March 2, 2019, 7:20 am
Friday night was fun – we had some strange in the quadruple-overtime, um, thriller between the Hawks and Bulls. We also had bubble playoff contenders squaring off, a nice skirmish between the Blazers and Raptors, and plenty of fantasy storylines. The biggest one might be that it’s not quite silly season yet and even the tanking teams aren’t that tanky right now.
On our end, we’re all looking at fantasy playoff and roto category pushes. There are very few must-own players outside the top-80 and we’ll be using a scalpel the rest of the way. You can’t wait for production unless you know exactly who, what, why, where and when.
Good luck in all of your contests – I’m trying to track down a third FBA title and see if I can make a run in 30-DEEP, among some other scattered title contenders. Now without further ado let’s break down this seven-game slate.
The Clippers jumped into Sacramento and locked up the Kings, choking out their offense and generally playing tougher than them. Their 116-109 win put them a half-game ahead of the Spurs for the No. 7 seed and they’re deeper than San Antonio. Holding a tiebreaker over the Kings in the No. 9 slot they have to like their playoff chances after this win.
The 20 games to go mark means there’s still a lot of basketball to played still, however.
Danilo Gallinari (19 points, nine boards, three assists, one trey, 8-of-9 FTs) is back in his groove, and Patrick Beverley (12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one block, two treys) has solidified his role as a must-own guy the rest of the way.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (15 points, five rebounds, two steals, three treys) is custom-fit to defend De’Aaron Fox so it’s not surprising to see him get minutes and be productive with them. He’s still not a must-own player.
Landry Shamet (20 points, four rebounds, one block, five threes) is still too inconsistent to be anything but a points and threes specialist, but he looks great as a rookie in what will be an under-the-radar but promising season.
Ivica Zubac (10 points, 10 boards, two assists, two blocks) is going to be an 18-22 mpg guy barring an injury around him, and that’s going to keep him from being consistent enough for 12-14 team owners, though you might look his way if you’re in a pinch. He’s a pretty good bet to stay in the top-200.
JaMychal Green (eight points, 11 rebounds, one block, one three, 20 minutes) will probably split minutes with him the rest of the way and has a better stat profile, though it’s close. He’s probably the better player, too. If percentages aren’t your thing, his value takes a hit.
NOT QUITE THERE
The Kings are facing big boy problems nowadays, at least on the court. They’re not optimizing their offensive attack, but they’re still potent. They’ve added a piece in Harrison Barnes (15 points, two boards, four assists, one trey, 38 minutes) that isn’t as good as the Kings or friendlies think it is, but he’s bringing them versatility and addressing scarcity as the team’s first legit SF/PF option in a while.
They’re making enough plays most of the time and they’re making mostly the right calls from the sideline, but aside from a tough schedule lately they’ve hit a bit of a snag with the silly and/or the stubborn.
Buddy Hield (23 points, seven boards, three assists, three treys, one steal, 36 minutes) got butterfingers last week and Dave Joerger caught heat from some local gasbags for not getting him in the game’s final minutes in a loss to the Wolves on Monday.
It was dumb — just like benching De’Aaron Fox (29 minutes, 3PFs, five rebounds, 12 assists, one steal, 5-of-9 FGs) was when he got hit with two fouls early on in last night’s loss — but these are blips.
Aside from some integration issues with new pieces Corey Brewer (eight points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, 19 minutes), Barnes and Alec Burks (14 minutes, four points, three boards, one steal, one block), they’ve played well all season and put their opponents on their heels most nights.
Joerger has them coached up and playing hard. He’s still capable of overplaying a veteran or getting stubborn on an issue, but again, he has pressed *mostly* the right buttons this season.
And yet the front office and ownership is not sold on him, and maybe vice-versa, so these next 20 games will be an interesting sample for his future.
Turn around a 1-5 stretch (including four or five playoff squads) to put a cherry on top of a great season – the parties just might be stuck with each other – but fall short and see if the cracks in the foundation start spreading.
Marvin Bagley (knee, day-to-day) isn’t headlining like Luka Doncic, but he has turned big question marks into serious upside. His injury has put Willie Cauley-Stein (16 points, 12 boards, four blocks, 31 minutes) and Harry Giles (15 points, five boards, two assists, one steal, 17 minutes) in a position where they have to be good for the Kings to win.
Nemanja Bjelica (13 minutes, five points, three rebounds, three blocks, one trey) wasn’t awful in increased duty, which is a step forward after an unplayable streak. The folks declaring that signing a massive win early on obviously didn’t watch any film from Minnesota. He’s worth a look for short-term value but it sure seems like Bagley is coming back sooner rather than later.
Giles’ stat set and playing time is too inconsistent for an add, Bogdan Bogdanovic (nine points, six boards, two assists, one steal, one three, 3-of-15 FGs) hasn’t found his top gear this season but he’ll be a must-own guy with a locked-in role the rest of the way. He has hit just 37.8 percent of his shots this month and the regression is coming, too.
Barnes did not get the rebounds tonight but he’ll be getting a lot of PF minutes as a late-round guy for however long Bagley is out. After that he’s probably just a 14-16 team guy.
LET’S RUN IT BACK
There were 329 points scored in the Bulls and Hawks’ quadruple-overtime game so forgive me if I skip through a lot of this. Lauri Markkanen (31 points, 17 boards, one steal, one block, three treys, 10-of-12 FTs) cruised, so did Otto Porter (31 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal, seven threes, 10-of-25 FGs) and Zach LaVine went nuts with 47 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, two steals, six threes and eight turnovers in the Bulls’ win.
Robin Lopez continued to play like a must-start player with 11 points, 11 rebounds, one steal and three blocks. He’s probably no worse than top-100 the rest of the way.
Kris Dunn had a disappointing line in the context of this game with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, three treys, one rebound, six assists and a block in 32 minutes, but just having two solid nights in a row should keep him on most rosters.
He has returned top 100-115 value this season and given the potential increase on that if he somehow gets into a rhythm, it’s a good position to be in. If you get desperate and need to ditch him if he worsens or stays inconsistent, then go for it, but keep his range of potential in mind.
It’s also nice that the Bulls are staggering his minutes or trying at all to keep him engaged, since it does seem like they want to move on from him, which is its own story, but the fit next to LaVine isn’t good. The early season injury essentially handed the car keys to LaVine and he’s not yet at the sharing stage.
I feel like I need to watch every minute of the last 15 games of Trae Young just so I can get the full picture of what’s going on. The stats speak for themselves, though, and last night’s 49 points on 17-of-33 shooting with eight rebounds, 16 assists, one steal, one block, six treys, 9-of-11 FTs and nine turnovers were breathtaking at times.
The offensive game is definitely there and he has a Harden-esque command of the small details, using today’s rules about contact and his green light from anywhere to create massive spacing. Because he has all the passes he can pick and roll you to death and run you through a cavalcade of staggered screens.
He’s sitting on a top 20-50 (8/9 cat) stretch over the last month, averaging a whopping 25.3 points, 2.4 treys, 3.4 boards, 9.8 assists and decent 42.4 percent shooting (83.7 FT%, 7.1 attempts). The Hawks are fine letting him be the focal point and though you’d like to see more of his teammates get better as a result of those numbers, he has definitely sent a shot across the bow at those of us who have scoffed at his long-term upside.
As for his teammates, Omari Spellman (ankle) got knocked out of the game and Vince Carter played 45 minutes. John Collins (flu) was out. There were four overtimes.
Taurean Prince (17 points, three boards, four assists, two steals, three treys, 37 minutes) comes out of this a bit lighter without the extra time, but you’re generally encouraged enough by this performance to hold.
Kent Bazemore (four points, 1-of-8 FGs, two boards, two assists, two steals, one three, 31 minutes) is the guy that I’ve been holding in competitive 12-team leagues because of the upside he showed earlier this season – a season derailed by an unseemly ankle injury – and now he looks a little bit slow, a little bit disinterested and he can’t hit the barn. He’s 1-of-20 from the field the last two games.
Like the other wings he’s not as engaged in the offense as he once was when Young was just a cog and not the whole machine. They’re all going to be inconsistent if the offense keeps going like this, and in this game Bazemore was set to play just under 20 minutes if the game ended in regulation.
Some of that is probably the shooting and some of it indeed looks scripted, which probably explains the inconsistency and some of the lethargy from film. It’s also possible he’s not 100 percent. Whatever it is I wanted to see a reduced role in two games after the break before telling 12-team owners that a cut is likely the move.
That said, a shooting regression is coming and he was solid coming out of the break. There’s a chance he’s back on the radar, but ROI in 12-team leagues isn’t enough to treat him as anything but an iffy luxury stash. In 14-team leagues the upside plays a bit better, but he’s still not must-own there either. It’s really too bad as minus the injury and unabashed tanking early in the season he probably goes top-50.
Alex Len went for 24 and 10 with five cash counters and could easily disappear in the next one. Use him at your own risk.
Deandre’ Bembry (13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, one three, 37 minutes) is on my radar as a stat stuffer, especially if percentages don’t matter or they’re starting to matter less.
FRANK THE TANK
Okay, back to normality, as the Hornets won a regulation game in Brooklyn and stayed in the 8-seed in the East. They’re likely to roll tough the rest of the way and that’s good news for all the assets.
Cody Zeller (12 points, nine boards, three assists, 24 minutes) is locked in as long as he can stay healthy. Miles Bridges (seven points, two steals, one trey, 18 minutes) isn’t an asset in the starting lineup, and Jeremy Lamb (22 points, one three, one board, one block, 35 minutes) wasn’t versatile last night but he’s been fine coming off the bench.
Frank Kaminsky (15 points, seven rebounds, one block, one three, 24 minutes) got dusted off in what felt like a buyout audition but he’s still with the team so it’s not that. He has no fantasy value.
THREE’S A CROWD?
Spencer Dinwiddie returned to action last night and put up 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting with four assists, one steal and one trey in 23 minutes. Caris LeVert saw 24 minutes and bounced back from a dud in the last one, scoring 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting with two threes, seven boards, four assists and one block.
We also saw the red hot D’Angelo Russell hit just 9-of-24 shots for 22 points, zero rebounds, nine assists and no defensive stats in the Nets’ loss.
So it was your classic one-ballhandling-guard-too-many situation while bringing a guy back from a month long absence. We’re going to see how Russell handles competition for touches and if he reverts to the borderline unwatchable stuff from earlier in the year (and most of his career), or if the light bulb has really turned on this past month.
His season-long top 40-50 numbers are asking too much but two rounds below that seems fair. LeVert is still hurting you more than he’s helping you after eight games back, but he seems ready to get back to at least top-100 numbers, even if there’s some chance he can’t get it together after so much time off.
I see a lot of hate for Dinwiddie but he has been a late-round guy this season and his role will be mostly consistent. If you can scoff at a top-125 likelihood with some upside then scoff away.
The Blazers put up a good fight in Portland but came up a bucket short, and we’ll note the 35 points, seven threes and a full line from C.J. McCollum. He has been a top-50 player for the past month after a mostly disappointing season.
Jake Layman got back on track after a slow night, scoring 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting with seven boards and four cash counters. He has been a solid late-round value for over a month now and if plus-125 value is hard to come by then he’s a must-own player for the hope he can keep chugging along.
Moe Harkless (11 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, 27 minutes) has cracked the top-150 in 9-cat leagues on the season (42 games). Those numbers start into the top-115 range over the last month and he’s sitting on a top-35 stretch in the last five games.
He could be looking at games off for maintenance and he can’t keep up that pace, but he’s well worth a look in 9-cat leagues and even 8-cat leagues if you need help in his proficient categories. He’s a must-add player in 14-team, 9-cat formats and you can get aggressive from there.
We finally saw Marc Gasol start and get big minutes and it helped that Jusuf Nurkic was on the other side. Gasol scored 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in 32 minutes, and Pascal Siakam (16 points, four rebounds, four assists, two threes) struggled a tiny bit late.
The big loser in this matchup was Serge Ibaka (two points, seven boards, one block, 16 minutes, 0-for-5 FGs), and he has been the big loser with Gasol on board. He has averaged just 22.6 mpg in the last four games and fallen outside of the top-200 in that span.
Gasol can operate in similar spaces on the perimeter but also has a bigger bag of tricks, while Siakam is so versatile and effective that he has held his top-40 value. Gasol has a top 30-75 range the rest of the way, and if your trade deadline is in the next few days you have to decide what your risk tolerance is there.
Kyle Lowry (19 points, seven boards, 10 assists, six cash counters, 40 minutes) was good and like with Kawhi Leonard (38 points, full line, game-winner), you just hope they don’t have too many games off.
THE TIPPING POINT
The Wizards are mostly a mess and they lost in Boston to fall 2.5-4.0 games behind the 8-10 slots in the East.
You’re going to see alternating good performances out of Bobby Portis (seven points, 11 rebounds, 28 minutes) and Jabari Parker (12 points, five boards, four assists, one three, 22 minutes), with Portis being a must-own guy right now and Parker being on the outside looking in for standard league owners.
Thomas Bryant (two points, seven boards, one steal, two blocks, 16 minutes) will have late-round value and more than that if Scott Brooks ever cuts him loose. He has been a top-80 9-cat player over the last month in 19.7 mpg while being held back by Brooks, and yet some folks are standing on mountain tops telling you how dumb you are for owning him. I don’t get it.
The big question here is how the Wizards handle falling out of contention. Because the three teams they trail for one spot are all bunched up, they’ll need some serious help to keep from falling out. If one of those team wins, it essentially forces the Wizards to win.
That tipping point can be anytime in the next 5-10 games unless the Wizards go on a tear, and that’s when we get to the first decision-making matrix for Brooks. He can be a normal coach and try to develop some of the younger guys like Thomas, and move off of players like Jeff Green (15 points, four rebounds, four cash counters). A normal coach and organization would want to kick the tires on Portis and Parker while you’re at it.
But this isn’t a normal coach and they could run the vets out there for the rest of the season. Bradley Beal (29 points, 11 boards, six assists, seven money counters) and Trevor Ariza (six points, six rebounds, one block) owners will be on one side of this equation, while owners of Bryant, Portis and Parker will be hoping for the Wizards to fall out of contention so Brooks can get to the screwing it up part fast.
IN-DEPTH SUPER REVIEW
The Celtics are a boring fantasy squad and we’ll speed right past them as if this conversation never happened.
Anytime you get the Pelicans and Suns together there’s gonna be a lot of stupid going on. For the Pelicans it’s the Anthony Davis dramady, which added Davis on LeBron’s HBO Show to its ranks, sounding even more tone deaf than he’s sounded the past few months.
So tonight his demand was once again that he play basketball even though nobody wants him to, and he finished with 17 points, eight boards, three assists and six cash counters in 21 minutes. He has measured out as a top 50-60 player over his last eight games in 22.6 mpg.
I think the league and Adam Silver have looked as bad on this as anything in recent memory, probably because they’ve mostly run the table on PR and especially when framed against other top sports. Whether it’s either fear of the NBPA or some element of the tanking discussion that we can’t readily make out, this is an easy one and they’re blowing it.
Still, assuming the league or the Pelicans have any backbone here, they could easily see the HBO/LeBron show as the last straw. Silver left some wiggle room open during his SLOAN appearance, and maybe Davis gets hit with a mysterious but minor injury to effectively end his Pelicans career.
So let’s try and cut to the big questions here by trimming through the easy stuff. Elfrid Payton (eight points, six rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, 34 minutes) looks locked in as long as he’s healthy.
Jrue Holiday (21 points, five boards, nine assists, two steals, three treys, 31 minutes) could go the rest of the way or get shut down at some point – neither would surprise me. Julius Randle (22 points, three rebounds, three assists, one three, 28 minutes) could go big if Davis exits stage left, and of course all eyes are on Cheick Diallo (15 points, 11 boards, two steals, 21 minutes) and Jahlil Okafor (eight minutes).
Okafor’s top-20 stretch followed by minor injuries and the Davis shit show have been among the bigger losing situations of the trade deadline. He, like Diallo, can be good if Davis does finally relent, but unlike Diallo he hasn’t been mentioned by new acting GM Danny Ferry as a young guy they want to get minutes. It’s weird and we’ve seen a general decline in Okafor’s usage since Ferry took over.
Whatever the case may be, you’re only holding Okafor as a luxury stash at this point. And at this time of year, luxury stashes have to be highly specific holds.
Diallo, on the other hand, is a must-own player with top 85-115 value (9/8 cat) over the last month in just 18.3 mpg. He’s hitting 74.6 percent from the field and 79.2 percent from the foul line. The upside is massive and he’s already getting you the numbers.
SO MUCH GUH
The Suns are bad in so many ways and we’ve covered that every which way around here. Their current meltdown is weird in that they’re actually not dead money on the floor, yet they’re losing all their games and it’s a combo of crap.
They’re forced into playing Deandre Ayton (16 points, eight rebounds, three steals, 29 minutes) over Richaun Holmes (10 points, four rebounds, two steals, one block, 19 minutes) and that’s an easy place to look for signs of losing.
While Ayton has been as advertised in fantasy leagues as a top-30 player, Holmes has also done well with top 145-170 (9/8 cat) value on the year in just 16.6 mpg. Holmes hasn’t been a late-round guy since his foot injury, but he could easily be on the upswing after the All Star break and had a nice mid-round run for a few weeks about a month ago.
The Suns need to keep tanking and expanding Holmes’ role would hurt them – not that they understand this – and owners just have to view the situation for what is and make a drop if necessary. There’s no question what he can do in fantasy or reality when given the chance.
Josh Jackson (22 minutes, six points, three rebounds, three assists, 2-of-8 FGs) missed a scheduled team event and was seen out that night, though he said there were personal/family issues before the time he was spotted out and about. In any event it’s a mess while the team (and owner Robert Sarver) just got hit by Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jackson is gasoline on the fire created by all of the Suns’ youth and overaggressive offense, so if he gets minimized it could really help the overall unit.
Tyler Johnson (three points, 1-of-7 FGs, three rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, 29 minutes) hit a snag but is still averaging 4.5 cash counters over his last four games while enjoying a fat, 32.0 mpg role. He’s a must-own player until he falls off the table since he has late mid-round upside in a place like this.
Even if Johnson is not a true point guard, he’s a noteworthy upgrade over rookie De’Anthony Melton (six points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, two threes, 17 minutes).
Kelly Oubre is taking too many shots and finished with 19 points on 8-of-22 shooting, five boards, two assists and four steals in 30 minutes. He has attempted 17 shots per game over the last four contests and is sitting inside the top-90 for that span. The sub-40 percent shooting has killed any upside, and the hope is that he can tighten that up somehow while also hanging on to a sizable role.
Giannis (knee) cranked his minutes up to 33 and the Bucks got a win in L.A. over the Lakers. Eric Bledsoe kept his foot on the gas with 31 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one block and two threes just hours after his big extension was reported.
It’ll be interesting to see if Khris Middleton (18 points, 4-of-8 FGs, 2-of-4 3PTs, 8-of-9 FTs, five rebounds, six assists) just isn’t a fit in the Bucks’ long-term plans after they surprisingly decided to clip his role heading into this season (and of course they didn’t tell anybody about it).
Malcolm Brogdon scored 21 points with four assists and three treys as he continued his mid-round pace, and Nikola Mirotic (11 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one three, 22 minutes) has been a top 50-80 guy (9/8 cat) in his five games since returning to action.
I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU
The Lakers are a LeBron-inspired mess these days and it was a weird box score to say the least. The Bucks dared Rajon Rondo (20 points, 7-of-19 FGs, 4-of-12 3PTs, eight rebounds, nine assists, two steals, 40 minutes) to shoot so he did, and the only other Lakers to survive were LeBron (31 points, seven boards, 10 assists, one steal, three treys, 8-of-10 FTs) and Brandon Ingram (31 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one block, one three, 13-of-21 FGs).
Ingram, despite all of the improving reviews about his play, is only bringing back top 100-110 value over the last month. The good news is that he hit 52.7 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the line in that span, and the bad news is that he ran away from money counters with just 1.5 per game. If his proficiencies line up with what you need, he’s a must-add player and if not, well then it’s the opposite.
July 6, 2020, 2:14 pmKelly Oubre Jr.SF, Phoenix Suns
Speaking to the media on Monday, James Jones left the door open for Kelly Oubre (right knee) to play during the Orlando restart.
Oubre has previously been reported as done for the year, which makes sense given the Suns' slim playoff odds despite their inclusion in the Orlando bubble. It would still be surprising if he suited up, but considering his right knee surgery came with a four-week reevaluation date as of March 3, he's had plenty of time to rest up. Perhaps the Suns want to get their core players more reps together. Anyone playing fantasy games from here on out will want to keep a close eye on Oubre's status.
Source: Duane Rankin
July 6, 2020, 12:08 pmDe'Andre HunterSF, Atlanta Hawks
De'Andre Hunter finished his rookie season with top-220 value in 8/9-cat formats.
Hunter started 62 of his 63 games played and averaged 32 minutes in those appearances, giving him an ample opportunity to prove what kind of player he can be in the league. The rookie posted an uninspiring 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Touted as a quality defender coming out of college, Hunter only averaged 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. On a team with multiple other ball dominant players Hunter is probably suited best in a three-and-D role on the wing. If the defensive numbers can slightly increase we could see Hunter play closer to a top-120 value player next season.
July 6, 2020, 10:41 amClint CapelaC, Atlanta Hawks
Clint Capela kept top-40 value admist injuries, mid-season trade.
Although he is yet to make his debut for the Hawks, Capela posted 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game, in 39 games with the Rockets. Foot injuries kept him out the final months of the season and left the door open for speculation on how he will fit in with his new club. Capela's high block (1.8/game) and field goal percentage (63%) numbers make up for his lack of threes and brutal free-throw percentage (53%). In Houston, Capela was the only big on the floor for the majority of his minutes, but now slides in next to forward John Collins, one of the better big men in the league. It will be interesting to see how his lack of an outside game can mesh with this roster, but he has proven over the last few seasons you can expect consistent double-double type numbers out of him, no matter what situation he is in.
July 6, 2020, 10:22 amKevin HuerterSG, Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Huerter finished the season just outside the top-100 in both 8/9-cat formats.
Huerter was able to carve out a starting role for the Hawks with his consistent numbers throughout the season. The second-year player dropped 12.2 points, with 2.3 triples in 31.4 minutes per game. The remainder of the stat sheet is filled out with mediocre to below-average numbers including 4.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and only 1.6 turnovers a game. Huerter had a two week run late in the season where he posted top-50 numbers and has the ability to play at that level more frequently if he can slightly increase and stay consistent with his numbers. Moving forward he is most likely just a points and threes threat.
July 6, 2020, 10:07 amTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young finishes the season as a top-20 fantasy player.
Going into the season with top-20 ADP, Young proved owners right putting up top-10 8-cat and top-20 9-cat rankings on a per game basis. Finishing the year top-five in scoring with 29.6 points per game, Young proved there isn't a shot he won't take making himself one of the most exciting young players in the league. The dramatic scoring increase from his rookie season comes along with knocking down 3.4 threes per game on 44% shooting from the field. Not just a scoring threat, Young is second in the league in assists with 9.3 per game. While these numbers carry his stat lines on a nightly basis there is much more to be desired from the point guard. He also leads the league in turnovers with 4.6 a night and has below average rebounding and defensive stats. The high turnover numbers are to be expected being the primary play maker on an inexperienced, bad team. As the scoring and assist numbers figure to stay consistent Young can crack the top-10 in both formats if he can improve on his assist and steal numbers next season.
July 6, 2020, 9:26 amJohn CollinsPF, Atlanta Hawks
John Collins finishes a shortened third season as a top-tier fantasy option.
Despite missing 25 games due to suspension for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug Program, Collins saw an increase in his numbers from last season across the board, landing him as a top-11 player in both 8 and 9-cat formats. The team's leading rebounder at 10.1 per game, also added 21.6 points a night on 58% shooting, including 40% from deep, making him the only player in the league to post that combination of numbers. The mid-season addition of Clint Capela will allow Collins to step outside more often and make plays along the perimeter and in the mid-post area next season. Low assist and steal numbers hold him back from being the top PF option in the league but more time alongside Capela and the rest of the young Hawks core could add to his ability to create. Yet to complete a full season in his NBA career, the big man has top-20 value when on the court and should come off the board early in next year's drafts.
July 6, 2020, 12:14 amDe'Aaron FoxPG, Sacramento Kings
Sam Amick is reporting that the Kings have shut down their practice facility after a member of the team's traveling party tested positive for COVID-19.
The Kings are set to depart for Orlando on Wednesday and the facility will be shut until after they leave town. Buddy Hield and Alex Len have already tested positive for COVID-19, though the report doesn't specify if it's another member of the roster to come down with the virus. Sacramento joins the Nuggets, Nets, Bucks, Heat and Clippers as teams who have had to close their practice facilities in this phase of reopening. The NBA is set to send 22 of its teams to Florida in the coming weeks.
Source: Sam Amick on Twitter
July 5, 2020, 6:43 pmGiannis AntetokounmpoPF, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have shut down their practice facility after receiving results from the latest round of COVID-19 tests, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
That batch of tests was conducted on Friday. Woj adds that the facility will likely be shut through Thursday, when the team's traveling party is supposed to head to Orlando. No word on who or how many of the team's staff tested positive, but as always, the pandemic is in charge of the NBA's attempted restart, no matter how much effort the league puts into its plans.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 5, 2020, 6:33 pmMike ConleyPG, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley, like several others, is expected to leave the NBA's Orlando bubble when his wife gives birth to a child.
Conley's third child is due in late August, so any departure will likely affect the Jazz's playoff roster to some extent. Utah will already be missing Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist surgery), though they still figure to be one of the best teams in the West's second tier of contenders. It was a frustrating first season with the Jazz for Conley and fantasy GMs, but he can flip the narrative with a strong postseason.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
July 4, 2020, 8:36 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
According to Shams Charania, the NBA has informed players that they will not be able to travel with their respective teams to Orlando, should they fail to be tested on one of two days before the scheduled travel date.
The report also says that if the player does indeed miss the said window to be tested, he will need to register three consecutive tests before traveling. This is a strict protocol, but one the league needs to enforce in order to ensure the safety of all of the players and staff who will be entering the "bubble" in Walt Disney World in preparation for the resumption of the 2019-20 season. There has been a lot of concern, especially with the growing number of cases being recorded in Florida.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter