With training camps starting, actuality are complete agenda breakdowns for all 30 NBA teams, forth with the top storylines, decisions and questions to watch over the aing three weeks.
Plus, at the basal of this adventure we accommodate an account about how two-way and Exhibit 10 affairs will assignment this season.
Key: 2 (Two-way) | N (Non-guaranteed) | E (Exhibit 10) | I (Injured) | S (Suspended) | P (Partial)
What to watch: The role and bloom of Jeremy Lin
Like a adept NFL quarterback mentoring a adolescent rookie, Lin will be accepted to adviser amateur point guard Trae Young. This affiliation will depend on Lin’s bloom and alertness to access the role in a arrangement year.
If Lin resembles the amateur we saw in Charlotte during the 2015-16 season, Atlanta will accept an invaluable allowance action as Adolescent develops — agnate to what Kemba Walker had with the Hornets.
What to watch: Willingness to cede for the team
In Boston, there is alone one ambition this season: Win a championship. It will appear bottomward to how Brad Stevens and his apprenticeship agents administer not aloof the artefact on the cloister but the expectations aural the locker room.
With the actualization of Jayson Tatum and with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward now healthy, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris move aback to the bench. Both players are in the final year of their affairs and are attractive for abundant pay increases aing summer.
What to watch: Is D’Angelo Russell accessible to booty that aing step?
There is no fourth-year amateur who faces as abundant burden as Russell. Not alone is the point bouncer acceptable entering a arrangement year, his comedy is additionally analytical to Brooklyn actuality able to draw chargeless agents aing summer. His d could additionally actuate the approaching of advancement Spencer Dinwiddie, who is in the final year of his arrangement and extension-eligible in aboriginal December.
The befalling is there for the 22-year-old Russell to become the face of the franchise. The catechism now comes bottomward to if Russell can break advantageous (he absent 33 amateur aftermost year) and be trusted to be the advance bouncer for the accountable future.
What to watch: The circadian temperature of Kemba Walker
What does the approaching authority for the All-Star point guard?
Entering the final year of his contract, Walker has fabricated bright his admiration to abide in Charlotte. The bouncer has additionally fabricated it accepted that acceptable will be an important bureau in his decision. The Hornets accept appeared in the playoffs alert aback Walker was drafted in 2011 and rank No. 22 in ESPN’s preseason BPI ratings, with a 36 percent adventitious of extensive the playoffs.
What to watch: Experimentation with altered lineups
Can Jabari Parker play baby advanced aing to Chicago’s adeptness advanced of the future, Lauri Markkanen? With three weeks afore the aboriginal d of the season, arch drillmaster Fred Hoiberg begins the action of experimenting with altered lineups.
Besides Parker, Chicago has to apparatus a advantageous Zach LaVine and additionally amateur Wendell Carter Jr. How both accomplish during preseason will be an aboriginal adumbration of the approaching for Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday. Both players will be chargeless agents in 2019.
What to watch: Aback does Collin Sexton become the accepted starter?
Besides anecdotic a additional scorer aing to Kevin Love, the training affected focus in Cleveland is not if Sexton will become the starting point bouncer but when.
A top-eight aces in June, Sexton is the arch to the post- LeBron James era. Agnate to the Lin and Adolescent accord in Atlanta, adept point bouncer George Hill will charge to serve as a drillmaster to Sexton, with the compassionate that he will eventually be replaced by the amateur in the starting lineup. If Sexton has a able preseason, that time adeptness appear eventually rather than later.
What to watch: Tempering the apprehension akin for Luka Doncic
The aftermost we saw Doncic, he was arch European assertive Real Madrid to a Euroleague championship in backward June. Despite not arena in summer league, alliance assemblage accept penciled in Doncic as one of the favorites for Amateur of the Year.
While his anatomy of assignment in Europe absolutely warrants the aboriginal accolades, bethink that the acquirements ambit for amateur point guards can be humbling. Additionally bureau in some accepted growing pains with Doncic and aftermost year’s action aces (and starting point guard) Dennis Smith Jr. in Dallas’ backcourt.
What to watch: The bloom timelines of Isaiah Thomas and Michael Porter Jr.
Afterwards both players accomplished a 2017-18 abounding with injuries and setbacks, the Nuggets are optimistic that Thomas can become the reliable advancement they lacked aftermost division and that Porter can achieve the anatomy that had him projected to be a top-three aces afore the academy basketball division began.
Still, apprehend the Nuggets to booty a alert access with both. Drafting Porter was added about the future, not this season. And although Thomas is in a arrangement year, he abstruse in Cleveland (and Boston) that abiding from an abrasion too anon will aching him both on the cloister and financially.
What to watch: Above first-round aces Henry Ellenson
To say that Ellenson is at a capital in aloof his third division would be an understatement. Seldom acclimated in his aboriginal two seasons, the adeptness advanced now has a apple-pie slate with new arch drillmaster Dwane Casey and an befalling to accommodate advancement account to Blake Griffin.
With an Oct. 31 borderline to exercise Ellenson’s fourth-year aggregation advantage ($2.85 million), Detroit will accept bristles weeks to appraise the big man. If the Pistons abatement the option, it will be added about agenda adaptability than cap space. The Pistons will be over the bacon cap aback chargeless bureau begins aing July barring a big move.
What to watch: Blocking out the summer-of-2019 noise
Control the present and don’t let the approaching become a aberration — that should be the byword in the Warriors’ convenance adeptness this season.
Besides aggravating to win a third afterwards championship, Golden State has two chargeless agents — Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, additional possibly DeMarcus Cousins if he allotment to All-Star anatomy — that sit aloft the ambition account of teams with cap amplitude in 2019. The Warriors will additionally be faced with a record-high affluence tax amends in 2019-20.
Thompson and Durant could be inundated this division with questions about the future, abnormally aback visiting big bazaar teams with cap amplitude (Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, etc.). Will it be a non-story or about-face into a aberration during a continued season?
What to watch: The abyss at point guard
There is no catechism that Chris Paul plays like an All-Star aback he’s on the court. The adverse allotment for Houston is that he has absent 43 amateur over the accomplished two seasons with knee, beam and hamstring injuries. His absence was acquainted in the Western Appointment finals, aback starters James Harden and Eric Gordon were asked to accomplish up for CP3.
Now branch into training camp, Houston has added Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Knight at the point. Carter-Williams has struggled with consistency, while Knight absent aftermost division with a burst ACL and will acceptable absence training affected afterwards accepting the aforementioned knee bankrupt up.
What to watch: Managing expectations
The Pacers went from a aggregation that was projected to absence the playoffs to acceptable 48 amateur and about authoritative the additional round. Now with abounding of the aforementioned faces and an bigger bench, they’re accepted to attempt with the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Now appear roadblocks for Nate McMillan and his agents to manage:
1. Seven players in arrangement years.
2. Managing the account of a abysmal bench.
3. The mentality of Myles Turner if a arrangement addendum is not accomplished by the October deadline.
What to watch: Competition for the final agenda spot
Although Patrick Beverley has a non-guaranteed contract, the point bouncer is a basic lock to be on the agenda for the aboriginal d of the division and possibly as the starter.
With Beverley not in crisis of actuality appear (though accumulate an eye on him in barter talks), L.A. has one agenda atom accessible with a best amid Jawun Evans, Sindarius Thornwell and Tyrone Wallace. Both Evans and Thornwell accept affirmed affairs and Wallace has $300K in affirmed money. All three players accept non-guaranteed affairs for 2019-20.
What to watch: The acclimation act of adolescence vs. veterans
Out of L.A.’s 14 players with affirmed contracts, eight accept been drafted aural the accomplished three years and six were alive as chargeless agents this summer. Despite the additions of LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers rank as the fourth-youngest aggregation in the NBA.
The accession of James absolutely has the Lakers in win-now mode, but accumulate in apperception that arch drillmaster Luke Walton will be activated aboriginal with two questions:
1. Which players can he assurance aback the d is close?
2. How accommodating will he be with the adolescent players? It’s important not to lose afterimage of amateur development.
What to watch: A abounding training affected beneath J.B. Bickerstaff
Afterwards an injury-plagued 15-48 division during which Bickerstaff affiliated the aggregation afterward David Fizdale’s firing, the above abettor drillmaster begins his aboriginal training affected as arch drillmaster with eight players returning, including a advantageous Mike Conley, adept additions Shelvin Mack, Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi, and heralded amateur Jaren Jackson Jr. The revolving aperture at baby advanced seems to be bankrupt with Kyle Anderson in town.
One under-the-radar accession for Memphis is the apprenticeship agents that Bickerstaff has assembled. Memphis has four administration — Jerry Stackhouse, Nick Van Exel, Greg Buckner and Vitaly Potapenko — who accept played in the NBA.
What to watch: Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters
To be kind, Hassan Whiteside has been inconsistent in his aboriginal two seasons aback signing a $98 actor contract. The centermost has the adequacy of an All-Star, but he’s aghast on the court, abnormally aftermost division aback his account decreased to 25.3 per game.
If the Heat are activity to get off the treadmill of mediocrity, Whiteside’s comedy — additional his accord with the apprenticeship agents — will be key.
Coming off a larboard abate abrasion and in Year 2 of a $47 actor contract, the apropos with Waiters are all about health. In the accomplished two seasons, he has absent 76 amateur and plays a position at which the aggregation is overloaded. He has still not been austere to play.
What to watch: The appulse of arch drillmaster Mike Budenholzer
Has Milwaukee had a agenda botheration or a apprenticeship problem? The affirmation over the accomplished four years is that this agenda is boilerplate at best, topping out at 44 wins and first-round exits.
While you could accomplish the case that injuries batty the Bucks from aggressive with the top teams in the Eastern Conference, in absoluteness they’ve acutely bootless to put the appropriate pieces around Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
The acknowledgment to that catechism should become added bright if Milwaukee doesn’t accomplish a bound beneath above Drillmaster of the Year Mike Budenholzer.
What to watch: The approaching of Jimmy Butler
Afterwards requesting a barter one anniversary above-mentioned to training camp, the All-Star was accepted permission to absence media day and will not be on the attic for the aboriginal practice. While cipher should be afraid that Butler wants out, the timing and the abhorrence of the Timberwolves’ advanced appointment to absorb barter offers puts a billow over the organization.
Because Butler is in the aftermost year of his contract, Minnesota has little leverage. The Timberwolves are additionally at a disadvantage because the three teams Butler would accede extending with — the Nets, Knicks and Clippers — accept cap amplitude aing summer to assurance him absolute afterwards risking abstract picks or adolescent players now.
As one aggregation controlling told ESPN, “The Timberwolves will be advantageous to get 50 cents on the dollar in acknowledgment for Butler.”
What to watch: Can Jahlil Okafor achieve his old form?
We tend to forget, based on his aboriginal three seasons in the NBA, that Jahlil Okafor is alone 22.
Afterwards actuality a top-three aces and earning All-Rookie his aboriginal year, Okafor is now angry for one of the final agenda spots with the Pelicans. Despite Okafor’s youth, the absoluteness is that the Pelicans represent his best and acceptable aftermost adventitious to break in the league.
What to watch: Joakim Noah
While the Knicks are still planning to abandon Noah, it will not be because the adept is giving aback a cogent bulk of money like Luol Deng did with the Lakers. Noah will acceptable absorb the abounding $37.8 actor owed to him, with the aftermost year ($19.3 million) continued over three seasons starting in 2019-20 ($6.4 actor annually). If Noah gives annihilation back, it will acceptable be the bulk of the veterans minimum this division ($2.4 million).
Admitting Noah acceptable would accept been waived afore the alpha of chargeless bureau aing July or traded with a first-round aces attached, New York has fabricated it bright that the focus this division is about amateur development beneath new arch drillmaster David Fizdale.
However, that $6 actor cap hit carries concerns. What happens if the Knicks bang out in chargeless bureau and the Noah accumulation accept no significance? Instead of accepting $19.3 actor appear off the books, New York will be ashore with asleep bacon through 2021-22.
What to watch: The additional unit
The barter to access Dennis Schroder has already paid off for the Thunder with Russell Westbrook missing at atomic the absolute preseason. While Westbrook should not absence cogent time, OKC is arena a cat-and-mouse d with Andre Roberson. Aback aftermost season, Roberson has undergone two knee surgeries, including the best contempo one in backward May. Like aftermost year, his abandoned will charge to be abounding by board with the brand of Alex Abrines, Terrance Ferguson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
The timing of Roberson’s abounding acknowledgment could behest if the Thunder are a top-four aggregation in the Western Appointment or one aloof aggressive for one of the final playoff spots.
What to watch: Starting point guard
Will the barter to access Jerian Grant in July be abundant to account Orlando’s PG questions? The Magic accept a above first-round aces in Grant already on his third aggregation in three seasons, a artisan in D.J. Augustin, who is added of a backup, and a cutting bouncer bearded as a point in Isaiah Briscoe.
In the accomplished three seasons, Grant and Augustin accept a accumulated 116 starts with neither averaging added than 24 account MPG. Apprehend the two to breach the account at point bouncer this season.
What to watch: The makeover of the bench
Gone are Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. In are Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. The newcomers add to an asymmetric 76ers bank that has six point guards (including both two-way players). Like in the playoffs, apprehend to see affluence of McConnell this division arena off the ball. Philadelphia does accept first-round aces Zhaire Smith, but the addition was absent in aboriginal August with a burst foot.
Of course, the X-factor is what Philadelphia can get from above top aces Markelle Fultz. If Fultz reverts aback to the amateur we saw in college, a doubtable bank will become a strength.
What to watch: The alien at point guard
The starting backcourt that new arch drillmaster Igor Kokoskov envisioned for the aboriginal day of training affected acceptable was not Shaquille Harrison and Troy Daniels.
The Suns were already depleted in the backcourt afore Devin Booker had duke anaplasty that will amusement him until backward October, and now they face the absoluteness of a point bouncer bearings that appearance Harrison, rookies Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton, additional adept Isaiah Canaan.
What to watch: The abiding hangover from the first-round exit
The aftermost we saw of the Trail Blazers, they were walking off the cloister in New Orleans afterwards adversity a ambit to Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.
Now branch into training affected with a agenda that ranks additional youngest and that saw basal additions because of affluence tax restrictions, Portland will face the challenges of abiding to the playoffs in a abysmal conference.
While preseason is still an continued amusement from the offseason, accumulate an eye on whether there are abiding furnishings from the black end to aftermost season.
What to watch: Harry Giles
The Kings appropriately accept been maligned for their contempo abstract history. However, acceptable things are advanced with 2017 first-round aces Harry Giles.
Afterwards a redshirt year to adjust both knees that bound him at Duke, Giles enters affected as a acceptable admired to able the Kings’ circling that is abundant with big men. Of course, that is if his comedy is commensurable to his performances this summer and he can abstain bloom setbacks.
The comedy of Giles in preseason could additionally appulse the approaching of Willie Cauley-Stein. With Sacramento at an impasse on addendum talks with Cauley-Stein, the Kings could ascertain a beneath big-ticket advantage with Giles.
What to watch: Rudy Gay
Aftermost division we were watching to see if Gay could balance from an Achilles injury. Now the catechism is his adeptness to ample the abandoned at baby advanced with Kawhi Leonard no best on the roster
Can Gay acquisition the aforementioned pre-injury assembly he had in Memphis and Sacramento? Aftermost year he appeared in alone 57 amateur with a career low in MPG (21.6)
What to watch: The bloom of Kawhi Leonard
If Leonard allotment to All-NBA form, Toronto will argue with the brand of Boston and Philadelphia for a cruise to the NBA Finals. If he does not, questions about his approaching will amble over the alignment branch into the February barter deadline, and the Raptors could be affected into a massive rebuild.
Afterwards Leonard absent 73 amateur aftermost division with a appropriate thigh injury, apprehend the Raptors’ training agents to booty a bourgeois access with Kawhi during the preseason.
What to watch: A abounding training affected of Dante Exum
Accede the three-year, $29 actor Exum arrangement an advance for the future. Afterwards all, it is adamantine to absolve the $9 actor per year bacon for a amateur who has absent 158 amateur in his aboriginal four seasons.
Now that Exum is healthy, Utah is attractive for him to ample two roles — as a reliable advancement to Ricky Rubio and as a accessible backup with Rubio in the aftermost year of his contract.
What to watch: Jordan McRae
It is attenuate for a amateur on a two-way arrangement to be a above preseason storyline. With Jodie Meeks abeyant for Washington’s aboriginal 19 games, apprehend McRae to accept an befalling to be a allotment of the Wizards’ circling for the aboriginal ages of the season.
While accident Meeks, the Wizards do account financially. The abeyance allows Washington to backpack an added agenda spot, and McRae’s two-way accord doesn’t backpack a cap hit.
Added than 50 players accept alive an Exhibit 10, a arrangement that was alien in the 2017 aggregate acceding acceding (CBA). It’s a win-win for the aggregation and player.
On an Exhibit 10, a amateur such as the Hawks’ Thomas Robinson will accept a benefit up to $50,000 — on top of his G Alliance bacon — if he signs a arrangement with the team’s associate aloft actuality waived from the ancestor club. To accept the bonus, a amateur charge abide with his G Alliance aggregation for a minimum of 60 days. This benefit does not calculation as bacon against the tax.
Teams such as Denver, New Orleans and Portland cannot assurance a amateur to an Exhibit 10 because they do not accept a G Alliance affiliate. If the Pelicans had a G Alliance team, there would accept been no charge to agreement Garlon Green and Kenrich Williams $50K each.
Aback injuries decimated the Clippers’ abyss aftermost season, Tyrone Wallace and CJ Williams were activated on two-way deals and accustomed continued arena time. In the past, L.A. would accept had to assurance a amateur to a 10-day contract, which would accept added bacon to a aggregation that was appropriate at the affluence tax.
A aggregation like the Nets can alarm up Alan Williams to serve on their alive or abeyant agenda for up to 45 canicule during the approved season. On top of his $77,250 G Alliance salary, Williams would additionally acquire a prorated minimum per-day bacon of $4,737 during a call-up. Once the 45 canicule expire, Williams would either accept to be beatific aback to the G Alliance or accept his arrangement adapted to a minimum salary. Converting the arrangement would crave the Nets to use an accessible agenda spot.
One advantage: A amateur who practices or participates in a d afore the alpha of G Alliance training affected or afterwards the final d of the approved division will not accept that time calculation against the allotted 45 days. The aphorism allows a amateur to accumulate an added 24 days.
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