Trail Blazers' Festus Ezeli: To miss six weeks
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/23/2016) Ezeli received an injection in his left knee and is expected to miss six weeks, Marc Spears of The Undefeated reports.

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.

Bucks' Jason Terry: Signs contract
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/22/2016) Terry officially signed with the Bucks on Monday, Eric Pincus of reports.

The 39-year-old veteran has been in the process of finalizing a deal with the Bucks and will now sign on as a mentor to some of the Bucks' younger backcourt players. Terry should be a low-end rotational player in his first year with the team and will likely struggle to see minutes worthy of a fantasy pickup. However, he'll give the Bucks a consistent three-point shooter off the bench to plug and play when needed, which is an added bonus to the veteran leadership he should be able to provide.

Jazz's Marcus Paige: Signs rookie contract
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/22/2016) Paige signed a contract with the Jazz on Monday, Jody Genessy of Deseret News reports.

The Jazz currently have a bevy of options at point guard on the roster, including the likes of George Hill, Dante Exum, Shelvin Mack and Raul Neto. Paige will serve as a depth option throughout training camp, but unless his contract with the Jazz is fully guaranteed, the recent second-round pick of the 2016 NBA Draft isn't guaranteed a roster spot once the regular season approaches. Even if he makes the roster, Paige would likely struggle to find significant rotational minutes.

Abdel Nader: Signs with D-League team
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/22/2016) Nader confirmed Monday that he'll play for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League during the upcoming season, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reports.

Nader was a second-round pick of the Celtics during the 2016 NBA Draft, but realized he was going to have a tough time making the team's final roster. Instead of going overseas on a potentially higher salaried contract, he'll play in the NBA D-League and should be an option for a call-up later in the season if the Celtics experience any injuries.

Thunder's Semaj Christon: Signs with OKC
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/21/2016) Christon signed a contract with the Thunder on Saturday.

Since getting selected with the 55th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Christon has been a "stash-and-develop" player for the Thunder, seeing action in the D-League and the Italian Serie A Basketball League over the past two seasons. The point guard was a standout performer for the Thunder's entry in the Orlando Summer League this past July, and he'll now be given the chance to vie for a roster spot in training camp. However, with 15 guaranteed contracts already on the books for the Thunder 2016-17 following the recent signing of veteran Ronnie Price, who will presumably serve as the team's third-string point guard, Christon could face an uphill battle to break camp with the team. Barring unforeseen changes with the Thunder roster in the next two months, look for Christon to head back to the D-League to begin the regular season.

Nate Wolters: Inks deal with Denver
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/21/2016) Wolters agreed Friday to a contract with the Nuggets, Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports.

The terms of Wolters' deal aren't fully known, but considering the Nuggets already have 15 guaranteed contracts on the books for next season, it's unlikely the point guard is a serious contender for a roster spot. The 2013 second-round pick spent all of last season in the Turkish Basketball Super League with Besiktas J.K. before joining the Wizards for summer league play in July.

Steve Novak: Expected to re-sign with Bucks
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/21/2016) Novak (knee) is expected to re-sign with the Bucks later in the offseason, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The Bucks currently have 13 contracts on the books for the upcoming season and appear to be looking at reserving their final two roster spots for veteran shooters who can supplement the team's young core. Jason Terry, 38, has agreed principle to a deal with the Bucks that's expected to be finalized Monday, and the team is likely to use its remaining cap space to re-sign the 33-year-old Novak, a Milwaukee native who appeared in three games for his hometown squad in the second half of last season before being sidelined the rest of the way with an left MCL sprain. Fortunately, Novak didn't require surgery to address the injury, and after taking the last several months off to recover, he'll be ready to go for the start of training camp in the fall. Due to his limitations on the defensive end, Novak doesn't figure to be a regular cog in the rotation for coach Jason Kidd, but as a 43.1 percent career three-point shooter, he's capable of providing the Bucks with a threat from the outside on the occasions he does see the floor.

JJ Hickson: Headed to China to begin 2016-17 season
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/21/2016) Hickson is finalizing a contract with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association, Marc Stein of reports.

Hickson gained little traction with NBA teams in free agency this summer after he underwhelmed across 35 appearances with the Nuggets and Wizards last season, averaging 5.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists across 12.5 minutes per game. While the 27-year-old has occasionally held some fantasy utility across various points in his career for his strong per-minute scoring and rebound totals, the 6-foot-9 big man is quite undersized for the center spot and has long been a liability on the defensive end. He'll look to show improvement in that regard during his stint with Fujian and could end up resurfacing with an NBA squad in the spring when the CBA season has concluded.

Kings' Darren Collison: Court date gets pushed back again
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/21/2016) Collison's court case for two domestic violence charges is now set to begin Sept. 8, James Ham of CSN Bay Area reports.

The court date has been postponed multiple times already, but with the start regular season more than two months away, it's still expected that the case will be heard and a ruling will be made before that time. The NBA will likely won't make a decision on a possible suspension for Collison until the legal process has run its course.

Jazz's Tibor Pleiss: Roster spot on shaky ground
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(8/21/2016) Pleiss appears unlikely to make the Jazz's final 15-man roster for the start of the regular season, Andy Larsen of reports.

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.

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