SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30:  LeBron James #23, Rajon Rondo #9, JaVale McGee #7 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk after a stop in play during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

5 NBA Veterans Fighting for a Starting Job

Cover Photo: Harry How/Getty Images


The 2018-19 NBA season is upon us and there are already some decent positional battles to keep an eye on as preseason games begin. Let's take a look at five of the best battles.

5. Darren Collison - Indiana Pacers

Andy Lyons/Getty Images


There's lots of competition for the starting point guard job in the Hoosier State as there are three talented guys in the mix. The most intriguing of these guys has to be the rookie Aaron Holiday out of UCLA -- it wouldn't be a total surprise for him to take over the job full-time at some point if the Pacers are struggling. Cory Joseph likely won't be in the starting lineup too. He's best-suited playing on the second unit. That leaves Collison battling for his job. 

4. Trevor Ariza - Phoenix Suns

Bob Levey/Getty Images 


Believe it or not, the Suns have added tons of frontcourt depth on their roster -- the backcourt (besides Devin Booker) is another story. However, Ariza will be splitting minutes with guys like Josh Jackson and T.J. Waren, two guys that have shown to be very capable scorers before. 

3. J.R. Smith - Cleveland Cavaliers

Jason Miller/Getty Images 


LeBron James' "best friend" hasn't even participated in camp yet due to precautionary purposes with his hip rather than anything too serious. Smith is expected to be cleared by the start of the season, but this is a player whose skills have eroded at a rapid pace. The Cavs have options like Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, and rookie first-round pick Collin Sexton they could turn to at shooting guard. Plus, he's historically better off the bench anyway. 

2. Carmelo Anthony - Rockets

Tom Pennington/Getty Images


At Melo's OKC introductory press conference, he laughed at the idea of coming off the bench. Well, this comical question might become a reality down in Houston. Apparently, Melo is more comfortable than ever coming off the bench, but I wouldn't hold my breath on him being too happy with that decision in the long-term.  

1. Rajon Rondo - Los Angeles Lakers

Harry How/Getty Images


Lonzo Ball has had numerous knee issues since January, so it appears like Rondo will begin the season as the starter. It may not stay that way forever, though, as the Lakers did spend the No. 2 overall pick on Ball last season. Clearly, the kid has elite playmaking ability, so it'll be interesting to watch this situation unfold as the season goes on. 

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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.