Derrick Rose PG CHI 22 Hrs
Derrick Rose spoke with media following Monday's Team USA practice, and he is not lacking in confidence.
"I really think that I'm a special player in my mind," said Rose. "I still have youth. I'm only 25, man." When Rose was asked how close he is to being his old-self, Rose responded: "I'm there, man. I'm not worried about that. My confidence is very high." The hype-train on Rose is going to start early this year as the basketball world anticipates the return of the former MVP. He'll come with a lot of risk, and at a steep price on draft day, but if he can remain healthy, he'll be a very fun, and exciting player to own.
Dion Waiters SG CLE 22 Hrs
Dion Waiters stated again in a recent interview that he wants to be a starter for the Cavaliers.
"I want to start and I believe I should," said Waiters. With all the trade rumors flying around Cleveland it's not even clear that Waiters will be in a Cavs uniform next year, but it appears that he is not happy in a reserve role. Through 24 games as a starter with the Cavs last season, Waiters averaged 18.3 points, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 three-pointers, so he could be a solid late-round pick.
Derrick Rose PG CHI 23 Hrs
Derrick Rose briefly played during Team USA's scrimmage on Monday, and said that "it feels great" to be back on the court.
He also added that he is pain free, and that's what all the reports have been saying up to this point. Rose will be under a microscope throughout the FIBA World Cup (assuming he makes the 12-man roster), and Coach Mike Krzyzewski said that he would play without restrictions. Rose will be a risky first-round selection in next year's fantasy drafts.
Wesley Johnson SG/SF LAL 24 Hrs
The Lakers officially re-signed Wes Johnson on Monday.
"Wesley possesses elite athleticism... and has the potential to develop into an excellent defender," said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak. Johnson was able to log 28.4 minutes per game last season as the Lakers were devastated by injuries, but that situation will not likely be repeated. Johnson is not someone to target in standard leagues.
Mo Williams G POR 24 Hrs
Mo Williams is reportedly nearing an agreement to sign with the Timberwolves.
Williams had stated that his goal during this free agency period was to sign a long-term deal, so perhaps that's what's in the works in Minnesota. Williams wouldn't have much value in the Timberwolves crowded backcourt, but things could change depending on how the pieces are moved in a Kevin Love deal.
Nikola Vucevic PF/C ORL 1 Day
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said that he can see that Nikola Vucevic is becoming more comfortable on the basketball court.
"He's feeling more comfortable on the floor," Vaughn said. "Even when he gets the ball in the post, the comfort level of seeing cutters and passing out of the post. I just think he's more comfortable." Vucevic rebounding has been a constant, but he'll need to work on establishing himself as a consistent scorer during his third season in Orlando. If Vucevic can stay healthy (he only made it through 57 games last season), while taking another step-up in the scoring department, he can be a very rewarding early-mid-round selection.
Jodie Meeks SG DET 1 Day
Detroit management thinks Jodie Meeks is more than just a shooter.
"Players like Jodie take a lot of pride in developing other parts of their game. That's something that's driven his progress," Pistons' GM Jeff Bower said. "He's worked hard to become an adequate defender... The ability to make plays and put other people in position to be successful is something his unselfish nature just lends itself to. And, lastly, no dominant inside attack can be as potent without the play in the backcourt, either through spacing the floor or creating an inside-out threat. All of those things aren't lost on Jodie and he has impact in all of those areas."
Thaddeus Young F PHI 1 Day
The Timberwolves reportedly view Thaddeus Young as a potential Kevin Love replacement.
The Wolves are reportedly looking into acquiring Young from the 76ers either through a separate transaction, or as part of an expanded Love trade. However, Young still has two years remaining on his current contract, and it's unclear as to whether Philadelphia is willing to part ways with Young in any deal.
Bojan Bogdanovic SF BKN 1 Day
Bojan Bogdanovic stated during his introductory press conference that he is ready to fight for his minutes in Brooklyn.
"I will fight for my minutes," Bogdanovic said. "But like I told [Lionel Hollins], I think I can help immediately." Despite losing Paul Pierce to free agency, the Nets are still a very deep team, so he will certainly have to fight for his minutes. As it stands right now, it seems it will be difficult for Bogdanovic to earn enough minutes for standard league consideration.
Steve Nash PG LAL 1 Day
Steve Nash confirmed in a recent interview that he will retire after the 2014-15 season.
"I think this is my last season," said the 40-year-old Nash. "But I still love to play, practice and work on my game. I'm going to spend hopefully many many years living this life without basketball. It'll be nice to play one more year." Nash, in his prime, was one of the most exciting point guards to watch. He won back-to-back MVP awards from 2004-2006, taking his Phoenix Suns team through multiple deep playoff runs, but never ending on the ultimate goal of an NBA championship. However, he just doesn't have it anymore at 40 years of age, and he only managed to make it through 15 games last season. While no longer a fantasy option, he figures to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, and the league will miss his constant professionalism.