Spurs Rumors

NBA Teams With Open Roster Spots

When the Kings sign Troy Williams to a two-way contract after he clears waivers today, as is expected, they’ll become the 16th NBA team to fill all 17 of their available roster spots, with 15 players on standard contracts and two more on two-way pacts.

Still, that will leave nearly half of the league’s teams that will still have at least one opening on their rosters, either on the standard 15-man squad or in their two-way slots.

For many clubs, that decision is primarily financially motivated. Teams like the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, and Wizards all project to have pricey luxury tax bills at season’s end, so there’s no need for them to push those projected penalties higher by carrying an extra player they won’t use.

Other teams may simply prefer to preserve some roster flexibility rather than carrying a full 15-man squad. The Lakers, for instance, aren’t close to the tax line, but have an open roster spot for now. That could allow the team to make a trade or signing later to fortify its roster without costing anyone a job.

Listed below, with the help of our roster counts breakdown, are the teams that aren’t carrying full rosters.

Teams with an open 15-man roster spot:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Houston Rockets
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Washington Wizards
    • Note: The Wizards have two open roster spots and will need to fill one of them by October 30.

Teams with an open two-way slot:

  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Portland Trail Blazers
    • Note: The Blazers have two open two-way slots.
  • San Antonio Spurs

Pondexter Not Stressed About Precarious Hold On Roster Spot

  • After battling a life-threatening infection following a series of knee surgeries, Quincy Pondexter isn’t stressing his precarious hold on a Spurs roster spot, recognizing that it’s not exactly a life-and-death situation. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News has the story, along with the quotes from Pondexter. The veteran is the only player on San Antonio’s 15-man roster without a guaranteed contract, so he may be the odd man out if the club decides to add point guard depth.

Spurs Waive Manu Ginobili

As expected, the Spurs have waived retired guard Manu Ginobili, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The move is a formality in order to reach the regular season roster limit.

Although Ginobili announced his retirement in August, he had one final year on his contract with San Antonio and technically remained a member of the team until today. Like they did with Tim Duncan when he retired, the Spurs released Ginobili and will pay him for one final season following his decision to call it a career. The longtime Spur will count for $2.5MM against the team’s cap in 2018/19.

San Antonio now has 15 players on standard contracts and one more on a two-way deal, so the team is all set to start the season. It will be interesting to see if the Spurs use that second two-way contract slot in order to add some point guard depth in the coming days.

You can check out our full story on Ginobili’s retirement from August right here.

Several Teams Must Make Moves Before Monday’s Roster Deadline

Saturday was a busy day in terms of NBA transactions, with most of the league’s 30 clubs making cuts and getting their rosters down to the regular season limit. As we explained over the weekend, players on non-guaranteed contracts must clear waivers before the first day of the regular season in order to avoid counting at all against a team’s salary cap, which is why most of those players were released on Saturday instead of today.

However, not every team now has a roster in compliance with NBA rules. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Clippers, Suns, Bucks, Pistons, and Spurs still need to make roster moves by 4:00pm CT today in order to get down to the regular season limit. Teams are permitted to carry no more than 15 players on standard contracts and two more on two-way deals entering the season.

Here’s a quick look at the decisions facing those five teams:

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers need to trim their roster from 17 standard contracts to 15. Normally, the guys on non-guaranteed contracts would be the most obvious candidates to be cut, but I’d be surprised if the team parts ways with Patrick Beverley or Tyrone Wallace.

Instead, players on guaranteed salaries like Jawun Evans, Wesley Johnson, and Sindarius Thornwell could be in trouble if the Clips can’t find any trades they like.

Phoenix Suns

Like the Clippers, the Suns have 17 players on standard contracts, with multiple vets on non-guaranteed deals whom they’d like to keep. If Phoenix keeps all 14 players with guaranteed salaries, that would leave just one spot for Richaun Holmes, Shaquille Harrison, and Isaiah Canaan.

Of the players with guarantees, Darrell Arthur is the most obvious release candidate, but if the club keeps him before getting an answer from the league on its disabled player exception request, it won’t be eligible for that DPE.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that the Suns will be granted that disabled player exception anyway. Marks wrote on Saturday that multiple team executives were “dumbfounded” by what season-ending injury Arthur could have suffered since being acquired by Phoenix in July. While the big man has been bothered by recurring knee injuries in recent years, the team hasn’t announced any new ailments or listed him on its injury report.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have 16 players on standard contracts, meaning one player will need to be traded or released today. Christian Wood, who has one of the team’s two non-guaranteed contracts, appears likely to make the team. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the other player on a non-guaranteed deal – Tim Frazier – will be waived though.

The decision may come down to Frazier vs. former first-round pick D.J. Wilson. Although Wilson has a guaranteed salary for 2018/19, his roster spot is “far from secure,” per Keith Smith of RealGM.com (Twitter link).

Detroit Pistons

The Pistons have 15 players on guaranteed contracts and two on two-way deals, leaving no clear openings for the club’s final non-guaranteed player, Zach Lofton. The undrafted free agent has impressed Detroit this fall though, so we’ll see if the club can find room for him, perhaps by having him supplant one of the current two-way players (Reggie Hearn and Keenan Evans).

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs‘ final move is a mere formality. Manu Ginobili, who announced his retirement this summer, technically remains on the roster, but he should be quietly waived today. Once that happens, San Antonio will have 15 players on standard contracts – including partially guaranteed veteran Quincy Pondexter – and one on a two-way deal.

Note: The Bulls and Rockets also still need to officially convert players on Exhibit 10 contracts to two-way deals. Chicago will reportedly do so with Tyler Ulis, while Houston will do so with Gary Clark and Vince Edwards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jimmy Butler Expected To Play In Wolves’ Season Opener

7:58 pmJon Krawczynski of The Athletic has reported that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor made a rare visit to a team practice and actually met with Butler to discuss the current situation. Krawczynski reveals that Taylor and Butler came to an agreement during the meeting, with Butler agreeing to play in games at his usual competitiveness level while the team continues to work on finding a trade for the disgruntled star.

As noted below, talks between the Heat and Timberwolves over a potential Butler deal are reportedly dead at the moment, making it very likely that Butler will be suiting up for the Timberwolves for the foreseeable future.

1:08 pm: Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler is expected to play in the team’s season opener against the Spurs on Wednesday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Butler practiced with the team Sunday for the first time since he erupted during a scrimmage last week.

Charania also adds that the trade talks between the Heat and Timberwolves are dead for now, not ruling out the possibility of them restarting in the future. The teams were close to finalizing a deal centered around Butler and others one week ago, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, but the deal fractured just before completion.

Butler planned to practice with the team again this past Thursday, but Minnesota canceled the session in the morning. He has no desire to forfeit guaranteed money from games, and his immediate future with the team remains unclear.

The Timberwolves’ schedule after Wednesday includes a home game against Cleveland on Friday, followed by a road contest against Dallas on Saturday. Butler knows the possibility of getting booed at home exists amid the trade request that’s spanned over three weeks.

“Sure. Go ahead, boo me,” Butler told The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski (Twitter link). “It ain’t going to change the way I play. That’s going to make me smile more. So please, come on with it.”

Butler’s original trade request came with three preferred teams, according to an ESPN.com report: Brooklyn, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Nets and Knicks have had no traction with Minnesota to this point, and the Clippers believe they can convince Butler to sign with the club in free agency next summer.

Butler reportedly adjusted his list three weeks ago and named the Heat as his new top destination, as The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported. So far, the Heat have been unwilling to throw away each of their future pieces for a talent that can leave the team in nine months as a free agent.

Butler, 29, remains an accomplished two-way forward and consensus top-15 player in the NBA. His competitive spirit, fearless attitude and hard-pressed mindset intrigues teams looking for a star talent on the wing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Spurs Waive Okaro White, Nick Johnson

The Spurs have removed a pair of players from their preseason roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived forward Okaro White and guard Nick Johnson.

White, who missed a good chunk of the 2017/18 campaign with a broken foot, was waived by the Cavaliers in August and joined the Spurs for camp. Formerly a member of the Heat, the Florida State alum has appeared in 41 NBA games over the last two seasons for Miami, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 13.4 minutes per contest.

Johnson, meanwhile, hasn’t played in the NBA since a 28-game stretch with the Rockets during the 2014/15 season. However, he has thrived in the G League, earning NBAGL Finals MVP honors last season for the Austin Spurs. Given the injuries to San Antonio point guards Dejounte Murray and Derrick White this fall, Johnson seemed to have an increased chance of making the Spurs’ roster to start the season, but he’ll hit waivers instead.

San Antonio now has 15 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal. I believe Manu Ginobili, who announced his retirement this summer, is also technically still under contract with the team, since his release has yet to show up in the NBA’s transactions logs. If so, the Spurs figure to release him by Monday to finalize their regular season roster.

Spurs’ Derrick White To Miss 6-8 Weeks

1:05pm: The Spurs have provided an official update on White, announcing that he suffered a left plantar fascia tear. The press release didn’t provide a specific timeline for his return.

10:23am: The Spurs‘ injury luck has gone from bad to worse this preseason, as a third San Antonio player – and second point guard – is expected to miss an extended period of time. Derrick White has suffered a heel injury and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks, according to head coach Gregg Popovich (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News).

It’s a bad break for White, who had been poised to take on a larger role for the Spurs with starting point guard Dejounte Murray expected to miss the entire season with a torn ACL. Initial reports in the wake of Murray’s injury suggested that San Antonio would replace him from within, but with White also on the shelf now, it’s possible those plans could change.

Patty Mills and non-guaranteed camp invitee Nick Johnson are now the only healthy point guards on the roster, though DeMar DeRozan figures to assume some of the ball-handling duties. The Spurs could keep an eye on the waiver wire in the next few days — if any reliable veteran point guards become available, they could be of interest to San Antonio.

White, the Spurs’ first-round pick in 2017, played limited minutes in his rookie season, averaging 3.2 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 17 games (8.2 MPG). With Tony Parker no longer on the roster, San Antonio was set to lean more heavily on White in 2018/19, even before Murray went down. That likely won’t happen until December now.

Meanwhile, this year’s first-round pick – Lonnie Walker – is also expected to be out until at least mid- to late-November after undergoing knee surgery.

Spurs Waive Josh Huestis

Two days after signing him, the Spurs have waived forward Josh Huestis, the team announced today in a press release.

While Huestis’ stint with San Antonio was brief, today’s move doesn’t come as a surprise. As Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News wrote on Wednesday, Huestis continues to recover from a Jones fracture in his right foot, which he suffered in a September 12 workout. The Spurs hope to have the former first-round pick play for their G League affiliate in Austin once he’s healthy.

Huestis, 26, spent his rookie season in the G League before joining the Thunder in 2015/16. After appearing in just seven games for Oklahoma City over his first two NBA seasons, the 6’7″ forward earned a rotation role last season. However, he didn’t make much of an impact, averaging 2.3 PPG and 2.3 RPG with a .330/.287/.300 shooting line in 69 games (14.2 MPG). He was an unrestricted free agent this summer.

With Huestis no longer on the roster, the Spurs have an opening on their 20-man preseason squad for now.

Spurs Sign Josh Huestis To Exhibit 10 Deal

2:12pm: The Spurs have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Huestis.

1:05pm: The Spurs appear set to fill the open spot on their 20-man preseason roster by signing Josh Huestis, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Huestis and the Spurs have agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal. Word of the agreement comes more than a month after reports indicated that Huestis had received a camp invite from San Antonio.

A first-round pick in 2014, Huestis played a season in the G League before joining the Thunder in 2015/16. After appearing in just seven games for Oklahoma City over his first two NBA seasons, the 6’7″ forward earned a rotation role last season. However, he didn’t make much of an impact, averaging 2.3 PPG and 2.3 RPG with a .330/.287/.300 shooting line in 69 games (14.2 MPG).

Because the Thunder had turned down their fourth-year option on Huestis’ rookie scale contract, he became an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 26-year-old remained on the market for over three months before agreeing to sign with the Spurs.

While the Spurs have a potential opening on their 15-man regular season squad, Huestis will be an underdog to claim that spot. Veteran swingman Quincy Pondexter, who has a partial guarantee worth $150K, looks like a better bet to become San Antonio’s 15th man, assuming the team even carries a full roster into the season. Exhibit 10 contracts can be converted into two-way deals though, so that could be an option for Huestis. The Spurs have about a week to make their roster decisions for opening night.

2018/19 Over/Unders: Southwest Division

The 2018/19 NBA regular season will get underway in just seven days, which means it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, to have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having kicked things off with the Atlantic on Monday, we’re moving onto the Southwest today…

Houston Rockets

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Rockets poll)

New Orleans Pelicans

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Pelicans poll)

San Antonio Spurs

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Spurs poll)

Dallas Mavericks

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Mavericks poll)

Memphis Grizzlies

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Grizzlies poll)

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)