NBA Position Battles: East

NBA Position Battles: East
Ryan Knaus explores position battles throughout the Eastern Conference, and takes a guess at each team's opening-night starting lineup.
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A minor ankle injury caused Andray Blatche to sit out a recent exhibition with the Philippine team Gilas Pilipinas.

Blatche's injury is "not serious" which is great news for the unrestricted free agent and his temporary Philippine team, which lost to Ukraine by 50 points on Monday. He met with the Raptors in July and has been linked to the Heat, but he remains one of the most talented unsigned big men in the league. He averaged 11.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 22 minutes with Brooklyn last year, but questions about his attitude may be hampering his value around the league.
Source: Rivals
Aug 20 - 10:05 AM

Former Heat F Yakhouba Diawara has signed with the Italian team Varese.

Diawara worked out for a few NBA teams this summer, including the Heat, but ultimately opted to return overseas. He hasn't played in the U.S. since 2010 and isn't likely to make a late-career return to the NBA, where he averaged 3.5 points on 35.7 percent shooting over four seasons.
Aug 20 - 9:55 AM

Warriors guard Nemanja Nedovic (right foot inflammation) will not play for Serbia in this summer's FIBA World Cup.

An MRI cleared Nedovic of structural damage, but his agent confirmed that "after [the] last medical check, there is no doubt" that he'll miss the international tournament. He injured himself on August 3 and there's no clear timetable for his return, but with any luck he'll recover in time for training camp.
Aug 20 - 9:44 AM

Jazz sign PF/C Jack Cooley.

Cooley went undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2013, then signed with a team in Turkey rather than playing in the D-League for much less money. He's a physical big man with impressive rebounding skills, who his senior year at Notre Dame averaging 18.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Whether he'll make the regular-season roster is uncertain, but Utah's frontcourt isn't the deepest so he'll have a shot during training camp.
Source: NBA.com
Aug 20 - 9:23 AM

Derrick Rose and Team USA director Jerry Colangelo confirmed that Rose sat out practice on Monday and Tuesday as a simple precaution.

"Right now, there’s no issue here," Colangelo said. "If he needs down time, this is a good time for it. He can rest and we kind of move on from there." Rose hadn't planned to rest on Tuesday but he isn't concerned, saying, "I’m just seeing how I feel every day. There’s nothing wrong with rest. It’s not like it’s the season, so I’m not worried about it." He expects to play on Wednesday but may not start the game, due to an informal Team USA rule requiring starters to practice the day before a game.
Source: NBA.com
Aug 20 - 9:06 AM

Dante Cunningham's agent, Joel Bell, said his client is planning a civil suit against his accuser for making a false claim against him.

The felony domestic assault charges have already been dropped and he had to spend time in jail because of it. Cunningham may have also missed out on a contract due to the off-the-court issues, so he could be filing a major suit.
Aug 19 - 10:49 PM

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Anthony Davis will have more opportunities to score with Team USA.

With the team missing Paul George (leg) and Kevin Durant, Davis may be the team's best weapon, and may be the most important guy on the team with its lack of frontcourt depth. He's a stud already as he heads into his third season and you can make a case for him as the No. 2 player in dynasty fantasy formats.
Source: USAB.com
Aug 19 - 9:14 PM

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said James Harden "has been as good a leader as we’ve had for this team" for Team USA.

"I don’t how maturity develops when I’m not around it all the time," Krzyzewski said. "I just know that he’s one of the best players in the NBA. And having this responsibility here will only make him better." It should be interesting to see how Harden plays overseas. He's been one of the worst defenders in the NBA, but he could be better at the FIBA World Cup because he won't have as much offensive responsibility.
Source: USAB.com
Aug 19 - 9:03 PM
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