• Rajon Rondo
    G, Los Angeles Lakers

    Rajon Rondo (hand) is available to play on Friday against the Pelicans.

    It'll be Rondo's first game since November 14. He's been through a few practices this week between the G-League and the Lakers, so he might not be on a heavy minutes restriction tonight. Lonzo Ball will run the show but with so many Lakers dealing with illness tonight, there could be plenty of work to go around. Rondo is still just an assists option for most standard leagues, so he's not a must-add.

    Source: Ohm Youngmisuk on Twitter

Fantasy News

  • Doug McDermott
    SF, 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.

  • Jusuf Nurkic
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Blazers coach Terry Stotts described Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins "both looked like the way we remembered them," when talking about them practicing on Saturday.

    If both big men are indeed performing to their pre-injury par, then the Blazers are indeed going to be a team to watch once the season resumes. Nurkic should make for an interesting late-middle round prick for resumption leagues.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Goga Bitadze
    C, Indiana Pacers

    20-year-old rookie Goga Bitadze logged 49 games for the Pacers in 2019-20 and showed why he's still considered a raw talent, ending the season at 403/399 in 8/9-cat per-game value.

    Bitadze was, for the most part, underwhelming. Aside from his 13-point career-high game vs. the Wizards, his season was mostly filled with non-notable appearances. At just 8.4 minutes per game, the still-work-in-progress big man posted averages of 3.1 points 2.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game on .473 shooting. He still has a promising future, especially if he can translate the 19.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG and 4.3 APG in his six G League games into the NBA.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard arrived at Orlando on Saturday and is going through quarantine protocol before joining the Clippers.

    Leonard was away from the team after getting permission to attend to a family matter and did not travel with them to Orlando. According to Doc Rivers, the Clippers are healthy and ready to go, so once Leonard clears his protocol, he should be able to get warmed up with the rest of the Clips squad.

    Source: Ohm Youngmisuk on Twitter

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    James Harden finished the year as the No. 1/2 per-game player in 8/9-cat formats while taking home the crown in both settings on a total value basis.

    There's not much left to say about Harden, frankly. He's a machine and is one of the most unstoppable players in the entire NBA. Fantasy GMs love his consistency, and best of all was that the arrival of Russell Westbrook didn't affect The Beard's ability to rack up stats. His rebounds dipped from 6.6 to 6.4 and his assists fell from 7.5 to 7.4, but it was Westbrook whose volume stats took the heaviest hit. Harden, who has always been criticized for his defense, managed 1.7 steals and a career-high 0.9 blocks to boot. Add in league-high marks of 34.4 points and 4.4 3-pointers per game (both somehow decreases from last year), and it's clear that Harden will again be one of fantasy's true elite options moving forward.

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Russell Westbrook fixed up two major sore spots in his game as a member of the Rockets: his field goal and free throw percentages.

    The fit between Westbrook and James Harden dominated the offseason conversation for Houston, but the two eventually found their stride and complemented each other's game. While Harden's ball-dominance resulted in Westbrook posting depressed counting stats, not having to be "The Man" did enable Russ to hit a career-best .474 from the field, while also jumping back up to a respectable .777 from the free throw line. Westbrook ended the fantasy season as a top-15/40 player in 8/9-cat leagues, and didn't play in back-to-back games, but the efficiency may do more for his fantasy value than the triple-doubles and huge workloads ever could. Westbrook was north of 80% from the line in all but one of his first nine seasons before falling under 74% in the last two, including a horrid .656 showing in 2018-19, so this improved percentages are significant for a player who gets so many shots. Fantasy GMs may have been a bit disappointed by Westbrook averaging "just" 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists but the overall package was better than previous versions, if a little less exciting.

  • Robert Covington
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Robert Covington returned to form after an injury-riddled 2018-19 season, cruising to top-50/40 (8/9-cat) value and filling up box scores with 12.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers per game.

    The cash counters are the elite of the elite, and Covington continued to go under the radar among casual fantasy players. A mid-season trade to Houston's small-ball petri dish didn't have a big effect on his value (as RoCo was around the top-40 mark any way you slice up his season) but it did change his stat profile somewhat. With the Rockets, Covington averaged 7.9 rebounds, 2.9 3-pointers, 1.1 steals and an absurd 2.5 blocks per contest. The ability for Covington to shift from the wing to more of a combo forward/center role drastically improved his rebounds and swats, and it seems likely that his steals would've swung upward had we seen more than a 14-game sample. Covington's fantasy game clearly travels and he's found a fantastic spot to produce as long as he can stay healthy.

  • PJ Tucker
    SF, Houston Rockets

    P.J. Tucker managed top-125/105 value (8/9-cat) in 2019-20, but found a new position over the course of the season.

    Tucker was unable to repeat the middle-round success of 2018-19, largely because his 3-pointers fell from 1.8 to 1.5 per game and his steals plummeted from 1.6 to 1.1, but he did regain some juice as Houston's small-ball center of choice. Tucker hit the skids in the winter and was outside the top-200 for a stretch, but was able to rebound by finishing around the top-100 in the month of February. Though PJT will never be an offensive focal point, he did snag a career-high 6.9 rebounds per contest and offers up enough cash counters to keep fantasy GMs happy.

  • Danuel House
    PF, Houston Rockets

    Danuel House averaged 10.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.9 3-pointers in 30.0 mpg on his way to top-135/105 (8/9-cat) value in 2019-20.

    House was a solid contributor for the injured Rockets in 2018-19 but ended up wasting away in the G League down the stretch due to contract issues. There were no such problems this year and House was able to emerge as one of the trusted few in Mike D'Antoni's rotation. Minutes are plentiful on a team that plays as few as eight players on a given night, and House clearly has the stat set to pump out late-middle round value thanks to the steady flow of cash counters. He has the looks of a nice glue guy in fantasy going forward, and shouldn't cost you much in terms of ADP. House cemented his place in the NBA, and on fantasy rosters, with a breakout campaign.

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon had a nightmare season in 2019-20, shooting poorly out of the gate and then missing almost two months due to knee surgery.

    When the fantasy season stopped Gordon was averaging 14.5 points and 2.7 threes (good) on .370 from the field and .319 from deep (horrid). While Houston's play style will always put Gordon on the map as a points and threes specialist, his stat set can't weather many setbacks. Gordon fell from 3.2 3-pointers per game in each of the previous two seasons, and he ended up as a top-235 fantasy option. When you only contribute in two fantasy categories, you're on thin ice from the start. Gordon figures to be a key player for the Rockets in Orlando, and hopefully the time off has helped him get back to full strength. Gordon will likely be a late-round selection in next season's fantasy drafts but this ugly output is a reminder of what can happen when a few things go wrong with such a thin fantasy profile.

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