The 2013 NBA regular season is just over one month away from commencing. In turn, teams are preparing for training camp and the preseason by searching the world for last-minute additions and tweaks that could alter the trajectory of their respective seasons.
The question is, what's the latest buzz emerging from around the league?
At this point, the star power is gone and the open market is limited to role players. With that being established, depth is key in the NBA, and as teams approach the preseason, each are looking to find the player or assistant coach who can complete their squad.
Here's what you need to know about the players and coaches that could do that.
Knicks Split on Earl Barron
The New York Knicks have been one of the most active teams in the NBA during the course of the 2013 offseason. With the high-profile acquisition of both Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace, as well as the low-profile signing of Beno Udrih, New York has made improvements.
According to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, the Knicks are torn on whether or not they will continue to adjust the roster by signing veteran big man Earl Barron.
The Knicks coaches want Earl [Barron], but ownership wants to wait, the source told Bleacher Report.
I think Mike Woodson likes him a lot because of the professionalism he showed this year, the source said recently. He went from a vacation—a weekend trip with his family—to flying into D.C., drove to the airport and flew to New York and got in at midnight. He worked out for the coaches at 6 o'clock that morning, took the physical after that and then played 36 minutes that same night, and he had almost 20 boards. Earl kept his body right.
It's always a good sign when the coaching staff thinks a player will help and the front office refuses to oblige.
Barron, 32, is a seven-year veteran who has played for seven separate teams, including two tenures with the Knicks. Standing at 7'0" and 250 pounds, Barron possesses the type of size that any coach would love to place down low.
Clearly, Woodson is one of the coaches who thinks that way.
Barron rarely sees extended minutes, but in two tenures with the Knicks, he's averaging 11.6 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. Don't read too much into those numbers, as they've been posted in an eight-game span.
Even still, for a Knicks team that has as many personalities as any other squad in the league, a player with a respected work ethic is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Orlando Adds Five to Training Camp
Since trading franchise center Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic have kept no secrets about their desire to rebuild. Thus far, the Magic have already built an under-25 core of Victor Oladipo, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Who is most deserving of a roster spot with the Orlando Magic?
The five players Orlando will host are Osby, Michael Eric, Manny Harris, Solomon Jones and Kris Joseph. Eric and Jones are veteran centers, while both Harris and Joseph have made a living on the perimeter.
While it's unclear which players have a genuine shot at making the roster, it's yet another display of Orlando's youth movement, as only Jones is older than 25.
The most notable name on this list is Osby, whom the Magic selected with the No. 51 overall draft choice in the 2013 NBA draft. The 6'8" and 240-pound power forward is a strong player who attacks the glass and knows how to space the floor offensively.
If any of these five players will be on the main roster in 2013-14, expect it to be Osby.
Power forward is a deep position for the Magic, as both Glen Davis and Andrew Nicholson have proven to be effective players. With that being said, general manager Rob Hennigan knows better than to waste draft choices, and Osby does have NBA upside.
Keep a close eye on the development of the former Oklahoma Sooner.
Sixers Targeting Kuester
The Philadelphia 76ers took a very questionable approach this offseason, waiting until the draft had passed and free agency was in full swing to hire a head coach. The Sixers finally made a decision and hired former San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Sixers are looking to build their assistant coaching staff by acquiring John Kuester.
Ex-Pistons coach John Kuester is the leading candidate to join Brett Brown's staff as top assistant w/ the 76ers, league sources tell Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) September 20, 2013
This would mark Kuester's third tenure in Philadelphia.
Kuester was a Sixers assistant coach from 1997 to 2003 and again in 2005-06. Most recently, he was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers after a disastrous head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons.
Just don't think these two situations are comparable.
With the Pistons, Kuester was a new face that was looking to impose his system on a group of veterans. Considering players such as Richard Hamilton had already won an NBA championship before Kuester had even come along, that approach was doomed from the start.
With the Sixers, however, there is no shortage of youth. Led by rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia is in need of direction, and Kuester can help Brown provide that.
It's not official, but Kuester could be returning to Philly very soon.