• Whether you celebrate Festivus, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Saturnalia or nothing religious, secular or commercial, I hope you have or make some time for family. I know, they work my damn nerves too, but in the breakdown of society that we’re apparently headed for, family is all we got; here’s an ode to mine and yours.*

    • *I’m back to doing random tracks for better or worse. Next season, we’ll do some more themes.

    • * * * * *

    “Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had but so did another man.

    As I rained blows upon him I realized there had to be another way…

    …Out of that, a new holiday was born- a Festivus for the rest of us!”

    -The origin of Festivus as told by Frank Costanza

    Week 11 Schedule

    2 Games: IND, MEM
    4 Games: LAL, POR
    All other teams play 3 games.

    With most of the teams playing 2 or 3 games the two teams playing 4 games really pop.

     

    Monday has 0 games: Christmas Eve

    Tuesday has 5: Bucks at Knicks, Thunder at Rockets, Sixers at Celtics, Lakers at Warriors, Blazers at Jazz and me in front of my T.V.

    Wednesday has 10: Wizards at Pistons, Suns at Magic, Pacers at Hawks, Hornets at Nets, Raps at Heat, Wolves at Bulls, Cavs at Grizz, Pels at Mavs, Nuggs at Spurs and Kings at Clips.

    Thursday has 5: Celtics at Rockets, Knicks at Bucks, Lakers at Kings, Sixers at Jazz and Blazers at Dubs.

    Friday has 10: Nets at Hornets, Pistons at Pacers, Raptors at Magic, Bulls at Wizards, Cavs at Heat, Hawks at Wolves, Mavs at Pels, Spurs at Nuggs, Thunder at Suns and Clippers at Lakers.

    Saturday has 9: Nets at Bucks, Hornets at Wizards, Rockets at Pelicans, Cavs at Hawks, Celts at Grizz, Knicks at Jazz, Nuggs at Suns, Dubs at Blazers rematch and Spurs at Clips.

    Sunday has 6: Pistons at Magic, Wolves at Heat, Bulls at Raps, Thunder at Mavs, Sixers at Blazers and Kings at Lakers.

    For My Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold-  Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with the Lakers, Blazers and Sixers playing all three.

    ATL: 3- W, F, Sa
    BRK: 3- W, F, Sa
    BOS: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    CHA: 3- W, F, Sa
    CHI: 3- W, F, Su
    CLE: 3- W, F, Sa
    DAL: 3- W, F, Su
    DEN: 3- W, F, Sa
    DET: 3- W, F, Su
    GSW: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    HOU: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    IND: 2- W, F
    LAC: 3- W, F, Sa
    LAL: 4- Tu, Th, F, Su
    MEM: 2- W, Sa
    MIA: 3- W, F, Su
    MIL: 3-Tu, Th, Sa
    MIN: 3- W, F, Su
    NOR: 3- W, F, Sa
    NYK: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    OKC: 3- Tu, F, Su
    ORL: 3- W, F, Su
    PHI: 3- Tu, Th, Su
    PHO: 3- W, F, Sa
    POR: 4- Tu, Th, Sa, Su
    SAC: 3-W, Th, Su
    SAS: 3- W, F, Sa
    TOR: 3- W, F, Su
    UTA: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    WAS: 3- W, F, Sa

    Back-to-Backs

    Sun (of Week 10)/Mon: none
    Mon/Tues: none
    Tues/Weds: none
    Weds/Thurs: SAC
    Thurs/Fri: LAL
    Fri/Sat: ATL, BKN, CHA, CLE, DEN, LAC, NOR, PHO, SAS, WAS
    Sat/Sun: POR
    Sun/Mon (of Week 12): DAL, MIN, OKC, ORL

    3 games in 4 nights

    Tues/Thu/Fri: LAL

    Weds/Fri/Sat: ATL, BKN, CHA, CLE, DEN, LAC, NOR, PHO, SAS, WAS

    Thurs/Fri/Sun: LAL

    Thurs/Sat/Sun: POR

    Tu/Thurs+: BOS, GSW, HOU, LAL, MIL, NYK, PHI, POR, UTA

    Working the Wire

    Point Guards

    Tim Frazier fell off the Kalaupapa cliffs and you can move on if you haven’t already. The stream lives on.

    Rajon Rondo returned after a long absence and handed out nine dimes to go with four boards and eight points. He’s not available in any of my standard leagues but still under 50% overall so he might be in yours. The Lakers go 4 times.

    Marcus Smart is still starting and seeing as the Celtics’ defensive numbers have stabilized, he might  keep his job for the foreseeable future. Yeah, his shooting sucks (38.4% on the season) but he gets you tons of steals, decent 3s and assists and if flopping was a statistical category, you’d be leading your league. Boston plays 3 times.

    Monte Morris kept it up and has been awesome over his last five with 15.4 points, 2.2 threes, 5.0 dimes and 1.6 steals with a mere 0.6 turnovers. He won’t shoot over 60% from the field forever but he’s ballin’. Some guys have all the luck.  Denver on plays 3 times.

    Tyler Johnson had three straight games of 15+ and then got benched as Justise Winslow returned as starting point-forward. With news that Dion Waiters (ankle) has been practicing in full, Johnson’s outlook is looking kind of bleak. Miami slogs 3 times.

    Fred VanVleet was great as usual with no Lowry, but Skinny Kyle is back so Steady Freddy heads back to the bench. He had been getting heavy run off the bench but won’t have the same usage. The Raptors go 3 times.

    Emmanuel Mudiay stayed poppin’ them Redenbachers last week with 23.3 points, 1.8 threes and 5.3 assists but that didn’t even land him in the top-120. Why? His lack of defensive stats and poor shooting really dents his 9-cat value. New York has 3 games this week and 2 the next.

    Jeremy Lin had 11.0 points and literally zero cash counters last week which is funny and sad. He’s old, I get it, and he played less as Trae Young wasn’t a hot mess. He’ll get some threes and steals eventually. Atlanta goes 3 times.

    De’Anthony Melton has the job all to himself but didn’t do a damn thing with it (Saturday’s game aside) as he’s deferring way too much to Devin Booker. I’m not waiting around but I don’t have a problem if you want to give him a few more games; he’s still starting but consistently playing fewer minutes the the rest of the first unit. Phoenix has 3 games.

    J.J. Barea’s shooting cooled off but he’s likely still the best guy to stream for assists on your wire in standard leagues. DSJ (wrist) looks like he’ll miss a few more games and Dallas plays 3 games if you need a boost.

    D.J. Augustin really loses value when he’s not getting assists (3.0 last week) but he’s widely available for a stream if he heats up or fits the schedule. Orlando has 3 games this week and 4 the next two.

    Patrick Beverley shot over 50% last week, the first time in forever, which allowed him to finally crack the top-120. I don’t know if I trust him because he’s still not getting steals but the Clippers run 3 times.

    I saw Collin Sexton dropped in a league (he’s over-owned anyway) which reminded me to do a…

    Shooting Guards

    Cavs report: Matthew Dellavedova and Jordan Clarkson seem like the best bets to continue doing what they’re doing with Delly better for more well-rounded guard stats: 11.0 points, 2.0 threes and 4.8 assists over the last two weeks (don’t catch him on a B2B though) and Clarkson being better for a scoring punch: 17.9 points and 2.1 threes over the same time frame.

    Rodney Hood was better than Alec Burks last week, but both are only helpful for 16-deep in my opinion, and because I don’t play that, I’m not touching them outside of a plug-and-play where there are no better options.

    The Cavs go 3 times.

    Reggie Bullock was on fire last week (54.5% FG) with 20.8 points and an insane 4.8 threes per game over his last four. That won’t last but he also averaged almost 36 minutes per game and it’s the minutes that are key to retaining separation from Stanley Johnson and Langston Galloway. Detroit goes 3 times.

    Kevin Huerter fell off last week with 11.0 points, 1.7 threes, 2.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks as his FG% and defensive stats regressed as expected. He’s still starting and playing 32 minutes a game so can hold some value. If you don’t agree, you may be right. Atlanta has 3 games.

    Bryn Forbes has hit double figures three times in a row with two or more treys in each, but scored six and zero the two previous games. The Spurs play 3 times.

    Rodions Kurucs was pretty good last week with no Allen Crabbe (ankle): 11.5 points, 1.5 threes and over a stock with good efficiency. Crabbe seems to be nearing a return so Kurucs will probably be banished to irrelevancy when that happens, or maybe not because coach loves him. Brooklyn plays 3 times.

    Josh Hart was abysmal last week and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope clearly had the better showing with 11.8 points and 1.8 threes last week. Neither has been consistent or impressive lately but the Lake Show premiers 4 times if you have no other options.

    Small Forwards

    Wesley Matthews isn’t available, is he?

    Kevin Knox is also Redenbachin’, and while better in points formats, is playing well enough to be held in standard 9-cats if you need points and 3s and not much else. He chucks it 3 times this week.

    In two games as a Sun Kelly Oubre is averaging 16.5 points, 2.5 threes, 5.5 rebounds, a steal and a block, good for top-85 value. The defense and 3s won’t hold but he’s playing major minutes.

    Mikal Bridges is also playing major minutes with Oubre in town, but his shot attempts dried up with everyone back healthy for Phoenix. Bridges still managed 2.0 threes, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in those two games to retain standard-league value but it didn’t look pretty. Josh Jackson’s minutes, usage and counting stats went down but ironically his 9-cat rank went up- the reduction in turnovers and mindless chucking really helps in 9-cat. Still, there are likely better guys available.

    Phoenix has 3 games.

    Derrick Jones was doing so well and then threw up a 9-minute, 5-point dud. Not good. It’s a mess in Miami but Jones has the athleticism to make a difference if he could just get the run. Miami gums it up 3 times.

    Jeff Green performed as expected sans Otto Porter (knee) with: 16.0 points, 2.0 threes and 6.3 rebounds. Porter will hopefully be back this week and there’ll be a dip in Green’s production when that happens. The Wiz go 3 times if you need a low-end play.

    Tropical storm Bembry is still circling the deep-league Atlantic with top-190 9-cat value and it looks like a baseline of sorts for the moment. Atlanta runs 3 times.

    Cedi Osman is still getting his minutes and actually hit 52.4% from the field last week but missed his free throws (66.7%) and didn’t get much outside of 14.0 points and 1.0 trees. He’s still a deep-league-only guy. Young Turk thugs it thricely.

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson fell outside the top-150 in 9-cat last week! Yawn. I’m not impressed but go for it if you want. DeMarre Carroll (11.8 points and 2.0 threes) played well enough to be streamed in very deep leagues. Brooklyn goes 3 times.

    Garrett Temple snapped last week with 1.5 threes, 1.8 steals and 1.5 steals. Hahaha, good luck trying to catch that lightning in a bottle again. Even if the plodder- top-130 on the season- stays hot (52.8% from the floor), the Grizzlies play just twice.

    Power Forwards

    Marvin Williams is rolling now with 14.0 points, 3.2 threes, 6.2 boards and over 1.5 stocks per game over the last two weeks. Charlotte runs 3 times.

    Nemanja Bjelica was pretty good outside of his 0-point, 5-minute dud in a blowout to the Wolves. Are you down with the Kings (for 3 games)?

    Al-Farouq Aminu hit a bricky stretch in the worst way (23.5% last week) which means you can drop him in H2H if you were purely streaming and there’s a better option or bench him in roto. He’ll be back so don’t forget about him. Also, Portland is one of the few teams that have 4 games so there might not be a better option.

    JaMychal Green was abnormally, horrifically bad last week and the Grizz only play twice this week, so I’d be streaming in at least 12-14 deep.

    Noah Vonleh is slumping and couldn’t hit his shots (39.1 %) or free throws (42.9%) last week which really held down his value. He’s still starting, getting over 30 minutes a game and contributing across the board.  NY has 3 games.

    PJ Tucker picked it up last week with 11.8 points, 3.0 treys, a very nice 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals. All except the steals are above his season averages but he still has top-120 value on the season as a whole. The Rockets play 3 times.

    Juancho Hernangomez finally cooled off (28.6% last week) while Trey Lyles finally stopped brickin’ (52.4% last week). Will Barton (hip) is behind schedule in his rehab but should be back soon(ish) along with Gary Harris. Denver plays 3 times.

    Only James Johnson (barely) placed in the top-200 last week with Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo placing outside and all splitting minutes. I’m avoiding all of them for now. Miami goes 3 times this week.

    Centers

    Thomas Bryant had the best game of his young career on Saturday with 31 points and 13 rebounds on a perfect 13-of-13 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line. Good defense, Ayton. He won’t do that again, but the important thing is a career-high 36 minutes played which is massive for a guy playing less than 16 minutes on the season. His minutes have been up over the last few weeks- almost 23 per game over the last two weeks and over 25 this last week so he’s trending up. I’d take a chance on him. (Erasure did it better and probably, ironically, less fitting for these times). Washington has 3 games.

    Markieff Morris dropped three duds in a row before Saturday and I saw him get dropped in one league (Kief has been losing ownership for a couple of weeks now). The Wiz go 3 times.

    Cody Zeller cooled off a bunch but still is doing enough in 9-cat formats to be owned. Charlotte has 3 games this week.

    Richaun Holmes lost some minutes last week with Deandre Ayton playing well but still retained standard value. His statistical return is hampered by the lack of run. The Suns have 3 games.

    Mason Plumlee is still starting for Paul Millsap (toe) and over his last five has been averaging 9.4 points, 7.8, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks which isn’t that bad if you can handle his bad free throw shooting. At least you don’t have to worry about Plumdog missing games (his 312 consecutive games played without a miss is currently tops in the NBA). Denver digs 3 times.

    Daniel Theis and Robert Williams were sneaky good with no Al Horford (knee) but it looks like old Alfred is probable for Sunday which will likely kill most of the value Theis and Williams have. As I lay me down to sleep.

    Ed Davis is still at 8.3 boards in 17.7 minutes a game. Boss goes 3 times.

    Jakob Poeltl is part of the rotation now but isn’t getting enough tic to average more than the low-end 5.8 boards and 1.0 blocks he got over the last two weeks. He’s a very deep-league guy or for a plug-and-play. The Spurs play 3 times.

    Nerlens Noel makes for a better plug-and-play for defensive stats despite getting even less run than Poeltl. OKC runs 3 times.

    As many of us are observing the holidays, we’ll forgo Random Observations this week for more traditional Festivus celebrations:

    Feats of Strength

    Joel Embiid started playing basketball in 2009. 2009! Heavens to mother@^&ing Betsy!! He’s already had games of 41 & 13, 42 & 18 and 40 & 21 and he’s eighth in the L in scoring, second in free throws attempted, fourth in rebounding, twelfth in blocks and tenth in defensive win shares. His usage has been reduced since the Jimmy Butler trade (in 2017-18, JoJo finished with a higher usage rate than Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing ever did in their combined 64 seasons in the NBA) so he’s fallen outside the top-10 in 9-cat (No. 14 currently, No. 11 in 8-cat) but tons better then the No. 36 and 31 he placed over his first two seasons.

    He can shoot threes, score from the block, off the dribble, and he makes it look so easy. He’s simply a beast, and he’s not even that good yet. Wait til he actually ups his offensive efficiency and really learns how to leverage his size and skills effectively- JoJo has a chance to go crazy crazy, an especially notable thing considering how the league has trended away from traditional back-to-the-basket bigs. I’m eagerly hoping for The Process’ continued development and mastery of the game.

    How good is Luka Doncic! His scoring has dipped a bit recently, but he should finish the season with over 20 PPG to go with his 6+ rebounds and 4+ assists which would make him the first rookie since Michael Jeffery Jordan to put up 20/6/4. It’s quite apropos that Mike was the last to do it since all the owners of the teams that passed on him in the draft will have the Crying Jordan face in perpetuity.

    There’s no way he shouldn’t have been the No. 1 pick; I don’t watch much college or international ball and even I could tell he was a stud. That he wasn’t picked first goes to his perceived ethnic lack of athleticism, and the resulting bias, especially when it comes to European players, who are still regarded as soft. Bias, it gets us every time. That said, he still was phenomenal in Europe: Euro-league MVP, Finals MVP and winner of CLB Liga championship. No matter the bias, one can not argue that the Euroleague is worse than the NCAA and he won the MVP at 19 freakin years old! Not bad for a guy with no neck.

    Getting passed over and traded was a blessing in disguise, because it means he ended up on a Dallas team that will better mold him and help him avoid developing the bad habits that can become embedded with season after season of losing (see: Booker, Devin). He already looks so controlled and poised in addition to his immense skill-set; dude just makes plays. A bright future awaits the young Slovene. Still, it would have been nice to see him in the backcourt with the following guy.

    De’Aaron Fox had a lot of similarities with Dennis Smith Jr. last season. They both struggled with turnovers, shot-selection, making shots and running a team in general. Last season, a few voices opined that both were on similar career arcs.

    This season, there’s no way you could watch Fox and Smith and think such a preposterous proposition. While DSJ has already started widely deferring to Doncic, Fox isn’t deferring to anyone. Rather, he’s taken control of this Kings and is literally the engine that makes them go and is the primary reason the Kings have moved from the second  worst paced team last season to the second highest this season. That’s not coincidental, and Fox is the biggest factor behind Sacramento’s much improved play (at 17-15, the Kings are now hanging on to the last playoff spot in the West).

    To put it simply, if you can stop Fox from pushing the ball, you can stop the Kings. If you can stop DSJ, no biggie- J.J. Barea gets more run. Fox is the real deal and despite the efficiency holding down his 9-cat value somewhat, Yahoo H2H owners are really going to love the 4-4-4 he’s got to finish the season. One more thing- if you ever see this kid in an interview, he’s so bright-eyed and affable, you can’t help rooting for him.

    Domantas Sabonis: His lack of blocks depresses his top-75 fantasy value but in real life, the man they call Doma is probably a more impactful player than Myles Turner; in fact, he’s probably the second-best player on the team. He doesn’t quite have the passing chops of his father, Arvydas (outside of the Joker, who does?), but he’s very effective, almost always makes the right play and is steadily expanding his range and post moves. The advanced stats show it: Sabonis is No. 17 in PER, No. 5 in True Shooting %, No. 7 in Win Share per 48 minutes- right between Steph and Kawhi, and despite not being fleet of foot, he’s No. 7 in Defensive Rating. This dude is simply playing his ass off; that’s pretty good for a guy the Pacers picked up as a throw in with the Dipo trade for Paul George. The  superb shooting is a good time to shout out Pascal Siakam, 9-cat assassin, with the third best TS% in the league behind Steph and Gobert. If Kawhi re-ups with Toronto, I think Siakam is the biggest reason why.

    Nikola Jokic is currently No. 10 in the NBA with 7.3 assists per game. If the Joker finishes in the top-10, he’ll be the first center in 51 years to do so. In 1967-68, Wilt Chamberlain finished second with 8.6 assists per game (and led the league in total assists as Oscar Robertson missed 17 games to injury). If you’ve never checked out the Stilt’s career numbers, you should; they’re ridiculous- LOL good.

    Airing of Grievances

    In fantasy, we’re basically playing Tom Thibodeau- GM and coach. We decide which players to draft, trade, add and drop and we decide which players play which games. Since, by the nature of the game, we’re in this dual-role, it’s only right that we be allowed to sit players mid-game in fantasy. If Andrew Wiggins is stinkin’ it up and I want to sit him for the second half to reduce the hit to my TOs and FG%, I should be able to. Thibs can, why can’t I? The fact that I can’t is my grievance, and the first platform to introduce this feature in daily formats would have a big leg up on the competitors, at least for me.

    Hassan Whiteside’s free throw shooting has not only regressed from last year’s career-high 70.3%, it has fallen to 46.8% which is the lowest it’s been since he became a rotational piece in Miami. It’s like he just said %#*& it. So instead of being the minor ding you expected when drafting him, he’s currently neck-and-neck with Andre Drummond as the worst FT impact in fantasy. Good job, Mr. Whiteside.

    Russell Westbrook has been a career 80+ percent free throw shooter for his career, so unlike Whiteside, it was easy to chalk up his 73.7 from last season as a fluke and expect regression to 80%. That reasonable projection wasn’t even close, and he’s shooting a career low 60.2% this season. When combined with volume, it puts him as the No. 4 worst offender in fantasy, worse than Trez Harrell, Ben Simmons, Gobert and Capela. If you have Brodie, you’re basically punting 3 categories at a minimum. Yuk. [Westy also has the best defensive rating in the league, just ahead of Whiteside, Myles, Giannis and Paul George. Go figure.]

    DeAndre Jordan’s almost unheard of jump in free throw shooting to 70.9% (from a career 45.6% shooter) is a product of two elements– changing his stance and distracting his brain- usually by talking to other people like teammates, refs, etc. It’s been slipping lately so let me shut up before I jinx it.

    While fantasy owners are applauding this improvement, his new team mates in Dallas aren’t happy he’s continuing his stat padding and playing moronic defense.

    Kawhi Leonard has already missed 9 out of 33 games (27%) including back-to-backs and random load maintenance games. I hope he eventually starts playing B2Bs cuz it’s no fun in H2H but absolutely killing me in my weekly roto league. You’ve heard this before, I know; I will continue to bitch about it; whoever supported the idea that the weekly format from fantasy football should be applied to fantasy basketball should be drawn and quartered. If you’re worried about your H2H playoffs, don’t go out and rush to trade him- the Raptors only have one B2B during standard Yahoo playoffs: that’s the Sunday of a 3-game Week 22 and Monday of a 4-game Week 23.

    CP3-to-6 weeks’ four-year $160M contract extension just kicked in this year. I know Morey had to do it, but ouch. This also feels like the perfect opportunity to shout out the Miami Heat who have the highest team payroll at over $158M despite having no stars or even possible All-Stars outside of Josh Richardson. Pat Riley is reticent to break it all up but unless he can pull off some magic one last time, the tear down is inevitable.

    Bulls fans: These poor souls have led the league in attendance since 2010.  This year they’re No. 2, barely behind the 76ers who have Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler. The Bulls have Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn. Ha! What incentive is there for the Reinsdorf family to change their mismanaging, penny pinching, paranoid ways (the Reinsdorfs always insists that one assistant coach, from Randy Brown to Pete Meyers be loyal to them alone), exemplified by the piss-poor track record of John Paxson and Gar Foreman.

    Gar-Pax got rid of Thibs’ assistant coach Ron Adams (went to Golden State and won some chips) chased Thibs out, almost killed Luol Deng, traded Jimmy and Niko, hired bad-fit and former Bull Fred Hoiberg, sold Jordan Bell for a falafel, signed Jabari Parker to a 2-year, $40M contract before benching him, fired Fred Hoiberg to replace him with plodder Jim Boylen who sat his starters during a fourth quarter to rest them for practice the next day. There was a half-hearted players revolt, but nobody cares because the Bulls are officially #Tryin4Zion and what was I talking about?

    Oh yeah, my fellow Chicagoans being No. 1 in attendance for a decade despite gross incompetence. Let me stop ranting ‘for I fall into hysteria.

    Still awaiting my Festivus miracle,
    Chef

Fantasy News

  • Mychal Mulder
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have announced the signing of guard Mychal Mulder.

    Mulder played last season with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League and averaged 8.8 points in Summer League this year. He has good range but is unlikely to contribute much at the NBA level in 2019-20.

    Source: Miami Heat

  • Vincent Poirier
    C, Boston Celtics

    Nicolas Batum praised the play of Celtics center Vincent Poirier at the FIBA World Cup.

    According to Batum, Poirier "is a center that can block shots and control the paint." A native of France, Poirier has performed well over six seasons in Europe. Nevertheless, he should only be a depth option for the Celtics with Enes Kanter starting.

    Source: NBC Sports Boston

  • Zach LaVine
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Zach LaVine has been fine tuning his playmaking skills in the offseason, according to an interview with FanSided.

    LaVine enjoyed the best field goal percentage of his career for the Bulls last season. He also scored a career best 23.7 points per game. However, LaVine averaged 3.4 turnovers and his fantasy value will increase if he can take better care of the ball.

    Source: FanSided

  • Tyler Herro
    PG, Miami Heat

    According to Ira Winderman, rookie Tyler Herro is unlikely to start for the Heat at the beginning of the season.

    The Heat drafted Herro out of Kentucky with the 13th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Dion Waiters should be the primary shooting guard at the outset. However, expect Herro to get plenty of opportunities to contribute.

    Source: Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

  • Jordan Murphy
    PF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Forward Jordan Murphy will be in training camp with the Wolves after signing an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

    Murphy averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds for the University of Minnesota last season. Murphy could join the Iowa Wolves of the G-League if he does not crack the NBA roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic on Twitter

  • Semi Ojeleye
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Semi Ojeleye could compete with Grant Williams for more minutes at forward for the Celtics, according to Jay King of The Athletic.

    Ojeleye only played 10 minutes per game for the Celtics last season but improved his field-goal shooting to 42 percent. He has shown some defensive prowess but could use more consistency in his perimeter shooting. Ojeleye is unlikely to contribute much for standard league owners.

    Source: Jay King of The Athletic

  • Mohamed Bamba
    C, Orlando Magic

    The Magic exercised their team option on Mo Bamba, signing him through 2020-21.

    Bamba averaged 1.4 blocked shots during his rookie season in just 16 minutes per game. However, the #6 overall pick in 2018 is firmly behind starting center Nikola Vucevic on the Magic's depth chart.

    Source: Orlando Magic PR on Twitter

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    The Magic exercised their team option on Jonathan Isaac, signing him through 2020-21.

    Isaac started 64 games in his second season, scoring 9.6 points per game to go with 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Isaac also improved his free-throw shooting, finishing at 81.5 percent. He certainly has the potential to do even more going forward if he can stay healthy.

    Source: Magic PR on Twitter

  • James Ennis III
    SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    James Ennis should be the first wing off the bench for the Sixers, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.

    Ennis, who averaged 6.7 points in 21 minutes per game last season, will provide depth behind Tobias Harris. His fantasy value isn't terribly high, but head coach Brett Brown trusts his defensive game. This report could mean a slight uptick in playing time for Ennis.

    Source: Rich Hofmann of The Athletic

  • Markelle Fultz
    PG, Orlando Magic

    The Magic have exercised their team option on Markelle Fultz.

    That will keep Fultz under control through the 2020-21 season. While Fultz is a former No. 1 overall pick, this was not a slam-dunk decision for the Magic given his health record and all the mystery that's clouded the first couple years of his career. With current starter D.J. Augustin set to hit free agency following the upcoming season, Orlando could be preparing to hand Fultz the reins. We want to know that he's healthy before endorsing him as a fantasy selection but the upside is enough to at least consider a deep-league flier.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter