March 9, 2019, 4:51 am
You don’t need me to tell you it’s crunch time, and with about 15-18 games left for each squad it’s your last semi-decent chance to move the needle in a Roto league. Bid in FAAB leagues accordingly.
I’m trying to ride a late push into an FBA high stakes championship and trying to hang on in 30-Deep, among other contending runs, while dealing with some disappointments where I drafted in the 11 slot and got hit with Victor Oladipo and Kawhi Leonard and not enough Paul George. And hand injuries have been brutal. We’ll go through it all as we look back at a pretty public season during the break.
Now, on to the Breakdown.
THEIR LOSS IS YOUR GAIN
In last week’s Dish we discussed the Wizards’ playoff chase and how falling out of contention could help a guy like Thomas Bryant (12 points, two boards, one block, one three, 15 minutes) get cut loose and they lost a one-point game to fellow chasers in the Hornets.
Bobby Portis (23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one block, three treys) continued to enjoy a mostly solid run down the stretch and Jabari Parker stayed above the cut line with 15 points, five boards, two assists, one steal and a trey in 26 minutes off the bench.
Turning the page from Jeff Green (11 points, three rebounds, one assist, one three, 29 minutes) and deferring to any injuries for heavily used Bradley Beal (15 points, 4-of-21 FGs, four rebounds, seven assists, five steals, one block, one three) or high-mileage Trevor Ariza (eight points, three boards, three assists, one steal, one block, 32 minutes) would help build a formidable Parker-Portis-Bryant power rotation for fantasy leagues.
Bryant has been a top-70 player in 9-cat leagues over the last two weeks in just 19.7 mpg, doing what he’s been doing since he came on the scene. He has been a top-40 player in 9-cat leagues since the start of December.
Holding him has been an easy call from an analyst’s perspective and it’s your gain that industry folk told their readers to drop him, and some even said there was no rationale to hold him. Chaaaa ching.
The Hornets also geared up for this game and played their bigger guns big minutes. Hoop Ball Sixer Jeremy Lamb saw 31 minutes and put up 19 points, 10 boards, four assists, two steals, three blocks, three treys and 8-of-8 hits from the line. For a guy drafted toward the bottom of the top-100, his top-50 value in 9-cat formats has also been sold short.
Again, your gain.
Marvin Williams had the other big line in this one, scoring 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting with seven treys, one steal and two blocks to go with a big old hug from our guy Dan Besbris. It’s been another solid top-65 season in 9-cat formats and that’s why you listen to Dan’s podcast.
Frank Kaminsky scored four points with nine boards and one assist in 15 minutes to fade back into obscurity, but keep an eye on him if the Hornets fall out of the chase in the season’s final two weeks (they’re one game back currently).
IS 80 PERCENT GOOD?
The Mavs lost in Orlando and the big story there is that they have finally let Dwight Powell (13 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, 5-of-6 FTs) loose and we’ve been waiting for this for some time and it happened right as I dropped him in my chase for a big money crown.
We know how his stat set can translate and he has been a top-30 player in 9-cat leagues over the last two weeks. He’s due for some sizable regression on the shooting as he has hit 10-of-12 from deep and 40-of-52 from the field over his last six games, and the Dirk Nowitzki (15 points, five boards, one three, 19 minutes) tour or Maxi Kleber’s (knee, day-to-day) return could combine with that to challenge his value.
But when he’s running like this you simply can’t care.
Jalen Brunson got noisy with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, two boards, nine assists and a three over 30 minutes. Because of his tepid production and lack of defensive stats he’s barely a top-150 play over the last two weeks, but if you need popcorn stats he’s worth a look down the stretch.
As our great Josh Millman was noting on Twitter, Salah Mejri (eight points, five boards, three blocks, one trey, 16 minutes) should be on your radar in deep leagues as he has brought back 0.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game over the last six contests in 12.7 mpg. He can be productive in limited minutes and only the degenerates will know to tap him if they need defensive stats.
DON’T LOOK NOW
Yeah it’s the Eastern Conference but can we take a moment and give the Magic a little dap for being one game out in March and just five games under .500? They beat a fading (to put it nicely) Mavs squad behind another gem from Nikola Vucevic (20 points, 13 boards, six assists, five cash counters), and 22 points, six treys and more behind Terrence Ross.
Vucevic has been nothing short of spectacular this season with top-6 value in 9-cat formats on the season and at a fourth round price. Ross hasn’t been tearing up leagues in terms of overall value because of just 0.6 combined steals and blocks over the last month, but he has been a solid scorer (16.5 points) and 3-point shooter (3.0) over that span, good for late-round value.
Jonathan Isaac (14 points, nine rebounds, one steal, one block, two threes, 31 minutes) has been a top-40 guy in 9-cat formats in his last 13 games. Don’t look now but he’s a top-90 guy on the season in those formats and he can keep climbing, so he might just meet those preseason projections after all.
The Cavs are just a mess and you already know that. With that out of the way Larry Nance got ruled out of the game with a chest injury after logging 17 minutes with just two boards and a block. Something obviously isn’t right, he is and will always be an injury risk and it’s the time of year where somebody like that who is also struggling is expendable.
Ante Zizic (six points, six boards, one steal, 15 minutes) returned from his concussion and you might take a flier on him if you’re desperate for a big man but that’s about it.
Kevin Love (19 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, four treys, 31 minutes) owners will be on red alert the rest of the way, and we had a Brandon Knight (15 points, two boards, six assists, one steal, three treys) sighting in their loss to the Heat. One look at Knight’s game log warrants a wait-and-see in almost any format right now.
Collin Sexton (27 points, six assists, three treys, seven turnovers) had zero cash counters last night and he’s only worth using if you’re punting or in a points league. Get me out of here.
TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH
There were pretty good stat lines for the Heat and they won another game in pursuit of a playoff spot, so you’d have to think they like this make-sense lineup with Kelly Olynyk (15 points, one rebound, three assists, two steals, one block, two threes, 5-of-6 FTs, 25 minutes) and Bam Adebayo (17 points, 7-of-8 FGs, seven boards, two assists, one block) starting and Hassan Whiteside (11 points, 11 boards, zero blocks, 23 minutes) coming off the bench.
Derrick Jones Jr. (eight points, six boards, two assists, two blocks, one trey, 23 minutes) is the player that ringers have been grabbing lately and he hasn’t played above the cut line, but the Heat are excited about him and there’s a reason the ringers are excited.
He has the money counting stats and upside but it might be a year away. Still, I have no problem with viewing him as a serviceable upside play if you can afford the volatility.
Goran Dragic saw 16 minutes in his return from a two-game absence due to a calf injury, scoring 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting with one rebound, one assist and one three in 16 minutes. The Heat have no reason to push him fast but they certainly won’t go slow if Dragic is ready to give a solid 26 mpg or so, and in that he might even see condensed production with the expectation to gun off the bench. It’s probably pointing to no more than top-100 value but he’s worth a spec add.
Bearded Blake Griffin, the alter-ego of Kia Slangin Blake Griffin, scored 27 points and Andre Drummond held down the paint with 20 & 24, three steals and two blocks in the Pistons’ road win over the Bulls.
They’re probably thrilled with the optics of a six-seed in that front office and just 2.5 games ahead of the chase group they have every reason to play hard the rest of the way.
Reggie Jackson (21 points, two assists, one steal, one three, 23 minutes) put up a big scoring number but the playing time went to Ish Smith (25 minutes, seven points, six rebounds, seven assists, two blocks) and we’re back to their normal valuations.
Jackson can be a late-round player if healthy and playing at the level he has been playing at, and Smith is capped out as a deep league guy that’s been playing over his head lately.
THIS WEEK IN KRIS DUNN
The Bulls are competing and that’s more than anybody expected after Jim Boylen’s rocky start. There’s a similar vibe surrounding the fantasy value of Kris Dunn (seven points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block, one three, 28 minutes).
Dunn’s season was derailed by an injury right out of the gates and he has never recovered, ceding the car keys to Zach LaVine (24 points, 9-of-18 FGs, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block) while losing support within the organization.
Now he’s being spelled by Ryan Arcidiacono (nine points, four rebounds, three assists, 20 minutes) and he hasn’t been staggered as much as was being sold, but the good news is that he’s sitting on a top-50 stretch over the last week with 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 5.8 boards, 4.5 assists and muted percentages to go with low turnovers and scoring.
You can see the outlines of what most of us thought he could be and the drop discussion should be off the table. Hopefully he can give fantasy GMs a boost as a silver lining for a lost season.
Robin Lopez (13 points, four rebounds, one block, 37 minutes) has cooled off a bit and is back within a normal range of production with top-100 value over the last week. That’s a solid bet going forward and he’s an obvious must-own player. Otto Porter (23 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one three, 9-of-13 FGs, 34 minutes) isn’t playing for Scott Brooks anymore and he’s a top-25 guy again.
ALL ABOUT EMBIID
The Sixers are currently looking at a first round series against the Celtics if they or the Celtics don’t do something to shake that up. They lost in Houston last night and they’re currently a game behind the Pacers in the 3-slot and a game ahead of the Celtics for home court advantage.
Those three teams are on an island with no chance of advancing above or below that range, so if they separate you could see resting scenarios for all three teams.
In the meantime it’ll be mostly good news if Joel Embiid (knee) can get back on the floor on Sunday, as the team could easily opt for rest, and the bad news is that if he’s playing you still don’t know if he’s doing so in an inadvisable manner.
There have been no real fantasy storylines outside of game-to-game fluctuations and no real beneficiary while Embiid has been out, aside from your normal assets getting more chances.
They need to push and try to get a three-seed and avoid the Celtics in the first round, unless they figure they need to get that matchup out of the way at some point anyway and maybe there’s wisdom to playing them without Embiid being subject to more wear and tear.
James Harden is powering quite a few of our championship squads as he has jumped out to a sizable lead in 9-cat leagues, while absolutely boat racing 8-cat formats. So when he needed precautionary X-rays last night on his right (non-shooting) hand pardon us if we flinched a little.
The good news is that Harden likely wants the MVP award and they probably think the Jazz can catch the Blazers so a 3-seed to catch the then-six-seed Blazers might make a lot of sense. They’re enjoying a nice run and have to fade in there somewhere, so they’ll probably just be in the mix and waiting to see if a solid sit strategy emerges to rest their key guys.
Chris Paul (four points, 2-of-8 FGs, three rebounds, eight assists, two steals, 28 minutes) got some rest in the Rockets’ easy win last night over the Sixers, and he’s the obvious rest candidate but Harden has been carrying so much load that he has to carry at least a yellow flag the rest of the way.
Mike D’Antoni said that Harden was okay after the game and we’ll get an update today, but there’s no concern at this time that he’ll sit. Add it all up and you still have the probable scenario that he remains stubborn and plays at an insane level the rest of the way.
The Jazz were without Ricky Rubio (hip) and lost in Memphis last night, who isn’t rolling over just yet now that Jonas Valanciunas is on the floor. Rubio’s absence brings Royce O’Neale (10 points, one rebound, one assist, two steals, one three, 29 minutes), which is a streaming option for deep leagues at best.
Joe Ingles (14 points, six rebounds, seven assists, one block, three treys) hasn’t been efficient enough to truly cash in on his recent popcorn and money counting stat production. He’s probably back to mid-round Joe though, after personal issues took a lot out of him throughout the first half of the year.
Rudy Gobert has been absolutely destroying free throw percentage lately, with just 55.6 percent shooting on 7.7 attempts per game. The good news is that he’s solid everywhere else and put up five blocks last night, which is nice at the end of a season in which his block rate didn’t recede as much as it could have.
THIS YEAR OR NEXT
The Grizzlies got a nice win last night against the Jazz and they might want to convey their first round pick this year rather than next. They’re in a rebuild and they’ll be bad next year, so why not give up a mid-lottery pick with hopes you can get a top-5 and really slingshot the tanking action.
That might be why you’re going to see Mike Conley (28 points, 11 assists, two steals, three treys), Jonas Valanciunas (27 points, seven boards, two assists, 12-of-17 FGs, 25 minutes) going hard the rest of the way.
Avery Bradley (seven points, six assists, one steal, one three, 2-of-7 FGs, 36 minutes) has been dealing with an ankle injury but he should also be in that bucket, and Joakim Noah (seven points, eight rebounds, four assist, two blocks, 21 minutes) has a role on this team and he’s not going away unless he gets hurt.
Noah is creeping up on top-100 value over the last few weeks, with near double-double numbers to go with 2.0 combined steals and blocks per game in 21.1 mpg. Bradley is also performing in that range and as long as the ankle doesn’t get too bad he should continue to do so.
Bruno Caboclo (three points, three boards, one three, nine minutes) can’t get over the hump and if the Grizzlies are trying win then the bar will be higher for him and nights like this will continue to be a probable threat.
Delon Wright hasn’t broken down any doors but he has definitely rewarded owners that picked him up at the trade deadline (and didn’t panic or play in super shallow leagues). He has been a top-125 producer in 28.3 mpg and has a great shot at keeping it up, with upside if the Grizzlies do end up shutting guys down eventually.
Marc Gasol hasn’t really clicked in for the Raptors and is bringing back just top-100ish value in 25.6 mpg over the last two weeks. They knocked out a reeling Pelicans squad and he played just 19 minutes, perhaps due to the lack of a matchup, but in the old days one wouldn’t see Gasol’s coach or team caring about the other squad’s deployment.
The reality is that they want to keep Pascal Siakam (19 points, five boards, four assists, one steal, two blocks, one three, 29 minutes) on the floor and OG Anunoby (23 minutes) isn’t going away.
That leaves Serge Ibaka (12 points, 11 boards, one steal, five blocks, 25 minutes) and Gasol fighting for a smaller bucket of minutes, and Gasol hasn’t been able to cut through a deep Raptors squad for that top 50-75 production folks had hoped for.
He can still get there but he’ll probably need some days off for Kawhi Leonard (31 points) and Kyle Lowry (low-end triple-double, five cash counters) to go with a stated desire to get him more acclimated and some favorable matchups. Rate him as a top-75 guy and you’re probably doing it right.
The clown show in New Orleans rages on and in this one Anthony Davis did not play due to back issues. Maybe that will be the pretext for the end of the charade, or maybe not, but at least Davis will be happy and that’s what is most important.
It’s pretty clear now that Jahlil Okafor’s struggles have been ankle related and he got knocked out of last night’s game after 17 mostly ineffective minutes. Yes, Davis could bow out at any time and he could step into some upside, but you’re betting on two situations in his health and Davis’ plans that aren’t looking great.
Meanwhile, Cheick Diallo (16 points, 12 boards, no steals or blocks, 24 minutes) is still inconsistent but has held late-round value in just 18.0 mpg over the last two weeks, despite the circus environment. He gets a big window here if everything breaks his way and has easy mid-round upside. All normal scenarios considered, he shouldn’t have hit a waiver wire.
Elfrid Payton (13 points, six rebounds, six assists, one steal, three treys) hurt his left pinkie but returned to the game and should be good to go the rest of the way, especially with Jrue Holiday set to miss at least 7-10 games with a lower abdominal strain.
It’s obvious crap news for Holiday owners and this is the downside of playing in this type of situation. We don’t know if the timeline is precautionary but there’s no reason for him to take chances.
Frank Jackson scored 20 points with six rebounds and a three and nothing else in a whopping 37 minutes, highlighting his stat set and production issues even if he keeps getting big run. If his proficient areas can help you then he’s definitely worth a look, however.
Kenrich Williams (nine points, five rebounds, four assists, five steals, three treys, 29 minutes) and when you iron out all the wrinkles he has been a late-round guy in 30 mpg. That’s probably a good expectation going forward.
RUNNING ON EMPTY
The Thunder have had a rough stretch going just 3-7 in their last 10 games as Paul George’s overall mileage and usage have collided with a right shoulder injury. They lost last night to the Clippers in their fifth game in seven nights and sixth game in nine days (and seventh game in 11 days).
They’ve also fallen back to the pack in the race for the 3-5 seeds and theoretically the next chase group could catch them but it’s not likely.
George has really struggled over his last five games, hitting just 29 percent from the field and it’s a good news, bad news situation with his MVP chase. It’s completely understandable that he guns for it and keeps the gas pedal buried the rest of the way, albeit with a chance of getting rest at any time if the shoulder injury worsens or OKC simply wants to play it safe.
Look for his outstanding efficiency to level out with some good games mixed in with some struggles, and probably more of the latter than the former. It’s not just George that’ll be coming into the finish line huffing and puffing, but also Russell Westbrook (32 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two treys, one block, 12-of-23 FGs) and Steven Adams (six points, 10 boards, three assists, no steals or blocks).
Each of these guys could use a rest and Jerami Grant (12 points, four rebounds, no cash counters) took a nasty fall against the Blazers. They get the rest of the weekend off and they’ll head into Utah for a big matchup against a Jazz team that will also get the weekend off. Both teams will assimilate into the elevation and there will be seeding on the line, so expect all systems to be go.
They don’t get a break in the schedule until the penultimate week of the season when they get a stretch of the Mavs, Lakers, Pistons and Wolves before a pair of silly season games against the Rockets and Bucks.
If you own any of these guys you’re just hoping that the Thunder don’t form an island in the seedings somehow, and the difficult schedule probably helps them stay with the pack in that regard.
And if that happens look for Nerlens Noel (six points, five boards, two steals, two blocks), Dennis Schroder (15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two threes, 5-of-20 FGs) and Markieff Morris (12 points, seven boards, one three) to get boosts and especially Noel, who has a shot at cracking the top-100 in just 14.2 mpg this season in 9-cat formats.
POISED FOR THE PLAYOFFS
The Clippers got a massive win over the Thunder last night to jump the Spurs and get into the 7-slot in the West. They have a tiebreaker over the only barely realistic chase team in the Kings, who are four games behind the Spurs and on life support. Basically, this win combined with the Kings’ loss to the Celtics on Wednesday they basically locked up a playoff spot if they don’t nosedive.
Because the Kings are so far back, it’s not hard to see the outlines of some time off for Danilo Gallinari (34 points, six boards, 10-of-19 FGs, 12-of-15 FTs, two treys) and Patrick Beverley (zero points, 0-for-3 FGs, seven rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block, 27 minutes).
Don’t get scared off by the low scoring Beverley line – he’s in a late-early round run and it’s a hold tight situation.
Ivica Zubac (14 points, seven boards, one steal, two blocks, 2-of-6 FTs, 23 minutes) had a nice game, helped by Montrezl Harrell (eight points, six boards, one block) foul trouble but the foul shooting wasn’t really an aberration, as he’s hitting just 47.1 percent from the line over his last seven games. He’s a 81.5 percent shooter on the year and 76.0 percent in his career, so he’ll get back on track there but he hasn’t been productive enough to warrant must-own status.
That said, he does profile as a guy they could give extra run and touches to if they do end up getting time to rest before the playoffs.
JaMychal Green (two points, eight boards, 14 minutes) has hung around the bottom of the top-200 lately and though Zubac has been worse, he seems more interesting to me because of the free throw regression and also as a guy that hasn’t really stepped into his upside yet, whereas Green is kinda who we thought he was already.
Sweet Lou Williams went off for 40 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals, four treys and 10-of-15 hits from the foul line but you already knew he was capable of crazy stuff like that.
TOO MANY COOKS
I was on FNBAT yesterday and said I thought Gary Harris would return to being a top-75 guy with a nice schedule the rest of the way and the Warriors might not have been the best test case for that. Harris scored six points on 0-for-2 shooting (6-of-8 FTs) with two rebounds, one assist and no steals or blocks in 22 minutes.
He looks a little slow still and the Nuggets look a little befuddled by having so many useful offensive players. Folks have tried to pin their struggles on integrating Isaiah Thomas (five points, three assists, one steal, 2-of-6 FGs, 15 minutes), but you didn’t hear much from them in this one as the bench was better than the starters were in their loss.
The reality is that Malik Beasley (17 points, 5-of-14 FGs, 27 minutes) hasn’t gone away and both Harris and Will Barton (five points, 2-of-11 FGs, nine rebounds, two steals, 26 minutes) are trying to find themselves at the same time.
This is a team that needs to find some continuity and fast so Michael Malone has some choices to make, and fantasy GMs are hoping for simple addition by subtraction.
Thomas has had a befuddling lack of urgency in body language and even in play, which has grown to be more pronounced as he’s fighting to reclaim an athleticism that allowed him to aggressively turn the corner. He needs all of that aggression to maintain efficiency, and once he gets it it’s hard to contain, but absent a stretch of 3-4 solid games he could eventually get shut out.
If Harris can’t get it going by the end of next week it’s probably not going to happen, and the same goes for Barton, and they’ll need Beasley to take a back seat to flip the odds in their favor.
The Warriors wanted to get some people off their backs and they put their foot down on the Nuggets fairly easily. DeMarcus Cousins put up a huge line with 13 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals, six blocks and a three, which definitely overrepresents his play on the defensive end. There was plenty of bad stuff on film that just isn’t going to play long-term.
Don’t get that confused with playing, though, as he just needs to be not terrible for the Warriors to want to see their hand down to the river. The question there is whether Cousins will implode under greater pressure and whatever Andrew Bogut can bring to the table.
Again, the win tonight helped on a lot of fronts.
Klay Thompson went off for 39 points and that’s your Saturday Dish.
June 19, 2019, 8:54 amTomas Satoransky - G/F - Washington Wizards
As expected, Tomas Satoransky was included in Czech Republic’s preliminary squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup which will take place in China this summer.
The 20-man roster also includes former first round pick Jan Vesely and big man Petr Herman, who is back in Europe after playing four years of college basketball at Loyola Marymount. Czech Republic will participate in Group E against the United States, Turkey and Japan. Sato is entering free agency this summer and it’s likely that he is able to secure a deal before the start of the World Cup.
June 19, 2019, 8:33 amAl Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics
A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, is reporting that a team to keep an eye on in the Al Horford sweepstakes is the Nets.
Horford is close to head coach Kenny Atkinson while the team has the cap space to offer him a max contract but this is simply a rumor at this point. The belief around the league is that Horford already knows there is a four-year contract worth in excess of $100 million waiting out there for him on June 30h and that’s why his negotiations with the Celtics fell apart. The sudden appearance of the Dominican center in the free agent market seems to have caught many of us off guard but it’s likely that some NBA teams have been preparing for this turn of events.
Source: A. Sherrod Blakely on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 10:44 pmKevin Love - F/C - Cleveland Cavaliers
According to Brian Windhorst, Kevin Love has been in some trade talks and the chances that he's on the Cavs next season are 50/50.
Windhorst mentioned that it's hard to find the right deal for Love, who is set to start a 4-year $120 million contract this fall, but that's a much bigger chance of him leaving than had been recently reported. The Cavs likely have some summer deals to make, but as it sits now, the fantasy values of Larry Nance Jr. and Ante Zizic would be on the rise with a Love departure.
Source: Aaron Goldhammer on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 10:01 pmBobby Portis - F - Washington Wizards
Bobby Portis, who will likely become a restricted free agent after the Wizards extend a qualifying offer, is expected to be pursued by at least 5-10 teams once free agency begins.
Among the teams that are reportedly interested in Portis are the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and the Knicks among others. If the Wizards extend the $3.6 million qualifying offer to Portis, they will have the chance to match any contract offer Portis receives from another team.
Source: NBC Sports
June 18, 2019, 8:55 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Marc Stein of The New York Times is reporting that the Nets believe they are the favorites to land Kyrie Irving in free agency.
Irving to the Nets has been on overdrive the past few weeks, and it's looking almost certain that Irving will be on the Nets, Lakers or Knicks come July 1st. D'Angelo Russell may be playing elsewhere next season if the Nets acquire Irving in free agency. Stay tuned.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 8:20 pmRob Pelinka - Team - Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers are aggressively pursuing the purchase of second-round picks in Thursday’s draft.
In addition to trying to unload additional bench players, the Lakers would like to acquire a few second-round picks to round out their roster with minimum salary players. If the Lakers can get any late picks, it will give the team even more breathing room in free agency. The Lakers’ master plan after signing LeBron James last offseason is starting to shift into high gear.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 8:13 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers are trying to expand the Anthony Davis trade to open up a max salary slot on July 6, by offering up Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones and Isaac Bonga to additional teams.
The Lakers got their guy in AD, but they also want more wiggle room for another max guy and role players to fill out their roster. It seems that the team will do whatever it takes to get that third max player spot, aside from moving Kyle Kuzma. It seems very likely that another team will join in on the deal.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 7:56 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, since the season ended, Kyrie Irving has been communicating forthrightly with Celtics' officials both privately and publicly signaling that he will leave the team in free agency.
It has been widely expected that Irving would leave the Celtics for a bit now, with the Nets being the team most analysts are pegging Irving end up with. With the news that Al Horford is going elsewhere, there is little reason to believe that Irving would stick around. We should have an official update on Irving's intentions soon enough.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 7:35 pmAl Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics
Sources close to Al Horford have told Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that his camp is no longer discussing a new contract with the Celtics and he is expected to sign a 4-year deal elsewhere.
A few short months ago the Celtics were pegged as the favorites to land Anthony Davis, and forming a new big three of there own. Flash forward to now, and Davis is on the Lakers, and it looks like both Horford and Kyrie Irving are set to leave. The Celtics couldn't have foreseen a worse start to the offseason.
Source: Steve Bulpett on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 7:03 pmJames Jones - Team - Phoenix Suns
First-year GM James Jones said that there are more than six good players in the draft and that the Suns are comfortable staying put at number six.
Jones has a point, and if the team believes that they don’t need to move up to get the difference-maker that they’re targeting then staying put is the logical choice. If the Suns stand pat, they’ll be looking at drafting one of Darius Garland, Coby White, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Jarrett Culver. Garland or White would fill the most glaring team need at PG if they’re still available.
Source: AZ Central