Western Rumors: Hayward, Nuggets, Pelicans

The Mavericks are the only Western Conference team left with 20 players, as our roster counts show. Teams can have that many until October 28th, when the regular season limit of 15 kicks in, but unless a club intends to unload some of its extra guys via trade, it needs to waive them by 4pm Central on October 26th — this coming Saturday. The decisions shouldn’t be too hard for Dallas, since the team has 15 fully guaranteed contracts and five others on fully non-guaranteed deals, but there are plenty of other places where intrigue abounds. Impending roster cuts aren’t the only drama playing out, since the October 31st deadline for rookie scale extensions also looms. Here’s more on a team and a player staring down that date and other news from the West:

  • The Jazz granted Derrick Favors an extension, but Gordon Hayward and agent Mark Bartelstein are still trying to pry another long-term commitment from Utah. Coach Tyrone Corbin is hopeful that the situation will be resolved soon, observes Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune“It’s part of the business,” Corbin said. “Gordon understands it. His situation is what it is. There’s talks ongoing and hopefully things get worked out. But he understands. He’s happy for Derrick. … And we love both guys and we hope everything will work out that we can keep [both] guys here.”
  • New GM Tim Connelly is bringing a sharper focus on analytics to the Nuggets front office, which includes his hiring of Tommy Balcetis, the team’s full-time analytics manager. Coach Brian Shaw is on board, too, as Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post details.
  • Connelly’s old team, the Pelicans, doesn’t have a single player on its roster older than 28, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe notes in his weekly roundup. Though the club is youthful, GM Dell Demps is confident the Pelicans have enough experience, pointing to the influx of one-and-done college players into the draft that’s made it possible for more guys to accrue NBA service time at younger ages.

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