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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Drew Gooden will not be able to represent Finland in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

His application for dual citizenship will not be cleared in time for the tournament, according to the Washington Post. Gooden's mother is Finnish and the 12-year vet was hoping to obtain dual citizenship and a Finnish passport so that he could represent the country this summer. He re-signed with the Wizards on a one-year deal this offseason.
Aug 21 - 5:02 PM

Darius Morris has signed a non-guaranteed contract to join the Portland Trailblazers training camp.

Morris was reportedly close to signing with Crvena Zvezda of the Euroleague, but will now get a shot to earn a spot with the Blazers. He has been bouncing around the NBA on various 10 day contracts and stints with the D-League and will likely take his talents overseas if he can not latch on to an NBA team.
Aug 21 - 4:26 PM

Derrick Rose said he was "feeling good" after Team USA practice on Thursday.

"I'm feeling good. I'm gonna give it a go tomorrow & see how it goes," Rose said. "Just trying to stay positive til then." He sat out Team USA's exhibition game against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday citing knee soreness. The national team has been taking every precaution with Rose as he looks to return to the NBA after missing nearly all of the past two seasons.
Aug 21 - 4:09 PM

Kenneth Faried said he was "surprised" at his starting role with the U.S. men's national team.

Faried was named the starting power forward in the team's first warm-up game against Brazil, and now seems thoroughly entrenched at that spot. He was initially a long-shot to make the final 12-man roster, but withdrawals from Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant, and the injury to Paul George have left team USA thin at the forward spots. His unrelenting energy and hustle have made him both a solid fantasy option and a starter for the national team.
Aug 21 - 3:59 PM

Thad Young is still expected to be traded to Minnesota despite reports that Anthony Bennett will not be traded to the 76ers.

The Philadelphia Daily news reported in early August that Young would be moved to Minnesota for a package that would include Bennett. News of Bennett staying in Minnesota was thought to derail Young being traded as well. However, Darren Wolfson of ESPN reports that the Sixers will not move Young or Shabazz Muhammad, and instead 76ers GM Sam Hinkie will have to take a package including Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and a draft pick if he wants to move Thad.

Brook Lopez said he has slimmed down to 275 pounds as he prepares for the upcoming season.

"I'm at my playing weight," Lopez said. "I'm back to the weight that's normal for me. Last I checked, I was just under 275 [pounds]." Lopez was on his way to a solid fantasy season last year, averaging 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 56.3 percent shooting from the field. Unfortunately he was lost for the entire season after only 17 games played. If he can stay healthy, Lopez will be a true fantasy difference maker at the center position.
Aug 21 - 2:50 PM

Thanasis Antetokounmpo will sign directly with the Knick's D-League affiliate in Westchester.

This move means Lower Case won't be in line for a training camp deal and also allows the Knicks to hold his rights and keep him off the open market if he is released during camp participation. Antetokounmpo averaged 12 points and 4.6 rebounds in 50 games with Delaware of the D-League next season, but the Knicks have a full roster of guaranteed contracts so fantasy owners shouldn't be targeting Thanasis in standard league drafts.
Source: Real GM
Aug 21 - 1:54 PM

Knicks draft pick Louis Labeyrie will stay in France for the 2014-15 season.

Labeyrie went to the Knicks with the 57th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, but has decided to continue to develop with his game with Paris Levallois before he starts discussions on an NBA contract next summer. The 22-year-old finished Eurocup with averages of 2.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks in 12.8 minutes per game and won't be a fantasy factor in the near future.
Source: Real GM
Aug 21 - 1:40 PM
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