January 12, 2020, 12:00 pm
We were set to get dumped with four hundred pounds of snow in Milwaukee this weekend and we got a whole lot of nothing. All I got was about seven heart attacks and a bad mood for ruining my weekend. Of course, all that actually happened was some rain (which was fine), some general ice (which was bad) and then about a quarter of the snow they forecasted (That’s just annoying at that point. If it’s going to snow, JUST SNOW.).
My football team is no longer involved because we were a MASH unit all season. Carson Wentz pulled himself because he knew that it was hopeless. There’s always next year. On the other side of the ledger, this run by the Titans is beyond impressive. To beat Tom Brady in Foxborough and follow it up by running the ball down the throat of the best team in the NFL is damn impressive. Derrick Henry is the slowest fast person ever.
All-Star fan voting is stupid and useless and I hate it. Let’s talk about these dumb players.
Week 13 Stream Table
Home games are in orange because basketballs are orange.
Road games are in blue because blue is not orange.
Green means heavy schedule because green means go.
Red means light schedule because red means stop.
Back to Backs
Brought to you by Drake*
Sun/Mon (of Week 12): CHA
Tue/Wed: BKN, DAL, HOU
Wed/Thu: BOS, DEN, ORL
Fri/Sat: ATL, CHI, CLE, MIN, OKC, PHI, POR, TOR
Sun/Mon (of Week 14): DEN, IND, MIA, SAS
Working the Wire
I think I gave the new year too much credit. This newest crop is not at all inspiring. Apparently not enough critical pieces got hurt this week in the war of basketball attrition. Let’s see what we can do.
Markelle Fultz: We’re back in the Fultz cycle. DJ Augustin has been a little banged up of late and Fultz is just a more exciting own than the other guards on this team. He’s rebounding well, passing well and pitching in steals in bunches. Especially for teams looking longer-term, Fultz is a great buy.
Seth Curry: Seth Curry has been inconsistent all year but he’s still a good shooter who has averaged more than two 3-pointers a game since the start of December. He and Tim Hardaway Jr. may take turns going on hot streaks. Curry has been good over the last couple weeks, so he could be worth deploying for now.
Dante Exum: Of course he’s now dealing with an illness, but I would be lying if I said I was really looking closely at him right after the Jordan Clarkson trade. We’re not that far removed from Dante Exum being an elite draft prospect. Injuries have really curtailed his growth so it’s good to see him in a place that offers a better opportunity than Utah would as a rebuilding team without much to play for. I don’t think this is a definite grab, but he’s worth more of a speculative add than someone like Brandon Knight, who is also in the picture right now.
Bruce Brown Jr.: The second-year man is getting so much more run with Luke Kennard out and has really picked up a lot of slack for them. The Pistons are miserable to watch and should theoretically start moving pieces out the door, in which case it’ll be up to the youngsters to run the show for the stretch run. Brown is a good option for assists and steals.
Svi Mykhailiuk: It’s over in Detroit. They have to start over and move on. That doesn’t mean Svi is part of the future, but that does mean as they clean house, he’s part of the now. Bruce Brown is the better option in a general sense but it’s very possible in a deep league that Brown is already snagged off the wire. Mykhailiuk isn’t the worst consolation prize.
Donte DiVincenzo: I will pound the drum for DiVincenzo until the trade deadline when the Bucks go and upgrade one of the wing positions. He and George Hill make an excellent backcourt for the second unit and both are a right sight better than Wes Matthews. DiVincenzo is springy and athletic and is panning out way better than I expected. He can be counted on for 3-pointers and some low-end scoring and right now should probably be closing out games for the Bucks.
Mikal Bridges: How interesting would Mikal Bridges be if he was unleashed in Cleveland? This implies that we get the Kevin Love trade we’ve been clamoring for because it seems like the right fit in Phoenix. I’ve been pounding the Portland drum because Love is in love with Portland. Bridges might be worth the speculative add and hold as we approach the deadline for any teams that have an empty spot to fill. The defensive upside is immense when he’s unleashed.
Jae Crowder: When I went to see Bae Crowder in person, he was absolutely not bae. He scored four points and missed… more than four shots (It was eight.). Since the calendar turned to 2020, Crowder has had three good games out of five. More importantly, he’s still playing pretty major minutes so that in itself makes him worth consideration in deeper leagues. He’s not a guy who is worth using every time out in a roto league with a cap, but he could be a good matchup play.
Reggie Bullock: I’ve always thought that Bullock is underrated because he’s been generally unhealthy and probably fell off a lot of radars. He has been a good 3-point specialist in the past and is getting some volume on a bad Knicks team. He debuted on New Year’s Day and has averaged 10 points and 1.7 steals per game over these six 2020 outings.
Thaddeus Young: I’ve been a Thaddeus Young fan and it’s finally showing up as a fault this season after many years of great value. Of course, this is the year I had to move on from him in a contract league because I needed the roster flexibility, and right after I do he starts to pick up his game. Therefore, I missed out on this three game streak of nice production. I don’t know that he can maintain anything more than late-round value if he doesn’t start or see 25+ minutes, but I would keep an eye on his output.
Omari Spellman: Spellman has casually been a top-10 player over the last four games in 9-category formats. We know that that isn’t in the range of the upside for him even in the short term, but in the bay of dismay, it’s his turn to get some run. Five games in a row shooting more than 50 percent, 2.4 3-pointers per contest and some steals to boot is a nice formula for short-term streaming value.
Derrick Jones Jr.: We’re seeing the upside again recently for DJJ as he’s gotten a few more minutes. Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson are both essentially eliminated from the rotation right now and that’s been enough for some heavier minutes for Jones. As a volume play I expect decent production across the board with some defensive upside.
Daniel Gafford: Wendell Carter Jr. suffered a gnarly looking ankle injury against the Mavericks and left in a wheelchair so the first thought was that Daniel Gafford would be the immediate fill-in. On paper, he is, but Lauri Markkanen is going to be a killjoy for any Gafford hype. Gafford isn’t really ready to be a baller and doesn’t have enough presence on the offensive side to be more than a blocks specialist.
Jaxson Hayes: Don’t look at the final score but definitely check out Jaxson Hayes in this blowout loss to the Celtics. He is really coming into his own and for me, he’s a good center option who can block shots and score pretty efficiently. The last three games have been especially kind, with Hayes averaging 17.33 points and 2.67 blocks.
Meyers Leonard: I’m the dumbest person in the entire world and I’m a sucker for my Illinois boys and somehow Meyers has been decent again over the last few games because he’s gotten the minutes. We’ve always said that if Leonard got 25-30 minutes, he would be a good rebounder and shooter. We even saw that early in the season before he suddenly got his minutes swallowed by Kelly Olynyk. Fortunately for him, Olynyk has done so little that Kelly is basically not in the rotation anymore, so Meyers is a valid play… for now.
The Stream Team
We’ve got a few really deep pulls this week because it’s time to get creative. Sometimes the minute details end up being the slim margins of victory.
PG: Brandon Goodwin – Deep-league handcuff type. Maybe especially interesting for Trae Young owners.
SG: Wesley Iwundu – Made the main rundown last week and has maintained top-150 value since that recommendation. Keep him on the radar.
SF: Georges Niang – Niang has scored in double-digits in four of the last five games. Someone needs to step up for this shallow Jazz bench. Right now Niang is making a case and could be a decent 3-pointer specialist streamer (18 3-pointers in this aforementioned five game run).
PF: Isaac Bonga – Not a super exciting player but should get minutes for a hurting team. Deep-league spot player, perhaps.
C: Norvel Pelle – Pelle got the first crack at backup center minutes without Embiid over Kyle O’Quinn.
We are back to themeless and I am back to dreamless.
Atlanta Hawks: I understand that the Hawks are looking to bring in somebody that they can keep long term if they get the opportunity to bring in Andre Drummond, but I guess I haven’t really been sold that it’s the smartest fit. I do think the Hawks will be in the range of middling competition during the extension Drummond would have to sign for that trade to be worth it. I’m waffling.
Brooklyn Nets: How does a guy go from “potentially out for the year” to “full-contact practice” and now “probable for the next game”. I don’t buy this.
Boston Celtics: Tacko Fall being sixth in All-Star voting is why we shouldn’t let the people decide anything. What a joke. Tacko Fall doesn’t even like tacos or fall that much.
Charlotte Hornets: It would be really interesting if Devonte’ Graham was an All Star.
Chicago Bulls: I can hardly contain my excitement about dealing with Chicago traffic heading to the United Center next Saturday.
Cleveland Cavaliers: I am a human of the technology era and just like everyone else I go down YouTube rabbit holes where I find myself committing more than an hour of my time to watching Kevin Love videos. He could not be more obsessed with Portland.
Dallas Mavericks: The Andre Drummond theme continues. Dallas would be a great fit for Drummond in my mind as the good version of the DeAndre Jordan they brought in last season.
Denver Nuggets: I saw on Twitter that Jokic was the third center to score 45+ points with no turnovers, joining Shaq and Moses Malone. I get that it’s impressive, but the tenuousness of that outing is hilarious to me. He’s one tipped ball or missed shot from being one point or one turnover away from that club.
Detroit Pistons: I keep rechecking and being amazed at how bad of shape the Pistons are in. They have absolutely nothing to build around. Sekou Doumbouya is cool and interesting and all but he’s not your centerpiece in any world.
Golden State Warriors: I think we can safely say that Marquese Chriss is over because he couldn’t keep his roster spot on THESE Warriors. So much for the reclamation project.
Houston Rockets: Apparently I’m hard to please because 7th youngest player and 45th player overall to reach 20,000 points just didn’t tickle me that much.
Indiana Pacers: Victor Oladipo countdown: 17 days!
Los Angeles Clippers: Darren Collison seems like a strange fit for the Clippers. They have enough guys.
Los Angeles Lakers: A still frame of Anthony Davis in the tunnel of an NBA arena walking next to a trainer or two epitomizes his career.
Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies are currently in a playoff spot, which says more about the state of the bottom eight in the Western Conference. They’re all cannibalizing each other’s wins.
Miami Heat: Meyers why do you tease me like this?
Milwaukee Bucks: Controversially, if the Bucks win it all this year, I think it wouldn’t ruin everything if Giannis left (please don’t leave though).
Minnesota Timberwolves: Towns goes from injured to checked out because that’s just how it goesi n Minneapolis. Why does everyone want out? Minneapolis isn’t that bad!
New Orleans Pelicans: If Brandon Ingram doesn’t make the All-Star team it’s a total joke.
New York Knicks: How many players that make no sense can we get rumored to the Knicks? I’m sure Luka wants to go to New York too.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Again, maybe I’m asking for too much, but I wasn’t that emotional about the EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE VIDEO for Russell Westbrook. It was cool enough I suppose.
Orlando Magic: Having to get moderately excited about Wesley Iwundu must be ruining the experience for Magic fans.
Philadelphia 76ers: A finger is NOT supposed to bend that way.
Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker impresses me every day because I just haven’t been as much of a Booker backer and he’s proving all the doubters wrong even though the team hasn’t been able to find anything. I learned that he has never been on a winning streak longer than three games in the NBA.
Portland Trail Blazers: I’m coming to terms with the fact that Kevin Love to Portland doesn’t make as much sense as I thought. They don’t have that much to give up, they would have to eat a lot of salary and Carmelo Anthony would have to play a lot of small forward, which is probably not something he can do much of at this stage.
Sacramento Kings: Apparently the Kings are asking for a lot for Dewayne Dedmon. The same Dewayne Dedmon that is BARELY PLAYING FOR THEM after they gave him a contract. He can’t even get on the floor with Marvin Bagley and/or Richaun Holmes out. How is that a thing?
San Antonio Spurs: I’m sticking to my guns that the Spurs will miss the playoffs. I have been more confident.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors have done an admirable job staying afloat without two of their three best players for a decent stretch. Nick Nurse can coach the game of basketball.
Utah Jazz: Rayjon Tucker is all the rage on Jazz internet and apparently he’s NOT a made-up player.
Washington Wizards: Davis Bertans would fetch a nice haul from some contending team like the Bucks who should definitely go get him please and thank you.
I think Kevin Love got more mentions here than in the history of sports journalism. And he’s good. Let’s talk on Twitter here.
April 7, 2020, 11:18 pmLauri MarkkanenPF, Chicago Bulls
Report: Nuggets' General Manager Arturas Karnisovas is the early frontrunner for the Bulls' top exec spot.
The Bulls are finally planning to move on from the Gar Foreman and John Paxson-led front office, though both may stay with the organization. Karnisovas has the draft and development track record that the Bulls are seeking. The search is in the early stages, though the Bulls do plan to have someone hired prior to the resumption of the season.
April 7, 2020, 11:07 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Report: NBA players that received advanced payments or regular payments on a six-month cycle instead of a 12-month cycle could return significant amounts to owners as part of a compensation deal.
Owners may already get back a pro-rated amount of their players' salaries for each game that is not made up this season. And these players that have been paid some of their salary early would need to return the advanced portion, as well. The takeaway here is that both sides would clearly benefit by playing as many regular season games as possible, but the painful talks about how to handle the missing revenue from the inevitable missed games are moving along.
April 7, 2020, 8:39 pmCassius StanleySG, College
Duke freshman shooting guard Cassius Stanley (6-foot-6, 193 pounds) has announced his plans to enter the 2020 NBA draft, after racking up averages of 12.6 PTS, 2.9 REB and 1.1 3-pointers per game, while setting averages of 47.4 percent FG, 36.0 percent from long range and 73.3 percent from the free throw line in his only season with the Blue Devils.
Stanley had a solid shortened (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) freshman year at Duke and has decided to follow the ever-popular one-and-done route for college players coming out of perennial powerhouse programs. While his numbers don't jump off the stat sheet, he is immensely talented and can put the ball in the bucket. At this point, whenever the 2020 draft happens, Stanley projects as a second-round selection.
Source: Adam Zagoria on Twitter
April 7, 2020, 8:29 pmBoth GachSG, College
Sophomore Both Gach, a 6-foot-3 ,183 pound guard out of Utah, announced his plans on Tuesday to enter the 2020 NBA draft after concluding his second (shortened; due to COVID-19 pandemic) season with the Utes, averaging 10.7 PTS, 3.6 REB and 2.9 AST in 2019-20.
Unlike Nico Mannion, who also declared for the draft Tuesday, this announcement was less expected. Gach is likely looking to gauge interest from NBA teams and may not hire an agent, at least not initially. He caught some eyes with his play early in the season, but currently does not project as a selection in either round of the upcoming draft. There's a chance we see Gach back with Utah next season.
Source: Evan Daniels on Twitter
April 7, 2020, 8:13 pmNico MannionPG, College
Nico Mannion, a highly-touted freshman guard out of Arizona, has entered his name into the 2020 NBA draft pool on Tuesday.
Mannion has garnered national attention since his high school days, largely due to his impressive video clips on social media and YouTube. He has been projected as a lottery pick in the 2020 draft for some time now, so it's safe to say this isn't surprising in the least. Mannion has incredible skill as a distributor and despite his low shooting percentages in his lone season at Arizona (39.2 percent FG and 32.7 percent from deep), he should not be on the board beyond the lottery picks, whenever the 2020 draft occurs.
April 7, 2020, 5:48 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA "would like to have a champion crowned by Labor Day weekend," per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski was on "Get Up" on Tuesday morning with host Mike Greenberg when he gave the latest timeline that he is hearing. Woj made it a point of emphasis that this is the ideal timeline that the NBA is hoping to complete this season by, and added that if this comes to fruition there is no question that the start of next season would be delayed. This is the latest timeline that we are hearing about, and we will have to see how realistic this is as time passes.
April 6, 2020, 9:11 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA teams will not be allowed to conduct in-person or live video workouts for NBA Draft prospects but will be allowed up to four hours of virtual meetings per prospect.
Whenever the draft happens, it will be with the least amount of research in quite a while. Teams will be without tournament game tape for college prospects and without the ability to watch live workouts. Combined with a lack of consensus on who the best players are, this could lead to a wild draft with the eventual best players going much later than usual.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
April 6, 2020, 8:36 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Adam Silver said there will be no way to know the NBA season's fate until at least May 1st.
It's not much of a surprise to hear that Silver doesn't expect to have enough information to make a determination about the season until next month at the very least. He also mentioned that the NBA has looked a lot at games without fans.
Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter
April 6, 2020, 5:15 pmTyrese MaxeySG, College
Tyrese Maxey has declared for the NBA draft.
The freshman from Kentucky finished the college season with averages of 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 dimes, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.1 threes per contest. Maxey is gifted with a tremendous knack for scoring and has the looks of a lottery selection, though obviously this draft season could be a very strange one.
Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter
April 5, 2020, 8:40 pmDennis Smith Jr.PG, New York Knicks
Marc Berman of the New York Post is reporting that with new leadership in place for the Knicks, the team is likely to shop Dennis Smith Jr. this offseason.
Knicks President Leon Rose has no attachment to Smith, and with head coach David Fizdale and assistant coach Keith Smart no longer around to justify his retention, there is little reason for the Knicks to continue relying upon DSJ's services. He struggled all season, from a back injury, to the loss of his stepmother, to an obscure oblique injury, and a concussion in February. Smith will be worth a flyer for another team to roll the dice on, but it is unlikely he gets a real chance to be the Knicks point guard of the future again. It will be difficult for Smith to become a standard league option no matter where he is playing next season. He is simply too lousy a shooter from the field and free-throw line. His turnover rate also remains an issue in 9-CAT formats.
Source: NY Post