• Thursday slates are always a bit lighter than Monday and Wednesday, but that doesn’t make them any less fun. Halloween is a night for the kids and it was no different in the NBA. The youth movement is in full swing as shown by a double header which featured the Heat, Hawks, Spurs and Clippers.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Kendrick Nunn, SG, Heat – 33 minutes, 28 points, two rebounds, two steals, four 3-pointers, 10-for-15 FG, 4-for-4 FT

    There’s no denying Nunn. He’s been too good for Coach Spoelstra to give him anything but 30 minutes a night and all the room to shoot. His assists have taken a nosedive since Jimmy Butler (personal) returned to action, but his shot attempts and scoring have remained. He’s shooting a ridiculous 15-for-31 from deep and there’s no hesitation on offense for him. He’s been the best rookie through five games. There’s almost no way that he stays this hot for the rest of the year, but he needs to be owned in every league. In his four-year college career he shot .386 from 3 and he’s grabbing steals at a high rate as well.

    Drop Zone

    Paul Millsap

    Now the real suggestion here is to try to trade Millsap for someone who gets consistent playing time and usage. Father time catches up to everyone and there’s Jerami Grant just lurking behind him waiting for his chance. The Nuggets dropped two games in a row and through the first five games, have not looked like what they were last year. That’s largely in part due to Nikola Jokic coming out of the gates slow and passive, but Millsap could easily slide into the Andre Iguodala role for Denver, conserving himself for spring when it matters most. He’s still got game, but with his advanced age, he has to pick and choose his spots more carefully and that just won’t cut it for fantasy owners.

    De’Andre Hunter

    Hunter is a guy that didn’t have much upside to me, especially with his poor shooting. The Hawks have a very fantasy friendly team and even though Hunter is averaging 26.5 minutes a night, he’s too inconsistent on both ends of the floor in fantasy formats to really do any damage. There are much more intriguing fliers on the waiver and using Hunter’s roster spot as a streaming role would benefit owners more.

    J.J. Redick

    Redick had name value coming into this season, but that was about it. Even with Zion Williamson out, Redick’s role just isn’t large enough to be anything other than a 3-point streaming specialist.

    Landry Shamet

    Shamet is a great player in reality and is a perfect fit for almost any team, but he’s in the same boat as Redick. There’s not enough to go around on the Clippers with Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Kawhi Leonard doing it all. Paul George should come back and put an even bigger cloud over Shamet’s stream-level value.

    Injury Report

    John Collins sprained his ankle on Thursday against the Heat, but returned to the game. He should be fine.

    Dante Exum is still out without a return date as he recovers from a torn patellar tendon.

    Derrick Rose should play in Friday’s game against his former Bulls after suffering a right hamstring strain. Get him in your lineups.

    Markieff Morris is officially tagged as questionable for Friday’s match vs. the Bulls with a right lateral ankle sprain.

    Otto Porter Jr. has a face injury that bothered him on Wednesday, but is probable heading into Friday’s game against the Pistons.

    Frank Ntlikina will most likely play on Friday, but is dealing with a sore neck.

    Elfrid Payton is going to miss Friday’s game against the Celtics with a strained left hamstring.

    Daniel Theis suffered a left ankle sprain, but is probable for Friday.

    Jaylen Brown missed Wednesday’s game with an illness and is questionable for Friday’s game against the Knicks.

    Kyle Kuzma will make his season debut against the Mavs after missing the beginning of the season with a stress reaction. The Lakers are going to be limiting him to 20 minutes.

    Rajon Rondo is listed as out with a calf injury.

    Steven Adams has not yet done contact drills in practice with his left knee contusion, but is progressing well and could play on Saturday.

    Enes Kanter is doubtful for Friday’s game against the Knicks with a left knee contusion.

    Myles Turner was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and is set to miss a minimum of two weeks. Domantas Sabonis gets the biggest bump here.

    Dejounte Murray will miss Friday’s game as it’s the second game of a back-to-back which makes Derrick White a strong add for a short-term boost.

    Derrick Favors sat on Thursday with a knee injury and

    Josh Richardson missed practice but should be available for Saturday’s game.

    Will Barton sat out Thursday’s game with toe inflammation and is considered day-to-day.

    Mohamed Bamba is already listed as out for Friday’s game for resting purposes as the Magic are being cautious with his recovery from his stress fracture on his foot.

    Evan Turner has left Achilles pain and has sat two games in a row. There’s no timetable for his return.

    Justise Winslow missed Thursday’s game with a back injury and is considered day-to-day

    Trae Youngsprained ankle is healing well and should be re-evaluated next week. There’s a chance we get Trae back earlier than expected.

    Kevin Durant told Stephen A. Smith that he doesn’t expect to play this season, which is something we all expected.

    Kevon Looney is set to miss at least 3-4 games with a left hamstring injury.

    Stephen Curry still has no timetable for a return after suffering a broken left hand. We’re still waiting on news as to whether or not he’ll have surgery which should give us a clearer timetable for his return, but as of now it’s looking like a month minimum. The Warriors look awful so far and there’s no need to rush Curry’s recovery.

    Wendell Carter Jr. is a game-time decision with eye inflammation, but he’ll most likely suit up.

    Butler’s Back

    For those of you who drafted Jimmy Butler, the first three games felt like an eternity. Well, he’s back and proving that he was worth the first-round selection this season. He’s looking to get his teammates involved on the court, as shown by his five points and 11 dimes. This is all great news for fantasy GMs who’ve invested in the young studs in Miami. Tyler Herro is a viable 3-point option until he cools off, Bam Adebayo is going to finish the season with early-round value like we predicted and Kendrick Nunn is the real deal. It’s early in the year, but Nunn highlights a group of young players who have taken their opportunity and made the most of it.

    This is exactly why you can’t be afraid to cut bait once the season starts. Yeah, we thought Mikal Bridges was going to be a top-100 guy (he has a ton of room to still become that), but if a guy like Nunn or Devonte’ Graham is popping off in the first two or three games, you have to make that move. Oh and of course, Richaun Holmes, but if you’re a real Hoob, you would have drafted him.

    We saw a similar story last season with Rodney McGruder taking the starting gig and losing it within a few weeks, but the beginning of the year is important because it shows us a coach’s tendencies which is arguably more important than a player’s potential. Take Bam Adebayo from last season, we all knew he was a per-minute monster and he just needed the opportunity, but Coach Spoelstra refused to let him loose until the end of the year. Now apply that to situations this year, we know Mikal Bridges can get it done, but the minutes just aren’t there and the Suns are clicking so you have to be quick to squeeze as much value as you can throughout the year.

    Day Trading

    If there’s one thing that really pulled me into writing for Hoop Ball, it’s their aggressive recommendations and accurate analysis of trends and talent. Notable hits are: Jeremy Lamb, Nikola Mirotic, Taurean Prince, Joe Ingles and of course, Nikola Jokic. Speaking of Jokic, go shoot some buy-lows for Big Honey, now. There were some misses along the way, but overall, if you’re listening throughout the year, you’re winning your leagues (hopefully with a fat payout structure). Now is the time to maximize your sell-high and buy-low windows. Take a step back from the hot production and assess whether you really think Fred VanVleet is a top-30 player. Is Lou Williams going to increase his scoring average from last season’s 20.0 points even with Paul George returning? Guys like Mike Conley, Bradley Beal and now most notably Eric Bledsoe were all due.

    If you’ve been around fantasy hoops for a while you already knew this, but maybe this will give you that extra nudge to float more offers around. It’s all about maximizing value and minimizing risk. The sexy names might be more attractive, but we’re here to win. As always, if you have any questions, you can find me on Twitter @HB_Nate.

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