Kings Rumors

14 NBA Teams Have Open 20-Man Roster Spots

With NBA training camps right around the corner, several more teams filled their 20-man offseason rosters this week. The Hornets did so on Monday, with the Mavericks, Pistons, Raptors, and Hawks following suit over the next few days. Those clubs join a list of 16 total teams that don’t have any openings on their offseason rosters.

Of course, every NBA team with a full 20-man roster is carrying multiple players who have non-guaranteed contracts, so it’s not as if any of them would be hamstrung if they really want to sign another player. But for now at least, it appears as if those 16 teams have their 20-man squads set for when camps get underway at the end of the month.

That leaves 14 clubs that still have open roster spots, as our tracker shows. Here’s a breakdown of those teams, along with my speculation on whether we can expect them to make moves within the next week or two:

19 players under contract:

  • Golden State Warriors
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Washington Wizards

None of these teams are carrying 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts, so it’s possible they’ll still add a veteran player who could earn a regular season roster spot. But it’s more likely that they’ll each sign another young player who could end up in the G League, since all four teams have their own NBAGL affiliates. The Wizards, who need to add some point guard depth, are said to be eyeing Chris Chiozza for their final spot.

18 players under contract:

  • Boston Celtics
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Houston Rockets
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Orlando Magic
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Portland Trail Blazers

While it’s not official yet, the Celtics essentially have a full roster. Kaiser Gates and Yante Maten have both reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with the Celtics, but have yet to finalize them. Once they’re under contract, Boston’s 20-man roster will be full.

The Magic could also have a full 20-man roster if and when they complete their reported agreement with Isaac Humphries and sign first-round pick Chuma Okeke. The Pelicans, meanwhile, reportedly reached deals with undrafted rookies Jalen Adams, Javon Bess, and Aubrey Dawkins, but there’s only room for two of them on the roster, so unless New Orleans plans to waive a player, the team won’t be signing all three.

The Rockets are signing Thabo Sefolosha and would have room for one more camp invitee, while I’d expect the Suns to invite two more young players to camp with them.

The Nuggets and Trail Blazers don’t have their own G League affiliates, so they may not fill out their rosters unless they just need healthy bodies for camp.

17 players under contract:

  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

All three of these teams have their own G League affiliates and should fill out their camp rosters with young players who can play for the Long Island Nets, Windy City Bulls, or OKC Blue. Of course, rumors continue to swirl that the Nets are eyeing Carmelo Anthony, but I wouldn’t expect the Bulls or Thunder to be seeking any veteran help.

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Pacific Notes: Durant, Thompson, Lakers’ DPE, Kings

Kevin Durant left the Warriors because he wasn’t able to find the family atmosphere he wanted, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Durant got the championships and individual awards he was seeking when he signed with Golden State three years ago, but as he indicated in a Wall Street Journal interview this week, he couldn’t be part of the organization in the same way that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala were.

Poole notes that Durant was impressed by the closeness those four players displayed when they came to the Hamptons to recruit him in 2016. That influenced his decision, but he still felt like an outsider. He wasn’t drafted to the organization like Curry, Thompson and Green, and he wasn’t instrumental in the Warriors’ first title in 40 years the way that Iguodala was.

Poole adds that the family dynamic faded over Durant’s three years with Golden State as players spent more time with their actual families. The Currys had two more children, Iguodala got married and Green became more devoted to fatherhood. Green was a close friend for Durant in his first season with the team, but he hung out with DeMarcus Cousins more often last year.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Steve Kerr tells Joe Vardon of The Athletic that it’s going to be like “Year 1” as he guides a much different Warriors roster. While many key pieces are gone from the championship years, Kerr said surviving while Thompson heals from a torn ACL will be the biggest challenge. “Losing Kevin, Andre, Shaun (Livingston) obviously, those are huge losses,” he said. “Losing Klay on top of all that really changes the way we’re going to have to play at both ends. Klay was always an integral part of everything. Movement on offense, but also the guarding of the ballhandler on defense, switching onto bigs. So until he gets back, we’ve got to re-imagine everything and adapt accordingly.”
  • The Lakers are seeking a disabled player exception after Cousins’ injury, but it’s likely just a tool that may be used later in the season, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. There are few options who could make a difference at a $1.75MM salary, which is half of what Cousins is owed. However, minimum contracts decrease through the year, and the DPE will be more valuable once buyout season arrives.
  • Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic will be competing not just for minutes in the Kings‘ backcourt, but for contract extensions as well, notes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Remaining Offseason Questions: Pacific Division

NBA teams have now completed the brunt of their offseason work, with the draft and free agency practically distant memories. Still, with training camps still a few weeks away, many clubs around the league have at least one or two outstanding issues they’ve yet to address.

We’ve spent the last couple weeks looking at all 30 NBA teams, separating them by division and checking in on a key outstanding question that each club still needs to answer before the 2019/20 regular season begins.

After focusing on the Atlantic, Southeast, and Central last week, we headed West and tackled the Northwest and Southwest this week. Today, we’re finishing things up with the Pacific. Let’s dive in…

Golden State Warriors
Will the Warriors try to create any additional breathing room under the hard cap?

As I noted earlier this week when I took a closer look at teams currently in luxury-tax territory, the Warriors are only about $407K from their hard cap, assuming they intend to retain Alfonzo McKinnie along with their 13 players on guaranteed contracts.

That proximity to the hard cap will significantly limit the Warriors’ roster flexibility this season. The Dubs won’t be able to carry a 15th man until late in the year. They’ll have little ability to replace an injured player on the roster. And they essentially won’t be able to take back more salary than they send out in any trade.

Warriors management would surely love to create some breathing room by cutting costs, but there aren’t many realistic ways for the team to move further below the hard cap. Only six players have cap hits greater than $2MM. Three of them – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green – aren’t going anywhere, and the other three – D’Angelo Russell, Kevon Looney, and Willie Cauley-Stein – can’t be traded until at least December 15, even if the club wanted to.

In other words, if they want to create any extra room below their hard cap, the Warriors may have to get awfully creative.

Los Angeles Clippers
Who will be the Clippers’ 15th man?

The Clippers are carrying 14 players with fully guaranteed salaries and four with non-guaranteed camp contracts, leaving the door open for one of those non-guaranteed players – Donte Grantham, Terry Larrier, James Palmer Jr., or Derrick Walton Jr. – to claim the 15th regular season roster spot.

While it’s possible that one of those players will become the Clippers’ 15th man, I’d expect a team with title aspirations to be thinking bigger. Leaving that final roster spot open to start the season in case opportunities arise on the trade or buyout market is probably the most likely path for Los Angeles.

Still, it’s possible those opportunities will arise even before the season begins, as they did for L.A.’s other team when the Lakers signed Dwight Howard. Andre Iguodala is likely the Clippers’ top target to fill out the roster, but other veterans may shake loose as teams set their rosters this fall.

Los Angeles Lakers
Do the Lakers have a recovery timetable in mind for DeMarcus Cousins?

Assuming Dwight Howard looks okay in training camp, he’s on track to fill the Lakers‘ 15th regular season roster spot. Like the rival Clippers though, the Lakers are a team with championship aspirations and will want to make sure they’re optimizing all 15 roster spots. That’s where Cousins comes in.

A torn ACL isn’t quite as serious as a torn Achilles, so it’s possible Cousins will be able to make it back before the end of the 2019/20 season. But it’s his third major leg injury in the last two years, so he certainly shouldn’t be in a rush to return.

Cousins’ contract with the Lakers is only for one year, and he’ll receive his full $3.5MM whether or not he spends the whole season on the team’s roster. If the Lakers determine Cousins will miss the entire season, it would probably make sense to waive him and open up that roster spot for someone who could contribute in 2019/20.

While releasing Cousins now would create some added preseason roster flexibility, the Lakers won’t necessarily have to make this decision before the season begins — waiving him in, say, January would still open up opportunities at or after the trade deadline. His contract could also be used for salary-matching purposes in a deal.

Phoenix Suns
Is Devin Booker happy with the Suns’ offseason?

With the 2018/19 season winding down in March, Booker spoke about being involved in the Suns‘ offseason roster moves, suggesting that there was an “understanding” when he signed his five-year contract extension with the club that he’d have a voice in those decisions.

Booker hasn’t spoken in depth this summer about the Suns’ offseason, so it’s not clear if he pushed for – or voiced support for – any of the team’s acquisitions, such as Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric, Aron Baynes, Frank Kaminsky, or first-round pick Cameron Johnson. We did hear in the spring that Booker had no input in the firing of Igor Kokoskov, and a report during free agency suggested that Phoenix opted not to pursue point guard D’Angelo Russell despite Booker’s advocacy.

The Suns certainly have no obligation to run every move by their star guard, and as long as the on-court results start to improve, Booker should be on board with the direction of the franchise. Still, it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on. Even though he’s several years away from free agency, any sign of tension between Booker and the Suns would be a cause for some concern.

Sacramento Kings
Will the Kings sign Buddy Hield to a rookie scale extension?

With Ben Simmons, Jamal Murray, and Caris LeVert locked up to rookie scale extensions, Hield (along with Raptors forward Pascal Siakam) may be the next in line for a new deal. The Kings have until October 21 to get something done with their young sharpshooter, and GM Vlade Divac confirmed this week they’re working on it.

It will be fascinating to see if the Kings and Hield’s camp can agree on a fair price in the coming weeks. If he replicates or builds upon his impressive 2018/19 season, Hield can reasonably expect to get big-time offers as a restricted free agent in 2020, especially given how weak next year’s free agent class projects to be. He has some leverage, and won’t necessarily have to settle for a team-friendly deal.

The Kings, on the other hand, will have to be careful in negotiations with Hield, since he’s the first of many young players they’ll need to lock up in the coming years — De’Aaron Fox will be extension-eligible in 2020, with Marvin Bagley to follow in 2021. The higher they go for Hield, the less flexibility – and leverage – the Kings will have in those future negotiations.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kings Hoping To Sign Buddy Hield To Extension

The Kings view shooting guard Buddy Hield as a part of their long-term future and would like to lock him up to a contract extension before the season begins, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Speaking to Anderson, GM Vlade Divac said that the two sides are trying to work toward a new deal for Hield.

“We are … every day is working and Buddy’s a big part of this team, and we’ll figure something out down the road,” Divac said. “We’re working on it and we’ll figure out something. Buddy is (a) very important piece to this franchise.”

Hield is one of 17 players who remains eligible for a rookie scale extension before this year’s October 21 deadline. Ben Simmons, Jamal Murray, and Caris LeVert have already signed extensions, which will go into effect for the 2020/21 season. If Hield doesn’t ink a new contract of his own, he’d be on track for restricted free agency in the summer of 2020.

Based on the NBA’s latest salary cap projection for ’20/21, Hield would be eligible for up to nearly $170MM on a five-year contract, though if the Kings intended to put a five-year, maximum-salary offer on the table, a deal would likely already be done.

Still, few players have a better case for a rookie scale extension this fall than Hield, who enjoyed an underrated breakout season in 2018/19, establishing new career highs in PPG (20.7), RPG (5.0), APG (2.5), and several other categories. He increased his productivity while maintaining his impressive efficiency, converting 42.7% of 7.9 three-point attempts per game.

Hield’s 278 three-pointers in 2018/19 place him seventh on the NBA’s all-time list for threes in a single season. Only Stephen Curry (four times), James Harden (2018/19), and Paul George (2018/19) have made more outside shots in a season.

Hield will be the first of several young Kings players who require long-term investments — Bogdan Bogdanovic will be a restricted free agent next summer at the same time De’Aaron Fox and Harry Giles become extension-eligible, while Marvin Bagley III could sign a new long-term deal as early as 2021.

Kings Notes: Joseph, Ferrell, Barnes, Bagley

Cory Joseph‘s uncertain relationship with Team Canada has drawn most of the headlines this summer, but the eight-year veteran will have a new role once the World Cup is over, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. Joseph joined the Kings on a three-year, $37MM contract last month, and he’ll be counted on to back up burgeoning star De’Aaron Fox.

Joseph is among several experienced players that GM Vlade Divac added in an effort to fix a defense that ranked 26th last season in points allowed and 20th in defensive rating. Joseph, among the league’s best perimeter defenders at point guard, posted a 6.5/3.4/3.9 line last season, but Ham expects those numbers to increase as he leaves the methodical Pacers for the faster-paced Kings.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • Yogi Ferrell will also be competing for minutes in a now-crowded Kings backcourt, Ham adds in a separate story. Ferrell won the back-up point guard spot after signing with Sacramento last summer, but the addition of Joseph seems to leave him without a clear role. He can play either backcourt position, but the team is also deep at shooting guard with Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Even though the Kings picked up his $3.2MM option for this season, Ferrell’s playing time may be reduced.
  • It didn’t take long for Harrison Barnes to win the confidence of his World Cup coaches, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Barnes is the only player on Team USA with a championship ring, which he collected with the Warriors in 2015, and the only one with a gold medal, which came in the 2016 Olympics. “Pop (head coach Gregg Popovich) trusts him,” said USA assistant Steve Kerr, who coached Barnes for two seasons with Golden State. “Pop talks about it all the time with our staff. He knows he can count on him to make the right play and to execute under pressure.”
  • Marvin Bagley and Hield are getting some experience with a well-respected tutor, notes Jordan Ramirez of They are spending part of the summer at UCLA with Rico Hines, who has worked with James Harden, Kevin Durant and many other star players. “Getting on the court, being around him, he’s an unbelievable person, first and foremost,” said Trevor Ariza, who signed with the Kings last month. “He’s a gym rat as well. He’s always in the gym. We’re always in the gym. We’re always looking to get better.”

Canada, Greece, Turkey Set World Cup Rosters

While USA Basketball had its share of withdrawals this summer leading up to the 2019 World Cup, there’s a strong case for Team Canada being the national team hit hardest by a lack of participation from NBA players.

Team Canada formally announced its 12-man World Cup roster today. As expected, the group features just two NBA players: Kings point guard Cory Joseph and Magic center Khem Birch. As we outlined earlier this month, the list of Canadians not participating in the World Cup includes Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Trey Lyles, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett, and several other NBA players.

The national teams for Greece and Turkey also announced their final 12-man rosters for the World Cup, and both squads feature multiple current NBA players.

Bucks teammates – and brothers – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo headline the Greek squad, with former NBA players like Kostas Papanikolaou, Nick Calathes, and Georgios Papagiannis helping to fill out the roster.

On the Turkish national team, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, and Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz are the headliners. Former Celtics and Cavaliers center Semih Erden is also part of Turkey’s 12-man roster.

The World Cup will officially get underway in China on Saturday with an eight-game schedule, though Canada, Greece, and Turkey won’t take the court until Sunday.

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

World Cup Updates: Lithuania, Joseph, Nigeria, France

The Lithuanian national team has announced its roster for the 2019 World Cup, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that the 12-man squad will include Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas and Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt. Former Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is also on the roster.

Lithuania is viewed as a contender to make a deep run in this year’s tournament, but it won’t have an easy path to even make it out of the first round. The Lithuanian national team is part of a group that also includes Australia, Canada, and Senegal — only two of those clubs will advance to the round of 16.

Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup, which will tip off in just four days in China:

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