• We were treated to a six-game slate on Monday that featured fireworks from sharpshooters such as Eric Gordon (50 points), Buddy Hield (42 points), DeMar DeRozan (36 points), and Andrew Wiggins (36 points). 

    It’s difficult not to look at these natural scorers and reminisce about the seventh game of NBA action that was reaired on ESPN tonight, Kobe Bryant’s signature 60-point effort that closed his career out with a flair that only Kobe could capture. I never thought I’d be watching that game from April 13, 2016, less than four years later. Kobe fought through the odds to put together a legendary career that was always his way. Few players, or individuals for that matter, will ever be able to own life the way Kobe Bryant thrived for 41 special years. 

    Adds of the Night

    Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers – 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, one steal, 5-of-12 FG

    Many owners grew weary of Nance after he went through a dreadful December, but we are beginning to see the light with Nance, and if he is still available now is undoubtedly the time to pounce. The minutes are beginning to edge up towards the upper 20s, and he flashed his upside with a steal and two blocks on Monday. Moreover, we’ve been seeing Nance fire more 3-pointers this season, and with the NBA trade deadline approaching it will only take one trade of Kevin Love or Tristian Thompson out of Cleveland to let Nance’s rebounding figures soar. He can do it all as a center and he has multiple paths towards mid-round value.

    Shabazz Napier, G, Minnesota Timberwolves – 10 points, eight assists, six rebounds, two 3-pointers, two steals, one block, two turnovers, 3-of-6 FG, 2-of-6 FT

    Napier was left in the fantasy graveyard when the Wolves were getting healthier, but things have changed these past couple of weeks, and it now appears he is here to stay for standard leagues. He followed up his triple-double performance on Saturday with an all-around effort during a Wolves victory over the Jazz. He’s going to be a steady source of assists, and as long as his field goal percentage remains acceptable he’s going to sustain himself with late-round value. Jeff Teague’s departure to the Hawks has left Napier as the main point guard option for the Wolves.

    Drop Zone

    We’re not saying that you have to drop any of these guys, only that you should at least consider it depending who’s on your waiver wire. Your mileage may vary based on league size and team build, but for the most part we’ll try to cut dead weight in the 12-team range.

    Darius Garland

    Garland had a moment of intrigue, but we are now squarely back to the watch zone when it comes to this rookie. The shooting has been so abysmal, tonight he was 3-of-10 from the field, and he’s well under .400 for the season. Garland has some assist value as a streamer who can also chip in a couple of 3-pointers a night, but until the shooting rounds into form Garland’s warts are too gigantic to ignore. Rookies can easily run out of steam over the course of an 82-game season, and it’ll be interesting to see if Garland’s 30 plus minutes a game wear him down as the year progresses.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic

    Despite getting the bump into the Kings’ starting lineup things are not about to get any easier for Bogdanovic. As long as De’Aaron Fox is running the offense in Sacramento we will find Bogdanovic regulated to an off-ball role that handicaps his value. He’s simply a 3-point specialist with mediocre percentages under these circumstances, and the Kings still have plenty of mouths to feed up and down the roster. Eventually, Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes will return and further cut into everyone’s minutes up-and-down the roster. At the end of the day, Bogdanovic can’t carve out enough opportunity to justify being owned in over 60 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues. 

    Injury List

    The Lakers-Clippers contest for Tuesday has been postponed as the Lakers continue to cope with the death of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers will host the Blazers on Friday in what is sure to be an emotional night. The Clippers will next face the Kings on Thursday.

    Clint Capela (right heel contusion), Russell Westbrook (rest) and James Harden (left thigh contusion) all missed Monday’s matchup against the Jazz. According to Jonathan Feigen, the team is optimistic that Harden will play Wednesday vs. the Blazers.

    LaMarcus Aldridge missed the Spurs matchup with the Bulls on Monday due to a sprained right thumb. It was likely a rest day on the latter half of a back-to-back for the Spurs.

    Richaun Holmes (right shoulder strain) was out for his ninth straight game when the Kings faced the Wolves on Monday. Nemanja Bjelica continues to be an excellent mid-round play while we receive few updates on Holmes’ status. 

    Derrick Rose (right knee sprain) and Tony Snell (illness) were held out of Monday’s game against the Cavs. Rose had been probable so it was surprising to see the red-hot guard miss this one. Considering his injury history, let’s hope this knee issue does not linger for Rose. 

    Kendrick Nunn was held out of Monday’s contest vs. the Magic with bilateral Achilles soreness. He was questionable heading into this one. Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro will benefit while he is out.

    Willie-Cauley Stein did not take part in the Mavs-Thunder faceoff on Monday and his status for Tuesday vs. the Suns is also up in the air as he gets adjusted to life in Dallas. He’s going to have a tough time emerging with standard league value behind Maxi Kleber.

    Kevin Porter Jr. returned from his left knee sprain on Monday against the Pistons, and despite a right ankle incident during the game, he was able to close things out for the Cavs.

    Chris Paul missed Monday’s game against the Mavs for personal reasons. CP3 was a close friend of Kobe Bryant and was given the game off to mourn his passing. Danilo Gallinari returned from a sore left thumb and Nerlens Noel was also back from facial fracture surgery. They both had productive nights for the Thunder.

    Joel Embiid is questionable for Tuesday to face the Warriors as it appears he is nearing a return from left-hand surgery. Keep an eye on his status as this game approaches.

    George Hill is dealing with left hamstring soreness that has him probable for Tuesday’s game against the Wizards.

    Ricky Rubio (right ankle) is considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Mavs. 

    Jayson Tatum (right groin strain) is doubtful to face the Heat on Tuesday. Enes Kanter (right hip contusion) has already been ruled out for his third straight game. Daniel Theis will continue to benefit.

    Jae Crowder is doubtful for Tuesday’s matchup with the Nuggets due to right knee soreness. He is more of a streaming option for standard leagues when healthy.

    Jamal Murray (left ankle sprain) and Paul Millsap (left knee contusion) are both sitting out against the Grizzlies on Tuesday. Michael Porter Jr. and Jerami Grant will keep getting extra opportunities as a result.

    Jordan McRae has been ruled out for Tuesday’s tilt with the Bucks due to the sprained right ankle he injured on Sunday. He had been questionable so he should not be out for too much time.

    Alex Len will be held out of Tuesday’s contest with the Raptors due to a right hip flexor. Bruno Fernando (calf) is also questionable, which could open up some nice minutes for the always inconsistent De’Andre Hunter.

    Kenrich Williams (right lower back soreness) will miss Tuesday’s game vs. the Cavs.

    Number One Option – Eric Gordon

    The beauty of sports is often times the unexpected, and Eric Gordon’s performance on Monday most certainly qualifies. You grind out an 82-game season in order to appreciate the random nights where a veteran rediscovers his prime, or the youngster flashes the potential you’ve been waiting to catch a glimpse of for months.

    Gordon had been a steady sixth-man for the Rockets in recent years, but tonight he was the lead man as Houston was without Russell Westbrook, Clint Capela and James Harden. Thrust into the starting lineup, Gordon responded with a career-high 50 points (14-of-22 FG, 16-of-20 FT), six 3-pointers, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block and two turnovers. Apparently he still knows how to get it done when called upon, as he led the Rockets past the Jazz in Utah, final score 126-117.

    Gordon has had a rough season before this outburst, shooting well below his career-norms from the field (.364) and line (.691). Some improved accuracy is in order, and it is nice to see that Gordon is already averaging three 3-pointers right now despite the poor shooting from the field. His main competition is Daniel House Jr., Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore. While they can all have their moments, Gordon has the resume they lack. 

    The numbers are already quickly turning around for Gordon and it’s not like we haven’t seen him succeed with late-round value in standard leagues while playing next to James Harden previously. You can sign him up for standard league ownership from here, and there is some reason to expect him to tear it up to make up for his poor first half of the season. Eric Gordon’s fantasy prime is not over yet.

    There is no easy way to end conclude a Daily Dish right now. Kobe Bryant’s passing will take time to spread throughout the world of basketball, and the countless lives he touched in a way that only the Black Mamba mentality could. As we all know, he would want us to embrace fantasy hoops with the passion and sense of purpose that he displayed in all aspects of life. With a heavy heart, I’m looking forward to seeing you all back here on Monday.

Fantasy News

  • John Beilein
    , Cleveland Cavaliers

    Per Adrian Wojnarowski, John Beilein is leaving as the Cavs' coach and J.B. Bickerstaff will be elevated to head coach.

    It's still not official, but once Woj says it's happening, it's happening. A shake-up is likely to be a great thing for this roster that contains at least a few unhappy star players in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond. Be ready to act on any significant role changes that come with this move. For example, will Larry Nance Jr. and/or Kevin Porter Jr. take on expanded roles?

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) practiced in full on Tuesday.

    Rozier missed the Hornet's final game heading into the All-Star break, but it wasn't considered to be a long-term concern. Feel free to get Rozier back into all lineups ahead of Thursday's game against the Bulls.

    Source: Rod Boone on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Coach Terry Stotts said that he wouldn't put a timetable on when star point guard Damian Lillard (right groin strain) would return, but he is expected to be re-evaluated on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Lillard was given a timetable of 1-2 weeks last Wednesday, as the All-Star break came at an ideal time. Lillard has a shot to avoid any missed time if his re-evaluation shows progress, but owners should prepare for a scenario in which he misses a handful of games. The Blazers have five games remaining in February.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns expect Dario Saric (left ankle) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    James Jones said that he expects everyone outside ok Frank Kaminsky to be available for Friday's game, meaning Tyler Johnson will be out there as well. While Saric has been out, Mikal Bridges has seen his role expand while Kelly Oubre Jr. has played a lot of PF. Keep an eye on how the rotation shakes out now that the Suns are healthy shakes out.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Aron Baynes
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) to be available for Friday's game against the Raptors.

    Baynes will be joining Deandre Ayton and the rest of the injured Suns' players in returning for this one. Baynes hasn't played in roughly a month and should be seeing a minimal role off the bench down the stretch. He can be left on the waiver wire unless something happens to Ayton.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    Ayton missed a few games to close out the first half, but it looks like the second-year big man will be good to go when the Suns return to action. Ayton was putting up top-12/16 per-game value in 9/8 cat leagues in the 13 games before going down, and owners have to be ecstatic to get him back in their lineups. Cheick Diallo will revert to a deep reserve role.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Cody Martin
    PF, Charlotte Hornets

    Cody Martin (concussion protocol) fully participated in Tuesday's practice session.

    Martin found himself in the starting lineup before going down a few weeks ago, as he has started to earn a bigger role in coach James Borrego's rotation. With Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of the picture, Martin should have a reasonably safe role for the second half of the season.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Clint Capela (right heel) did not participate in Tuesday's practice.

    Capela doesn't have a specific target date as he continues to fight the heel issue. With Capela out, Dewayne Dedmon will continue to absorb the bulk of minutes at C with Damian Jones backing him up. Over his past four games, Dedmon has averaged 8.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 3.8 blocks and 1.0 trey in 28.3 minutes per game.

    Source: Chris Kirschner on Twitter

  • Otto Porter Jr.
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    Otto Porter Jr. (left foot fracture) returned to Bulls practice on Tuesday.

    Porter added that he felt good and will return to game action when is 100 percent healthy. It was being reported earlier this week that Porter is eyeing a return before the end of the month, and this would be in line with that projection. It is unclear what type of minutes Porter can handle down the stretch, but his versatile skillset makes for an upside stash in fantasy circles.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle sprain) resumed practicing on Tuesday as he eyes a return to game action.

    Carter is hopeful of playing when the Bulls return to action against the Hornets on Thursday. The Bulls may take a cautious approach and let him get in a few more practices before clearing him, but Carter's arrow is pointing straight up right now. If he is lingering on your league's waiver wire, go grab him.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter