December 9, 2018, 1:34 pm
The past few autumns in Chicago were mild but this year the cold came with the quickness and accelerated my usual music listening habits. When it gets cold, I get wistful and I can’t help of think back to middle school (which we call junior high here in Chicago), catching crushes, sock hops, all that. And that’s where we get this week’s musical theme- New Jack Swing.
I threw in a few tracks that’s aren’t technically New Jack but are from/remind me of the era.
*If you missed any, here are the themes I’ve already done Scary Hip-Hop, DooWop/Dusties, Classic Rock, New Wave, Modern Music and Instrumentals, in that order, starting from Week 3.
No songs yet?
I know, I know, I swear I’m not playing hard to get.
Also, I’ll do one more musical theme next week before we get to Festivus, so cast your vote here.
TRADING: VALUE DIFFERENTIALS
One of the few benefits to playing in a very competitive, experienced league is that the majority of team owners understand value. While that usually renders a one-sided trade unavailable, it means you can make a mostly even trade to actually, you know, address team needs and stuff.
In many other leagues with less adept owners, a player’s ADP can weigh heavily on perceived value, even with over a quarter of the season already completed. When this situation arises, it helps to know which players are under-performing their ADP (and thus, might have value to those looking at ADP) and which ones are out-performing (and maybe, be not as highly valued as they should).
Ideally you can trade big-name underperformers you think will continue to underperform for lesser-name outperformers or do the opposite and try to obtain under-performing guys that you think will improve; rarely do the basketball gods make it ideal. Also, you can trade away outperformers you don’t think will keep it up. There are many permutations to this trading game – depends who rubs you the right way.
The follow dudes stand out to me (all rankings are through 12/7):
-Nikola Jokic – Joker’s not underperforming by much at top-20 on the season, but maybe you’ll find his non-scoring ways less than desirable. The biggest obstacle to trading for Jokic is he’s usually the first-round pick. There’s big time psychological blockage to trading a first round pick for anything less.
-Victor Oladipo – hasn’t been horrible at No. 33 in 8/9-cat but being hurt for weeks on top of it is a tough pill to swallow. His owners are frustrated but how confident are you he’ll return to his top-12 ways considering his knee?
-Ben Simmons was expected to rank below his ADP due to his FT% and lack of 3s but top-40/60 in 8/9-cat?
-Donovan Mitchell has been just a tad worse than Simmons and with a similar second-round ADP, the best silver lining is his 4-4-2 H2H schedule in Yahoo leagues. I don’t even own Spida but still – quit breaking my heart.
-Draymond Green was often drafted later than his early 30s pre-season rank but at top-45/65 in 8/9-cat, he’s lower than you likely drafted him. And he missed a bunch of games. And Boogie isn’t back yet.
-Devin Booker has brought back top-30/60 value in 8/9-cat. That wouldn’t look so bad in 8-cat if he hadn’t already missed 7 games. The Suns are a mess and I think there’s a chance Book misses more games throughout the season.
-CJ McCollum’s counting stats look pretty similar to last year’s – except for assists and minor dips in percentages but those small differences is why he’s No. 65 in 9-cat instead of last year’s 50.
-Jamal Murray was drafted a round or so after McCollum and he’s been more than a few rounds worse with barely top-100 9-cat value on the season despite increased opportunity with no Will Barton and Gary Harris for stretches of the season. His 3-4-4 playoff schedule in Yahoo is about the only redeeming factor.
-Across ESPN, CBA and Yahoo, Myles Turner has an average ADP of 60 yet it’s at 43 in Yahoo leagues and it’s Yahoo leaguers who have suffered the most as Turner has only top-75 value on the season. He’s actually been trending up over the last few weeks but remains a better 9-cat roto asset.
-Joe Ingles was outside the top-75 until recently with top-25 play over the last few weeks pushing his season-long value into the top-60. It looks like the buy-low window Bruski gave us two weeks ago has been shut.
-Sweet Lou just isn’t getting enough shots with a healthy Clippers team and that’s compounded by the poor shooting. He’s only top-130 in 8/9-cat and even if you punt field goal percentage, he’s just inside the top-80. That’s still lower than his fifth round ADP.
-Taurean Prince (ankle) is looking like he’s mirroring last year when he started out well, then stunk for two months (I dropped him last year after a month-plus of sub-200 value) before resurfacing and catching fire to end the season. He hasn’t been quite so bad that you need to drop him – still holding top-120 value in 8/9-cat – but it hasn’t been pretty.
-Lonzo Ball was drafted a little bit after Prince on average but has been much worse, even with the expected post-LeBron dip. He’s just inside the top-150 in 8/9-cat and his real-life defense is better than the paltry 1.5 stocks he’s averaging.
-Trae Young has a combined ADP of 77 but has just been flat out bad recently. You’d at least think he’d be averaging 2.5-plus treys but he’s just at top-250 on the year in 9-cat, and worse lately. He needs a secret rendezvous with a shot doctor, just not Drew Hanlen, whose rep took a blow with the Markelle Fultz fiasco. In 8-cat, Trae’s marginally better (top-130) and if you remove FG% and TOs, he’s No. 69.
-Kyle Anderson has top-120/130 value on the season in 8/9-cat which isn’t so bad compared to his combined 106 ADP and I wasn’t going to include him here for that reason, but it seems quite a few folks reached and drafted him early; if so, you’re probably feeling it, although he’s been better lately. In punt-points builds, Slo Mo is top-80 on the year.
-Nikola Vucevic is sitting at a plump first-round in 8/9-cat and that blows his early mid-round ADP out the water. The Magic are battling for a playoff spot and while they’re in contention, Vooch will eat his fill. Good luck trying to pry Vooch away even if you groove me.
-Marc Gasol has been a top-20 8/9-cat play on the year and is looking far from being old and washed. His age and H2H schedule are a concern but if you’re in roto you’ve got to roll with him.
-Lord Covington has had top-25/20 value in 8/9-cat and has been even better since being traded to Minnesota. Ro-Co has had stretches of such value in the past (last year’s H2H playoffs included) but never for so long. If he ever (really, when) goes through a cold spell, his lack of popcorn numbers might make an inexperienced owner let go. I know I wouldn’t, despite the bleh H2H schedule down the stretch.
-Danilo Gallinari’s top-30/45 9/8-cat value has been great by itself, but attached to a price-tag reading ADP 118, it looks that much better. El Gallo has been hurt for so long we almost forgot what a 9-cat beast he was. He’s still an injury risk but in roto you just play it out. In H2H, can this be the year he doesn’t get hurt?
-Nikola Mirotic has top-25/40 value in 9/8-cat but has been sick and is now coming off the bench. He has a less than perfect H2H schedule but that aside (plus the random games he misses – he’s always banged up and really needs to grow the beard back), he looks able to maintain pretty close to current levels which makes him a buy-low in roto.
-Justin Holiday wasn’t drafted in most 12-team leagues but has been on fire as a contender for Waiver Add of the Year. He’s top 35/45 in 9/8-cat. I think he can hold top-50 as he gets his value non-usage stats – stealing the ball and hitting 3s off of kick-outs and perimeter passing. For services already rendered, I thank you.
-Domantas Sabonis – this guy is freaking good! Often drafted as a late flier for rebounds, Doma has returned a well-rounded line that leaves him inside the top-60 in 8/9-cat. Sam Presti’s shine is dulling.
-JaVale McGee was drafted a little later than Sabonis but has been even better in 9-cat with a top-40 ranking so far. The arrival of Tyson Chandler has taken away some of the upside but Pierre will still block a bunch of shots, help your FG% , grab a few boards and not hurt your FT% or turnovers.
-Pascal Siakam – man, this is my biggest miss I think. I knew he was the forward of the future but didn’t think he would be so consistent which means there’s no way anyone’s dropping him after a bad game or two now (has he even had a bad game after week 2?), especially with him at top-40/50 9/8-cat value on the season. Siakam, you were the guy that I never had and I want to get to know you better.
-TJ Warren added a 3 to his game and that made all the difference as he’s carved his way through all that depth in Phoenix to top-45/60 value in 9/8-cat which is fantastic since he wasn’t even drafted in most Yahoo leagues. I know, he’s always hurt, but his name recognition doesn’t match his 9-cat value so it’ll be hard to get similar value should you wish to trade him. Maybe as a package?
-Jeremy Lamb, with an ADP outside of standard-league territory, is a favorite here at the Hoob (™ Dan Besbris). Lamb was always a 9-cat roto guy, but he’s been the number two option in Charlotte this year and has been putting up numbers. He’s top-45/75 in 9/8-cat and I just hope the Hornets are in playoff contention come mid-March.
-Trez Harrell has reverted to his historical FT shooting but I had no idea he could get so many blocks, way above his per-36s from last season. I can’t argue with results and top-60/80 stats in 9/8-cat is pretty good for a guy that went largely undrafted. I think he stays around there for the most part but the regression in free throws really hurts teams not punting FT%.
-Malcolm Brogdon was a late-round draft choice and I didn’t expect The President to be top-60 in 9-cat. His 19.1 usage is hardly above last year’s 18.8 but his efficiency and counting stats have mostly improved.
-Jaren Jackson Jr. – I don’t watch college ball so I was ‘sleep. But this guy is the truth. Not even halfway through his rookie season and JJJ is at top-50/60 value in 9/8-cat already. I only hope he’s not hyped up so much next year that I can’t draft him. All I do is think of you.
-I have to put Derrick Rose here even though it’ll be more fuel for the Rose is still an All-Star Bulls Twitterverse. This was a guy many thought had one foot out of the league after so many injuries but he’s finally looking like a weak approximation of his old self and has top-80/85 value in 9/8-cat and has been a steadying force for a young team that’s had a very turbulent start to the season.
Week 8 Schedule
3 Games: ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, MIL, MIN, NOR, NYK, ORL, POR, SAS, UTA
All other teams play 4 games.
Monday has 11 games: Wizards at Pacers, Pistons at Sixers, Pelicans and Celtics, Kings at Bulls, Cavs at Bucks, Jazz at Thunder, Magic at Mavericks, Grizzlies at Nuggets, Clippers at Suns, Wolves at Warriors and Heat at Lakers.
Tuesday has 3: Blazers at Rockets, Suns at Spurs and Raps at Clips.
Wednesday has 11: Pistons at Hornets, Knicks at Cavs, Bucks at Pacers, Nets at Sixers, Celts at Wiz, Blazers at Grizz, Thunder at Pels, Hawks at Mavs, Heat at Jazz, Wolves at Kings and Raps at Dubs (rematch).
Thursday has 4: Lakers at Rockets, Clips at Spurs, Bulls at Magic and Mavs at Suns.
Friday has 9: Hawks at Celts, Knicks at Hornets, Wiz at Nets, Bucks at Cavs, Pacers at Sixers, Heat at Grizz, Thunder at Nuggs, Raps at Blazers and Oakland at Sacramento.
Saturday has 7: Jazz at Magic, Lakers at Hornets, Celts at Pistons, Rockets at Grizz, Bulls at Spurs, Clips at Thunder and Wolves at Suns.
Sunday has 7: Hawks at Nets, Sixers at Cavs, Knicks at Pacers, Lakers at Wizards, Kings at Mavs, Heat at Pels and Raps at Nuggs.
For My Streamers
*all light schedule days in bold- Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun- Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Suns and Spurs have the best advantages for purely playing the schedule gaps, but you might not have any overloaded days, so like always, check your schedule today before the week starts.
ATL: 3- W, F, Su
BRK: 3- W, F, Su
BOS: 4- M, W, F, Sa
CHA: 3- M, F, Sa
CHI: 3- M, Th, Sa
CLE: 4- M, W, F, Su
DAL: 4- M, W, Th, Su
DEN: 3- M, F, Su
DET: 3- M, W, Sa
GSW: 3- M, W, F
HOU: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
IND: 4- M, W, F, Su
LAC: 4- M, Tu, Th, Sa
LAL: 4- M, Th, Sa, Su
MEM: 4- M, W, F, Sa
MIA: 4- M, W, F, Su
MIL: M, W, F
MIN: M, W, Sa
NOR: M, W, Su
NYK: W, F, Su
OKC: 4- M, W, F, Sa
ORL: M, Th, Sa
PHI: 4- M, W, F, Su
PHO: 4- M, Tu, Th, Sa
POR: 3- Tu, W, F
SAC: 4- M, W, F, Su
SAS: Tu, Th, Sa
TOR: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
UTA: M, W, Sa
WAS: 4- M, W, F, Su
Sun (of Week 8)/Mon: DET, MIL, NOR, UTA
Mon/Tues: LAC, PHO
Tues/Weds: POR, TOR
Fri/Sat: BOS, CHA, MEM, OKC,
Sun/Mon (of Week 10): NYK, PHI, SAC
3 Games in 4 Nights
Mon/Tues/Thurs: LAC, PHO
Tues/Weds/Fri: POR, TOR
Weds/Fri/Sat: BOS, CHA, MEM, OKC,
Tues/Thurs/+: HOU, LAC, PHO, SAS
Working the Wire
Marcus Smart has been pretty good over the last four games as a starter with 1.5 threes, 5.5 dimes and 2.5 steals per game. His sub-40% FG on the year will hurt but he can help you with guard stats. Beantown plays 4 times this week if you you want to get freaky (and floppy).
Emmanuel Mudiay is still doing okay but Frank Ntilikinia is back from Fiz’s dungeon. Might as well roll with Emmanuel until he gets Fizzed. New York has 3 games this week and for the next two.
Jeremy Lin’s back has been acting up, so he might have been dropped. Be looking out when he is healthy enough to return, though his injury history makes him better as a stream than someone to expect consistent ROS value from.
Tim Frazier’s numbers settled down as expected but he still got you 6.5 assists, 1.0 threes and 0.8 steals last week which are good enough for fringe value. The Pelicans go 3 times.
Between De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo, Melton had the better value last week (despite playing fewer minutes) and was recently promoted to starter. All of that will change when Devin Booker (hamstring) returns to the point, but it’s looking like Melton has the edge so far. Phoenix has 4 games this week.
D.J. Augustin finally cooled off, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him resurface with value at some point. Orlando has 3 games this week and for the next two.
J.J. Barea was still hot (46.8% from the field) last week and got 14.0 points, 1.0 threes and 3.8 assists. The Mavs play 4 times though watch out for the Weds/Thurs B2B. Tony Parker is a lesser option if Barea is gone and you just have to add an old guy with a hot (ex)wife.
Victor Oladipo (knee) is still out indefinitely but has been ramping up his on-court activities so maybe the injury isn’t as bad as it was feared. Cory Joseph is still the preferred 9-cat play while Dipo is out, with Tyreke Evans being the feast-or-famine option. Indiana has 4 games.
Monte Morris is another low-end option with 11.0 points, 1.2 threes, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steals over the last few weeks. Denver plays 3 times this week, and 2 times the next.
I’m still not sure why Terrence Ross isn’t owned in more leagues. Same for Wes Matthews.
George Hill finally got traded and new Cav Matthew Dellavedova shouldn’t impact the rotation too much so that leaves Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and Alec Burks more run to do their thing. All are one-dimensional gunners, but Hood’s foot injury leaves a whole lot of room for Clarkson and Burks – in that order – to do damage in the 4 games they have this week.
Wayne Ellington might have been dropped as he’s missed two games to be with his family after his grandmother passed. He also could be returning as soon as Monday and Miami has 4 games, so even if he missed one, it’s not too bad.
Picking up the slack as a 3-point gunner is Troy Daniels, who has averaged 12.6 points and 3.4 treys over the his last five games. He’ll literally die when Devin Booker gets back (well, not literally) which could be this week or the next. The Suns have 4 games if you feel his stars are aligned.
Allen Crabbe finally cracked the top-200 in 9-cat. Yay! He’s still shooting like a drunken sailor (which is worse than a drunken Vin Baker) but has enough points and threes (12.7 and 3.7) to crack the barrier. He’s a lot safer than Troy Daniels and his shooting is a lot worse but at least he’s avoided the mess with the Nets’ forwards. He builds houses 3 times.
Malik Beasley has had low-key top-100 value over the last two weeks – 13.5 points, 2.5 threes and over a stock – as Denver keeps losing player to injury. He’s the primary beneficiary of Gary Harris (hip) being out and he should be at least safe to stream until Will Barton gets back. The Nuggets play 3 times this week, but only twice next week.
Kevin Huerter has been a 9-cat standard roto play over the last two weeks with 7.9 points, 1.7 threes, 3.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.4 blocks one pretty good efficiency. Most surprising is the 27 and a half minutes he got and who knows if that’s maintainable. He’s starting and Atlanta has 3 games.
Damyean Dotson had the edge over Allonzo Trier last week but who wants to bet $1,000 that’ll hold next week? The Knicks play 3 times.
Kelly Oubre was great last week – huzzah! His 51% FG and 92% FT won’t hold, and Jeff Green is back but hopefully won’t gum up his hot-streak. The Wiz go 4 times
Hurricane Bembry was also great last week, whirling his way to top-50 value on 12.3 points, 1.3 threes, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks and is getting extra usage as a ballhandler with Trae Young sucking and Jeremy Lin (ankle, back) in and out of the lineup. DeAndre’ also shot 53.8% from the field which is a honeypot if I ever saw one. Atlanta goes 3 times.
Mikal Bridges got dropped everywhere over the last few weeks with a bunch of duds, but the departure of Devin Booker to injury opened up some extra run, and it was that consistent 30 minutes that made the difference last week – 9.3 points, 1.5 threes, 2.0 steals and 0.5 blocks. The Suns go 4 times and although Booker will be back, every little step counts.
Sticking with last week in Phoenix, Josh Jackson shot 38% from the field and turned the ball over 4.5 times per game which pretty much ruined the 12.5 points, 5.5 boards, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals he put up. He remains a better play in points leagues or punt formats until Booker makes his way back. The Suns play 4 games this week.
The Cavs organization and/or Larry Drew is determined to play Cedi Osman big minutes and his 11.5 points, 1.5 threes, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals would look a whole lot better if he wasn’t shooting less than 40% from the floor. The Cavs have 4 games.
Joe Harris got back, reclaimed his minutes and has maintained some production (12.0 points, 2.0 threes and 6.3 rebounds) but Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and DeMarre Carroll (who both stunk last week) complicate things. Someone needs to get benched or traded. Brooklyn has 3 games.
James Ennis’s minutes have stabilized at around 25 and his low-usage game of 7.0 points, 1.0 threes and 1.5 stocks is about what he’ll give you. That equates to top-150 in 9-cat and he’s obviously better in roto than H2H. Houston plays 3 times.
Garrett Temple is still plodding his way to 1.5 threes and 0.8 steals despite an off week for you deep, deep leaguers. The Grizzlies have 4 games.
I’m not looking at picking up Jaron Blossomgame, but what a fantastic name for an athlete!
Al-Farouq Aminu did his thing and has been top-80 over the last two weeks in 9-cat which means he should be owned in more leagues than he is. Portland has 3 games.
Noah Vonleh hasn’t been quite as good but he’s still putting up usable standard league numbers despite dunking on the wrong basket. NY has 3 games.
Marvin Williams’ shoulder caused him to miss a game and a half but when playing, he usually gets about 30 minutes a game. If that sticks, he’s useful. Charlotte has 3 games.
PJ Tucker was pretty bad last week but he’s still holding value on the season. The Rockets play 3 times.
JaMychal Green has top-100 9-cat value over the last two weeks and has brought his season-long rank into standard-league territory. The Grizz go 4 times.
Juancho Hernangomez keeps on delivering highly efficient usable lines. With Will Barton (hip) coming back pretty soon, things are about to get shaken up.
I have to note Paul Millsap (toe) is looking like he’ll miss more than a month so Trey Lyles joined the starting lineup and despite shooting 2-for-13 from the field, still ended up with nine points, one 3, 10 boards, a steal and a block in a heavy 38 minutes. Juancho is the better talent of the two but we’ll have to see how it looks when Barton returns. Until then, they’re safe to use. Denver plays 3 times.
I’ll group Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk here even though the latter two qualify as a center in most leagues. With Hassan Whiteside dealing with IBS and then missing two games, this is the order they played last week. When Hassan gets back, they’ll all take a hit and I want to say that Olynyk would hold the most value but really, I have no idea. I’m not sure Spo does either. Miami runs 4 times this week.
Markieff Morris was a little bricky last week but is still worth rostering. Washington plays 4 times.
Cody Zeller only missed a game with the bruised ribs and is chugging along with top-120 9-cat value. Charlotte has 3 games this week.
Lefts give Mitchell Robinson a golf clap for not fouling out this last week. He returned top-150 9-cat value, same as he has on the season, largely on 2.0 blocks, 1.0 steals, high FG% on low volume and low turnovers. Imagine if he could stay on the court for 24-28 minutes a game and if it isn’t love, why do I feel this way? The Knicks play 3 times.
Richaun Holmes kept up low-end value in 21 minutes a game. The minutes probably won’t come up, but he can help you with blocks, points and FG% – his stats are like Trez Harrell-lite. The Suns have 4 games this week and the next.
Nerlens Noel is another low-minute producer though his game is probably better suited for 9-cat roto formats since he gains value from blocks, steals, FG% and low turnovers. He’s like a Mitch-Rob with less upside for increased run later on. Still, he has standard league value on the year. The Thunder rumble 4 times.
Ed Davis was extra boss last week with 10 boards even. He won’t get that many this week but I wouldn’t say that to his face. The Nets play 3 times.
I told ya’all to keep an eye on Jakob Poeltl last week and he kept up his modest performance from the previous week with 11.5 points, 6.5 boards and 1.5 blocks over his last four games. One caveat is that his minutes were pretty subdued outside of blowouts so he’s a risky play, but if you think he’s turned the corner, the Spurs go thricely.
Thomas Bryant is still just a watch until he can start stringing together good games. Washington has 4 games.
Alex Len surprisingly did not keep up his low-end line in a reduced 10 minutes a game. John Collins is the truth and Dewayne Dedmon is rolling which means Len marinates on the wire, hopefully for good. Atlanta has 3 games if you like vomiting in disgust.
–To much chagrin, Markelle Fultz was not finally diagnosed with the yips, but rather with thoracic outlet syndrome. This news was met with many eyerolls as many of us were still pretty sure it was the yips. If this syndrome is the culprit, why was he medically cleared to play by the Sixers’ doctors? Whatever the case may be, he’s out indefinitely and we all hope he gets right cuz he’s still on his rookie contract and hasn’t just got paid.
–I’m very disappointed that Shai-Gilgeous Alexander is pronounced Shay and not Shy. Then I remembered there aren’t all that many Shai songs, so I’ll get over it – Shay Gorgeous – and I won’t even need a comforter (I sat on this for a month since it didn’t fit the musical theme lol).
–Speaking of SGA, have you seen the back of his jersey- his hyphenated name almost forms a semi-circle around the number. I can’t wait ‘til we get an Indian/Thai hyphenated name like Ramanathan – Chevapravatdumrong to make it a full circle (oval).
–I have five H2H squads and three trades so far, all in one league. It’s almost embarrassing how stacked this squad is getting and I don’t want to jinx it. I just wish I could get something going on my other teams. Barton and Dunn, then Love will really put the squeeze on my roster spots. Baby, won’t ya just traaaade, for a li-ttle whiiile.
And LOL- JoJo Haley been looking like an old man since he was 20.
–There’s a certain pathos to seeing Lonzo carry this particular facial expression that (I assume) he thinks looks cool and detached – it’s likely a psychological defense mechanism for his overbearing dad – but really comes off as dopey. And he’s already a goofy looking cat so it doesn’t help. He needs to get himself a Brodie scowl.
I know you were the over-hyped No. 2 pick and the eldest son of Trump-like LaVar, but hold on, keep playing that D and try not to look so weak in the knees.
–Even though Jon B technically post-dated New Jack, how could I not include a song from my twin? And check out his pre-fade haircut – he’s rocking the young Joey from Friends hahaha – I can’t lie – my hair looked like that too, except slicked back which was not in style at the time, but I hate to have hair in my face. On a musical beat, it shows how the combination of classic rhythm and blues with pronounced drums would set the stage for pop music for the next few decades. The drums have gotten more pronounced in modern music but without the classic melodies.
C’mon Dunn and Barton. I’m Ready.
July 4, 2020, 9:35 amCaris LeVertPG-SG, Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.
LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
July 4, 2020, 9:16 amJordan CrawfordSG, Free Agent
Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.
Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.
July 4, 2020, 8:13 amLance StephensonSG, Free Agent
Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.
Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.
Source: Scott Agness on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 10:10 pmAnthony DavisPF-C, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.
As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.
July 3, 2020, 8:28 pmDeng AdelPF, Brooklyn Nets
Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).
Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.
July 3, 2020, 4:35 pmDarius MillerSF, New Orleans Pelicans
Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.
Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.
Source: Will Guillory on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:26 pmJJ RedickSG, New Orleans Pelicans
J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.
Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).
Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:14 pmTyler HerroPG, Miami Heat
Tyler Herro said the time off allowed his right ankle to fully recover.
Herro returned to action just before the shutdown due to COVID-19. With the ankle back to 100 percent, he will face no restrictions when play picks back up in Orlando. While Herro's scoring prowess caused some increased expectations for his rookie season, he's largely been an afterthought for the Heat. He can clearly shoot the rock (2.1 treys on .391 shooting), but the rest of his game is lacking, and the Heat do not have time to devote to rookie development when the season resumes.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:08 pmKent BazemoreSG, Sacramento Kings
Kent Bazemore, who has been a welcomed presence since joining the Kings in January, reiterated that he'd like to stay with the team.
Bazemore had a lot of opportunity before him when the Blazers were faltering due to injuries at the start of the season and he failed to take advantage. However, a change of scenery made a significant difference, as his field goal percentage leaped from .347 with the Blazers, to .426 with the Kings, and his scoring also increased from 7.9 points to 10.3 points per contest. He sounds locked in as the Kings prepare for the Orlando bubble, but a healthy Kings' roster could handicap his opportunity for playing time when things start back up.
Source: James Ham on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 3:57 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Shams Charania is reporting that Victor Oladipo will sit out the remainder of the Pacers' season.
Oladipo decided to exercise caution as his quad tendon is still susceptible to a relapse, and the circumstances of the Orlando bubble are anything but predictable. It's a big hit to the Pacers chances when play resumes, but Oladipo should be close to 100 percent next year as he continues his rehab and seeks to further strengthen his quad tendon. This season was a flop as he only appeared in 13 games, but Oladipo should be looking to return fully recovered and seeking early-round value next year. The Pacers will continue leaning on their depth to fill the void, and Malcolm Brogdon will continue to be the lead guard running the show in Indiana.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter