December 5, 2017, 5:34 am
Monday has been a pretty busy night this year and I’m sure there’s some recency bias built in but last night felt a little bit crazy.
Stephen Curry’s injury dominated the later portion of the evening.
That was just the easy to categorize stuff. Let’s get right to the 11-gamer that kicked off the week.
DOLLAR ON THE HARDAWAYS
Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) missed last night’s game and then there was the ominous reports (or non-reports) about Tim Hardaway Jr.’s “leg” injury, which comes on the heels of a foot injury – not plantar fasciitis but some intense ligament soreness – and non-updates right now aren’t the greatest of news.
Owners obviously have to take a wait-and-see approach there and if THJ misses significant time this team could get ugly real quick. I’m not even sure that would bring Frank Ntilikina (seven points, three boards, two assists, 2-of-11 FGs, 27 minutes) into the fold any faster because they might opt to have Jarrett Jack (two points, five assists, 17 minutes) bring experience into the equation even if it’s well past time to hand the baton.
The Knicks got throttled against the Pacers and the box score is a mess, but in the center scramble we saw Enes Kanter (seven points, six boards, 19 minutes) post a -34 in the plus-minus along with Courtney Lee (-34, eight points, one assist, 20 minutes). Meanwhile, long lost Willy Hernangomez showed up with 14 & 10 with three assists in 17 minutes.
Kanter has actually been good this year and Hernangomez has been glued to the bench. I was as optimistic about Hernangomez’s chances of having a good season as anybody, but it’s going to take more than one blowout to change the body of work both players have put together.
I was a bit surprised to see the Pacers at just 13-11 on the season. I thought it might be something like 15-9 or at least 14-10. They’ve had success individually in the box scores – for the most part – as Myles Turner (12 points, five boards, one steal, one block) owners would definitely caveat.
Dan Besbris got more fuel for his #Thaditude as the Impaler went for 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting with two threes, six boards and two steals. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points with three treys, Darren Collison went for 10 points, four boards, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks, and Victor Oladipo kept his foot on the gas for 16 points, five boards, four assists, one steal, two blocks and three treys.
I was also shocked to read that Turner is second in the league in blocks with 38. That’s surprising because of the missed time and also that the number is so low. Where have all the block monsters gone?
I’ve been pretty hard on Devin Booker and the Suns. I regularly bemoan their lack of passing, the hilarity of the organization and the general terribleness that they exude nightly. But last night two of my targets, Booker and Tyson Chandler, looked like they had been embarrassed by a video of them playing no defense or something like that.
Because they had.
But that’s another story. The stuff I saw out of Booker was actually quite clean as he hit 17-of-32 shots for 46 points, eight boards, two steals, one block, five threes and 7-of-8 hits from the foul line in last night’s road win over the Sixers.
Chandler was diving for loose balls and making hustle plays, finishing with seven points to go with 12 boards, four assists, three steals and two blocks in 37 minutes. It was almost as if he was saying one of two things in advance of Mike James’ contract deadline on Wednesday.
The first would be to any other team with a pulse, ‘get me out of here I can still play.’ Or, it might be to Phoenix, ‘look I’m not dead keep me around I like the warm, dry weather and your training staff is alright by me.’
Indeed, if the Suns cannot trade one of their excess big men by Wednesday then they’ll need to cut Derrick Jones Jr. and though he’s not totally off limits, they’d essentially be giving away a prospect for nothing while continuing with one of the league’s dumber logjams.
I’ve seen owners do some interesting stuff with this frontcourt. But first, to finish the results from last night, Alex Len was the other big man to see minutes and he put up seven points and three boards in 11 minutes.
Greg Monroe was the odd man out and did not play, but with the SEGABABA tonight and the heavy outlay by Chandler (37 minutes) he’s a pretty good bet to play on the higher end of his usual 22-26 mpg.
The analysis hasn’t changed much but until there is a trade or injury it appears like they will alternate rest games, which is heading toward one rest for every three games. If continued then owners in weekly leagues could cut down projected games played by about a third.
But with this deadline for James just days away, I’ve seen owners of Monroe go and grab Chandler and presumably the same logic could extend to Len, with the hope that a move occurs and you’re left with one of two centers left standing.
Monroe has the stat set and history of producing in the mid rounds to be a must-own player in 12-team leagues, and from there Len has his ankle issues and other injury concerns, but is the guy the Suns probably want to back if he can play well. Chandler is their safety blanket and has top 80-100 upside in 9-cat leagues and that’s not a lot.
Tyler Ulis went for 12 and 12 with a trey and logged 37 minutes. And speaking of James, he saw just five minutes last night. Who knows what weird kind of stuff the Suns could be doing to either depress or respect James’ impending future. But Ulis is the guy with the upside anyway (in reality), but in fantasy he has just a late-round ceiling unless the team has a major change in dynamic.
And because there is a lot going on in Phoenix for fantasy owners let’s go one more graph deep on Marquese Chriss, who scored three points on 1-of-6 shooting with six rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 23 minutes.
The sophomore money counting stat stuffer is bringing back just top-190 value on the season, amidst reports and admissions that he started the year out of shape, but he’s doing that in just 20.2 mpg while playing the worst he will ever play as a pro. He was dropped in a big money league of mine and he cost me Bam Adebayo because I couldn’t pass on Chriss’ upside.
Especially in a year when blocks are so hard to find – there are few players I like better as an auto-add when you see his impatient owners cut bait. The money counting stats are there with all sorts of potential for scoring and rebounding to boot.
RESPECT THE UPSIDE
Quickly on Richaun Holmes (DNP-Colangelos) – I didn’t drop him anywhere last week and my leagues run from 12-team intermediate to 14-team competitive, mostly 8-cat. The players I was seeing on the wire were projected late-round values and above, with my most common waiver plays being something in the range of Bam Adebayo, E’Twaun Moore and Kelly Olynyk.
There were many other options that couldn’t compel me to make the drop, which was also helped by the fact that a bunch of my squads saw the end of the Nikola Mirotic and Kawhi Leonard sagas on the horizon. The situation is pretty dire, though.
Amir Johnson (four rebounds, one block) has been mostly good and Holmes needs minutes to both get comfortable and also really highlight the differences between he and Johnson as players.
Holmes can simply do things that Johnson cannot do covering in space, protecting the paint and offensively in a few respects. What he cannot do is think the game like Johnson and given the Sixers’ early success, Holmes’ early injury and Joel Embiid’s relative health – it’s just going to go slower than I had hoped after projecting him and drafting him accordingly.
Still, the upside analysis doesn’t change. You don’t have to look much further than Gorgui Dieng’s last few games to see what happens when a situation turns or a lightbulb turns on. Holmes’ stat set supported top-40 value last season when he was fully leveraged and we may not see that this year, but it’s hard to find that kind of upside on the wire.
So even if you’re a disappointed sleeper stasher you still have to respect the upside. It’s not a must-own situation but more a case of stash management.
In the game itself there were no real surprises. Dario Saric (10 points, nine boards, four assists, one steal) put up a typical popcorn line, Robert Covington’s shooting slump continued (3-of-13 FGs, 10-6-5, four cash counters), J.J. Redick scored 25 points with three treys, Joel Embiid went for 22 & 12 with four blocks and 8-of-8 FTs, and Ben Simmons posted a 20-8-7 line with six steals.
The defining characteristic of Embiid’s game – which is the one truth about this Sixers attack – is he can kill you with fakes until you finally give in. He has all the shots and simply needs to wait until you give up with whatever flailing lunge or leap that isn’t going to work.
ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION
The Magic’s struggles have been pretty pronounced after their hot start. Along with the Grizzlies things really turned fast for these early darlings.
The good news is that they got real easy for fantasy owners to assess. The injury to Terrence Ross has freed up Jonathon Simmons (15 points, six boards, one steal, one three) to be a solid late-round asset and Evan Fournier (18 points, three treys) can just be Evan Fournier again. Everybody else is doing their thing but they need wins right now to keep a good fantasy situation from turning sour.
DON’T DROP JEREMY LAMB
Kemba Walker (shoulder) returned and put up 29 points with seven assists, three steals, one block, one trey and 14-of-14 freebies as the Hornets pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Magic.
This is another squad that has been easy to read with Marvin Williams (seven points, five boards, one steal, one three) setting up as a late-round value, Nicolas Batum (11 points, 11 boards, five assists, one steal, one block) getting back on track, and Jeremy Lamb (12 points, two rebounds, one steal, 22 minutes) being mostly great before this one. Don’t drop Lamb, as noted a few million times around here.
MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE
The Bucks have mostly normalized and that’s a bit odd for a Jason Kidd squad, though in last night’s loss to the Celtics we did have John Henson (zero points, one steal, three boards, 21 minutes) take us back to the old school. Henson has always been at risk for playing himself out of a great situation, and the Bucks will certainly look at upgrading his position, but anything respectable keeps him in a late-round situation.
Eric Bledsoe (18 points, three treys, three boards, three assists, one steal) has stepped into top 50-75 (8/9 cat) value as expected, but Malcolm Brogdon (10 points, two threes, two boards, three assists) has lost all of the upside that made him a mid-round pick in drafts. Brogdon has trolled along at a late-round level and maybe it’s a trough with top-100 value in sight, but owners can now lick their wounds and accept the new valuation.
The Celtics at 21-4 are on a mission and the addition by subtraction thing has worked great for them early this year. That said, whether it’s the Bucks’ length slowing them down or general young player blues, the zero defensive stats for Jayson Tatum (17 points, six boards, four threes) and Jaylen Brown (eight points, seven rebounds) will always get an eyebrow raise.
Brown is basically a late-round guy for standard leagues – with some potential to pop if everything gets efficient all of a sudden – but really it’s Tatum that has won over fantasy owners with his top 45-60 (9/8 cat) production this year. Owners should be rooting for everybody to stay healthy. Tatum is getting his minutes and doesn’t have to worry about inefficiencies or his stats sliding if the team gets worse.
Al Horford (20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, one block, one three, 8-of-10 FGs) is rolling along at a top-25 level. He and Kyrie Irving (32 points, four boards, two steals, two threes) are working on some sort of mind meld if you read last night’s gamers.
I KEEPZ IT REAL
The AP report tried to insinuate that Caris LeVert’s 17-point, six-assist game with four cash counters meant that he could give a reprieve to Spencer Dinwiddie (13 points, five rebounds, six assists, three treys, 30 minutes) and I laughed a little. It was a little bit too much like 2016-17 but to each their own.
LeVert has to be good in a series of games before we start to mention him in the same breath as Dinwiddie, who has performed well and at the same time hasn’t crushed it at the same level I’ve promoted him at. Namely, he has slid with the efficiency at 39.2 percent from the field and 71.8 percent from the line, returning just top 85-95 value over the last 13 games, despite getting 29.3 mpg.
Still, he has jumped off the page in his ability to run the team, make plays and defend, so there’s no real lasting concern. He just needs to make his free throws and the 77.7 percent career shooter is looking at a major boost in value when that swings around. He’s taking a ton of threes right now, too, and the trend might be a bit exasperated – which will probably be a net positive for his fantasy value, albeit a mild one.
When everything normalizes on the efficiency side he has easy top-50 upside and if the minutes ever get truly locked in at 32-33 per game then he can be a late-early round guy. If there’s some ambiguity because of the valuation this past month or folks think that D’Angelo Russell is going to hurt him significantly one day down the road, be right there to help them out.
Elsewhere, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16 points, 10 boards, three assists, triple-one) appears to be back on track, Allen Crabbe (eight points, four rebounds, two threes, one steal) got ejected and is sitting in a late-round posture, and Jarrett Allen (11 points, one three, one steal, three blocks) got back on the fantasy radar with a noisy night. Allen is still a cut or two below the Gorgui Dieng and Richaun Holmes-like stashes in the marketplace.
THESE ARE THE BREAKS
The Hawks got throttled by the Nets and that’s all one really needs to know about this box score. Ersan Ilyasova (five points, three steals, one trey, 20 minutes) didn’t pay early dividends in the wake of their frontcourt injuries. Taurean Prince (six points, six boards, one steal, one three, 2-of-9 FGs) somehow made it into drop discussions and is an auto-add player, but that’s what happens when a bad team struggles.
I’LL GET THERE WHEN I GET THERE
That sound you can’t hear is the Cavs criticism from earlier in the year. Dwyane Wade (24 points, six boards, 9-of-13 FGs, one three, 5-of-5 FTs) just needed to play his way into shape apparently and now has a month of late-mid round value under his belt. Owners in 12-team formats should pick him up and worry about the Isaiah Thomas situation later.
Jae Crowder had six money counters as he put up nine points, three treys, two assists, two steals and one block in last night’s easy win over the Bulls. Now if he could only so something similar against the Kings on Wednesday – then we might have the beginnings of an add discussion.
At long last, he had his face punched in by an angry Bobby Portis is returning to action. Nikola Mirotic will practice today to determine if he can play on Friday or Saturday. Wednesday is apparently out of the question. None of this seems sturdy but Mirotic is back and has top-75 upside so he’s a must-own player. Will he get there? Not sure but you gotta gamble on that or somebody in your league has to.
Lauri Markkanen (13 points, seven boards, four cash counters) had a sell-me game, and Kris Dunn (15 points, six boards, five assists, one block, two threes) made his case that he can be a standard league guy. Dunn is worth an add and is a must-own player in 12-team leagues but has plenty of risk.
I’m not dropping Justin Holiday (14 points, 4-of-11 FGs, three treys, six boards, three assists, one steal, one block) or even downgrading him much as guys return. What he loses in scoring he’ll gain in efficiencies.
I knew dropping Gorgui Dieng from just one big money league would spark something. Kidding aside, I dropped him for Marquese Chriss amidst a mild uptick, but last night Dieng did something that caught my attention – he actually got a block. More kidding aside, he put up the type of line that has made him indispensable over the years, scoring 10 points with seven rebounds, one steal and one block in just 21 minutes.
The late-round value in approximately 20 mpg has always made betting on Dieng a profitable endeavor and we’ve seen this act before, as the first month or two gives way to the excellent second and third acts.
At the same time, the Wolves are following right along Tom Thibodeau’s script. Taj Gibson (37 minutes) and Jimmy Butler (40 minutes) are already racking up the Thibs minutes, and they looked tired in many respects tonight.
Is Dieng a must-own player in 12-team formats? No.
But similarly to my discussion on Holmes, I have only dropped him on one squad despite being very realistic about how much Thibs has not wanted to play him. I’m very game-by-game on both Dieng and Holmes, but it’s going to take something with over top-100 projected production for me to be swayed.
SMALL MARKET FRIENDLIES
The Grizzlies got a win and given their off-the-court issues it’s an understatement to say it was desperately needed. They just ran David Fizdale out of town and their ownership situation just screams ‘maximize profits via implied threat of relocation.’ It also screams dysfunction.
It’s a smaller media market with plenty of team-friendly outlets serving up the news, and this thing is going to be a mess as it continues to unravel. For now, Marc Gasol (21 points, seven rebounds, five assist, one block, one three, 8-of-9 FTs) got of the schneid in more ways than one, and JaMychal Green solidified his value with 14 points, nine boards, one steal and 6-of-7 freebies.
Tyreke Evans (16 points, five rebounds, nine assists, one steal, three blocks, two threes) will continue to be a monster until he falls apart. He has no competition even if Mike Conley takes back his 33 mpg – this squad is paper thin.
Mario Chalmers (ankle) played 20 minutes and put up two points, two boards, three assists and a block in 20 minutes. His Achilles issues and general lack of durability are major concerns and owners should weigh their options if a low-level free agent presents themselves.
THE BIG STORY
The big story of the night was Fantasy’s No. 3 player (Stephen Curry) roll an ankle that previously caused him to be one of the league’s most underpaid superstars, setting up this historic Warriors squad as we know it. The tone about the team and those that cover it was one of ‘hey, this might not be that bad’ and his teammates seemed to be telling him ‘don’t think about playing in your hometown of Charlotte on Wednesday.’
There will be an MRI on Tuesday and Curry is basically game-to-game at this point.
SAME STORY, DIFFERENT DAY
I didn’t get to watch anything but the end of the Warriors-Pelicans game. I saw the Pelicans run a bunch of dumb stuff on offense and that makes me question some of what I’ve interpreted as better utilization of DeMarcus Cousins by the Pelicans.
Trust me, though, I’m not giving them a passing grade in that department until it’s pretty certain they know that Cousins should be banging folks over their heads in the post the same way that Joel Embiid does.
Rajon Rondo (10 points, five boards, 11 assists, two steals, two threes) has never really figured that out but he has mad himself a must-own player in standard leagues with two solid performances in a row. With no Anthony Davis, who is probably more day-to-day than week-to-week if we’re to strictly follow the tone of recent reports, Rondo can easily take control of this team and mold them into his image.
As expected, E’Twaun Moore (27 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, five treys) and Jrue Holiday (34 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, four treys) saw bumps in production.
LIFE WITHOUT JOKIC
The Nuggets losing Nikola Jokic (ankle) in the short-term is going to leave them susceptible to random dips and they didn’t experience that last night against the Mavs.
Kenneth Faried (13 points, 11 boards, 28 minutes) got another start and Wilson Chandler (back) played 27 minutes and didn’t do much with four points, seven rebounds and three assists on 1-of-11 shooting. I don’t think owners in 12-team standard formats should be grabbing Chandler as a speculative add until he shows he can do something mildly productive.
Mason Plumlee (three points, seven boards, four assists, one block, 1-of-6 FTs, 19 minutes) will be worth a look for however long Jokic is out.
Anytime Jamal Murray (22 points, one steal, one block, four threes) does anything remotely productive look to sell him high. Will Barton (23 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, four threes, 41 minutes) has been the big beneficiary of all the injuries.
STABILIZING DENNIS SMITH
There are no secrets with the Mavs but they are playing better and that leads to a bit more stability in fantasy leagues. Dennis Smith Jr. (20 points, two threes, five rebounds, three assists, 9-of-16 FGs) has sort of overcome the efficiency issues that have kept him limited to just top 150-250 (8/9 cat) value on the year, producing more of a late-round value over the last month or so.
Still, the name is bigger than the fantasy game unless they pass him the torch and hand him the car keys all at once.
The Pistons are morphing into trendy Eastern Conference team to talk about early in the year, but they’re still the easy-to-read fantasy squad we know them as.
Yes, there are changes to the value of Andre Drummond (11 points, 15 boards, two assists, three steals, one block, 3-of-6 FTs) now that he passes and hits some freebies, and Tobias Harris (15 points, five rebounds, one steal, three treys) has been on one so far this year.
There are clear, defined roles for all of the main assets and there is extra value in that for planning purposes.
NOT A MINUTE TOO SOON
Kawhi Leonard (quad) is coming back and that’s all we really need to know in San Antonio. In the meantime, you’ve been given ample warning to sell LaMarcus Aldridge (17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal) high and Rudy Gay (12 points, 10 boards, four assists, two blocks, one three) hasn’t been great lately but this is a sell-me line if you can get anything for it.
Danny Green (11 points, six boards, three assists, three treys) is threatened by Kawhi’s return, too. Will this supporting cast be like last year’s version or will they all gel a bit better and enjoy some gains.
The Wizards lost by 47 points and it’s hard to pin it on the Utah nightlife. There’s not much to read into a game like this other than that the Wizards can be inconsistent without John Wall (knee) around. Don’t read too much into stinker lines from the fantasy relevant guys.
DO YOURSELF A FAVOR
On the other end of that blowout we saw the return of Rudy Gobert (four points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks, 21 minutes), and what should be the demise of Derrick Favors (nine points, eight boards, two assists, one steal, 25 minutes). You should use all of the writer praise for Favors to your advantage. He’s not producing as long as Gobert is healthy.
Donovan Mitchell (21 points, 8-of-13 FGs) was good again and Alec Burks (27 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, three treys, 9-of-13 FGs) kept his foot on the gas. Both should take a hit when Rodney Hood (ankle) returns but Mitchell is a night-and-day better asset than Burks.
July 6, 2020, 12:08 pmDe'Andre HunterSF, Atlanta Hawks
De'Andre Hunter finished his rookie season with top-220 value in 8/9-cat formats.
Hunter started 62 of his 63 games played and averaged 32 minutes in those appearances, giving him an ample opportunity to prove what kind of player he can be in the league. The rookie posted an uninspiring 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Touted as a quality defender coming out of college, Hunter only averaged 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. On a team with multiple other ball dominant players Hunter is probably suited best in a three-and-D role on the wing. If the defensive numbers can slightly increase we could see Hunter play closer to a top-120 value player next season.
July 6, 2020, 10:41 amClint CapelaC, Atlanta Hawks
Clint Capela kept top-40 value admist injuries, mid-season trade.
Although he is yet to make his debut for the Hawks, Capela posted 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game, in 39 games with the Rockets. Foot injuries kept him out the final months of the season and left the door open for speculation on how he will fit in with his new club. Capela's high block (1.8/game) and field goal percentage (63%) numbers make up for his lack of threes and brutal free-throw percentage (53%). In Houston, Capela was the only big on the floor for the majority of his minutes, but now slides in next to forward John Collins, one of the better big men in the league. It will be interesting to see how his lack of an outside game can mesh with this roster, but he has proven over the last few seasons you can expect consistent double-double type numbers out of him, no matter what situation he is in.
July 6, 2020, 10:22 amKevin HuerterSG, Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Huerter finished the season just outside the top-100 in both 8/9-cat formats.
Huerter was able to carve out a starting role for the Hawks with his consistent numbers throughout the season. The second-year player dropped 12.2 points, with 2.3 triples in 31.4 minutes per game. The remainder of the stat sheet is filled out with mediocre to below-average numbers including 4.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and only 1.6 turnovers a game. Huerter had a two week run late in the season where he posted top-50 numbers and has the ability to play at that level more frequently if he can slightly increase and stay consistent with his numbers. Moving forward he is most likely just a points and threes threat.
July 6, 2020, 10:07 amTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young finishes the season as a top-20 fantasy player.
Going into the season with top-20 ADP, Young proved owners right putting up top-10 8-cat and top-20 9-cat rankings on a per game basis. Finishing the year top-five in scoring with 29.6 points per game, Young proved there isn't a shot he won't take making himself one of the most exciting young players in the league. The dramatic scoring increase from his rookie season comes along with knocking down 3.4 threes per game on 44% shooting from the field. Not just a scoring threat, Young is second in the league in assists with 9.3 per game. While these numbers carry his stat lines on a nightly basis there is much more to be desired from the point guard. He also leads the league in turnovers with 4.6 a night and has below average rebounding and defensive stats. The high turnover numbers are to be expected being the primary play maker on an inexperienced, bad team. As the scoring and assist numbers figure to stay consistent Young can crack the top-10 in both formats if he can improve on his assist and steal numbers next season.
July 6, 2020, 9:26 amJohn CollinsPF, Atlanta Hawks
John Collins finishes a shortened third season as a top-tier fantasy option.
Despite missing 25 games due to suspension for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug Program, Collins saw an increase in his numbers from last season across the board, landing him as a top-11 player in both 8 and 9-cat formats. The team's leading rebounder at 10.1 per game, also added 21.6 points a night on 58% shooting, including 40% from deep, making him the only player in the league to post that combination of numbers. The mid-season addition of Clint Capela will allow Collins to step outside more often and make plays along the perimeter and in the mid-post area next season. Low assist and steal numbers hold him back from being the top PF option in the league but more time alongside Capela and the rest of the young Hawks core could add to his ability to create. Yet to complete a full season in his NBA career, the big man has top-20 value when on the court and should come off the board early in next year's drafts.
July 6, 2020, 12:14 amDe'Aaron FoxPG, Sacramento Kings
Sam Amick is reporting that the Kings have shut down their practice facility after a member of the team's traveling party tested positive for COVID-19.
The Kings are set to depart for Orlando on Wednesday and the facility will be shut until after they leave town. Buddy Hield and Alex Len have already tested positive for COVID-19, though the report doesn't specify if it's another member of the roster to come down with the virus. Sacramento joins the Nuggets, Nets, Bucks, Heat and Clippers as teams who have had to close their practice facilities in this phase of reopening. The NBA is set to send 22 of its teams to Florida in the coming weeks.
Source: Sam Amick on Twitter
July 5, 2020, 6:43 pmGiannis AntetokounmpoPF, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have shut down their practice facility after receiving results from the latest round of COVID-19 tests, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
That batch of tests was conducted on Friday. Woj adds that the facility will likely be shut through Thursday, when the team's traveling party is supposed to head to Orlando. No word on who or how many of the team's staff tested positive, but as always, the pandemic is in charge of the NBA's attempted restart, no matter how much effort the league puts into its plans.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 5, 2020, 6:33 pmMike ConleyPG, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley, like several others, is expected to leave the NBA's Orlando bubble when his wife gives birth to a child.
Conley's third child is due in late August, so any departure will likely affect the Jazz's playoff roster to some extent. Utah will already be missing Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist surgery), though they still figure to be one of the best teams in the West's second tier of contenders. It was a frustrating first season with the Jazz for Conley and fantasy GMs, but he can flip the narrative with a strong postseason.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
July 4, 2020, 8:36 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
According to Shams Charania, the NBA has informed players that they will not be able to travel with their respective teams to Orlando, should they fail to be tested on one of two days before the scheduled travel date.
The report also says that if the player does indeed miss the said window to be tested, he will need to register three consecutive tests before traveling. This is a strict protocol, but one the league needs to enforce in order to ensure the safety of all of the players and staff who will be entering the "bubble" in Walt Disney World in preparation for the resumption of the 2019-20 season. There has been a lot of concern, especially with the growing number of cases being recorded in Florida.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 2:39 pmJimmy ButlerSG, Miami Heat
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.
Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.
Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter