October 21, 2017, 12:18 am
Friday brought us 10 games of NBA action, with lots of storylines to unpack and statlines to discuss. As usual, however, there was plenty of news that happened before the first game tipped off. Let’s run through the undercard before we hit the main event.
Western Conference: Houston learned that Chris Paul could miss anywhere from two weeks to a full month with his knee problems, and James Harden and Eric Gordon owners rejoice… Video was uploaded of Kawhi Leonard boarding the Spurs’ team flight, and it did not look good. Kawhi is still a superhuman but he might spend a few more games on the sideline… Ex-Nugget Jameer Nelson cleared waivers and is probably fielding a ton of calls from contenders as we speak… Some quotes started to leak out about all the good trash Patrick Beverley got to talk. We’ve always got love for PatBev… Dennis Smith will miss tomorrow’s game after knee swelling caused a late scratch tonight, and the team is hopeful he’ll be ready for Monday.
Eastern Conference: The Pacers announced that Myles Turner will not play through the weekend with a concussion and a sore neck. He’ll have to make his way through the concussion protocol thereafter, so don’t expect many more updates until he’s symptom-free… Chicago could reshape their rotation next week with Kris Dunn possibly returning… In Miami, Hassan Whiteside will also sit out this weekend with a bone bruise in his knee. Look for Kelly Olynyk to start at center with either James Johnson or Justise Winslow entering the starting five… Staying in Florida, Aaron Gordon was held out of Friday’s game with an ankle injury… Frank Ntilikina turned an ankle at practice today and Michael Beasley is dealing with his own ankle sprain, so things are going great in New York… And finally, in Philly, Joel Embiid will rest on Saturday as he’s still not cleared for back-to-backs.
With that stuff out of the way, let’s get to the real goodies.
Trail Blazers 114 @ Pacers 96
Good: C.J. McCollum didn’t miss a beat in his first game back, shooting 12-of-18 on his way to 28 points. Damian Lillard deferred to his backcourt pal all night but still took home 18-7-7 for his troubles. Al-Farouq Aminu was a beast in this one, bullying the young Pacers on the glass on his way to 16 points and 16 boards with a handful of cash counters. Evan Turner scored 17 off the bench, and Portland’s starters got some light work in this blowout. On the Indiana side, rookie T.J. Leaf scored 17 points in 19 minutes and looks far more ready to play than he was expected to.
Bad: The Pacers. Victor Oladipo notched 17 points but needed 17 shots to do it, while Domantas Sabonis disappeared in a start at center. Bojan Bogdanovic took just nine shots despite the team’s centerpiece being sidelined and Thaddeus Young could only muster up eight points. Jusuf Nurkic was disappointing in this one for the Blazers as he finished a tasty matchup with 11 points and six turnovers.
Takeaway: The Blazers big guns are as good as ever, and Nurkic will continue to be a problem in the turnover department. Don’t sleep on Aminu, even if this is his best line of the year. The man is always floating around the top-150 and should be there again this season. For Indiana, the lopsided score didn’t give us a great read on how the touches will break down for as long as Turner is out. We know Oladipo will lead the charge, but the second tier group of Darren Collison, Young and Bogdanovic let a nice opportunity get away tonight.
Cavaliers 116 @ Bucks 97
Good: Giannis vs. LeBron. King James went for 24-5-8 with four cash counters while The Greek Freak went for 34-8-8 and four cash counters of his own. These two going head to head in the playoffs would be absolute nirvana. Elsewhere, Kevin Love double-doubled with 17 points, 12 boards, six assists and two blocks but curiously didn’t hit a three. It was still a nice line, at least. Jae Crowder chipped in 14 points of his own while Kyle Korver got hot and shot 5-of-6 from deep.
Bad: Things weren’t as fun for the other Cavs, as Dwyane Wade took only seven shots in 24 minutes and finished with four points. There’ll be days like this when your teammates are that good, but it’s no fun to be invested there from a fantasy perspective. Derrick Rose scored 12 points but picked up a sprained ankle that Ty Lue said “doesn’t look good.” Cleveland might be running musical chairs at point guard for a bit here. For Milwaukee, Khris Middleton shot just 3-of-10 to finish with an 8-3-5 line with no threes or steals while Greg Monroe was quiet with just eight points and six rebounds. Subtracting Antetokounmpo’s 15-of-22 shooting mark, the Bucks were just 23-for-60 on the evening.
Takeaway: We’re not worthy of Giannis or LeBron, and the Bucks still have some work to do if they want to take that next step. They simply can’t have their complementary players getting shut down if they want to contend with the frontrunners in the conference. The Cavs will probably start Jose Calderon at point guard tomorrow, which is certainly not something they envisioned. Don’t bother with him unless your league is foolishly deep. The rest of the non-Bron bunch will probably alternate useful lines all year, but the destination should be fine for all parties. One big positive is that the Cavs did follow through on their promise to get Kevin Love more involved, as he was second on the team with 12 shots tonight.
Celtics 102 @ Sixers 92
Good: Kyrie Irving got back on track a bit with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Al Horford was more of an offensive focal point and returned a sound Horford line with 17 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three triples and a block. Jayson Tatum started at small forward and delivered 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 33 minutes. If the peripheral stats keep coming in we could be onto something here. Terry Rozier also had another nice game off the bench, playing 30 minutes and racking up 14 points, seven rebounds and two threes. The Sixers were led in scoring by J.J. Redick and Jerryd Bayless, who combined for 37 points and hit four triples apiece.
Bad: As you can probably guess, Philly’s usual suspects weren’t up to snuff tonight. On the eve of a rest day, Joel Embiid shot just 4-of-16 in 28 minutes but still managed to post 11 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and two blocks. He was 0-of-6 from three and might want to tone that down, though. It was a mixed bag for Ben Simmons, who double-doubled with 11 points, 11 rebounds and five dimes, as he committed four turnovers, shot just 4-of-11 and missed half of his free throws. Dario Saric nearly double-doubled off the bench with nine points and 10 boards but committed six turnovers of his own, and you can see why we weren’t viewing him as a 9-cat asset in standard leagues. And lastly, Markelle Fultz was just 2-of-9 in 17 minutes. The Celtics didn’t have any real poor performances, though Jaylen Brown‘s nine points, eight rebounds and two steals on 4-of-13 shooting was a bit underwhelming.
Takeaway: The Celtics will look to run more of their offense through Horford now, and that’s a good thing for everyone. He can dish with the best of them and should keep the offense flowing far more smoothly than Irving would. Tatum appears set to contribute in a much wider set of categories than initially anticipated, which would be huge for his standard league appeal. Aron Baynes looked decent in a start and could be a matchup-dependent streamer. For Philly, the big guns will be better as they work through the growing pains. Look for Jahlil Okafor to get his first minutes of the year tomorrow night in Toronto.
Pistons 111 @ Wizards 115
Good: Baby steps for Stanley Johnson, who played despite back problems earlier in the day and was perfect from the field, albeit on just three attempts. Avery Bradley notched 18 points and three triples, and even if the rebounds aren’t there like they were last year he should still be perfectly adequate. Reggie Jackson put a little distance between himself and Ish Smith tonight with a team-high 21 points, four rebounds, five assists, five steals and three 3-pointers. For the Wiz, John Wall continued his excellence with 26 points, 10 assists, a three, a steal and two blocks on 8-of-12 shooting. His eight turnovers are a bit ugly but you knew those were coming in bunches. Rad Brad Beal posted 25-4-4 of his own, making half of his 18 shots. The Wizards were actually led in scoring by starting power forward Otto Porter, who filled it up with 28 points, nine rebounds, three assists, four steals, one block and two threes. OPJ shot 11-of-19 and committed just one turnover. That max deal was worth it.
Bad: Boban Marjanovic was a healthy inactive, and that sound you’ll hear tomorrow morning is a 7’3″ man hitting the waiver wire around the globe. Andre Drummond was quiet and Eric Moreland went scoreless in his 12 minutes, so maybe Boban will get his chance soon. Washington and their short bench don’t leave much room for interpretation, but Kelly Oubre fizzled in a start at small forward. He took the spot of the injured Jason Smith and scored only four points in 36 minutes, taking only five shots.
Takeaway: This game delivered on expectations, more or less. The good guys were good, and the rest didn’t do much to stand out either way. Give Oubre a little leash though, as he’s now topped 30 minutes in both games so far. The scoring and shot share was upsetting, but he did post seven rebounds and two steals. There’s low-end value there if you stick with it.
Hawks 91 @ Hornets 109
Good: The Hornets got some nice games from Kemba Walker (26 points, nine assists, four triples), Jeremy Lamb (15 points, five rebounds, one block), Frank Kaminsky (21 points, six rebounds, two 3-pointers) and Dwight Howard (20 points, 15 boards, an ugly six turnovers). Rookie Dwayne Bacon also pulled down 11 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action, and he’s been one of the early surprises around the league. The Hawks got 25 points out of Dennis Schroder, but even more notable was the fact that he turned it over just twice in 32 minutes. Dewayne Dedmon almost double-doubled but hit a three, which is something to watch for. And of course, our favorite adult son Taurean Prince went for 16 points, six boards, two triples and a steal.
Bad: Both Ersan Ilyasova and Marvin Williams were kept out of the scoring column despite a combined 37 minutes and 10 shots. Not a great start for either guy, and owners in search of simple low-end value might be getting nervous already. Marco Belinelli must have gotten confused and thought he was on Team Italy again, as he jacked up 10 shots in 22 minutes, missing nine. Charlotte’s name brand rookie, Malik Monk, was quiet with six points on 2-of-7 shooting in 19 minutes.
Takeaway: Bacon is making a strong case for real minutes all season long, which is no small feat for a second-rounder. Kemba looks healthy and Frank the Tank looks set to capitalize on Cody Zeller‘s absence by excelling in smaller lineups. The Hawks’ usual fantasy players were doing their usual thing tonight, and even though they’ll lose a lot there’s still a lot of fantasy appeal. Prince is just getting warmed up, and the best is yet to come.
Magic 121 @ Nets 126
Good: The Nets pulled off a comeback win as Orlando’s defense wilted, but they were led by depth guard Spencer Dinwiddie. He posted 16-5-5 with two steals and two triples in 25 minutes of action and simply needs to see the court going forward. D’Angelo Russell shot it well en route to 17 points, six dimes and three steals but did commit eight turnovers. The early returns of his Brooklyn career are encouraging but we can’t give him a free pass on that last part. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson picked up three steals and three blocks while DeMarre Carroll scored 17 with eight boards, two steals and three triples. It hurts to think about, sure, but you have to consider picking him up soon.
Orlando needs their own paragraph here, thanks entirely to Nikola Vucevic. Vooch simply crushed it tonight, scoring 41 points and knocking down six 3-pointers. Orlando wanted him to incorporate that into his arsenal and this was the first time we saw it really click, as he stayed inside the arc for most of EuroBasket and the preseason. The big man also added 12 boards and three assists on 17-of-22 shooting. Vucevic came up absolutely huge tonight. Evan Fournier posted 22-9-5 with a pair apiece of steals and threes while D.J. Augustin logged 23 minutes and delivered 10 points and five dimes. Jonathan Isaac started in place of the ailing Aaron Gordon and picked up nine points, a triple, two steals and a block in 23 minutes.
Bad: Timofey Mozgov played just 16 minutes and was again outplayed by Trevor Booker, who double-doubled with 17 and 11. Allen Crabbe started but played just 23 minutes and hit only one of his five shots. It’s coming for him, so just be patient. For the Magic, Augustin got that extra run because Elfrid Payton went down with an injury and did not return. Shelvin Mack started the second half so as not to shake up the whole rotation but finished with just three points and three assists in 10 minutes.
Takeaway: The Nets need to make time for Dinwiddie and Carroll doesn’t look ready to surrender that starting job any time soon. Crabbe is starting slow but we’re not quite at “cause for concern” just yet. The Magic might let Mack start for as long as Payton is out (hopefully it’s just a minor thing) but Augustin is still looking like the preferred add. It might be Fournier who picks up the most value if EP were to stay sidelined here. Isaac needs to be on watch lists for his defensive upside.
Jazz 97 @ Timberwolves 100
Good: The Wolves won this one with some underwhelming lines from their notable names, to be honest with you. Jamal Crawford stood out with some fine work late on his way to 17 points and a trio of triples. Karl-Anthony Towns posted a 20-10 double-double with a steal and two blocks while Andrew Wiggins notched 21 points, five rebounds and two triples. Not great, but not bad either. You can tell that expectations are high here. Speaking of high expectations, Rudy Gobert was held down with just 10 points but did deliver 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Again, not great, but the Stifle Tower is an elite asset. Joe Ingles canned four triples, Ekpe Udoh picked up three swats in spot minutes and Derrick Favors looked good again with 16 points, four rebounds and a block of his own. The big story in this one was Ricky Rubio‘s return to Minnesota, and he notched 19-5-10 with two steals. Good on you, Ricky.
Bad: Jimmy Butler was off tonight, shooting just 5-of-14 to finish with 13 points in 39 minutes. He was able to salvage his night with seven rebounds, three assists and five steals at least. Jeff Teague was also kept quiet with 10 points, four assists and two steals on 3-of-10 shooting. The Wolves might need to change their power forward situation soon, as Taj Gibson scored four points in 26 minutes while the much more talented Gorgui Dieng flopped in 16 minutes off the bench. They have to maximize him, and the faster they figure that out the better they’ll be. For the Jazz, Rodney Hood notched 20 points with three triples but went down with an ugly calf strain. Donovan Mitchell (1-of-7 in 20 minutes) would likely start if Hood had to miss time.
Takeaway: It’s safe to say that Butler’s scoring is coming down a bit with so many other options in Minnesota, but he should produce enough other stats to sustain early-round numbers. The Gibson-Dieng situation has complicated things for fantasy owners, but we wouldn’t give up on Dieng just yet. This might be the perfect time to float some buy low offers, really. In Utah, the starters can compete enough to hang in there on most nights despite a true go-to scorer. Derrick Favors is looking fairly healthy and should return late-round value at this point while the move to Utah won’t hurt Ricky Rubio at all.
Kings 93 @ Mavericks 88
Good: The Mavs went with a new lineup when Dennis Smith was ruled out before the game and plugged Nerlens Noel back in as the starting center. He responded with seven points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 27 minutes. Those are the defensive numbers you paid for in the draft. Harrison Barnes led Dallas with 24 points and a pair of triples while Yogi Ferrell and Dorian Finney-Smith knocked in 14 apiece off the pine. Sacramento has George Hill to thank for this win, as he shot 9-of-12 and a perfect 3-of-3 from deep to notch 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Rookie De’Aaron Fox continued to impress with nine points, six rebounds, 10 assists and a steal while Willie Cauley-Stein posted a low-end double-double with 10 points, 11 boards and a block. It’s not impressive, but it’ll play.
Bad: Zach Randolph made his Kings debut and pushed Skal Labissiere to the bench. Z-Bo shot just 5-of-15 to finish with 13 points and six boards while Skal was limited to 13 minutes. Justin Jackson drew another start but posted just two points in 17 minutes, and that spot would be better served going to Garrett Temple in both fantasy and reality. On the Mavs side of the fence, Dirk was quiet but nearly double-doubled while JJ Barea shot 4-of-14 in a start in place of Smith. He too nearly double-doubled but came up a point short. Wesley Matthews wears the goat horns tonight, missing all seven shots (all treys) and finishing without a point.
Takeaway: The return of Randolph is going to gum up the works here. Labissiere might not be playable in standard leagues until his minutes get back up, and for now that’s not looking too promising with Dave Joerger having earned his veteran-leaner reputation over the years. Fox might be ready to be a fringe fantasy asset already, and deep league players can feel free to add him where available so long as expectations are kept in check. For Dallas, Noel should improve in more minutes and hopefully they keep him starting. The fact that he only got three shots is a bit concerning, but he went through the same issues last year and it might just be his reality on this team. Even if Barea starts it’ll be Ferrell that you want to deploy in fantasy, as he earned three more minutes than JJB despite coming off the bench.
Warriors 128 @ Pelicans 120
Good: Boogie and Brow, man. Anthony Davis scored 35 points on 15-of-21 shooting to go with 16 rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and three triples. DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t quite as strong but still dropped 35 on 11-of-23 from the floor, adding 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals, a block and three triples of his own. The two combined for 12 turnovers, but who are you to complain? Jrue Holiday bounced back a bit with 13-6-3 and a pair each of steals and threes, while Ian Clark knocked down all four of his triples on his old mates. The Dubs started slow but won anyway, because of course they did. Klay Thompson did the heavy lifting tonight with 33 points and seven triples on 13-of-19 shooting. Stephen Curry posted 28 points of his own, adding nine assists and a pedestrian (for him) four treys while Kevin Durant scored 22 points to go with eight rebounds, three triples, a steal and six blocks. They’re pretty good, I guess. Andre Iguodala made his season debut and posted seven points, seven rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. He looked good though, and that’s the most important thing here.
Bad: For the Pellies, E’Twaun Moore missed all five shots and finished scoreless in 24 minutes. They got almost nothing from their depth, as four of their nine players combined to score just 10 points on the night. They played fairly well and would’ve beaten most opponents with this type of effort from their stars, however, so they can take some comfort in that. For the Dubs, Draymond Green was kept under wraps, which for him means eight points, five rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one block and a pair of threes. Nick Young also quieted way down in a hurry, scoring just three points in 11 minutes.
Takeaway: Those of you in deep leagues should give Moore another chance, as he’ll reward you with some threes and steals more often than not. Other than that, it was nice to see both Davis and Cousins deliver tandem big lines. The adverse effect the pairing has on Jrue Holiday remains cause for concern, and things will only get weirder when Rajon Rondo gets back. Durant’s versatile stat set was on display and the Warriors’ elite players can’t help themselves from making a fantasy impact.
Lakers 132 @ Suns 130
Good: Sorry to make you wait (assuming you’re here for the title), but Lonzo Ball bounced back in a big way with 29 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and four triples. Sure, he shot just 12-of-27, but this was a much needed performance from a player who was the talk of the league last night. Life’s a bit easier without Pat Beverley chasing you around. Brandon Ingram shot 9-of-14 from the floor and knocked down three triples on his way to 25 points, while Jordan Clarkson poured in 17 of his own in just 17 minutes. Brook Lopez double-doubled with 19 and 11 to go with a pair of triples. Larry Nance Jr. notched 14 and six in another start, adding two steals and two blocks in 22 minutes but it was Kyle Kuzma who led the bunch in minutes with 28. Kuz shot 6-of-7 to score 15 points but was otherwise quiet. Playing the Suns will cure what ails you, it seems.
Things were good for Phoenix as well with Eric Bledsoe playing through a “questionable” tag and leading the team with 28 points. He shot 10-of-18 with three triples but didn’t do a ton elsewhere, producing just two rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Devin Booker nearly matched Lonzo with 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists of his own. Additionally, he shot 9-of-19 and picked up two steals but committed six turnovers to cool the engines just a little. T.J. Warren was back at it as well, scoring 24 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists and a pair of swipes.
Bad: On the short end of the Lakers’ power forward battle is Julius Randle, who scored just eight points in 13 minutes tonight. You can’t sell this low on him but we wouldn’t blame you for at least testing the waters if you’re not a true believer. Corey Brewer unsurprisingly did nothing in a start, scoring five points in 33 minutes. The three steals were okay but he’s just keeping the seat warm for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who’ll be back in the next one. Alex Len made his season debut but was kept in check through 21 minutes, posting four points, seven rebounds and a block. Marquese Chriss was held below the 20 minute mark again but at least swatted three shots in 18 minutes to go with six rebounds and a 3-pointer.
Takeaway: Try to be a little more patient with Randle, but the fact that he’s been leapfrogged so quickly doesn’t bode well for a guy whose most intriguing attribute has suddenly become unnecessary on either unit. Lonzo got his first ride on the rookie roller coaster out of the way, and it’s nights like these that show why he was picked so eagerly in fantasy drafts. We’re skeptical that Brandon Ingram can shoot like that going forward but it’s nice to know he’s capable of a great offensive night like this. The Suns will be terrible, and there’s little sense in limiting the minutes of both Chriss and Len. We’ll give Earl Watson a pass on the big man tonight, but those two and Dragan Bender need to be getting 20-plus minutes every single night. There will be a lot of headaches otherwise.
June 15, 2019, 7:19 pmDavid Griffin - Team - New Orleans Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that multiple teams are already indicating significant interest in acquiring the No. 4 pick in next week's draft, which now belongs to the Pelicans.
In case you missed it, the Pelicans have agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a package that includes the fourth selection in the 2019 draft, which the Pelicans may flip to get a quality roster player or another young asset. David Griffin stood firm in his requests on a Davis deal, and although he was unable to get Kyle Kuzma included in the trade, the Pelicans came away with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, two future first-rounders and the No. 4 pick in next week's draft, which could lead to more picks or additional players. Expect New Orleans to be at the center of plenty of rumors over the next few days.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:58 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers
Despite being traded to one of his only preferred long-term destinations, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Anthony Davis will still enter free agency next summer.
Davis could sign an extension this summer but he will play out the string and try to maximize his earnings. The Lakers have a year to sell Davis on remaining in Los Angeles, and one imagines that playing with LeBron James and whichever other stars that duo can lure to Staples Center is a pretty good pitch in and of itself. Davis has earned the right to test the market as one of the top players in the game but it would go down as a mild surprise if he didn't end up happy in the one place he's been clamoring for since the start of the saga. Not that unexpected things haven't happened in the NBA before, of course.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:49 pmJosh Hart - G - New Orleans Pelicans
Josh Hart will be traded to the Pelicans, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Hart gives the Pelicans a third young asset to go along with three first-round picks, joining Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in the deal. He battled knee injuries throughout last season but proved to be one of the more versatile and effective players on a laughable Lakers roster. A jack of all trades and master of none, expect Hart to fill multiple roles off the bench for a Pelicans team that hasn't gotten consistent wing production in the recent past. It's a tough spot for fantasy value, however, as he's now blocked in the backcourt by Ball and Jrue Holiday.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:46 pmKemba Walker - G - Charlotte Hornets
Following Saturday's blockbuster acquisition of Anthony Davis, Marc Stein is reporting that the Lakers will make Kemba Walker one of their top targets in free agency.
It makes sense, as point guard is a major position of weakness on the roster with Lonzo Ball headed to New Orleans. Walker and Kyrie Irving are the top of the PG class, and though Charlotte can offer Kemba a boatload of money on a supermax deal, it's impossible to argue that they give him the same shot at winning that the Lakers do now.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:42 pmBrandon Ingram - F - New Orleans Pelicans
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Brandon Ingram is included in Saturday's Anthony Davis trade.
Ingram will step right into a prominent role for the Pelicans, who have struggled to find production out of the small forward slot in recent years. His fantasy game still has plenty of holes but he should make a decent late-round flier if you're hunting for someone who can bring some points, rebounds and the occasional defensive stat. Be wary of his percentages, but a young, rebuilding squad with an eye on the long-term future is a nice spot for Ingram to land. Keep in mind that Ingram's season was cut short by deep vein thrombosis in his right arm, though he is expected to be ready for next season.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:37 pmLonzo Ball - G - New Orleans Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Lonzo Ball will be headed to the Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade.
Ball will be joined by Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks. There were reports last season that the Ball camp doesn't feel New Orleans is the best basketball fit for his career, though a pairing of Ball and Jrue Holiday would provide elite defense. With Ball presumably headed to a roster that will actually build around him rather than make him a role player, it's possible that he turns in a big bounce-back fantasy season. His health looms over everything, but a healthy Ball in a featured role could still deliver on all his pre-draft hype.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:30 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers
The Pelicans have agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 selection in next week's draft, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
This is the big domino to fall in what's expected to be a crazy offseason, and Davis heading to the Lakers will have a ripple effect that changes things drastically for numerous other teams. A Davis-LeBron James duo is about as good as it gets, and the Lakers have to be considered title contenders as they shift their attention to filling out the rest of the roster. They've now become one of the most attractive destinations for free agents and have to feel good about retaining Davis long-term, all while retaining Kyle Kuzma. New Orleans can start fresh around presumed top pick Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday, and it's possible that they dangle the No. 4 pick in the draft to help acquire a player that can provide immediate help to the roster. Getting three young players and three first-rounders is nice business for a team dealing a player who was hammering away at their leverage.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 15, 2019, 6:27 pmFrank Kaminsky - F/C - Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets have not yet made their decision on Frank Kaminsky's qualifying offer for next season.
If they extend an offer, worth $4.5 million, Kaminsky will be a restricted free agent. Despite his strong finish to the year, it would be a surprise if he returned to Charlotte. Kaminsky was out of the rotation entirely for the bulk of the season and even requested a trade at one point before injuries allowed him to get back into the mix. The Hornets might not want to spend $4.5 million on a player that's so low on the depth chart, especially with Kemba Walker's potential supermax contract putting them into the luxury tax.
Source: Charlotte Observer
June 15, 2019, 6:13 pmKemba Walker - G - Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets have been trying to move up from the 12th pick in next week's NBA Draft.
Charlotte wants to get a player that can immediately improve the roster as part of the sales pitch for Kemba Walker. Walker has said that he's willing to take less than the supermax if it helps the Hornets build around him, but it would be an awful lot of money to pass up. Either way, Charlotte should look to get production out of their rookie contracts because the team's cap sheet is fairly ugly. If the Hornets can't move up, look for them to make their pick at 12 and try to upgrade the roster via other avenues this summer.
Source: Charlotte Observer
June 15, 2019, 8:56 amSalah Mejri - C - Dallas Mavericks
Salah Mejri is shooting 500 three-pointers per day in order to expand his game.
The 33-year old Mejri said Rick Carlisle made the suggestion late last season as a way of adding more years to his career. Mejri played only 11.1 minutes across 36 games for the Mavs this season but did start shooting a few threes as he made 11-of-34 for 32.4 percent. He made only one total in the previous three seasons. The 7'2", 236 pound center is an unrestricted free agent but expressed his desire to stay with the Mavs. He is planning to play for Tunisia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup that starts on August 31.