• The Wire: Week 22 – End Game Strategy

    Well folks, the playoffs are here and if you’re still reading this, that means you’re in! Chances are you’ve made it this far in the season with skill, timing and a little bit of luck. With only a few W’s left to go, you’re almost at Mordor and the only thing you have left to do is to throw in the ring. Do you have what it takes? We at Hoop-Ball will be the Sam to your Frodo, so although we can’t write your victory speech for you, we sure as hell can provide you with our pickups of the week that will take you over the top.

    Fantasy Ball is Life. These are the moments we live for so don’t forget to savor your victories and rub salt in the wounds of your opponents. I don’t care if you’re facing your own mother this week, she’s Brandon Knight under the rim, you’re Deandre Jordan, and we’re throwing you the lob, CP3 style.

    Teams with 3 Games: BKN, BOS, DAL, LAC, MEM, MIA, NOR, NYK, OKC, POR, TOR, UTA

    Teams with 4 Games: ATL, CHA, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIL, MIN, ORL, PHI, PHO, SAC, SAS, WAS

    Let’s rock-n-roll!

    PS. Follow me @the_acylum and @hoopballtweets on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

Fantasy News

  • Joakim Noah
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Joakim Noah plans to join workouts with the Clippers this week, per Shams Charania.

    Noah hasn't been in the news since he was up for consideration with the Lakers, but he would be a nice bench pickup for the Clippers. They could use a big-bodied center to crash and bang in certain matchups, and Noah would fit in as a strong defender. We'll see if anything comes of this week's workouts.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Free Agent

    As of right now, the Nets are "very unlikely" to sign Carmelo Anthony, according to a report from Shams Charania.

    Brooklyn is more likely to sign players that they have worked out recently, with Charania naming Lance Thomas and C.J. Williams as possibilities. At least more people can complain about Melo being unsigned now.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Chuma Okeke
    PF, Orlando Magic

    According to Shams Charania, the Magic plan to redshirt rookie Chuma Okeke, who is recovering from a torn left ACL.

    Earlier in the summer Magic POBO Jeff Weltman said that he believed Okeke could return this season, but there's no rush for him to get back on the court. The 16th overall pick will be able to focus on rehab this season, and he's off the board in all redraft formats.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Though the Thunder are prepared to open the season with Chris Paul as a "veteran star and leader," Shams Charania is reporting that the Heat have "a level of interest" in CP3.

    The Heat and Paul were said to have mutual interest back when CP3 was first traded to Oklahoma City but the teams couldn't work out a deal. It is now expected that Miami will play out the start of the season and see how things are going before they make a big play for Paul, as acquiring his three years and $124 million would require a trade of major contracts. A deal would certainly improve Paul's fantasy outlook but as it stands he figures to stay on the cusp of early-round production as long as he's on the court, even for a Thunder team that's looking to the future.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Antonio Blakeney
    SG, Chicago Bulls

    Antonio Blakeney has agreed to a deal with Jiangsu in the CBA.

    Blakeney was let go by the Bulls a couple weeks ago. A strong scorer at the G-League level, he should be able to drop some huge games in China. We'd expect to hear his name on the mid-season free agency market if all goes well overseas.

    Source: Sportando

  • Furkan Korkmaz
    SG, Philadelphia Sixers

    After an injury-plagued sophomore campaign for the Sixers, Furkan Korkmaz knows this season will be crucial for his future and he is hoping to make big strides this year.

    The one thing Korkmaz has going for him is his shooting ability and that is something the Sixers could surely utilize on this roster. It did not click last season, but Korkmaz will get another chance to prove his worth at some point this season. Still, it is hard to picture him coming out of the gate with a big role on opening night.

    Source: Sixers.com

  • Nikola Mirotic
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    On Sunday, Nikola Mirotic dropped 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting for Barcelona.

    Mirotic's opening appearance for his new EuroLeague club, Barcelona, resulted in a victory, and he did not have to work too hard for most of his buckets at the Supercopa Endesa versus Valencia. Mirotic should find quick success during his return to European basketball, but NBA fantasy players will surely be missing his presence stateside.

    Source: Eurohoops

  • Bruce Brown
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey spoke highly of Bruce Brown’s defensive play, calling him an ‘elite defender.’

    Brown remains in contention for a starting spot with the Pistons, but he is not a high-usage player, and the Pistons have stocked up with offensive threats such as Derrick Rose and the immortal Joe Johnson. It will be tough for Brown to rack up enough touches or minutes this season.

    Source: Pistons.com

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    There is some optimism in league circles about Kevin Durant's (Achilles) chances of playing this season, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

    Looking back on Durant's decision to return during the Finals, the Nets may want to exude caution when considering KD's return to action. However, Durant is pursuing his rehab with a sense of purpose, and it would be great to see him get back on the court this season. We'll keep you posted when a real timeline on Durant's rehab emerges. This news does not make him a target on draft day for standard leagues.

    Source: New York Post

  • Larry Nance Jr.
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Larry Nance Jr. is the presumed favorite to start at PF heading into training camp according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

    Fedor went on to speculate that Nance Jr. could see a lot of time at the four while Kevin Love starts at center and Tristan Thompson and John Henson compete for back up minutes behind those two. Any uptick in playing time would be a huge boost to the per-minute dynamo that Nance Jr is, and a starting role with a new coaching staff bodes well for that. He's trending in the right direction.

    Source: Cleveland.com