Western Conference: Hart, Alvarado, Rockets, Jazz

Josh Hart contract
October 10, 2022

The Blazers have decided on their starting small forward, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian, who learned from sources that Josh Hart won the training camp game.

Hart has been battling Nassir Little and Justice Winslow for the starting spot in Portland this season, along with Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simmons in the backcourt and frontcourts for Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic.

As Fentress noted, the Blazers acquired Hart in last season’s CJ McCollum blockbuster, and his defense and basketball IQ efforts earned head coach Chauncey Billups praise. The veteran swingman is entering a potential contract year – his 2023/24 salary is currently not guaranteed, and he can opt out at the end of the season.

 

Jose Alvarado Pelican

Pelicans second-year guard Jose Alvarado has always admired Tony Parker’s game and had a chance to work with the former Spurs star in the offseason. Meet Parker at Summer League in Las Vegas, then Head to San Antonio to train with him. “I actually (messed him directly) said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours,'” Alvarado said, according to NOLA.com’s Christian Clark. “‘Will I get a chance to go to the gym with you this summer? I’d love it,’ he answered right away.”

The Athletic’s Kelly Iko looks at the Rockets’ rotation, noting that Tari Eason is making a strong case for regular minutes while Bruno Fernando appears to be The center passes Usman Garuba on the depth chart. Iko is also unsure if any players acquired in last week’s trade with Oklahoma City (Derrick Favors, Theo Maledon, and Maurice Harkless) will make the regular-season roster.

With such a significant overhaul of their roster this offseason, the Jazz may need more than a few preseason games to develop natural chemistry, says Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. “It’s going to take a while for us to get used to everyone and learn from everyone,” Jordan Clarkson said. “We’re still just lowering the basics. We don’t even know the players’ positions and individual games.”

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