• Welcome, Hoop Ball readers, to another edition of The Week Ahead!

    As you probably saw throughout the weekend, the All-Star events were very exciting and full of new winners.  Prior to the All-Star Game, Anthony Davis was asked about his trade list and he said that he never said the Celtics were not on his list.  It is possible that he could just be fooling the media, but it is also possible that he is keeping his options open despite his father not wanting him to play for the Celtics.  We will see what happens with Davis when the offseason rolls around.

    The Rising Stars Game resulted in a 161-144 Team USA win over Team World.  Kyle Kuzma took home the MVP with 35 points and 6 rebounds.  Other notable performances included Jayson Tatum scoring 30 points, Trae Young putting up 25 points with 7 rebounds and 10 assists and Ben Simmons putting up 28 points with 5 rebounds and 6 assists.

    All-Star Saturday Night, which is personally my favorite part of the weekend, was full of unexpected results and constant entertainment.  Jayson Tatum won the Skills Competition on a half-court shot to beat Trae Young.  Joe Harris edged out Steph Curry to win the 3-Point Contest.  Hamidou Diallo of the Thunder took home the Slam Dunk title and his most notable dunk was jumping over Shaquille O’Neal and putting his elbow in the rim. Team LeBron beat Team Giannis 178-164 in the All-Star Game after late-game heroics from Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and the rest of the talented roster.  Dirk Nowitzki played just 4 minutes in the game, but hit 3 deep threes and had his fellow NBA players and the fans going crazy.  Dwyane Wade played 10 minutes and had 7 points with 2 rebounds and 4 assists.  Kevin Durant took home the All-Star MVP with 31 points and 7 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting.  Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 38 points with 11 rebounds and 5 assists on 17-of-23 shooting.  The All-Star weekend was as exciting as always.

    Now here is an overview of the week ahead:

    Weekly Schedule Breakdown

    2 games: All teams

    Best Schedule: Suns (at Cavs, at Hawks)

    The Suns play two games, like all other NBA teams, and are playing two of the worst teams in the NBA.  Although the two games are on the road, the Cavs and Hawks are not great defensive teams and the Suns are capable of putting up big scoring numbers.  These games could be high scoring and even though the Suns could lose, the fantasy numbers should be good to see.  Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Kelly Oubre Jr., and TJ Warren (if he is ready to return) should put up good numbers this week.

    Worst Schedule: Rockets (at Lakers, at Warriors)

    The Rockets come out of the break with two road games against the two best players in the NBA, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.  They are playing against a Lakers team that is struggling to find their footing, so they could win this game.  However, they are playing the Warriors at Oracle Arena after that and the Warriors are now looking like the team that won 3 out of the last 4 championships.  Aside from James Harden, no one on this roster is guaranteed a solid fantasy week except maybe Chris Paul.

    Game of the Week: Celtics at Bucks on Thursday, February 21st at 8 PM ET

    The Celtics and Bucks have some beef due to the tough playoff series last season, and the Bucks are looking good with the best record in the NBA while the Celtics are still trying to find their groove. Kyrie Irving should return for this game since he played in the All-Star Game, so this should be a very close matchup.  There is a good chance that these two teams will meet in the playoffs, so this game will likely be a preview of what we will see in May.  Tune in on Thursday night to see this exciting duel between two of the top teams in the East.

    Waiver Wire Watch 

    Robin Lopez – He should be a top-100 option with Wendell Carter Jr. likely out for the season as he was gifted the starting job and has played well in that role.  He is averaging 15.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 6 games over the past two weeks.  He should be owned in all formats going forward.

    Avery Bradley – Bradley is starting next to Mike Conley in the Grizzlies backcourt and has played his best basketball since he was on the Celtics in his short time with the team.  It is possible that he boasts late-round value going forward, with solid steals and points value.  He is a good speculative add in deeper leagues.

    Mitchell Robinson –  Robinson has shown potential of being a dominant fantasy presence due to his ability to rebound the ball and block shots.  Over the past month, he is boasting top-40 value in 9-cat formats.  He is playing 19.2 minutes per game in that span and is averaging 9.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game on 76.4% shooting.  He is a must-own asset in all formats as he is in the Knicks future plans and should begin to see more minutes.  Add him. 

    Injury Report

    Fred VanVleet (thumb) is out for at least five weeks after opting for surgery to repair ligament damage in his thumb.  The main beneficiary of this injury is Jeremy Lin, who is now the backup point guard since Delon Wright got shipped off to Memphis.

    Another week without a lot of significant injuries, so here is the list of guys who are day-to-day:

    Terry Rozier, Rodions Kurucs, Spencer Dinwiddie, Treveon Graham, Kris Dunn, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Gary Harris, Clint Capela, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Kyle Anderson, Nikola Mirotic, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, Anthony Davis, Elfrid Payton, Emmanuel Mudiay, Dennis Schroder, Jerami Grant, TJ Warren, De’Anthony Melton, Derrick White, Tomas Satoransky

    Check for updates on these guys throughout the week.

    Thanks for reading this week’s edition of The Week Ahead!

Fantasy News

  • Luke Kornet
    PF-C, Chicago Bulls

    Luke Kornet has inked a deal with the Chicago Bulls for two years worth $4.5 million according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    Kornet is another stretch big that will fit into the Bulls' system similar to how Lauri Markkanen does. He is a 36-percent shooter from beyond the arc in his career and shoots at will, so he should be a nice role player for an improved Bulls team.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Josh Magette
    G, Orlando Magic

    The Orlando Magic have signed Josh Magette to a two-way contract according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo.

    Magette was last seen in the NBA two seasons ago with the Atlanta Hawks. After a strong showing in Summer League, Magette will have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot as an additional PG. He doesn't figure to hold any fantasy value if he is to make the squad.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Kaminsky
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns have officially signed Frank Kaminsky to a two-year, $10 million deal.

    Kaminsky officially joins the young roster that GM James Jones and the Suns are building. He will have some competition backing up Dario Saric as the team is also planning to sign Cheick Diallo. Kaminsky will have some stand-alone value as a deep threat but he doesn't provide much value beyond shooting.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Stanton Kidd
    PF, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have signed Stanton Kidd and William Howard.

    Kidd and Howard both participated in Summer League for the Jazz organization and impressed the team enough to be signed to fill out their roster. There is no guarantee that either will make the roster as it is unclear if their contracts are guaranteed. Kidd, 27, most recently played in Turkey while Howard, 25, most recently played in France.

    Source: Eric Woodyard on Twitter

  • Cheick Diallo
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Suns have signed Cheick Diallo to a two-year contract.

    Diallo has shown flashes in the NBA through his first three seasons with the Pelicans, Unfortunately, he has yet to see the opportunity needed to provide fantasy value as he has yet to surpass 14.0MPG in any season. The Suns could provide an avenue for Diallo to get more playing time off the bench similar to what we saw from Richaun Holmes last season. This is a terrific landing spot for the young big man.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, there are many around the league that believe that Chris Paul will start the season with the Thunder.

    The Thunder have been very busy this offseason as they have been able to inhale draft picks in return for All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George. It was rumored that they would attempt to shop Paul to see if they could acquire even more assets. The team will look to have Paul mentor this team (specifically second-year player Shai-Gilgeous Alexander) as the market for Paul is not robust due to the $124M he is owed over the next three seasons. From a fantasy perspective, Paul may eat into SGA's overall value but they both will provide value come draft time.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Christian Wood
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    According to Shams Charania, the Pistons have claimed Christian Wood off of waivers.

    Wood will join a Pistons team that is led by Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond in the frontcourt. However, he will be able to compete for bench minutes with fellow bigs Markieff Morris and Thon Maker. The Pistons also drafted Sekou Doumbouya who is unlikely to contribute this season as he is only 18 years old.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Reggie Bullock
    SG-SF, New York Knicks

    Newly signed wing Reggie Bullock (back) underwent successful surgery for a cervical disc herniation on Wednesday.

    Bullock signed a two-year contract with the Knicks a day before undergoing a special surgery in New York. The Knicks will update the media regarding Bullock's timetable around the start of training camp. With the rotation unknown and the lack of knowledge regarding his timetable, Bullock is best left undrafted in standard leagues.

    Source: Knicks PR on Twitter

  • Tyler Lydon
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Tyler Lydon has officially signed with the Kings.

    Lydon was a 2017 first-round pick of the Nuggets but failed to show value in his time in Denver. The Kings will take a chance on Lydon who has only played 96 minutes in his first two seasons. For now, he can be ignored from a fantasy perspective.

    Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter

  • Julian Washburn
    SF, Golden State Warriors

    The Warriors have waived Julian Washburn.

    Washburn was acquired in the Andre Iguodala trade. Last season he appeared in 18 games with the Grizzlies, making three starts, while averaging 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 14.1 minutes per night. Expect him to land in some team's training camp.

    Source: Warriors PR on Twitter