One might imagine the Bucks are set at the point guard position, especially after making a midseason trade for Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis. There are some NBA officials, though, who contend the Bucks aren’t totally sold on Carter-Williams, just like they weren’t completely sold on Brandon Knight, whom they dealt to Phoenix in the deal in February.
October 1, 2016 | 4:10 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Ben Simmons update: Sixers and doctors involved believe rookie suffered an “acute injury” unrelated to weight and plan for surgery next week
The Hawks waived forward Richard Solomon on Saturday. The move trims the training camp roster to 19 players. However, the Hawks are likely to add a guard to the roster soon. They are thin at the guard position with Dennis Schroder nursing an ankle injury and Jarrett Jack being brought along slowly from a torn ACL. The Hawks had an excess of big men in camp knowing that Tiago Splitter was returning from hip surgery.
The battle is expected to play out over the next few weeks, but McCallum says he’s already found a level of comfort in his fourth NBA stop in four seasons. “I lived in Detroit for eight years — this just kind of felt like home,” McCallum said. “I’ve been bouncing around a little bit and I just felt like this could be a good opportunity to come in and compete, try and establish myself here in Detroit and continue to keep my dream going.”
McCallum has familiarity with the area, playing three seasons at UDM for his father, Ray McCallum Sr., and two at Detroit Country Day High School. “We wanted to be in a situation where we could have some guys come into camp and compete,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I’ve always liked Ray. He can really, really get down and guard. He’s a really solid defender, plays really, really hard. So, we thought that would be a good battle, and so far it has been a good battle.”
DeRozan said if it comes down to losing touches so Valanciunas can have a bigger role, he’s fine with that. “It’s a possibility,” he said. “We carry a big load. Now it’s time, like I said, JV earned that right to where he can take the load off us and we can lean on him. Kind of find that balance within so we can be a better team.”
It will come as a surprise to no one who knows anything about Dwane Casey, that the Raptors coach’s wish list begins with defence and pretty much ends there. “For me, defensively, I have said this before, he has to continue to improve with his pick-and-roll defence and rim protection. All the things you want your big man to do,” Casey said. “JV can score. I don’t know if our offence is constituted for the him to get as many touches. We will probably have to do that more to get more points in the post. But mainly for him to take the next step for us is on the defensive end.”
Calvin Watkins: Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said he expects to give some of his veteran players some good minutes for the first preseason game against the Shanghai Sharks on Sunday. D’Antoni wants the Rockets to develop some chemistry quickly but will use the final two preseason games as more of a dress rehearsal. “Give them a good run, see how the game goes,” D’Antoni said Saturday. “I’m a believer we’re there to get them better. They got to play with each other, we have a hard (regular season) schedule to start, so it’s not like we can just kinda lull into it, we got to get them ready.”