• News is still slow around the NBA world.  While we anxiously await the start of the NBA preseason, the city of Los Angeles has found a way to make the time pass faster with a celebration of Kobe Bryant.  After giving his all to the city for twenty years, the Black Mamba was recognized for his achievements and spoke about his future.  Now that basketball is behind him, it appears that his focus will be on his new venture capital fund.  Best of the luck to a man that defined my basketball-viewing upbringing.

    Thursday Highlights

    The offseason is full of speculation and optimism.  With that comes reports of expectations for the season and beyond.  On Thursday, we caught wind of several news blurbs that give hope to some fans of downtrodden franchises.

    For starters, Ryan McDonough explained why the Suns were quiet during the 2016 free agency period. He felt the class was not very deep this offseason and believes they will be major players next offseason.  The Suns should have plenty of money to spend, but landing a marquee free agent has not worked out for this franchise in the past.

    The Grizzlies received some good news regarding injured players.  Mario Chalmers has been cleared to return to the court and Marc Gasol is progressing as expected and it is possible he will be ready for training camp.

    Coach Dave Joerger provided some insights on his vision for the rotation this upcoming season in a podcast today.  It seems that Joerger likes the idea of rolling with Matt Barnes at power forward a decent amount.  He also didn’t fully commit to the starting status of Willie Cauley-Stein but it still seems like it is a good possibility.  Overall, the Kings seem deep at power forward if Cousins, Cauley-Stein, Barnes and maybe even Skal Labissiere are all in the mix.

    In addition, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton released projected season win totals for ESPN Insider readers on Wednesday.  Some pretty surprising results showed up in the article.  The Utah Jazz are showing as the number three team in the west after not making the playoffs last season.  The Pacers are projected to be the eight seed in the east, but many experts seem to believe that they will contend in the conference.  Without giving away too much, there were some other surprising projections for various teams, including the Denver Nuggets.

    Keep checking in to the site for regular NBA news, even during the slow times of the offseason.

Fantasy News

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - PF - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo has won the 2018-2019 MVP award.

    It was only a matter of time until Antetokounmpo would start to wreak havoc upon the league and that day came sooner rather than later. There are still obvious flaws to his game, but it is a regular season award and the Greek Freak had a historic regular season. He led the team to the best record in the league and the Bucks team and staff brought home a lot of well-deserved hardware tonight.

    Source: NBA on Twitter

  • Jon Horst - Team - Milwaukee Bucks

    Jon Horst has been awarded the Executive of the Year award.

    Horst added Coach Budenholzer and retooled the roster to perfectly fit Giannis Antetokoumpo and his style of play. This led to the best record in the NBA and to a team that many believed to be the favorites to come out of the east. Obviously this was a regular season award, because Masai Ujiri came in fourth place and if voting were done today it would look a lot different.

    Source: NBA on Twitter

  • Rudy Gobert - C - Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert has won the 2018-2018 Defensive Player of the Year Award.

    Gobert helped anchor one of the best defenses in the league and this makes it the second consecutive year he's taken home the award. The Jazz are always steady due to his efforts on that end of the floor and the team's identity starts with him.

    Source: NBA on Twitter

  • Mike Budenholzer - Team - Milwaukee Bucks

    Mike Budenholzer has been named the Coach of the Year for the 2018-2019 season.

    In his first season as the Bucks’ coach, Budenholzer helped propel the team to an NBA-best 60 wins. The Bucks revamped their offense and did their best to play through Giannis Antetokounmpo’s strengths and the drastic shift in performance compared to years past makes this a well deserved award.

    Source: NBA on Twitter

  • Lou Williams - SG - Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams collected his third Kia NBA Sixth Man Award on Monday night, winning it over Domantas Sabonis and Montrezl Harrell.

    Williams wasn't needed quite as much this season due to the heath of his teammates. That caused his minutes to drop from 32.8 to 26.6 per game, but he still scored 20.0 points per game and even increased his rebounds and assists to career-highs.

    Source: NBA on TNT on Twitter

  • Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies

    Mike Conley won two awards Monday night that were voted on by the players, the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award and the Sportsmanship Award.

    It's nice to see Conley getting some attention this summer. This is his third Sportsmanship Award, and he'll be taking that and his Teammate of the Year Award to probably the best team he's ever been a part of in Utah. Now let's see if he can get his first All Star nod, too.

    Source: NBA on TNT on Twitter

  • Pascal Siakam - PF - Toronto Raptors

    Pascal Siakam took home the Kia Most Improved Player Award, beating De'Aaron Fox and D'Angelo Russell.

    This award was seemingly wrapped up back in November. Siakam exploded this season, improving significantly is every fantasy category (excluding turnovers). He finished the regular season with per-game averages of 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.0 threes on 54.9 percent from the field and 78.5 percent from the line. His three-point percentage has increased from 14.3 to 22.0 to 36.9 as well. Whether or not Kawhi Leonard returns, Siakam should easily make his way into the top-40 ranks next season.

    Source: NBA on TNT on Twitter

  • Luka Doncic - PG - Dallas Mavericks

    Luka Doncic won the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award, beating finalists Trae Young and Deandre Ayton.

    Ayton had the best fantasy season and Young had an amazing second half. However, Luka was a team leader, primary ball-handler and clutch shot-maker all season. His per-game averages of 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.3 threes exceed most expectations. If he can bump up his percentages, he could be an early-round fantasy star for over a decade.

    Source: NBA on TNT

  • Patrick Beverley - PG - Los Angeles Clippers

    According to Brad Townsend, Patrick Beverley plans to meet with the Mavs, though a meeting has not been scheduled.

    He's also planning to meet with other teams, as we've heard before. Beverley appears to be in-demand this summer and he should produce similar stats to what he's put up over the last few seasons regardless of his landing spot. Whether he's with a bad team like the Bulls, a middling team like the Mavs or a potential contender like the Lakers, one would think he'll be signing in a spot where he'll be starting.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter

  • 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