With the NBA's preseason underway, every team has plenty of decisions to make in regards to their rosters. Most teams are already at the roster limit so that they can evaluate as many players as possible, but there is no question that there are some intriguing players available on the market who could generate some interest in the coming weeks.
There aren't any superstars to be had, but contending teams could conceivably find that one missing piece for their bench, while up-and-coming squads may be able to secure a key contributor. Whatever the case, talent evaluators will continue to work hard between now and the start of the regular season, looking for the right fit.
Here is a breakdown of the latest rumors surrounding possible roster moves that could impact the league as the regular season approaches.
Which player will make the biggest impact during the 2013-14 season?
After spending the first seven seasons of his career as a reserve guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson suddenly finds himself without a job.
Thanks to his skill set and vast playoff experience, however, the 27-year-old sharpshooter shouldn't be unemployed for much longer. There are several teams that could use a player of Gibson's ilk on their roster, and one that has emerged as the potential favorite is the Denver Nuggets, according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
With career averages of 7.8 points, 1.8 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game, the University of Texas product is an ideal depth guard. He's a bit undersized as a shooting guard (6'2", 200 lbs.), but it isn't as if he'll be expected to play huge minutes. The Nuggets already have some great backcourt depth with Ty Lawson, Nate Robinson, Andre Miller and Randy Foye, among others, but it never hurts to have a three-point gunner like Gibson.
Although Gibson's three-point-shooting efficiency has waned a bit in recent years, he has hit from long range at nearly a 41-percent clip for his career, and that is something that could come in handy for the Nuggets or a host of other teams. Gibson may not be considered a huge pickup, but he is a guy who has proven that he can score off the bench, so he'll be worth the small investment it will take to land him.
With career averages of just under four points and four rebounds per game, the merits of signing center Jason Collins are certainly arguable. With that said, Collins became the first openly-gay player in NBA history back in April, so he could have a positive and uplifting effect on a team if it chooses to sign him.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Brooklyn Nets are a possibility at some point during the season, as they may revisit the thought of bringing him on board should a need arise.
The 34-year-old big man is a 12-year veteran with great leadership capability, so it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if he caught on somewhere. Seven-footers are always in high demand, and Collins is a fundamentally-sound player who is willing to do the little things necessary to contribute to a winning effort.
Collins garnered some interest earlier in the offseason from teams, including the New York Knicks, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Mike Woodson said the Knicks had talks over the summer about signing Jason Collins.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) October 2, 2013
Stein didn't mention the Knicks as a potential suitor once the regular season begins, but the fact that a contending team kicked the tires on Collins bodes well for his prospects moving forward. Even though Collins is clearly on the downside of his career, teams can do much worse if they're looking for a veteran big at the end of the bench. Once the injury bug starts to strike, Collins figures to become a hot commodity.
Veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu has done a lot for the Orlando Magic franchise, as he was a huge part of their run to the NBA Finals in 2008-09.
Turkoglu's skills have eroded over the past few seasons, however, and he simply doesn't have a place on a team that has decided to build with youth. Because of that, Turkoglu has likely played his last game for the Magic, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
While the Magic have yet to settle on a solution regarding Turkoglu's standing with the team, general manager Rob Hennigan suggested that a buyout is on the horizon, via the aforementioned Orlando Sentinel article:
Our organization has a great deal of respect for Hedo and the contributions he’s made to the team over the years. We’ve made an organizational decision to move in a different direction. During the pendency of our buyout negotiations, we’ve mutually agreed to have Hedo remain with his family while we work toward an agreement.
If the Magic are unable to find a trade partner, a buyout is the only real option for Orlando. Turkoglu could sign with another NBA team or even play in his native Turkey, so a buyout could be the best thing for him.
Turkoglu isn't the player that he used to be, but he still has something left in the tank.
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