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Pre-Camp Roster Outlooks: Eastern Conference

Training camps start in two weeks, meaning time is dwindling for teams to fill out their rosters and for remaining free agents to secure invitations. Teams can carry as many as 20 players in training camp, and between 13 and 15 in the regular season, but not all of those jobs have been filled. Our updated roster counts show a wide variance in the number of open spots around the league, so some clubs will probably be more aggressive on the market than others in the days ahead. We'll break down each team's situation, starting with the Eastern Conference:

  • 76ers: The team just began to reach deals with free agents this week, bringing Darius Morris, Rodney Williams and Khalif Wyatt aboard. They still haven't signed first-round picks Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. Once they bring them aboard, they'll have only 11 fully guaranteed contracts among their 16 players, and with plenty of room under the cap, not to mention the league's minimum salary floor, the Sixers seem like an intriguing destination for unsigned free agents. That's particularly so given how much playing time is up for grabs. 
  • Bobcats: The 'Cats have been relatively quiet this month as they sit at 15 players and 12 fully guaranteed contracts, but that inactivity isn't likely to last. They may be bringing Troy Daniels to camp, and the same goes for Abdul Gaddy
  • Bucks: Milwaukee has 15 players under contract, all of them on guaranteed deals. That indicates that the team has a strong idea of what its opening-night roster will look like, but it seems like a safe bet that the Bucks will bring a few players to camp to grab their D-League rights and evaluate them for the future, if nothing else. Finding a place to stash those D-League players could be tough, though with five other NBA teams sharing their affiliate.
  • Bulls: Chicago has only 11 fully guaranteed deals, and four of the other five are completely non-guaranteed. That indicates that there will be a wide open competition for spots at the end of the bench. The Bulls are keeping an eye on Kurt Thomas, and it seems likely they'll add at least one or two more bodies before camp starts.
  • Cavaliers: The team appears to be looking to add a big man and a backup point guard, so perhaps the Cavs will prioritize those positions as they fill out their camp roster. They're another club that only has 11 guaranteed deals, and with just 15 total players under contract, they have plenty of room for more.
  • Celtics: Space is at a premium in Boston, where the Celtics already have 19 players, 14 of whom are on guaranteed deals. The C's are about $500K under the tax line, which is motivation to simply keep their 14 guaranteed guys and leave the 15th spot open. Still, they have one more training camp slot available, and with the team's focus on player development, there's a decent chance we see Boston make another non-guaranteed signing.  
  • Hawks: GM Danny Ferry appears busy as he targets probably two to four more players to add to the 16 the team already has. Adonis Thomas is a likely camp invitee, and the Hawks had an eye on Devin Ebanks before he signed with the Mavs. They've been linked to Chris Allen and Damien Wilkins in recent days. The Hawks have 13 players with at least a partial guarantee, and it sounds like the team will only carry 14 guys in the regular season, so everyone could be fighting over a single job.
  • Heat: It sounds like there's a strong chance the Heat will carry only 13 players in the regular season. They already have 13 guaranteed contracts, and with four others on non-guaranteed deals, there's no pressing need to make another signing, even though three camp slots are available. Still, the Heat are among a group of teams reportedly looking at Hassan Whiteside, and they had workouts lined up this week for Julyan Stone, who signed with the Raptors, and Vander Blue.
  • Knicks: New York only has agreements with 16 players, and with but 12 guaranteed contracts, it sounds like more signings are on the way. The team will probably add another big man, with names like Hassan Whiteside and Hamed Haddadi among the possibilities. If the Knicks seek to bolster another position, Richard Hamilton could be in the mix.
  • Magic: The team still appears to be working on a deal with second-round pick Romero Osby, who would bring the roster to 15. Devin Ebanks spurned the Magic this week, but I suspect they have others lined up, with only 12 fully guaranteed contracts and the looming possibility of Hedo Turkoglu's release.
  • Nets: Brooklyn, like Milwaukee, has 15 players and 15 fully guaranteed contracts, so the chances are slim that a training camp invitee will make the team. A report indicated Kyle Hunt would work out with the Nets at some point this month, and while there's been little other chatter surrounding the team, it would be a surprise if Brooklyn didn't bring a few more players to camp.
  • Pacers: Larry Bird and company have mined the D-League for three training camp invitees so far, and with only 16 players and 13 fully guaranteed contracts, they may do so again. Like the Nets, they're taking a look at Kyle Hunt, who went undrafted in June.
  • Pistons: Just like last September, the Pistons have 15 players with at least a partial guarantee as camp approaches. They haven't been linked to anyone of late, but last year they brought aboard two high profile invitees who didn't make the regular season roster in Terrence Williams and Jonny Flynn. We'll see if Joe Dumars goes that route again this time around or if he prefers young players instead.
  • Raptors: It looks like there will be at least 17 players in Toronto's camp, meaning the club will likely add to the 16 guys it has for now after bringing aboard Julyan Stone and Chris Wright on Friday. Still, the Raptors have 14 players under fully guaranteed contracts, and there's no indication that number will change when the regular season rolls around. 
  • Wizards: The Wizards are another team that seems to have its 15-man roster in place, and with seven players on rookie-scale deals, there's no compelling need to bring on young talent. They'll probably bring at least a couple of players to camp, but since they're sharing a D-League affiliate with four other teams, they may not be interested in securing the D-League rights of their camp invitees, as other NBA clubs do.

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