Nikola Vucevic PF/C ORL 2 Days
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 2 Days
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 2 Days
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 2 Days
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 2 Days
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.
Dwyane Wade SG MIA 2 Days
Dwyane Wade said LeBron James is his new favorite player to play against.
"Well, it used to be Kobe Bryant... the second best all time.... now, I have a new favorite player to play against... my former teammate, LeBron James." LeBron heading to Cleveland cost Wade around $10 million because Wade opted out of his $42 million option. Wade and the Heat are thin and injury-prone on the wing this season, so there may be some unexpected players needing to step up, or Wade is going to have to turn back the clock a few years and be his old self.
Derrick Rose PG CHI 2 Days
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Derrick Rose will not have any restrictions with Team USA.
Considering he's had eight months to rehab his torn meniscus, Rose should be ready to go in Spain. As a reference point, most meniscus tears require around eight weeks of rehab time. He'll be competing for a roster spot and Coach K said he's excited to be see Rose play. We'll be tracking his progress throughout the event.
Russell Westbrook PG OKC 2 Days
Coach Scott Brooks is hoping his team will get into the top 10 for assists per game.
They were tied for 13th in assists per game last season and just 26th in total passes per game, so ball movement hasn't been a strong suit for the Thunder. Of course, when a team has the top two players in usage rate, it's unlikely to lead to a well-balanced attack. The roles of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant shouldn't change much with both guys expected to have big seasons.
Derrick Rose PG CHI 2 Days
Coach Tom Thibodeau said that Derrick Rose (knee) has "handled every step to this point the right way."
There has been very little word as to how Rose looks on a basketball court since tearing his meniscus back on Nov. 22, 2013. Rose is expected to make the Team USA FIBA roster, but he'll get some stiff competition from Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and John Wall. Three of the five are expected to make the team. If Rose makes it, he'll definitely be under a microscope in Spain.
Joakim Noah PF/C CHI 2 Days
Joakim Noah said he'll be ready for training camp as he continues his rehab on his left knee.
He had arthroscopic knee surgery back on May 2, which was expected to sideline him for 8-12 weeks. Noah has dealt with a slew of injuries in his career and the 29-year-old center may see his minutes drop a bit this season. He made First Team All-NBA last season for being a big factor on both ends, but he'll have a little more help this season.