• On the injury news front, we received confirmation that Bobby Portis will be out from 2-4 weeks with his sprained ankle. Such a shame indeed, especially since he just returned from a sprained MCL that kept him out of commission for over a month.

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    Now owners are in a quandary as to whether they should hold onto him or drop him like yesterday’s news. From what we’ve seen so far from the Bulls, he’s their preferred backup PF/C moving forward (as long as he can stay healthy), so much so that they dumped Jabari Parker out of the rotation. So if you can hold onto him, do so. If not, then a warm body might what your teams needs. It all depends on your team’s place in the standings and its ability to handle the dead injured weight.

    Unfortunately, there’s no real pickup recommendation here. Parker is not worth the movement of your finger ligaments to press “add player,” so look elsewhere on the wire for some help. Perhaps a Greg Monroe would be a nice short-term little Dutch boy to place his finger in the dike.

    Since we’re on the sour topic of injuries, we have to address that Chris Paul hamstring injury, which he sustained in the Heat-Rockets game last night. It’s not the same hamstring he injured last season, but then again, this is Chris Paul we’re talking about here. He’ll be gone for a considerable stretch and we should look to Eric Gordon, who dropped 20 points and five triples, for some extra production. Of course, James Harden will take his MVP-caliber play up to epic levels. We got a taste of it with his 35-point, 12-assist gem in their 99-101 loss to the Heat.

    I’d like to direct your attention to Tyler Johnson and his 19-point performance. He should be solid while Goran Dragic remains out. Dwyane Wade is just too unreliable at this stage in his career, at least outside of the random good performances here and there, limiting his appeal to deep leagues. Now, I’d like to introduce you to Derrick Jones Jr., just in case you haven’t been properly introduced. His 15 points, two steals and two blocks are part of his fantasy-friendly kit.  He’s currently must-own in 14-team leagues or deeper and is on the fringe of standard league end-of-bench players.

    In the other game, Luka Doncic had a monster game with 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting with four rebounds, five dimes, four steals and three triples. Sadly, it was not enough to carry the Mavs as they ended up falling to the Clippers 121-125. DeAndre Jordan went bonkers on the glass, grabbing 22 boards to go along with his 11 points, four assists and one steal. Harrison Barnes and  J.J. Barea added 16 and 19 points, respectively.

    D.J. has been a monster in the rebounding department all season. Sadly, we’re still missing those wonderful blocks he used to bring.

    It was not so much about what the Mavs failed to do, but more of what the Clippers did right. Danilo Gallinari had a sweet game, dropping 32 markers on 11-of-16 shooting with six boards, four dimes, three triples and a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the line.

    Lou Williams also woke up with a 26-point explosion accompanied by eight assists and two steals. Classic Sweet Lou right there.  Montrezl Harrell played well too, adding 18 points, six boards, four assists and two blocks in the winning effort from LAC.

    That’s it. Short and sweet. Well, unless you own Chris Paul, of course.

Fantasy News

  • Andre Drummond
    C, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Andre Drummond had a rocky transition after moving to the Cavs in 2019-20, but not before putting up a solid first half of season with the Pistons as top-20 player in 8-cat and a top-30 player in 9-cat per-game value, thanks to his 15.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks per game on .532 shooting.

    Drummond, as expected, saw a significant slip in value after moving to the Cavs at the trade deadline. The presence of big men Tristan Thompon, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. provided Drummond with ample competition for minutes. Aside from that, Drummond also dealt with a left calf strain that didn't do his fantasy value any favors. He's already stated that he intends to exercise his player option for the next season, but given the Cavs' developmental shift in direction, he's someone you can expect to see with a lot of valuation volatility heading into 2020-21.

  • Michael Beasley
    PF, Free Agent

    According to Shams Charania, Michael Beasley could be making a return to the NBA after moving closer to a deal with the Nets.

    The Nets are sorely undermanned given the high number of their players who have tested positive for the Coronavirus. Beasley last played in the league for the Pistons in 2019 and could provide some limited, albeit versatile production off the bench.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Ante Zizic
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Ante Zizic finishes the season outside the top-350 in 8/9-cat formats with averages of 4.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 0.2 BPG in just 10.0 MPG across 22 games.

    Sadly, there weren't many minutes left for Zizic to snack on in 2019-20, with Tristan Thompson playing rejuvenated basketball and Kevin Love being nominally healthy. Also, Larry Nance Jr. was being groomed as a developmental project by the team. All of this resulted in Zizic becoming the odd man out of the equation. He's drawn interest from Turkish Airlines Euroleague ten Maccabi Tel Aviv, so an off-season departure is not completely out of the question.

  • Jordan Bell
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Jordan Bell's 2019-20 was marred by a right shoulder injury that couldn't get over, causing him to be non-factor in fantasy, tossed around four teams like a hot potato.

    Bell's second year in the league was a fantasy flop. He landed a two-year deal with the Cavs over the hiatus after passing through the Wolves, Rockets and Grizzlies this season. A nagging shoulder sprain limited Bell to averaging just 8.8 minutes per game with averages of 3.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 0.3 BPG on .522 shooting from the field. This resulted in Bell ranking at 418/433 on per-game value and 398/401 on total value. The Cavs are currently still stacked with players in their frontcourt, so there's still big question mark as to what kind of role Bell will fill moving forward.

  • Dante Exum
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Oft-injured Aussie guard Dante Exum was unable to shake the injury bug in 2019-20, leaving him to play just 35 games on the season and finishing at 366/380 in 8/9-cat Per-Game value.

    Sadly, 2019-20 wasn't too kind to Exum, who still couldn't stay on the floor for an extended period of time. It also didn't help his cause that the Cavs have a young crop of players who are hungry for minutes at Exum's position. To his credit, Exum was able to record a new career-high with 28 points in early January, but for the most part, he lacked any sort of consistency to be counted on in fantasy. He ends 2019-20 with averages of 4.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG and 1.0 APG in 13.9 MPG on .471 shooting from the field.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    According to Chris Haynes, Kawhi Leonard did not travel with the Clippers to Walt Disney World for the assumption of the 2019-20 NBA season.

    The good news here is that it was to attend to a family matter and that Kawhi got permission from his team. He is expected to join the rest of the Clippers in a few days. Leonard was notorious for missing games throughout the season due to "load management" and rest. Since this is not an injury-related absence (tardiness), there should be no real concerns about Leonard not being able to play at a top-10 caliber fantasy stud for the remaining eight games of the season.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Jamal Crawford
    SG, Brooklyn Nets

    According to Shams Charania, the injury-plagued Nets have agreed to a deal with 18-year veteran Jamal Crawford.

    The Nets have been ravaged by the Coronavirus as well as injuries and have a skeletal force trying to compete in the resumption of the season in the Orlando bubble, so it makes sense that they'd look for reinforcements in free agency. Crawford is no spring chicken, but his game has been known to be age-friendly, providing him opportunities to contribute as a scorer and 3-point shooting threat off the bench.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Alfonzo McKinnie
    SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Alfonzo McKinnie finished outside the top-350 in both 8- and 9-cat leagues while averaging 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.7 turnovers in 14.8 mpg across 40 contests with .427/.215/.710 splits.

    McKinnie has proven to be a nice depth piece for three teams in his NBA career after going undrafted in 2015. He has a non-guaranteed contract for next season and is off the fantasy radar outside of the deepest of leagues.

  • Kevin Porter Jr.
    SG-SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Kevin Porter Jr. impressed many in the fantasy community with his showing from 2019-20 as he posted 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.1 threes and 1.9 turnovers in 23.2 minutes with .442/.335/.723 splits across 50 games.

    Porter even logged three starts in his rookie campaign and returned 208/260 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues. The Cavs have had a glaring hole on the wing ever since LeBron James left in free agency and Kevin Porter Jr. is poised to become their starting small forward in years to come. Similar to most players, his biggest challenge will be his efficiency as he starts to see more minutes and an increase in usage.

  • Larry Nance Jr.
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Larry Nance Jr. produced 102/82 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues while averaging 10.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 threes and 1.1 turnovers in 26.3 mpg with .531/.352/.676 splits.

    Nance played in 56 out of a possible 65 games in 2019-20 and was in the starting lineup in 10 contests. His fantasy arrow appears to be pointing up as Tristan Thompson is a free agent which should allow more opportunity for the legacy heading into next season. From January 20 on, Nance was a 6th/4th round per-game value and will likely find himself inside the top-100 next season with top-60 upside.