With Tyreke Evans‘ spot as a starter for the Pelicans all but assured, Darius Miller, Luke Babbitt, and John Salmons are all essentially competing to make the roster and land the reserve small forward role, observes Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune. Given that Salmons is the only member of the trio with a fully guaranteed deal, he might be the early favorite to secure the backup spot. Still, it’s too early dismiss Miller and Babbitt’s chances to make the team, since both players have contracts featuring partial guarantees on a New Orleans roster carrying just 12 completely guaranteed pacts. It wouldn’t be surprising if all three of the wings in question find themselves on the club past opening night. As we wait to see how the Pelicans’ roster shapes up, let’s look at more from the Southwest:
- The Mavs will officially sign Yuki Togashi after he passes his physical today, reveals Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, who adds that Togashi will be waived before the regular season begins, allowing Dallas to retain his D-League rights going forward. We passed along that the two sides were set on a deal last week and suspected that Togashi was a long-shot to make the opening night roster.
- Charlie Villanueva‘s strong play in camp means one of the 15 guaranteed contracts on the Mavs’ roster might be waived in order to make room for the big man. Sefko takes a look at the players who seemingly have the greatest chance of being cut before opening night rolls around.
- The Pelicans and Rockets squared off in a preseason matchup tonight, marking the first time Omer Asik faced his old team since being traded away in July. Although the big man was involved in trade rumors for much of the season and summer, Rockets coach Kevin McHale confessed he’ll miss having big man around this season, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
- Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders examines the pros and cons of locking up Kawhi Leonard to a rookie scale extension versus waiting until restricted free agency to work out a new deal. The Basketball Insiders scribe concludes that it would be the in San Antonio’s best interest to wait until the summer of 2015 to re-sign the reigning Finals MVP.