• The Cavs and Celtics are engaged in active discussions on a trade centered around Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

    Kyrie Irving’s intentions to leave Cleveland are well known at this point, but this news somewhat comes out of nowhere; especially the fact that it involves the Celtics and Isaiah Thomas. There’s no word on what else would be involved or whether another team will be required to help facilitate the trade but if a trade involving the two star points guards goes through, it would be huge. It would result in major fantasy implications if two All-Stars were traded for each other, more pieces will surely be involved too.

    Update: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the talks between Boston and Cleveland are serious. A deal certainly sounds likely at this point.

    Update: Cavs and Celtics nearing agreement on deal centered around Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. Jae Crowder and pick(s) also involved. The two sides are still ironing out details.

    Update: Celtics center Ante Zizic is expected to be a part of the potential Cavs, Celtics deal according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

    Update: Apparently the Cavs were pushing for Jayson Tatum and we’ll see how all the posturing goes soon enough.

    Update: Now Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first is being discussed, which might be a byproduct of not including Tatum.  Still, we love the deal for Cleveland before the 2018 pick.  Get your popcorn ready.

    Update: We have an agreement.

    Analysis: We’re still crunching numbers and getting ready for the Draft Guide, but Thomas goes to a clear No. 2 scoring position in Cleveland and we’ll evaluate how much of a dip he’s going to get hit with.  His 19.4 FGAs per game last year aren’t as much as folks seem to think on the Internet, but he’s certainly at risk for a production hit. 

    Irving goes to a Celtics team that shares the ball more but doesn’t have a dominant player like LeBron, so his numbers might hold steady and again we’ll do the math on that and release it in the Draft Guide.  Crowder’s role should remain consistent at worst as the Cavs need a full boat of minutes from him due to their lack of depth, and Zizic stands a decent chance at earning the backup center job for the Cavs that they don’t have filled.

    For Boston’s young wings — Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum — their minutes get a big boost but stat set issues are big problems for them.  Brown can definitely be taken in the later rounds as the guy most likely to get bigger minutes between the two, and we’ll need to see big progress out of Tatum right away to bring him up to that valuation. 

Fantasy News

  • Neil Olshey - Team - Trail Blazers

    According to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, the Wizards have shown interest in Blazers’ President Neil Olshey becoming the new President of Basketball Operations for the Wizards.

    Ted Leonsis has yet to request permission to interview Olshey, who has spent the last seven years with the Blazers and is under contract through the 2020-21 season. Masai Ujiri’s name has also been thrown around as a possible candidate and the Wizards would obviously be willing to wait until the end of playoffs before rushing to a decision.

    Source: Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    Nikola Jokic said he plans to play for his home country Serbia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup this Summer.

    “I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season, I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected in the NBA All-Star Five. For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team. I am fully prepared to do my best to achieve this goal”, said Jokic, confirming his participation. He will have a little bit of time to rest up, but Serbia is expected to compete against Angola, the Philippines and Italy starting on August 31. The miles will be a test for the big man, but one he has aced before.

    Source: Eurohoops.net

  • Khris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Khris Middleton really struggled in Thursday's Game 5, scoring six points (2-of-9 shooting) and pulling down 10 boards as the Bucks fell 105-99 at home.

    Middleton's disappearing act offensively was the difference for the Bucks who really need their second best offensive option to demand the ball and produce more. The airball late in the game was a microcosm of the outing for Middleton. He'll need to take more than nine shots (less than any other Bucks starter) for the team to have a good shot at a Game 6 win in Toronto.

  • Brook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks

    Brook Lopez scored 16 points and pulled down eight boards on Thursday night in a Game 6 loss.

    Lopez was fine in general and wasn't really a liability, but he also didn't provide as much as needed on the defensive side or from long range. For what it's worth, he has generally outplayed his counterpart Marc Gasol in this series and tonight was no different.

  • Malcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Malcolm Brogdon reentered the starting lineup on Thursday night and put in a solid performance, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

    It was a better sight to see than the disastrous four points in Game 4, but it wasn't enough as his absence from the bench really sucked the offense out of the bench group as the second unit scored a whopping 15 points. A repeat performance from Brogdon and more from Khris Middleton is a potentially winning formula for Game 6.

  • Eric Bledsoe - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Eric Bledsoe showed signs of life on Thursday night, scoring 20 points, but it wasn't enough for the Bucks to overcome the Raptors in Game 5 at home.

    Bledsoe was worlds better than he was on Tuesday, but the Bucks didn't have an answer to Kawhi Leonard and lost hold of the game late in the fourth quarter. A dialed in Bledsoe would really help the cause in Game 6.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points with six rebounds and six assists on Thursday as the Bucks fell to the Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Antetokounmpo continued to struggle from the free throw line, hitting just four of nine free throw attempts. It seemed like he really got beat up trying to take the ball to the basket late in the game. Even more puzzling, GA wasn't in the game for some key moments late in the game. He'll need to lead from the front for the Bucks to bring this back to Milwaukee.

  • Pascal Siakam - F - Toronto Raptors

    Pascal Siakam played 36 minutes, scoring 14 points (on 15 field goal attempts) with 13 rebounds and four defensive counters on Thursday night.

    Siakam wasn't efficient on the offensive side including a sequence of three missed 3-pointers on the same possession during the Raptors' sluggish start. He was pivotal to the fourth quarter defensive effort especially when protecting the rim against Giannis late in the game.

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet was on fire again in Thursday's Game 5, scoring 21 points with all his points coming from seven 3-pointers.

    The distance shooting was huge for the Raptors as VanVleet outscored the Bucks' bench by six by himself. VanVleet could definitely be the key to the Raps' efforts to close this series out on Saturday. We'll see if he can keep finding his shooting stroke.

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry played 39 minutes on Thursday, scoring 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.

    Lowry has been dealing with a thumb injury which may be part of the reason he's struggled with his shot at times in the postseason. Still, most guys are banged up at this point in the season and he's just going to continue to tough it out with the NBA Finals on the horizon.