• When I started playing fantasy hoops 10 years ago, I never expected that one day I would be writing a weekly article for a website entirety devoted to fantasy basketball, but here I am.

    Starting next week the Monday Dish will be a wrap up of Sunday’s action, and like the other Daily Dishes will discuss the news and its fantasy implications, but since this is the only downtime between preseason and regular season games I thought it would be a good time to briefly introduce myself to the HB community.

    My name is Jason, but everyone ends up calling me Jay.  I was born in Toronto, and as a kid I spent a couple years in Germany, a half dozen in Florida and one In Georgia before moving to Vancouver in 1994. I started following the NBA in the early 90’s and playing fantasy basketball in 2007.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

    The draft is my favourite part of fantasy hoops, and I’ve been in 24 hour draft mode since the beginning of October.  When the drafting is all said and done I’ll be in a total of 10 leagues: five on Yahoo, four on Fantrax (3 with HB) and acting as assistant GM in one on ESPN.   This season I’m also joining the Hoop-Ball team, and look forward to offering whatever help I can to players just starting out and vets who are just looking for another take.

    New kid on the bench

    The newest member of the Sixers, rookie Markelle Fultz, will be coming off the bench to start this NBA season, giving a short term bump in value to T.J. McConnell and Jerryd Bayless.  It’s safe to say that’s not what we expected for the number one pick, but that’s how things go sometimes.  I’m sure no one thought that new Celtic Kyrie Irving wouldn’t be facing old teammate LeBron James in their highly anticipated season debut, but as of this writing it’s still unclear if James’ ankle will be ready to go.  And to no one’s surprise, the Wolves exercised the fourth year team option on Karl-Anthony Towns, so it will be a couple more years until Towns is looking for a new contract.

    New team, old Millsap

    34 year old veteran Paul MIllsap is the new guy in town that I’d like to highlight for this first take.  He struggled playing next to Dwight Howard last season (shocking), and the move to the mountains should elevate his game back to the level it was at when he was playing next to another gifted passing big, Al Horford. In Atlanta, his best statistical season saw him average 17.1 PPG, 9.0 REB, 3.3AST, 1.8 STL and 1.7 BLK. He’s a great fit for this team, and could thrive playing next to the Joker in the front court and dropping dimes to Gary Harris and Jamal Murray on their back door cuts.  His preseason success is just a small sample of what should be a strong year in the mile high city.

    One Piece of advice

    If I could offer one nugget of wisdom in this first Dish it would be to be patient, especially if you think you nailed your draft.  Now this is admittedly not one of my strongest attributes, as I make a LOT of add/drops during the season, but it is important not to overreact early, especially with your studs.

    This game is a six month marathon, and it’s key not to panic if the guys you thought were going to carry your team start slowly.  Last season I had Nikola Jokic on my team in an NFBKC satellite league.  As most of you know, the first month was terrible.  He was struggling to get consistent minutes, he was struggling playing the four and I was struggling to justify using a fourth round pick on him.  We all know how his story ended, and that fourth round pick ended up being a big part of my championship team.

    That’ll do it for my first dish, and remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and fantasy basketball titles aren’t won in November.  So set your line ups, kick back, and enjoy what looks to be one of most entertaining NBA seasons in a long time.

Fantasy News

  • Hassan Whiteside - C - Miami Heat

    According to Barry Jackson, Hassan Whiteside is expected to opt into the final year of his deal, which would pay him $27.1 million.

    This was obviously anticipated, but with Whiteside dissatisfied with his current role with the Heat, there was a sliver of doubt that he'd want to stay in Miami. Jackson mentions that there were talks regarding a Whiteside for Mike Conley deal that didn't get very far. The Heat will be looking at a luxury tax bill unless they can cut some salary, so Whiteside isn't a lock to remain on the roster. A change of scenery could help his fantasy outlook, as unlikely as a trade may be. We're likely to see him return in a backup center role that limits him to late-round fantasy production at best.

    Source: Miami Herald

  • Patrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    According to Sean Deveney, Patrick Beverley will be taking as many as five free agent meetings prior to meeting with the Clippers.

    The Clippers have bigger fish to fry, and Beverley might not want to wait around for them. He will rightfully be getting a lot of attention during free agency. While Beverley is not a great offensive player, he could fit in a variety of places with his defensive intensity and leadership. Anywhere from a rebuilding team like in his hometown of Chicago where they could use some veteran tenacity to a potential contending team like Lakers who just need a lockdown defender, Beverley would be a nice addition that shouldn't break the bank. No matter where he goes, he should continue to get enough minutes (he hasn't played less than 27 mpg since his rookies season) to be relevant in shallow leagues.

    Source: Sean Deveney on Twitter

  • Alvin Gentry - Team - New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have picked up Alvin Gentry's team option through the 2020-21 season.

    It's encouraging to see David Griffin already showing faith in Gentry. The Pelicans' rebuild is off to what seems like a great start under Griffin. Winning the draft lottery and getting a great haul for Anthony Davis prior to the draft is just be the beginning of a franchise-defining offseason.

    Source: Andrew Lopez on Twitter

  • Chris Paul - G - Houston Rockets

    The Rockets have had conversations about Clint Capela and "preliminary conversations" about Chris Paul, per Shams Charania.

    The Rockets reportedly want to discuss Paul trades with teams that can absorb his three years and $125 million. That's a pretty short list. That deal will be much harder to move than Capela's, though you can be sure that the Rockets probably won't move their young center unless it's a deal that improves both the on-court product and the cap sheet. That proposition is a lot weaker in any deal that includes Paul's monster salaries.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Ed Davis - C - Brooklyn Nets

    Ed Davis is expected to be a hot commodity in free agency and should be looking at multi-year offers, per Shams Charania.

    Davis is a machine on the glass and has drawn rave reviews as a quality teammate and person wherever he goes, so it's no surprise that he's drawing interest. A high-energy big who gobbles up rebounds still has a place on just about any roster, even with Davis' other offensive limitations. He'll remain a solid rebounding specialist for deep-league use next season.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Derrick Favors - F/C - Utah Jazz

    Tony Jones of The Athletic is reporting that the Jazz have yet to include Derrick Favors in trade talks for Mike Conley.

    Favors has been linked to the Lakers, though his landing spot is all contingent on the Jazz picking up his team option. He's due to be paid $17.65 million if that option is picked up, and the Grizzlies may have some interest in him if he can be had on an expiring deal. The Jazz don't look to have a ton that the Grizzlies would be interested in terms of roster players, so Utah might need to get creative if they really want Conley.

    Source: Tony Jones on Twitter

  • Mike Conley - G - Memphis Grizzlies

    The Grizzlies have intensified trade discussions surrounding Mike Conley and the Jazz remain the frontrunner to acquire him, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    The Jazz have been connected to Conley since the deadline and have been fairly open about upgrading their point guard group. Conley would be a huge addition, though it's unclear what sort of assets the Grizzlies might be after. A trade would really clear the runway for presumed No. 2 pick Ja Morant.

    Source: The Athletic

  • TJ Warren - F - Phoenix Suns

    Shams Charania is reporting that the Suns have "discussed" trade packages involving T.J. Warren, Josh Jackson and/or the No. 6 pick in the draft.

    Other rumors have the Suns hoping to move up in the draft in pursuit of Darius Garland, though they could also assemble a package to go get themselves a point guard and skip a step or two. Their interest in moving Jackson is not new or surprising, but Warren is a steady hand at the forward spots and should have more interest around the league. With Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre looking ready to take over the starting jobs, a trade might be best for Warren's fantasy outlook as well. For now this is all speculation, but the Suns are certainly equipped to deal.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Tony Snell - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    According to Marc Stein, the Bucks are looking to attach draft compensation in order to rid themselves of players like Tony Snell and Ersan Ilyasova.

    Milwaukee has big fish to fry if they want to keep the band together, and they'll need to clear up some salary to make it happen. Snell has two years left on his four-year, $46 million contract while Ilyasova has two more seasons at $7 million a pop, though the final year is not guaranteed. The latter will be far more coveted on the trade market given his skillset and more modest paycheck. The Bucks hold the 30th pick in the draft, though teams might hold out for higher future selections if they're going to throw Milwaukee a bone and help clear the cap sheet.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will become an UFA this summer as the Brooklyn Nets declined to make a qualifying offer.

    It didn't seem like RHJ was a part of the Nets long-term plans for a while now, as shown by the multiple DNP-CD's he received along the course of the season. He's still only 24 years old and could serve as a valuable bench piece on a championship caliber team, it's just unlikely to be the Nets. RHJ finished as the 329th-ranked player in fantasy this season while playing 20.9 minutes on a Nets team that valued its youth. If he's welcomed into the right situation then his value could rise but until then he shouldn't be on anyone's fantasy radar.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter