February 14, 2019, 1:22 amKlay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson (sprained left finger) did not play well against the Blazers on Wednesday with just nine points on 2-of-16 shooting.
He did tie a career-high with eight assists, but his shots were not falling in this one and the Warriors really needed him if they were going to win this game. He should bounce back next game unless the finger injury becomes more serious than originally thought.
June 25, 2019, 3:46 pmJulius Randle - PF - New Orleans Pelicans
Per Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Pelicans forward Julius Randle and the Knicks have mutual interest as free agency approaches.
The Pelicans drafted their PF of the future in Zion Williamson last week, and will seemingly let Randle walk in free agency as they are unlikely to pay him what he deserves. After a productive finish with the Lakers in 2018-19, Randle had to settle for a one-year deal from the Pelicans last summer. After another productive season on an expiring contract, it looks like at least one franchise is ready to invest in Randle as their PF of the future. Randle averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.9 threes to boot this past season and makes for a good mid-round selection in drafts next season if he finds himself in a similar role.
Source: The Undefeated
June 25, 2019, 3:32 pmAndre Iguodala - SF - Golden State Warriors
Speaking about Kevin Durant's injury situation during this year's playoffs, Andre Iguodala said that he fractured his left leg against the Rockets in the 2018-19 playoffs and the Warriors listed him out with a "left lateral leg contusion”
There has been a lot of smoke in regards to how the Warriors dealt with Durant's injury, as it did not appear to be as minor as the team led the public to believe when he injured himself backpedaling after a made basket. A non-contact injury is always a major red flag, but the Warriors called Durant's initial injury a "first-grade calf strain," which is the lowest graded injury designation. Weeks later, when Durant rushed back to help his team out of a 3-1 Finals deficit, he fully ruptured his Achilles in only 12 minutes of action. This is all just speculation, but this revelation from the 2015 NBA Finals MVP is an alarming development for a franchise who could seemingly do no wrong the past half-decade. The league may take a deep-dive into these claims soon enough.
Source: NBC Sports
June 25, 2019, 3:14 pmD'Angelo Russell - PG - Brooklyn Nets
The Lakers, who are also working towards setting up meetings with a defensive specialist and a floor-spacer, have a set meeting with D'Angelo Russell when free agency opens.
The Lakers drafted Russell at #2 overall in the 2015 NBA draft and subsequently traded him to the Nets a few years ago as a way to get Timofey Mozgov's horrendous contract off their books. He has since blossomed into an All-Star selection this past season as the leader of the Nets' push back into relevancy. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Russell and the Lakers would mend their previous relationship, but it remains to be seen if anything will come of it. If it is any consolation to Russell, Magic Johnson, the man who traded Russell to the Nets, is no longer with the team.
Source: Fred Robbins on Twitter
June 25, 2019, 2:29 pmMitch Kupchak - Team - Charlotte Hornets
In what will play a major role in all personnel decisions, the Hornets are determined to avoid the luxury tax next season, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.
If true, then this will have a major effect on free agency as the Hornets are unlikely to extend the supermax to Kemba Walker this summer. While Walker has said publicly that he is willing to take less than the supermax, it would be hard to see him stay with the Hornets for anything less as he is sure to garner interest from many teams with much better odds at competing for a title. The Lakers, Mavs, and Celtics are just a few of the many teams that will be looking into Walker once free agency opens up, and they all have brighter presents or futures ahead than the Hornets current outlook. There have been rumbles that Walker would head elsewhere next season for a few weeks now, and this report adds even more smoke to the fire. Free agency opens in less than a week.
Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter
June 25, 2019, 2:02 pmBilly Garrett - PG - New York Knicks
The Knicks have declined the 2019-20 team option on G Billy Garrett, making him an unrestricted free agent.
This was the expected outcome as the Knicks look to create max cap space for free agency this summer. Garrett appeared in just four games for the Knicks this past season where he averaged 6.5 points and 1.8 assists in 15.8 minutes. Garrett was productive in the G-league and should find himself another opportunity as a deep reserve or back in the G-League. There is no fantasy value here.
Source: Michael Scotto on Twitter
June 25, 2019, 1:36 pmRob Pelinka - Team - Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said she has, “100 percent confidence in (GM) Rob Pelinka.”
For all the bashing the Lakers franchise has taken in the media, and all the stories about dysfunction and deceit in the front office, the team is right where they want to be and right where they promised to be last summer. The Lakers have LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and cap room to bring in another max player or depth to build around the two superstars. For everything negative that has been said and reported on the franchise, if the team can deliver on the court next season everything about the team’s perception will change in an instant. Free agency opens next week and the Lakers hold the keys to the offseason.
Source: LA Times
June 25, 2019, 1:23 pmJake Layman - SF - Trail Blazers
The Blazers have given F Jake Layman his qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent.
The Blazers will now have the right to match any offer sheet that Layman receives on the market. With Al-Farouq Aminu, Enes Kanter, Rodney Hood, and Seth Curry all hitting free agency, along with Jusuf Nurkic recovering from his lower body injury, Layman could find himself in the prominent role that some envisioned for him this season. He makes for an intriguing late-round look, depending on what situation he lands in this summer.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 25, 2019, 1:08 pmKemba Walker - PG - Charlotte Hornets
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Celtics are emerging as a stealth suitor for Hornets free agent Kemba Walker.
Walker is one of the top free agents on the market and is heavily linked to a few teams including the Lakers, Mavs, and a reunion with the Hornets. While the Hornets can offer Kemba the most money, he also has said that he is willing to take a pay cut if it gives him a better shot at winning. With the Celtics expected to lose both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, it remains to be seen if they are the team to give him the better shot at winning.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
June 25, 2019, 12:58 pmPatrick Beverley - PG - Los Angeles Clippers
Per sources of The Dallas Morning News, the Mavs and Patrick Beverley regard on another as a "perfect fit."
Beverley, who is also in high demand with the Lakers and Sixers, is said to have plans to meet with the Mavs near the start of free agency, though Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News reported that a meeting hasn't been scheduled yet. Even after the Mavs extend Kristaps Porzingis, they'll have a ton of money left to round out their roster. Beverley will be a very busy man when free agency opens up next week.
Source: Dallas News
June 25, 2019, 12:35 pmMohamed Bamba - C - Orlando Magic
The Magic have listed C Mo Bamba, who has made tremendous progress from the tibial stress fracture in his left leg, on the team's Summer League roster.
Bamba has been working out daily with Magic assistant coaches and has been making steady progress. It remains to be seen how much Bamba will play in Las Vegas, but being on the roster is a good sign. Bamba's fantasy stock hinges heavily on Nikola Vucevic's free agency decision, but he has tremendous upside should he find himself a larger role.
Source: John Denton on Twitter