Players News

Nicolas Batum had some glowing praise for French teammate Vincent Poirier after the FIBA World Cup came to an end.
Sep 15   8:01 PM

"It's clear that [Poirier]'s a center that can block shots and control the paint," Batum said. "He's a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It's a good pick-up for Boston, for sure." Poirier signed a two-year deal with the Celtics this summer and will be looking to win the backup job behind Enes Kanter in Boston's new-look frontcourt. He will be fighting with Daniel Theis and Robert Williams for time, which will make him an afterthought in fantasy hoops to begin the season.

Veteran Devin Harris is weighing his options, including retirement.
Sep 15   5:26 PM

Harris, now 36-years-old, averaged just shy of 16 minutes in 68 games for the Mavericks last season. Even if he does find the right opportunity, Harris will have next to zero fantasy value next season.

Tyler Herro had an impressive Summer League, but Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel doesn't believe that Herro will have a starting role right away.
Sep 15   5:26 PM

Winderman mentions that the odds of Herro beginning the season in the starting lineup lessened once the team signed veteran Jimmy Butler. Still, though, Herro only really has to compete with perennial-disappointment Dion Waiters for the starting job. Justise Winslow focusing on playing point guard should only open up more opportunities for minutes for Herro. Coach Erik Spoelstra recently admitted that the Heat have "big expectations" for the rookie, and he's not afraid to lean on younger players. Herro is a great lottery ticket late in drafts.

Jared Terrell has signed a contract with Hapoel Eilat of Isreal.
Sep 15   2:35 PM

Terrell spent last year with the Timberwolves on a two-way deal, but he didn't receive much traction during free agency and will now take his talents overseas.

Justise Winslow said the plan is for him to play predominantly at point guard next season.
Sep 15   2:35 PM

Winslow had a career-year while acting as the de facto point guard last season with Goran Dragic hurt for most of the season, but it's worth noting that Pat Riley said in June that Dragic would remain Miami's starting PG and head coach Erik Spoelstra has been reluctant to call Winslow his starting point guard this summer. It sounds like he may be destined for a bench role as long as Dragic is healthy, which obviously will limit his upside.

Zion Williamson is excited to play in Alvin Gentry's up-tempo offense this upcoming season.
Sep 15   11:33 AM

"The Pelicans keep up the pace constantly, just the way I like it," said Williamson. "I am already working with members of the technical staff and the idea of running is emphasized in each exercise." Williamson put in averages of 22.6 points, 8.9 boards, 2.1 dimes, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game with Duke, but they played at a 1.87 possessions per minute pace. However, the Pelicans averaged a 2.17 possessions per minute pace last year, which will translate to more opportunity and fantasy goodness for 2019's No. 1 overall selection.

Willy Hernangomez put up 11 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks in just 14 minutes during Spain's blowout win over Argentina at the 2019 FIBA Finals on Sunday.
Sep 15   10:17 AM

This was Spain's first gold medal finish at the FIBA tournament since 2006, and they became just the second team in FIBA history to go all the way without losing a single game. Hernangomez has struggled to see meaningful minutes in his NBA career thus far, but with the Hornets now going through a full rebuild and James Borrego talking about giving his younger guys more opportunity, maybe this will finally be the year he becomes relevant in fantasy hoops. We'll be monitoring how his role develops at camp.

Joe Ingles went 7-of-11 from the field and 2-of-3 from the line on his way to a team-high 17 points across 34 minutes in a tough loss to France on Sunday.
Sep 15   9:09 AM

Ingles added five boards, three dimes, one triple, one steal and three turnovers while he was out there, and while the Australian team came up short, Ingles was superb throughout the tournament. He's likely going to have a slightly reduced role next season in Utah with the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic, but he still should be able to offer some fantasy value while operating as a facilitator in the second unit. He'll be worth a late-round look on draft day.

Evan Fournier helped France to a bronze medal finish over Australia on Sunday, tallying 16 points, five rebounds, two 3-pointers and three turnovers across 36 minutes.
Sep 15   9:09 AM

Fournier didn't shoot the ball all that well, going 5-of-17 from the field, but he wasn't the only French player to struggle with his shot, as they connected on just 37.9% of their attempts as a team. It was a grind-it-out kind of game, with both teams combining for just 126 points, but France did a particularly good job of denying Team Australia the 3-point shot and managed to eke out a third-place finish at the FIBA tournament.

New Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins told the team's website that he wants to bring a new style of basketball to Memphis.
Sep 14   10:26 PM

"We’re going to play fast. Pace and space," Jenkins said. "Hopefully, put a lot of points on the board. Some people only focus on the offensive end of the floor, but we want to be a great defensive unit, too. From an Xs and Os standpoint, hopefully you’ll see we’re going to be a high-energy basketball team. It’s a change of style, but hopefully we generate some excitement in the crowd." This will be a big change from the "Grit and Grind" era of basketball in Memphis where they routinely ranked towards the bottom of the league in pace, including dead last a year ago. Equipped with young talent like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, it's clear that Jenkins wants to embrace the new NBA, which will be great for everyone's fantasy value. Arrows up all around.

After becoming a key member of Team USA in the FIBA World Cup, due to many other NBA players deciding not to participate, Donovan Mitchell hopes to do the same in next summer's Tokyo Olympics.
Sep 14   5:34 PM

"For me, this is an amazing experience," Mitchell said. "Everybody likes to look at the end goal, but when you sit back and reflect, I played on Team USA. That's incredible for me. I think that in itself is amazing. So yes, it was definitely worth it." Team USA finished seventh, which is their lowest finish ever in a major international tournament. Mitchell should get the nod next summer, but many of the other players on the team likely won't get another opportunity like this. Mitchell will now turn his focus to the NBA and the Jazz, where he finds himself in a great situation and will be an early-round fantasy consideration.

James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area projects a much smaller role for Trevor Ariza in Sacramento compared to what he's been tasked with the last few seasons.
Sep 14   5:34 PM

Ham mentions that Harrison Barnes will start at the three and likely play at least 20 minutes there, with World Cup star Bogdan Bogdanovic absorbing 12 or so minutes there, too. That doesn't leave Ariza much playing time, unless coach Luke Walton goes small more than expected. He was a top-100 player last season, but Ham's projection of 16-18 minutes per game will severely limit Ariza's fantasy value.

Bucks general manager Jon Horst was asked about the long-term contract situation of their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, at a recent fan town hall event.
Sep 14   5:34 PM

Horst mentioned that they can't negotiate right now, but the team will definitely be offering Giannis a supermax extension next summer when he becomes eligible. Sometimes the supermax can scare teams off, but this is a no-brainer for the reigning MVP and the Bucks. They will be looking to keep Giannis in Milwaukee for a long, long time.

James Ham of NBC Sports projects a much smaller role for Trevor Ariza in Sacramento compared to what he's been tasked with the last few seasons.
Sep 14   5:05 PM

Ham mentions that Harrison Barnes will start at the three and likely play at least 20 minutes there, with World Cup star Bogdan Bogdanovic absorbing 12 or so minutes there, too. That doesn't leave Ariza much playing time, unless coach Luke Walton goes small more than expected. He was a top-100 player last season, but Ham's projection of 16-18 minutes per game will severely limit Ariza's fantasy value.

After becoming a key member of Team USA in the FIBA World Cup due to many other NBA players deciding not to participate, Donovan Mitchell hopes to do the same next summer's Tokyo Olympics.
Sep 14   4:34 PM

"For me, this is an amazing experience," Mitchell said. "Everybody likes to look at the end goal, but when you sit back and reflect, I played on Team USA. That's incredible for me. I think that in itself is amazing. So yes, it was definitely worth it." Team USA finished seventh, which is their lowest finish ever in a major international tournament. Mitchell should get the nod next summer, but many of the other players on the team likely won't get another opportunity like this. Mitchell will now turn his focus to the NBA and the Jazz, where he finds himself in a great situation and will be an early-round fantasy consideration.

In a recent mailbag, Lakers writer Mike Trudell speculates that Rajon Rondo may be the odd man out in the backcourt to start the season.
Sep 14   4:34 PM

Trudell mentions how much better the team was with Alex Caruso on the floor with LeBron James instead of Rondo, though the sample-size isn't all that large. Trudell slotted Avery Bradley in as the starting point guard, but he thinks Caruso, not Rondo, has a chance to earn that job in training camp. The Lakers also added Quinn Cook in free agency, so it appears Rondo could be an afterthought to start the season. It's hard to recommend him as anything other than a flier late in drafts right now.

Tacko Fall is dealing with a mild knee sprain is expected to be out a week.
Sep 14   1:45 PM

Celtics training camp doesn't open until the end of the month, so Fall should be fully recovered by then. The fan-favorite seven-footer will be fighting for the 15th and final roster spot on the Celtics roster.

Bulls reporter Mark Strotman said he believes that Wendell Carter Jr. "will have no issue topping 30 minutes a night."
Sep 14   11:36 AM

In his article, Strotman explains that "the Bulls are deep at center but not necessarily over-talented. Luke Kornet, Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio all provide different skill sets but aren't any real threat to take minutes from Carter." This is obviously good news from a fantasy perspective, although WCJ will need to stay healthy and out of foul trouble (his 3.5 fouls per game were fifth in the NBA). This column also notes that Carter was one of 20 players with a block rate of at least 4.5%.

Kemba Walked (neck) was ruled out of Saturday's win over Poland.
Sep 14   11:36 AM

It was America's final game at the FIBA World Cup, and Kemba had averaged over 25 minutes a night in the previous seven contests, so this may have been just a night off for Walker. We can expect an update if the injury is in any way serious, but we should expect him to be ready to rock for the start of training camp later this month.

Coach James Borrego said he has to get Terry Rozier "more comfortable right now in our system."
Sep 14   10:30 AM

Yes he does. Kemba Walker has routinely been among the league leaders in pick-and-roll ball-handler plays, and Rozier has not had many opportunities there. While he was somewhat efficient in that set last year, the lack of possessions is going to be a major adjustment. Still, the Hornets know Rozier isn't Kemba and their plan is to have a more balanced attack. Plus, Borrego said he likes Rozier's defense, which may suggest he's not sold on his O just yet. Either way, Rozier is a boom-or-bust guy to look at in the middle rounds, but there's no reason to reach for him.

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