Pre-Camp Roster Outlooks: Western Conference

Yesterday, we looked at the way training camp rosters were shaping up for Eastern Conference teams, and today we'll do the same for the Western Conference. Camps open in two weeks, meaning its crunch time for unsigned free agents and teams with roster spots to fill. Using our updated roster counts and our list of non-guaranteed contracts, as well as the rumors we've been tracking throughout the summer, I've examined what each team likely to do in the weeks ahead:

  • Clippers: Slightly above the tax line, the Clippers could slip beneath it if they drop their non-guaranteed contracts and dump a little salary via trade, as HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler recently suggested. That indicates that the team might not carry more than the 13 fully guaranteed contracts it currently has, but with only 15 total players, the Clippers will surely sign more for camp. They were still interested in Lou Amundson as of earlier this month.
  • Grizzlies: Memphis is another team with 15 players and 13 guaranteed deals, and though the Grizzlies find themselves a few million dollars short of the tax line, they're still exercising financial caution, having released Fab Melo last month. The front office will almost certainly add more bodies for camp, but they'll all be long shots to make the team.
  • Jazz: Expectations aren't high for Utah this year, and with a year that seems focused on player development ahead, I wouldn't be surprised to see them bring the full complement of 20 players to camp. That means there's work to do for GM Dennis Lindsey and company, who have agreements with only 14 players, just 12 of whom have fully guaranteed deals. They were reportedly scheduled to audition Justin Holiday and James Nunnally this past week, and it sounds like they recently took at look at Ronald Murray and Dallas Lauderdale, as well. Second-rounder Raul Neto is unsigned, but it seems most likely that he'll play overseas.
  • Kings: Sacramento might have rounded out its roster with its addition Friday of DeQuan Jones for camp, and with 14 fully guaranteed contracts, that leaves one regular season job up for grabs, at most. The Kings are at 17 players, leaving Jones, C.J. Aiken, and the partially guaranteed Trent Lockett to battle for the 15th opening-night spot.
  • Lakers: The purple-and-gold figure to have a wide open camp, with just 14 players and 11 guaranteed contracts in tow as the preseason draws near. Second-round pick Ryan Kelly remains unsigned as he deals with injury, and as the only NBA team without a rookie-scale contract on the books, the Lakers could use an infusion of young talent. They'll probably add several young players, and they may be in the mix for veterans Lou Amundson and Sebastian Telfair, too.
  • Mavericks: NBA teams are never done dealing, but Dallas is as likely as any team in the league to stand pat in advance of camp. They have 15 guaranteed contracts and four others on fully non-guaranteed deals. The Mavs could fill one more preseason roster spot, but there's no pressing need to do so, given that they appear to have their opening-night roster set.
  • Nuggets: Denver added a pair of camp invitees this week, bringing their roster to 17. The Nuggets have 14 players on fully guaranteed deals and Quincy Miller on a partially guaranteed contract, so they may have all the bodies they need for the preseason.
  • Pelicans: Lance Thomas has spent the past two seasons with New Orleans and has a tiny $15K guarantee for this year, but he's not a shoo-in for opening night. Only 13 Pelicans have fully guaranteed deals, and with just 15 total players, the Pelicans will almost certainly be signing more in the days ahead. James Nunnally is one possibility.
  • Rockets: They may have 19 players, but the Rockets continued to pursue guys even after they hit the 20-man offseason roster limit last summer, so if that's any indication, there could be more movement in Houston before camp starts. Only 13 Rockets players possess fully guaranteed deals, but three more have partially guaranteed contracts.
  • Spurs: San Antonio has 14 players on 14 fully guaranteed contracts, and though that leaves a spot open for 28th overall pick Livio Jean-Charles, he'll probably remain overseas this year. That means the Spurs are likely to bring in several players to audition for the 15th spot, though they're under no obligation to fill it. It sounds like they're prioritizing veterans, as Damien Wilkins worked out for them last week, while Mike Bibby, Mickael Pietrus, Sebastian Telfair and Josh Childress have all been linked to the team this month, though they're set to audition James Nunnally, too.
  • Suns: Phoenix is in a tricky situation with 16 fully guaranteed contracts, meaning the Suns will either have to trade or cut one of them before opening night. Dionte Christmas is also with the team on a partially guaranteed contract, further complicating matters. They can bring three more players to camp, but any of them would be longshots to make the team. The Suns are among many looking at James Nunnally, and it appears they're also interested in Royal Ivey.
  • Thunder: A report indicated the Thunder were unlikely to sign anyone of note for training camp as a replacement for DeAndre Liggins, whom the club waived last week. With a team salary approaching the tax line and 15 players already on board, the club may have its opening-night roster in place, but I still expect the team to sign a few young players for camp, if for no other reason than to retain their D-League rights for the Tulsa 66ers, their exclusive affiliate. Diante Garrett looks like he'll be one of them, and another might be second-round pick Grant Jerrett, who remains unsigned.
  • Timberwolves: The T-Wolves have 14 players on 14 guaranteed contracts, and we've frequently heard that Othyus Jeffers, Robbie Hummel and second-round pick Lorenzo Brown will compete for the 15th opening-night roster spot, though none of the three have signed.
  • Trail Blazers: It will be hard to earn a spot in Portland, where among the 19 players, 15 have full guarantees and another two are partially guaranteed. One of the non-guaranteed players is Terrel Harris, who seems unlikely to make the club in light of his impending league suspension. Still, anyone else who signs with Portland would appear destined for the team's D-League affiliate.
  • Warriors: Golden State only has 12 fully guaranteed contracts, but the team is carrying three guys with partial guarantees, which is as many as any team in the league. Cameron Jones is with the team on a non-guaranteed pact, and it sounds like 2012 second-rounder Ognjen Kuzmic will be in camp, too.

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