Content provided by Player News - Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
|<< previous day|
|Williams, Cole starting for Heat Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Shawne Williams F MIA|
Shawne Williams is starting at PF and Norris Cole is starting at SG for the Heat on Tuesday.
Joe Goodman on Twitter
|It's thought that this is a dress rehearsal for opening night, and if so, Williams and Cole will be joined by Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Chris Bosh as starters. Cole has started every game since the preseason opener (over Mario Chalmers) and Williams has been starting over injured Josh McRoberts. Both potential starters have some fantasy intrigue for now.|
|Magic extend Vucevic for four years, $53 M||10-21-2014|
|Nikola Vucevic F ORL|
The Magic extended the contract of C Nikola Vucevic for four years and $53 million on Tuesday.
Marc Spears on Twitter
|That's quite a pay day for the big man, but he's earned it. He's a top fantasy center option agains this season and remains unchallenged for his job or minutes.|
|Andrew Wiggins may not play on Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Andrew Wiggins F MIN|
Andrew Wiggins may not play on Tuesday after taking a hard fall on his backside in his last game.
Alan Horton on Twitter
|"He's sore...at this point he's probably 50-50," Flip Saunders said. Whether he plays or not tonight should have no impact on where you draft him, and he's day-to-day.|
|Norris Cole playing through back tightness||10-21-2014|
|Norris Cole G MIA|
Norris Cole is expected to start on Tuesday despite dealing with tightness in his back.
Joe Goodman on Twitter
|Cole may start at PG for Miami on opening night, but he faces competition for minutes from both Mario Chalmers and rookie Shabazz Napier. Given the uncertainty surrounding his role and playing time, fantasy owners are better off leaving him undrafted in typical leagues.|
|Reggie Jackson (wrist) doubtful for Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Reggie Jackson G OKC|
Reggie Jackson (bruised wrist) "didn't feel comfortable" after practicing on Monday, but he's expected to be ready for OKC's season opener.
Anthony Slater on Twitter
|It sounds like he'll sit out again vs. the Jazz on Tuesday, but this injury doesn't affect his fantasy projection. He'll be a major part of the Thunder offense while Kevin Durant is out, and even with KD active Jackson has a chance to return top-80 value.|
|Josh McRoberts (toe surgery) still sidelined||10-21-2014|
|Josh McRoberts F MIA|
Josh McRoberts will sit out again on Tuesday as he recovers from toe surgery.
Jason Lieser on Twitter
|The Heat have suggested that McRoberts' recovery will extend into the regular season, leaving a major gap at PF. Udonis Haslem may start on opening night if McRoberts isn't ready to go, and both Luol Deng and Danny Granger have spent time as backup PFs during the preseason.|
|Jimmy Butler has sprained thumb ligaments||10-21-2014|
|Jimmy Butler G CHI|
An MRI confirmed that Jimmy Butler has sprained thumb ligaments, and he'll be re-evaluated after Chicago's preseason finale on Friday.
K.C. Johnson on Twitter
|This leaves Butler somewhat iffy for the Bulls' season opener, but at least the MRI didn't reveal more serious damage. Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Brooks, Tony Snell and Mike Dunleavy should absorb a few extra minutes until Butler is ready to return, and Hinrich may be the favorite to start at SG in Friday's exhibition.|
|Jeremy Lin (ankles) ready to go vs. Phoenix||10-21-2014|
|Jeremy Lin G LAL|
Jeremy Lin (sprained ankles) will return to action during Tuesday's exhibition vs. the visiting Suns.
Jeremy Lin on Twitter
|"Ankles are finally feeling better," Lin wrote. "Excited to get back on the court tonight!" Steve Nash's ongoing sciatica pain has him questionable for the start of the regular season, and the starting PG job should belong to Lin all season regardless of Nash's health. He has enough statistical versatility to return mid-round value, and his late-round ADP makes him a solid value in most fantasy drafts.|
|Paul George shoots jumpers after practice||10-21-2014|
|Paul George G IND|
Paul George shot around following the Pacers' practice on Monday, making jumpers out to the 3-point line.
|It's amazing to see George on the court less than three months after suffering a multiple compound fracture to his right leg. Despite his encouraging progress and optimism that he can return if Indiana makes the playoffs, he remains out indefinitely. The Pacers are proceeding as though he won't return during the 2014-15 season, and he's only worth owning if you don't mind stashing him in an IR spot all year.|
|Kevin Durant (foot surgery) won't rush back||10-21-2014|
|Kevin Durant F OKC|
Kevin Durant said that he won't rush his return from foot surgery, which is expected to sideline him until at least late November.
|"I'm sure I'll feel better in two or three weeks, but definitely don't want to rush it and wind up hurting it even more," Durant said. "I'm taking my time with it. I'm just blessed it happened early in the season where I can get past it, and hopefully by December I'll be ready to play." He'll be re-evaluated in late November, guaranteeing that he'll miss a minimum of 17 games to begin the season.|
|Paul Pierce (knee) traveling w/ Wizards||10-21-2014|
|Paul Pierce F WAS|
Paul Pierce (bruised knee) is traveling with the Wizards for Wednesday's game in New York.
Jorge Castillo on Twitter
|Whether he plays is another question, but the injury doesn't seem serious enough to jeopardize his availability on opening night. He'll have a healthy role in the Wizards' offense, especially while Bradley Beal is out, and he's a safe target in the late rounds.|
|LeBron James will rest Wed. vs. Grizzlies||10-21-2014|
|LeBron James F CLE|
Cavs coach David Blatt plans to rest LeBron James vs. the Grizzlies on Wednesday.
John Michael on Twitter
|LBJ has played in five preseason games despite a minor back injury that bothered him during training camp, and it's not surprising to see him get a night off. His absence should open up more minutes for veterans James Jones, Shawn Marion and Mike Miller.|
|John Wall (knee) will return Wed. in New York||10-21-2014|
|John Wall G WAS|
John Wall (left knee tendinitis) said that he'll play in Wednesday's exhibition.
Jorge Castillo on Twitter
|He could have played on Monday but rested as a precaution, which was a big reason reserve guard Garrett Temple logged 42 minutes. Wall is coming off a career-best year with averages of 19.3 points, 1.3 triples, 4.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.8 steals, racking up first-round fantasy value with zero DNPs all season.|
|Anthony Bennett (knee) expects to play Tue.||10-21-2014|
|Anthony Bennett F MIN|
Anthony Bennett (sore knee) expects to play vs. the Pacers on Tuesday.
Alan Horton on Twitter
|Shabazz Muhammad (Achilles) is also returning to action, leaving Minnesota with a blank injury report for the first time this preseason. Bennett's backup role makes him someone to avoid in 12-team fantasy leagues, but he's worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.|
|Deron Williams will sit out vs. Celtics||10-21-2014|
|Deron Williams G BKN|
Deron Williams will not travel with the Nets for Wednesday's game in Boston.
A. Sherrod Blakely on Twitter
|This is purely a precaution. His ankles have held up well through five preseason games, and he's looked very good in 25.8 minutes per game. Injury concerns have knocked his ADP down to 33.3 in 9-cat Yahoo! leagues, just behind Ty Lawson and ahead of Dwyane Wade.|
|Al Jefferson rests w/ left ankle soreness||10-21-2014|
|Al Jefferson C CHA|
Al Jefferson rested on Monday in part due to left ankle soreness.
Rick Bonnell on Twitter
|Although this doesn't sound serious, it's an ominous report considering the early months of his 2013-14 season were plagued by a sprained right ankle. Jefferson's health is essential for the Hornets' chances of building on last year's playoff run and they'll be extra cautious with their 265-pound center, but at the moment there are zero indications that he's in danger of missing the season opener.|
|Nerlens Noel (illness) back at practice Tues.||10-21-2014|
|Nerlens Noel F PHI|
Nerlens Noel (illness) returned to practice on Tuesday and he will be available for Thursday's preseason finale.
Keith Pompey on Twitter
|Noel battled an upper respiratory infection for nearly a week but seems to have recovered, and he said he didn't lose any weight due to the illness. His durability is a question mark, given his lanky frame and high-flying style, but he has tantalizing upside as a rebounder and defensive menace.|
|Trevor Booker (ankle) game-time on Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Trevor Booker F UTH|
Trevor Booker (sprained ankle) went through Tuesday's shootaround but he remains a game-time decision vs. the Thunder.
Salt Lake Tribune
|Booker has been the first player off Utah's bench this preseason, logging 15-20 minutes per game. He should feature prominently in coach Quin Snyder's rotation, but he's only worth considering in deep fantasy leagues.|
|Kris Humphries' stitches not yet removed||10-21-2014|
|Kris Humphries F WAS|
The stitches in Kris Humphries' right hand were not removed during his post-surgery checkup on Monday.
J. Michael on Twitter
|Humphries gashed his hand on the rim during a preseason game, damaging a nerve in his right pinkie finger, and he was given a 3-4 week timetable on Oct. 10. He's very questionable to play in the Wizards' season opener, and Nene will be serving a suspension, so more minutes should be available for DeJuan Blair , Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin.|
|Ty Lawson (hamstring) ruled out vs. Blazers||10-21-2014|
|Ty Lawson G DEN|
Ty Lawson (hamstring) will not play vs. the Blazers on Tuesday.
Casey Holdahl on Twitter
|He left Saturday's game with "tightness" in his hamstring and this doesn't appear to be a serious injury. Nevertheless, mounting health concerns are enough to knock Lawson down a peg in fantasy drafts. A serious ankle injury suffered last May prevented him from running until July and it caused the Nuggets "some concern" as recently as mid-October.|
|Festus Ezeli (shin) probable for Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Festus Ezeli C GS|
Festus Ezeli (shin) is probable for Tuesday's exhibition.
Warriors on Twitter
|Steve Kerr said he'll deploy Ezeli late in the second quarter, and he's unlikely to play more than a handful of minutes in his first game since May of 2013. His return has no impact in typical fantasy leagues, but it's great news for the Warriors in reality -- Andrew Bogut is a constant injury risk and Jermaine O'Neal is gone, so Ezeli provides much-needed depth at center.|
|Brandon Rush (back spasms) out vs. Clippers||10-21-2014|
|Brandon Rush G GS|
Brandon Rush's back spasms will keep him on the sidelines for Tuesday's game vs. the Clippers.
Diamond Leung on Twitter
|His back flared up during each of the Warriors' past two exhibitions, so he may take a few days off to fully recover. Golden State has enough depth on the wings that Andre Iguodala could fill a bench role, and there's no reason to touch Rush on draft day.|
|Andrea Bargnani's status for opener unclear||10-21-2014|
|Andrea Bargnani C NY|
Andrea Bargnani's status for Wednesday's regular season opener is unclear due to his hamstring injury.
Al Iannazzone on Twitter
|The No.1 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft has missed over two weeks with his hamstring injury and is now in danger of missing regular season games. The Knicks' frontcourt depth is thin enough that Bargnani could provide some deep league fantasy value when (if?) healthy, but owners in standard leagues would do best to look elsewhere for now.|
|C.J. Watson will not play Tuesday night||10-21-2014|
|C.J. Watson G IND|
C.J. Watson (sore right foot) will not play in Tuesday's exhibition game against Minnesota.
Scott Agness on Twitter
|It's worth noting that Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said that Watson would be able to play if it were the regular season. While Watson isn't the best option in standard fantasy leagues, he should see enough minutes at both guard spots to be a worthy late-round flier in deeper leagues.|
|J.R. Smith leaves practice with back spasms||10-21-2014|
|J.R. Smith G NY|
J.R. Smith (back) experienced back spasms during Tuesday's practice and may miss Wednesday's exhibition game against the Wizards.
Marc Berman on Twitter
|Smith was sidelined by back spasms during last week's exhibition game against the 76ers, so this isn't a new injury. While the back spasms are a concern with the regular season a week away, Smith's role on the Knicks is the more worrisome issue. While the 29-year-old can still be a solid source of three-pointers in a bench role, the presence of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert will keep Smith from being more than a late-round pick in standard fantasy leagues.|
|Shabazz Muhammad expected to play Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Shabazz Muhammad G MIN|
Shabazz Muhammad (achilles) is expected to play in Tuesday's exhibition game against the Pacers.
Kent Youngblood on Twitter
|Muhammad has only played one game during the preseason, so it will be good to see him back on the court for the first time since October 7. While Muhammad should see minutes at both forward spots this year, his paltry stats don't warrant fantasy consideration outside of deeper leagues.|
|Steve Clifford says Al Jefferson is locked in||10-21-2014|
|Al Jefferson C CHA|
Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said that Al Jefferson is locked in and excited to start the 2014-15 season.
Charlotte Hornets on Twitter
|Clifford also added that, in his opinion, the most important thing to motivate players in the NBA is how good they think the team can be. After making the playoffs last season, things are looking up for Big Al and the former Bobcats with the addition of Lance Stephenson, Marvin Williams, and Brian Roberts to their roster. Jefferson had a breakout season in 2013-14 as he averaged 25.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.9 blocks after the All-Star break and fantasy owners shouldn't let him fall past the top-20 on draft day.|
|Jose Calderon hopes to play on Wednesday||10-21-2014|
|Jose Calderon G NY|
Jose Calderon (calf) said his injury is nothing to worry about and that he hopes to play in Wednesday's exhibition game against the Wizards.
Al Iannazzone on Twitter
|Calderon left Monday's exhibition against the Bucks with a strained calf, but this doesn't sound like anything fantasy owners should be worried about. While the 33-year-old isn't the most exciting fantasy option, he's a solid late-round selection considering starting point guards don't grow on trees.|
|Anthony Davis practicing on Tuesday||10-21-2014|
|Anthony Davis F NO|
Anthony Davis (wrist) was participated in Tuesday's practice with his right wrist wrapped.
John Reid on Twitter
|The sound you hear is fantasy owners breathing a sigh of relief as the fact that Davis is practicing the day after injuring his wrist is promising news. Davis has been a consensus top-3 pick in fantasy drafts this year and owners who like to draft high-upside players should have no issue with taking the 21-year-old with the No. 1 overall pick.|
|James Harden committed to playing better D||10-21-2014|
|James Harden G HOU|
James Harden said he's committed to being a better defensive player this season.
|With Harden's defense (or lack thereof) a common topic in NBA circles, the 25-year-old is committed to silencing his critics this season. "It's not a matter of whether I can or can't play defense," Harden said. "It's just a matter of me focusing for 48 minutes throughout a game and making sure that I'm always alert on both ends of the floor. It's up to me to go out there and show my leadership, to show that I can play both ends of the floor at a high level and just do it." Harden's defense shouldn't be of much to concern to fantasy owners as his 2013-14 averages of 25.4 points, 4.7 rebounds. 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.4 three-pointers make him an easy selection in the middle of the first round.|
|Russell Westbrook aims to play 82 games||10-21-2014|
|Russell Westbrook G OKC|
Russell Westbrook said he is aiming to play a full 82-game schedule this season.
Darnell Mayberry on Twitter
|After saying that he'd have no restrictions on playing back-to-backs this season, Westbrook added, "Since I've been hurt I know what it feels like to not play. So now I just want to play every game. At this point, I like 82 games." Despite only playing 46 games due to knee injuries last season, Westbrook has played 82 games in four of his six NBA seasons. With Kevin Durant likely to miss at least the first month of the regular season, Westbrook will have a chance to put up huge numbers and should be mid-first round fantasy pick on draft day.|
|Mavericks request waivers on Yuki Togashi||10-21-2014|
|Yuki Togashi G DAL|
The Dallas Mavericks have requested waivers on G Yuki Togashi.
|Mavericks' general manager and president Donnie Nelson had previously said that Togashi was a longshot to make the team's final roster, so this comes as no surprise. Any (minimal) fantasy value that Togashi may have had will now be rendered moot as he'll likely report to the Mavericks' D-League Affiliate, the Texas Legends.|
|Dirk Nowitzki working on quicker release||10-21-2014|
|Dirk Nowitzki F DAL|
Dirk Nowitzki said that he is working on adding a quicker release to his shot.
Earl K. Sneed on Twitter
|As Nowitski enters his 17th NBA season, he'll need to make adjustments to keep playing at a high level and adjusting his shot served as low-hanging fruit. "It wasn't going to be running quicker or jumping higher," Nowitzki said. "So I figured I'd work on something that I can control." While the 36-year-old has consistently returned first-round fantasy value, he's a much safer pick towards the end of the second round or beginning of the third round.|
|Courtney Lee to open season as Grizz starter||10-21-2014|
|Courtney Lee G MEM|
Courtney Lee will open the season in the Grizzlies' starting lineup, according to head coach Dave Joerger.
92.9 ESPN on Twitter
|With Nick Calathes out for the first 20 games of the season due to a suspension, Lee and Tony Allen will serve as the starting SG and SF for the Grizzlies. Lee averaged 11.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.0 three-pointers with the Grizzlies last season and is now a solid late-round flier in deeper fantasy leagues.|
|Celtics waive F Christian Watford||10-21-2014|
|Christian Watford F BOS|
Celtics waive F Christin Watford.
IndyStarSports on Twitter
|In a move that won't cause even the smallest of ripples across the fantasy basketball landscape, the Celtics have parted ways with the Indiana University alum, according to head coach Brad Stevens. While the 23-year-old could still hook on with an NBA team at some point this season, he's not a player who fantasy owners need to store in their memory banks.|
|Kevin Durant excited for Russell Westbrook||10-21-2014|
|Kevin Durant F OKC|
Kevin Durant (foot) said that he's excited for the opportunity that Russell Westbrook has to lead the Thunder while KD recovers from foot surgery.
Royce Young on Twitter
|While Westbrook has his critics in the media, his teammate is not one of them. "He's going to do a great job," Durant said. "I'm not worried about Russ. I'm excited for the opportunity he has right now." Durant represents a risky fantasy pick due to his uncertain timetable, so we wouldn't blame risk-averse fantasy owners for letting last year's MVP fall to another owner. However, owners willing to roll the dice on the 26-year-old in the first round may very well find themselves at the top of their league standings due to Durant's enormous upside.|
|Greg Stiemsma fighting for final roster spot||10-21-2014|
|Greg Stiemsma C TOR|
Greg Stiemsma is still battling for the Raptors' final roster spot.
|In the Raptors' version of Thunderdome, three men will enter and only one will be left standing. Only one of Stiemsma, Jordan Hamilton, and Will Cherry will make the Raptors' final roster cut on Monday and head coach Dwayne Casey said the decision will be "a good debate with the coaching staff and management." Even if Stiemsma hooks on with the Raptors, he won't provide much fantasy value as a a reserve player.|
|Jabari Parker reminds Kidd of Grant Hill||10-21-2014|
|Jabari Parker G MIL|
Bucks head coach Jason Kidd said that Jabari Parker reminds him of Grant Hill.
CF Gardner on Twitter
|Besides their shared Duke background, Kidd sees a few similarities between Hill and Parker. "He's got a quick first step. What I like is he tries to make the right play to his teammates," Kidd said. "It's not always about scoring. He wants to win; he cheers his teammates on. That's kind of cool to see." Parker has had a strong preseason and should have no problem returning fantasy value as an early-middle round selection.|
|Terrence Jones putting in extra work||10-21-2014|
|Terrence Jones F HOU|
Terrence Jones is putting in extra work after practice with Donatas Motiejunas.
|Jones and Motiejunas have assigned themselves a post-practice routine that they hope will take their games to another level this season. "We just put in extra work trying to get better," Jones. "We know the four position is a big role for this team. We're just trying to make sure we're prepared for the end of the season by putting in the extra work. It's something we're going to get used to, being the last ones out." While Jones and Motiejunas are battling for the Rockets starting PF job, both should see enough minutes to warrant a late-round fantasy selection.|
|John Lucas III close to signing with Wizards||10-21-2014|
|John Lucas G WAS|
The Washington Wizards are close to signing G John Lucas III, according to league sources.
|With Brad Beal set to miss six weeks, Lucas would provide the Wizards with some much-need backcourt depth. The 31-year-old owns career averages of just 4.8 points, 1.0 boards, and 1.4 assists, so his fantasy value is essentially non-existent if and when he signs with the Wizards.|
|Mavericks waive F Eric Griffin||10-21-2014|
|Eric Griffin F DAL|
Mavericks waive F Eric Griffin.
Shams Charania on Twitter
|Griffin had been competing for one of the Mavericks' final roster spots after a strong showing at Las Vegas Summer League, but it looks like he's reached the end of the line in Dallas. While the 24-year-old may hook on with another team, he won't provide much fantasy value to owners in standard leagues.|
|Anderson looks good in preseason win||10-21-2014|
|Kyle Anderson F SA|
|Kyle Anderson started with multiple Spurs starters out in Monday's 106-99 exhibition win over the Kings, scoring 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting with five rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes.||It's not fair but Anderson falling to the Spurs looks like another win for the organization. He won't have any fantasy value to start the year but keep his name in your mental Rolodex for down the line.|
|Cousins triple-doubles with turnovers vs. SA||10-21-2014|
|DeMarcus Cousins C SAC|
|DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) triple-doubled with turnovers in Monday's preseason loss to the Spurs, scoring 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting with 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and a whopping 10 turnovers.||Five of those turnovers were offensive fouls in a quintessential Boogie game tonight. The Spurs rested Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter (calf) was out, so they had nobody that could even remotely control him. He's going to be a thrill ride this season. His Achilles' injury is not a concern.|
|Gay (ankle) having shot selection issues||10-21-2014|
|Rudy Gay F SAC|
|Rudy Gay (ankle) got back on the floor in Monday's preseason game against the Spurs, scoring 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting (10-of-12 FTs) with seven rebounds and one block in 32 minutes.||This wasn't a bad line but it was worth noting that Gay was taking bad shots that have characterized 'Bad Rudy' in past years. Isaiah Thomas kept him from doing that, but he's no longer there and prospective owners should keep in mind that his field goal percentage could slip this year.|
|Landry (knee) returns to action on Monday||10-21-2014|
|Carl Landry F SAC|
|Carl Landry (knee) returned to action on Monday, scoring 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting (5-of-5 FTs) with seven rebounds and no steals or blocks in 18 minutes.||This is a Landry line if we've seen one. He'll need to have a bunch more before we recommend to owners that they deal with his fantasy deficient stat-set in standard leagues.|
|Horford up to 24 minutes in Monday's game||10-21-2014|
|Al Horford F ATL|
|Al Horford played 24 minutes in the Hawks' 117-114 overtime win in Monday's exhibition against the Hornets, scoring 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and one steal.||Horford continues to slowly ramp up his minutes and if all goes well he'll be able to show he's 100 percent healthy at some point this week. Expecting him to roll right into his top-end productivity levels is a bit optimistic, but he should settle in eventually and secure early round value.|
|Zeller goes for 18 and eight in start||10-21-2014|
|Cody Zeller F CHA|
|Cody Zeller started for Marvin Williams (rest) in Monday's exhibition game against the Hawks, scoring 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists before fouling out in 30 minutes.||Zeller will have a larger role in the rotation this year but he's not breaking out anytime soon, at least not on the strength of this one meaningless preseason game. If this becomes a habit this week we'll let you know, but he's hands off in standard leagues until further notice. Bismack Biyombo falls in the same boat with his 10 rebounds, one steal and three blocks in 30 minutes.|