NBA Rumors: Latest on Rosters Cuts and Lineup Changes from Around the League
With the start of the NBA season rapidly approaching, teams will be trying to make final decisions on rosters and depth charts.
The All-Stars and top scorers from each team have their spots locked up, but the role players are still fighting to prove that they can be key components in their teams' plans.
Coaches are earning their paychecks with these decisions, ensuring that they have a flexible and deep roster that is ready to make a run toward the postseason.
Here are the latest rumors regarding roster cuts and lineup changes heading into the start of regular-season games on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Phoenix Suns to Continue Trimming the Roster
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The Phoenix Suns have already started downsizing their roster, and more cuts will be necessary before the season starts.
Othyus Jeffers was the first player to be shown the door, and with 13 players already on the the payroll, a few more cuts are coming, according to Paul Coro of AZCentral.com.
The most notable name among the players who may not make the team is Ike Diogu, who endeared himself to the local crowd while averaging over 20 points in his sophomore and junior seasons at Arizona State.
Entering a new era in which Steve Nash is not running the offense, there will be many questions moving forward for the Suns, and the role players will be vital to the team's success this season.
Who Will Start in the Sacramento Kings' Backcourt?
Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
The Sacramento Kings have a crowded backcourt, and head coach Keith Smart has tinkered with different lineups throughout the preseason.
Aaron Brooks joined the team this offseason, complementing Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette.
This has caused Smart to turn into a mad scientist with his lineup experiments, telling Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee, "I've got about 14 (starting lineups) right now. It's like Sudoku when I look down at that board."
The latest game against the Trail Blazers had Brook and Evans starting in the backcourt, even though Thornton started alongside Evans most often last season.
Robert Sacre Looks to Nail Down a Spot on Los Angeles Lakers Roster
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Robert Sacre was the last player to be picked in the 2012 NBA draft, and basketball's Mr. Irrelevant often does not find his way onto a roster.
But the seven-footer out of Gonzaga has taken full advantage of extra playing time in the preseason due to injuries to Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times writes, "Sacre has made enough plays to solidify a probable spot on the roster for the season opener against Dallas on Oct. 30."
Bolch notes that in addition to Sacre's hustle and humility, he is an attractive option for Los Angeles because his salary for this season would be $474,000, when many of his prospective teammates have bloated contracts.
Sacre has proved to be an excellent fit in the preseason, and he's in an excellent position to be a Laker this year.
Miami Heat Still Trying to Fill Two Roster Spots
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The Miami Heat are looking to settle on a final 15-man roster to start their title defense.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel quoted head coach Erik Spoelstra saying, "Right now with our bench, it's more evaluation. We're trying to get some minutes for some of the new guys. These are two important roster spots we have to fill."
The report notes that Mickell Gladness, Josh Harrellson, Rodney Carney, Robert Dozier, Jarvis Varnado, Terrel Harris and Garrett Temple are all fighting for these spots, making competition stiff.
Gladness is the only player who was with the team last season, but all the players vying for a spot are still in contention to help LeBron James continue chipping away at the championships he has promised Miami.
Who Will Start at Center for the Orlando Magic?
Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
The Orlando Magic traded away Dwight Howard and did not receive a top-level center in return, leaving a gaping hole at the 5-spot in the team's starting lineup.
Nikola Vucevic and Gustavo Ayon are the team's options at the position, and new head coach Jacque Vaughn will have to choose between two inexperienced players.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reported that Vucevic has the edge on Ayon at this point in the preseason, and he will likely start for the team.
Still, expect both players to factor into Vaughn's plans this season.