• The NBA was as entertaining as ever on Monday. The Suns continued their scorching hot start by toppling an Al Horford-led Sixers attack, Brandon Ingram is really trying to convince you to not sell-high on him, and the Warriors managed to successfully replace Steph and Draymond with Bowman and Paschall for one night.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Troy Brown Jr., G/F, Washington Wizards – 31 minutes, 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, one turnover, 5-of-10 FG, 4-of-4 FT

    If his first two games with the Wizards did not convince you, perhaps Troy Brown Jr.’s third productive game in DC will do the trick? This time Brown also helped guide the Wizards to a victory, as the entire bench had positive plus/minus ratios. He led the team in rebounds and was +16 on the night. 

    The 15th pick in last year’s draft had a quiet rookie season, but the Wizards are looking for all of the young potential they can find this year, Brown most certainly fits that description. If you have someone to give up in 14 or even a 12-team format, Brown is worth a look. A few more games like this and Brown will be able to nab a starting spot from Isaac Bonga.

    Danuel House Jr., G/F, Houston Rockets – 36 minutes, 15 points, nine rebounds, two 3-pointers, three blocks, one steal, two turnovers, 6-of-15 FG, 1-of-1 FT

    House has a firm grasp on minutes with the Rockets, and he looks all set for a productive season averaging 30 minutes a night. In addition to the points and 3-pointers he will regularly deliver, House will be good for close to a steal and block a night as well, while also keeping turnovers to a minimum. Even when Eric Gordon’s shot comes around, House should have little trouble fending off Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore for playing time.

    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.

    Spencer Dinwiddie Jr.

    This one could be premature depending upon your situation, as Dinwiddie does make for a valuable Kyrie Irving handcuff on many rosters, but he is currently owned in most standard-leagues, and it is going to be hard to justify that level of interest in a player that is earning south of 25 minutes a game. We already have two years worth of evidence that Dinwiddie is a sub-par 3-pointer shooter (33% average last two seasons), and he has never been able to deliver even average steal rates. Tonight was another disappointing showing, seven points, three assists, one steal, one 3-pointer. The opportunity is simply not there, feel free to move on, especially if you don’t own Irving.

    Dario Saric

    The Suns are off to a fantastic 5-2 start after knocking off the Embiid-less Sixers, but that start has not trickled down to Saric. His ranking is receiving a large boost in the early going thanks to a single five steal performance, and his lousy free-throw percentage (62.5%) does not drain much value on just 1.3 FTA. All of this winning in Phoneix is due to across the roster production, Saric will only get further squeezed when the team starts to come back down to earth and tries to keep this impressive start going as long as possible. DeAndre Ayton will return down the line as well. Saric will become an afterthought in all likelihood, his usual role in fantasy.

    Injury Report

    D’Angelo Russell sat out on Monday due to a right ankle sprain, but Steve Kerr is planning on a Wednesday return for his lead guard. He will be well worth getting back into your lineup whenever he is available for the injury-depleted Warriors.

    Lonzo Ball exited Monday’s game vs. the Nets due to cramps in the fourth quarter. While he did not make a return it does not sound like an issue that would impact Ball’s status for Thursday against the Raptors.

    DeAndre Jordan departed in the 4th quarter of the same game on Monday, as he took a hard fall and injured his ankle. He did not return and I do not consider him particularly useful, to begin with. More on that later…

    Paul George is currently taking part in 3 vs. 3 scrimmages, and it’s possible he takes part in 5 vs. 5 play next week according to Doc Rivers. George’s shoulders are still limiting his return to a matter of weeks, but the Clippers are not rushing him through the process.

    Jaren Jackson Jr. was doubtful and ruled out swiftly on Monday with right knee soreness. It should not keep him out for long as the tests have not shown any issues, but let’s hope JJJ does not make this a habit like last season.

    Russell Westbrook was rested on Monday, perhaps James Harden returns the favor soon enough and Westbrook is able to make up for the lost minutes.

    Derrick Favors returned from right knee soreness to take on the Nets on Monday, he logged eight minutes of action off the bench. Be patient with him as he ramps up his workload, but Favors did not look attractive in this brief return.

    Hassan Whiteside (left knee bone bruise) was back in action for the Blazers-Warriors tilt on Monday. The one-game absence did not slow him down, as he went for 22 and 11 with two blocks in 28 minutes.

    Will Barton is falling into the questionable/doubtful realm for Tuesday as he works his way back from left toe inflammation. Things may get murky when he tries to reclaim his strong start to the season on a crowded Nuggets squad.

    Trae Young is questionable for Tuesday but showed no limitations from his right ankle sprain during practice on Monday. 

    Enes Kanter made it through practice on Monday and is hopeful to return from a four-game absence, following his left knee contusion, on Tuesday. He should not have too much trouble if he is ready to suit up against the Cavs.

    Steven Adams is questionable to return from a two-game absence from a left knee contusion on Tuesday. Nerlens Noel is probable for Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Magic after suffering a right ankle sprain on Saturday. If Adams is out it would make for another great opportunity as Noel gets the starting nod. 

    Justise Winslow is questionable for Tuesday as he battles lower back soreness. Tuesday would be Winslow’s third game out of the lineup, further jeopardizing his role as a lead guard on a talented roster.

    Mo Bamba will play on Tuesday but is getting rested on Wednesday as the Magic take it easy on his left leg stress fracture recovery process.

    Kevon Looney will not travel to Houston so we can safely rule him out for Wednesday’s tilt vs. the Rockets. No further information was available on his recovery (neuropathy).

    Blake Griffin is scheduled for a review with the Pistons’ medical staff on Wednesday. The left knee and hamstring issues could be passing finally, and you are already used to being frustrated with Griffin at this point. Just roll with it and sell-high when you can.

    Valuing The Traditional Fantasy Big

    As mentioned during the injury report, DeAndre Jordan departed the Nets-Pelicans contest tonight after taking a rough fall. Jordan will probably miss minimal time after the incident, but this makes for a good opportunity to better appreciate his value nowadays. 

    While Jordan somehow decided to take free-throws seriously last year, he has largely regressed to his historical awfulness this season (46.7%). He has still delivered 10 rebounds and 1.2 blocks through his initial six games of action. Sounds useful at first read. However, when you zoom out to the bigger picture, you can better appreciate how easy these numbers are to find.

    Over 25 players can provide nine rebounds a night, and over 60 players provide one block a night. Plenty of these players can do so while also going for well beyond Jordan’s 6.5 points, 0.3 steals, and putrid free-throw rate.

    The Chase Center’s Two Course Special

    It is just too hard to ignore what we saw from this Warriors roster tonight, let’s dig into a few of the diamonds they are offering observant fantasy managers.

    Eric Paschall had his way with the Blazers all night, he had no problem embarrassing Hassan Whiteside, and that was basically the case against any Blazer’ defender. He dropped 36 points (11-of-19 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), 13 rebounds, four 3-pointers, and a block for good measure over 39 minutes. It will be interesting to see what he delivers against tougher defenses, but the Warriors will be giving him plenty of opportunities to prove himself.

    Ky Bowman may have a more challenging situation when D’Angelo Russell returns to the scene, but he has now had two steady showings after going off for 19 points (9-of-14 FGs), eight assists and four rebounds. Bowman is a less urgent pickup, but he is also deserving of a greater role in Golden State for the months ahead.

    Tonight was another excellent reminder of how fantasy basketball is a true 24/7 sport if you want a shot at victory. New names are popping up every game, and only the most dedicated players are going to have a shot to grab them often enough to be successful. Snatch a name that you see on this dish every week and you will be well on your way to glory. 

Fantasy News

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The Board of Governors has approved the NBA's 22-team format to restart the 2019-20 season.

    The vote was 29-1. It was widely expected that the format would get the go-ahead, even though more than one team didn't fully support the proposed plan, and the NBA has at least settled on what the season will look like once it's able to resume. They have also set the draft lottery for August 25 and the draft for October 15. The biggest hurdles remain anything that has to do with COVID-19, and to this point the league has yet to say anything about those challenges, but there is plenty of forward momentum these days.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Enes Kanter
    C, Boston Celtics

    Sean Deveney reported that "multiple agents say not all players are on board with an NBA return".

    One agent said, "Most of the guys are excited, fired up, they want to get back out there. Those are 95 percent of the conversations I have had". There are players that feel the money is not worth putting themselves and their families at risk. Enes Kanter weighed in on the topic, saying "there are some other team's players out there, that they don't want to play. They're like, 'It's just a game. I'm not going to risk my life". It is likely that the high-profile players will still play, but it looks like some role players may not be willing to take the risk to join their team when the NBA season resumes.

    Source: Heavy.com

  • Derrick Rose
    PG, Detroit Pistons

    The Pistons announced that they plan to reopen team facilities on Thursday, allowing voluntary individual workouts while following all the social-distancing guidelines.

    Although the Pistons' season is likely over as they are not one of the 22 teams that will continue to play if the Board of Governors vote to ratify the plan on Thursday, this will allow players to stay in shape for the 2020-21 season which is expected to start in December.

    Source: James Edwards III

  • Zion Williamson
    PF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Pelicans, Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards will be the six non-playoff teams resuming action when the NBA restarts.

    This makes complete sense, as they're the only non-playoff teams that can sniff the postseason. Woj backs up an earlier Shams Charania report about a potential play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in each Conference as well. If the ninth seed trails the eighth seed by more than four games when the league's truncated regular season wraps up, the eighth seed makes the playoffs. If the deficit is under four games, however, the two teams will compete in a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for the ninth.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the NBA will have an eight-game regular season for the purposes of playoff seeding upon its return while Shams Charania reports that there will be a play-in tournament for the eighth seed.

    This applies to the NBA coming back with 22 teams, as the league's bottom eight are well out of playoff contention and bringing them to Orlando would only negatively affect the league's pursuit for player safety. As for the play-in tournament, Charania describes it as such: "If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth." Expect another announcement about the league's format in the coming days.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Corey Brewer
    SF, Sacramento Kings

    Corey Brewer, a veteran of eight different NBA teams, is still hoping to sign another contract before he calls it a career.

    Brewer, 34, seems to think he has enough in the tank for one final stint in the NBA. “We had some talks with a few teams, but nothing really happened. My agent is still working on it, so we’ll see,” Brewer said. “I feel like I can still help a team and I feel like I have a few good years left. But you never know, man." Brewer has not suited up for an NBA team this season and, with a waning jump shot and increased age, his chances of securing another pact in the NBA are pretty unlikely.

    Source: HoopsHype

  • DeMarcus Cousins
    C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kings broadcaster Grant Napear stepped down from his position with the Kings on Tuesday after he said 'All Lives Matter..Every Single One!' when asked about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement during a Twitter interaction with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

    This is the first domino to fall in American professional sports in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, even if it's a relatively insignificant one. Napear said of himself and the interaction, "I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was. I had no idea that when I said 'All Lives Matter' that it was counter to what BLM was trying to get across," he said. "I’m in pain. I’m 60 years old and I still have a lot to learn." The Kings will evidently have to find a new play-by-play man for their radio broadcasts to accompany Doug Christie when games resume.

    Source: TMZ

  • John Wall
    PG, Washington Wizards

    John Wall, who has long been rumored to have absolutely zero chance of returning to the court even if the current season is resumed, said in a conference call last week that he feels "110 percent."

    Wall and the Wizards both maintain that he will not return to action this season, regardless of the outcome of the vote on Thursday by the NBA Board of Governors. This is good news, obviously, for the team as they set their sights on next season. As of late, trade rumors have been swirling around the franchise's two top assets: Wall and All Star guard Bradley Beal. Moving forward, there is a high possibility that the Wizards will decide between the two, as Beal's contract will expire after next season. Which player will the Wizards keep? Who will they trade, or will they trade them both? They are hoping to have some time to evaluate how the pair plays in tandem early next season, as Wall has missed significant time with a torn left Achilles he suffered during the 2018-19 season. But it may be too late to negotiate an extension with Beal at that point, so they will have to play their cards with extreme care.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Bradley Beal
    SG, Washington Wizards

    Wes Unseld, a Hall of Famer and Washington Bullets legend, passed away on Tuesday due to complications with pneumonia and other illnesses. He was 74 years old.

    An outstanding rebounder, Unseld is also one of only two players to ever be awarded Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season in 1968-69. He guided the Bullets to the NBA Finals four times, winning once in 1978, a series where Unseld took home MVP honors. Hornets' GM and former teammate Mitch Kupchak said of Unseld, “As a teammate, he was tough, dependable and competitive to no end.” Unseld was a fearless competitor and highly respected across the league during his 13 seasons with the Bullets franchise. Former Knicks center and fellow Hall of Famer Willis Reed recently recalled their battles against one another, "He was most consciously a rebounder — he could shoot, but he didn’t emphasize that part of his game — and felt that if he did his job right, by getting the defensive rebound and making the quick outlet pass, they would score quickly.” Unseld was undoubtedly a pioneer for the game of basketball and means a great deal to the city of Washington D.C.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    ESPN's Adrian Wojanrowski is reporting that Adam Silver and the NBA Board of Governors, who are planning to vote Thursday on how to continue the season, would like the NBA Finals to conclude no later than October 12.

    With July 31 being the widely-reported restart date and the league tentatively planning to start 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 season by Christmas Day of this year, it would make sense to crown a league champion as early as possible. The meeting with the NBA Board of Governors on Thursday will (finally) bring some clarity to the rest of the NBA season, as they will hold a vote to decide how to proceed. NBA fans have been waiting since the middle of March for some resolutions. This week will provide them.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter