A: I would not be surprised, with 13 fully guaranteed contracts and with Tyler Johnson’s partially guaranteed deal, if the Heat open the season either without a 15th player, or with someone not on a guaranteed deal, perhaps cycling through a variety of players with that roster spot. Ennis could elect to bypass his guarantee in order to remain on more of a game-by-game basis, or the Heat could take an extended look at one of their undrafted free agents in camp, perhaps sending one of those players to the D-League while he remains under guaranteed contract. There could be something to be said about retaining flexibility with that roster spot, as long as the Heat believe they have enough depth at small forward. And I believe that remains a question mark.
Late last week, Markel Brown got another tranche of his guaranteed second year, bringing his total to $200,000. On the first day of training camp, he will get fully guaranteed or $845,059. Next up among the five non-guaranteed deals will be Quincy Miller, who'll get $100,000 on October 28, if he makes the team; and Willie Reed, who becomes fully guaranteed that same day. Donald Sloan has to wait till November 1 to get another $200,000 and Ry Boatright until November 15, when he will get $125,000 if he's still on the team. All salaries become guaranteed on January 10.
Ira Winderman: Heat expected to bring in summer-league center Joshua Smith for a workout/tryout next week. Could fill final camp spot.
Barry Jackson: Besides signing VCU guard Briante Weber, Heat also has been speaking to 360-pound Georgetown center Joshua Smith about possible camp invite.
Webster is set to fly to America tomorrow for an NBA workout in an attempt to secure a training camp invite, according to Australian website Downtownball. It has not been confirmed at this stage which team Webster will be working out for, but a source indicated it was the New Orleans Pelicans.
December 8, 2021 | 2:36 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: The Chicago Bulls are signing forward Stanley Johnson out of NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers via hardship exemption, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Johnson went to training camp with the Bulls.
Michael Scotto: This is a podcast from Myles I think is pretty relevant. He said, “The organization is going to do what’s best for the organization. They’re not inclined to care about your feelings in a sense. Now that I see myself in these rumors all the time, it’s just like another day for me. It’s like, ‘Oh, what else is new?’” Some scouts and executives have pointed out his fluctuating minutes under Rick Carlisle as a kind of a hint that he’ll ultimately be the one traded. Turner’s 25 (years old) and is signed through next season, as is Caris LeVert, who’s also signed through next season. Domantas Sabonis has two more years on his deal and has already been a two-time All-Star at 25.
Michael Scotto: I feel the Blazers have tried to win with Damian and CJ for so long. There are some executives I’ve spoken to who agree with my own opinion that if they were running the show in Portland, they’d start a rebuild. Norman Powell is 28 and in the prime of his career. He’s played well enough and is signed long-term for the future. Robert Convington and Jusuf Nurkic could interest playoff teams before they hit unrestricted free agency. CJ has plenty of value. Lillard would be the crown jewel of the market because Washington and Chicago have improved, and a lot of people around the league were hoping Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal would hit the trade market. That’s really unlikely at this point, given the success of their teams. Lillard or McCollum would be the most attractive trade piece a team could get out there overall.
Matthew Tynan: The Spurs have assigned Jock Landale to Austin, and while it may not seem like it at the moment, this is a good sign for all of you clamoring for Jock. Between concussion and Covid protocols he missed out on a ton of valuable practice time. Now they want him to go get minutes.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard underwent a cortisone injection procedure to his abdominal last week to mitigate the pain he’s been dealing with for the last few years, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lillard, 31, is scheduled to be reevaluated on Friday and could return to action as soon as Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, sources said. The pain had reached a heightened point before the procedure.
Ja Morant’s return to the Memphis Grizzlies could be delayed further as the star guard entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday, the team announced. Morant was not present at shootaround this morning. He’s still recovering from a sprained knee and per coach Taylor Jenkins’ timeline of a “couple of weeks”, he wasn’t expected to return for the Grizzlies’ three remaining games this week.