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  • Ricky Rubio steals four, has shooting issues
    Ricky Rubio had his usual shooting woes during a 110-91 win over the Bucks on Wednesday, making 2-of-6 from the field for 10 points with two rebounds, six assists and four steals.

    Advice: He did make all six shots from the line and fantasy owners would take this line any day of the week. Rubio has actually shot the ball somewhat well in the preseason, but we're not expecting him to improve much from his 38.1 percent from last season. He'll still put up tremendous value in steals and dimes with some foul shooting and the occasional trey.
    Today, 8:34 pm
  • Gorgui Dieng continuing to back up Pek
    Gorgui Dieng scored 14 points with five rebounds, two assists and four blocks in 29 minutes against the Bucks on Wednesday.

    Advice: It's worth noting that he didn't play next to Nikola Pekovic tonight and he's probably not going to in the regular season unless the Wolves are in foul trouble. As tonight's stat line suggests, Dieng is worth a look late in drafts and would be a beast should Pek need to miss time.
    Today, 8:31 pm
  • Nikola Pekovic puts up big double-double
    Nikola Pekovic put up 15 points, 13 boards, one assist, one steal and one turnover in just 19 minutes against the Bucks on Wednesday.

    Advice: The Bucks can make a lot of guys look good and that was the case for Pek tonight. His minutes have been in the 15-20 range in all five preseason games and he's expected to be right at 27 this year. Considering his injury history, Pekovic is more of just a late-round flier.
    Today, 8:25 pm
  • Zach Randolph fills stat sheet in win
    Zach Randolph had 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block on 4-of-12 shooting Wednesday.

    Advice: Z-Bo is averaging just 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds over his last five games, but you have to think he's holding back until the games start counting. He's no longer an automatic 20-10 guy, but he should still be an effective power forward that you can get in the middle of your draft.
    Today, 8:04 pm
  • Ersan Ilyasova scores 11 in 18 minutes
    Ersan Ilyasova (knee) scored 11 points in 18 minutes on Wednesday, adding five rebounds, two assists, one block and two 3-pointers.

    Advice: Not bad for Ersan in his best game of the preseason. Ilyasova attempted a ridiculous 15 shots per game in his previous preseason action, so it was nice to see him holster the lazy jumpers. If you're a believer, he's a late round option, but you might be able to do better.
    Today, 7:59 pm
  • Kyrie Irving plays well sans LeBron
    Kyrie Irving hit 7-of-11 shots and a 3-pointer for 16 points, one rebound, three assists, a steal and a block on Wednesday.

    Advice: LeBron James got the night off so Irving was allowed to have the ball in his hands more than he usually will. He's still a top point guard option, but it's hard to see him putting up massive numbers when Kevin Love and LeBron are going to have the ball on most trips down the court.
    Today, 7:56 pm
  • Jonas Valanciunas quiet on Wednesday
    Jonas Valanciunas played just 12 minutes and had three points, two rebounds and a block on Wednesday.

    Advice: JV was quiet tonight, but is clearly the main option in the middle for the Raptors and could be primed for a breakout season. Don't be scared off by his inconsistent preseason.
    Today, 7:37 pm
  • Shane Larkin starts, scores five in win
    Shane Larkin started at point guard against the Wizards on Wednesday, posting a line of five points, four boards, four assists and two turnovers in 24 minutes.

    Advice: John Wall made him look pretty bad and Larkin's lack of size was a factor tonight. Still, coach Derek Fisher likes his speed and ability to penetrate, so he should be in the rotation. Unless Jose Calderon (calf) misses time, Larkin won't be worth owning in most leagues.
    Today, 7:31 pm
  • Marcus Smart scores 16 points in 16 minutes
    Marcus Smart played just 16 minutes on Wednesday, but had 16 points, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers.

    Advice: He hit 5-of-8 shots and coach Brad Stevens loves his aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. The potential early return of Rajon Rondo is a bit of a buzzkill, but Smart still deserves to be drafted in fantasy leagues. And if Rondo is traded for something other than a point guard midseason, Smart could have a big second half.
    Today, 7:12 pm
  • Nikola Vucevic puts up nice stats on Wed.
    Nikola Vucevic got off to a fast start in 18 minutes against the Rockets during a 90-89 loss, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-7 from the field with six rebounds, one steal and two blocks.

    Advice: He's had three multi-block games in his last four and looks a lot better in that department. Vucevic only had 10 multi-block games in 57 outings last year, so this would be a huge development. Of course, it's hard to buy a complete transformation, so he's more of a guy to target at the turn of the third and fourth rounds.
    Today, 6:58 pm
  • Elfrid Payton makes his free throws on Wed.
    Elfrid Payton made 1-of-3 from the field and all five from the line for seven points with two rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes on Wednesday.

    Advice: He had some major issues at the line tonight and he continues to struggle from the field. Over his last five, Payton made just 38.7 percent from the field with 6.4 points, 3.0 boards, 5.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.2 blocks. He's a late-round option as long as you have low expectations.
    Today, 6:46 pm
  • Jordan Clarkson (calf) will return on Wed.
    Jordan Clarkson (calf) will return to the lineup on Wednesday.

    Advice: He's likely going to play more minutes at shooting guard tonight, but he made it clear he's capable of being a combo guard. Clarkson has been one of the most impressive second-round picks of the 2014 draft and could have an impact with a couple injuries to the backcourt. He's only on the fantasy map in extremely deep leagues.
    Today, 4:56 pm
  • Ersan Ilyasova back in action on Wednesday
    Ersan Ilyasova (knee) will play against the Wolves on Wednesday.

    Advice: He has been dealing with his knee injury since at least Oct. 15 and missed some preseason action. Ilyasova is coming off a nightmare 2013-14 season and he's 8-of-30 from the field in two preseason games. Not good. Feel free to give him a look late if you're hoping for a bounce-back campaign. Obviously, there are probably better bets to make late in your draft.
    Today, 3:26 pm
  • Jose Calderon (calf) won't play on Wednesday
    Jose Calderon (right calf) will not play against the Wizards on Wednesday.

    Advice: Coach Derek Fisher said he hopes to have Calderon out there on Friday and his calf strain is not considered serious. He's dealt with a slew of muscle pulls in his leg, so this injury shouldn't be completely dismissed. Still, he's a low-end No. 2 fantasy point guard. Shane Larkin will start and look to make an impact tonight.
    Today, 2:52 pm
  • Bradley Beal (wrist) now without a cast
    Bradley Beal (wrist) said he is no longer wearing a cast on his broken wrist.

    Advice: He's still about a month away since being diagnosed back on Oct. 11. Beal has dealt with multiple fractures in his career, so he's becoming a bit fragile. Still, he's one of the best shooting guards in the NBA and fantasy owners shouldn't let him fall too far in their drafts.
    Today, 1:00 pm
  • Joakim Noah to wear a brace all season
    Joakim Noah (knee) will wear a knee brace all season.

    Advice: The team admitted his rehab took longer than expected, but Noah did say this week that he's not dealing with swelling. That could change as the year goes along, so he might need some rest days, which won't be a huge problem for them considering their depth up front. Fantasy owners probably shouldn't be too aggressive in targeting Noah.
    Today, 12:08 pm
  • Jordan Clarkson (calf) remains day-to-day
    Jordan Clarkson (calf) remains day-to-day after sitting out Tuesday's loss to Phoenix.

    Advice: The rookie isn't a particularly appealing fantasy option, but there should be some minutes available to him in L.A.'s backcourt. He'll look to carve out a niche during L.A.'s final two exhibitions on Wednesday and Friday.
    Today, 10:31 am
  • Cody Zeller (hand) skips contact at practice
    Cody Zeller (hand) sat out contact portions of Wednesday's practice.

    Advice: It's unclear what exactly is wrong with Zeller, and for now we're leaving him off the injury report. Coach Steve Clifford said recently that Zeller needs to limit his fouls to maximize his playing time this season, and he's not worth owning while Marvin Williams is starting at PF.
    Today, 10:19 am
  • Lance Stephenson (groin) sits out practice
    Lance Stephenson (groin) did not practice on Wednesday, leaving him questionable for Thursday's preseason finale vs. the Pacers.

    Advice: He has a week to recover before Charlotte's regular-season opener, so for now we're assuming he won't miss any games with the injury. The possibility that he'll sit out Thursday's exhibition vs. his former team is unfortunate, but we'll get to see Lance and the Hornets take on the Pacers in their first regular-season meeting in Indiana on Nov. 19.
    Today, 10:16 am
  • Hassan Whiteside waived by Grizzlies
    Grizzlies waive C Hassan Whiteside.

    Advice: Whiteside's length and shot-blocking ability earned him a training camp invite, and he averaged 3.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in just 8.2 minutes per game during the preseason. The Grizzlies' roster now stands at 16 players, so another cut is on the way.
    Today, 9:39 am
  • Grizzlies waive PF Earl Clark
    Grizzlies waive PF Earl Clark.

    Advice: Clark didn't make a big impression during training camp and his journeyman path through the NBA will have to continue in another city than Memphis. In five NBA season, he's played for the Suns, Magic, Lakers, Cavaliers and Knicks.
    Today, 9:37 am
  • Alex Len (finger) expects to return Wednesday
    Alex Len (finger) practiced on Tuesday and expects to return for Wednesday's game vs. the Clippers.

    Advice: He fractured his pinkie in a fluke accident during training camp and will wear a protective brace, but it'll be great to see him on the court prior to the regular season. Len slots in as a backup C for the time being, and he's not yet part of the equation for standard-league owners.
    Today, 6:23 am
  • Chris Kaman bitten, tested for concussion
    Chris Kaman received three stitches on his head after being accidentally bitten by Nuggets C Timofey Mozgov.

    Advice: Kaman said he felt "pretty good" after the game, but the Blazers tested him for a concussion and he's uncertain to play on Wednesday. He isn't holding the bizarre incident against Mozgov, either. "I went back pretty hard and I must've hit him in the chest," Kaman said. "He kind of folded over and his teeth went down on my head."
    Today, 6:14 am
  • J.J. Hickson (knee) plays 15 minutes Tuesday
    J.J. Hickson (knee) returned to action on Tuesday, scoring four points with two rebounds in 15 minutes.

    Advice: He took a seat after reaching his medical limit for playing time, and it's uncertain how long he'll face restrictions. The six-year veteran averaged 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks in favorable circumstances last year, and nobody needs to worry about him in standard leagues.
    Today, 6:07 am
  • Justin Hamilton likely for Friday
    Justin Hamilton, who has been out for the Heat with a heart issue, is expected to play on Friday.

    Advice: He's not going to have a big role with the Heat, but he's been out for the preseason with the ailment.
    Yesterday, 11:37 pm
  • Blazers to rest all starters but Lillard
    The Blazers are expected to rest all of their starters except for Damian Lillard during Wednesday's exhibition vs. the Lakers.

    Advice: Terry Stotts is just giving his core players a break during a meaningless game, and this has zero impact on any player's fantasy outlook.
    Yesterday, 10:14 pm
  • Nate Robinson (ACL) still on 15-minute limit
    Nate Robinson started at PG in place of Ty Lawson (hamstring) on Tuesday, but he finished with just four points and two assists in nine minutes.

    Advice: Denver's medical staff had Nate on a 15-minute limit, which should slowly increase during the first few weeks of the regular season. The 30-year-old is coming back from ACL surgery, and his backup role all but guarantees he won't help fantasy owners.
    Yesterday, 9:28 pm
  • Ricky Rubio scores 16 in preseason win
    Ricky Rubio hit 4-of-8 shots and a 3-pointer for 16 points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals in 22 minutes on Tuesday.

    Advice: Rubio has been scoring well in the preseason, but we doubt it carries over when the games count. He's an excellent source of assists and steals, but poor shooting and a lack of scoring keep him from being an elite fantasy point guard - at least for now.
    Yesterday, 7:38 pm
  • Chris Kaman playing well off Blazers bench
    Chris Kaman is averaging 10.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in his four games off the bench for Portland this preseason.

    Advice: If you're in a deep league that requires you starting two centers, Kaman may be worth a look at the end of your draft. And if Robin Lopez or LaMarcus Aldridge go down at some point, he'll become a must-own player.
    Yesterday, 5:04 pm
  • Nate Robinson starts again for Ty Lawson
    Nate Robinson will start at PG for the Nuggets on Tuesday, in place of injured Ty Lawson (hamstring).

    Advice: Robinson appears to be fully recovered from his knee surgery, while JaVale McGee is a game-time decision as he makes his way back from a leg injury. Along with Robinson, Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov.
    Yesterday, 4:42 pm
  • Magic extend Vucevic for four years, $53 M
    The Magic extended the contract of C Nikola Vucevic for four years and $53 million on Tuesday.

    Advice: 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.
    Yesterday, 4:07 pm
  • Cody Zeller limited by tendency for fouls
    Hornets coach Steve Clifford said that for Cody Zeller to reach his potential, "the fouling has to come down."

    Advice: Zeller averaged 4.3 fouls per 36 minutes last year and he's been even more foul-prone during the preseason. He scored 18 points in 30 minutes of action on Monday but won't get that much run very often, and he's not an option in standard fantasy leagues.
    Yesterday, 4:00 pm
  • Magic hope to push the pace offensively
    Magic coach Jacque Vaughn wants his team to push the pace offensively this season.

    Advice: "A lot of times it’s a mindset of being dedicated to running," Vaughn said. "We want to be aggressive, initiate and make [our opponents] react." Orlando ranked in the bottom-third of the NBA in fastbreak scoring last season, with the second-worst offensive efficiency (ahead of Philly). They should be a fun, fast-paced team this season with Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo leading the offense, though efficiency may once again prove elusive.
    Yesterday, 2:33 pm
  • Jose Calderon hopes to play on Wednesday
    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.

    Advice: 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.
    Yesterday, 10:15 am
  • Zeller goes for 18 and eight in start
    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.

    Advice: 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.
    Monday, 9:03 pm
  • Irving goes for 28 and seven in win over CHI
    Kyrie Irving scored 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting (1-of-3 from deep, 7-of-8 from the line) with three rebounds, seven assists and two steals over 39 minutes in Monday's exhibition win over the Bulls.

    Advice: Irving looked great while LeBron (18 points, seven boards, six assists, one steal, one block) was a bit passive and Kevin Love (nine points, 2-of-10 FGs, 13 boards) had plenty of rust. He was also getting torched by Derrick Rose on the other end, which probably contributed to his motivation to get it back on the other end. In any event, his ankle issue is a non-issue and he's ready to be drafted in the second round.
    Monday, 7:38 pm
  • Calderon leaves game with strained right calf
    Jose Calderon left Monday's exhibition with a strained right calf and did not return.

    Advice: Fisher said that injury is not serious and this will be one of many updates like this tonight.
    Monday, 5:05 pm
  • Stephenson (groin) will not play on Monday
    Lance Stephenson (groin) did not play in Monday's exhibition against the Hawks.

    Advice: Stephenson played on Sunday and the team is likely giving him precautionary time off in the back-to-back.
    Monday, 4:23 pm
  • Alex Len (finger) goes through full scrimmage
    Alex Len (finger) scrimmaged with the Suns for the first time since breaking his right pinky finger on Monday, and he's hoping to be able to play in 1-2 preseason games.

    Advice: Len may suit up for Tuesday's preseason game vs. the Lakers, but it's more likely that he'll return either Wednesday vs. the Clippers or Friday vs. the Jazz. He's going to be entering the 2014-15 season in a reserve role, and has really struggled with staying healthy as he was only able to suit up for 42 games last season. Len isn’t someone worth targeting in standard leagues.
    Monday, 1:22 pm
  • Lance Stephenson (groin) looks fine vs. Bulls
    Lance Stephenson's recent groin injury didn't prevent him from scoring 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting vs. the Bulls on Sunday.

    Advice: Stephenson missed his only 3-point attempt, he didn't get to the free throw line, and he added just two assists and one steal with three turnovers. He also grabbed Joakim Noah's hand at one point, just to mess with him, which makes you question how much he's matured this offseason. Nevertheless, the reigning league-leader in triple-doubles has enough upside to justify a mid-round pick in typical fantasy formats.
    Sunday, 7:53 pm
  • Joakim Noah: 'I have no swelling in my knee'
    Joakim Noah (knee) started Sunday's game vs. Charlotte and scored four points with seven rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.

    Advice: "I feel a lot better than I did two weeks ago," said Noah, who had offseason knee surgery. "It’s a work in progress, but overall I’m very happy. I have no swelling in my knee and I can keep building." We've repeatedly warned that his scoring and assists may dip this year with Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol leading the offense, but that shouldn't prevent Noah from being a top-50 fantasy option and a low-end No. 1 center.
    Sunday, 7:36 pm
  • Ricky Rubio hits 9-of-10 FTs w/ seven dimes
    Ricky Rubio returned to action after resting on Friday, finishing Sunday's victory with 13 points (2-of-7 FGs, 9-of-10 FTs), three rebounds, seven assists and one turnover.

    Advice: Rubio's fantasy value is anchored by elite steals and assists, but any uptick in his shooting numbers will be eagerly welcomed. He's improved his FG percentage both years since his rookie campaign, but that still left him at a paltry 38.1 percent last season (including 33.1 percent from downtown). If he can play in all 82 games like he did last year, his fantasy owners should be willing to overlook some terrible FG percentages.
    Sunday, 7:23 pm
  • Lance Stephenson (groin) plans to play Sunday
    Lance Stephenson (groin) plans to play on Sunday vs. Chicago.

    Advice: He has been dealing with a right groin strain as well as a toe injury so it is good to see him suiting up for a preseason game. Stephenson is a solid late-mid round pick with upside.
    Sunday, 3:51 pm
  • Gorgui Dieng has team option exercised
    Gorgui Dieng had his team option exercised on Sunday.

    Advice: He was a revelation at the end of last season when he replaced an injured Nikola Pekovic in the starting lineup. Dieng is penciled in as the backup center to Pek for now, but given Pek's injury history, Dieng might be worth a late-round flier.
    Sunday, 12:09 pm
  • Joakim Noah feeling good physically
    Joakim Noah is very happy with where he's at physically, and he's experienced no swelling in his knee.

    Advice: Noah isn't going to be asked to do as much this season with Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose helping out with the offense, but he'll still be worthy of an early-round selection.
    Sunday, 11:06 am
  • Elfrid Payton takes one FGA in 27 minutes
    Elfrid Payton missed his only shot from the field against the 76ers on Saturday to go with seven assists, one steal and three turnovers.

    Advice: He was 1-of-2 from the line and doesn't seem interested in shooting the ball, which is fine. Payton has a lot of work to do as a score, but he should be a factor in steals and assists. He's a low-end fantasy option at the end of your draft.
    Saturday, 7:13 pm
  • Nikola Vucevic (rest) is out for Saturday
    Nikola Vucevic (rest) is out for Saturday's preseason game against the 76ers.

    Advice: He is simply being rested considering the Magic are on the second game of a back-to-back set. Vucevic has been a beast in preseason and has solidified himself as a No.1 fantasy center. He is an early-mid round target with a lot of upside on a young Magic team.
    Saturday, 3:21 pm
  • Jordan Clarkson (calf) likely to play Tuesday
    Jordan Clarkson (calf) was deemed likely to play on Tuesday according to coach Byron Scott.

    Advice: Clarkson injured his calf in a preseason game against the Wizards a week ago and now looks ready to return. While he has looked strong in camp, there is simply not enough playing time for Clarkson to make a dent on fantasy rosters. He is off the radar in standard leagues for the moment.
    Saturday, 11:22 am
  • Irving lights up the box score in return
    Kyrie Irving returned from an ankle injury in the Cavs' 108-102 preseason loss to the Mavs on Friday, scoring 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting (including three treys) with three rebounds, five assists, one steal and three blocks.

    Advice: Irving did his damage in just 29 minutes and hit all four of his free throws and only had two turnovers for good measure. If you had dropped him on your cheat sheet at all due to this injury, it's time to pump him back up into the second round.
    Friday, 8:52 pm
  • Magic clicking as they dispatch the Pistons
    Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting with seven rebounds and two steals in the Magic's 99-87 preseason win over the Pistons on Friday.

    Advice: The whole team clicked tonight with Vucevic and Tobias Harris (22 points, nine boards) leading the way. Ben Gordon scored 10 points with five rebounds, four assists and a block in just 18 minutes, and Kyle O'Quinn posted 14 points with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two threes in a Magic box score that was productive throughout.
    Friday, 8:36 pm
  • Payton quiet and inefficient in win vs. DET
    Rookie PG Elfrid Payton had another quiet and also inefficient game on Friday, scoring six points on 3-of-7 shooting with two rebounds, eight assists, one steal and five turnovers.

    Advice: This could be a familiar sight early in the year as he figures out how to take care of the ball. Depending on one's format, his deficiencies in 3-point shooting, scoring, free throws and turnovers might make using him hurt more than it helps. But if he can stay in his lane and show moderate improvement while maintaining starter's minutes, he could have some upside especially as the year goes on.
    Friday, 8:29 pm
  • Rubio (rest) out on Friday; LaVine to start
    Ricky Rubio (rest) will not play on Friday against the Bucks and Zach LaVine will start in his place.

    Advice: LaVine is the backup point guard as of right now and he'll need the reps if he's to make that type of transition on Day 1.
    Friday, 4:42 pm
  • Lance Stephenson (groin) ruled out for Friday
    Lance Stephenson (groin) will not play against the Wizards on Friday.

    Advice: Born Ready is dealing with a right groin strain and has already had a toe injury. He had a breakout season last year with the Pacers, but we'd expect him to need an adjustment period with his new teammates and in a different system. Stephenson is a late-mid round target.
    Friday, 9:22 am
  • Kyrie Irving 'raring to go' for Friday night
    Kyrie Irving (ankle) is "raring to go" for Friday night, according to coach David Blatt.

    Advice: He's missed the last three preseason games due to his sprained ankle, but it was never considered serious. Irving has been a little injury prone and he's going to see his usage rate go south, so he's not a great target in the top 20 picks of standard drafts.
    Friday, 8:34 am
  • Joakim Noah plays 27 minutes on Thursday
    Joakim Noah played 27 minutes against the Hawks on Thursday with seven points, 13 boards, four assists, one steal and three blocks.

    Advice: His knee soreness seems to be behind him and he was active under the basket tonight. Noah is not going to be asked to do nearly as much, so fantasy owners shouldn't be expecting him to be a top-20 guy again. Plus, he did have some injuries before his big 2013-14 season.
    Thursday, 8:46 pm
  • Ersan Ilyasova (knee) not traveling with team
    Ersan Ilyasova (knee) is not traveling with the Bucks to Cedar Rapids and New York City.

    Advice: This could just be a precautionary measure by head coach Jason Kidd, as it was reported earlier that Ilyasova was simply dealing with soreness. His 2013-2014 campaign was littered with various injuries so potential fantasy owners may want to hold off in drafting him until his health status becomes a bit more clear.
    Thursday, 11:47 am
  • Alex Len (finger) will not play on Thursday
    Alex Len (finger) will not play in the Suns' preseason game against the Spurs on Thursday.

    Advice: Suns coach Jeff Hornacek did say that he was cleared to start working out, so there is a bit of optimism for the second-year big man. Len's inability to stay healthy is well documented and will keep him off fantasy radars for the time being.
    Thursday, 11:23 am
  • Alex Len going through shootaround
    Alex Len (finger) was back on the practice court on Thursday.

    Advice: He had his right pinkie taped and is not likely at 100 percent yet. Len hasn't been able to stay healthy in two summer leagues, two training camps and missed time last year in his rookie season. He's too risky to draft in almost any league despite some optimistic comments from the team.
    Thursday, 10:56 am
  • Pek loves the idea of playing 27 minutes
    Nikola Pekovic said that he loves the idea of playing 27 minutes per game.

    Advice: He is hopeful that the drop in playing time will get him to at least 70 games. Pekovic has dealt with bursitis in his ankle since last season and it's very likely he'll miss time due to an injury. While it might be unconventional, fantasy owners should target backup Gorgui Dieng over Pek.
    Thursday, 10:50 am
  • Nate Robinson will get some rest
    Nate Robinson will not play on Thursday.

    Advice: It's just some rest after his debut to the lineup last week. Robinson will only be a backup and is not worth drafting in most leagues.
    Thursday, 10:45 am
  • Lance Stephenson (groin) questionable for Fri
    Lance Stephenson is questionable to play against the Wizards on Friday due to a right groin strain.

    Advice: Considering he's questionable for a preseason game, it's probably a minor issue. Stephenson doesn't have a history of groin issues and there's no reason to bump him down your rankings. He should pick up some extra ball-handling responsibilities with his new team, but there might be an adjustment period.
    Thursday, 10:15 am
  • Knicks pick up Shane Larkin's 3rd year option
    The New York Knicks have decided to pick up Shake Larkin's third-year contract option, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

    Advice: After going back and forth, the Knicks have decided to guarantee the $1.67 million on his Larkin's for the 2015-16 season. The 22-year-old is averaging 2.5 points and 1.5 assists in 20 minutes per game during the preseason and isn't much of a standard league fantasy option unless Jose Calderon goes down with an injury.
    Thursday, 7:55 am
  • Marcus Smart plays well off bench
    Marcus Smart came off the bench for 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two 3-pointers on Wednesday.

    Advice: He hit 3-of-8 shots and played 30 minutes, and should have some nice value early in the season while Rajon Rondo sits with a broken hand. We expect Smart to start at PG while Rondo is out for the first few weeks of the season. He took over tonight's game late in the fourth quarter, prompting coach Brad Stevens to say "His M.O. has been competitive will."
    Wednesday, 9:59 pm
  • Nikola Vucevic double-doubles Wednesday
    Nikola Vucevic double-doubled on Wednesday with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while adding 11 rebounds and three blocks in only 25 minutes.

    Advice: It looks like the Achilles injury is behind him as he was simply fantastic tonight. He is easily a No. 1 fantasy center and this game only solidifies that.
    Wednesday, 8:04 pm
  • Elfrid Payton struggles in start Wednesday
    Elfrid Payton struggled in a start against Flamengo Wednesday with four points, four rebounds, five assists, and six turnovers.

    Advice: He is going to have a steep learning curve coming into the league, but he should be much better on most nights. Payton can provide owners with versatile lines like we saw on Monday night, but you will have to take the good with the bad. As long as he is the starting PG, he is a solid late-round pick in standard leagues.
    Wednesday, 7:59 pm
  • Ersan Ilyasova (knee) misses practice on Wed.
    Ersan Ilyasova (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

    Advice: He played 27 minutes on Tuesday and it sounds like he's just dealing with soreness. Ilyasova was a a disaster last season and a good preseason would have really helped his confidence. He had a minor knee injury back in 2013 and doesn't have any recurring issues, so he should be OK. Fantasy owners can consider him a late-round option in hopes he can return to 2012-13 form.
    Wednesday, 11:42 am
  • LaMarcus Aldridge planning to shoot more 3s
    LaMarcus Aldridge said that he'll "definitely" take more 3-pointers this season, and that coach Terry Stotts has already implemented offensive sets to get him shots beyond the arc.

    Advice: "Coach has been trying to get me to shoot them for the last two years," Aldridge said. "I definitely worked on it this summer and I feel more comfortable with it." He also studied tape to improve his reactions to double-teams, and all signs are positive as he enters a contract year in Portland. Any 3-pointers should be considered a bonus, as he's currently 24-of-116 from downtown in his eight-year career.
    Wednesday, 10:14 am
  • Ersan Ilyasova looks better on Tuesday
    Ersan Ilyasova, now over a bout with the flu, hit 4-of-10 shots and a 3-pointer for 10 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes on Tuesday.

    Advice: He's off to a rocky start again this season, but was fine tonight. We get the feeling you're going to see a different guy lead the Bucks on most nights, but Ilyasova is still an interesting late flier due to how dominant he can be when he is actually healthy and on a scoring roll.
    Tuesday, 7:27 pm
  • Jose Calderon invisible on Tuesday
    Jose Calderon started and played 26 minutes on Tuesday, but missed both his shots and finished with zero points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals.

    Advice: Not one of his better nights, but the starting job is his and he's a very efficient point guard. Once you need a starting PG at the end of your draft, he'll be a no-brainer option.
    Tuesday, 6:54 pm
  • Wizards pick up Bradley Beal's 4th-yr option
    The Wizards have officially picked up Bradley Beal's fourth-year contract option, keeping him in Washington through the 2015-16 season.

    Advice: Beal is targeting a return in late-November after fracturing a bone in his left wrist this week. His absence temporarily opens up more SG minutes for Glen Rice Jr., Otto Porter and even Garrett Temple, and forces fantasy owners to bump Beal back a round or two on draft day.
    Tuesday, 2:50 pm
  • Bradley Beal to wear soft cast for 10 days
    Bradley Beal (wrist surgery) will wear a soft cast on his left wrist for 10 days before he can resume working out.

    Advice: Beal's original timetable of six weeks would have him returning to the court around Thanksgiving and this new does nothing to push that timetable back. While missing a month of the regular season won't help his fantasy value, Beal still has enough upside to warrant a middle-to-late round pick in drafts. Glen Rice Jr. should see a big uptick in minutes with Beal out and is worth a late-round pick in standard leagues after a strong Summer League performance.
    Tuesday, 11:00 am
  • Raptors exercise option on Jonas Valanciunas
    The Toronto Raptors have exercised their fourth-year option on Jonas Valanciunas.

    Advice: In what was a no-brainer move for the Raptors, JV's contract is now guaranteed through the 2015-16 season. The 22-year-old had a bit of an up-and-down sophomore season, but finished strong with April averages of 16.7 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks. If Valanciunas can bring increased consistency to his game in 2014-15, he'll easily exceed his current mid-round ADP as one of the better centers in fantasy hoops.
    Tuesday, 8:23 am
  • Stephenson (toe) looks fine in return
    Lance Stephenson (toe) logged 27 minutes in Monday's preseason win over the Magic, scoring eight points on 4-of-9 shooting with three rebounds and four assists.

    Advice: Stephenson's "deep cut" wasn't a big deal and he's on track to produce the type of lines we saw in Indy, but with perhaps a bit more effectiveness playing with a team with better offensive players. That said, with the presence of the Big Cat Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker he'll have his work cut out for him to maintain last year's usage rate.
    Oct 13, 8:03 pm
  • Payton posts 14-6-5 line in first pro start
    Rookie PG Elfrid Payton scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting with six rebounds, five assists, one steal, one three and five turnovers in his first pro start on Monday.

    Advice: Payton has been praised by veteran Luke Ridnour for being ahead of his years and he was productive tonight. He has fantasy problems with his shooting percentages and 3-point shooting, but active lines like these shouldn't be a problem as long as he keeps a stranglehold on the starting point guard job.
    Oct 13, 7:33 pm
  • Elfird Payton listed as starter vs. Hornets
    Elfrid Payton will get his first start as a pro Monday night vs. the Hornets.

    Advice: We'd expect this trend to continue, as it doesn't make much sense for Orlando to start Luke Ridnour over their prized rookie. Payton isn't a guy that's going to light up the scoring column, and he will struggle with making free throws, but he'll be able to add enough assists and steals to make him more than worthy of a late-round selection in standard leagues.
    Oct 13, 3:46 pm
  • Jonas Valaciunas (rest) out Monday vs. Knicks
    Jonas Valaciunas (rest) will not play in Monday's preseason game vs. the Knicks.

    Advice: There's a heightened awareness around the league right now with all the injuries that have unfolded lately, so head coach Dwane Casey is just being cautious with his starting center. Jonas is one of a handful of centers in the league that can both block shots and hit free throws, and he profiles as a solid mid-round selection with some upside.
    Oct 13, 3:29 pm
  • Lance Stephenson (toe) will start on Monday
    Lance Stephenson (toe) will return to the starting lineup for Monday's exhibition vs. the Magic.

    Advice: Stephenson missed Friday's preseason game vs. the Wizards with a "deep cut" to his small toe, but obviously the injury was not serious, as he'll be suiting up on Monday night. Stephenson is not a great free throw shooter (71.1 percent), but that's easy to forgive with averages of 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.1 three-pointers per game. He should be able to get close to those numbers with his new team this season, and he makes for a solid mid-round selection in standard leagues.
    Oct 13, 2:39 pm
  • Kyrie Irving (ankle) does non-contact work
    Kyrie Irving (ankle) went through some non-contact work during Monday's practice, and coach David Blatt hopes he'll be ready for Friday's preseason game vs. Dallas.

    Advice: Blatt said that he'd like Irving to go through a full practice before he returns for a preseason game, and it looks like Irving will be a scratch for both Tuesday and Wednesday's exhibitions. Irving's value will take a substantial hit playing as a third-option on offense behind Kevin Love and LeBron James. However, he'll still be worthy of an early-round selection.
    Oct 13, 12:21 pm
  • Stevens says Marcus Smart could have a big role
    Coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart could have a big role in his rookie season.

    Advice: "You're inevitably drawn to guys that do the right thing over and over and over," Stevens said. Smart still has a long way to go with his shot and the team coaches are working with him. He'll probably shoot the ball too poorly to be a fantasy asset in standard leagues, so it's hard to get too excited about drafting him for long-term value in 2014-15. He's worth a look as a stop-gap option while Rajon Rondo (hand) is out, though.
    Oct 13, 10:42 am
  • Ridnour impressed with Elfrid Payton
    Luke Ridnour said Elfrid Payton is "beyond his years" as a point guard.

    Advice: "You can tell he's poised, understands the game & makes the right decisions," Ridnour said. He was great on Friday, making all four attempt from the field and a 5:1 assist:turnover ratio in 25 minutes. Payton is not going to contribute much in triples and he can't make free throws, but he'll be a Rajon Rondo-like guy and will probably have better field goal percentages.
    Oct 13, 8:13 am
  • Rubio, Wolves reach 'standstill' on extension
    The Timberwolves and Ricky Rubio have reached a "standstill" in contract extension talks, according to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press.

    Advice: Rubio seems adamant that he earn a maximum five-year deal, something the Wolves may not be inclined to give him. If the two sides can't agree on a deal, Rubio will be headed toward restricted free agency in the summer of 2015.
    Oct 12, 5:44 pm
  • Bradley Beal (wrist) expected to miss 6 weeks
    Bradley Beal is expected to miss six weeks after having surgery on Sunday to repair a non-displaced fracture in his left wrist.

    Advice: The injury was to the scaphoid bone in Beal's non-shooting wrist. A return in exactly six weeks, on Nov. 23, would cause Beal to miss the first 12 games of the season. This takes a significant chunk out of his fantasy value, but his late-season upside makes him worth a look after the middle rounds. Glen Rice Jr. should take on plenty of minutes at SG with Beal and Martell Webster (back surgery) both on the sidelines to start the season.
    Oct 12, 2:31 pm
  • Lance Stephenson (toe) returns to practice
    Lance Stephenson (toe) returned to practice on Sunday, and coach Steve Clifford said that he looked "good."

    Advice: Stephenson missed Friday's preseason game with a deep cut to his small toe, but this injury is not expected to be serious. He was moving well at practice, so we're going to consider him probable for Monday's game vs. the Magic. Stephenson will be a primary component of the Hornets offense, and a nightly triple-double threat. He's a solid mid-round target in standard leagues.
    Oct 12, 9:46 am
  • Bradley Beal has surgery, likely out 2 months
    Bradley Beal underwent surgery to repair a non-displaced facture of the scaphoid bone on his left (non-shooting) wrist on Sunday, and will likely be sidelined for two months.

    Advice: Glen Rice Jr. will likely enter the starting lineup, and he makes for an intriguing late round selection in standard leagues after an impressive Summer League performance. Beal will be risky mid-round selection in standard leagues.
    Oct 12, 9:38 am
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