard on their roster.

Update: Some speculation on why the MAvs cleared an extra roster spot

But the guess here is that the Mavericks are clearing that 15th spot for somebody else. Not sure who, yet. But if anybody is on the way, expect it to be a point guard.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have 13 players on roster and appear reluctant to add more (why not sign Elton Brown?) due to their luxury tax payments and consequential cost cutting decision. However with the injury to Chucky Atkins the side have decided to sign Mateen Cleaves.

Free agent guard Mateen Cleaves will reportedly sign with the Denver Nuggets as the team looks to fill the void momentarily left by the injury to Chucky Atkins.

Danny Servick, the agent for Cleaves, confirmed reports on Friday that his client will sign before training camp, which begins Tuesday for Denver.

Cleaves, scheduled to arrive in Denver on Friday afternoon, will sign a one-year nonguaranteed minimum contract. While Servick said Cleaves had been invited to Denver’s camp before it was known that Atkins would undergo right knee surgery Wednesday, his chances of at least starting the season with the Nuggets are now obviously better.

I’m pulling for Mateen Cleaves to make it through training camp.

To me it looks like the Nuggets need another big man in case one of their guys get’s injured which isn’t you know out of the realm of possibility considering Nene’s history, Kenyon’s history, and Hunter’s recent history … and then there’s Chris Andersen who has only been a recent return to the NBA. If I’m a Denver fan I’m concerned by head coach is going to be forced into small ball whether he wants it or not.

Update: Nuggets sign 5 hopefuls, to bring their roster to 18 bodies

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Mateen Cleaves, forward Nick Fazekas, forward James Mays, guard William “Smush” Parker and forward Ruben Patterson to their training camp roster team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

Some decent additions to training camp there. Ruben Patterson can play and add to the Nuggets, George Karl liked his game the last time he was in Denver so I think he has a good chance of making the team. One of the two point guards Smush/Cleaves should get the nod. I don’t know anything about James Mays. Fazekas is a skilled player but I don’t think he’s athletic enough to compete so I’m doubtful about his chances.

Update: The Nuggets add Juwan Howard

The Nuggets have signed veteran 6-9 forward Juwan Howard to a one-year minimum, non-guaranteed deal, a source said.

Update: Smush Parker is looking better (was he bad before? probably), but the article also mentions other problems like he’s 15lbs overweight. The article I linked to only makes a brief mention about Smush Parker, but is more centered on Juwan Howard

But Karl respects the former all-star’s approach to the game: wise and wily.

“A lot of times, your brain and professionalism are as important as your talent,” Karl said. “I don’t think there’s any question that as Juwan gets older, that’s going to be more of his strength on a basketball team. He thinks he can still play, and we’ll evaluate him. . . . How we can fit him in will all be determined in exhibition season (beginning Friday).”

Howard, 35, has been one of the Nuggets’ “more cerebral players on the court,” coach George Karl said Tuesday.

Howard wants to proves he has something left in the tank and believes the Nuggets need another backup big won can replace Nene and Kenyon. Howard is correct about the need for another backup big, but he doesn’t have anything left in the tank. Locker room elder ….. a statesman who hands out advice to younger players … this is something he can do. Play? Not so much no.

Update: Denver waive five players – Ruben Patterson, Mateen Cleaves, Nick Fazekas, Smush Parker, James Mays. The Nuggets roster now stands at 14 players.

Patterson is a quality player who could help someone somewhere. The others? James Mays was impressive when I saw him play but I haven’t seen enough of him to comment for sure. The other three are not NBA players but I’d love to see Cleaves back in the league. You can do worse than a happy go lucky locker room presence like Cleaves as your third string point guard.

Update: Article from earlier in the day on possible Nuggets states that Karl isn’t comfortable with the lack of another point guard … but realizes it’s the way it’s likely to be.

Update: Surprisingly to me at least, the Nuggets have kept Juwan Howard on their roster. Clearly they need another big man but I don’t think Howard has enough left to be on the court.

Detroit Pistons

The Pistons have 14 players on their roster. I’ve seen no word on training camp invites.

Update: The Pistons have signed ex-player Alex Acker

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Alex Acker to a contract. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Playing overseas the last two seasons, Acker averaged 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 30 games for FC Barcelona last season and 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists with Olympiacos in 2006-07 Euroleague play.

I’m surprised Joe D signed another big guard to backup Stuckey and Billups, Joe had said plenty of complimentary things about Will Bynum and having a smaller speedster who can change the pace and pressure the ball, he liked having a different option to Stuckey/Billups. Still, Dumars rated Acker highly once and it looks like he’s coming off a good season in Europe so maybe there’s something there worth adding.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have 14 players under contract including 2nd round pick Richard Henderix, and summer camp scoring star Anthony Morrow who both look in good shape to make the roster but I wouldn’t consider them definites just yet.

They’ve also invited three players – Dion Dowell, DeMarcus Nelson, Rob Kurz – and just recently signed Justin Williams.

Update: Morrow looks very good and ready for the upcoming season

Morrow a hit: For better or worse, undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow is Nelson’s new training camp darling.

Morrow signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Warriors after shooting 74 percent from three-point range in summer league and being named MVP of the Rocky Mountain Revue in July.

And he’s remained hot. Nelson, whose previous camp favorites have included Dajuan Wagner and Marco Belinelli, has called Morrow the best shooter on the roster.

“Maybe on a lot of teams,” Nelson added. “The guy makes every shot. He’s unbelievable. You kind of wonder how a guy like that slips through.”

Update: The Warriors don’t seem to care that Dickau was cut by Avellino for medical reason, and have decided to add him to their training camp roster. I don’t like Dickau’s chances of the making the squad … the one thing about this signing is that it shows the Warriors are uncomfortable with their options at the point so we might see a move (trade) later on.

Update: Warriors are expected to make a few cuts shortly, they want to get it done before leaving for China so we should have a good feel for their roster soon.

Update: As expected the Warriors made some cuts before their trip abroad

The Golden State Warriors have waived guard/forward Dion Dowell and center Justin Williams, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today

Update: The Warriors have waived Dion Dowell and Justin Williams

Update: Warriors waive Dickau …. that was predictable. The Warriors now have 16 players under contract.

Update: The Warriors waive Rob Kurz

Update: A few days after the regular season starts, the Warriors have found room to sign Kurz to another contract. His work in training camp paying off. The Warriors had 15 players on their roster so do this they needed to officially put Monta Ellis on a league suspension list, giving them the flexibility to add another player.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets currently have 17 players in their plans for training camp.

That includes Dikembe Mutombo who has yet to sign a contract, so his final decision will decide someone else’s job. I reckon Marty Leunen is a huge long shot to make the roster and will likely get cut, that’s down to 16 … from there you’re likely talking about DJ Strawberry, Mike Harris and possibly Steve Francis. I expect Harris to get waived because of the Rockets depth up front.

Update: The Rockets have added Von Wafer and Marcus Campbell to their summer league roster. Von Wafer is a serious shooter, he could find his way onto Houston’s roster. Campbell is a legit 7 footer but I can’t see him making this team without Deke retiring first. The link there for Marcus Campbell is to his D-League page, very good development from year one to year two, promising development.

Update: Ron Artest says all invites are playing well but Von Wafer is standing out

“Von is playing excellent,” Artest said. “Strawberry is looking good. Everybody is really having a good camp, probably the first camp that I can honestly say everybody is playing well. I was never part of a camp where everybody is playing well.

Update: The Rockets have released Marcus Campbell

Update: The Rockets have waived Mike Harris. I wasn’t sure if the Rockets would waive Harris since the coaching staff were so high on his abilities, but it is the right decision, the Rockets are overloaded with power forwards and undersized fours at that. Harris can play at this level and should end up with another team that needs another power forward (Orlando?).

It is likely Harris’ agent, Tony Dutt, will seek a contract with an opt-out clause overseas, giving Harris an option to once again pursue an NBA career should any opportunities arise.

The Rockets roster now stands at 15 players. It’s believed that they will keep one roster spot open and that the final cut has come down to Strawberry and Von Wafer. I think they should keep Strawberry.

The reason for the final roster spot isn’t entirely clear. A Rockets fan on the Chronicle said that there was a report (about 30 comments down, #32 I think) on NBATV, on their preview segments, saying the Rockets had resigned Dikembe Mutombo, but Rockets beat writer (Jonathon Feigen) said that nothing has happened yet and that the Rockets weren’t anticipating using that final roster spot for some time.

Update: The Rockets have waived DJ Strawberry

Riding several games of hot perimeter shooting, guard Von Wafer went from the long shot of the players competing for the last spot on the Rockets’ roster to a place on the team Friday afternoon.

The Rockets roster is now down to 14 players, leaving one spot open for a late addition (Mutombo?)

In waiving Dj Strawberry the Rockets choose to keep Von Wafer

Wafer made 52 percent of his 3-point attempts in the preseason, 41.2 percent overall, leading the Rockets to a win in Memphis with 23 points.

He averaged 12.4 points in an average of 24 minutes per game.

I think the Rockets made the wrong choice picking Von Wafer over DJ Strawberry. Strawberry offered the Rockets something nobody else on the roster could and that’s a top defensive option at guard, someone who can cover the point well (Battier+Artest do not do so) and also at the off guard. Strawberry is a quality player and decent prospect. Someone will definitely pick him up and will get a coup in doing so.

Von Wafer is no slouch himself. The reason why this was such a difficult decision, and why the Rockets choose to lose a player like Strawberry, was because Von Wafer is a talented young player. He’s a very talented shooter and scorer and a definite NBA talent …. and the Rockets lacked shooting in a big way last season so holding onto a guy like Von Wafer has good value for them.

The big question with Von Wafer remains, it’s can he round out his game and become an expert role player, or will he continue trying to be a hot shot scorer. The answer to that question will decide how much longer he lasts in the league. Or … he could progress tremendously and become a top scorer in this league, but that looks very unlikely.

So, I think Houston made the wrong call here but they’re keeping a solid player in Von Wafer.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have 16 players on their roster. The one’s in most danger are Stephen Graham, Maceo Baston and Josh McRoberts. The Pacers have been utterly delighted with Roberts community work, thus it’s my expectation that they’re going to look for a way to keep him around.

Oh yes, the Pacers have also invited Austin Croshere to training camp. I think Croshere could add to the team more so than one of the above three.

“We’re bringing back Austin this year,” Bird said. “He’s out there and he needs a place to go. He’s been here (working out) the last couple of weeks and he looks good. Jimmy (O’Brien) loves him because he can shoot the 3-pointer.”

Croshere’s addition gives the Pacers 17 players under contract, with one or two more possible before camp begins

It’s also worth considering that the Pacers are desperately trying to rid themselves of Tinsley, however, they’re refusing to waive him so don’t read too much into that.

Update: The Pacers have waived Eddie Jones

Update: The Pacers have waived Austin Croshere and Josh Davis. The roster now stands at 15 players. I’m a tad surprised that Croshere was waived, I presume we’ll be seeing him in another NBA jersey before too long.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to waive Austin,” said Pacers General Manager David Morway. “Austin’s a terrific professional and has represented this franchise extremely well and we appreciate his passion, dedication and commitment to the Pacers over the years.”

Morway added, “both Austin and Josh had very good camps and we think both players will find a place in the NBA this season.”

LA Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have invited four players to camp with one roster spot currently available

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agents Dontell Jefferson, Jelani McCoy, David Noel and Curtis Sumpter, bringing their training camp roster to 18 players. Per club policy, terms of the deals were not announced.

None of these guys are a point guard so with the recent retirement of Jason Williams in mind I can see the Clippers waiving all four guys and using that roster spot on a third string point …. unless Mike Taylor thoroughly impresses them. Since they’ve been uncomfortable in the past with Hart/Taylor as backups I can see the Clippers making this a priority, it just depends on whether or not they can scrape together a point with enough quality. Shaun Livingston is someone who has been mentioned on Clippers boards.

David Noel has some talent but I heard reports that he was more interested in being the star, than learning how to round himself out as a role player while in Milwaukee which is fairly damning for a guy who’s a borderline player to even make it back into this league. Unless that’s changed it’s hard to see him making the cut. With Brian Skinner, Paul Davis and DeAndre Jordan at the club it’s hard to see Jelani McCoy getting much love either.

Update: The Clippers have cut two players

The Clippers have made their first two cuts this month, letting go David Noel and Dontell Jefferson.

Noel and Jefferson signed as free agents a few days before training camp opened.

“At certain positions, we have more of a need than others,” coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Right now, at the point guard spot, the three guys [Baron Davis, Jason Hart and Mike Taylor] are pretty good, so we can lose one there, and we just have a ton of wings with Eric Gordon coming back.

“That’s just kind of the way it is.”

Neither cut was surprising.

Update: Another one goes, this time Curtis Sumpter. The roster is now down to 15 bodies. The final question is does Jelani McCoy make the squad? Or do the Clippers keep that spot open for flexibility?

Mike Taylor has played very well in preseason so I doubt the Clippers feel the need to create another roster spot to replace Jason Williams.

Update: The Clippers have waived Jelani McCoy

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived forward Jelani McCoy. McCoy appeared in six preseason games for the Clippers and averaged 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per game.

I think it’s a good decision for the Clippers to waive McCoy. There simply isn’t a big enough role for him to play on this team. The Clippers are loaded with guys who can play center – Kaman, Camby, Skinner, Davis, Jordan – and power forward – Camby, Thomas, Skinner, Novak, Thornton (Clippers likely to play some small ball lineups). McCoy doesn’t add anything to the table that isn’t being covered by superior players (or prospects – DeAndre Jordan), simply put he doesn’t offer enough to the team. Good decision.

I like McCoy, I hope another NBA team picks him up ….. but I doubt it happens. McCoy will likely play in Europe again this coming season.

LA Lakers

The Lakers have a packed roster already as covered briefly after the DJ Mbenga signing

The Lakers roster now stands at 19. The Lakers are loaded (in terms of depth and options) on the wings so I can’t see the following three players making the roster – Dwayne Mitchell, Joe Crawford, and finally Brandon Heath. With Mbenga signed it looks unlikely that CJ Giles makes the cut. That’s the four players I expect to be cut bringing the Lakers back down to 15 bodies. I think the next two players that are close to being on the edge are Mbenga and Coby Karl but I think they’ll survive the cut.

Update: Looks like Mbenga’s contract is guaranteed so his spot looks safe on the roster. Coby Karl looks the most vulnerable for that final cut.

Update: Lakers waive Dwayne Mitchell. That was an obvious one. I think Brandon Heath and CJ Giles will give Jackson the msot to think about, although I consider both unlikely to make the squad.

Update: Mbenga is not a lock to make the roster

No one has told DJ Mbenga that he is assured of making the team, so he continues to work hard in practice and exhibition games.

But the coaching staff and management like Mbenga, and that is a strong indication that he probably will make the team.

“I’m just working hard, trying to do my best,” Mbenga said. “Coach hasn’t told me anything. I’m just going to do my best.”

Update: Lakers waive Brandon Heath. The roster is now down to 17 players.

Update: The Lakers have waived two more players – CJ Giles and Joe Crawford – both were expected cuts. The Lakers roster now stands at 15 players. There have been reports of the Lakers interest in keeping an open roster spot or two … but it’s unclear whether they’ll do that or not. If so the players most at risk are Coby Karl and DJ Mbenga. I imagine they’ll keep both for now and perhaps choose to create the open roster spot before the new year.

Update: The Lakers have cut Coby Karl. Karl had a poor preseason but I regard him as an NBA player and someone who could help a team. It’d be great to see him play for his dad down in Denver.

Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis did some early work by signing Quinton Ross to a non-guaranteed contract bring the Grizzlies roster up to 14 players.

Update: Memphis has added Brent Petway who I believe is a former D-league slam dunk champ

Update: Memphis add one more player, Malick Badiane, as they announce their 16 man roster for training camp

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed forward/center Malick Badiane (pronounced Muh-LEEK BAHD-ee-EN), adding to their 16-man training camp roster, the club announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 6-10, 240-pound Badiane recently played for the Grizzles’ 2008 Las Vegas Summer League team, posting 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 19.2 minutes in five games (all starts)

I’m guessing Brian Petway gets cut because the Grizzlies do not need another wing.

Update: Malick Badiane has been waived. The roster is now to 15 players but I expect the Grizzlies to cut Petway also.

Update: As expected Brent Petway was cut

Update: Quinton Ross has survived the cut

“I thought Quinton was productive and proved to be a real asset,” Griz general manager Chris Wallace said. “He’s a steady, mature player. He doesn’t turn the ball over. He shot the 3-ball better than his career averages while playing a great deal at small forward. It’s not his natural position but he filled in ably. He’s certainly a versatile defender that will help us.”

Head coach Marc Iavaroni always sounded thrilled to work with Ross, who signed on last month after languishing in free agency. Ross spent the past four seasons averaging at least 20 minutes and effectively guarding offensive dynamos for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat currently have 16 players 17 players (if you include Powell) on their roster and are $415,000 away from the luxury tax so it’s hard to see them taking a shot on anyone new.

But right now, we’re not in the market [talking about trades] for anybody, because we can’t really afford to sign anybody like that, because we are that close to the tax.”

Riley said the Heat payroll, as it stands now, is only $415,000 under the luxury tax threshold.

Still, he acknowledged having interest in free agent Shaun Livingston, the former Los Angeles Clippers guard who hasn’t played since a massive left knee injury in a game on Feb. 26, 2007.

“There’s a big question mark with the kind of injury that he had and whether or not he’s going to be able to come all the way back,” Riley said. “It’s a risk, but it’s a big upside risk.”

Riley hasn’t completely ruled out Livingston but that luxury tax is a huge cost so I doubt Riley takes that chance.

Here’s the state of the Heat’s roster

Notes: The Heat have 16 players under contract: guards Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Daequan Cook, Chris Quinn, Marcus Banks and Richards; forwards Michael Beasley, Shawn Marion, James Jones, Yakhouba Diawara, Haslem and Wright; and centers Joel Anthony, Mark Blount, Jamaal Magliore and David Padgett. Three others – forwards Matt Walsh and Omar Barlett, along with guard Tre Kelley – have been invited to camp, and the team hopes to sign all three of them and another player, presumably Kasib Powell (who has an offer sheet from the Heat), on Friday.

Update: On Powell

The Miami Heat announced Saturday that they have mutually agreed with forward Kasib Powell to withdraw the qualifying offer that was extended to Powell, immediately making him an unrestricted free agent.

It’s hard to see any of the three invites making the team. Even with the invites failing to register a spot on the roster, the Heat are left with 16 bodies. Who are your cuts from there? My guesses are Padgett …. Richards has a two year contract but is injured for the season so who knows. I’d cut Magloire and Diawara but I doubt that Pat Riley does that. Joel Anthony might be in trouble.

Update: Riley says Richards will remain on Miami’s roster

Riley also said the Heat’s 20-man training camp roster, as well as its 15-man regular season roster, would include guard Jason Richards, the rookie from Davidson who sustained a season-ending knee injury recently.

Update: A little praise for the players on the chop line, Spoelstra is probably just going out of his way to say something nice about the players before the their training camp experience ends.

Of the fringe players on the roster, coach Erik Spoelstra praised guard Tre Kelley for the way he has run the team, Walsh for his hustle, forward Eddie Basden for his defense and center David Padgett for his passing.

Add Basden to the list of camp invites. I hadn’t seen his name anywhere before. Also Omar Bartlett … here is some further information on the most recent additions to camp.

Update: Ira Winderman is equally pessimistic about David Padgett’s chances

David is the longest of longshots, with Jamaal Magloire, Mark Blount and Joel Anthony all ahead of him on the depth chart at center. And considering Mourning is potentially waiting in the wings, we might have a better chance of seeing Scott Padgett in the league this season. David already has filled his Heat mandate, as the starting center in summer league.

Update: Another one bites the dust? Pat Riley slows down the media of reports of Livingston’s immediate signing declaring large issues stand in the way and that at this point in time, the deal will not go through.

MIAMI–Heat president Pat Riley said the team remains interested in ex-Clippers point guard Shaun Livingston but that his signing is a “dead issue” at this point because the Heat’s roster is full.

The Heat is just $415,000 below the luxury-tax threshold and so is not willing to add another player. With undrafted free agent Jason Richards (knee) out for the season, it essentially means the Heat will fill just 14 of 15 roster spots for active players during the regular season.

That leaves no room right now for Livingston.

“The whole thing is predicated on freeing up a roster spot,” Riley said Tuesday. “We have got 15 roster spots, so the injury to Jason Richards in August did some things to us from that standpoint.

“We are hopeful but we have to clean up the roster. We have to wait. Everybody has to be patient if that is going to happen.”

The way I read that was that there’s still a tiny chance he calls upon Livingston, but very unlikely, his roster would have to fall apart first.

Update: Miami have signed Shaun Livingston to a 2 year contract. They have also waived Tre Kelley to keep their training camp roster at 20 live bodies

Update: Miami waive Matt Walsh

Update: Miami are leaving Zo’s locker as it is. Nobody will receive it and they are holding out hope that he’ll rejoin the squad later in the season. It’ll be interesting to see if this decision means Riley will keep a roster spot open, or choose to create the opening later on in the season.

Update: Miami cut two more – Eddie Basden and Omar Bartlett – no surprises here

The Miami HEAT announced tonight that they have requested waivers on forward Omar Barlett and guard Eddie Basden. Both were initially signed as free agents by the HEAT on Sept. 26, 2008.

Update: Miami waive two more players – David Padgett and Jason Richards. Pat Riley going back on his word about keeping young Richards.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves currently have 14 guaranteed contracts and Chris Richard is expected to make it 15 when he accepts the qualifying offer that’s been on the table all summer. Still the Wolves are looking for auditions:

Expect the Wolves, whether they sign Livingston or not, to bring former NBA lottery pick Rafael Araujo, Las Vegas Summer League team guard Blake Ahearn and probably one more guard to camp, which begins Tuesday in Mankato.

Interesting that Rob Babcock still has belief in Rafael Araujo. We’ll wait for further information.

Update: The Wolves have pulled out of the Shaun Livingston sweepstakes and will instead sign veteran free agent Kevin Ollie. Good addition for the Wolves, Ollie is a capable third string point who’ll bring solid play and a hard worker to the side. Ollie will battle it out in camp with Blake Ahearn. Also, Chris Richards has accepted his qualifying offer.

Update: The Wolves are back in the hunt for Shaun Livingston following Riley’s “dead issue” comment

Update: Well the Wolves lost out on Shaun Livingston but they have other options with Ahearn and Ollie so that’s alright.

Update: The Wolves have signed ex-Pacers center David Harrison to a one year non-guaranteed contract. Harrison is a player with good ability, but he’s never used it wisely for any consistent period of time. Self-absorbed at times too. My guess is that Araujo isnt doing well in camp, why else would they make this late addition? Mark Madsen is playing a bit much for comfort also.

Update: As expected, Rafael Araujo has been waived following the signing of David Harrison

The headline about says it all: Rafael Araujo, the former lottery pick whom the Wolves signed as a free-agent center last month, was released today. That brings the team’s roster to 18

Update: Wolves Head Coach Randy Wittman has said the club will wait until after the final preseason game to make their cuts, saying that there were no final decisions and that they’d need to discuss who should stay.

Update: Wolves don’t wait for the final preseason game, and instead make three cuts prior to the match.

The Timberwolves didn’t wait until after Thursday’s exhibition finale against the Milwaukee Bucks to start trimming their roster.

The team announced a couple hours before game time that it had requested waivers on guard Blake Ahearn, forward Chris Richard and center David Harrison.

That puts the roster at the regular-season limit of 15 players

GM Kevin McHale didn’t rule out making further changes to his squad prior to the season’s opener but said they’re likely set

Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said the Wolves could re-sign one or more of the players if they clear waivers in 48 hours, but added, “Right now, if nothing changes, our roster is set.”

“Right now, this is our team,” coach Randy Wittman said. “This is what we’ll open up with on Wednesday (in the regular-season opener against Sacramento).”

David Harrison re-injured his calf on the 16th which hurts his chances of making the roster. Harrison is now expected to sign with a team in China

McHale said Harrison reinjured the calf while going up for a dunk in practice before the Wolves’ Oct. 16 game at Toronto and is expected to sign with a team in China within the next week.

“David just was never healthy enough for us to really get the look at him that we needed to,” Wittman said

Kevin Ollie has looked very good in preseason and his veteran influence is a boost in a young locker room, so there was little room for Blake Ahearn. So that cut is not surprising.

The other two are mildly surprising and could have gone in many different ways. Richards looks like a decent young big (borderline NBA player, depends how he develops, works hard though), while Harrison is a solid third string center when healthy. I thought Calvin Booth would have been one of those two cuts, with one of the other two remaining.

The Wolves are tied up in roster space with three spots taken in the front court by – Jason Collins, Mark Madsen and Brian Cardinal.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have a full roster with 15 players. Waiting on whether or not they’re inviting more to camp.

Bucks add four players

Roster moves: With the official signings of 6-9 forward T.J. Cummings of UCLA and 6-10 forward Matt Freije of Vanderbilt, the Bucks have finalized their training-camp roster at 19 players. That includes veteran guard Damon Jones who has not reported and will not play for the Bucks this season.


The Bucks have added two players to their roster, and both took part in the single workout scheduled today.

Forward Matt Freije, the former Vanderbilt star who played for the Bucks summer league team, was signed on Wednesday and was in practice for the second straight day. Former UCLA forward T.J. Cummings, who had been waiting for some paperwork to be finished so he could sign a contract, was able to participate in camp for the first time today.


Also in camp are 6-2 guard Kevin Kruger, who played last season with the Utah Flash of the D-League; and 6-5 guard Ron Howard, an ex-Valparaiso and Marquette player who last seasonwas with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Update: Milwaukee have waived TJ Cummings

Update: The Bucks waived two – Ron Howard and Kevin Kruger. The roster is now down to 16 players.

Update: The Bucks have cut Matt Freije

Update: The Milwaukee Bucks have claimed Austin Croshere off the waiver wire and released Adrian Griffin. For some thoughts on the moves, click here.

New Orleans Hornets

The New Orleans have invited two players to camp, with one roster spot currently available

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agents Courtney Sims and Jared Jordan to training camp contracts. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released. The addition of Sims and Jordan puts the Hornets’ training camp roster at 16.

I imagine the Hornets are fairly happy at the point with Chris Paul, Mike James, Devin Brown and even Julian Wright as an emergency possibility so it’s hard to see Jared Jordan playing. Courtney Sims should have a better opportunity but is a long shot. I can see the Hornets waiving both and keeping their flexibility open.

Update: As expected the Hornets have waived both Jared Jordan and Courtney Sims. Neither player is an NBA player at this point, with Sims having the best shot (not a good shot) at becoming one. Their roster size is the league minimum of 13.

New Jersey Nets

The Nets have invited four players to camp.

The New Jersey Nets have signed free agents Eddie Gill, Brian Hamilton, Julius Hodge and Awvee Storey, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released.

Eddie Gill is making his second straight appearance in the Nets training camp. I know Hodge has gotten some love as a point-forward who can couple as third string point but I’m dubious, I wasn’t impressed by him in Orlando this summer.

The Nets actually have 15 players under contract already so I think none of the invites make the roster. I’d consider Mo Ager the only Net who’s in serious doubt.

Update: The Nets have waived Awvee Storey. The roster is now down to 18 bodies with three camp invites remaining – Gill, Hodge, and Hamilton.

Update: The Nets waive four players – Keith Van Horn, Eddie Gill, Julius Hodge and Brian Hamilton. No surprises here. The Nets are now down to 15 players.

New York Knicks

The Knicks have invited two players to training camp despite having 16 players already on the roster

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that guard Allan Houston has been re-signed as a free agent.

They also signed Dan Grunfeld, who played for Stanford. Originally retiring on Oct. 17, 2005 following training camp three seasons ago, Houston is the team’s fourth leading scorer in franchise history during the regular season (11,165) and eighth leading scorer during the playoffs (1,139).

The Knicks already had 16 players on their roster although they are trying to push Jerome James into retirement. Other Knicks walking the tightrope are Stephon Marbury, Patrick Ewing Jr. and perhaps Anthony Roberson. With the roster already full I doubt either training camp invite makes the team. The Houston invite in particular feels like a courtesy call.

Update: Allan Houston is out indefinitely with a quad strain and has been hampered by injury since the start of camp. His chances of making the roster are now even lower than they appeared to be at the start.

Also, Stephon Marbury is playing very well in his backup role and making a good case for himself to remain with the Knicks past training camp.

After Allan Houston the Knicks player I reckon most likely to be on the out is Patrick Ewing Jr.

Update: Decent article on the questions facing the Knicks as they look to cut their roster. It appears they’ll be taking as much time as possible (Oct 28th) before making their final decisions

“I think about it every day, every second, we sit down and talk about it,” D’Antoni said recently. “Now, we don’t make any decisions and sometimes our assessment changes from day to day . . . I don’t think we’re quite there yet.”

The major issue facing New York remains buyouts – to do or not to do – and principally the future of Jerome James. James started the Knicks training camp in good shape but has since struggled with injury, and hasn’t played at all in preseason so he’s been unable to make a case for a roster spot.

Grunfeld and Houston look like locks to be waived. Patrick Ewing Jr looks the frontrunner of the pack trying to win a roster spot, but there is no room for him without a buyout coming elsewhere, so his future likely depends on Jerome James.

Update: Dan Grunfeld has been cut.

Update: Allan Houston has also been waived.

“Although I was very excited about potentially joining my teammates in uniform, I believe that the circumstances suggest that I am best suited to serve the team in a different role,” Houston said in a statement.

The Knicks now have 16 players on their roster. One more cut has yet to come, it’s either Patrick Ewing Jr or one of the veteran players being bought out.

Update: NY Post reports that the Knicks have waived Patrick Ewing Jr. I expect Ewing to get another shot in the NBA before the season is over. A report later in the day has some good quotes from Donnie Walsh on Ewing

We just spoke with Donnie Walsh. Basically, he chose Roberson over Ewing. Jr. because he believes at some point, the Knicks are going to need shooters and that’s Roberson’s specialty.

“You start looking at well, what are our potential needs? Walsh said. “I think that’s where this went down to in the sense that it was felt that in the immediate future, potentially, that shooting could become a problem for this team. So that was the reason for Anthony Roberson because that’s what he can do.”

He said Ewing Jr. took the news better than he did. His hope is that if Ewing Jr. does not land on another NBA roster, that Ewing will play in the D-League and the Knicks can somehow find a way to bring him back. Walsh also did say that he looked for a 2-for-1 deal so he could find a way to keep Ewing Jr., but nothing worked out.

“I think he’s got a great upside,” Walsh said. “As he develops, he’s going to be a valuable player both offensively and defensively. It’s always painful because you have to let somebody go that’s worked hard. And he did. He worked very hard and he played well. But it’s a simple case of 15 vs. 16 and you’ve got to do something.”

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic added two players to training camp recently, and shortly before signed Mike Wilks

As the Orlando Magic prepare to open training camp on Tuesday, the team announced on Thursday morning that they have signed free agents forward/center Dwyane Jones, guard/forward Jeremy Richardson, and guard Mike Wilks, bringing their roster to 16 players.

Their roster stands at 13 not considering those three players. Wilks has an actual contract so he’ll likely stick around for awhile but I’m thinking not the full season. Doubt the other two make it. There’s no need for a limited but decent seven footer like Dwyane Jones when Orlando already have Dwight Howard, Tony Battie, Marcin Gortat and Adonal Foyle. Jeremy Richardson is a good shooter but couldn’t get off the pine on a weak Hawks bench last season so I’m not optimistic about his chances either, especially with Orlando already having four useful shooting guards (Pietrus, Bogans, Lee, Redick) in the rotation ahead of him.

Update: Mike Wilks is out for the season with injury. In all likelihood the Magic will waive him which means one roster spot will open up … Orlando only have 12 contracts on the books, the minimum allowed is 13.

Update: Positive reviews for Dwayne Jones

If power forward Dwayne Jones continues to impress the Magic with his rebounding, he might have a shot at sticking with the club.

Jones, 6 foot-10, 250 pounds, is a training-camp invitee with a non-guaranteed contract.

Asked if Jones had a chance to make the team, Coach Stan Van Gundy said, “I wouldn’t have said that a week ago, but he probably was our best rebounder the last three days of practice, better than Dwight (Howard).

“Rebounding has been an issue for us, that’s why we wanted to take a look at him.”

I like Dwayne Jones. He’s a solid 3rd string center/5th big in the rotation player. That said I don’t expect him to make Orlando’s squad and that’s because there are four more talented centers ahead of him – Dwight Howard, Tony Battie, Marcin Gortat, Adonal Foyle. Jones has a place in this league and it would be a crying shame if he wasn’t on someone’s roster to open the season.

Update: As expected the Magic have waived Dwayne Jones. He’s an NBA player, a good third string center, who can help somebody. I’m doubtful about how quickly he’ll get snapped up, but he’s good enough that he should be signed right away by some team lacking depth at center.

Update: The Magic keep Jeremy Richardson. With four shooting guards – Pietrus, Lee, Bogans and Redick – already on the roster perhaps a trade is in the works? Surprising decision, congradulations to Richardson.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder have invited three players to camp bringing their roster up to 17 bodies … so at least two must go. Here’s their initial camp roster.

The Oklahoma City Thunder signed center Chris Alexander, guard Derrick Byars and guard John Lucas III to the training camp roster it was announced Monday by Thunder General Manager Sam Presti.

Alexander is former D-League player with legit size at center who averaged a double double plus two blocks while playing for Iowa. It’ll be tough for Alexander to make the squad considering the Thunder have three projects at center already in Swift, Petro and Sene plus a few power forwards (Smith, Collison, even Wilcox) who are capable of spending some minutes at center.

Byars is an interesting player, I know a lot of people who rate him highly and were surprised that he didn’t crack the league last time round. That said I haven’t been impressed by Byars during summer league. He was a good shooter in college and that’s something OKC need so he has a decent shot at making it, but he has a lot of guys in front him so he’ll have to perform very well in camp.

John Lucas is a solid third string point guard …. the Thunder only have two points and little options on the wings as emergency fill ins, so I think Lucas has a good shot at making the squad. He’s my favourite to win the final roster spot.

Update: The Thunder have waived Derrick Byars and Chris Alexander

Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has waived center Chris Alexander and guard Derrick Byars. Alexander averaged 1.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.0 minutes in four preseason games while Byars averaged 4.1 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 14.8 minutes in four preseason contests.

Update: This is three games into the season so it’s not quite training camp, but I thought I’d drop it in here anyway. The Thunder have officially waived John Lucas.

I don’t expect to see Lucas back in the league this season, if he does it’ll probably be a 10 day contract or two. Lucas will likely continue working on his game at a lower level like the NBDL or go to Europe for more money. Lucas is a borderline NBA talent, could go either way and because he’s small that’s enough to mean he won’t get in the league, he needs to become a bonafide NBA caliber player.

Philadelphia 76ers

Here’s the link

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has signed five free agents, rounding out the roster for training camp, which runs from Sept. 30 through Oct. 5 at Penn State University. With today’s additions of Andre Emmett, Justin Reed, Jared Reiner, Maureece Rice and Antywane Robinson, the Sixers roster now stands at 19.

The first 14 players on the Sixers roster look very secure …. so it’ll come down to the invites with only one spot left to be filled.

Update: Justin Reed has been dropped from the Sixers roster and replaced by Cory Underwood. It appears that Underwood may have been a recommendation by Jeff Ruland who coached him down in the D-League, and was also recently an assistant coach with the Sixers. His D-League numbers however are underwhelming …. they must have asked Ruland for his opinion before signing him right? There must be something beyond the numbers.

Update: One week in the Sixers have waived three players – Cory Underwood, Maurice Rice, Andre Emmett- bringing their roster down to 16 players. That leaves Jared Reiner and Antywane Robinson fighting it out for the final roster spot …. I wouldn’t be surprised if Phily cut both and left a roster spot open for flexibility going forward.

Update: Sixers waive Antywane Robinson

Update: Phily waives Jared Reiner

Phoenix Suns

I thought the Suns were planning to keep a league minimum roster of 13 players to avoid a further luxury tax payment …. but I may have been wrong as they’ve invited three other players to camp

The Suns completed their training camp roster Friday by signing former Virginia Tech center Coleman Collins.

Collins joins previous non-roster invitees Robert Hite and Trey Johnson, who guards who have been participating in voluntary workouts but also signed camp contracts Friday.

I’m still dubious about the Suns going further over the luxury tax for players who won’t play …. so we’ll wait and see before guessing if any of these invites make the team.

Update: The Suns waive Coleman Collins. Their roster now stands at 15 bodies, but I expect them to cut down to the minimum of 13 due to luxury tax concerns.

Update: And then there was 14 …. Trey Johnson has been waived. The question now is will Robert Hite, or more likely, how long will Robert Hite last?

Update: The Suns have waived Robert Hite …. and now they’re back down to 13 players. Why did they even bother inviting guys to camp? It was clear three months ago that they weren’t going to carry more than 13 players.

Portland TrailBlazers

I’ve lost track of how many players the Blazers have at camp.

Let’s see …. We had the big center Steven Hill who’s been getting good reviews in workouts against Oden through most of the summer. Jamaal Tatum too. There was Luke Jackson. Oh and Shavlik Randolph was a late addition. That makes four players gunning for the remaining one roster spot on a roster that already is overloaded with quality depth.

I don’t know enough about Tatum but he seems to be a reach for the final roster spot to most Blazers fans. Luke Jackson has been a disappointment in each of his last stops and I don’t expect him to do enough to hold onto a spot. Randolph is decent enough but considering the Blazers options at power forward (Aldridge, Frye, Diogu, Outlaw) I can’t see him making the squad. Steven Hill is my favourite to remain.

It appears that Raef LaFrentz will be out 6-8 months so now I think Steven Hill looks the overwhelming favourite.

Update: As expected Jamaal Tatum has been waived. Several reports said he looked short of being an NBA player.

The Trail Blazers trimmed their roster to 17 on Friday by waiving rookie guard Jamaal Tatum.

Tatum’s dismissal leaves three players — forward Shavlik Randolph, center Steven Hill and forward Luke Jackson — competing for the 15th and final spot on the Blazers’ regular-season roster. Based on needs and exhibition production, the team has indicated that either Hill or Randolph is most likely to secure the roster spot.

Update: Portland waives Luke Jackson and Steven Hill.

“We want to thank Luke and Steven for their contributions during training camp and preseason and wish them all the best for the future,” said Pritchard. “They’ve conducted themselves as real pros on and off the court and we believe both of them have a bright future in basketball.”

The Luke Jackson decision is no surprise, he’s not an NBA caliber player. He could be if he learned to use his current abilities to better effect, but he doesn’t so he isn’t. Jackson was never going to make the Blazers squad.

It’s looked like the Blazers final roster spot was going to come down to two players – Randolph and Hill – for some time now. I’m surprised that the Blazers choose Randolph. Actually I think Randolph is the better player (then again I haven’t seen much of Hill, only summer league, so I could be very wrong about that), but when you have a player like Greg Oden you want to have three big centers for him to bang against in practices. It’s going to be a constant development process for Oden over the first few years and it’s important that he’s going against true centers in practice because they’re the type of players he’ll have to beat when the games come around. Plus it puts a lot of physical stress on the one center left on the team, which isn’t good when you’re depending on Przybilla for a big role off the bench.

Anyway, it appears Shavlik Randolph is their guy, good to see him back playing in the NBA again.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs sign three players and Anthony Tolliver 

The Spurs added three players to their training camp roster, signing free agents Desmon Farmer, Devin Green and Darryl Watkins. Farmer, 26, is a 6-foot-5 guard who has spent much of his career in the NBA’s Development League. He played eight games with Seattle in 2006-07.

A 6-foot-7 swingman, Green, 25, played with the Spurs’ summer-league squad in June, averaging 10.3 points in seven games. He split last season between the Development and Italian Leagues. Watkins, 23, is a 6-foot-11 center who played in nine games with Sacramento last season before landing in the D-League.

The Spurs roster now stands at 19 with 14 guaranteed contracts – Stoudamire #14? I think he is but I’m not 100%. The final player is an unsigned draft pick Malik Hairston. That makes Hairston, Tolliver and the three (possibly Stoudamire too) invites the one’s competing for the final roster spot.

Update: The Spurs continue to add to their roster, this time a Brian Morrison and an official wordo n Malik Hairston joining the squad

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have signed Malik Hairston and free agent Brian Morrison. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Morrison is a 6-2 guard who played on the Spurs summer league team.

Update: The Spurs have waived Brian Morrison, and signed Charles Gaines

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have signed forward Charles Gaines. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

At the same time the Spurs announced they have waived guard Brian Morrison.

San Antonio’s roster stands at 20.

That was a quick decision. Gaines has some solid numbers in Europe at 12/7/2 in the ULEB for Galatassary.

Update: Popovich is in no hurry to make further decisions on roster

Five games into the preseason, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still hasn’t trimmed his training camp roster — and might not any time soon.

There are seven players — Anthony Tolliver, Salim Stoudamire, Darryl Watkins, Desmon Farmer, Malik Hairston, Devin Green and Charles Gaines — competing for a maximum of two roster spots.

Popovich has until Oct. 27 to cut the roster to 15. Before Saturday’s 106-98 victory over Indiana he offered three reasons why he is in no hurry to do so.

“We want to make sure we’re not making a mistake, and we want to make (the players) feel like they’ve gotten a really good chance to show what they can do,” Popovich said. And thirdly?

“I’m a coward,” he said. “It’s hard to tell a young kid who has worked as hard as these guys we’re not going to keep you. Until I have to do it, I’m not going to do it.”

Update: Spurs waive Charles Gaines. The roster now stands at 19.

Update: The Spurs have waived Salim Stoudamire

“It was just my fate,” said Stoudamire. “Obviously, it wasn’t meant for me to be a San Antonio Spur.”

He played with a strained left groin on Wednesday night hoping to make an impression on coach Gregg Popovich.

“He’s not 100 percent, and he wants to make a basketball team, and he would like to be as healthy as possible to give it his best go,” Popovich said. “The situation is what it is, and he’s got to deal with it, and so do we. He makes it tough for us, decision-wise, for obvious reasons.”

The Spurs roster is now down to 18 players with two roster spots up for grabs between 5 players. Tolliver looks the best bet to make the squad.

Update: The Spurs have waived two more players – Devin Green and Darryl Watkins. That brings them down to 16 players.

Update: The Spurs cut Malik Hairston. That brings the roster down to 15 bodies.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings have 14 players under contract following the retirement of Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Here’s their training camp roster, and they’ve invited three players – Bobby Jones, Noel Felix and Zhang Kai.

Yes the mercurial Bobby Jones who laced them up for 6 different teams last season and put in quite a few good performances …. yet good cut over and over and over again. I have no idea what the story is with him but he’s an interesting player. Good athlete and plays good D as well as having some offensive game. To add to his 6 teams last season he’s already been discarded by three teams this offseason – Denver traded to NY, waived, picked up off the waiver wire by Miami, waived a few days later following the signing of Diawara. Look at Chucky Brown and Tony Massenburg, this kid’s coming for your record.

Noel Felix is a former CBA defensive player of the year, and has some Euro experience, then again his stats in the D-League were subpar for a player with NBA hopes so probably not.

Update: Sacramento have waived Zhang Kai

Update: The Kings waive two more

Long after the Kings’ light practice ended today, Noel Felix and Bobby Jones stayed to work on their jump shots.

A few hours later, the roster hopefuls packed their bags after the Kings announced they had requested waivers on the forwards.

The Kings’ roster now is at 14 players

Another team has waived Bobby Jones … simply sensational. What team will he ever join next?

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors will head into camp with their roster set at 13 bodies.

Update: Following a medical issue with Nathan Jawai, the Raptors have signed another center, Jamal Sampson.

Sampson, 6-foot-11, 235 pounds, is a five-year NBA veteran who has spent time with Denver, Sacramento, Charlotte, the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee. He posted career-best totals of 3.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23 games for Charlotte in the 2004-05 season.

Sampson is one of the skinny but quick 7 footers … who doesn’t really have the talent to take advantage of his physical gifts. I doubt Sampson lasts the camp.

Update: Toronto have gotten around to waiving Jamal Sampson. I’m surprised he lasted this long.

Utah Jazz

Article on the Jazz’s opening training camp roster

The team includes 13 returning players, two over-the-summer pickups and three long-shot hopefuls.

The 18 players, including free agents Britton Johnsen, Gerry McNamara and Kevin Lyde, will meet for Media Day on Monday in Salt Lake City and then head to Boise for a four-day fall camp at Taco Bell Arena.

The article says it best

In all, the Jazz have 15 players under contract for this season — the maximum allowed — which will make it difficult for the three free agents to crack a roster spot come opening day.

Update: Utah have waived two players – Gabe Muoneke and Kevin Lyde. The roster is down to 16 players.

Update: Utah cut Gerry McNamara. As expected prior to camp, the Jazz did not keep any of their training camp invites. They had a full roster and it was going to take something very special for Utah to part with one of their guaranteed contracts.

Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards have signed Juan Dixon to a non-guaranteed contract and have invited three others to training camp.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed free agent forwards DerMarr Johnson, Linton Johnson and Taj McCullough. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

Dixon looks the most likely choice and by a large margin.

Update: The Wizards waive their first player, Taj Machullah.

Update: DeMarr Johnson is leading all camp hopefuls in minutes per game and has had a couple of solid performances. He provides the Wizards with a much needed extra option on the wing, plus has good size as a backup two guard. Johnson is playing 20mpg in comparison to 9-11 minutes the other two wings were playing, and Dixon hasn’t played until today. So clearly they’re having a long look at Johnson.

Reports out of Washington still state Juan Dixon as a near certainty to take the final roster spot.

Update: As expected the Wizards waived Linton Johnson and DeMarr Johnson. The Wizards kept former player Juan Dixon as their 15th man.

  1. Can Jelani McCoy make the Clippers because of his UCLA Baron Davis connection?

  2. Hey Travis,

    No, I don’t think Jelani McCoy will make the squad

    Three things to bear in mind:

    (1) The Clippers have 12 roster spots locked up with – Baron Davis, Jason Hart, Cuttino Mobley, Eric Gordon, Ricky Davis, Al Thornton, Tim Thomas, Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman, Brian Skinner, Paul Davis, DeAndre Jordan – and two near certainties in Steve Novak and Mike Taylor, tying up 14 roster spots. So they only have one roster spot that’s truly open … it would take someone incredibly impressive to knock out one of the two above.

    (2) The second is the retirement of Jason Williams. The Clippers clearly lacked confidence in the prospect of the Jason Hart/Mike Taylor combination behind Baron Davis … so in all likelihood they are going to use that final roster spot to add another point guard to replace J-Will.

    (3) The Clippers have five players who are capable of playing center – Kaman, Camby, Davis, Jordan, Skinner. They have five players capable of playing power forward – Camby, Skinner, Thomas, Thornton (Clips played some small ball last year, decent option), Novak. They don’t need another big man. They have enough options and flexibility, and they have players that do what McCoy does and do it better (Skinner).

    For the Clippers to take on another big he’d have to be significantly superior to their big man options and McCoy isn’t.

    I think the chances of Jelani McCoy making the Clippers roster are very low. He’d have to have an incredible training camp to be in with a shout.

  3. Could the Clippers bring back Shaun Livingston? Or will anybody sign him?

  4. Travis,

    The Clippers Head Coach Mike Dunleavy confirmed that the team made Shaun Livingston an offer during the summer. It was for one guaranteed season, and a second season at the player’s option. Frankly that’s a brilliant offer for Livingston and one he should have taken straight away. Instead he turned it down, and decided to look for a better gig elsewhere. Shortly after the Clippers signed Jason Williams and ended their interest in Livingston.

    Could they revive their interest? Sure. It looks like a good option to me. I’m surprised that they haven’t already. The fact that they were interested earlier in the summer is a positive sign.

    With Miami and Minnesota pulling out of the race, it appears that Livingston has no offers on the table. It is possible that Livingston goes unsigned but I think someone will step up and sign him …. and my frontrunner is the team you brought up, the LA Clippers. I think his ex-club will be more comfortable than most about being patient while he works his way back to fitness.

    I’m positive that we haven’t heard the last of the Shaun Livingston comeback stories this week, so we’ll likely have a better idea where he might go in a few days.

  5. I’ve heard that Shaun rejected a offer from Minnesota. Don’t know it is true or not. But the T-Wolves just signed Kevin Ollie. In the story they say Shaun is close to signing with the Heat.

  6. Travis,

    Yes, Shaun Livingston rejected the Wolves offer and according to several reports told them his intention was to sign with Miami. Here’s a clipping:

    Shaun Livingston isn’t coming along for the ride. According to Kevin McHale and Jim Stack, their efforts to sign the former Los Angeles Clippers guard are over and they said he instead has chosen Miami, a signing that has been neither confirmed nor announced.

    That article was 36 hours or so ago. Since then Pat Riley has said the Livingston deal was a “dead issue” because he had a full roster. He left himself a little wiggle room later on, but it looks very unlikely. To make the decision doubly difficult, Livingston’s signing would put Miami in the luxury tax area which would cost them a huge amount of money (750k times two, plus the luxury tax payment/re-distribution clubs under the tax receive which I’ve heard was around $4mil last season, we’re talking the equivalent of an MLE contract) for a player who is not certain to contribute this season.

  7. dude, do you have a full-time job? the amount of work that goes into your posts are staggering. just wanted to give some love. good work bro.

  8. Hey Raps Fan,

    Thanks for the kudos

    Yes I do but it’s government work so you know … there’s how shall we say free time and flexible time in my day.

    I normally don’t do any posts this long but I’m interested in which borderline NBA players go where, and whether or not they get a chance, and who stays or gets waived …. so I would be searching for the info and tracking it anyway … figured I’d put it in a post. It makes life easier tracking the moves and puts a good post out there, a solid combination. This one must be my longest post. Most of the others short, except for the odd trade reaction or rant.

  9. gotta love the gov jobs! you’re not in canada by chance are you?

    gotta say, i miss your long comments! lol

  10. Raps Fan,

    Haha, no, luckily for Canada I do not.

    I know too many short comments …. how can I ever fulfill my full potential in less than 250 words?

    Perhaps it’s just the quiet before the storm, after all the NBA season is upon us once again, plenty of discussion and ideas to be thrown about and argued profusely in the weeks and months ahead.

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