NBA roster spot battles with Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan

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On the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast, hosts Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan discussed which players could earn roster spots on the Blazers, Timberwolves, Nets, Raptors, Bucks, Hornets, Spurs, Grizzlies, Warriors, Thunder, Pelicans, and more.

For more interviews with players, coaches, and media members, be sure to like and subscribe to the HoopsHype podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.

:55 Portland Trail Blazers

Gozlan: Portland has 13 players, and they’re all guaranteed. They need to get to 14 before the start of the regular season. They have a couple of guys in training camp. They brought in Dennis Smith Jr. and reportedly Marquese Chriss. One of them, or potentially another guy they bring to camp, wins that spot. That player would probably be non-guaranteed throughout the whole year until the league’s cutdown date in January. Scotto: I’ve heard several forwards that Portland has interest in potentially bringing to training camp. One of them is Michael Beasley, who played in Summer League for the Blazers. I’ve also heard Patrick Patterson’s name linked to Portland as a possibility. James Ennis has drawn interest from the Blazers as well as the Bulls, Lakers, and Magic, I’m told. Another guy who came up is a center, Isaiah Hartenstein. He’s drawn interest from Portland. Another team that’s in the mix for him is the Clippers, I’m told. Harry Giles just agreed to a deal there (Clippers), according to The Athletic. The Clippers seem to be looking for some frontcourt help because before Giles agreed to a deal with the Clippers, they expressed interest in Alize Johnson, a source told HoopsHype. Johnson also drew interest from a few other teams once he cleared waivers. Some other teams that expressed interest in Johnson were the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks before he eventually agreed to his deal with the Bulls, I’m told.

4:01 Minnesota Timberwolves

Gozlan: Minnesota has 11 players on their roster, so they need to fill in three more guys. I get a feeling those three players are already lined up. One of these players is Leandro Bolmaro, their first-round pick from last year. I’ve seen reports he’s expected to sign with the Wolves… The other two guys I’m expecting to return are Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin. Both guys currently have qualifying offers extended to them from Minnesota… The Wolves are really close to the luxury tax this year, and if they make a big trade, that might push them over. In the meantime, for this roster, I imagine they want to stay under (the tax). Scotto: I can see Minnesota trying to sign Vanderbilt to a multi-year deal for the right price. He’s only 22, is going to continue to improve, and he fits the young core.

6:42 Brooklyn Nets

Sekou Doumbouya and Blake Griffin
Sekou Doumbouya and Blake Griffin

Scotto: They have a bit of a roster crunch. They’ve got to cut guys. Jahlil Okafor, I’d say, is pretty unlikely to remain on the roster. Then, you’ve got a decision to me where it’s DeAndre’ Bembry or Sekou Doumbouya. Bembry would be the fifth CAA client to make the roster if he makes it to the regular season. Gozlan: I’m surprised Detroit gave up on Sekou as fast as they did, but if Brooklyn isn’t sold on him either, maybe there’s something going on. From the outside looking in, I’d keep Sekou. He’s still got a lot of upside.

10:03 Toronto Raptors

Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors
Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors

Scotto: They’re a young group, so I’d expect them to keep some of their young guys. One veteran in that group (of non-guaranteed players) is Sam Dekker. It’d be interesting for me to see if he can carve his way onto a spot on the roster. Given where they are and how they’re rebuilding, I don’t necessarily see it, but time will tell. Gozlan: They currently have 12 guaranteed guys, and five are non-guaranteed, so three of them can make it. They include Yuta Watanabe, Isaac Bonga, Sam Dekker, Freddie Gillespie, and Ishmail Wainright. I think familiarity will be in favor of Watanabe and Gillespie. I think spots 13 and 14 are theirs to lose for now. After that, Wainwright. My feeling is Toronto’s going to go with the upside here. He’s a young guy. I think he gets the last spot.

13:18 Milwaukee Bucks

Elijah Bryant
Elijah Bryant

Gozlan: Milwaukee is at 16 guys. Three are non-guaranteed. This one is tough, in my opinion. I can’t guess who’s the player they won’t keep. The non-guaranteed players are Elijah Bryant, Mamadi Diakite, and second-round pick Georgios Kalaitzakis.

14:55 Charlotte Hornets

Gozlan: They have 16 guys. All of them are guaranteed. My guess is it’s going to be Wesley Iwundu mainly because he was included in the three-team sign-and-trade of Devonte’ Graham to New Orleans. His inclusion was mainly so New Orleans could generate a big trade exception.

16:04 San Antonio Spurs

Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls
Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls

Scotto: Thaddeus Young can help a playoff team that’s competing now, but he ended up in San Antonio as part of the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade. He has value around the league. He shot a career-high 56 percent last season. He’s going to be in the last year of his deal, and he’s owed $14.2 million according to our Spurs HoopsHype salary page before entering unrestricted free agency. I look for a bunch of playoff-caliber teams to knock on the door of San Antonio to try and get him. Gozlan: Two candidates that come to mind are Young and Al-Farouq Aminu. Not that Young is going to get cut, but that he’ll get moved. It doesn't seem like either player is in their plans, and I don’t think either had a press conference to be introduced.

19:26 Memphis Grizzlies

Scotto: Just when you think they’re going to try and trim the roster, it keeps growing like a Chia Pet. Gozlan: Memphis has the biggest roster crunch to solve. Right now, they have 18 guaranteed contracts… Most likely, it’ll be three of Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, Sam Merrill, and Daniel Oturu. Scotto: I had previously reported earlier in the summer that Tyus Jones was available on the trade market.

21:45 Golden State Warriors

Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors
Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors

Gozlan: They have 16 players. Three of them are non-guaranteed. Damion Lee, Mychal Mulder and Gary Payton Jr.Scotto: I don’t see Damion Lee getting cut. When you’re married to Steph Curry’s sister, and you shoot 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from three in about 20 minutes per game, you should be good. Mulder and Payton could be interesting, but I’d think based on talent and production, Mulder would have the inside track after playing 60 games for the Warriors and was a part of their rotation. He shot 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from three.

23:41 Oklahoma City Thunder

Gozlan: OKC has 16 players. Three of them are non-guaranteed. I think we can lock in Kenrich Williams to make the roster. He’s a good rotation player on a great contract and will probably be a strong trade candidate among other competitive teams. That leaves among the non-guaranteed guys Gabriel Deck and Charlie Brown Jr. for the last roster spot. I think I saw some reports that Deck might be headed back to Europe, but I’m not sure how true that is. If he’s headed overseas, then he’s the logical candidate. Otherwise, Brown seems like the guy to go. OKC is still roughly $22 million below the salary floor, so they are definitely going to add some more players via salary dumps to get a little closer.

24:55 New Orleans Pelicans

Gozlan: New Orleans has 16 guys. One non-guaranteed player is Wenyen Gabriel. I imagine he’s the odd man out. MORE: Offseason NBA offseason winners: Knicks, Lakers, Bulls, Heat, Wizards, more with Michael Scotto & Yossi GozlanMORE: Offseason losers: Blazers, Pels and more with Michael Scotto and Yossi GozlanYou can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) and Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) on Twitter.

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