Ezeli missed nearly half of last season due to complications with his left knee, which resulted in a mid-season procedure just before the All-Star break. While he returned near the end of the regular season and was available throughout the playoffs, he was never quite fully healthy, and that was borne out in his lackluster postseason performance. According to the Trail Blazers, Ezeli received the injection to "alleviate pain and improve function," perhaps as a means of taking caution against further issues before the 2016-17 season begins. The six-week timetable should enable Ezeli to be ready for opening night, though more will be known as training camp approaches.
Following an active offseason, the Jazz boast one of the more balanced top two units in the league, which already makes it difficult for Pleiss to challenge for major minutes in 2016-17 after he was used sparingly as a rookie. However, the team's recent decision to sign power forward/center Joel Bolomboy, the 52nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, could deal a knockout blow to Pleiss' hopes of even cracking the roster, as he no longer has an easy pathway to even the third-string center duties. Rudy Gobert and Boris Diaw seeming represent the top two options on the depth chart, while shot-blocking presence Jeff Withey already had the edge on the No. 3 center role heading into camp by virtue of his serviceable play a season ago. Along with those players, Trey Lyles, Derrick Favors and Bolomboy all offer the ability to play the position, lessening the need for the Jazz to carry the 7-foot-3 Pleiss as a developmental option. Pleiss' $3 million guaranteed contract for this season could make the Jazz think long and hard about cutting him, but the 25-year-old's underwhelming performance to date in practices and games might nullify any monetary concerns the team may have.
76ers' head coach Brett Brown stated Friday that everything is pointing in the right direction for Embiid to return action this preseason. The 2014 third overall pick has failed to play a game in the previous two seasons, as he has been recovering from surgeries on his foot to fix a fracture in his navicular bone. Considering he has been out of action for over two years it will likely take some time for the Kansas product to fully adapt to the NBA game.
Mozgov missed Russia's last two games after suffering a groin strain, but after an MRI cleared him of anything serious and his lingering pain subsided, he was able to get back on the court Wednesday. Recently receiving a four-year, $64 million contract, Mozgov isn't in danger of missing the start of the Lakers' training camp and should move into a starter's role right off the bat with his new team.
Noah will face no limitations heading into his first training camp with the Knicks, who inked him to a four-year, $72 million contract early in free agency. Though he's now healthy, Noah has dealt with numerous ailments throughout his career and has played more than 70 games just once in the last seven seasons. Despite concerns about his fragility, the Knicks still view Noah as their starting center and believe he can provide a needed defensive presence at the back end. In his 29 games last season with the Bulls, Noah averaged 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 block in 21.9 minutes per game, but he should see a considerable rise in playing time with the move to New York.
Mozgov underwent an MRI on the groin, and though it appears he avoided any serious injury, he's been ruled out for Russia's next two games in their international tournament in Georgia. He's expected to be re-evaluated at some point this week, but for the time being, the Lakers don't appear concerned that Mozgov will be sidelined for training camp in the fall. After averaging 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game across 76 appearances with the Cavs last season, Mozgov should see his numbers climb across the board in 2016-17 now that he's in line to serve as a full-time starter for the Lakers.
Splitter struggled with hip problems all of last season, and is still recovering from a February hip surgery. The big man is set to be the backup center behind the newly-acquired Dwight Howard. Splitter originally wasn't sure if he'd be able to return by the start of the season, so it's encouraging progress to see him recovering fairly quickly enough to be ready for the Hawks' upcoming training camp.
The 27-year-old center has spent his entire four-year career with the Lakers, who drafted him with the last pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. He was a minimal contributor for the Lakers during the 2015-16 campaign, playing in just 25 games, while averaging 3.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.4 blocks over 13 minutes per outing. If he makes the final roster, he should provide depth behind the likes of Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca in the frontcourt.
Olynyk underwent shoulder surgery in mid-May to correct recurring subluxations. He said he would need five full months of recovery time before he's cleared for contact, and it seems that he is on track with that timetable. Olynyk expects to be at full health for the beginning of the 2016-17 season in November. The seven-footer averaged 10.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on 46 percent accuracy from the field.
Bogut had been sidelined for the last six weeks with a sprained left knee suffered in the NBA Finals, and while the big man probably would have been better served resting up until the Mavericks open up training camp in the fall, he was determined to suit up for the Australian national team in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Assuming Bogut makes it through the Olympics without any further injury setbacks, he'll open the upcoming NBA season as the Mavs' starting center.