• D’Angelo Russell is 19 years old.  You don’t have to follow the Lakers closely to have seen the various outbursts and mannerisms that drive Byron Scott and teammates up a wall.  While it’s fair to wonder how this will translate into his ability to lead a franchise — something Kobe Bryant and others have questioned — it’s hard to ride the kid too hard for his various foibles because most of us were a mess at 19 ourselves and look at how we turned out.

    Okay, bad example, but you get the point.

    This time, however, Russell might have bitten off more than he can chew with his most recent incident.  ESPN reported late on Tuesday night that Russell broke the No. 1 rule of the locker room, which is that what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room (or at the apartment or hotel room in this case).

    Sources told ESPN.com that trust in Russell from some teammates is eroding after a video surfaced in the past week that shows the 20-year-old former Ohio State standout and No. 2 overall pick from the 2015 draft recording a private conversation between Russell and teammate Nick Young in which Young does not appear to realize he’s being taped.

    The video, which is believed to have come to light last week via the Twitter account of a celebrity gossip site, shows Russell filming Young while asking leading questions about Young being with other women. Young got engaged to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea last summer.

    The Lakers would go on to lose by 48 points to the Jazz on Monday and that’s the least of Russell and the team’s concerns at this point:

    Various Lakers officials are aware of the issue and are dismayed with Russell, sources say, but to this point have chosen not to intervene in how Russell’s actions have been received and handled by his teammates.

    “Right now,” one source said, “they’re handling it by isolating him.”

    How bad is this situation and how pissed are Russell’s teammates?

    At a recent breakfast meeting, one source said, no Laker would sit with Russell at his table. The source added that, in another instance, Russell came into the locker room and sat next to guard Lou Williams, who got up and walked away.

    “It’s bad,” one team source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.”

    “He’s such a kid,” Scott said in February. “I told him the other day, ‘You’re 19 but sometimes I think you’re 14.'”

    There are a number of important angles here for Young in his personal life that are between he and his girlfriend, but for Russell’s part his actions have led to a crossroads early in his career.  Is he going to learn from stuff like this or will it become a pattern?  And will the Lakers look to a future with him as a foundational piece, or look to use him in a blockbuster deal before his value gets sapped by in-between the ears stuff.

    UPDATE: Izzy has weighed in. Nick gonna be sleeping on the couch … if he’s lucky.

Fantasy News

  • Nerlens Noel
    C, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Brett Dawson of The Athletic believes that Nerlens Noel could see a slight bump in minutes if the Thunder limit Steven Adams' usage.

    Noel is a great per-minute producer of steals and blocks but only appeared in 13.7 minutes per contest last season. Additional playing time would make him more useful in deeper leagues.

    Source: Brett Dawson of The Athletic

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    In a video, Joel Embiid announced that he lost about 25 pounds over the summer.

    Embiid is one of the best fantasy players around but has struggled at times with conditioning. The Sixers will gladly accept any improvements from last season's averages of 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • TJ Warren
    SF, Indiana Pacers

    According to Pacers beat writer Scott Agness, Pacers forward T.J. Warren has no injury worries heading into the season.

    Warren has missed 56 games during the last two seasons, but he hopes to stay healthy for all of 2019-20. Warren is likely to start for the Pacers and could hold top-100 value if he can stay on the court.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard expects to play for Team USA during next year's Summer Olympics.

    Lillard skipped this year's World Cup but is planning to play in Tokyo. He should be a late first-round or early second-round fantasy pick this year.

    Source: news.com.au

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Warriors guard Stephen Curry expects to play at next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

    Curry will have a busy year ahead of him. Still, it's no surprise that many potential members of Team USA skipped this year's FIBA World Cup in favor of an Olympics appearance. Curry will be a popular early first-round pick in fantasy drafts.

    Source: ESPN

  • Isaiah Thomas
    PG, Washington Wizards

    Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left thumb.

    This is rough news for the Wizards, who already have John Wall on the shelf. Thomas was a candidate to start at point guard, but instead he'll have to recover from yet another injury. Thomas averaged 8.1 points and 1.9 assists in limited action for the Nuggets last campaign.

    Source: Washington Wizards on Twitter

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Free Agent

    According to Ian Begley, several Nets players are pushing for the team to sign Carmelo Anthony but it's unknown whether the front office will go forward.

    Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have already been reported as being among Anthony's supporters. Still, Melo could end up with a team other than the Nets or nowhere at all in the NBA. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds before the Rockets parted ways with him last November.

    Source: Ian Begley on SNY

  • Justin Anderson
    SF, Washington Wizards

    The Wizards signed forward Justin Anderson.

    The Wizards could use depth, but Anderson's deal is non-guaranteed and he is unlikely to make a major fantasy impact. He averaged 3.7 points last season in limited action for the Hawks.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Isaiah Taylor
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed guard Isaiah Taylor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

    It's a partially guaranteed deal for Taylor, who missed last season due to injury. The Celtics, Nuggets, and Suns had also shown interest. Taylor averaged 6.6 points and 1.3 assists in 2017-18 with the Hawks. He's unlikely to put up big numbers with the Raptors.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have applied for a disabled player exception worth $3.625 million, after losing forward Darius Miller for the season with an Achilles injury.

    Miller became a reliable perimeter threat for the Pelicans last year averaging career-highs in points (8.2) and assists (2.5) in 69 games. He then signed a two-year deal worth $14 million early in the summer. Without Miller, the Pelicans will likely give more minutes to Kenrich Williams and Nicolo Melli.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter