NBA cuts roundup: Teams thin rosters to reach 15-man limit before season

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A number of former NBA players are back on the free agent market after an active day from teams.

With the start of the NBA regular season just days away, we've seen the usual flurry of roster activity that accompanies the need for every team to reach the 15-man roster limit. As most teams bring players on non-guaranteed contracts to training camp, these are the final days for decisions to be made on whether to keep those players and their salaries.

That leaves us with a busy weekend around the league, one where dozens of players are returning to the free agent market after brief stints with prospective franchises. Some of these players will likely be picked up in the coming weeks as injuries occur and teams tweak things, but for now, here's a look everyone who's been waived or released Saturday.

Nuggets waive Damion James
Despite being a first-round pick three years ago, James hasn't stuck anywhere. After being drafted 24th overall by Atlanta, James was included in a draft-day trade with the then-New Jersey Nets. Two years of middling action later, James returned to Atlanta, where just lasted just a few months before being released. The Nets picked him up again briefly last season, and then he spent training camp this year with Denver. Alas, it's back to free agency for James.

Clippers waive Lou Amundson
After spending last season with three teams, it appears Amundson will again spend the 2013-14 season bouncing around the league. According to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, Los Angeles waived Amundson following Friday night's preseason game, roughly one month after signing the 30-year-old. He struggled badly in seven preseason contests with the Clips, averaging one point and three rebounds per game.

Jazz waive five players
Utah reached the 15-man roster limit Saturday by officially cutting Brian Cook, Dominic McGuire, Justin Holiday, Lester Hudson and Scott Machado. All five guys played part-time minutes during the team's preseason and none of them looked particularly good. Cook posted the best numbers of the group, averaging 6.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game, but you can see why Utah opted to stick with other players.

Pacers waive Hilton Armstrong
Indiana waived the former first-round pick Saturday after he played sparingly during the preseason. This leaves the team with 14 players under contract, including Rasual Butler, but he could be on the way out soon as well considering coach Frank Vogel said earlier this month he expected to have 13 players entering the season. Like Armstrong, Butler is on a non-guaranteed contract.

Bucks cut three players
Milwaukee began the preseason with 15 players on guaranteed contracts, so all of the guys competing in training camp were fighting an uphill battle. On Saturday, the team waived those players -- Stephen Graham, Trey McKinney Jones, Olek Czyz -- and stuck the course with its current roster. Czyz played alongside new Pistons forward Gigi Datome in Italy.

Bulls waive Pittman, White
Chicago only has 13 players under contract after releasing Dexter Pittman and D.J. White on Saturday, but the team appears content to leave those spots open for now. Considering the team didn't announce a move for Mike James, it appears the veteran guard will make the opening day roster despite starting training camp on a non-guaranteed contract.

Grizzlies waive four players
Like the Bulls, Memphis will only be carrying 13 players into the regular season assuming no other transactions. This comes after the team waived four players -- Andre Barrett, Melvin Ely, Tony Gaffney and Willie Reed -- who still had non-guaranteed contracts, leaving only the 13 guys with guaranteed salaries for the 2013-14 season. Most of these guys didn't play much in the preseason on a deep, talented Grizzlies team.

Sixers waive Williams, Lawal
Philadelphia waived a pair of players Saturday, Rodney Williams and Gani Lawal. The team will have to absorb a total of $135,000 by cutting the two partially-guaranteed contracts, leaving 14 players still on the roster days before the season. Williams, a hyper-athletic forward out of Minnesota, could potentially catch on somewhere considering his potential.

Hawks waive Eric Dawson
Atlanta made its final move to reach 15 players Saturday by releasing Dawson, just days after letting go Royal Ivey and James Johnson. A 29-year-old forward out of Midwestern State, he's only had brief NBA experience with the Sacramento Kings but has significant experience in the D-League.

Timberwolves waive Chris Johnson
A day after waiving Lorenzo Brown and Othyus Jeffers, Minnesota dropped Johnson from the roster. This appears to mean A.J. Price and Robbie Hummel, both on non-guaranteed contracts, will make the team's opening day roster.

Heat waive Griffin, Hamilton
Miami had arguably the quietest offseason of any team in the league, with Saturday's moves polishing off that period of inactivity. Eric Griffin and Justin Hamilton were both long shots to make the Heat roster anyways after Greg Oden proved healthy enough to step on the court.

Rockets waive Troy Daniels
After waiving Daniels, a former star at VCU, the Rockets still need to cut two more players to reach the roster limit by Wednesday. Beyond the core of James Harden and Dwight Howard, there's still a good deal of uncertainty in Houston these days.

Mavericks waive Mickey McConnell
Dallas has its roster set after waiving McConnell, a guard from Saint Mary's. The West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2011, McConnell also got drafted in MLB by the Los Angeles Dodgers before ultimately deciding to play basketball overseas. He was always considered unlikely to make the roster after Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon and Devin Harris were added this offseason.

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