NBA Thoughts & Notes For Preseason Week 2

NBA

The 2022-23 NBA regular season is almost here. However, there are still plenty of things to be sorted out before teams have to make their final roster decisions this weekend. I will look at several of the top storylines around the league over the last week.

Should Draymond Green Have Been Suspended For Altercation With Jordan Poole?

On Tuesday, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Green was fined an undisclosed amount but not suspended for punching Jordan Poole at practice last Wednesday. Green, who has been away from the team since the weekend, will return to the team on Thursday.

Personally, I believe that the Warriors should have suspended him. However, since Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers left the decision to suspend or not up to Golden State’s players, then I support the organization. As it is the unity of the players that matter, and if Poole and the rest of the team thought it was okay to have him back, then it really is irrelevant what anyone else thinks.

Who Will Grab The Raptors Last NBA Roster Spot?

The Raptors went into NBA training camp with essentially two open roster slots. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet (Canada), Delano Blanton has done enough to secure one of those roster spots. Last season, Blanton averaged 3.2 points along with 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 64 appearances while producing an effective field goal percentage of 44.3%.

That leaves the NBA competition for the last spot down to Justin Champagnie, D.J. Wilson, Josh Jackson, and Gabe Brown. Wilson, Jackson, and Brown have seen the same amount of time during the preseason, with Champagnie only appearing in eight minutes in a single contest. So, unless Champaignie – who missed the first three exhibition contests due to a hip injury – thrives in the Raptors’ last preseason game against the Celtics, it appears he will not make the squad this way season.

It is believed that Nurse could consider the offensive abilities of the players competing for the last roster spot more than usual. In that case, it appears that Wilson has the edge.

Wilson, who is a high-energy player, can do a little bit of everything, and he has been very efficient this preseason. The 6-10 athletic forward can stretch the floor and is a good rebounder.

Wilson averaged 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game over four contests with the Raptors last season. Jackson is also having a decent preseason, but he just doesn’t shoot the ball well enough. Meanwhile, Brown is on an exhibit 10 contract, meaning as long as he clears waivers – which is an extremely strong possibility – he can join the Raptors G-League team as an affiliate player.

Other NBA Thoughts

Houston currently has 14 NBA players under guaranteed contracts, and two players on a partial and recently signed Willie Cauley-Stein in camp. Cauley-Stein is competing with Derrick Favors, Garrison Matthews, and Kenyon Martin Jr. for the final two roster spots. Martin could be traded, but if that doesn’t occur, I expect Cauley-Stein and Matthews to claim the final two roster spots.

Caris LeVert should win the Cavaliers’ starting small forward spot. LeVert is competing with Dean Wade and Isaac Okora for the right to be on the first team.

 


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