March 28, 2017, 9:35 pm
Ten games are on the slate for tonight, and all eyes are on the playoff races. As teams jockey for seeding and lottery odds, it’s necessary to analyze the rotations of each team more thoroughly. Value is not easy to come by today, but several options stand out. Additionally, opportunities should present themselves throughout the day as players are ruled out for rest or injury. Let’s look at a few players who you should be locking into your lineups.
Goran Dragic ($7,500)
The Miami Heat are somehow eyeing a playoff spot after a terrible start to the season. Last night’s win over the Pistons was massive, but it is not time for Miami to get complacent. The Heat take on the Knicks tonight at Madison Square Garden in what Vegas indicates will be a close game. The Heat are favored by three with a current Vegas total of 209.5.
Goran Dragic continues to be a key factor in Miami’s success, particularly with Dion Waiters injured. In his last ten games, Goran has a usage rate of 28.3% while assisting on 26.8% of the Heat’s baskets. He also has a 7.2% rebound rate in that stretch. Dragic is doing a little bit of everything lately, and the Knicks should not end that trend. Over the last 15 games, Goran is averaging 35.17 DraftKings points, and the DraftKings pricing team took notice.
His price tag made it all the way up to $8,100 four games ago against Phoenix, and he was $8,000 against Boston and Toronto. The dip down to $7,500 should be exploited given the favorable matchup. Derrick Rose is certainly not a Defensive Player of the Year finalist, and Goran should have no problem continuing to produce for the thriving Miami Heat as they pursue a playoff spot.
Buddy Hield ($5,400)
If you’d told me four months ago that I’d be rostering a $5,400 Buddy Hield against the Utah Jazz, I wouldn’t believe you. But that’s exactly what is happening tonight. Buddy is playing excellent basketball right now, and the shooting potential he showed at Oklahoma is finally showing up in the league.
Sacramento continues to develop its young core after the trading of Cousins, and Hield is succeeding under Joerger’s direction. Over the last four games, Hield has a 24.6% usage rate, a 14.2% assist rate, and a 10.6% rebound rate. In those games, he averaged 18 points, 2.8 assists, and 5.8 rebounds. While I do not expect a rebound rate as high as 10.6% tonight against the Jazz, Buddy checks out as a value play even at a lower rate.
Utah is a bad matchup, but at this price, Hield should be valuable. His minutes are fairly consistently above 30 and his role within the offense is secured. Half of his shots are coming from behind the arc, so if the shots are dropping, he could rack up a quick six or nine points which is huge from a fantasy perspective. Hield is not the most exciting play tonight given the matchup, but I think his price makes him a smart option.
Vince Carter ($3,900)
Vince is a high floor, low ceiling option tonight, so consider him in cash games and avoid much exposure in tournaments. Since entering the starting lineup eight games ago, Vince is playing 30 minutes per game. He is not lighting up the stat sheet, but his 3-point shooting is the main reason why.
Over half of Vince’s shots come from deep and in his last seven games, Vince is shooting 25% from behind the 3-point line. He is a better shooter than that. In fact, his 3-point percentage for the season is 36.4%. He is still not shooting threes like an elite shooter, but it’s serviceable for the price tag and his minutes.
Chandler Parsons is shut down, and there is no real threat to Carters minutes. At conservative projections, Vince should hit value. If his shooting corrects itself tonight, he could score 6x or 7x without much of a problem.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,100)
I’ve been relentlessly rostering LaMarcus all season long and it is finally paying dividends. The Spurs are rolling right now as everyone was able to see on Monday night in their nationally televised destruction of the Cavaliers. Tonight brings another nationally televised game, but this is an even bigger game. The Spurs take on the Warriors in what should be a very fun game to watch.
Lately, LaMarcus is playing a consistent 34+ minutes while shooting more and rebounding well. He has a 28.5% usage rate in his last seven games while rebounding at a 13.8% rate. In each of those games, he has scored 30+ DraftKings points. Spoiler: tonight will be no different. This matchup should have a decent pace to it and will remain close throughout. As each team battles for the one seed, we should expect a sharp, high quality game even though the Warriors played last night. I expect Aldridge and Kawhi to each have big games tonight as the Spurs try to earn home court advantage in the playoffs.
Enes Kanter ($5,100)
Enes’ price tag continues to not make sense. He has been underpriced almost all season and tonight is yet another example. Kanter had a terrible game against the Mavericks last time out, but there is no reason to hold that against him. He has been extremely consistent, and had scored 20+ DraftKings points in eight straight games before his dud against Dallas.
Kanter is the scoring option off the bench. He has had eight straight games of 25%+ usage. Without his rebounding ability, he might still be a valuable option, but the rebounds contribute to his safety and upside. The Thunder take on the Magic, and Orlando is 21st against centers in terms of DraftKings scoring.
Las Vegas currently has the Thunder as six point favorites with an over/under of 218. A quick game + a positive matchup = heavy exposure to Kanter.
July 4, 2020, 2:39 pmJimmy ButlerSG, Miami Heat
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.
Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.
Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 1:21 pmLandry ShametSG, Los Angeles Clippers
Shams Charania reports that Landry Shamet has tested positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to join the Clippers for their trip to Orlando this week.
That leaves the door open for Shamet to rejoin the team closer to the season's restart, assuming he is feeling okay. Just yesterday it was announced that the Clippers closed their facilities after a positive test, so it appears Shamet's case was the culprit. The sharpshooter is averaging 27.5 minutes per game this season so if he's forced to sit out the Orlando restart it could have big ramifications on LA's backcourt rotation.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 12:18 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA has released its schedule of scrimmages for the Orlando restart, with games beginning on July 22.
The league has tried to match up teams that are unlikely opponents for these scrimmages so nobody gets a really good look at what a potential playoff matchup might want to run. For example, the first day of scrimmages will see the Nuggets face the Wizards, the Nets take on the Pelicans, the Clippers against the Magic and the Kings vs. the Heat. Scrimmages will run through July 28.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
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