• The NBA tips off pretty soon and we’re on the eve of the preseason. Some of you already have real league drafts under your belts. How have they been going for you so far?

    One of the last things I do before getting into a fantasy basketball draft is to exclude players I am absolutely sure I do NOT want to own this season. Coming from a country that has terribly unreliable internet, this step in my prep process is a must. I cull through those preseason ranks like George R.R. Martin kills off your favorite characters.

    I know that this is a divisive topic and there is a school of thought that you shouldn’t exclude players, ever, and it is all about when you get them. My answer to that is simple. I can always toggle and see who’s up in the regular queue anyway. It’s not that big of a deal. However, I do know that if I get disconnected from the live online draft that I will not be able to live with myself if I get Joel Embiid at the 28 range or even Isaiah Thomas at 33. My disdain for those draft spots is visceral.  If the soonest I would take Thomas is in the deep 100s, then what’s the point? He won’t be there by the time I’d consider him and his bum hip. To qualify, Thomas’ exclusion is for my leagues that set rosters daily and DO NOT have IR slots. I’d consider taking Thomas in the late-middle rounds of a draft if the league I’m in has an IR slot or sets its rosters weekly.

    The objective of my hard exclusions is to end up with a team I would draft, even in absentia.

    Most of these exclusions are based on durability issues. For the last six seasons straight, Andrew Bogut has always been on my “Do Not Draft List”. Some of them, are based on biases and preferences. Dan, for example, has been vocal about how he doesn’t like and will not draft players who force you to punt free throw percentage. That’s a preference. I don’t like one-dimensional scorers, like Andrew Wiggins. Unless your name is Andrew Bogut, being on this list is not a permanent thing. I reassess how well or terribly my exclusion list fared in the season and I take note.

    I am not asking you to follow this exclusion list. It is something that’s not for everyone. Seeing these names, however, might be enough to give you pause and reconsider the spots where you would consider taking them.

    I do play in a lot of deep leagues, so some of these names might not even be within the realm of consideration in your rankings.

    Without further ado, here are the notable players I’ve removed from my pre-draft rankings.

    1. Isaiah Thomas
    2. Joel Embiid
    3. Carmelo Anthony
    4. Dwight Howard
    5. Andrew Wiggins
    6. LaMarcus Aldridge
    7. Brandon Ingram
    8. Reggie Jackson
    9. Chandler Parsons
    10. Dwyane Wade
    11. Jabari Parker
    12. J.R. Smith
    13. Monta Ellis
    14. Derrick Rose
    15. Deron Williams
    16. Joakim Noah
    17. Tony Parker
    18. Darren Collison
    19. Tyson Chandler
    20. Nene
    21. Jahlil Okafor
    22. Kris Dunn
    23. Emmanuel Mudiay
    24. Alan Williams
    25. Andrew Bogut

    Guys who were previously on this list but are now considered draftable are DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, and begrudgingly even Eric Gordon.

    Remember, you can always reach me on Twitter: @FantasyHoopla, if you want to chat about fantasy hoops!

Fantasy News

  • Kenny Wooten
    PF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.

    Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post

  • Oshae Brissett
    SG-SF, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Jordan McLaughlin
    G, Minnesota Timberwolves

    The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.

    McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.

    All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.

    Source: NBA.com

  • CJ McCollum
    SG, Trail Blazers

    C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Mason
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.

    Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyle Korver
    SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.

    Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.

    Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter

  • Luke Kornet
    PF-C, Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls have officially announced the signings of Luke Kornet and Shaquille Harrison.

    Kornet can provide threes and blocks as a backup big for the Bulls. He is currently behind Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young and Wendell Carter Jr. but may be able to carve out some minutes for deep-league owners. Harrison will be fighting for minutes with the Bulls' plethora of point guards at the moment. If he can find some minutes during the season, he can be a source of steals as a player to stream or for deep leagues.

    Source: Bulls.com