Western Notes: Villanueva, Price, Boozer, Jazz

Various reports have painted conflicting pictures of Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s willingness to keep Charlie Villanueva‘s non-guaranteed contract into the regular season, but Cuban nonetheless has plenty of praise for the nine-year veteran. Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the details. 

“He’s the prototype of what we like,’’ Cuban said. “A guy who was in a difficult situation and got a bad rap, but when you do your homework he’s really a good guy. He’s great in the locker room, guys love him and he’s putting on a battle for that last spot.”

Villanueva will soon know his status one way or another, since teams have to pare down to no more than 15 players by 4pm Central on October 27th, one week from today. Here’s more from around the Western Conference as that deadline looms:

  • Ronnie Price is looking like a shoo-in for the Lakers opening-night roster, observe Bill Oram of the Orange Country Register and Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Price racked up 10 assists Sunday against the Jazz.
  • The Jazz organization remains high on Carlos Boozer, Oram notes (on Twitter). The Lakers can’t trade the former Utah power forward this year, but he hits free agency in the summer.
  • Dahntay Jones appears to have the inside track for the 15th opening-night roster spot on the Jazz if the team elects to keep that many players, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune examines.
  • The Warriors have opened the season with just 14 players two of the last three years, but they’re leaning toward keeping 15 men until at least the leaguewide guarantee date in January based on the impressive play of many in camp, writes Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Golden State has 13 contracts with full guarantees, five with partial guarantees, and a non-guaranteed deal with Jason Kapono, as our roster counts show.

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