And-Ones: Thunder, Raptors, D-League

Although the Thunder have sustained a rash of injuries, the team will only keep 14 players on the roster, writes Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Slater also notes that Michael JenkinsRichard SolomonTalib Zanna and Lance Thomas have all played vital roles in the preseason, yet it is unlikely any of them force the team to consider filling their 15th and final regular season roster spot before opening night.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Raptors still have 17 players on their preseason roster, and haven’t decided on who will make the final cut. Head coach Dwayne Casey said the final roster decisions would come down to the wire, Jay Satur of NBA.com reports.
  • The Wizards signing of Paul Pierce was a short-term fix with the franchise hoping that Otto Porter can develop into a valuable contributor in the coming season, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. With the injury to Bradley Beal, and with Trevor Ariza departing as a free agent to Houston, Porter may be called upon to log heavy minutes early in the season.
  • Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy is against maximum individual salaries for NBA players, writes David Mayo of MLive. “If it were more of a free-market system, I think things would change,” Van Gundy said. “I think you’d see greater parity in the league — especially having the (salary) cap and no individual max.”
  • Teams are finding ways to get around the D-League’s individual maximum salary restrictions to entice players to sign with their affiliates, writes Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required). This preseason, many NBA teams have signed players to their active roster only to release or waive the player shortly thereafter. By doing this, the team obtains the player’s D-League rights and the player can sign a partially guaranteed contract that trumps the D-League maximum salary which is slightly less than $26K per year. Elhassan points out this loophole would motivate fringe NBA talent to play in the D-League rather than take international offers.
  • Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links) disputes the notion that the Kings had interest in Jordan Crawford prior to him heading over to China to play. The two sides never had serious discussions, and if Sacramento was interested in signing a veteran shooting guard they would have preferred MarShon Brooks, who played well for them in Summer League, Jones notes.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

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