Pre-Camp Roster Snapshot: Southwest Division

Hoops Rumors is in the process of taking a closer look at each NBA team’s current roster situation, evaluating which clubs still have some moves to make and which ones seem most prepared for training camp to begin.

This series is meant to provide a snapshot of each team’s roster at this time, so these articles won’t be updated in the coming weeks as more signings, trades, and cuts are made. You can follow our roster counts page to keep tabs on teams’ open spots as opening night nears.

We’re continuing our pre-camp Roster Snapshot series today with the Southwest Division. Let’s dive in…

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are carrying some role players on eight-figure contracts whose names will likely come up in trade rumors in the coming months, but there’s no need for the team to make any major moves before the regular season begins.

Given that team salary is well over the luxury tax line, Dallas could either add a 15th man or leave the spot empty for now — the club is more likely to fill its open two-way slot, with camp invitees like Gueye, Hall, and Wright perhaps vying for consideration.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets will have to trade or release at least three players before the regular season begins, but seem to be in no rush to make those moves quite yet.

Brown, Burke, and Chriss – all acquired from Dallas in the Christian Wood trade – are among the players whose roster spots are in jeopardy. If Houston wants Fernando and/or Cauley-Stein on its regular season roster, more than three players with guaranteed contracts will need to be let go.

Once the Rockets start parting ways with players on guaranteed salaries, they could fill out their 20-man offseason roster with camp invitees and perhaps one more two-way player.

Memphis Grizzlies

Green, who is recovering from a torn ACL and may not return until the spring, is the most obvious odd man out for the 15-man regular season roster, but it’s possible the Grizzlies have other plans. Green, whose $10MM expiring contract is already guaranteed for $6.96MM, could be useful as a trade chip or even as a rotation player in the playoffs if he’s able to make it back.

If they want to retain Green, the Grizzlies could look to make a minor trade involving a player like Santi Aldama, Killian Tillie, or Xavier Tillman to create room on the roster.

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans made their big 2022 addition at the February trade deadline when they acquired McCollum, so it’s no surprise they’ve had a quiet offseason. Still, it’s almost been eerily quiet in New Orleans, with their second-round pick (Liddell) still unsigned, and a reported two-way agreement for Seabron still not finalized.

The Pelicans’ 15-man regular season roster, at least, looks pretty set — most of Alvarado’s minimum salary is guaranteed and he’d be a lock to make the team even if it wasn’t. So it’s mostly a matter of determining who will fill the two-way slots.

It’s possible those spots are simply earmarked for Liddell and Seabron, but Liddell tore his ACL during the Las Vegas Summer League, so the team may prefer he signs a G League contract and spends the season rehabilitating in Birmingham, while reserving a two-way slot for a player who can actually contribute on the court.

San Antonio Spurs

With approximately $30MM in cap room still available, it’s possible the Spurs still have another move or two up their sleeves before the season begins.

For now, there’s a bit of a roster crunch, but if San Antonio were to trade, say, McDermott and Richardson to Los Angeles for Russell Westbrook and draft picks, then bought out Westbrook, that would create the roster flexibility necessary to carry Bates-Diop, Jones, and one more player (perhaps Johnson) in addition to the 12 others on guaranteed deals.

If the Spurs don’t make any trades and want to keep Bates-Diop and Jones, they’ll have to cut at least one player with a guaranteed salary.

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