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2014-15 NBA Opening Night Rosters Get Locked In

Opening night rosters are set for the start of the 2014-15 NBA season.

Basketball Insiders

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NBA Teams locked in their opening day rosters.

 ATLANTA   BOSTON   BROOKLYN   CHARLOTTE   CHICAGO
 Pero Antic  Brandon Bass  Alan Anderson  Bismack Biyombo  Cameron Bairstow
 Kent Bazemore  Avery Bradley  Bojan Bogdanovic  PJ Hairston  Aaron Brooks
 DeMarre Carroll  Jeff Green  Kevin Garnett  Gerald Henderson  Mike Dunleavy
 Al Horford  Kelly Olynyk  Jorge Gutierrez  Al Jefferson  Pau Gasol
 John Jenkins  Phil Pressey  Jarrett Jack  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  Taj Gibson
 Shelvin Mack  Rajon Rondo  Joe Johnson  Jason Maxiell  Kirk Hinrich
 Paul Millsap  Marcus Smart  Jerome Jordan  Gary Neal  Doug McDermott
 Mike Muscala  Jared Sullinger  Sergey Karasev  Jannero Pargo  Nikola Mirotic
 Adreian Payne  Marcus Thornton  Andrei Kirilenko  Brian Roberts  Nazr Mohammed
 Dennis Schroder  Evan Turner  Brook Lopez  Lance Stephenson  E'Twaun Moore
 Mike Scott  Gerald Wallace  Mason Plumlee  Kemba Walker  Joakim Noah
 Thabo Sefolosha  James Young  Mirza Teletovic  Marvin Williams  Derrick Rose
 Jeff Teague  Tyler Zeller  Deron Williams  Cody Zeller  Tony Snell
 INACTIVE LIST
 Elton Brand  Vitor Faverani  Markel Brown  Jeffery Taylor  Jimmy Butler
 Kyle Korver  Dwight Powell  Cory Jefferson  Noah Vonleh  
         
 CLEVELAND   DALLAS   DENVER   DETROIT   GOLDEN STATE
 Matthew Dellavedova  Al-Farouq Aminu  Arron Afflalo  Joel Anthony  Leandro Barbosa
 Joe Harris  Tyson Chandler  Darrell Arthur  D.J. Augustin  Harrison Barnes
 Brendan Haywood  Jae Crowder  Wilson Chandler  Caron Butler  Andrew Bogut
 Kyrie Irving  Monta Ellis  Kenneth Faried  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope  Stephen Curry
 LeBron James  Devin Harris  Randy Foye  Spencer Dinwiddie  Festus Ezeli
 James Jones  Richard Jefferson  Danilo Gallinari  Andre Drummond  Draymond Green
 Alex Kirk  Gal Mekel  Alonzo Gee  Brandon Jennings  Justin Holiday
 Kevin Love  Jameer Nelson  JJ Hickson  Jonas Jerebko  Andre Iguodala
 Shawn Marion  Dirk Nowitzki  Ty Lawson  Cartier Martin  Ognjen Kuzmic
 Mike Miller  Chandler Parsons  JaVale McGee  Tony Mitchell  David Lee
 Tristan Thompson  Greg Smith  Timofey Mozgov  Greg Monroe  Nemanja Nedovic
 Anderson Varejao  Charlie Villanueva  Jusuf Nurkic  Kyle Singler  Marreese Speights
 Dion Waiters  Brandan Wright  Nate Robinson  Josh Smith  Klay Thompson
 INACTIVE LIST
 Lou Amundson  Raymond Felton  Erick Green  Gigi Datome  Shaun Livingston
 AJ Price  Ricky Ledo  Gary Harris  Jodie Meeks  Brandon Rush
         
 HOUSTON   INDIANA   LA CLIPPERS   LA LAKERS   MEMPHIS
 Trevor Ariza  Lavoy Allen  Matt Barnes  Carlos Boozer  Jordan Adams
 Patrick Beverley  Chris Copeland  Reggie Bullock  Kobe Bryant  Tony Allen
 Tarik Black  Roy Hibbert  Jamal Crawford  Jordan Clarkson  Vince Carter
 Isaiah Canaan  Solomon Hill  Jared Cunningham  Ed Davis  Mike Conley
 Troy Daniels  Ian Mahinmi  Chris Douglas-Roberts  Wayne Ellington  Marc Gasol
 Joey Dorsey  CJ Miles  Jordan Farmar  Xavier Henry  Kosta Koufos
 Francisco Garcia  Damjan Rudez  Blake Griffin  Jordan Hill  Courtney Lee
 James Harden  Luis Scola  Spencer Hawes  Wesley Johnson  Jon Leuer
 Dwight Howard  Donald Sloan  DeAndre Jordan  Ryan Kelly  Quincy Pondexter
 Terrence Jones  Rodney Stuckey  Chris Paul  Jeremy Lin  Tayshaun Prince
 Donatas Motiejunas  C.J. Watson  JJ Redick  Ronnie Price  Zach Randolph
 Kostas Papanikolaou  David West  Hedo Turkoglu  Julius Randle  Jarnell Stokes
 Jason Terry  Shayne Whittington  CJ Wilcox  Robert Sacre  Beno Udrih
 INACTIVE LIST
 Clint Capela  Paul George  Glen Davis  Steve Nash   SUSPENDED LIST
 Nick Johnson  George Hill  Ekpe Udoh  Nick Young  Nick Calathes
         
 MIAMI   MILWAUKEE   MINNESOTA   NEW ORLEANS   NEW YORK
 Chris Andersen  Giannis Antetokounmpo  Anthony Bennett  Alexis Ajinca  Quincy Acy
 Chris Bosh  Jerryd Bayless  Corey Brewer  Ryan Anderson  Cole Aldrich
 Shannon Brown  Jared Dudley  Chase Budinger  Omer Asik  Carmelo Anthony
 Mario Chalmers  John Henson  Gorgui Dieng  Luke Babbitt  Jose Calderon
 Norris Cole  Ersan Ilyasova  Robbie Hummel  Anthony Davis  Samuel Dalembert
 Luol Deng  Brandon Knight  Zach LaVine  Tyreke Evans  Cleanthony Early
 James Ennis  Kendall Marshall  Kevin Martin  Jimmer Fredette  Tim Hardaway Jr.
 Danny Granger  O.J. Mayo  Shabazz Muhammad  Eric Gordon  Shane Larkin
 Justin Hamilton  Khris Middleton  Nikola Pekovic  Jrue Holiday  Pablo Prigioni
 Udonis Haslem  Zaza Pachulia  Ricky Rubio  Darius Miller  Iman Shumpert
 Shabazz Napier  Jabari Parker  Andrew Wiggins  Austin Rivers  Jason Smith
 Dwyane Wade  Larry Sanders  Mo Williams  John Salmons  JR Smith
 Shawne Williams  Nate Wolters  Thaddeus Young  Jeff Withey  Amar'e Stoudemire
 INACTIVE LIST  
 Andre Dawkins  Damien Inglis  Glenn Robinson III  Russ Smith  Andrea Bargnani
 Josh McRoberts  Johnny O'Bryant  Ronny Turiaf  Patric Young  Travis Wear
         
 OKLAHOMA CITY   ORLANDO   PHILADELPHIA   PHOENIX   PORTLAND
 Steven Adams  Dewayne Dedmon  Michael Carter-Williams  Eric Bledsoe  LaMarcus Aldridge
 Nick Collison  Evan Fournier  Brandon Davies  Goran Dragic  Will Barton
 Serge Ibaka  Aaron Gordon  Christapher Johnson  Tyler Ennis  Nicolas Batum
 Reggie Jackson  Ben Gordon  Luc Mbah A Moute  Archie Goodwin  Steve Blake
 Grant Jerrett  Willie Green  KJ McDaniels  Gerald Green  Joel Freeland
 Perry Jones  Maurice Harkless  Nerlens Noel  Alex Len  Chris Kaman
 Jeremy Lamb  Tobias Harris  Jakarr Sampson  Marcus Morris  Meyers Leonard
 Kendrick Perkins  Devyn Marble  Alexey Shved  Markieff Morris  Damian Lillard
 Andre Roberson  Andrew Nicholson  Henry Sims  Miles Plumlee  Robin Lopez
 Sebastian Telfair  Kyle O'Quinn  Malcolm Thomas  Shavlik Randolph  Wesley Matthews
 Lance Thomas  Elfrid Payton  Hollis Thompson  Isaiah Thomas  CJ McCollum
 Russell Westbrook  Luke Ridnour  Tony Wroten  Anthony Tolliver  Thomas Robinson
   Nikola Vucevic    PJ Tucker  Dorell Wright
 INACTIVE LIST
 Kevin Durant  Channing Frye  Joel Embiid  Zoran Dragic  Victor Claver
 Mitch McGary  Victor Oladipo  Jerami Grant  TJ Warren  Allen Crabbe
 Anthony Morrow    Jason Richardson    
 
 SACRAMENTO   SAN ANTONIO   TORONTO   UTAH   WASHINGTON
 Omri Casspi  Kyle Anderson  DeMar DeRozan  Trevor Booker  DeJuan Blair
 Darren Collison  Jeff Ayres  Landry Fields  Trey Burke  Rasual Butler
 DeMarcus Cousins  Aron Baynes  Tyler Hansbrough  Alec Burks  Drew Gooden
 Reggie Evans  Marco Belinelli  Chuck Hayes  Ian Clark  Marcin Gortat
 Rudy Gay  Matt Bonner  Amir Johnson  Jeremy Evans  Kris Humphries
 Ryan Hollins  Austin Daye  James Johnson  Danté Exum  Andre Miller
 Carl Landry  Boris Diaw  Kyle Lowry  Derrick Favors  Nene
 Ray McCallum  Tim Duncan  Patrick Patterson  Rudy Gobert  Paul Pierce
 Ben McLemore  Manu Ginobili  Terrence Ross  Gordon Hayward  Otto Porter
 Ramon Sessions  Danny Green  Greg Stiemsma  Rodney Hood  Glen Rice Jr.
 Nik Stauskas  Cory Joseph  Jonas Valanciunas  Enes Kanter  Kevin Seraphin
 Jason Thompson  Tony Parker  Greivis Vasquez  Toure' Murry  Garrett Temple
 Derrick Williams    Lou Williams  Steve Novak  John Wall
 INACTIVE LIST
 Eric Moreland  Kawhi Leonard  Bruno Caboclo  Jordan Hamilton  Bradley Beal
   Patty Mills  Lucas Nogueira  Joe Ingles  Martell Webster
   Tiago Splitter    
  • Shayne Whittington (Indiana Pacers), Jakarr Sampson (Philadelphia 76ers), Andrew Dawkins (Miami HEAT), Alex Kirk (Cleveland Cavaliers), Travis Wear (New York Knicks), Eric Moreland (Sacramento Kings) and Patric Young (New Orleans Pelicans) went undrafted this past year.
  • Jerome Jordan (Brooklyn Nets), Jorge Gutierrez (Brooklyn Nets), Justin Holiday (Golden State Warriors), Jordan Hamilton (Utah Jazz), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Charlie Villanueva (Dallas Mavericks), Lou Amundson (Cleveland Cavaliers), A.J. Price (Cleveland Cavaliers) are veterans who played their way onto the opening night roster throughout training camp, or were picked up by another team after being cut.
  • According to reports, Gal Mekel is going to be on his way out of Dallas soon as they look to make room for J.J. Barea, who recently was let go by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • After being traded by the Detroit Pistons then cut by the Boston Celtics, veteran point guard Will Bynum is one of the top free agents on the market, and likely to get picked up in short order. The team that could have the most interest in him is the Los Angeles Lakers, who recently lost Steve Nash for the rest of the season. The Lakers are expected to apply for a Disabled Players Exception, which they could use to sign Bynum. Currently they only have Ronnie Price and Jeremy Lin as the only true point guards on the roster.
  • Ray Allen has yet to make a decision on retirement, but will have plenty of suitors to choose from if he decides he wants to keep playing. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites and have told Allen they will make room for him whenever he is ready. They currently have 15 players under contract, but have the unguaranteed deals of Amundson, Price and Kirk they can easily let go of to make room.
  • Teams with spots available: Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers have 15 players under contract, but outside of Michael Carter-Williams, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel, nobody should feel safe. Even those three, as Carter-Williams found out this offseason, shouldn’t feel too comfortable either. The 76ers have shown a willingness to take on bad contracts if they like the asset attached to it enough, and can easily make room with so many low-figure contracts.
  • One player, Memphis’ Nick Calathes, is starting the season off on the suspension list after failing a drug test for Tamoxifen, which is on the banned substances list. Calathes was suspended 20 games and have served seven already.

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NBA Daily: Five Second-Rounders Looking For Rookie Season Role

Although far from guaranteed, there are five recent second-rounders who could work themselves into important roles in 2018-19.

Ben Nadeau

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After months of speculation, rumors and workouts, the NBA Draft and their respective summer leagues are finally well in the rearview mirror. With training camps up next, franchises can begin to flesh out their rotations and decide the early season fates of their newly-arrived rookies — even if their selection didn’t come with as much fanfare or hype.

And although draft day studs like Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III are nearly guaranteed to contribute immediately, much of the class’ future is still up for grabs — a statement particularly true for those that followed the first round. Whether it was a strong summer league showing or a picture-perfect landing spot, here are the five second round draftees poised to leave a mark in 2018-19.

Kostas Antetokounmpo, Dallas Mavericks
2017-18: 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds on 57.4 percent shooting

Much as been made of the youngest Antetokounmpo’s controversial decision to come out this spring, but his faith was rewarded by Dallas with the draft’s final selection. Back in June, our Spencer Davies dove into Antetokounmpo’s time at Dayton and it’s not difficult to see why the Mavericks took a swing on the raw 6-foot-11 prospect. Over four games in Las Vegas, Antetokounmpo averaged five points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game on 58 percent from the floor — which, of course, is not eye-popping but could foreshadow a role moving forward.

Between Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan and the ever-talented Luka Dončić, Antetokounmpo will not be called upon to carry the scoring load at any point. On a two-way deal, the Mavericks have the luxury to develop the Greek-born stopper in the G-League until he’s ready to make a difference — but for a defensive-minded Rick Carlisle, that day could come sooner rather than later. With Dwight Powell and Ray Spalding fighting for minutes at power forward, Antetokounmpo could be an option at the three, where Barnes has just Dorian Finney-Smith behind him.

For a franchise that ranked 18th in DEF RTG (107.4) last season and will strive for their first postseason berth since 2016, giving spot defensive specialist minutes to Antetokounmpo seems like a win-win partnership.

De’Anthony Melton, Houston Rockets
2016-17: 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals on 43.7 percent shooting

After missing an entire season due to an improper benefits scandal at USC, Melton serendipitously fell to the Rockets way down at No. 46 overall. At 6-foot-3, Melton has a shot to contribute on both ends immediately as an above-average defender and a microwavable scorer. During his Las Vegas debut, Melton tallied 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, four assists and a summer league-leading three steals across five contests — albeit at an improvable 38 percent from the floor. As a tenacious playmaker, Melton should get ample opportunity to impress with a franchise looking to avenge their brutal Western Conference Finals defeat last spring.

On top of learning from one of the best point guards in league history, there also happens to be little competition for Melton in the rotation. In July, the Rockets signed Michael Carter-Williams, a former Rookie of the Year winner that averaged just 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists in 52 games for Charlotte in 2017-18 — and, well, that’s it. For a three-point bombing franchise like Houston, neither guard fits particularly well in that regard, but Melton’s 28.4 percent clip in one season as an 18-year-old still projects better than Carter-Williams’ 25 percent mark over five years.

Chris Paul missed 24 regular season games last year, but the Rockets are still willing to head into training camp with a second-round rookie and Carter-Williams holding down the backup point guard slot — that alone says far more about Houston’s faith in Melton than anything else.

Élie Okobo, Phoenix Suns
2017-18: 12.9 points, 4.8 assists on 39.4 percent from three

Outside of Džanan Musa and the aforementioned Dončić, the Phoenix Suns’ Élie Okobo entered draft night as the most promising overseas prospect in the bunch. Okobo, a 6-foot-2 Frenchman, could feasibly become the Suns’ franchise point guard by season’s end. The playmaking 20-year-old has just Brandon Knight ahead of him on the depth chart, a formidable NBA point guard, but one that does not fit Phoenix’s current rebuilding plan. Admittedly, his statistics won’t jump off the page just yet — 2.3 points, 3.5 assists in four summer league contests — but the potential for Okobo is certainly here.

While it’s worth noting that Okobo didn’t score in three straight contests after his impressive debut, he appears to be a suitable backcourt partner with franchise cornerstone Devin Booker. Whether he’s connecting with a backdoor cut in stride or hitting difficult running floaters, there are plenty of positives to take thus far. With a postseason appearance looking unlikely for the Suns, it’ll make sense to give Okobo the reins before long — even if they can’t move Knight’s contract worth $15.6 million in 2019-20.

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
2017-18: N/A

Needless to say, Mitchell Robinson could be an absolute treat for the New York Knicks.

For much of the pre-draft process, it looked like Robinson was a shoo-in first rounder, with many speculating that he even received a promise from the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 25 overall. Once the first 30 picks came and went without Robinson — who elected to pull out of the draft combine in May — the Knicks were more than happy to scoop him up. Across five summer league contests, Robinson averaged 13 points, 10.2 rebounds and a competition-leading four blocks per game on 67 percent from the field.

On a team-friendly four-year deal worth just $1.8 million in 2021-22, Robinson already looks like a bargain. But beyond his first-round talent at a second-round price, there’s a real chance that Robinson can contribute for New York right away. Following the recent news that Joakim Noah will be stretched if the Knicks can’t find a suitable partner by training camp, that leaves exactly two centers left on the roster: Enes Kanter and Robinson. The 7-foot-1 prospect is a natural replacement for the departed Kyle O’Quinn, while the newly-minted David Fizdale should love Robinson’s shot-changing impact defensively.

Even if Robinson shuttles back-and-forth to and from Westchester throughout the season, he could still seamlessly slide into the Knicks’ rotation from day one.

Jevon Carter, Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18: 17.3 points, 6.6 assists, 3 steals on 39.3 percent from three

Earlier this week, Matt John put forth an excellent case for what should be a comeback season for the Grit-And-Grind Grizzlies — but there’s one second-rounder still currently flying under the radar. Despite a stellar final season at West Virginia, Carter dropped into Memphis’ lap and there are few that so elegantly fit the franchise’s identity without effort. As the reigning back-to-back NABC Defensive Player of the Year, Carter should split the backup point guard minutes with newcomer Shelvin Mack, if not more by season’s end.

The additions of Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson and Omri Casspi, along with renewed health from Mike Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol, will have Memphis eying the postseason once again — but Carter will likely be a fan favorite long before then as well. During his lengthy summer league initiation, Carter pulled in 11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals over seven games. Although his 35 percent clip from the floor could use some restraint, he won’t need to shoulder offensive responsibilities with the Grizzlies.

Carter’s hard-nosed style of play will enhance an uncharacteristically poor Memphis defense from last season, with his years of extra experience allowing the bullish ball-stopper to drop into the rotation from the get-go.

With franchises focused on their high-ranking lottery picks, many second round draftees (and their often non-guaranteed contracts) will never carve out a consistent NBA role. But from backing up future Hall of Famers to filling a hole in the rotation, it should surprise no one if Antetokounmpo, Melton, Okobo, Robinson and Carter earn some big-time opportunities in 2018-19. Last year alone, Semi Ojeleye, Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell all quickly found their niche at the professional level — so who will it be this year?

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NBA Daily: Poeltl Looking Forward To New Beginning With Spurs

Spencer Davies looks at the under-the-radar portion of the DeMar DeRozan-Kawhi Leonard trade and how Jakob Poeltl is already embracing the change.

Spencer Davies

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One month ago, a superstar-swapping trade between the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs was agreed upon.

The deal—which once again sparked a national debate about player loyalty—sent a reportedly disgruntled Kawhi Leonard to The North in exchange for Masai Ujiri’s franchise cornerstone, DeMar DeRozan.

Longtime Spur and veteran sharpshooter Danny Green was also moved to Toronto, while San Antonio acquired a protected future first-round draft pick and 22-year-old big man Jakob Poeltl.

Remember, Poeltl was an integral piece of a talented Raptor bench that produced a better net rating than their starters, as well as nearly all five-man groups in the league.

While the majority of pundits have gone back and forth about who won the trade, few have mentioned the ninth overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. Being involved in the transaction admittedly caught Poeltl “a little bit off guard.”

But entering his third year as a pro, the seven-foot Austrian is embracing the change and a brand new start with one of the most well-respected organizations in sports.

“That’s one of the things I’m most excited about, just the fact that this program has such a big history in developing players,” Poeltl told reporters in his first media appearance since the move. “I’m really excited for the process. Gonna be a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to it.”

From what he has heard from players who have been a part of the Spurs in the past and those who are currently there, it’s an unselfish group of people. They consider it a family environment.

“Everybody is just in it together,” Poeltl said. “From the very top to the very last guy on the bench or in the gym. It’s really like a great atmosphere, at least from what I’ve heard. So I’m looking forward to actually experiencing it myself.”

As soon as Poeltl got to San Antonio, he gazed at the championship banners hanging inside of the gym and quickly realized the expectations he’ll have to fulfill this season are a little higher than where he came from.

“It’s crazy, it’s different,” Poeltl said. “Obviously in Toronto, we didn’t have banners like that. Like we’re on a good way there, but this program here has some tradition to it. Over the last 20 years been a great basketball team. Obviously, you can tell by the championships and all the accomplishments.

“It’s a little bit of pressure, too. Like we’re trying to live up to that. There’s obviously a very high standard here, so we’ve gotta come in and put the work in and really show what we’ve got on the court as a team.”

Poeltl hasn’t wasted any time in immersing himself into the culture. In fact, he’s been working out at their practice facility since he arrived and feels like there’s a “natural chemistry” already with his new teammates.

In the weight room, Poeltl came across the forever face of the Spurs and future Hall-of-Fame forward, Tim Duncan. The conversation between them was short, sweet and casual. Basketball wasn’t brought up, as that will likely be saved for another time when the season approaches.

Duncan still sticks around and helps in practices from time-to-time, but he won’t be there every day. Somebody else who will be, however, is Pau Gasol, a fellow international center that Poeltl looks forward to learning from.

Though those two will be able to give veteran advice and priceless pointers, Poeltl’s most crucial teachings will come from the Spurs lead general—Gregg Popovich. Like with Duncan, on-court discussions were not the focus of their first interaction.

“We went to dinner,” Poeltl said. “We didn’t really talk too much basketball. It was more just like trying to get to know each other, like a first impression. I think there’s more than enough time for us to talk basketball and really learn what the Spurs are all about on the basketball court.

“But it was a really good conversation. Like I really enjoyed it. He’s a very down-to-earth type guy for if you think about what he’s accomplished in his career. He’s really cool.”

Once training camp comes and the dialogue does take a turn towards the hardwood, Poeltl will be all ears. As it stands now, Poeltl’s niche is the hustle guy. He picks up the scraps, corrals offensive rebounds and dives after loose balls, but don’t pigeonhole “role player” to his name. He plans on doing more in San Antonio.

“I take a lot of pride in that,” Poeltl said. “I think I do a lot of the little things out there—set good screens, be in the right places, making good reads off of my teammates and making plays for my teammates at the same time. Obviously like for me, that’s my role right now and I’m really enjoying that.

“I’m working on my game every single day in practice and I’m trying to develop more offensively and defensively so I can take on more responsibilities in the future.”

Moving on from the team that drafted you to another can be difficult. Luckily, Poeltl isn’t coming alone.

“Obviously it helps to have a familiar face like a guy that I’ve played with over the last three years,” Poeltl said of DeRozan. “Like I know how he plays basketball, he knows me. I think we play well together.”

In the two years they have played together, Poeltl has noticed DeRozan fine-tune his game. Although he is first and foremost a pure scorer, his all-around offense is getting better.

DeRozan’s reads on the opposition are crisper, as are the adjustments he makes due to that. He understands when to take games over and has involved his teammates more and more with each season.

It’s no surprise that the four-time All-Star guard is coming to the Spurs with a statement to make. All he’s done since being drafted is improve and devote himself to his second home in Toronto. He hasn’t uttered one favorable comment towards the front office he feels betrayed him.

Witnessing the kind of player DeRozan is when he’s pushed, Poeltl expects we’ll see a whole other side of him unleashed this year.

“It’s a little bit scary, to be honest,” Poeltl said. “Because I know what he can do when he has a chip on his shoulder, when he gets that extra motivation. I think he’s gonna be ready.”

Poeltl doesn’t have quite that big of a score to settle with the Raptors.

He’s just ready to give his all to an organization in a blue-collar town that matches the kind of work ethic he’s had since he started playing the game.

“That’s kinda how I’ve been for my whole basketball career,” Poeltl said. “Just get the work done.”

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NBA Daily: Can an Anthony-D’Antoni Marriage Work for Houston?

Shane Rhodes lays out how the Carmelo Anthony-Mike D’Antoni pairing could work this time around in Houston.

Shane Rhodes

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It’s official: Carmelo Anthony has joined the Houston Rockets after putting pen to paper on a contract. In doing so, Anthony will join a gifted offensive team helmed by former Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni.

Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

Back in 2011, when Anthony joined the New York Knicks via a blockbuster trade with the Denver Nuggets, a younger D’Antoni was in the midst of his third year with New York. While he didn’t exactly have a sterling record with the Knicks prior to the acquisition (89-129 before), things improved little upon Anthony’s arrival in the Big Apple (31-38 after). The two butted heads constantly and, after just a year (and an ultimatum forced on the Knicks by Anthony), D’Antoni was out the door; he resigned from his position and pursued work elsewhere.

Now, together once again, questions remain about how their relationship and, ultimately, their offensive styles will mesh in Houston. D’Antoni has already come out and said things will be different this time around, but nothing is so certain in the NBA; what is stopping things from going south as they did for the Knicks, who, despite a bevy of talent, just couldn’t make things work?

It’s important to understand where things went wrong in New York in order to look at where they could go wrong in Houston.

From the jump, the two weren’t exactly the best fit. Anthony wanted to play the way he had his entire career — heavy isolation, high usage basketball — while D’Antoni’s offense was spread out, predicated on ball movement, and closer to what we see in the modern offense.

Those two styles aren’t exactly conducive to the success of one another.

The Knicks finished the season 42-40, going just 13-14 in Anthony’s 27 games with the team. The two continued to be at odds with one another into the next season until, after leading the Knicks to an underwhelming 18-24 start, D’Antoni resigned. While things improved under Mike Woodson in 2012 — Anthony posted the highest usage rate of his career while the Knicks won 52 games — they quickly devolved into disaster and the Knicks, once again, found themselves in a hole that they are still trying to climb out of.

Now, on to Houston. This isn’t the same D’Antoni; he has changed and so has his offense. While ball movement still plays an integral role, D’Antoni has put much more of an emphasis on isolation plays in order to better fit the profile of his current roster.

The Rockets posted historic offensive numbers with James Harden and Chris Paul running the show, but did so unlike D’Antoni teams of the past. Gone are the days of the seven-seconds-or-less offense; the Rockets played at a pace (97.4 possessions per 48 minutes) that was middle of the pack, while their assist total came in at just 26th in the league, third worst among teams that made the postseason last year. Despite that, Houston managed to post the highest offensive rating (114.7) in the league.

While those stylistic changes should aid Anthony as he looks to rebound next season, they alone don’t make this the perfect fit for the Rockets. Anthony will never see the touches that he was once accustomed to in New York or Denver. He isn’t the same player he was five years ago, either; as his athleticism has declined, so too has Anthony’s ability to get past his defenders, leading to tougher, lower percentage shots that could sink the Rockets come the postseason.

The only thing that really holds Anthony back now is his own stubborn ignorance of those facts. He refused to adjust last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder because he still has “so much left in the tank.” Anthony posted some of the worst numbers of his career last season and, while Billy Donovan isn’t the offensive wizard that D’Antoni is, things should only get worse as Harden (36.1 percent usage rate) and Paul (24.5) dominate the ball if Anthony remains unwilling to change.

So, while his words may hold true, Anthony is no longer in a position where he needs to put the team on his back in order for it to be successful. Houston already has a well-established hierarchy, and Anthony is merely a column meant to buttress what is already in place. If he can’t come to accept that, the chance Houston is taking on him could backfire tremendously.

Still, Houston needs someone to eat the minutes vacated by the departure of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency. While he may not be able to match their defensive exploits, Anthony is still more than capable of filling their shoes, or even providing an upgrade, offensively. That potential upgrade alone could make the move a worthwhile one for the Rockets, who came just minutes from dethroning the Golden State Warriors despite the loss of Chris Paul in the Western Conference Finals.

For things to truly work out, however, Anthony must be willing to accept a change in his role, a diminished one in an offense that isn’t hurting for star power or shot takers, but one that desperately needs role players. If Anthony can adapt, he could be exactly what they need to challenge the Warriors. If not, Anthony’s arrival could blow up in D’Antoni’s face just as it did with the Knicks.

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