• Welcome in HoopBallers! As we’ve gotten a little distance from the end of the season and the emotional highs and lows of the fantasy campaign have evened out, it’s worthwhile to take a look back on the year that was. I asked some select members of our tremendous HB staff, from feature writers to blurbers to podcasters to people in our journalism and scouting arms, to answer a handful of questions about another fun year of hoops and what went right or wrong in their fantasy endeavors. We’ll be bringing you those answers in the coming weeks.

    (You can check out the rest of our Season Review articles right here!)

    Again, I left it a little bit nebulous to see how interpretations would differ. Everyone was mostly on the same page here but we still got some different names.

    This week we talked about our best pickups of the season. Working the waiver wire is a big chunk of fantasy ownership, and it’s always satisfying when a suspected injury fill-in plays their way onto your roster for the long haul. Sometimes it results in a Good Problem where you have too many useful players, but they call it a good problem for a reason. Truthfully, digging through the free agents for the next big thing is one of the most fun parts of the entire game for yours truly. If the watch list isn’t full, you’re doing it wrong.

    Quinn Cook was the hero for me this year. I played in only 30-team leagues and a late add of Cook put me over the top in 30-Deep. My only point guard eligible player on the roster to begin with was Jordan Clarkson (after a brief but memorable stint from Xavier Rathan-Mayes) and Gary Harris got hurt, so I needed all the backcourt help I could get. Cook was a monster in an hour of need, and there’s no way I take home the title without him.

    Onto the experts!

    Aaron Bruski

    Spencer Dinwiddie. I owned him in a lot of deeper leagues already and when he started to emerge it was an easy snatch. We got top-60 value out of him and though things got hairy at the end, he was my Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year and gave fantasy squads a massive push.

    Dan Besbris

    We’ll call this one a tie between Spencer Dinwiddie and Taj Gibson. Dinwiddie had the superior high, but also a few lows. Gibson was a steadier force throughout the year, getting his jumbo dose of minutes from the mighty Thibs.

    Jake Fitzgibbon

    Victor Oladipo – Took a chance on him in the second round and he led my squad to a victory in the Hoop Ball 30-teamer. Tremendous value all season long and he managed to stay mostly healthy.

    Chef Ali

    Donovan **bad 80s overdub Muthalovin** Mitchell. The Jazz drafted Spida as a projected bundle of explosive energy, not aware of his dynamic, nuanced offensive game. After taking a few weeks to get his footing, Donovan hit the hardwood running and didn’t look back. He ended up ranked higher (No. 56 per game) than the aforementioned Myles Turner and kept the Jazz afloat until Rudy Gobert finally returned.

    I luckily plucked him in three of my four leagues and all three were ranked 1 or 2 going into the H2H playoffs, where Mitchell was dropping (relatively inefficient) bombs, scoring, getting threes, steals, and hitting all kinds off the bounce treys, floaters, scoop-de-doos and nasty dunks with preternatural poise for his age. With him and co-ROY (on the Chef ballot) Ben Simmons, the future of the league is in good hands.

    Shout out to Quinn Cook and Jarrett Allen down the stretch.

    Nathan Nguyen

    Josh Richardson because someone gave up on him early and he delivered near top-50 value. He shouldn’t have been dropped though, but another guy that was available for most people was Dan Besbris’ favorite NIKOLA MIROTIC. Niko started off scorching, but cooled off at the end – yet still delivered top-40 numbers on a per game basis. I’m still sour about missing out on Don Mitchell, but JRich and Niko more than made up for it.

    Dio Nikiforos

    Nikola Mirotic and it’s not even close. I bought the hype before the start of the year about him working on his game and his body in the offseason while the basketball situation looked great as the Bulls clearly needed a go-to-guy with Zach Lavine sidelined for the first few months. Even though it required a lot of patience, especially after the punching incident with Bobby Portis, Niko was well worth the wait and I was able to add him in a few of my leagues since he was dropped by many managers who quit on him too early. He slowed down towards the end of the season but his infusion to many of my teams made a big difference since it’s not that common that you can add a top-75 asset in mid season.

    Souriyo Dishak

    I’m in mostly deep leagues but I was able to snag E’Twaun Moore in a couple places early on and he was pretty reliable for most of the year.

    Vladi Semenov

    (30 teamer) Josh Hart, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell

Fantasy News

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 28 points in Serbia's 85-80 win over Greece on Sunday.

    Serbia will be a tough team to beat in the 2019 FIBA World Cup thanks to Bogdanovic, Nikola Jokic and Nemanja Bjelica among others. Bjelica put up 18 points and 14 rebounds as well. They were able to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 20 points. This is one of the teams that could sneak up on Team USA and pull out a win.

    Source: Eurohoops

  • Justin Anderson
    SG, Atlanta Hawks

    According to The Athletic, the Wizards and Justin Anderson are trying to work towards a training camp contract.

    Anderson averaged a career-low 9.6 minutes per game with the Hawks last season. The former first-round pick is looking to gain another opportunity on a thin Wizards team. He will likely not have much fantasy value if he manages to make the roster.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Victor Oladipo
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    Victor Oladipo is still rehabbing from his ruptured quad tendon in January, and is unsure if he will be an active participant at the Pacers' training camp when it opens in September.

    Our last update from Pacers POBO Kevin Pritchard had Oladipo aiming for December or January, and that timetable still seems doable. He is taking his leadership role seriously, connecting with the Pacers' new players this summer, and it seems likely that he will make his presence felt this year at some point. Oladipo had an outstanding campaign two years ago, but even before the injury he was a disappointment last season. Fantasy owners should proceed with caution, we may not see Oladipo's top form this year.

    Source: Indiana Pacers

  • Bol Bol
    C, Denver Nuggets

    Bol Bol stated that he has completely recovered from the left foot fracture that ended his college basketball career, and he is now working out twice a day for his upcoming rookie season with the Nuggets.

    The multi-talented center could put up big numbers if given the opportunity with the Nuggets, but the risk for another injury is real. With that in mind, Bol is not expected to receive a lot of minutes this season. If that somehow changes, it would be exciting to see his rare combination of blocks and 3-pointers in action.

    Source: Jim Slater of AFP

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    The Grizzlies are allowing the Lakers to speak with Dwight Howard.

    The news came out yesterday that the Lakers would seek permission and the fact that they were granted it suggests that Howard will not be on the Grizzlies for long. The aftermath of DeMarcus Cousins tearing his ACL left them in need of another center if they want to remain true to playing Anthony Davis exclusively at power forward. Joakim Noah is the other option on the Lakers' radar and has been a facilitator and role player in the past.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Moritz Wagner
    PF, Washington Wizards

    Moritz Wagner has been cut from Germany’s FIBA World Cup team.

    The move seems somewhat surprising given Wagner’s youth and notoriety, but Germany still has four NBA players on their roster despite cutting Wagner. The Wizards have plenty of depth in the frontcourt and Wagner is probably lower on the totem poll when it comes to receiving minutes.

    Source: Dario Skerletic of Sportando

  • Jonah Bolden
    PF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Jonah Bolden has opted to withdraw from Team Australia in the FIBA World Cup.

    Bolden becomes the fifth NBA player to skip out on playing for Australia in the World Cup, a trend that seems to be prevalent for several countries' national teams. Bodlen could be looking at an increased role as a backup center for Philly's thin bench this upcoming season. He is not expected to be a relevant fantasy option though.

    Source: Fox Sports Australia

  • Jeremy Lin
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    Jeremy Lin is in advanced discussions with the Bejing Ducks according to a report from Chinese journalist Sonx Xiang.

    Lin previosuly turned down a deal to play for CSKA Moscow, and has also discussed his openness to playing in China. The nine year guard still hopes to resmue his NBA career at some point, but a move to China may be the best career option for him at this juncture.

    Source: Sportando

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    The Lakers will soon ask Memphis permission to speak with Dwight Howard according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    Shams goes on to mention that there is mutual interest here and that Joakim Noah could be another veteran of interest for LA. The realistic options for free agents at the five really don't go much further than these two for the Lakers. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    In the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins injury, one name the Lakers are considering is Dwight Howard, according to Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated.

    Howard is still a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, but it is widely assumed that he will be waived before the season starts. A reunion in LA would certainly be pretty surprising for the Lakers after Howard famously did not resign with them after a miserable season playing with Kobe Bryant. Still, the Lakers need depth at the five and there really aren't any options on the market who compare to Howard's level of productivty, even at this stage of his career. Other center options the Lakers could pursue include Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried and Zaza Pachulia.

    Source: Rohan Nadkarni on Twitter