NBA Training Camp Notes

Brandon Roy: No Amnesty in 2011. The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that they will not be using the amnesty clause on Brandon Roy. News out of Portland regarding Roy has been increasingly positive, with head coach Nate McMillan even dropping news that the Blazers would consider starting him at shooting guard this season. Obvoiusly, at this early stage in the game, it’s difficult to distinguish coach speak from actual, factual information, but if the Blazers are even considering giving him starter minutes, it’s a huge boon for both Roy’s short and long term value.



On the other hand, the Blazers have 19 back-to-backs and three back-to-back-to-backs this season, and most regular knees can’t handle that kind of strain, much less those without cartilage. Take McMillan’s quotes with a grain of salt.



Carl Landry and David West: In talks with Indiana. The Pacers were considered a bit of a surprising playoff team last season, but there was plenty to be intrigued about heading into the 2010-2011 season. Darren Collison, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert is by no means the next ?big three,? but they can play. The three combined for 46 points, 10 assists, and 16 rebounds per game as the Pacers snatched the less-than-elusive eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The toughness with which they played Chicago in the first round showed they can be a team on the rise, they just need more pieces.



Landry and West would each make sense in Indiana. The six lineups which logged at least 100 minutes for Indiana last year had either Josh McRoberts or Tyler Hansbrough at the power forward possession. Although both players had excellent numbers on a per-minute basis ? 18 points per 36 minutes for Hansbrough, 12 points and 8 rebounds per 36 minutes for McRoberts ? there are understandable question marks about how each would do in an expanded role.



Landry is the cheap option and the Pacers would be hoping for a rebound to his form from his time with Houston, where he posted true shooting percentages above 60|PERCENT| in each of three seasons (partial, in the case of 2009-10). His TS|PERCENT| of 55.5|PERCENT| in 2010-2011 would be acceptable given his excellent offensive rebounding, but is he necessarily an upgrade over McRoberts and Hansbrough? Both are similarly efficient, with PERs in the 16s compared to Landry’s 14.5 last season.



West, however, could be a game changer. He already has experience with Darren Collison from their days in New Orleans and would be able to take a load of the offense away from whoever fills the shooting guard role as well as Roy Hibbert, who struggled with turnovers last season. West has recorded an 18+ PER each of the last four years, a mark which would have led last year’s Pacers squad.



Thaddeus Young: Potential Nene replacement? The talk around the league is that Nene is headed towards a contract with an eight-figure average annual value and perhaps even one of the first max deals to be signed under the new CBA. That leaves the Nuggets searching for players to search the middle. According to Ken Berger of CBS, Sixers RFA Thaddeus Young is one of the Nuggets’ targets.



The 22-year-old Young completed his first 82-game season of his career last year, and even though it was in a bench role, he was quite productive. The 6-8 forward hit 54|PERCENT| of his shots and posted career highs in points per 36 minutes (17.6), rebounds per 36 minutes (7.3), PER (18.4), and usage rage (22.1) while also posting a turnover rate below 10|PERCENT| for the first time. As good as Nene was with Denver, he’s never been a focal point of the offense, posting usage rates below 20|PERCENT| in every full season. Young has the ability to shoulder as much of the offense as Nene, if not more, and even with some drop in efficiency, the Nuggets could rely on him as an inside player with big-time upside at a fraction of the cost.