• When the Pelicans traded for Jrue Holiday, he was already an All-Star.  Despite being only 22 years old, Jrue Holiday had already made an appearance in the All-Star game.  Despite conjecture that Jrue was not worth the haul Dell Demps sent for him, it was undeniable that he was a player on the rise.

    Fast forward to now and Jrue hasn’t had a single appearance in the All-Star game since joining the Pelicans.  Some of this might have been poor injury luck, some of it might have been poor roster fits, and some of it might have been the fact that, as David Griffin pointed out, Jrue was always hidden behind more prominent names like Anthony Davis (and DeMarcus Cousins too).  Now that Jrue is out of Davis’s tall but slight shadow, is this the year that he makes an All-Star game?

    The Main Considerations

    Despite knowing more about the value of non-elite usage guys, it is certainly true that All-Star appearances till tend to fall in the laps of guys who score a lot.  For as much as we know about winning, great scoring is still at a premium, and anything close to resembling that tends to be rewarded in recognition.

    The good news for Jrue is that this is the first year in a long time where he is the best player on his team.  The gap between Holiday and the Pelicans’ second-best player (who I’d argue is Derrick Favors) is a substantial one this season, and he is going to get his looks.  Without Anthony Davis on the floor last season, Jrue Holiday scored at clip of roughly 23 points per 36 minutes.  I would expect him to be somewhere between 23-25 if he’s let loose as a scorer, and those are All-Star caliber numbers.

    One of the more interesting discussions that I’ve had on Twitter in the NBA summer doldrums is what will happen to Jrue’s assist numbers.  He’ll have the ball in his hands a lot, but how much he plays with Lonzo Ball will undoubtedly affect how many assist opportunities Holiday has. Last season, when Elfrid Payton was on the floor, Jrue averaged around 5.6 assists per 36, and when he was off the floor, 8.4.  This is a substantial difference and reflects how different his statistics are when he plays with another initiator.

    I’ve been of the opinion for a while that the team should start Jrue-JJ-Lonzo-Zion-Favors, and having Lonzo alongside him can help to ensure that Holiday is at his best, which is when he isn’t asked to make sure that everyone else is getting their shots and when he can focus on being a score-first player.

    Holiday is also an awesome defender, which is widely known and could possibly help vault him over one-way guards he’s competing with.  Team winning will also clearly play into this, so how the Pelicans perform will matter.  But ultimately, Jrue is being handed the reins to the Pelicans team, and that is what matters the most.  If Jrue can fall in the range of 20-25 points per game with 7-8 assists per game, which is certainly possible, this could be the year that he finally (deservedly) returns to the All-Star game.

Fantasy News

  • Terrance Ferguson
    SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Terrance Ferguson (personal) will remain out for Saturday's contest against the Wolves.

    This will be Ferguson's fifth straight absence so Luguentz Dort should continue to start on Saturday. He has produced an underwhelming 6.5 points, 0.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 triples in 23.4 minutes filling in for Ferguson over the last four games so he can be ignored in all formats.

    Source: Joe Mussatto on Twitter

  • Steven Adams
    C, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Steven Adams (left ankle sprain) is questionable to face the Wolves on Saturday.

    Adams sprained his ankle two minutes into Monday's game and has missed the subsequent two games. Noel has been filling in nicely but underwent surgery to repair a fractured cheek so if Adams remains out, the Thunder may need to give Mike Muscala and Darius Bazley all of the frontcourt minutes with Danilo Gallinari also ruled out.

    Source: Joe Mussatto on Twitter

  • Nerlens Noel
    C, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Nerlens Noel underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture to the zygomatic arch of his left cheek and will not play on Saturday against the Wolves.

    Noel basically fractured his cheek and the report adds that his status will be updated next week so this might be more than a one game absence. He is an absolute hold until we get another update as he has been a top-60 standard league player on the season and with multiple teams inquiring about Steven Adams, Noel's value could be even higher to close the year.

    Source: Marc J. Spears on Twitter

  • Bruce Brown
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Bruce Brown Jr. (right thumb sprain) is expected to play on Saturday against the Nets.

    Brown missed the last two games but should be able to get decent minutes on Saturday with Tony Snell and Reggie Jackson both ruled out. He has been a top-175 player in standard leagues this year in 27.1 minutes with 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 triples, shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 68.4 percent from the line.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Andre Drummond
    C, Detroit Pistons

    Andre Drummond (lip laceration) is listed as probable ahead of Saturday's game against the Nets.

    Drummond was listed probable for Friday's game before eventually being ruled out so nothing is imminent but he should be very close returning after now missing the last two games. This would cut into the minutes of Thon Maker, Markieff Morris and Christian Wood.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Danilo Gallinari
    SF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Danilo Gallinari (sore left thumb) will not play against the Wolves on Saturday.

    Gallinari is missing a back-to-back game now for the third straight time and it appears this will be the trend for the rest of the year. The Thunder have three more back to backs left this season with the last one occurring during finals week in most leagues. Darius Bazley and Mike Muscala should see plenty of minutes in Gallo's absence and even more so if Steven Adams is ruled out with Nerlens Noel ruled out already.

    Source: Joe Mussatto on Twitter

  • Tony Snell
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Tony Snell (body;flu) will miss Saturday's game against the Nets.

    Snell missed Friday's game with a undisclosed body injury but perhaps that was flu related. Although starting and playing in 26.4 minutes per game he is only useful as a three-point specialist in super-deep leagues. The Pistons starting lineup will look much different this game than last but Bruce Brown and Svi Mykhailiuk are expected to soak up even more minutes than usual with Reggie Jackson also out.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Reggie Jackson
    PG, Detroit Pistons

    Reggie Jackson (left lumbar spine; stress reaction- injury recovery) will not play against the Nets on Saturday.

    This is basically a rest day for Jackson after playing in the last two games following a three-month absence. He played better than anyone would have expected in those two games with 18.0 points, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 triples in only 21.1 minutes. He was moved into the starting lineup last game and should be able to provide consistent late-round value as his workload increases but more recovery days are expected as well.

    Source: NBA.com

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    James Harden (bruised left thigh) is listed as questionable to play against the Nuggets on Sunday.

    Harden has struggled lately, shooting under 40 percent from the field in six of the last nine games. He briefly left Friday's game as his thigh tightened up and finished with probably his quietest game of the season on with just 12 points on 3-of-13 shooting with no three pointers. Austin Rivers, Danuel House and Ben McLemore may all see an increase in minutes if Harden has to miss any time.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
    C, Golden State Warriors

    The Willie Cauley-Stein trade is now official as announced by both teams involved.

    The Mavs get Cauley-Stein to fill the void of Dwight Powell's season ending injury while the Warriors have received Utah's 2020 second round pick. Dallas has also requested waivers on Justin Patton to create a roster spot for WCS. Stein was a top-100 player in 22.9 minutes on the Warriors and you would expect for him to get similar minutes on the Mavs so he is a hold. Maxi Kleber and Boban Marjanovic lose some value while Marquesse Chriss and Omari Spellman gain some.

    Source: Mark Followill on Twitter