NBA Training Camp Watch: Northwest Division

NBA Training Camp Watch: Northwest Division
Oct 10, 2006, 02:47 am
A look at the training camp rosters of all five Northwest Division teams, with an eye on open spots on each roster, and the potential favorites we might see emerge.

Denver Nuggets

Guaranteed Contracts:

Carmelo Anthony
Earl Boykins
Marcus Camby
Yakhouba Diawara
Reggie Evans
Nene Hilario
Julius Hodge
Linas Kleiza
Kenyon Martin
Andre Miller
Eduardo Najera
Jamal Sampson
J.R. Smith
Joe Smith


Courtney Alexander
Anthony Carter
Antoine Hood
Larry Ayuso (Cut)
Corey Williams (Cut)

Analysis: The Nuggets have 14 guaranteed contacts on their books already, and didn’t take long to waive three of their six training camp invites: Larry Ayuso, Corey Williams and Jefferson Sobral. The overwhelming favorite to make the 15th spot is veteran point guard Anthony Carter, as coach George Karl has already come out supporting keeping him around and has cited the need for a 3rd point guard due to his team’s run and gun style of play.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Guaranteed Contracts:

Mark Blount
Ricky Davis
Randy Foye
Kevin Garnett
Eddie Griffin
Trenton Hassell
Troy Hudson
Mike James
Marko Jaric
Mark Madsen
Rashad McCants
Justin Reed
Craig Smith

Partially Guaranteed:

Bracey Wright ($332,105) increases to 498,157 on October 31st, and to 664,209 on December 15th


Paul Shirley
Vin Baker
Tyrone Ellis

Analysis: Despite Bracey Wright only being guaranteed half of his salary ($332,105), its almost certainly a substantial enough for the T’Wolves to keep him around if they have any type of feelings for him at all. Wright therefore brings the number of available roster spots to 1, and considering the type of players Minnesota invited, it seems likely they will remain there as well unless Vin Baker finds a way to regain his all-star form.

Portland Trailblazers

Guaranteed Contracts:

LaMarcus Aldridge
Dan Dickau
Juan Dixon
Jarrett Jack
Raef LaFrentz
Jamaal Magloire
Darius Miles
Travis Outlaw
Joel Przybilla
Zach Randolph
Sergio Rodriguez
Brandon Roy
Martell Webster


Ime Udoka
Zendon Hamilton

Analysis: Portland has only 13 players under contract, which makes it slightly more odd that they only invited two players to training camp. Aaron Miles was supposed to be here too, but an injury prevented him from conducting two-a-days. Both Udoka and Hamilton have solid NBA experience underneath their belt, so it really wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see either or even both make the team. Small Forward, which just happens to be Udoka’s position, is probably the place Portland is lacking depth at the most.

On a sidenote, Sergio Rodriguez was the only player besides Andrea Bargnani to receive less than the maximum allowed amount of 120% of the rookie scale, presumably to help pay his buyout from Estudiantes in a more tax effective way. He’ll make around $800,000 less than the player drafted right after him—Maurice Ager—should both players be kept for the full four years of their contract.

Seattle Supersonics

Guaranteed Contracts:

Ray Allen
Nick Collison
Danny Fortson
Mickael Gelabale
Rashard Lewis
Johan Petro
Luke Ridnour
Mouhamed Sene
Robert Swift
Earl Watson
Chris Wilcox
Damien Wilkins


Kenny Adeleke
Denham Brown
Desmon Farmer
Noel Felix (Cut)
Milt Palacio
Mike Wilks
Kareem Rush

Analysis: One of the most intriguing training camp battles you’ll find, the Sonics have only 12 players under contract and some definite holes to fill on their roster. Noel Felix was already cut (he actually asked to in order to sign a $500,000 contract overseas with Maccabi Tel Aviv to be their 2007 version of Maceo Baston), which means that if Seattle is looking to keep one big man around (not a give-in), Kenny Adeleke is certainly their guy. From what we’ve seen a few times over the past 6 months, he would make a very nice choice too. Seattle will reportedly keep 13 or 14 players (ownership might only allow 13 to continue to cut costs), but one of them will surely be a guard. Mike Wilks will battle Milt Palacio for the right to be the team’s 3rd point guard, and Desmon Farmer will go up against Denham Brown and Kareem Rush on the wing. Rush has yet to participate in scrimmages due to a groin injury, but seems to have the support of the coaching staff. Farmer impressed in summer league in Salt Lake City, particularly with his outside shooting, and has helped himself throughout the summer with his energetic style of play.

Utah Jazz

Guaranteed Contracts:

Rafael Araujo
Carlos Boozer
Ronnie Brewer
Jarron Collins
Derek Fisher
Gordan Giricek
Matt Harpring
Andrei Kirilenko
C.J. Miles
Paul Millsap
Mehmet Okur
Deron Williams

Partially Guaranteed:

Dee Brown
Roger Powell ($125,000)


Brian Chase
Hiram Fuller
Tyler Smith
Frans Steyn

Analysis: Another team with plenty of roster spots to spare, the Jazz brought in 6 players to look at for their 3 available openings. Roger Powell looks like an early favorite to make it after already having being guaranteed $125,000, while former teammate Dee Brown seems likely as well after being drafted #46. Even though he went a spot later, fellow 2006 draftee Paul Millsap seems to have impressed the Jazz quite a bit more than Brown over the summer, as he received a 2 year fully guaranteed deal for above the minimum with a team option on the third (fully guaranteed) year. Millsap will make $625,000 as a rookie, second in this year’s draft class (amongst 2nd rounders) only to Solomon Jones.

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