• It was a relatively quiet Thursday night, well not if you were at the scorer’s table at the Rockets-Jazz game and were probably treated to an earful from Rudy Gobert as he complained about his quick second foul.

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. We’ll get to that game in a bit.

    Al the way with Horford

    The first game of the night was a systematic and steady dismantling of the Knicks by the Celtics 100-128. It was not an absolute slaughter, at least not immediately, as Tim Hardaway Jr. and, yes, Emmanuel Mudiay did their best to keep the game close in the first half. THJ had a Hardaway-esque line with 22 points, six treys and little else, while Mudiay – still struggled from the field with 5-of-15 shooting – finished with 17 points and six dimes. Enes Kanter started for the Knicks and dropped his perfunctory double-double with 14 & 11.

    The Celtics leaned on Kyrie Irving again in this one and he delivered with 22 points (three 3s) and eight dimes. Al Horford had a notably solid performance with 19 points and 12 rebounds with four blocks, that nicely yanked up his season averages. Jason Tatum did Jason Tatum things with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, five boards, three treys and two steals. It was a quiet night for Gordon Hayward who hardly exerted effort in his 25 minutes off the bench with eight points, six rebounds and four assists.

    Comforts of Holmes

    The Phoenix Suns raised a couple of eyebrows when it was reported that Richaun Holmes was getting the start over an available Deandre Ayton. Whether the move was to send the rookie a message or he was feeling under the weather, it did not get its desired result, with Holmes getting subbed out early in the first. Ayton ended up posting a decent line with 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 27 minutes. Holmes, despite his start, recorded just nine points, four rebounds and no defensive stats in 21 minutes.

    Beyond that starting center swap, there was nothing really extraordinary coming out of the Suns’ side of their 86-108 blowout loss to the Blazers.

    On the Blazers side, Jusuf Nurkic struggled with his shot going 4-for-12 from the field to finish with nine points but dominated on the glass with 14 rebounds. Damian Lillard did away with the Suns easily with his 25 points and full line. It was on him to deliver the goods with regular backcourt partner C.J. McCollum out with a sprained ankle. Scoring reinforcements came from an unexpected source. Jake Layman dropped a career-high 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds. While this is a rare outburst from Layman, he can possibly emerge as the third scoring option that the Blazers sorely need.

    One angry Frenchman

    The Rockets were a mess, individually and collectively. As a result, they lost, horribly, to the Jazz, 91-118. James Harden posted a season-low 15 points and Clint Capela uncharacteristically shot poorly from the field with 5-for-14 shooting.

    Rudy Gobert took his frustration out on some cups at the scorer’s table, which resulted in his ejection. It’s unclear whether the Stifle Tower will be slapped with a one-game suspension or a fine. Either way, expect him to be disciplined one way or another. In the wake of his absence, Derrick Favors stepped up and delivered his best offensive output of the season with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds, one steal and one block.  Smokin’ Joe Ingles played well in the win with 18 points, six boards, four triples, three dimes and two steals.

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Fantasy News

  • Markelle Fultz - PG - Orlando Magic

    Markelle Fultz (shoulder) will not play at Summer League, according to GM John Hammond.

    Fultz has reportedly been making good progress and the Magic are excited about what he's been able to do since coming over at the trade deadline, but this is not great news. Hopefully Fultz will be ready to contribute in the preseason so we can get a look at how he'll fit in Orlando. The upside is immense but it would take a strong showing to confidently draft Fultz in redraft formats as his shoulder issues have completely derailed the first few years of his career.

    Source: 96.9 The Game on Twitter

  • Haywood Highsmith - PF - Philadelphia Sixers

    The Sixers have waived Haywood Highsmith.

    Highsmith joined the Sixers on a two-way deal last season but only appeared in five games. Expect them to use that spot on a more established G-League player or a rookie with some upside.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Nando De Colo - G - Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have extended a qualifying offer to Nando De Colo, making him a restricted free agent.

    De Colo has spent the last five seasons out of the NBA but has been fantastic for CSKA Moscow, earning a reputation as one of the strongest players currently not in the Association. The Raptors have been doing the proper paperwork since he left and will now have the right to match any other offers that come his way as he prepares for a comeback. It’s entirely possible that they keep him around as a third point guard if the price is right.

    Source: Keith Smith on Twitter

  • Bol Bol - C - Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets will send Miami $1.2 million and a second-round pick in 2022, either their own or Philadelphia's, to complete the Bol Bol trade.

    The Nuggets will be sending whichever pick is lower, and the Sixers pick will be whichever is higher between Philly's and Minnesota's thanks to a separate pick swap. Bol says his left foot is fully healed, but there's too many obstacles in terms of playing time to count on the intriguing center for redraft leagues.

    Source: Eric Pincus on Twitter

  • Jimmer Fredette - PG - Phoenix Suns

    The Suns will decline Jimmer Fredette's team option, allowing the guard to play for the Warriors in Summer League.

    Fredette was a non-factor for the Suns in limited action last season, but he'll try to find a foothold in the league with a strong showing in Vegas. If worse comes to worse, Jimmer can always go back to dropping huge lines in China.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Evan Turner - SG - Atlanta Hawks

    Evan Turner will be traded to the Hawks in exchange for Kent Bazemore.

    Turner will give the Hawks some added playmaking in the second unit, though he is unlikely to play a big-minute role with all of the youth that Atlanta wants to develop. He's set to make $18.6 million in the final year of his deal, while Bazemore was slated for $19.3 million, so the Hawks will open up a little more room to spend in the upcoming year — at least in terms of real dollars. This opens up minutes for players like Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish while giving the Hawks someone who can capably give them backup PG minutes.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Kent Bazemore - SG - Trail Blazers

    Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Hawks and Blazers have agreed to a deal that will send Kent Bazemore to Portland and Evan Turner to Atlanta.

    Bazemore has been on the block for a while now, and he'll play a big role in Portland's wing rotation. It's entirely possible that he starts at small forward, though we're a long way from the start of the season. Bazemore brings a level of length and shooting that Turner could not and will give Portland some additional versatility. We'll wait for all the dust to settle before going too in depth, but late-round value should be attainable for Bazemore. He also gives the Blazers more depth in case they can't re-sign Rodney Hood.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Wayne Selden - SG - Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls will not extend a qualifying offer to Wayne Selden, making him an unrestricted free agent.

    Selden got a lot of playing time towards the end of the year given Chicago's injuries and shutdowns, and his showing there might get him some interest on the open market. Teams could do a lot worse as far as cheap wing depth goes.

    Source: Cody Westerlund on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - SF - Toronto Raptors

    According to Chris Sheridan of the Daily News, the Mavs expect that they'll get a meeting with Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

    To this point it's been the Raptors, Clippers, Lakers, Knicks and Nets as the main candidates in the Leonard race but Dallas would be a very interesting landing spot considering their wealth of young talent. The Mavs are never afraid to throw their hat in the ring when it comes to free agents, and while they're not likely to actually sign Leonard, who knows what happens if they do get a meeting? There are a lot of teams that are probably hoping to talk to Kawhi when free agency opens, and you can add the Mavs to that list of confirmed suitors.

    Source: Chris Sheridan on Twitter

  • Ryan Arcidiacono - PG - Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls will make Ryan Arcidiacono a restricted free agent by extending him a qualifying offer.

    Arcidiacono is coming off a season where he finished around the top-200 in terms of fantasy value, though that largely occurred as a result of injuries to Chicago's other guards. With Coby White and Kris Dunn ahead of him on the depth chart, Arcidiacono has some serious impediments to minutes. A new home might be the best for his fantasy outlook, but the Bulls obviously value having him around as insurance.

    Source: Cody Westerlund on Twitter