• If you’re reading this and you still haven’t purchased the Hoop-Ball draft guide, time is running out. It’s just $9.99 but will be rising in price after Wednesday night. The NFL season is beginning this Sunday and many forget how close the basketball season really is, so don’t be a fool and purchase the draft guide. We’re waiting…

    With the regular season a little under two months away, some days tend to be slow and sadly Tuesday was one of those days. Though there is a developing story on the dinosaur himself, so stay tuned.

    Justice Winslow has been working on his shooting with an unnamed shooting coach and the team expects major improvement to be shown this season. The second-year wing was tossed into heavy minutes last season but underwhelmed from a fantasy perspective. He posted a 12.5 usage percentage last season which makes it almost impossible to be a reliable fantasy asset from game-to-game. The only player to have a lower usage rate while also playing as many minutes as Winslow was Cavs forward Tristan Thompson (11.7 percent). While improved shooting is a great sign for the Heat, fantasy players need an uptick in his usage rate in order to make him more than a late-round asset.

    Markel Brown heads to Cleveland. The former Net has screwed me over in DFS more than I feel comfortable talking about. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” This quote has never felt more relevant in my life. If Brown makes the team, he obviously carries no fantasy value in season-long leagues but could be worth a look in DFS if injuries shred the Cavs backcourt — let’s hope that doesn’t happen for the sake of my wallet. Brown offers defensive upside and occasionally can get hot but that’s a rare occasion despite the 19.0 usage rate he posted last season. Forever salty.

    Chris Bosh and the Heat keep appearing in the news. Apparently the two sides are working on a solution. Bosh wants in but the team wants safety and clarity. Talk about a risky fantasy pick, whew. Ever since Bosh began hitting 3’s with consistency, he’s proven to be a top-40 guy. This is somewhat similar to the Josh Gordon scenario in fantasy football. Josh Gordon was thought to be missing all of the upcoming season but ended up with just a 4-game suspension. Those who drafted early will reap the rewards while only spending minimal draft capital. Bosh of course is not suspended, but he does have a very serious health concern that could very well hold him out for much if not all of the 2016-2017 season. He’s the epitome of a high-risk high-reward draft pick in fantasy.

    Gerald Green could be on his way out? Green played for the Celtics during his first two seasons in the NBA (’05-’07). 10 years later, we have witnessed a reunion between the two sides. Though early reports suggest Green very well could be a cut candidate. With youngster Jams Young competing with Green for a roster spot, it’ll be very interesting to see what the Celts ultimately decide to do. Young’s slow development has the Celtics management wondering if they drafted a snail in disguise. While Green is obviously the better player at this point, he’s 30 years old and has no long-term potential. But if the Celtics want to increase the chance of taking down the Cavs, Green is the better option. James Young may be worth the stash but Boston is certainly running out of patience with the 21-year-old. For what it’s worth, Green signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract, fully guaranteed.

    DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @HOOPBALLTWEETS FOR THE BEST BASKETBALL NEWS AND ANALYSIS OUT THERE. ALSO YOU CAN FIND ME @BRETT_SQUIRES.

Fantasy News

  • Terance Mann
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Terrence Mann replaced the injured Patrick Beverley in the starting lineup on Friday and added three assists, two rebounds and a block.

    There was a decent opportunity for some sneaky DFS value here but Mann fell flat on his face. Don't consider Mann a fantasy option, especially when Beverley returns.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard accumulated 42 points (10-for-24 shooting, 19-for-19 free throws), 11 rebounds, three triples and two assists as the Clippers defeated the Wolves 124-117.

    Leonard was relentlessly attacking the defense in this one and was rewarded with 19 free throw attempts which ties his career-high. It's odd to see a Leonard line with no defensive counters, but that's nitpicking what was an amazing line. The only thing holding Leonard back is load management.

  • Paul George
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Paul George caught fire on Friday, finishing with 46 points (17-for-31 shooting), seven assists, six threes, five rebounds and two steals.

    Nobody could stop George or Kawhi Leonard in this one, as the two both scored over 40 points for the first time this season. Something tells me this won't be the last time. The Clippers are starting to hit their stride, despite missing several contributors to injury. Look out.

  • Montrezl Harrell
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell did what he does on Friday, chipping in 18 points (7-for-13 shooting) and four rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench.

    Harrell is a leading candidate for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award because he comes off the bench and gets buckets. He did that again tonight, though with fewer rebounds than normal.

  • Rodney McGruder
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Rodney McGruder returned to the floor in Friday's victory over the Wolves, finishing with three rebounds.

    It wasn't one to write home about for McGruder, but just getting back on the floor after a hamstring injury kept him out a few weeks is a good sign. The Clippers are dealing with a lot of injuries right now, so if he can get back up to speed quickly there could be some extra minutes for him.

  • Julius Randle
    PF, New York Knicks

    Julius Randle finished Friday's 103-101 victory over the Kings with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three triples.

    It is starting to feel like Randle isn't even trying to record defensive numbers these days. You take the good scoring and rebounding numbers, but his upside remains capped as long as he puts up zeroes on the defensive side.

  • Mitchell Robinson
    C, New York Knicks

    Mitchell Robinson posted 14 points (7-for-9 shooting), nine rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes on Friday.

    It was odd to see Robinson go without a block in this one, but defensive numbers tend to come in waves anyway. It could be worth offering one of your worst players for Robinson to see if his current owner is getting impatient.

  • Damyean Dotson
    SG, New York Knicks

    Damyean Dotson rode some hot shooting to 11 points (4-for-6 shooting) and three triples in 17 minutes on Friday as the Knicks defeated the Kings.

    Dotson also added a steal to his line as he seems to be settling in as a decent threes and points streamer but not much more. Elfrid Payton was the only other guard to get minutes off the bench in this one, finishing with 16 points (7-for-13 shooting), four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a triple.

  • Buddy Hield
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Buddy Hield continued to fill it up on Friday, posting 34 points (14-for-23 shooting), 12 rebounds, six triples and three assists as the Kings fell 101-103 to the Knicks.

    Hield is enjoying a top-20 run of production over the last two weeks, mainly because of his scoring prowess. Tonight, he even chipped in an impressive rebound total. De'Aaron Fox is due to return soon, but Hield should still be able to produce at a high level like he did alongside Fox last season.

  • Nemanja Bjelica
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Nemanja Bjelica tied his career-high assist total in Friday's loss to the Knicks with seven, adding 12 points, three triples, two rebounds and a block.

    Bjelica's role now that Marvin Bagley is back in action is still to be determined as Bagley is being worked back into the rotation slowly. It feels like Bjelica, Bagley and Richaun Holmes will be splitting the majority of the minutes in the Kings front court. Continue to hold Bjelica until he gives you a reason not to.