The NBA schedule begins tonight, with Reggie Bullock and Antawn Jamison the first Tar Heels to take the floor--their Clippers host the Lakers at 10:30 p.m. on TNT (that's the first on our list of ten UNC-related NBA games to watch this year). What's happening with each of the Tar Heels in the NBA? We've got your handy summary right here.
Harrison Barnes, Warriors: He's trying to get healthy. Barnes is dealing with a foot injury and missed practice earlier this week, putting his status in doubt for the opener against the Lakers.
Reggie Bullock, Clippers: He had to work through a knee injury early in camp, but Bullock saw his first NBA preseason minutes last week:
Bullock is expected to be available to play tonight.
Vince Carter, Mavericks: Carter doesn't fly through the paint regularly anymore, but he can still do it on occasion. And here's a way you might not often think of Carter: as a Canadian basketball icon, at least according to Steve Nash (who should know).
Ed Davis, Grizzlies: Big year for Davis, who could be in line for an extension if he can impress Memphis. He's especially in tune with his finances right now, because he just drew a $15,000 fine for a preseason in-game incident. The extension deadline is Thursday and at least one usually reliable NBA insider wasn't optimistic:
On extension front, I'm told the notion of Ed Davis & Grizzlies striking a deal before the Thursday deadline is, at the moment. a long shot.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) October 27, 2013
Wayne Ellington, Mavericks: Ellington isn't as well-known to some NBA fans, who had to be introduced to his college achievements. According to close Mavs observers, he's been one of the pleasant surprises of the preseason.
Raymond Felton, Knicks: Felton had to deal with a hamstring injury last week but looks like he'll be back for the opener. It's been a relatively quiet preseason for Felton, after he spent part of the summer in many of the New York papers as they tried to drum up a Nets-Knicks rivalry.
Danny Green, Spurs: Part of Green's whirlwind summer included a stop in Chapel Hill for this interview:
It's amazing how mature he sounds both above and in this interview. Green still credits his time at Carolina with preparing him to play on some of the biggest stages in basketball.
Brendan Haywood, Bobcats: Haywood had surgery for a foot injury in mid-October and is out for 12 weeks.
John Henson, Bucks: As expected, Milwaukee picked up their option on Henson. The Bucks have quietly assembled a solid frontcourt. Henson will be playing for a new coach, Larry Drew.
Ty Lawson, Nuggets: The point guard was hurt (groin) against Chicago on Friday, and now it looks like he might miss Denver's opener on Wednesday. Just keep him away from Epsom salts and you should be fine. If and when Lawson does play, this is going to be an interesting situation to watch. The Nuggets are asking for more leadership from him, and new coach Brian Shaw's offense doesn't seem as freewheeling as the one preferred by George Karl.
Antawn Jamison, Clippers: Here's a sentence you haven't seen very often in the past 25 years or so: Jamison has at least a chance at winning an elusive NBA championship ring by signing with the Clippers. They're being talked about as a dark horse Finals candidate. Jamison has 19,958 career points, meaning at some point early this year, he's likely to become the 39th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points.
Brandan Wright, Mavericks: Wright will begin the season on the shelf after suffering a shoulder injury.
Tyler Zeller, Cavaliers: Rough preseason for big Z. He missed a substantial chunk of the preseason because of a combination of a hip injury and appendectomy, and he isn't yet cleared for full-contact practice. The Cavs have a crowded frontcourt, which complicates matters.
Kendall Marshall, TBD: Incredibly rough preseason for Marshall, who first was stuck in a crowded Phoenix backcourt under a new regime that didn't draft him, then traded to Washington. That seemed like a great fit for about an hour, until the Wizards waived him. He had even been absent from Twitter since the news broke, but sent several optimistic tweets today, including:
Tough break! but a lot of great players have bounced back from much worse.— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) October 29, 2013
Rasheed Wallace, Coach Emeritus (Pistons): You need to start preparing yourself for the fact that Rasheed Wallace is going to be an NBA head coach at some point in the future, which will be wildly entertaining. He's getting rave reviews for his work as an assistant with Detroit.