Storyline: Training Camp Invitations

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The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed DeAndre Liggins. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Liggins, who was originally signed by the HEAT to two 10-day contracts in 2014, spent two seasons with Miami’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, helping them capture the 2016 Championship after appearing in 34 games (33 starts) and averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 2.06 steals and 38.4 minutes while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three-point range and 71.1 percent from the foul line.

By cutting Williams, the Cavs can keep center Kendrick Perkins in camp. Perkins, a friend of LeBron James, is trying to make an NBA comeback after missing last season. With Cleveland’s roster constructed as is, Perkins’ chance of making the team is small. The Cavs will have to waive or trade a player with a guaranteed contract before the start of the season because of Wade’s arrival. Wade is expected to clear waivers at 5 p.m. Wednesday and sign with the Cavs.

Fourteen of the roster spots are accounted for by players on guaranteed deals. The last slot, though, is up for grabs. Over the next three weeks, six players — Joel Anthony, Gerald Green, Kendall Marshall, Gary Payton II, Brandon Rush and James Young — will compete to earn a place on the team. Five of those players have multiple years of NBA experience, with Anthony and Green each with 10 years in the league, Rush with nine, Marshall with four and Young with three. Payton, a rookie last season, may not be as long in the tooth, but he is the incumbent, so to speak, considering he signed with the Bucks late last season and has been with the team all summer.

It’s possible the Bucks could keep three of the six players under their control. With both of their two-way contracts open, the Bucks could add Young and Payton — each of whom fit the criteria of have three years or fewer of NBA experience — in those two-way spots. That would allow them to spend most of their time in the G League with the Wisconsin Herd while easily moving up to the Bucks if needed. That’s a scenario that has not yet been discussed with Payton or Young, who are focused on making the NBA roster. For Payton, that means defending the spot that’s been his this summer. “All these guys know what it takes to make a team,” Payton said. “For me, it’s just to do what I do best, lock down and play defense and do what I can and just play and compete.”

The Chicago Bulls announced today the signing of free agents Jarell Eddie and Jaylen Johnson to round out their 2017-18 training camp roster. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed. Eddie (6-7, 218) saw action in five games for the Phoenix Suns last season, along with 45 appearances in the NBA G League for the Austin Spurs and Windy City Bulls. Eddie totaled 4.8 ppg and 1.4 rpg in 12.4 mpg for the Suns during a 10-day contract. In his G League action, he averaged 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1.5 apg in 28.3 mpg total, including 17.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 2.0 apg in 20 games for the Windy City Bulls. The Tampa, Florida, native played in 26 games for the Washington Wizards in 2015-16, scoring 2.4 ppg in 5.7 mpg.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced their 2017-18 training camp roster. The current Spurs roster stands at 19 players, and includes the addition of Amida Brimah. Brimah (6-10/230) played four seasons at the University of Connecticut, averaging 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.64 blocks in 24.7 minutes over 33 games last year in his senior season. A native of Ghana, Brimah is UConn’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage (.637, 347-545) and ranks third in school history in career blocks (367) and blocks per game (2.76), helping the Huskies to the 2013-14 NCAA Championship.

The New Orleans Pelicans have until Monday afternoon to get their roster to the NBA-maximum 15 players and it appears Lance Stephenson and Alonzo Gee are in a two-man battle to land the final spot. Stephenson signed a $1.2 million contract with the Pelicans in September but only $100,000 is guaranteed. Gee signed a guaranteed $1.2 million veteran minimum contract to this summer to return to the Pelicans, but averaged only 9.2 minutes in five preseason games and just 1.4 points.
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The Mavericks are committed to keeping Nicolas Brussino, according to team sources, after the Argentina prospect’s strong play in camp. When Brussino was still on Dallas’ roster as of 5 p.m. Thursday, his $543,471 rookie salary became fully guaranteed, after just $100,000 was guaranteed to that point. But there was never any danger of Brussino getting cut, sources say.

Celtics sign Ryan Kelly

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed forward Ryan Kelly. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kelly, a 6’11” forward, appeared in six games for the Atlanta Hawks during the 2016 Preseason where he averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 15.0 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 48th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Kelly has appeared in 147 career games and recorded averages of 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has signed forward JaKarr Sampson. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. In addition, the Grizzlies waived guard Kellen Dunham. Sampson (6-9, 214) has appeared in 147 career regular season games (72 starts) over his two-year NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets and holds career averages of 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.6 minutes. The 23-year-old has also competed in two NBA Development League games (two starts) for the Delaware 87ers and averaged 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.00 steals and 1.00 blocks in 31.7 minutes.

When Erik Spoelstra was asked Monday about the battle for the final roster spot between Beno Udrih and Briante Weber, he gave a very interesting answer. “It’s not a competition just between those two,” Spoelstra said. It turns out that Udrih and Weber aren’t just competing against each other for Miami’s 15th roster spot. The pair of point guards are also competing against 25-year-old shooting guard Rodney McGruder. “Yeah, he is,” Spoelstra said Wednesday when asked if McGruder is still in the race for a roster spot. With the Heat’s roster still at the NBA preseason maximum of 20 players, Miami must cut its roster to the regular-season maximum of 15 players by Monday’s deadline. With 14 players pretty much guaranteed a spot on the roster, that leaves Udrih, Weber and McGruder fighting for the final opening.

When the media doors opened to the Kings practice facility at the new Golden 1 Center Monday afternoon, point guard Ty Lawson was on the floor with his teammates. It’s been a rocky 72 hours for the 28-year-old after he missed a team flight to Kentucky, but he’s survived for the moment and will remain part of the Kings roster. Lawson, who has a history of off-the-court issues, was brought in late during the offseason to support one of the soft spots in the Kings roster. Starter Darren Collison is scheduled to miss the first eight games of the 2016-17 season due to league suspension.

It’s unclear if Brand will have any role on this year’s team beyond training camp since he hasn’t played at all in the preseason. But “him being there, it helps me off the court probably more than on the court,” Holmes said. “This is a guy who truly, truly loves basketball, so it wasn’t a shock for me,” Holmes said of Brand re-signing with the Sixers. “I didn’t know what the decision was going to be, but for him to come back wasn’t a shock at all because he truly loves being around the game.”

“He never takes plays off,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He’s a great guy. You want him around. He’s a monster on the offensive glass and has a great attitude with everything we’ve done.” That has included often finishing near the top of the Lakers’ so-called winner’s board, which has awarded points for any player that wins a drill in practice. “I’m just trying to be who I am as a player,” Robinson said. “Those are exactly the things Coach said.”
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November 17, 2017 | 10:03 pm EST Update