Hoops Rumors Originals

NBA Teams With Most, Least Roster Continuity

As usual, the 2017 NBA offseason featured a ton of player movement, with new rookies entering the league, free agents changing teams, and a total of 40 trades being completed between the end of the 2016/17 season and 2017/18’s opening night.

Some teams were more involved in that summer carousel than others. The Celtics, for instance, will enter the season carrying only four players – Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart – who finished last season with the team. The Clippers are another team whose roster underwent significant turnover this offseason, with only five players returning from last year’s squad.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, teams like the Warriors, Bucks, and Trail Blazers made minimal changes, bringing back 12 players from last year’s rosters. That was especially impressive in Golden State’s case, since the club entered the summer with players like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, David West, Andre Iguodala, Zaza Pachulia, Shaun Livingston, and JaVale McGee eligible for free agency — all of those players re-signed with the Dubs.

As a point of comparison, the Clippers took on more new players in their Chris Paul trade alone than clubs like the Warriors, Bucks, and Blazers added all summer.

After taking a closer look earlier today at the NBA’s youngest and oldest opening night rosters, we’ll turn our attention to the clubs with the most and least roster continuity to open the season. Listed below are the number of returning players for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, from most to fewest. Two-way players aren’t included in this list.

Bringing back a significant number of players doesn’t necessarily lead to regular season success, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few of the teams near the top of this list enjoy fast starts due to their players’ familiarity with each other, while teams near the bottom of the list may take some time to get used to their changes.

Here’s the returning-player count for each team:

  1. Golden State Warriors: 12
  2. Milwaukee Bucks: 12
  3. Portland Trail Blazers: 12
  4. Denver Nuggets: 12
  5. Dallas Mavericks: 11
  6. Miami Heat: 11
  7. Philadelphia 76ers: 11
  8. Phoenix Suns: 11
  9. San Antonio Spurs: 11
  10. Toronto Raptors: 11
  11. Washington Wizards: 11
  12. Memphis Grizzlies: 10
  13. New Orleans Pelicans: 10
  14. Brooklyn Nets: 9
  15. Charlotte Hornets: 9
  16. Detroit Pistons: 9
  17. Houston Rockets: 9
  18. Chicago Bulls: 8
  19. Los Angeles Lakers: 8
  20. New York Knicks: 8
    • Note: The Knicks are the only team carrying 16 players to open the season.
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder: 8
  22. Orlando Magic: 8
  23. Utah Jazz: 8
  24. Atlanta Hawks: 7
  25. Cleveland Cavaliers: 7
  26. Minnesota Timberwolves: 7
  27. Sacramento Kings: 7
  28. Indiana Pacers: 6
  29. Los Angeles Clippers: 5
  30. Boston Celtics: 4

NBA’s Youngest, Oldest Opening Night Rosters

After an offseason packed with trades, free agent signings, and other roster moves, the NBA’s 30 teams set their 15-man squads for the regular season on Monday. We’ll be taking a closer look at those rosters today, starting with the average age of the players on each team.

As a general rule, the league’s older, more veteran teams are the ones we expect to contend for a championship, and that’s mostly the case this year too. The Cavaliers, with an average age of 30 years and four days, are the NBA’s oldest team by a significant margin. No other team has an average age above 29. However, the teams that join the Cavs at that end of the spectrum are title contenders — the Rockets, Warriors, and Spurs all have an average team age above 28.

It’s not always the case that contending teams skew older. The Celtics, for instance, have an average age of just 25 years and 17 days, making them the sixth-youngest team in the NBA. For the most part though, the younger clubs are the ones in the midst of a rebuild or having gone through “The Process” of a rebuild — the Sixers, Lakers, and Bulls are among the NBA’s five youngest teams, with the Suns (24 years, 173 days) topping the list.

For comparison’s sake, while the Cavs’ average age exceeds 30 years, the division-rival Bulls don’t have a single player in his 30s.

The average ages for all 30 NBA teams are listed below, sorted from youngest to oldest. Our list is based on players’ ages as of Tuesday, and we’re separating years and days by a decimal, so Phoenix would be 24.173.

These figures don’t include a team’s two-way players, and don’t include transactions reported or completed since opening-night rosters were set on Monday. So the Hawks‘ signing of 23-year-old Isaiah Taylor isn’t included, and neither is the Nuggets‘ reported swap of 35-year-old Jameer Nelson for 37-year-old Richard Jefferson.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Phoenix Suns: 24.173
  2. Philadelphia 76ers: 24.232
  3. Chicago Bulls: 24.293
  4. Portland Trail Blazers: 24.317
  5. Los Angeles Lakers: 24.320
  6. Boston Celtics: 25.017
  7. Toronto Raptors: 25.130
  8. Denver Nuggets: 25.246
  9. Orlando Magic: 25.311
  10. Charlotte Hornets: 25.353
  11. Brooklyn Nets: 25.355
  12. Sacramento Kings: 26.018
  13. Detroit Pistons: 26.021
  14. Milwaukee Bucks: 26.038
  15. Memphis Grizzlies: 26.079
  16. Atlanta Hawks: 26.108
  17. Indiana Pacers: 26.125
  18. New York Knicks: 26.234
  19. Miami Heat: 26.274
  20. Los Angeles Clippers: 26.296
  21. Utah Jazz: 26.330
  22. Minnesota Timberwolves: 27.080
  23. Washington Wizards: 27.098
  24. Oklahoma City Thunder: 27.139
  25. New Orleans Pelicans: 27.285
  26. Dallas Mavericks: 28.114
  27. Houston Rockets: 28.148
  28. Golden State Warriors: 28.262
  29. San Antonio Spurs: 28.298
  30. Cleveland Cavaliers: 30.004

Information from Basketball-Reference was used in the creation of this post.

Community Shootaround: 2017/18 NBA Predictions

After four long months without meaningful NBA games, the 2017/18 season will tip off tonight. Tuesday’s doubleheader includes Kyrie Irving and the Celtics visiting his old team in Cleveland, and Chris Paul making his debut for the Rockets in Golden State.

With only a few more hours to go until the start of the season, it’s time to register your predictions for the coming season.

  • Which eight teams do you expect to make the playoffs in each conference?
  • Will the 2018 NBA Finals feature the Warriors and Cavaliers for a fourth straight year?
  • Who will win this season’s MVP award? Will any player enjoy a historic individual run like Russell Westbrook did last year?
  • What are your picks for the other awards, including Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and Coach of the Year?
  • Will any coaches be fired during the season? If so, which one(s)?
  • Which players or teams do you expect to most significantly outperform expectations or disappoint?
  • Which big-name players do you think will be traded before this season’s deadline?

Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts, predictions, and bold takes on the upcoming season. And enjoy tonight’s games!

2017/18 NBA Over/Unders: Recap

Over the last couple months, we’ve been going through each of the NBA’s 30 teams, posting polls asking how many games each club will win this season. Using projections from professional oddsmakers, we’ve had you vote on whether each team will go over or under a given win total, from the Warriors (67.5) all the way through the Bulls (22.5).

Here are the full results of those votes:

Western Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors: Over 67.5 (53.57%)
  2. Houston Rockets: Over 55.5 (65.57%)
  3. San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%)
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%)
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 48.5 (55.69%)
  6. Denver Nuggets: Under 45.5 (50.44%)
  7. Los Angeles Clippers: Over 43.5 (60.7%)
  8. Portland Trail Blazers: Over 42.5 (56.3%)
  9. Utah Jazz: Over 41.5 (55.94%)
  10. New Orleans Pelicans: Over 39.5 (65.26%)
  11. Memphis Grizzlies: Over 37.5 (53.43%)
  12. Dallas Mavericks: Under 35.5 (54.95%)
  13. Los Angeles Lakers: Over 33.5 (50.4%)
  14. Phoenix Suns: Over 28.5 (50.41%)
  15. Sacramento Kings: Over 27.5 (56.18%)

Eastern Conference:

  1. Boston Celtics: Over 55.5 (63.5%)
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%)
  3. Toronto Raptors: Over 48.5 (64.21%)
  4. Washington Wizards: Over 47.5 (71.29%)
  5. Milwaukee Bucks: Over 47.5 (63.88%)
  6. Miami Heat: Over 43.5 (55.39%)
  7. Charlotte Hornets: Over 42.5 (51.07%)
  8. Philadelphia 76ers: Under 41.5 (53.37%)
  9. Detroit Pistons: Over 38.5 (51.95%)
  10. Orlando Magic: Under 33.5 (75.24%)
  11. Indiana Pacers: Under 31.5 (54.85%)
  12. New York Knicks: Under 30.5 (57.87%)
  13. Brooklyn Nets: Over 27.5 (66.33%)
  14. Atlanta Hawks: Over 25.5 (51.44%)
  15. Chicago Bulls: Under 22.5 (50.08%)

As those results show, our readers as a group were generally bullish on most teams, with the “over” winning out 23 teams compared to just seven for the “under.” That’s not technically impossible, but it might make sense to adjust the vote totals downward by a few percentage points to get a more even view of the coming season.

Here are the five “over” bets that received the largest vote shares:

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%)
  2. Washington Wizards: Over 47.5 (71.29%)
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%)
  4. San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%)
  5. Brooklyn Nets: Over 27.5 (66.33%)

Here are the five “under” bets that received the largest vote shares:

  1. Orlando Magic: Under 33.5 (75.24%)
  2. New York Knicks: Under 30.5 (57.87%)
  3. Dallas Mavericks: Under 35.5 (54.95%)
  4. Indiana Pacers: Under 31.5 (54.85%)
  5. Philadelphia 76ers: Under 41.5 (53.37%)

What do you think? Are there any results above that you strongly disagree with? Did you make any over or under votes within the last month or two that you’re second-guessing now? Jump into our comment section below and weigh in with your thoughts!

2017 Rookie Scale Extension Recap

One of the minor tweaks made in the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement involved moving up the deadline for former first-round picks on expiring rookie contracts to sign rookie scale extensions. Previously, the deadline was October 31. Starting this year, players must complete rookie scale extensions by the day before the regular season opener.

That 5:00pm CT deadline has passed, and it seems no additional players reached last-minute extension agreements with their respective teams. From 2014 to 2016, an average of eight players per year signed rookie scale extensions before the October deadline, but only four players did so this year.

Here’s a breakdown of the four rookie scale extensions agreed upon before this year’s deadline, sorted by total value. These deals will go into effect beginning in 2018/19:Joel Embiid vertical

The four deals completed this year make 2017 the least eventful offseason for rookie scale extensions since 2003. While the earlier deadline may have played some part in the relative inactivity this fall, it seems more teams are willing to wait an extra year to make investments in their players — perhaps they don’t expect to face stiff competition for those players in free agency next summer, when few teams will have significant cap room.

[RELATED: Rookie scale extension recaps for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and the preceding five years]

With Wiggins, Embiid, Harris, and Warren locked up to new contracts, that leaves the following players, who had been eligible for rookie scale extensions, on track for restricted free agency in 2018:

Meanwhile, there are a few other members of the 2014 rookie class who were first-round picks that year, but weren’t eligible for extensions this offseason. These players had previously been waived, had one of their team options declined, or didn’t sign rookie contracts in 2014. Here are those players:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA Deadlines To Watch For October 16

The 2017/18 NBA regular season is right around the corner, with the Celtics and Cavaliers scheduled to tip off in less than 36 hours. October 16 represents the final day of the 2017 offseason, and there are plenty of deadlines that come with it, related to rosters, contract extensions, and more.

Here’s a quick rundown of the deadlines NBA teams will face throughout the day on Monday:

  • Roster limits decrease from 20 players to 15. As I outlined on Sunday, most teams already ensured over the weekend that their rosters are set for the regular season, but the Grizzlies, Jazz, Mavericks, and Bulls still have moves to make.
  • Last day for teams to sign a player to a rookie scale extension. Four players – Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Gary Harris, and T.J. Warren – have signed rookie scale extensions. However, 17 former first-round picks entering the final year of their rookie contracts remain extension-eligible. Here’s the full list.
  • Last day for teams to sign a player to a veteran extension in certain scenarios. Essentially, any extension-eligible veteran with more than one year left on his contract won’t be able to sign an extension during the 2017/18 league year after today. A player who is eligible for a veteran extension and is entering the final year of his contract, such as Nuggets swingman Will Barton, will remain extension-eligible until June 30.
  • Last day for teams to convert an Exhibit 10 contract into a two-way contract. While most teams that intended to convert an NBA contract into a two-way deal have already done so, the Mavericks will be a club to watch on this front — they could convert Gian Clavell‘s contract in order to reach the regular season roster limit.
  • Last day for teams to complete sign-and-trade deals. This doesn’t figure to be relevant today, with very few sign-and-trade opportunities left.

2017 Offseason In Review: Denver Nuggets

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2017 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2017/18 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Denver Nuggets.

Signings:Mason Plumlee vertical

Camp invitees:

Trades:

Draft picks:

  • 1-24: Tyler Lydon — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-49: Vlatko Cancar — Stashed overseas.
  • 2-51: Monte Morris — Signed to two-way contract.

Extensions:

  • Gary Harris: Four years, $74MM. Rookie scale extension.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Used up cap room. Now operating over the cap, but well under the tax. Carrying approximately $104.5MM in guaranteed team salary. Room exception ($4.328MM) still available.

Check out the Denver Nuggets’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

Since reaching the playoffs for 10 straight seasons from 2004 to 2013, primarily under George Karl, the Nuggets have been going through a transitional period for the last several years. While Denver never fully bottomed out in order to land a top-five draft pick, the club has failed to post a .500 record since 2013, winning between 30 and 40 games in each of the last four seasons.

The most positive steps forward for the franchise during that stretch came during the 2016/17 campaign, when Nikola Jokic emerged as one of the NBA’s most talented big men, and young guards Gary Harris and Jamal Murray showed the potential to develop into indispensable core pieces as well. The team narrowly missed the playoffs with a 40-42 record, but there was a sense heading into the summer that the team wasn’t far from taking a big step forward.

Armed with plenty of cap flexibility and a horde of potential trade chips, general manager Tim Connelly entered the offseason aiming to add an impact player at point guard and/or power forward to complement Jokic and the team’s depth on the wing.

Read more

Roster Moves Still Required For Four NBA Teams

After Saturday’s flurry of roster moves around the NBA, most of the league’s 30 teams are all set for the regular season. Heading into opening night, teams are allowed to carry up to 17 players — no more than 15 on their respective NBA rosters, plus an additional two on two-way contracts.

Saturday didn’t represent the deadline for teams to set the regular season rosters, but it was the last day for a club to waive a player on a fully non-guaranteed contract and avoid having his salary count against the cap. That’s why most teams have already made the necessary moves to ensure their rosters are regular-season-ready.

[RELATED: 2017/18 NBA Non-Guaranteed Salaries By Team]

However, as our roster count page shows, there are four teams who will need to make at least one more trade, cut, or other roster move before they’ll be set for the season. These moves are due by Monday afternoon.

Here are those four teams:

Chicago Bulls

  • NBA contracts: 16 (13 fully guaranteed)
  • Two-way contracts: 2
  • The Bulls still have three players on non-guaranteed contracts — Jarell Eddie, David Nwaba, and Diamond Stone. Eddie looked like the most logical candidate to be waived, so it’s somewhat odd that Chicago didn’t make that move on Saturday. Of course, the Bulls’ team salary is well below the salary floor, so if they end up paying Eddie or Nwaba for a couple days of service, it’s hardly the end of the world. Stone already has a $50K guarantee on his contract, so he could be waived on Monday without it affecting the Bulls’ bottom line.

Dallas Mavericks

  • NBA contracts: 16 (12 fully guaranteed)
  • Two-way contracts: 1
  • The Mavericks are already at 17 players, so the most logical move would be to convert Gian Clavell‘s NBA contract into a two-way deal and avoid waiving anyone. Dallas has held off on that move, however, with Clavell drawing some trade interest. The club will have to make a call on him – or another player with a full or partial guarantee – by Monday.

Memphis Grizzlies

  • NBA contracts: 17 (16 fully guaranteed)
  • Two-way contracts: 2
  • No team has more work to do before Monday than the Grizzlies, who will have to trade or cut multiple players and may end up eating a decent chunk of guaranteed money. The most likely scenario would see the team waiving Jarell Martin and perhaps Andrew Harrison (or Wade Baldwin), while retaining Mario Chalmers, who only has a modest $25K guarantee. Martin, Harris, and Baldwin all have full guarantees, which is why Memphis wasn’t under pressure to make any decisions on Saturday.

Utah Jazz

  • NBA contracts: 16 (15 fully guaranteed)
  • Two-way contracts: 2
  • Like the Grizzlies, the Jazz appear set to waive a player on a fully guaranteed salary, which is why they could afford to wait until Monday rather than getting something done on Saturday. Raul Neto, the team’s lone non-guaranteed player, appears safe, meaning the decision will likely come down to Joel Bolomboy vs. Royce O’Neale. Both players have fully guaranteed minimum salaries.

Hoops Rumors Originals: 10/7/17 – 10/14/17

Every week, the Hoops Rumors writing team compiles original content to complement our news feed. Here are our segments and features from the past seven days:

Could Trey Burke Win The Knicks’ Starting Point Guard Spot?

Trey Burke may have a unique opportunity to showcase his ability and make a case to stay on the Knicks’ roster for the season despite only signing with the team just days before final cuts are due.

New York currently has 15 players on the books with guaranteed salaries for the upcoming season and by virtue of not being one of those players, Burke is on the outside looking in. However, Joakim Noah will be suspended for the first 12 games of the season, meaning the team will have an additional roster spot available for those contests.

[RELATED: Knicks Sign Trey Burke]

It was reported earlier today that the Knicks view Burke as a potential G-League player. Still, the former no.9 overall pick is confident that he’ll stick with the team during Noah’s suspension and force New York to cut a player on a guaranteed deal once the big man returns.

“I believe in myself. I’m looking forward to coming out here every day and proving myself,” Burke tells ESPN’s Ian Begley (via ESPN Now link). “Obviously I want to make this roster. We know nothing is given. For me, my faith took me a long way. So I believe that I will make the roster even if no one else does so we’ll see what happens.”

Should the club trade Courtney Lee, something it appears willing to do, and choose not to take back a player in the deal, Burke would have a better shot at making the opening night roster. His main competition for the 12-game audition is veteran Jarrett Jack, who signed a non-guaranteed deal with the club last month. Absent of a trade, it seems there’s a battle between an aging veteran and a former lottery pick who never reached his potential.

Jack came to New York’s training camp looking to prove that he’s healthy after a knee injury ended his 2016/17 campaign. The point guard hasn’t had any setbacks during the team’s three preseason games. He scored 22 points and dished out 12 assists over 69 minutes of action.

Projected starting point guard Ron Baker missed a couple of preseason games with an ankle injury and No. 8 overall pick Frank Ntilikina hasn’t been able to suit up yet because of a knee ailment. The injury woes likely compelled the team to bring in another option to run the point.

None of the team’s point guard options make a particularly strong case to start. The Knicks appear willing to take things slow with Ntilikina. Baker is likely best-suited for a reserve role; same with Jack if he makes the squad, though both players are capable of running the show, especially considering New York’s lack of stellar expectations this season. New addition Ramon Sessions got a pair of starts this preseason, though he didn’t exactly light the world on fire, tallying just 11 assists over 56 minutes of action.

The Knicks have one more preseason game remaining (Friday against the Wizards) and if Burke shines, he could find himself on the opening night roster. With that comes a dozen games to prove he belongs not only on the team, but also in the first-unit alongside his former college teammate Tim Hardaway Jr.

Burke faces an uphill battle to win a starting spot. However, the Knicks’ lack of top-notch options, coupled with Burke’s presumed familiarity with the team’s second-highest-paid player, give this former National Player of the Year award recipient a chance to become the franchise’s top floor general.

Will Burke make the opening night roster and will he be able to carve out a role with the Knicks?

Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. We look forward to what you have to say!

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