The 2013-14 NBA season is inching closer, with free-agent signings mostly at a halt and training camp about to start up. It’s an exciting time, as fans will get a glimpse of potential contributors competing against one another to make the roster.
There are plenty of talented players on the open market and many of them will be attending at least one camp this fall, making the battles over a limited number of jobs extremely competitive.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz concerning training camp, possible free-agent additions and more in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.
Knicks Working Out Ricky Davis, Others
The New York Knicks have a single roster spot available, but there is no shortage of players attempting to earn that guaranteed contract.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, Ricky Davis is among the 10 hopeful candidates working out at a minicamp in New York with the goal of getting selected to join the team’s training camp.
Davis once averaged over 20 points per game for a full season and holds career numbers of 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
The 33-year-old last played in the NBA back in 2009-10 as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, although he contributed just 4.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 36 games.
Unfortunately, Davis didn’t seem to care much about winning games during his prime and once tried—and failed—to illegally rebound off his own basket to get a triple-double.
He’s spent the last three seasons bouncing around the D-League and playing basketball in various foreign countries, although he definitely has the raw talent and skill to play in the Association.
Even if he shows a drastic improvement in attitude and willingness to be a good teammate, it’s hard to see a situation where the Knicks would want to add him to the roster.
The team is also looking at younger, more promising players such as Justin Brownlee, as per Zwerling.
The former St. John’s standout played a season with the Red Storm, averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He’s a long shot to make the roster but definitely has some upside.
It’s widely expected that the Knicks lean toward bringing in a big man, as they are the most injury-prone and thin in the frontcourt. However, a surprise performance at the minicamp and proper training camp could change the front office’s plans.
Bobcats Bring in Troy Daniels, Patrick O’Bryant
The Charlotte Bobcats are hoping to leave the league’s basement during the 2013-14 campaign and need to make sure they carefully select every member of the 15-man roster in order to accomplish that goal.
Team brass is off to a good start and is inviting a number of high-upside free agents to training camp with the possibility of a guaranteed contract and some actual playing time with this young squad.
As per Zwerling, former VCU star Troy Daniels is one of the young studs that the Bobcats have invited to Charlotte for training camp.
The Rams product is coming off an impressive season in which he averaged 12.3 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. He led the team to the third round of the NCAA tournament, but a poor shooting performance doomed VCU against Michigan.
His elite three-point range and scoring touch could make him a major asset for the team, assuming he can prove to be a cut above the rest in training camp.
Daniels will be competing with Patrick O’Bryant for a roster spot, as HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy is reporting the veteran center is also heading to training camp in Charlotte.
The seven-footer last played with the Toronto Raptors during the 2009-10 season and holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds. If he makes the team, it will largely be as insurance and another big body in the Bobcats’ weak frontcourt.
Mavs Trying Out Melo
The Dallas Mavericks lost out on the Greg Oden sweepstakes and weren’t able to sign a marquee big man during free agency—notably whiffing on Dwight Howard—so they’ll have to go to war with Samuel Dalembert at the 5.
There’s little depth behind the veteran journeyman, which is why the organization is searching high and low for some untapped talent. That quest has led to a training camp invite for Fab Melo, who was recently released by the Memphis Grizzlies.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Melo was extended an invite last week and could play a decent role on this team if he can make the final roster.
Remember, Melo is a legit seven-footer that was the No. 22 pick in the 2012 draft coming out of Syracuse. He has undeniable upside, although that has yet to translate into actual skill.
Regardless, he’s worth a shot at such little risk to the Mavs, and it would not be surprising to see the young man resurrect his career in Texas this coming season.