• 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

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    According to head coach Mike D'Antoni, Clint Capela is feeling much better ahead of Wednesday's matchup against the Jazz.

    Clint Capela has been struggling ever since he came down with this virus. He seems to be close to 100% according to his head coach. If Capela can get close to his season averages of 16.6 points on 64.8% shooting while grabbing 12.7 rebounds and blocking 1.5 shots per game, then the Jazz will have an even tougher to task to take down the Rockets on Wednesday in order to force a Game 6 back in Utah.

    Source: Tim MacMahon on Twitter

  • JaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green will remain in the starting lineup in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    Green logged 22 minutes in the same role in Game 4, though it's not surprising that the Clippers will stick with the same group considering Ivica Zubac's tough fit in this matchup and Montrezl Harrell's fit in his current role.

    Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter

  • Nate Tibbets - Team - Trail Blazers

    The Suns have been given permission to interview Blazers assistants Nate Tibbets and David Vanterpool for their vacant head coaching position.

    The Cavs have already been connected to the duo from Portland, and Tibbets interviewed for the Hawks' gig last summer. The Suns reportedly fired Igor Kokoskov so they could make Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams their top target before the Lakers got too deep into talks, but Phoenix will be looking at multiple candidates. It's a nice roster to work with but we can't imagine anyone will be too eager to work with the team's ownership group.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Draymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green admitted that his right wrist has been hurt for "a while."

    Green added that he got hit there in Game 4 and "it pissed it off" and said that he's going to play through any pain in the postseason. It's not like teams weren't sagging off Green on the perimeter already, but if his wrist continues to hamper him in any way we may see opponents get very aggressive in their defensive efforts on Golden State's other players. Green is going to have lots of open jumpers presented to him for the rest of the postseason.

    Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter

  • Jarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets

    Jarrett Allen will work on extending his range to the 3-point line this summer.

    Him and every other big man. Allen went 6-for-45 on 3-pointers this season, so he's got some work to do. He's a quality young player who can protect the rim, but Allen isn't quite strong enough to crash and bang with the league's true behemoths and not quite gifted enough offensively to be anything more than a threat on the roll. It's a great base from which to work, however, and it's good to know that Allen is going to be putting in the work to make himself more of a weapon as the Nets look to build on a nice campaign.

    Source: Bryan Fonseca on Twitter

  • Marcus Smart - G - Boston Celtics

    On Wednesday Brad Stevens said that Marcus Smart (torn oblique) is "doing great."

    That's nice, but it's not much of an update. Smart was able to do some light shooting and treadmill work yesterday but we're still not expecting to see him until the tail end of the second round at the earliest. His tenacity and perimeter defense will be missed dearly in Boston's matchup with the Bucks.

    Source: Jay King on Twitter

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry suffered a dislocated finger on his right hand in the first half of Tuesday's Game 5 but was able to pop it back in and return to the game.

    Lowry swiped at the ball and ended up hitting Evan Fournier's leg with his hand, which caused the injury The fact that he was able to return to the game, even in a blowout, bodes well for his status for the second round. It may affect his shooting to some degree but Lowry has been playing facilitator more often anyway, and we wouldn't expect his performance to suffer. After a scoreless Game 1, Lowry was all over the floor for the Raptors as they locked in and simply outclassed Orlando.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Jeff Hornacek - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had an interview with the Kings for the lead assistant coach job.

    Sacramento has already hired Luke Walton to be their new coach but the news about the sexual assault allegations he faces might put his status in danger. Walton should be able to assemble his coaching staff once he is out of the woods but we should know more once the NBA concludes with their investigation of the matter.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Luke Walton - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that Luke Walton still has the Kings’ support, despite the sexual assault allegations the newly-hired coach is facing.

    The Kings are working with the NBA to investigate allegations made against Walton by his former colleague at Time Warner Cable, Kelli Tennant. The report adds that the two sides are moving forward with their working relationship and there doesn’t appear to be any momentum toward firing Walton, who was hired earlier this month just three days after he parted ways with the Lakers. The Kings confirmed that they were not aware of the accusations until TMZ reported the news and that they will wait for the facts before making a decision on Walton’s future. The investigation has been delayed because all parties haven’t been able to access Tennant’s lawsuit so more information should merge soon.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Jaren Jackson Jr. said that he wants to improve his "motor," his ball-handling skills and his shooting mechanics entering year two and he hopes to work with Kevin Garnett over the coming months.

    Jackson and Garnett spent time together last summer and again in February when Garnett visited Memphis to feature Jackson’s game for his segment on TNT. "He has a work ethic that is a throwback that I'm very appreciative of," Garnett said in the segment. "I love working with him. He is the future. I look forward to him becoming the leader of Memphis." The rookie had an impressive season before getting shut down due to a bruised thigh, averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 blocks, 0.9 steals and 0.9 triples per contest. He has tremendous upside and owners in dynasty leagues should feel great about him.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal