Teams Without Full Rosters On Opening Night

Most NBA teams carry the maximum-allowed 15 players during the regular season, but many leave roster spots open, even for opening night. The minimum is 13 players, so it’s not a given that teams with fewer than 15 fully guaranteed contracts truly have opening night jobs up for grabs as training camp approaches.

The first night of this past season saw several more players under contract than in the recent past. Only three teams had fewer than 15 men, and not one of them dared to dip down to 13 as the 2014/15 season got underway. That was in sharp contrast to the previous season, when nine teams had fewer than 15 players to start the season, including two that only had 13. Coming out of the lockout in 2011, jobs were even more scarce, as 14 teams, nearly half the league, were under the 15-man maximum on opening night in 2011, and seven of them were at 13 players.

The number of teams with fewer than 15 players has decreased each opening night since then. Still, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel earlier today raised the specter of the Heat leaving a spot open when they first tip off next month. It would be uncharacteristic for the Heat to do so, since the last time they didn’t start the season with 15 players was 2003/04, when rookies Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem were two of only 14 guys who made it out of training camp. Still, it’s not off-base to suggest that the Heat will have only 14 on opening night this year, given that the team is over the tax line and faces repeat-offender tax penalties if that doesn’t change by the final day of the regular season.

By contrast, it will be somewhat surprising if the Bulls don’t have fewer than 15 players to start the season. They opened with 14 last year, the first time since 2008/09 that they had more than 13. Chicago has 13 fully guaranteed contracts. Cameron Bairstow is around on a partially guaranteed deal, and it isn’t clear what sort of guarantees free agent signee Cristiano Felicio has. Both would appear to be in danger of a training camp cut.

Here’s a look at the teams that have carried fewer than 15 players on opening night for the past four seasons. The size of the opening night rosters for the teams listed is assumed to be 14 unless otherwise noted.

2014/15

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Sacramento Kings

2013/14

  • Boston Celtics
  • Chicago Bulls (13)
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Indiana Pacers
  • L.A. Clippers
  • Memphis Grizzlies (13)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Phoenix Suns
  • San Antonio Spurs

2012/13

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Charlotte Hornets (then known as the Bobcats)
  • Chicago Bulls (13)
  • L.A. Clippers
  • Memphis Grizzlies (13)
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs

2011/12

  • Boston Celtics
  • Charlotte Hornets (then known as the Bobcats)
  • Chicago Bulls (13)
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Detroit Pistons (13)
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Indiana Pacers (13)
  • L.A. Clippers (13)
  • New York Knicks
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns (13)
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs (13)
  • Utah Jazz (13)

RealGM was used in the creation of this post.

Leave a Reply

dziennika egzotyczny pieścić medycyny http://kupicpigulki.pl/ centrum medyczne zdrowie Denver