• Mercifully we saw some close games and exciting finishes today. Dario Saric almost choked it away for Croatia but came up big at the game’s pivotal moment. Lithuania started strong and snoozed through the second half, narrowly dodging a defeat from the home team in Group B. The US Women unsurprisingly blew some doors off against Senegal but the rest of the women’s field looks competitive.

    If nothing else, Day 2 was a lot more fun than Day 1.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Lithuania 82 vs. Brazil 76
    Croatia 72 vs. Spain 70
    Nigeria vs. Argentina

    Women’s

    USA 121 vs. Senegal 56
    Serbia 65 vs. Spain 59
    Australia 61 vs. Turkey 56
    France 73 vs. Belarus 72

    Brazil vs. Lithuania

    The first men’s game of the day looked like another blowout until an impressive second half rally from Brazil. The Brazilians entered with visions of keeping Jonas Valanciunas away from the basket and did a good job with that for the most part. Lithuania capitalized on some sloppy perimeter defense and ran their sets to perfection, ripping Brazil apart with their good shooters coming off excellent screens. Once Brazil paid more attention to the pick and pop game the paint opened up for Lithuania, who shot 72% from the floor and got whatever they wanted in a clinical first half performance. The second half was a different story; Lithuania scored just 24 points in the entire second half after posting 27 and 31 points in the first two quarters.

    There were strong performances up and down the roster despite the near-collapse. Knicks-bound Mindaugas Kuzminskas (#19) looked good off the bench while Antanas Kavaliauskas (#12) dominated the paint when Valanciunas sat. JV was disappointing; fouling out with just 6 points and 3 rebounds. While his output left a lot to be desired, Lithuania used his gravity to fire open shots from both the mid-range and deep. Paulius Jankunas (#13) was killer from the mid-range in the first half as Brazil selling out to protect the paint played into his skill set nicely. Long-time point guard Mantas Kalnietis led the way with 16 points while Jankunas turned in a nice all-around game with 16-7-3.

    Brazil started poorly and struggled to contain the bigger Lithuanians. Their defense was over-aggressive at times and they were stymied at the other end by a suffocating Lithuanian defense for the first 30 minutes. Poor shooting from the three point line (2-14) and charity stripe (22-35) also loomed large given their tremendous second half surge. A really nice 3rd quarter led by Leandro Barbosa closed the gap to 18 and got the crowd back into it for a massive push in the 4th that saw a deficit of 30 trimmed to just 4 points. Lithuania’s first half execution was just too much to overcome.

    They got impressive games from Barbosa and Jazz guard Raul Neto and the offense seemed to kick into high gear when they let those two create freely. The first half saw lots of plays forced into the post for Nene to poor results. Maybe Brazil enters their next game with a looser offense that will leverage Barbosa’s speed and creativity; their penetration turned Nene into a threat on the offensive glass and formed a much more balanced attack.

    Top Performers

    Lithuania Brazil
    Points Kalnietis 16
    Jankunas 15
    Seibutis 11
    Barbosa 21
    Neto 14
    Nene 11
    Rebounds Jankunas 7
    Maciulis 6
    Kuzminskas 5
    Nene 8
    Lima 6
    Felicio 4
    Assists Kalnietis 7
    Jankunas / Seibutus 3
    Valanciunas / Maciulis 2
    Huertas 3
    Nene/Barbosa/Marquinhos 2
    Neto / Lima 1

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Brazil did a great job of not letting Valanciunas get the ball in the post
    • Felt like Brazil wanted to funnel the ball to Sabonis; he looked tentative early and seemed surprise by Brazilian pressure. He did convert a huge and-1 to pretty much ice the game
    • Huertas has some fun game; it’s a shame he couldn’t squeak out more minutes in a meaningless Lakers season if only for the entertainment value
    • I don’t know what happened at halftime but Lithuania looked like a completely different team coming out of the locker room
    • Lithuania was battling the whistle in the second half; their first free throw of the half was Sabonis’s and-1 to extend the lead to 7 with about 1:20 left to go
      • Free throws: Brazil 22-35, Lithuania 15-18
    • Nene took a horrible foul to all but ice the game, hacking with 3 seconds left on the shot clock with 17.8 seconds to go. Awful decision making from one of the team leaders
    • Brazil still struggled to move the ball on their big run; 11:13 assist to turnover ratio shows the Iso-heavy reality of Barbosa as a lead dog
    • I suppose that’s the reward for dominating everyone, but it’s a shame Team USA won’t get to face off against these Group B teams. There could be some fun games in there

Fantasy News

  • Julius Randle - F - New Orleans Pelicans

    According to Shams Charania, Julius Randle will not be picking up his $9M player option for next season and will be an unrestricted free agent.

    Randle is coming off a sweet breakout season in 2018-19 and has his eyes set on a big payday from a team willing to fork out the dough. This move is not too surprising considering that the Pelicans' frontcourt could get a bit more crowded come draft day as the team is expected to select 6'6" big man Zion Williamson (Duke) with the first overall pick.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, despite the recent traction that the Nets have gained towards building mutual interest with Kyrie Irving, the Lakers are still a potential landing spot for him now that they've traded for Anthony Davis.

    Prior to the Nets rising to the top of the hill, the Lakers were rumored to be a serious option for Irving, especially after he mended fences with LeBron James. The Lakers' acquisition of AD (come July 6), does add some recruiting star power to the organization, so enticing a guard of Irving's caliber might just be their next big step towards competing for a title in 2019-20.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Kristaps Porzingis (torn ACL) is expected to be 100 percent by the start of training camp, per Rick Carlisle.

    The Mavs will need to get the restricted free agent under contract first, but it doesn't sound as though there are any doubts that Porzingis will be suiting up for the Mavs. KP will be an interesting name to track throughout the offseason and preseason, as his health will help stabilize his ADP. When healthy, Porzingis is an early-round talent and will finally be playing with another player (or players, depending on free agency) of his caliber in Dallas.

    Source: Mavs.com

  • Bruno Fernando - C - College

    Bruno Fernando was among a 12-man group to work out for the Jazz.

    Fernando will become the first player born in Angola to be drafted next week, but where he falls is still up for debate. The Jazz pick at 23 and 53, so if they’re going to take the plunge it will have to be in the first round. Fernando averaged 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 blocks for Maryland last season and the Jazz believe that he can develop a solid outside shot. Fernando’s defensive abilities give him an intriguing fantasy outlook, though his playing time will obviously be determined by his landing spot. The other headliners of Utah’s latest workout were Talen Horton-Tucker and Luguentz Dort. The Jazz also invited Terry Harris — the younger brother of free agent Tobias Harris — to the session.

    Source: Salt Lake Tribune

  • Coby White - G - College

    Coby White and Nassir Little are scheduled to work out with the Wizards on Monday.

    White’s name is particularly interesting, as most mock drafts have him off the board before Washington selects at No. 9. It would only take one or two surprises to put White within their reach, however, so it could be some due diligence mixed with wishful thinking. The Wizards should be going with the best player available strategy, but it is worth noting that White is a 6’5″ guard and Little is a 6’6″ forward given how the Wizards currently have most of their salary tied up in the backcourt.

    Source: Washington Wizards on Twitter

  • Vlatko Cancar - F - Denver Nuggets

    Nuggets President of Basketball Ops Tim Connelly thinks that Vlatko Cancar could join the Nuggets this season.

    Playing in Spain this season, Denver's second-rounder from the 2017 draft put up 10.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 46.4 percent from the field. Last summer he scored 9.0 points per game with the Nuggets in Summer League, and his continued growth has made an impression on Denver's top brass. "I thought he had a very big summer league last summer, he's a guy who's going to wear a Nuggets uniform sooner rather than later," said Connelly. Cancar is a name to know in deep dynasty formats but we don't envision him getting significant minutes if he makes the team.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Pelicans and Lakers will complete the Anthony Davis trade on July 6.

    July 6 is the first day that trades can be processed and it will drastically impact the Lakers' cap space. The Lakers would rather process the trade in late July, at least 30 days after the draft, so that they will have $32.5 million in cap rather than $23.4. Wojnarowski also reported that Davis is unlikely to waive his $4 million trade kicker which will also hamper LA's cap space. If the Lakers can't put together enough for a max contract player, it'll throw a big wrench into free agency. With this story constantly evolving, stay tuned for updates.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    The Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets are considered to be the two main teams exploring trade scenarios for Clint Capela according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

    With the biggest trade chip of the summer in Anthony Davis off the table, Capela figures to be next in line to draw significant interest around the league. In the Celtics scenario, Capela could either play alongside Horford or become his replacement depending on what Horford decides on his player option. However, seeing how reluctant they were to include some of their big assets in the AD trade, the same could be the case here. For the Brooklyn side it would be tough to imagine them pulling off a deal for Capela that doesn't involve moving Jarrett Allen, as the two have too similar of games to really play them together. This is all obviously very much in the speculation stage, but it is worth keeping an eye on both of these teams in regards to the Rockets' big man as the summer's arms race heads into full swing.

    Source: Steve Kyler on Twitter

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    The Celtics were unwilling to include Jayson Tatum in negotiations for Anthony Davis according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

    It appears that the Celtics were never truly players in the AD sweepstakes, as it's tough to imagine talk went very far without Tatum in the fold. In the wake of this deal, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Celtics are prepared to pivot to handing Tatum the keys to the franchise, especially considering their chances of resigning Kyrie Irving appear to be dwindling by the day. Tatum did not have the breakout campaign many were hoping for in his second year, but if he goes into next season as Boston's clear cut number one option perhaps he could be in line for said breakout in year three.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • David Griffin - Team - New Orleans Pelicans

    Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that multiple teams are already indicating significant interest in acquiring the No. 4 pick in next week's draft, which now belongs to the Pelicans.

    In case you missed it, the Pelicans have agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a package that includes the fourth selection in the 2019 draft, which the Pelicans may flip to get a quality roster player or another young asset. David Griffin stood firm in his requests on a Davis deal, and although he was unable to get Kyle Kuzma included in the trade, the Pelicans came away with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, two future first-rounders and the No. 4 pick in next week's draft, which could lead to more picks or additional players. Expect New Orleans to be at the center of plenty of rumors over the next few days.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter