Thu, Jul 16th 11:44am EDT
By Dan Titus
Free-agent F Michael Beasley has tested positive for coronavirus and will not rejoin the Nets. The Nets will have the opportunity to replace Beasley's roster spot. (Source: Shams Charania on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Beasley went home just a couple of days ago after contracting COVID-19, and he will not return. In his absence, the Nets are reportedly interested in signing Justin Anderson as a replacement, but it has yet to be confirmed. The Nets continue to be decimated by injuries and illnesses while trying to maintain a foothold on their playoff spot. Beasley may resurface again for another team next season, but for now, he'll be watching from outside of the NBA Bubble like the rest of us.
Pacers head coach Nate McMillan told the media that Malcolm Brogdon practiced for the first time with the Pacers since entering the NBA Bubble. (Source: Olivia Ray on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: McMillan said that Brogdon "looked really good" in his first practice since being cleared of coronavirus. Brogdon will garner heavy usage for the Pacers, who are still uncertain about the return of Victor Oladipo. With the Pacers fighting for higher seeding in the playoffs, Brogdon is a reliable DFS target due to his uptick in minutes and ability to contribute across all categories except for blocks. On the season, Brodgon's averaged 16.3 points, 7.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 1.3 three's in 30.7 minutes per game across 48 contests.
Mon, Jul 13th 2:28pm EDT
By Leonard Grandio
Yahoo Sports is reporting that according to a source, Torrey Craig along with teammates Michael Porter Jr. and Gary Harris did not make the Nuggets team trip to Walt Disney World. (Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: There is no initial time table of when Craig or the other players will join the team in the bubble. The forward was averaging 17.4 minutes off the bench for the Nuggets, while providing five points and just over three rebounds a game. He can be left on your dynasty waiver wires for now.
In an interview with the media, Sixers head coach Brett Brown said that he's played All-Star point guard Ben Simmons exclusively at power forward in the last few days of practice. (Source: Kyle Neubeck on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: In an interesting development in the Sixers game plan, Simmons has been playing off-the-ball in practice. Before the hiatus, Shake Milton did a great job filling in at point guard while Simmons was recovering from a back injury, and its no secret the Sixers experienced issues in their chemistry in the frontcourt when Embiid and Horford were healthy. Brown deploying Simmons at PF will create mismatches for anyone guarding him as he will be able to create off-the-ball and be put in better positions to score more effectively. Simmons' reluctance to shoot often causes defenses to sag in the paint, and running him in potential pick-and-rolls will open up the Sixers offense. Should Simmons stay at the PF position, this would shift Al Horford to the sixth man role. From a fantasy perspective, this might result in a slight dip in assists for Simmons, but he should still be locked in as a DFS player to target once the season resumes for his ability to stuff the stat sheet.
Sat, Jul 11th 4:39am EDT
By Dan Titus
When discussing Kemba Walker with the Boston media, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens stated, "we’re going to move very slowly with Kemba, make sure he can strengthen (his knee) and make sure he’s all good to go as we enter the seeding games and into the playoffs." (Source: Boston Celtics on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Walker claimed that he was 'ready to go' just a week ago, but it appears the Celtics will exercise caution with their All-Star point guard when the Celtics return to play in a couple of weeks. Walker's had a few months to rest his troublesome left knee, but being brought along slowly will preserve his knee for when it matters most - the playoffs. DFS players should be hesitant to deploy Walker through the first few games, as its clear he won't see his typical minutes and could see a dip in production as a result.
According to a Spanish Radio show called “Carrusel Deportivo”, Pau Gasol and Barcelona are in advanced talks to sign the Spanish legend to a two-year deal. (Source: Eurohoops.net)
Fantasy Impact: Gasol has been reportedly trying to latch on with an NBA team for a few months now and appears to have no takers. The center last played in the NBA, as a reserve in the 2018/2019 season with the Spurs and Bucks. Gasol wants to play in the Tokyo Olympics with the Spanish National Team next summer. If he indeed does signs with Barcelona, he will have time to get acclimated with some of his Olympic teammates.
According to Marc Stein, C Amir Johnson has emerged as a prime target for the Nets after losing Nicholas Claxton and DeAndre Jordan. (Source: Marc Stein on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The Nets are in dire need of frontcourt help and it appears that Amir Johnson could be the next man up. Johnson's role would be added depth behind starting center Jarrett Allen, who is primed for an uptick in minutes. As a 14-year veteran of the NBA, Johnson provides solid interior defense but cannot be relied upon to play a lot of minutes. Philadelphia waived Johnson at the end of the 2018-2019 season so he'll have to knock off some of the rust before the season resumes in a few weeks. Johnson does not offer much in terms of production and should he sign with the Nets, he can be ignored for DFS purposes.
Wed, Jul 8th 3:07am EDT
By Dan Titus
Pelicans All-Star forward Brandon Ingram spoke with the media about continuing the season in Orlando and he stated, “I didn’t look at it as if I had a choice of going or not. My teammates knew that I didn’t question it or anything. I just wanted to play basketball at the end of the day,” Ingram said. “I’m going to do it and let my teammates know I’m there 110%. I have to be there. It wasn’t a question.” (Source: USA Today)
Fantasy Impact: Given what is financially at stake for Ingram going into free agency, along with the risks of getting coronavirus or sustaining an injury, there are valid reasons for him not to participate in the Orlando restart. However, Ingram is both focused and motivated to propel the Pelicans to a possible NBA championship this season. Ingram was non-committal about his plans going into next season but mentioned that he "feels really good about the team" and "likes where he's at." If the Pelicans are unsuccessful in negotiating a new deal, Ingram will have plenty of suitors on the free-agent market. Ingram is averaging career-highs across the board through 56 games this season - putting up 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.7 blocks, and 2.4 three's in 34.3 minutes per contest.
Wed, Jul 8th 2:31am EDT
By Dan Titus
According to Nets reporter Ian Begley, Lance Thomas is among the free agents on the Nets radar as a possible replacement for the players that will not attend the Orlando restart due to coronavirus. (Source: Ian Begley on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Thomas is very familiar with New York, as a Brooklyn native who spent five seasons with the Knicks until being waived after the 2018-2019 season. Thomas participated in the Nets training camp before the start of the 2019-2020 season but was ultimately released. With the Nets extremely short-handed and the recent news of Taurean Prince opting out, Thomas could be a logical fit since he can play both SF and PF positions. However, if Thomas inevitably signs with the Nets as a substitute player, his track record of minimal production across categories makes him undesirable for DFS players once the season resumes.
According to sources at The Athletic, Clippers G Landry Shamet has tested positive for coronavirus and is unlikely to travel with the team to Orlando. (Source: Shams Charania on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Shamet is the first reported Los Angeles Clipper to contract coronavirus but he’s yet to be declared out of the Orlando restart later this month. The Clippers have one of the best benches in the NBA and Shamet provides a good source of three’s and depth to the second unit. Should Shamet decide not to play, the Clippers will be able to add a substitute player in his absence. In 47 games this year, Shamet contributed 9.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.2 three’s in 27.5 minutes per game.
Kent Bazemore wants to remain with the Kings beyond the 2019-2020 season. (Source: James Ham on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Bazemore will become an unrestricted free agent and wants to stay in Sacramento beyond the 2019-2020 campaign. “This is definitely a place that I can see myself play for the next couple of years,” Bazemore said during a Zoom call with the media on Friday. “With a team with so much promise, I definitely want to be a part of that." He is entering the final season of his four-year, $70 million deal. The Kings could keep the 31-year-old at a reasonable price. Bazemore will continue to provide a spark off the bench, averaging 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 triples across 64 games for the Kings/Trail Blazers this season.
Thu, Jul 2nd 5:38pm EDT
By Dan Titus
According to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan, the NBA is moving toward creating a 'second bubble’ in Chicago for the eight non-playoff teams that will not be participating in the NBA restart in Orlando. (Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The details of the second bubble have yet to be finalized but it appears this will be an alternative for the eight teams to be able to hold mini-camps, practices, and potentially scrimmage against each other to prepare for next season. Team officials from 7 out of the 8 teams were present on the call with the league office on Thursday and there is still a considerable amount of hurdles to overcome in terms of safety, timing, and which players would be participating. If all goes as planned, the NBA expects the second bubble to kick-off in September.
Suns center Deandre Ayton met with the media and shared some of the developments in his game while on hiatus. "Let me tell you about that 3-ball, I'm shooting that 3-ball like it's a middy (mid-range shot). I tell you that. That is a middy shot. Alright?! Other than that, I've been trying to dribble this ball, getting it off the rebound and pushing the tempo." (Source: Duane Rankin on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Considering Ayton only attempted three three-pointers in 30 games this season, this is quite the revelation. There's no question that Ayton has the tools to be a fantasy stud for the foreseeable future - projecting as a potential 20/10 player by averaging 19.0 points and 12 rebounds in his rookie season. Adding a three-point shot will heighten his value going forward and if anything, having the confidence to shoot more than once per 10 games is a great starting point. With him also seemingly 'pushing the tempo' we could see a boost in his assists along with more turnovers. We'll see first-hand if Ayton will incorporate the improvements to his game later this month.
In an interview with Suns reporter Gina Mizell, Williams stated that he wants to play starting guards Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio less than their normal minute allotment when the NBA resumes play in Orlando this month. (Source: Valley Times)
Fantasy Impact: While Williams expressed conservativism in playing his starting guards, the truth of the matter is that the Suns have a chance to sneak into the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Booker averaged 36.1 minutes per game in 62 games this year so even a slight reduction of minutes should not drastically impact his performance on the court. Booker currently ranks 18th in the NBA in usage rate (29.5%) so DFS players should feel comfortable locking him into lineups once play resumes. Williams mentioned that Booker may spend more time at point-guard which is great news for his potential in generating more assists. On the season, Booker is averaging 26.1 points, along with 6.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 three's per contest.