• The men’s games didn’t have nearly the same theater (not to disparage the late game between Serbia and Croatia) as the women’s bracket yesterday, and that’s okay. What we got instead was some tournament favorites rounding into form as well as a final farewell to one of the international basketball scene’s finest cores. On one hand, three of the games were basically two quarters long. On the other, it looks like the big boys are heating up at the right time.

    The semifinals are shaping up to be quite fun.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Australia 90 vs. Lithuania 64
    Spain 92 vs. France 67
    USA 105 vs. Argentina 78
    Serbia 86 vs. Croatia 83

    Australia 90 vs. Lithuania 64

    Australia continued to look dominant today, dispatching Lithuania with ease in the first game of the afternoon. Australia got a three pointer from Matthew Dellavedova on their first possession and never relinquished the lead. Australia executed its offense to perfection with superb screens and backed it up with tenacious defense.

    Australia continued to put on an offensive clinic; they are expert at running Patty Mills all around the floor until he can get stuck in a mismatch or find an open lane. Joe Ingles, Andrew Bogut and Dellavedova can all dish nicely and they knew which players to target on the defensive end. It was another tremendous outing that only cements Australia’s reputation as at least the second best team in Rio. Their physical defense got Lithuania off their game early and allowed the Boomers to build up a big lead that turned most of the second half into garbage time. The lead was cut down to the mid-teens at times but it never felt as though Lithuania could come back.

    Mills had 24 points and 5 threes on 8-15 shooting, Dellavedova battled through a leg problem for 15 points, Aron Baynes shot 7-9 and put up 16 points of his own. The ball movement was once again brilliant as the Aussies worked to get Mindaugas Kuzminskas (#19) matched up on Mills and then stuck him on screens that led to open shots or over-rotations from the defense. Whenever Baynes flashed into open position, he got the ball. They absolutely carved up their opponents and look like a basketball cyborg headed into the semifinals.

    Lithuania’s tournament started so well but they have now had three bad games in a row. They totally unraveled today and looked frustrated by the game’s physicality from the jump. Jonas Valanciunas ranged from ‘bad’ to ‘pedestrian’ despite gathering in 8 rebounds, many of them in dogfights with Baynes and Bogut. He really needs to develop a jumper, as Bogut completely sagged off him outside the paint and paid no price; Valanciunas never even looked at the basket despite 10 feet of space between him and his defender.

    Mantas Kalnietis (#5; 12-3-5 today) had emerged as Lithuania’s go-to guy but was shut down by some terrific off-ball defense. That led to some bad passes and poor decisions as other players were forced to handle the ball; Lithuania had 17 turnovers and just 14 assists on the day. I watched this game on replay and was credited with a contact steal. It was a game where the Lithuanians looked frustrated at best and clueless at worst.

    Top Performers

    Australia Lithuania
    Points Mills 24
    Baynes 16
    Dellavedova 15
    Kalnietis / Kavaliauskas 12
    Seibutis 8
    Kuzminskas / Maciulis 6
    Rebounds Bogut 7
    Andersen 6
    Baynes 5
    Valanciunas 8
    Kuzminskas 6
    Sabonis 4
    Assists Bogut 6
    Ingles 5
    Broekhoff / Martin 4
    Kalnietis 5
    Seibutis 3
    Kuzminskas/Grigonis/Jeskevicius 2

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Ingles with great defense on Maciulis to start
    • Bogut just destroyed Kalnietis with a screen on the second play of the game; he was cheating to help in the paint and ran right into Bogut when Ingles’ skip pass got to the corner; beautiful execution by Australia
    • Tried a little clear out action to open up a driving lane for Maciulis but Mills didn’t bite at all; drew the charge for Maciulis’ 2nd foul in 90 seconds
    • Australia had 18 points off turnovers in the first quarter; Lithuania had no chance today
    • Some weak calls against Lithuania while Australia got lots of leeway early on, but really no excuse for the performance
    • Lithuanians are missing all kinds of rotations on defense; they were totally worn out by the physicality

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