March 29, 2016, 9:40 pm
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.
July 12, 2020, 1:43 amVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo played only 13 games in 2019-20 after 12-month absence.
Taking only the 13-game stint into consideration, Oladipo posted top 200/250 per-game value for 8/9 cat leagues which is a far cry from his top-10 performance in 2017-18 but is also completely unfair to judge on such a small sample after a long hiatus while recovering from injury. He flashed his tremendous upside in his last game of the season against the Celtics on March 10 with 27 points, five triples, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor. He has ruled himself out of coming back for the restart this season and will turn his focus on trying to return next year stronger than ever.
July 12, 2020, 1:25 amT.J. McConnellPG, Indiana Pacers
T.J. McConnell posted 210/222 per-game value for 8/9-cat formats in 2019-20.
McConnell’s first year on the Pacers was similar to what he did the last few seasons for the Sixers from a stat perspective although this was the first time in his five-year career that he didn’t average at least one steal per game with only 0.7 this year. Since he plays less than 20 minutes per game on most nights, he is a deep-league option at best for teams desperate for assists with occasional DFS value when the team had players out due to injury.
July 12, 2020, 1:00 amJustin HolidaySG, Indiana Pacers
Justin Holiday put up top 150/110 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats in 2019-20 while providing top 90/60 total value due to not missing any games.
Holiday is on his eighth different NBA roster in only his sixth season but has remained fantasy relevant in each of the last three seasons.
He played 31-plus minutes in each of the last two seasons with a sub-39.0 field goal percentage being his biggest deterrent. It seems he has fixed that this season with a career-best 44.0 field goal percentage and although playing only 24.9 minute per game, continues to be a cheap source for triples and steal s. With Jeremy Lamb out to start next year, perhaps Holiday can stick around for more than one season.
July 12, 2020, 12:36 amJeremy LambSG, Indiana Pacers
Jeremy Lamb was unable to build off his impressive 2018-19 campaign and posted top 110/95 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats in 2019-20.
Lamb was hot and cold all season where he would be lights out one night and invisible the next. Maybe he had trouble adjusting to his new team but he also had trouble staying healthy, having to miss 11 games due to various ailments even before tearing his ACL in March. He is expected to miss a good chunk of next season so even though the 28 year old has plenty of time to get his career back on track, he can be ignored in next year's redraft leagues come draft time.
July 12, 2020, 12:20 amMalcolm BrogdonPG, Indiana Pacers
Malcolm Brogdon put up top-75/85 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats in an injury riddled season.
Brogdon signed a big contract in the offseason and flashed some serious potential with his new team, posting career-highs of 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. His field goal percentage took a big dip however going from 50.6 percent the prior season to 43.9 percent this year. It may be because of the increased responsibility on offense or maybe it was because he could never really get into a rhythm with all the injuries. Brogdon played in 74 percent for the team's games so far this season and had to miss consecutive games on five separate occasions with various back, hip, groin and hamstring injuries. One hopes the injuries aren't all interconnected and he can get back to full health to continue his upward trajectory.
July 12, 2020, 12:00 amDomantas SabonisC, Indiana Pacers
Domantas Sabonis took his game to another level in 2019-20, registering an across the board improvement, allowing him to emerge as the Pacers' best player in fantasy as a top-50 player in 8/9-cat per game value and a top-30 player in total value in both formats.
Sabonis proved that his promising game was legit and took it up several notches. He was a double-double machine, recording averages of 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG and 5.0 APG on .541 shooting from the field. The second-year big man proved to be an amazing facilitator in the post with his five dimes per night. It is worth noting, however, that he made this jump while Victor Oladipo was injured for most of the season and Malcolm Brogdon dealt with a myriad of injuries.
July 11, 2020, 11:57 pmMyles TurnerC, Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner took a step backwards in the 2019-20 season fantasy-wise with top-70/60 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats.
Although Turner missed about two weeks early in the season with an ankle injury, he remained relatively healthy after that. His fantasy production did not meet expectations a season after he put up top-30 value and led the league in shot-blocking. With several new scorers on the team and the emergence of Domantas Sabonis, Turner's usage went down and so did his stats across the board. The only improvement was making 1.4 triples per game compared to 1.0 the prior season but this caused his field goal percentage to dip from 48.7 percent to 45.1. The construct of the team should stay intact for next season so Turner may no longer be a viable third round option.
July 11, 2020, 11:44 pmTJ WarrenSF, Indiana Pacers
T.J. Warren emerged as the Pacers' leading scorer with 18.7 points per game in 2019-20 and his efficient shooting from the field and the line allowed him to finish in the top-75 in both 8 and 9-cat scoring formats.
With Victor Oladipo off to a late and slow start to the season as he recovered from injury, Warren took the lead and along with Domantas Sabonis bore the brunt of the scoring load for the Pacers. Warren's 18.7 PPG came on .529 shooting from the field and .812 from the line. He also put up averages of 1.1 treys, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 32.5 minutes per game. Warren was also able to stay mostly healthy, allowing him to appear in 61 games.
July 11, 2020, 11:08 pmAaron HolidayPG, Indiana Pacers
Aaron Holiday was called on to step up when the Pacers dealt with injuries to Malcolm Brogdon, allowing him to deliver value ranked 207th in 8-cat and 210 in 9-cat per-game value.
The second-year guard made some solid strides in 2019-20, even stepping up and into the Pacers' starting lineup. In January, Holiday showed promise as he went on a nine-game streak where he scored in double digits, including a 25-point career-high explosion against the Pelicans. In 23.6 minutes per game, Holiday averaged 9.4 points, 1.4 threes, 2.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
July 11, 2020, 10:03 pmDoug McDermottSF, Indiana Pacers
Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott shot his way to top-250 value in 9-cat in 2019-20, recording averages 10.4 points, 1.9 threes and 2.5 rebounds on .491 shooting from the field and .827 shooting from the line in 20 minutes per game through 62 games.
McDermott, who has pretty much defined himself as a true one-trick pony across his four-year NBA career. Thanks to the solid play of Justin Holiday off the bench, McDermott was not able to produce a reliable splash, both in real-life and fantasy.