NBA Player News and Fantasy Analysis

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Shams Charania is reporting that the NBA is targeting a December 22 start date for a 72-game season.

    Earlier today it was reported that the league was looking at Christmas day as its start, with the potential for a shortened schedule. With the draft going down on November 18 this would be an insanely short runway, and it's unclear at this point if the NBPA would agree to such a condensed offseason. The league is trying to get as close to a "normal" schedule as possible but would still need to figure out how games will be played. A December start likely means no fans in arenas, and the NBA is hoping to play games in-market (i.e., no bubbles) while also reducing travel.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The NBA's Board of Governors is meeting on Friday and will discuss a number of things relating to next season, including a possible start on Christmas day.

    The previously speculated start date has been mid-January's MLK Day, which seems far more feasible given that the draft is set for November 18 — just about a month before Christmas — and we still don't know much about free agency. Some owners are apparently hoping to get into things quickly and not wait for fans to be allowed back into arenas. Whatever gets decided in today's meeting would need to be accepted by the Players Association, so it's far from a done deal either way.

    Source: ESPN

  • Karl-Anthony Towns
    C, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Confirming what has long been speculated, the NBA Draft will go down on November 18.

    It'll be a weird draft season with teams limited in terms of how many prospects they can visit in-person, as well as how little recent film might be available given the suspension of sports around the globe, but the draft is officially locked in. The Wolves hold the top pick and we'll just have to wait and see how it all unfolds.

    Source: ESPN PR

  • Deni Avdija
    F, International

    The Warriors reportedly sent personnel to Atlanta for an in-person viewing of Deni Avdija.

    Avdija is a 19-year-old who currently plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv and is thought to be the top international prospect in the draft. Despite that standing, the general consensus has been that he'll be going slightly lower in the lottery than where Golden State would pick at No. 2. This is either some extreme due diligence (which seems unlikely given the COVID-related restrictions on prospect visits) or it could signal that the Warriors may be interested in trading down in the draft, which has been speculated elsewhere. Our international hoops expert, Dio Nikiforos, will have more in-depth breakdowns of Avdija's game in the coming weeks.

    Source: The Athletic

  • DeMar DeRozan
    SG, San Antonio Spurs

    On Wednesday The Athletic quoted an anonymous NBA agent as saying DeMar DeRozan "doesn't like San Antonio and doesn't want to be there."

    DeRozan may not like San Antonio but he most definitely likes the $27 million dollars he'd be passing up were he to decline his player option this offseason. He'll certainly opt in, but he may wind up as a sought after trade piece for a team looking to take a step up next season. While this should still be considered speculation, with the Spurs seemingly interested in rebuilding it would make sense to stock up on assets by trading DeMar.

    Source: Ben Standig in The Athletic

  • Daniel Theis
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Daniel Theis underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure on his left knee on Tuesday but is expected to be fully healthy by training camp.

    Theis has a non-guaranteed contract of just $5M for next season that the Celtics will most certainly guarantee as Theis was instrumental in their success this past season. This didn't seem to be a major operation so expectations are that Theis won't be slowed down by this once the 2020-21 season rolls along. However, knee procedures are not nothing in basketball so this is something to be aware of come draft season.

    Source: Celtics on Twitter

  • Zion Williamson
    Team, New Orleans Pelicans

    According to a report, the Pelicans have hired Stan Van Gundy as their next head coach.

    The Pelicans previously met with Ty Lue as they searched for a new coach, but he ended up being hired by the Clippers. Van Gundy's last coaching job was with the Pistons, a stint which ended in 2018. He previously was head coach of the Magic and Heat. His deal with the Pelicans runs for four seasons.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Domantas Sabonis
    C, Indiana Pacers

    Domantas Sabonis (left foot plantar fasciitis) is "doing well" according to Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard, but it's uncertain whether he will participate in activities for Team Lithuania.

    Sabonis was unable to play in the bubble due to the injury, but the Pacers seem optimistic about his availability for next season. New head coach Nate Bjorkgren has already indicated that he is comfortable playing Sabonis alongside Myles Turner going forward.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Appearing on Kevin Durant’s podcast, Kyrie Irving said that he’s healthy and ready to go after shoulder surgery that ended his season last year after just 20 appearances.

    This is great news and Nets fans can’t wait to see the two superstars get back on the floor. Kyrie’s numbers have always been good and he has been a fantasy stud the last few years but the main issue with him has been health. He looks ready to bounce back from his shoulder injury and hopefully he will be able to perform at a high level once the next season begins.

    Source: NY Post

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    For all the changes to the Rockets since last season, with the departure of head coach Mike D’Antoni and GM Daryl Morey, owner Tilman Fertitta said on Tuesday that the stars of his roster will remain.

    “This is still our window, the next couple years,” Fertitta said. “James and Russell are in their early 30s. We’re not blowing up anything. We plan on contending.” The Rockets have almost 90 percent of their salary tied to Harden, Westbrook and Eric Gordon, giving them very little flexibility on what they can do this offseason. Newly appointed GM Rafael Stone will be busy trying to add pieces to a roster full of veterans but the main question seems to be which coach the Rockets hire and what style of basketball they are gong to play moving forward.

    Source: Houston Chronicle

  • Blake Griffin
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Zach Lowe of ESPN said on his podcast that the Pistons are going to have a market for Blake Griffin.

    “I’ve had enough teams ask me about Blake Griffin that I think there's still interest in what he can do to help you win,” said Zach Lowe on his podcast. "I don't think it's going to be, like, strong, they are not going to have two first round picks, or even a first round pick unless they take back something onerous too, but there is a market.” Griffin has just two seasons remaining on his contract after having an All-NBA Third Team season in 18-19, and that makes him a a potential target for contending teams. He was limited to just 18 games last year after having two surgeries on his left knee, but all reports coming out of Detroit claim that he is recovering very well.

    Source: ESPN

  • Derrick Jones Jr.
    SF, Miami Heat

    Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to attract a number of potential suitors this offseason including both the Pistons and the Bulls, per Sam Amico.

    Coming off a season that failed to reach any great heights for Jones, he may elect to take his talents elsewhere in the hope of garnering a more secure role. The Pistons and the Bulls present as positive landing spots, with the Pistons the team more likely to have minutes to spare. Contrary to earlier belief, the Cavaliers do not have any interest in acquiring Jones prior to next season. While this news is far from earth-shattering, Jones could make for a sneaky late-round target if he slides into a more prominent role.

    Source: Amico Hoops

  • Luol Deng
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers have requested a career-ending injury application for Luol Deng so that the remaining $8.98M that he is owed through the end of the 2021-22 season be removed from the teams books.

    Deng retired from basketball in October of 2019 with the Bulls but is still being paid by the Lakers after being bought out of his contract in September of 2018. This is why the organization is attempting to clear that money so that they have a little bit more to work with in free agency. We will have to wait and see what the NBA decides, but it doesn't hurt to ask the question to see if they get some salary cap relief.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Victor Oladipo
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    The Pacers hired Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    Bjorkgren spent several seasons in the NBA minor leagues before getting opportunities in both Phoenix and Toronto as an assistant. He'll have his first opportunity in the driver's seat and beat out other popular candidates for the gig including Chris Finch, Chris Quinn and Dan Craig. The new staff in Indiana will be looking to maximize both of their bigs while also attempting to mend the fences with disgruntled star, Victor Oladipo.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Lauri Markkanen
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports is reporting that the Bulls may be trying to move up in the draft with their sights set on a prospect who could offer immediate help.

    Arturus Karnisovas is clearly working on a fresh start for the Bulls, already hiring Billy Donovan as coach and Marc Eversley as general manager, and he could also look to shake up the roster. Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards, Memphis center James Wiseman and well-traveled point guard LaMelo Ball are expected to be the top three players chosen in the upcoming draft, but after that, it’s anyone’s guess. The Wolves and the Warriors are also may be looking to trade down so it remains to be seen whether a deal is there for the Bulls.

    Source: NBC Sports