Ryan Gomes

And-Ones: Matthews, Harden, Hunter

Wesley Matthews says he is fully recovered from the Achilles tear he suffered in 2015 and predicts much stronger results for his second campaign with the Mavericks, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com relays. “I want the season to start now,” Matthews said. “I’m a whole different person. I’m a whole different player, and I’m really just excited to get out there and show it, and just to be who I know I can be and just to continue to grow. Obviously, it was different coming off of an Achilles [injury] and not having four or five months to prepare and all that stuff, and jumping right into the season being physically able to play every single game and play heavy minutes. It took until about after the All-Star break for me to get my legs back, because I play both ends of the court. And I feel better than when I got hurt.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Despite the roster and coaching changes the team has made, the Rockets will only go as far as James Harden takes them, writes Oliver Maroney of Basketball Insiders. The guard is one of the most criticized players in the league, Maroney notes, something that GM Daryl Morey disagrees with. “He’s only a polarizing figure to people who don’t watch,” Morey told Maroney. “Players voted him MVP [in 2014/15] for a reason. He’s had a winning team every season of his career, with multiple Conference Finals appearances.
  • The Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s D-League affiliate, named Ryan Gomes and Pat Rafferty as assistant coaches, the team announced via press release.
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider subscription required) released his first mock draft for 2017. The current top three, according to Ford, are Markelle Fultz (Washington), Harry Giles (Duke) and Josh Jackson (Kansas).
  • R.J. Hunter, James Young, John Holland, and Ben Bentil are expected to compete for the Celtics‘ final regular season roster spot, though Hunter appears to have the advantage heading into the preseason, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe writes. Regardless of any advantage he has, Hunter plans on earning his place on the team, Himmelsbach adds. “I’m a competitor, so it’s just absolutely motivation for me,” Hunter said. “I think it just adds an extra competitive spirit to training camp, which is a great way to get the year started. So I’d rather have it that way, because now I have no reason not to be on my toes on every possession and at every practice. So I’ll try to use it to my advantage.”

Ryan Gomes To Play For Lakers D-League Team

THURSDAY, 11:08am: Gomes will play for the D-League affiliate of the Lakers, who’ve claimed him from the D-League player pool, Reichert reports (on Twitter).

TUESDAY, 12:59pm: Eight-year NBA veteran Ryan Gomes has signed a D-League contract, a league source tells Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). The D-League waiver system will determine which NBA team’s affiliate he’ll play for. The 33-year-old combo forward made 371 starts in 487 NBA appearances after the Celtics made him the 50th overall pick in 2005, but he’s been out of the NBA since Boston released him nearly two years ago to the day.

Gomes also played for the Timberwolves, Clippers and Thunder in between his Celtics stints, the last of which covered less than a day, as he’d gone to Boston from Oklahoma City as part of the three-team Courtney Lee trade involving Memphis on January 7th, 2014. He was a surprise addition to the Thunder opening night roster that season, and his five regular season appearances that year are his only ones since 2011/12. The Clippers waived him via the amnesty clause in the summer of 2012, clearing the $4MM they owed him for 2012/13 from their cap. L.A. signed him as a free agent in 2010 following a relatively successful three-year stint in Minnesota that included a career-high 13.3 points per game in 2008/09.

The former consensus All-American at Providence appeared in two games for Laboral Kuxta Baskonia of Spain last season before leaving the team, reportedly over a lack of playing time. He had been one of several free agents among the players amnestied since the reinstitution of the amnesty provision in 2011, as I noted Monday. He’ll remain eligible to sign with any NBA team regardless of the D-League affiliate he ends up with, and with the D-League showcase running Wednesday through Sunday, he’s in line to draw the eye of plenty of NBA scouts.

And-Ones: Nets, Kidd, Gray, Gomes

A year after the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and Paul Pierce to the Nets, the deal doesn’t look so good for Brooklyn, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.  Bontemps points out many of the key players in that deal are no longer on the team.  Pierce left the team this offseason to sign with Wizards, while Terry was traded during the middle of last season for Marcus Thornton. More from around basketball..

  • If he’ll sign one, Wolves guard Ricky Rubio will top the four-year, $48MM extension that Kemba Walker agreed to earlier today, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • Jason Kidd admits it’s a completely different situation coaching the young, inexperienced Bucks this season compared to the veteran driven Nets, writes Andrew Wagner of the Star Tribune. “Here, we can show them but we also have to teach them and show them again exactly the different options because it’s all new to them,” Kidd said. “It takes time, but it’s been fun to see their growth.”
  • The decision to waive Aaron Gray was both clear-cut and wrenching for the Pistons, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com.  Gray’s medical situation coupled with the presence of Joel Anthony made him an obvious choice to go, but he was in the best shape of his career this offseason and Stan Van Gundy was excited to see what he could do.
  • Ryan Gomes has decided to leave Spanish club Baskonia, also known as Laboral Kuxta, over a lack of playing time, according to David Pick of Basketball Insiders. Gomes, 32, made the Thunder’s opening night roster last season. Former Pacers guard Orlando Johnson could be the next to bolt and DJ White‘s one-month contract with the club will expire next week.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Ryan Gomes Signs To Play In Spain

Eight-year NBA veteran Ryan Gomes has signed with Spain’s Saski Baskonia, also known as Laboral Kuxta, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The terms are unclear, but it looks like Gomes won’t head to camp with an NBA team this year, unlike last season, when he made the Thunder’s opening night roster.

Gomes remained with Oklahoma City into January, but he appeared in only five games, and the Celtics released him shortly after he went to Boston in the three-team Courtney Lee trade and right before his contract would have become fully guaranteed for the season. The former 50th overall pick out of Providence played much more extensively during his first seven seasons in the league, topping out at 13.3 points in 31.9 minutes per game for the Timberwolves in 2007/08.

The 32-year-old is returning to Europe after spending part of 2012/13 playing in Germany. Gomes will join Tornike Shengelia, who struck a deal with Baskonia in May.

Trade Retrospective: Kevin Garnett To Celtics

The trade that will send Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future first round draft choice cannot be made official for another two weeks. That is when the 30-day required time period from when Wiggins inked his deal expires.

In light of the Timberwolves deciding to part with their franchise player, I’ve been taking a look back at past blockbuster deals to see how each team involved fared after these trades. So far I’ve looked at the deal that sent Dwight Howard from the Magic to the Lakers, and the trade that saw Deron Williams go from the Jazz to the Nets. Neither of those trades has worked out especially well for any of the franchises involved.

The next one I’ll be revisiting is the 2007 trade that saw the Wolves ship Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Let’s start by looking at the players and assets that changed hands.

  1. The Celtics received Garnett.
  2. The Timberwolves received Ryan Gomes; Gerald Green; Al Jefferson; Theo Ratliff; Sebastian Telfair; the Celtics 2009 first-rounder (used to select Wayne Ellington at No. 28); the return of the Wolves’ 2009 first-round pick that was sent to Celtics as part of the Ricky DavisWally Szczerbiak trade (used to select Jonny Flynn at No. 6); and cash considerations.

I’ll begin with the Celtics’ end of the deal, which worked out as well as anyone in Boston could have hoped. The Celtics record the year prior to the trade was 24-58, and the franchise had not been to the playoffs since the 2004/05 season. In Garnett’s first year in Boston, he earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, and helped the franchise capture their first NBA title in 22 years. During Garnett’s six seasons in Boston, the franchise’s cumulative record was 314-161.

Garnett’s season averages were:

  1. 2007/08=18.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 3.4 APG. His slash line was .539/.000/.801.
  2. 2008/09=15.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG. His slash line was .531/.250/.841.
  3. 2009/10=14.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 2.7 APG. His slash line was .521/.200/.837.
  4. 2010/11=14.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG, and 2.4 APG. His slash line was .528/.200/.862.
  5. 2011/12=15.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 2.9 APG. His slash line was .503/.333/.857.
  6. 2012/13=14.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.3 APG. His slash line was .496/.125/.786.

Garnett was the heart and soul of the Celtics during his tenure, and I don’t think anyone can make an argument that the trade wasn’t an enormous success for the franchise. His time with Boston came to an end in June of 2013 when Garnett was traded to the Nets.

That deal saw the Nets receive Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. The Celtics in return received Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans, and 2014 (James Young), 2016, and 2018 first-round picks. The Celtics also have the ability to swap first-rounders with Brooklyn in 2017.

From the Timberwolves’ perspective, this deal hasn’t worked out very well for the franchise, and just might be a harbinger of things to come once Love finally dons a Cleveland jersey. The franchise’s record since the trade has been a dismal 135-341, with zero playoff appearances.

One telling fact about how poorly the trade worked out for Minnesota, is that not one of the original players or draftees are still with the team. Let’s take a look at what each player provided the Wolves and where they ended up.

Ryan Gomes spent three seasons in Minnesota, where he was primarily a starter. His season averages were:

  1. 2007/08=12.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.8 APG. His slash line was .457/.330/.830.
  2. 2008/09=13.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His slash line was .431/.372/.807.
  3. 2009/10=10.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His slash line was .447/.372/.825.

In June of 2010, Gomes was traded to the Trail Blazers along with the draft rights to Luke Babbitt for Martell Webster. Gomes was subsequently waived by Portland. In his two seasons in Minnesota, Webster averaged 8.3 PPG and 3.4 RPG.

Theo Ratliff didn’t provide much for the Wolves, appearing in only ten games during the 2007/08 season, averaging 6.3 PPG and 3.9 RPG. Ratliff was waived in February of 2008 and then finished that season with the Pistons.

The Wolves used the 2009 first rounder they acquired from Boston to select Wayne Ellington with the No. 28 pick. Ellington never developed into the scoring threat the team had hoped he’d become. His season averages with Minnesota were:

  1. 2009/10=6.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.0 APG. His slash line was .424/.395/.871.
  2. 2010/11=6.6 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 1.2 APG. His slash line was .403/.397/.792.
  3. 2011/12=6.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 0.6 APG. His slash line was .404/.324/.800.

Ellington’s time in Minnesota came to an end when he was dealt to the Grizzlies for Dante Cunningham, in July of 2012. In two seasons with the Wolves, Cunningham has averaged 7.5 PPG.

Sebastian Telfair had his two best seasons as a pro while with the Wolves. Telfair had entered the NBA out of high school, and never realized his potential. He was one of the pieces Minnesota had hoped would energize the franchise, but poor shooting and on-court decision-making have always hampered his game. Telfair then became a part of the revolving door of point guards the Wolves have either drafted or traded for since the Garnett deal. Telfair’s season averages in Minnesota were:

  1. 2007/08=9.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 5.9 APG. His slash line was .401/.281/.743.
  2. 2008/09=9.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 4.6 APG. His slash line was .383/.346/.819.

The Wolves re-signed Telfair to a three-year, $7.5MM deal after the 2007/08 season, but then Minnesota selected both Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio in the 2009 NBA Draft, thus making Telfair expendable. He was dealt along with Craig Smith and Mark Madsen to the Clippers, in return Minnesota received Quentin Richardson. A few weeks later, Richardson was dealt to the Heat for Mark Blount. Blount never played a game for Minnesota, and was waived the following March.

The selection of Jonny Flynn with the No. 6 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft was a head-scratcher for many. Not because of Flynn’s talent level, but because the Wolves had just selected Ricky Rubio with the No. 5 pick. The franchise knew there was a better than average chance that it would be a few seasons before Rubio would make the jump from international competition to the NBA, but when selecting that high, redundancies can severely hinder a franchise.

At the risk of making Timberwolves fans even more upset, look at who they passed on to select Flynn. Available at the time were Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Brandon Jennings, and Darren Collison. All have had better career numbers than Flynn.

Here’s what Flynn provided during his two seasons in Minnesota:

  1. 2009/10=13.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 4.4 APG. His shooting numbers were .417/.358/.826.
  2. 2010/11=5.3 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 3.4 APG. His slash line was .365/.310/.762.

Flynn’s tenure came to an end with a trade during the 2011 NBA Draft. This transaction is a bit complicated to break down since it set off a number of subsequent deals. Here’s the chain of events that resulted:

  1. Flynn was traded to the Rockets along with the rights to Donatas Motiejunas for Brad Miller; the rights to No. 23 pick Nikola Mirotic; a second-rounder (No. 38); and a 2013 first round pick (Andre Roberson). The Rockets would later buy back the No.38 pick from the Wolves. And whom did they select with that pick? Chandler Parsons. Ouch!
  2. The Wolves then dealt the rights to Mirotic to the Bulls for the rights to No. 28 pick Norris Cole and the No. 43 pick in the draft (Malcolm Lee).
  3. Then Minnesota dealt Cole to the Heat for the No. 31 pick (Bojan Bogdanovic); a future second-rounder; and cash.
  4. Bogdanovic was later traded to the Nets for a 2013 second-rounder (Lorenzo Brown) and cash.

Gerald Green was another player who entered the league right out of high school. He has always had amazing athletic ability, but hasn’t been able to translate that into the production expected of him, with the exception of the 2013/14 campaign he spent with the Suns.

Green found himself buried on the bench behind numerous players, and only appeared in 29 games for the Wolves during the 2007/08 season, averaging 5.1 PPG on 33.1% shooting. He asked for a trade via his agent, which the Wolves granted.

On February 21, 2008, Green was dealt to the Rockets for Kirk Snyder; a 2010 second-rounder (used to select Paulao Prestes); and cash. Prestes never played in the NBA, and Snyder spent one season in Minnesota, averaging 8.4 PPG and 4.2 RPG. That was Snyder’s last year in the NBA, and he’s been playing overseas since then.

Lastly, I come to Al Jefferson, who was the most productive player that Minnesota acquired. Jefferson passed up the chance to test out restricted free agency, and in November 2007, he inked a five-year, $65MM extension with the Wolves. While it didn’t translate into wins, Jefferson did provide the franchise with some excellent numbers.

  1. 2007/08=21.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 1.5 BPG. His slash line was .500/.000/.721.
  2. 2008/09=23.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 1.7 BPG. His slash line was .497/.000/.738.
  3. 2009/10=17.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 1.3 BPG. His slash line was .498/.000/.680.

It could be argued that based on pure stats, Jefferson almost made up for Garnett’s departure offensively. But on the defensive, intangibles, and leadership fronts, it wasn’t possible to recoup what “The Big Ticket” provided.

Jefferson’s tenure in Minnesota came to an end on July 13, 2010, when he was dealt to the Jazz for Kosta Koufos; a 2011 first rounder (used to select Motiejunas) and a 2012 first round pick. The 2012 first-rounder was subsequently traded to the Rockets for Chase Budinger and the rights to Lior Eliyahu, and Houston used the pick to select Terrence Jones. Eliyahu has never played in the league, and in two seasons with Minnesota, Budinger has averaged 8.0 PPG.

That was a whole lot of player movement to track. I think it illustrates quite well the dangers involved with trading away a franchise player, and it’s a situation the Wolves are facing yet again with Love.

The biggest difference this time out for Minnesota is in what they are getting in return. The biggest piece they acquired for Garnett was Jefferson, who while productive, has never been thought of as an anchor-type player who can carry a franchise to a title. While it may be a bittersweet consolation to the franchise’s fans, I think the Love trade has the potential to work out slightly better.

Wiggins has superstar potential, and Bennett looked much improved in Summer League play. If both players can reach their ceilings in the next few seasons, and if they do in fact obtain Thaddeus Young from the Sixers, then there is a chance the Wolves can break their run of missing the playoffs. Cleveland, though, might follow Boston’s lead and use the trade to capture an NBA title. Time will certainly tell.

Celtics Release Ryan Gomes

The Celtics have waived Ryan Gomes, the team announced today in a press release. Gomes had been a member of the Thunder this season, and was moved to Boston as salary filler in today’s three-team trade that saw the Grizzlies land Courtney Lee. Because Gomes’ contract was non-guaranteed, the C’s won’t be on the hook for his full-season salary.

Gomes, 31, only appeared in five games for the Thunder this season, playing a total of 34 minutes. After signing a minimum-salary contract in the offseason, the veteran forward saw his first NBA regular-season action since playing for the Clippers in 2011/12.

The Thunder’s decision to trade Gomes to the Celtics is cap-related. While Gomes’ full-season salary won’t be on Boston’s books, the salary he earned until now will still apply to the Celtics’ cap. Oklahoma City sent cash considerations to the C’s in the deal, making it worthwhile for Boston to assume Gomes’ modest cap hit, while the Thunder free up a little cap space to take on salary in a later deal, if they so choose.

Grizzlies Acquire Lee In Three-Team Trade

10:21am: The trade is now official, according to press releases from the Celtics and Thunder. OKC’s release notes that the Thunder will also receive the Sixers’ 2014 second-rounder from the Grizzlies in the deal. However, that pick is heavily protected and will only be conveyed if it falls between 51 and 55. The Thunder also sent cash considerations to the C’s in the move.

TUESDAY, 10:10am: In addition to landing Lee, the Grizzlies will receive a 2016 second-round pick from the Celtics, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). The C’s will acquire Bayless and Gomes, while the Thunder will receive a conditional 2017 second-rounder from the Grizzlies, says Tillery. The deal is expected to be finalized today to give Boston the chance to waive Gomes before 4:00pm central time.

MONDAY, 7:32pm: Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that the Thunder will get involved in the deal with Ryan Gomes heading from Oklahoma City to Boston.  This would allow OKC to get some wiggle room with regards to the luxury tax line and possibly set up another deal.  The C’s, meanwhile, are expected to waive Gomes.

Stein adds (on Twitter) that there should be some second-round picks involved as well.

7:48am: The two sides have reached an agreement, according to Stein. It doesn’t sound like the trade will involve any additional pieces besides Bayless and Lee, which is a bit of a surprise. I wouldn’t have expected the Celtics to be able to move Lee for an expiring contract, since it was less than three weeks ago that a report suggested a lack of leaguewide interest in him. In any case, it appears as if the Grizzlies and C’s will finalize the deal at some point today.

SUNDAY, 4:29pm: The Celtics are in advanced discussions on a deal to acquire Jerryd Bayless from the Grizzlies, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The swap would involve Boston guard Courtney Lee.

In late December, the Grizzlies reportedly offered Bayless to the Lakers in return for Jodie Meeks. Memphis came into this season with high hopes, but their 15-18 start apparently has them wanting to make big changes. Bayless, 25, has averaged 8.0 PPG and 2.0 APG, numbers that are his lowest since his rookie year.

Lee was a client of Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien and front office exec Stu Lash when they were agents. The guard has already seen his name on Hoops Rumors quite a bit this season as he was linked to a proposed deal that would have sent him and Brandon Bass to Houston for Omer Asik. Of course, those talks fizzled. Swapping Bayless for Lee also figures to please Grizzlies exec John Hollinger as Lee boasts a career-best PER of 15.3 this season compared to Bayless’ 11.2, his worst total since 2008/09.

Lee, who appears headed to the fifth team of his professional career, finds himself stuck behind Avery Bradley in the rotation and only figures to see his role shrink further when Rajon Rondo comes back to action. While his efficiency rating has been strong, it’s happening off of a career-low 16.8 minutes per game.

Bayless is in his walk year and is earning just $3.135MM while Lee makes $5.23MM this year, $5.45 next year, and $5.675MM in his final year. It’s possible that Boston will include a draft pick in the trade if they’re getting another expiring contract or a solid talent along with Bayless in the swap since the Grizzlies are taking on a three-year deal in Lee. The Grizzlies are close to the luxury tax threshold and the Celtics are even closer, so that should play a factor in the proposed deal.

Assuming no trade exceptions are used in the swap, Memphis would have to add at least one more player for the salaries to match up, so the deal may expand beyond Bayless and Lee. However, Boston has a TPE from the Paul Pierce trade while the Grizzlies have one from the Rudy Gay swap, so it’s possible for the teams to make the move without including additional players.

Four Players’ Salaries Become Fully Guaranteed

Many players on non-guaranteed deals didn’t survive October’s roster crunch, and no longer find themselves under contract with an NBA team, but plenty of clubs are still carrying non-guaranteed players. The majority of those players will see their salaries for 2013/14 become fully guaranteed if they’re not cut on or before January 7th. However, a handful of players negotiated earlier guarantee dates, many of which arrived this week.

The most notable name in this group is Chris Smith, whose spot on the Knicks’ roster was questioned by rival agents. By earning a place among the 15 players New York carried into opening night, Smith is assured of a fully guaranteed salary, worth about $490K. The Knicks won’t necessarily have to keep him on their roster all season, but if they release him, he’ll still get paid.

Like Smith, Kyle O’Quinn of the Magic and Quincy Miller of the Nuggets were also on contracts that dictated they’d receive full guarantees if they made their respective teams’ opening night rosters. As second-year players, both O’Quinn and Miller will be in line for salaries worth about $789K.

James Anderson‘s contract with the Sixers didn’t include any details related to opening night, but the guarantee date for his 2013/14 salary was October 31st. Since Philadelphia didn’t release Anderson on or before Halloween, his salary of about $916K has become fully guaranteed.

In addition to the four players whose 2013/14 salaries are now fully guaranteed, Ryan Gomes also received a bump in his partial guarantee by making the cut with the Thunder. Having previously been guaranteed for $50K, that figure increased to $75K when Gomes wasn’t released on or before Thursday, the date of OKC’s first game.

As our schedule of guarantee dates shows, there are now believed to be just two dates prior to January when players’ salaries will become guaranteed. Maalik Wayns will receive his full salary from the Clippers if he’s not waived on or before December 1st, while Jannero Pargo will become fully guaranteed if he lasts beyond December 10th in Charlotte.

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

Odds & Ends: Nelson, D12, Blazers, Gomes

As news of the first few cuts of training camp begins to trickle in, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the Association….

  • Jameer Nelson realizes that he could eventually become a trade chip as the Magic continue their rebuilding process, but for now he's focusing on his role as a team leader and mentor, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel details.
  • Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy are more than a year removed from their days in Orlando, but Howard tells Bill Reiter of FOX Sports (Twitter link) that his former coach played a part in his free agent decision this summer, encouraging him to consider the Rockets.
  • While the Blazers' announcement that they've exercised third-year options for Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, and Thomas Robinson could be viewed as "trivial housekeeping," Mike Tokito of the Oregonian suggests it's a good sign for the improving long-term health of the team.
  • Ryan Gomes earned another $25K when he wasn't waived by the Thunder by October 1st, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com outlines in his breakdown of Gomes' deal.
  • Ron Anderson, who spent the 2012/13 season with the Tulsa 66ers and played for the Thunder in Summer League play this year, has agreed to a one-year deal with Argentina's Estudiantes Concordia, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com (via Twitter).

Read more

Teams With Preseason Cap Decisions

Most NBA teams will have to make a handful of personnel decisions next month, paring down their roster sizes from the 20-player summer max to the 15-man regular season limit. However, just because a camp invitee earns a spot on the regular season roster doesn't mean his contract automatically becomes guaranteed.

For most players on non-guaranteed deals, the date of truth won't come until January 7th. January 10th is the day that all full-season contracts become guaranteed for the season, so if players aren't released on or before the 7th, clearing waivers by the 10th, they'll be assured of a full-season salary. Until that point though, teams can release non-guaranteed players and only pay a pro-rated portion of their salaries.

That January 7th deadline doesn't apply to everyone on non-guaranteed deals though. As our schedule shows, a few players have contracts that specifically included earlier guarantee dates, with many coming by the end of October. So while many teams will only face preseason decisions on who to keep and who to cut, this handful of clubs will be facing decisions on larger commitments. Let's break them down, case by case….

Oklahoma City Thunder: Ryan Gomes
Currently guaranteed for $25,000.
Becomes guaranteed for $50,000 if not released on or before October 1st.
Becomes guaranteed for $75,000 if not released on or before October 30th.

Gomes' bonuses are awfully insignificant in the big picture, but for a small-market team hovering right around the tax line, they're not entirely inconsequential. I imagine OKC will guarantee Gomes at least $50K, allowing him to try to earn a roster spot in October, but if he doesn't impress, the team could save a little cash by cutting him before October 30th.

Denver Nuggets: Quincy Miller
Currently guaranteed for $150,000.
Becomes fully guaranteed ($788,872) if not released on or before opening night (October 29th).

Miller is just entering his second year and is on a minimum-salary contract. We've also seen the Nuggets carry projects at the end of the bench before, such as Julyan Stone. But there's also a new GM and coach in place, and Miller's production last year was extremely limited — he appeared in just seven games for the Nuggets, and didn't blow anyone away in 26 D-League games either (11.3 PPG, .391 FG%). Without an impressive preseason, Miller could be in danger of being cut before Denver's regular-season opener.

Orlando Magic: Kyle O'Quinn
Becomes fully guaranteed ($788,872) if not released on or before opening night (October 29th).

Unlike Miller, O'Quinn gave his NBA team some solid minutes last season, recording a 15.8 PER in 57 contests (11.2 MPG). Based on his rookie season and the fact that the Magic aren't exactly in win-now mode, O'Quinn looks like a safe bet to remain on the regular-season roster and earn a fully guaranteed salary.

Miami Heat: Jarvis Varnado
Becomes guaranteed for $250,000 if not released on or before opening night (October 29th).

Varnado earned a championship ring with the Heat last season, but with the team more conscious of cutting costs due to increasing tax penalties, he may become a cap casualty this time around. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel views Varnado as a long shot to stay with the club long enough to earn that $250K bonus.

Philadelphia 76ers: James Anderson
Becomes fully guaranteed ($916,099) if not released on or before October 31st.

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie nabbed Anderson and Tim Ohlbrecht off waivers from his old team in Houston earlier this summer, and based on Philadelphia's free agent activity since then, there's no reason to think both players don't have a great chance to earn roster spots. A poor camp could derail Anderson's chances, but with the Sixers prioritizing player development over playoff contention for 2013/14, the ex-Spur is in good position for a guaranteed salary for now.

Portland Trail Blazers: Terrel Harris
Becomes guaranteed for $150,000 if not released on or before October 31st.

Because Harris was a throw-in for salary-matching purposes in the three-team deal that also sent Robin Lopez to Portland, it's possible the Blazers always intended to cut him eventually. That became more of a certainty after he was suspended for violating the NBA's drug policy. Now, it sounds like Harris won't even start camp with the team, let alone finish it.

Utah Jazz: Jerel McNeal
Becomes fully guaranteed ($884,293) if not released on or before October 31st.

Despite never actually appearing in a regular-season game, McNeal has spent parts of two seasons on NBA rosters, meaning he could be in line for a fully guaranteed third-year salary before he even makes his NBA debut. And like the Sixers, the Jazz aren't a team that will cut young players to ensure that veterans get playing time, so I would guess McNeal earns a regular-season roster spot, barring a disastrous camp or injury.