February 3, 2020, 10:25 am
Yours truly ate over 40 wings, drank beer, and had some really successful bets. I was able to see a thrilling come back and the league MVP in action. It was truly a fantastic Sunday. No, it’s not like this was a special occasion or anything like that. Just a really great Sunday in the Association.
Oh by the way, congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs. I really like your Z-Man sandwiches at Joe’s BBQ.
Regardless of how you’re feeling about your team this Sunday night into Monday morning, you’re going to want to try to stay ahead of the curve or make more adjustments. As the season progresses, you’re going to need to get more creative with the moves you make and we hope it isn’t because you are running out of IR spots. Whether you’re taking that celebratory morning sip of coffee or whether you are starting to believe that you are your league’s Kyle Shanahan, here are some pointers no matter what type of fantasy mood you’re in.
Add(s) of the Night
Terence Davis, SG, Toronto Raptors – 28 minutes, 31 points, four rebounds, one assist, six 3-pointers, 12-of-15 FG, 1-of-2 FT.
When anyone scores 31 points off the bench regardless of the situation, you should probably take notice. Terence Davis did just that against a hapless Bulls team. However, if you think that this is a fluke, you may want to just keep a close eye on things in Toronto. After all the last time Davis started to see bigger minutes and have the occasional outburst was when the Raptors injuries started to pile up.
Lo and behold, Marc Gasol has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and Norman Powell is out indefinitely after fracturing a finger. Not to mention that OG Anunoby has been completely dreadful over the past few weeks and all that opens up some opportunity for Davis to shine and shine he did on Sunday. He’s just a deeper league add for now but he’s the type of player you need to hunt for this time of year when you need some possible blow up games from fringe players for the late season fantasy playoff push.
We’re not saying that you have to drop any of these guys, only that you should at least consider it depending who’s on your waiver wire. Your mileage may vary based on league size and team build, but for the most part we’ll try to cut dead weight in the 12-team range.
How the mighty have fallen. Harris was one a darling of fantasy players everywhere. The rare 3-and-D guard who excelled on both ends of the court and offered up elite percentages to go along with it. We’re now almost two years removed from Harris as a surefire top-50 player and it certainly doesn’t look like that kind of value will ever return.
Harris has battled injuries and inconsistency throughout the last couple of seasons and it looks like the totality of it all it has completely taken him out of his comfort zone. His 3-point shooting has been abysmal. Of the 148 players that currently qualify for 3-point percentage on NBA Stats, Harris is 8th from the bottom of that list. Because his 3-point shooting is cratering his FG% and because he doesn’t get to the line enough to make that big of a dent in the category, then all you are left with is a steals streamer at best. Denver is a team that has been in the rumor mill for a while now as they determine whether or not they are a true title contender and because of that we might be staring at the last relevance of Harris in a Nuggets uniform.
No sooner did we get Kyrie Irving back and healthy, we have to say goodbye to him again for an extended period of time. Irving was diagnosed with a knee sprain and will miss at least one week of action. It wouldn’t surprise anyone given the injury and the Nets overly cautious approach to injury management if Irving didn’t return until after the All-Star break at the earliest.
Evan Fournier is questionable for Monday with a back injury that he played through on Saturday but may be causing him some him some discomfort.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to play on Sunday despite a hamstring injury allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t too bad or a reoccurrence of the shoulder injury he’s been dealing with.
George Hill is also dealing with a hamstring injury and is likely to miss additional time.
Ricky Rubio was unable to play on Sunday with an ankle injury despite playing through the injury throughout the week and is considered questionable for Monday on a road back-to-back against the Nets.
Kris Dunn has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and is out indefinitely. It’s too bad for Dunn as he’s rehabbed his value and has been a productive player for the Bulls for much of the season.
Daniel Gafford returned from his thumb injury but wasn’t able to do much for the Bulls. However, Wendell Carter Jr. remains out for the team so he could still be a speculative add if you’re looking for blocks.
Julius Randle is questionable for the Knicks on Monday with a quad contusion so there’s the possibility his owners will miss out on another empty double-double.
Mitchell Robinson is probable for Monday so perhaps there’s opportunity for a big game from him if Randle sits.
Frank Ntilikina is questionable with a groin injury but Elfrid Payton is back in the Knicks lineup so it’s not likely he’ll make much of an impact if he returns.
Derrick Rose left Sunday’s game with a groin injury and that couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Pistons who are trying to sell him to a contender.
Seth Curry will not play on Monday due to knee soreness so the Mavericks backcourt continues to take some big hits.
Marc Gasol remained out on Sunday with a hamstring injury and he doesn’t have a clear timeline for his return. It wouldn’t surprise here if the Raptors played it safe with him as well.
The Pacers are going to be without T.J. Warren due to a concussion as they take on the shorthanded Mavs.
PJ Washington has an ankle injury and the fringe fantasy starter and usual Hornets power forward is doubtful for Monday.
D’Angelo Russell has a quadriceps injury and is listed as questionable for Monday’s tilt against the Wizards. It would be a shame to miss out on ripping the Wizards terrible defense to pieces.
Marcus Smart is going to be questionable for Monday with a thigh contusion and normally we’d worry about the Celtics guards with Kemba Walker ruled out as well. But then again, they’re playing the Hawks.
Speaking of the Hawks, they’re dealing with a glut of injuries. The biggest being Trae Young who is questionable with an ankle sprain. In addition to Young, De’Andre Hunter, Bruno Fernando, and DeAndre Bembry are all questionable to doubtful with their respective injuries. Add that to Alex Len, Jabari Parker, and Cam Reddish all being out then you are looking at a very depleted and very bad Hawks team.
Enes Kanter is inching closer to a return from his hip injury but remains questionable for the Celtics.
Russell Westbrook left Sunday’s game against the Pelicans with his thumb heavily wrapped. We don’t need to remind you to keep your eyes and ears on the news before throwing Russ into lineups in case he misses any time.
The Wizards also get a bit of good news as it looks like both Rui Hachimura and Mortiz Wagner will be available on Monday to take on the Warriors.
Lastly, Hoop-Ball’s prodigal son Richaun Holmes is getting closer to a return from a shoulder injury but he remains doubtful for the Kings on Monday. The Kings have been in a free fall without Holmes so both his real and fantasy teams could use his help right about now.
Reading the Trades
Depending on the source that you trust most, this upcoming NBA trade deadline is either going to be dull or an absolute bonanza. As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle but we’ve heard plenty of big names floated around the rumor mill that can have a pretty dramatic effect on fantasy teams. The fates of big name fantasy players like Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, Clint Capela, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Derrick Rose and a bunch of others hang in the balance over the next few days.
This of course is where I normally tell you, let things play out. You can’t guess the trade market so let the chips fall where they may and react accordingly. Don’t do anything rash or take less on value just because you’re worried about your player losing value in a new location.
That is normally my advice, except for this week.
Panic is going to start to set in and this isn’t a time to sell for less on the dollar. No, now you can pounce on a player for less than what you think he should be valued. Does your league have a panicky owner of any of the names listed above? Good! Take advantage of the swirling reports and potential #WojBombs and start throwing out some offers.
The truth is most fantasy owners get caught up in the NBA trading frenzy and overreact. It creates a bit of an opportunity to buy players that wouldn’t normally be available. That isn’t to say there isn’t some risk involved. But if someone if completely panicked over the Clint Capela report from Woj, then perhaps I would see if that owner wouldn’t feel safer with some hypothetical combination of a returning Wendell Carter Jr. for upside and someone with a degree of dependability like a Bojan Bogdanovich. That deal probably doesn’t get done without Capela’s name in trade reports but it may now.
If Capela were to get traded it may take a bit to see if he can get back to his usual top-30 value but his skill set should continue on in most places, especially on the up tempo and depleted Hawks. If he stays in Houston, then do a little jig in your mind because you just got a top player for a couple end of roster starters. In the end, you won’t know unless you try and with the playoffs inching closer, the need to play things safe and cautious is moving further out of your rearview mirror. There’s opportunity in the trade marketplace to take advantage of the news and potential chaos and with the fantasy reason running out of weeks, there’s an opportunity to strike.
May 27, 2020, 9:06 pmAndre IguodalaSF, Miami Heat
Andre Iguodala returned to South Florida after living in California since the NBA season was suspended.
Iguodala returning to the market where his team is could mean that he believes team workouts will begin soon. However, there is no official timetable on when team workouts will begin and Jimmy Butler has yet to return to Miami.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:52 pmZach LaVineSG, Chicago Bulls
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.
The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.
Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:08 pmLuka DoncicPG-SF, Dallas Mavericks
Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.
This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 10:07 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Los Angeles Clippers
On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.
Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.
Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:47 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.
"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
May 26, 2020, 8:34 pmJoel EmbiidC, Philadelphia Sixers
The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.
The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:26 pmClint CapelaC, Atlanta Hawks
Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.
"Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.
May 26, 2020, 8:17 pmMohamed BambaC, Orlando Magic
Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.
Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.
May 25, 2020, 3:16 pmTerry RozierPG, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.
With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.
Source: Charlotte Hornets
May 25, 2020, 3:13 pmJon LeuerPF, Milwaukee Bucks
Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.
Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.
Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram