Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Basketball

H2H Salary Cap

Latest Player News

Dion Waiters is the likely frontrunner for starting duties at shooting guard for the Heat this season, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Impact

Though he appeared to miscalculate teams' interest in him in free agency this summer and was forced to settle for a one-year, $2.9 million contract after most of the top shooting guards had come off the board, Waiters at least has a chance to rehabilitate his market value in a wide-open situation in Miami. With the Heat losing Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng in free agency and not expected to have Chris Bosh (blood clots) available this season, there's at least three starting jobs up for grabs and plenty of minutes to go around, particularly at the two wing spots. As a former No. 4 overall pick who has flashed some ability as a scorer during his stints with the Cavaliers and Thunder, Waiters profiles as one of the more intriguing options in an underwhelming group of wings that includes Justise Winslow, who is projected to start at either small forward or power forward, Josh Richardson, Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Luke Babbitt. Don't expect Waiters' efficiency to improve in Miami, but he shouldn't have trouble surpassing the 9.8 points per game he averaged last season while often serving as no better than the Thunder's third option offensively whenever he was on the court.

Justise Winslow is expected to open the season as a starter at either small forward or power forward, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Impact

The offseason departures of Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng had initially positioned Winslow as an obvious choice to claim a starting role on the wing, but the versatile 20-year-old could now be a candidate to start at power forward after Chris Bosh (blood clots) failed to receive clearance for training camp and may have played his last game with the Heat. In preparation of the possibility of a Bosh absence, the Heat retained Josh McRoberts, added Derrick Williams and Willie Reed in free agency and re-signed Udonis Haslem to provide depth at power forward, but none profile as ideal replacement options in the starting lineup. As a result, coach Erik Spoelstra could choose to roll out small-ball lineups on a regular basis, which would allow Winslow to pick up more time at power forward while Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Luke Babbitt pick up most of the action at the wing spots. Such an arrangement would likely aid Winslow's rebound totals, but no matter how things shake out, the second-year player is set to see a noticeable increase in court time from his rookie year. While Winslow showed limited aptitude as a scorer in 2015-16, averaging just 6.5 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting from the field, there should be plenty of shots to go around now that Wade, Bosh and Deng are out of the mix, and that added volume should only aid Winslow's offensive outputs.

Members of the Heat organization increasingly believe that Chris Bosh's (blood clots) tenure with the franchise is over, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.

Impact

After seeing his past two seasons come to an early end due to blood clot episodes, Bosh failed his preseason physical earlier this week and remains without a definite timetable to return. While Bosh intimated earlier in the offseason that he hoped to get back on the court for training camp while taking blood-thinning medication, doctors weren't willing to clear him after determining that evidence of clotting still existed in his left calf. Bosh has maintained for several months that he feels healthy and said Friday that he remains hopeful for an eventual return to the court, but the Heat's unwillingness to clear him has soured his relationship with the team brass, as Wojnarowski reports that Bosh hasn't spoken with team president Pat Riley for months. Since Bosh is signed for three more years and $76 million, the Heat remain on the hook for his entire contract, and would be unable to waive him until Feb. 9 in order for his contract not to count against the salary cap. Assuming that team doctors don't budge from their assessment of Bosh's condition within the next few months, look for the Heat to release him shortly before the All-Star break, which would effectively end his NBA career.

Aaron Gordon sprained an ankle during a recent workout and could be limited when training camp opens Tuesday, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Impact

Magic GM Rob Hennigan described Gordon's injury as a "tweak" and downplayed its severity, but noted that the forward may be held out of certain drills in the early stages of camp. It doesn't appear Gordon is at risk of missing the start of the season, so as things currently stand, he looks in line to start at small forward for the Magic. He should see his stats trend upward after averaging 9.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game a season ago.

Pelicans GM Dell Demps said Friday that Solomon Hill could see some time at power forward during the upcoming season, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Impact

After inking a four-year, $50 million deal with the Pelicans on the first day of free agency, Hill is the leading contender to start at small forward, but with the team having Lance Stephenson, Dante Cunningham and Alonzo Gee on hand as depth at the position, Hill may see additional usage in the frontcourt. Any time he gets at power forward would likely be minimal, however, as All-Star Anthony Davis is the starter at that spot, while Terrence Jones looks to be first in line for minutes behind him.

Clint Capela said Friday that he added about 10-to-12 pounds of muscle to his frame over the summer, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Impact

With Dwight Howard departing for the Hawks in free agency this summer, Capela is poised to slide in as the Rockets' starting center, so the added muscle should prove beneficial as he fights fellow bigs on the boards. Capela's offensive game remains rather primitive and his free-throw shooting is atrocious, but he's a true difference maker on the defensive end, particularly as a rim protector. With more minutes headed his way this season, expect Capela to take a noticeable jump from his 2015-16 averages of 7.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals per game.

Darrun Hilliard (back) will be restricted to one practice per day during training camp, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Impact

By all indications, Hilliard has fully recovered from the lower-back strain that ailed him for much of the summer, so the Pistons are just exercising some caution by limiting his practice time. He's still expected to suit up during preseason games and open the regular season as an available option off the bench. While coach Stan Van Gundy has mentioned a desire to get more minutes from his bench this season, it appears as though Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock would be first in line to see their respective roles expand.

Reggie Jackson is nursing some knee tendinitis and will be limited during training camp, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Impact

Jackson won't be held out of camp drills entirely, with Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy clarifying that the point guard will simply just practice once per day. It's likely that the Pistons are just resting Jackson for maintenance purposes rather than expressing legitimate concern about his injury, so expect him to be ready to take on a full workload by the time the season arrives. Jackson should once again serve as the Pistons' top scorer in 2016-17 after averaging a team-leading 18.8 points per game last season.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Friday that Nikola Pekovic (Achilles) won't play this season and will likely have the remainder of his contract bought out, WCCO News Radio 830 reports.

Impact

Pekovic was a consistent double-double threat for the Timberwolves from 2011-12 through 2014-15, but he was never able to truly recover after requiring surgery on his right Achilles in April 2015. He returned from the procedure last January, but played only 12 games before enduring a setback with the Achilles. With the injury still bothering him heading into training camp and not likely to improve over time, it appears the 30-year-old's playing career will come to a premature end, according to John Krawczynski of the Associated Press. While the Wolves' insurance policy will cover the remaining two years and $23.7 million on his contract, it's expected that he'll be waived in the near future to open up a roster spot for another player.

Quincy Pondexter (knee) will be targeting a return in November, although general manager Dell Demps believes that a return in December or January is more realistic, Justin Verrier of ESPN reports.

Impact

It was initially expected for Pondexter to be ready at the start of training camp, especially since he's been participating in offseason workouts, but the Pelicans recently decided to prolong his rehabilitation process. The 28-year-old hasn't played in a game since the 2014-15 season and there's even a lingering fear that he may never actually return at all after undergoing two major surgeries on his left knee during that long absence from the court.

Scott Wood signed a training camp deal with the Warriors on Friday, Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Impact

Wood most recently played abroad for UCAM Murcia in Spain after going undrafted out of NC State in 2013. The 26-year-old will have a very tough time making Golden State's final 15-man roster.

Alex Caruso signed a training camp deal with the Thunder on Friday.

Impact

Caruso is an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M who finished his collegiate career as the school's leader in assists and steals. However, his chances are slim of making the Thunder's final 15-man roster.

Eric Dawson signed a training camp deal with the Jazz on Friday.

Impact

Dawson will have a tough time making the final roster with just four total NBA appearances under his belt when with the Spurs back during the 2011-12 season.

Tyreke Evans (knee/calf) is targeting a return in December after dealing with knee surgery and a blood clot in his calf, Justin Verrier of ESPN reports.

Impact

Knee tendinitis shortened yet another injury-riddled season for Evans in 2015-16. After having surgery to repair the issue in February, he discovered a blood clot in his calf, but that particular ailment was resolved in a matter of days with the help of medication. His doctors have informed him not to worry about future clotting, so it seems that recovering from his knee surgery is his primary concern for getting back on the court. In the meantime, rookie Buddy Hield, Tim Frazier, E'Twaun Moore, Lance Stephenson, and Langston Galloway will have an opportunity for added minutes in the backcourt with Jrue Holiday (personal) also expecting to miss the start of the season.

Keith Benson signed a training camp contract with the Heat on Friday.

Impact

Benson spent last season with the Heat's developmental league affiliate, appearing in 49 games with them. He averaged 13.8 points per game and grabbed 7.5 rebounds. The 6-11 center has struggled to find a permanent home in the NBA since being drafted in 2011, and it is unlikely that he will make the final cut with Hassan Whiteside, Willie Reed, Josh McRoberts, and Udonis Haslem already on the roster.

Tyreke Evans discovered a blood clot in his calf after undergoing surgery on his knee earlier this offseason, Justin Verrier of ESPN reports.

Impact

Evans was already expected to miss the first portion of the season, but things have become even more complicated with a blood clot involved. It's hard not to make a comparison to Chris Bosh's ongoing blood clot issues in his calf that have stunted his career, but it's still unclear at the moment if the same severity applies to Evans and his situation. Either way, a return date for Evans is unclear.

Kevin Garnett has decided to retire, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reports.

Impact

Garnett averaged a career-low 14.6 minutes per game last season, not to even mention that he only suited up for 38 games. At 40 years old, recurring knee issues likely propelled his decision to retire after an illustrious 21 seasons in the league. His likely Hall of Fame career resulted in 15 All-Star appearances and currently ranks him third all time in regular season minutes played with 50,418.

Chris Bosh (blood clots) failed his physical and will be unable to practice for the start of training camp.

Impact

Bosh and the Heat indicated in the offseason that the all-star was ready to return but his failed physical leaves him without a timetable to return. He hasn't played since the all-star break in February and his status for the season opener against the Magic is in serious question.

Dahntay Jones agreed Thursday to re-sign with the Cavaliers on a non-guaranteed contract, Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Impact

After playing 42 minutes in a meaningless regular season finale for the Cavaliers just one day after signing with the team, Jones went largely unused off the bench during the team's postseason run. However, he played a pivotal role in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, scoring five unanswered points in the last 90 seconds of the first half and drawing two crucial fouls on the Warriors' Draymond Green in an eventual Cavs win. Jones was waived earlier in the offseason before his contract became guaranteed for 2016-17, and his new non-guaranteed deal means that he's far from a safe bet to open the upcoming campaign with the team. The 35-year-old will likely have to battle Eric Moreland, John Holland, Cory Jefferson, Markel Brown and DeAndre Liggins for the 15th spot on the roster.

Malik Beasley will be restricted early in training camp while he continues to recover from a stress fracture in his right leg, Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post reports.

Impact

Beasley appears to have recovered from the surgery he underwent prior to the June draft in order to address the stress fracture, but the Nuggets, who selected the Florida State guard with the 19th overall pick, have been taking it slow with him all summer. The 19-year-old skipped the summer league and has been eased back onto the court slowly, a precautionary measure that figures to carry over for the early portion of camp. Due to the team's ample depth in the backcourt, Beasley isn't expected to be a rotation player as a rookie, so there's little incentive for the Nuggets to rush him back into full activities.