April 6, 2017, 7:56 pm
Tonight’s slate is a fun one. As more players are ruled out, value should be popping up left and right. If you were hoping to play Russ, you’re going to have to pay up as he is $14,000. While I am not going to be rostering much Westbrook tonight, there are some key matchups I am looking to exploit. Timberwolves are too cheap, Suns are too cheap, and the Spurs reserves should be valuable with Leonard, Aldridge, Gasol, Green, and Ginobili ruled out for rest. Let’s look at some options for tonight.
Patty Mills ($4,000)
Coach Pop has ruled out multiple Spurs tonight (Kawhi, LaMarcus, Manu, Pau, and Danny Green), so San Antonio is extremely thin. As you probably already know, this means it’s time to fire up Patty Mills. The last time Kawhi and LaMarcus were both out, Mills scored 33.5 DraftKings points in 21 minutes against Golden State.
Had that game been closer, Mills would have played more minutes. Tonight against Dallas, San Antonio is currently just a 2.5 point favorite so a blowout does not seem probable. Patty is going to be one of the most popular plays on the slate, and you are going to want to have him in both tournaments and in cash games.
Devin Booker ($8,000)
Over the last seven games, Devin Booker is playing over 40 minutes per game. As Phoenix continues to tank, they are giving their young guys as much playing time as possible. In that seven game span, Booker’s usage rate is 34.4% on average. This number is slightly inflated due to his 70-point monster against Boston where he had 50% usage, but the point is that his usage his insanely high lately.
He’s going to run 40 minutes and chuck threes against a fast Oklahoma City Thunder team. It is almost a guarantee that he will shoot 20+ times which should mean he will take about eight three-pointers. Even if he shoots just averagely, he should score 25-30 real points. When you factor in a few assists, rebounds, and steals, it’s easy to see why he is one of the top options of the night.
Andrew Wiggins ($6,200)
Andrew Wiggins should never be this cheap under any circumstances. The Timberwolves take on the Jazz tonight in what will be an inevitably slow matchup. However, Wiggins is far too active of a scorer with a full minutes load to consider fading him. Some will be wary of the fact that his minutes were down last game, but the Timberwolves got blown out by the Warriors. Thibodeau is committed to playing Wiggins big minutes down the stretch of the season, so 36+ minutes tonight should be expected.
In his last 11 games, Andrew’s worst DraftKings performance came against Portland, a game in which he had 24.5 DraftKings points on 8/19 shooting. His minute total (roughly 38 per night) combined with such a high usage rate create a floor that’s as high as anybody’s at this price. Given his upside due to his versatility and scoring ability, I view Wiggins as a high floor, high ceiling must play tonight.
David Lee ($4,700)
As previously mentioned, the Spurs are extremely thin tonight in the absence of Kawhi, Pau and LaMarcus in the frontcourt. David Lee should have a large role in the Spur’s game plan tonight as they take on the Mavericks. The Mavs are one of the league’s worst rebounding teams, a clear positive for Lee tonight.
When you consider the starting lineup for the Spurs tonight, it’s hard to envision an offensive scheme where Lee isn’t touching the ball most possessions. The starting lineup could be full of low usage players. David Lee is not necessarily the most elite scorer, but he is going to be taking shots tonight. Outside of his matchup with the Grizzlies, Lee has scored about a DraftKings point per minute recently. He should play 24-28 minutes tonight, so I will have heavy exposure.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,200)
I am eager to pair Wiggins and Towns tonight as the Wolves take on the Jazz. Some will view the matchup as a negative (which it is), but the negative matchup should lower the ownership of Towns. Coach Thibs has shown that he is going to continue to roll Towns out there for 38 minutes when the game is close, and tonight’s game should be close. Despite the slow pace, Towns should have no problem exceeding 45 DraftKings points tonight.
He has scored 40+ DraftKings points in 14 of his most recent 15 games. The usage rate is there, the rebounding is there, and the minutes are there. If we get lucky with a few assists, blocks, and maybe a steal or two, he could really have a big game. Rudy Gobert is a tremendous defender, so Towns’ upside may be somewhat limited by his opponent, but a 60 point performance is very possible even despite Gobert’s efforts. I will have Towns in cash games and tournaments.
July 4, 2020, 9:35 amCaris LeVertPG-SG, Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.
LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
July 4, 2020, 9:16 amJordan CrawfordSG, Free Agent
Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.
Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.
July 4, 2020, 8:13 amLance StephensonSG, Free Agent
Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.
Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.
Source: Scott Agness on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 10:10 pmAnthony DavisPF-C, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.
As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.
July 3, 2020, 8:28 pmDeng AdelPF, Brooklyn Nets
Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).
Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.
July 3, 2020, 4:35 pmDarius MillerSF, New Orleans Pelicans
Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.
Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.
Source: Will Guillory on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:26 pmJJ RedickSG, New Orleans Pelicans
J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.
Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).
Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:14 pmTyler HerroPG, Miami Heat
Tyler Herro said the time off allowed his right ankle to fully recover.
Herro returned to action just before the shutdown due to COVID-19. With the ankle back to 100 percent, he will face no restrictions when play picks back up in Orlando. While Herro's scoring prowess caused some increased expectations for his rookie season, he's largely been an afterthought for the Heat. He can clearly shoot the rock (2.1 treys on .391 shooting), but the rest of his game is lacking, and the Heat do not have time to devote to rookie development when the season resumes.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:08 pmKent BazemoreSG, Sacramento Kings
Kent Bazemore, who has been a welcomed presence since joining the Kings in January, reiterated that he'd like to stay with the team.
Bazemore had a lot of opportunity before him when the Blazers were faltering due to injuries at the start of the season and he failed to take advantage. However, a change of scenery made a significant difference, as his field goal percentage leaped from .347 with the Blazers, to .426 with the Kings, and his scoring also increased from 7.9 points to 10.3 points per contest. He sounds locked in as the Kings prepare for the Orlando bubble, but a healthy Kings' roster could handicap his opportunity for playing time when things start back up.
Source: James Ham on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 3:57 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Shams Charania is reporting that Victor Oladipo will sit out the remainder of the Pacers' season.
Oladipo decided to exercise caution as his quad tendon is still susceptible to a relapse, and the circumstances of the Orlando bubble are anything but predictable. It's a big hit to the Pacers chances when play resumes, but Oladipo should be close to 100 percent next year as he continues his rehab and seeks to further strengthen his quad tendon. This season was a flop as he only appeared in 13 games, but Oladipo should be looking to return fully recovered and seeking early-round value next year. The Pacers will continue leaning on their depth to fill the void, and Malcolm Brogdon will continue to be the lead guard running the show in Indiana.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter