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Player Notes

  • Butler wants Hoiberg to coach him harder
    Jimmy Butler hinted that he wants Fred Hoiberg to coach him harder this season.

    Advice: "I told Fred, 'As much as you can, use me as an example,'" Butler said. "I want you to really get on my tail about every little thing because if Doug [McDermott] or Tony [Snell] or whoever it may be, if watching coach talk to me like that he's going to be like 'If he can talk to Jimmy like that I know he's going to come at me a certain way.'" Butler said something similar last season which put him in some hot water, but the difference this time is that he spoke directly to his head coach as opposed to the media. Their relationship has evolved in a good way and Butler is embracing his leadership role on the new-look Bulls. He's an easy second-round pick even with the additions of Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo. Today, 6:51 pm
  • Starting SG role up for grabs in Utah?
    Jazz coach Quin Snyder hinted on Monday that he hasn't decided if he will start Rodney Hood or Joe Johnson.

    Advice: To be clear, Hood is the heavy favorite to keep his starting job and is coming off a breakout season with averages of 14.5 points, 3.4 boards, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 42.0 percent shooting. The wing rotation could be pretty crowded with Johnson in the mix and Alec Burks (knee surgery, ankle surgery) returning from injury, but Hood is stil the SG for fantasy owners to target in Utah for his mid-round upside. Today, 6:06 pm
  • Hollis-Jefferson says his shot is improving
    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said that his shooting is getting "a lot better."

    Advice: "The more work you build in, the more muscle memory kicks in," RHJ Said. He's been spending "30 to 40 minutes a day" on his shot after hitting 26-of-68 (38.2 percent) of his jumpers last season. He's still a bit raw on the offensive end, but his defensive stats are intriguing -- he had per-36 minute averages of 9.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 0.9 blocks. He's expected to start and log heavy minutes on the wings, making him an interesting sleeper in fantasy drafts. It also helps that he is one of the few building blocks that the Nets have. Today, 5:45 pm
  • Evan Turner will play some PG for Blazers
    Blazers coach Terry Stotts said that Evan Turner will share backup point guard duties with CJ McCollum.

    Advice: It's the right decision for Portland because Shabazz Napier has really struggled at the NBA level. Turner is considered the favorite to start at SF, but will face a lot of competition from Allen Crabbe and Moe Harkless. Turner averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.1 turnovers on 45.6 percent shooting with the Celtics last season, but his ceiling in standard leagues is limited because he doesn't take many 3-pointers. Today, 4:33 pm
  • Doc Rivers says starting SF job 'wide open'
    Doc Rivers said that the battle for the starting small forward position in Los Angeles is "wide open."

    Advice: Both Luc Mbah a Moute and Anderson got some reps with the first unit during Tuesday's practice, and Wes Johnson is also another option for Rivers. Last season, Rivers routinely changed the starting small forward based on matchups, and that could again be his strategy this season. This situation has timeshare written all over it, and is one that should be avoided in standard settings. Today, 4:20 pm
  • Iman Shumpert runs with first unit sans Smith
    Iman Shumpert ran with the first unit during Tuesday's practice with J.R. Smith still working on his contract situation with the Cavs.

    Advice: Tyronn Lue said that Shumpert will be filling in for Smith until Smith's contract situation is resolved, which means he could be Cleveland's starting two-guard if the Cavs are unsuccessful in retaining Smith. Still, most reports indicate that Smith's signing with the Cavs is simply a matter of when and not if, so there's not much reason to waste a draft pick on Shumpert in standard formats. Today, 3:34 pm
  • Vasquez expects to be ready for opening night
    Greivis Vasquez (ankle surgery) is reportedly confident he'll be good to go for the Nets' regular-season opener.

    Advice: Players tend to be overly optimistic in projecting when they'll be able to return to the court, so take this report with a grain of salt. Jeremy Lin is the starting point guard in Brooklyn, and the development of Isaiah Whitehead will likely be a priority for the Nets, so expect Vasquez to be eased into things. He won't have much fantasy value at all while the team is healthy. Today, 3:15 pm
  • McDonough says Brandon Knight looking healthy
    Ryan McDonough said that Brandon Knight has looked "really close" to being 100 percent healthy during recent workouts.

    Advice: "Last year, he settled a lot for [jump shots] and things like that," said McDonough, "just because he didn’t feel like he had the burst to get to the paint, get to the free-throw line, absorb contact, bounce back up without potentially aggravating an injury." Knight's first 1.5 seasons in Phoenix have been ravaged by injuries, and while he's going to be coming into the 2016-17 season healthy, some questions remain about his fit alongside Eric Bledsoe and where he figures to be in the rotation with the emergence of Devin Booker. He's a risky mid-round target. Today, 3:09 pm
  • Burks (knee, ankle) not cleared for contact
    Alec Burks (knee surgery, ankle surgery) has still not been cleared for contact.

    Advice: Burks has been going through everything other than the contact portions of practice, but the fact that he's still not been fully cleared to play despite being three months removed from the arthroscopic procedure is concerning. Burks has had some serious issues with his surgically repaired left ankle, and he only managed to make it through 58 games over the past two years, so he's not going to be worth drafting in standard leagues. For what it's worth, Quin Snyder said he's hopeful Burks will be cleared for opening night. Today, 1:08 pm
  • LaVine says he's worked hard to be a starter
    Zach LaVine said that he worked his "butt off to become a starter" in the NBA.

    Advice: LaVine forced himself into the starting lineup last year, and had a strong finish after the All-Star break pumping in averages of 17.8 points, 2.4 treys, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game, which was good enough for mid-round value in standard leagues. Tom Thibodeau hasn't yet committed to LaVine as a full-time starter, and there's been talk of Kris Dunn perhaps starting alongside Ricky Rubio, so it'll be interesting to see how this works itself out over training camp. Whether he's coming off the bench of starting, LaVine should flirt with minutes in the 30s and is worth a mid-round pick on draft day. Today, 12:23 pm
  • Suns will talk extension with Archie Goodwin
    Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said the team will talk about an extension with Archie Goodwin's agent later in October.

    Advice: Goodwin is set to become a restricted free agent after the 2016-17 season if an agreement is not agreed upon by the October 31 deadline, but McDonough said talks will happen. "We want to see how it goes in training camp and preseason and then we’ll revisit it as a staff probably the last week or last 10 days of October," McDonough said. Goodwin will be stuck in a backcourt logjam to start the season, but is still worth a look in deeper fantasy leagues. Today, 9:06 am
  • Caris LeVert says surgery should fix foot
    Caris LeVert (foot) said his latest surgery should fix his foot for good.

    Advice: We sure hope so. He's had three foot fractures in his career, which caused him to fall out of the lottery. "[The doctor] took like a bone transfusion from my hip to my foot, took a bone graft from my hip and put it in my foot. Plus a bigger screw," LeVert said. His talent has never been questioned and the Nets are suggesting the 6'7" Michigan product can play three positions. There's no rush here, but LeVert will be someone to watch in deep leagues and in Dynasty. Yesterday, 5:00 pm
  • The Knicks are going to run a lot?
    Coach Jeff Hornacek told Courtney Lee the Knicks are going to "run a lot" this season.

    Advice: Hornacek's teams have been fast in the past while the Knicks have been really slow. Specifically, the Knicks have been in the bottom seven for each of the last four seasons, but some of that has to do with personnel. Lee isn't going to light it up in the scoring column, but he's a sneaky low-demand target with a high floor in the later rounds of drafts. Yesterday, 4:50 pm
  • Eric Gordon to see big minutes off bench?
    Eric Gordon is expected to rotate in with Patrick Beverely and James Harden for "the bulk of the backcourt minutes," according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

    Advice: It sounds like the Rockets will indeed put Harden out there as a point guard at times -- Beverley will almost certainly start there. If the Rockets do roll with a three-guard rotation, there's a very good chance Gordon gets minutes close to 30. He's going to be firing away for coach Mike D'Antoni, so he can fall in the 2.5-3.0 range for treys per game. That'll make him a fine late pick in standard leagues. Yesterday, 1:07 pm
  • Wes Matthews down eight pounds
    Wesley Matthews said he's dropped about eight pounds this summer.

    Advice: "You've got to understand that at this time last year, I wasn't able to run, wasn't able to move around," Matthews said. The story of his increased athleticism has been an underlying theme here. Matthews has always been a minutes monster and not even an Achilles rehab last summer could keep him below 33 minutes per game last year -- he played 35.4 after the break. Matthews also added he's excited to play more shooting guard. He's a really nice pick in the early late rounds. Yesterday, 12:34 pm
  • P.J. Tucker tried to shut it down in August
    P.J. Tucker (back) said he tried to shut it down in August before opting to have surgery in September.

    Advice: In other words, this problem was lingering for Tucker before he had surgery on Sept. 15. He's going to miss all of camp and is considered doubtful for the opener. T.J. Warren will get the first crack to start, but he's also rehabbing a foot injury. The Suns will take a look at Devin Booker and Dragan Bender at the three this year. Yesterday, 11:56 am
    Player Note
    P.J. Tucker Pho - SG,SF
  • Eric Bledsoe says Suns will have to sacrifice
    Eric Bledsoe said the Suns players are "definitely going to have to make sacrifices this season."

    Advice: "That's one of the biggest things we're going to have to do," Bledsoe said. Presumably, the Suns' only 20 points-per-game scorer last season is saying the guards will have to share the ball due to the emergence of Devin Booker. While the Suns are exploring Booker at small forward on occasion, it would be a big surprise to see him start there -- even with P.J. Tucker (back) out. For now, it seems like Brandon Knight is the best bet to move to a bench combo guard role. Bledsoe's biggest risk remains his injury history, but he's still a fine pick as a No. 1 fantasy point guard in the early rounds. Yesterday, 11:20 am
  • Malone: Having Wilson Chandler is a blessing
    Coach Mike Malone said having Wilson Chandler (hip) back is "such a blessing."

    Advice: The 29-year-old forward missed the entire year last season due to hip surgery. He's also been somewhat injury prone in his career, missing an average of 51 games per seasons since 2011-12. The Nuggets will likely want to use him in smaller lineups as a stretch four at times, but there's no reason to draft him in almost any format yet. Yesterday, 10:54 am
  • Malone: Jamal Murray will have growing pains
    Coach Mike Malone said Jamal Murray will have some growing pains.

    Advice: He added the Nuggets are prepared to endure the early-career struggles. Murray only played one season at Kentucky and most young score-first guards take some time to adjust to the NBA, so it would be a surprise to see have a big rookie season -- Devin Booker not withstanding. Murray has always said he wanted to play some point, but he's had a sub-1.0 assist:turnover ratio at UK and at Summer League. Growing pains aside, Murray could be a difference maker in the next few seasons. Yesterday, 10:39 am
  • D'Antoni: James Harden is basically the PG
    Coach Mike D'Antoni said James Harden is basically the point guard when he's on the floor.

    Advice: This isn't a surprise to hear whatsoever. While the perception is that Harden has the ball all the time, the NBA's leader in minutes last year ranked just 13th in time of possession per game last year -- the 12 ahead of him are all point guards. Teammate Eric Gordon has already said Harden can "easily" get double-digit dimes, so his ceiling in fantasy is sky high. He makes a very compelling case as the top pick in standard leagues. Yesterday, 9:46 am
    Player Note
    James Harden Hou - PG,SG,SF
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