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Player Notes

  • Jerami Grant says he'll likely decline option
    Jerami Grant said on Chris Haynes' podcast that he'll likely opt out of his player option for 2020-21 

    Advice: “Like you said, I feel like I definitely outplayed the $9MM that I’m making each year right now," Grant said. "But at the same time… I’d love to come to a conclusion or something like that with Denver, it just depends what we discuss and negotiate when the time comes.” He got off to a slow start in Denver but an injury to Paul Millsap catapulted him into a lot of success. In his last 20 games, Grant was posting top-60 numbers in 9-cat with 14.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 dimes, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 triples. With Millsap set to hit free agency as well, the Nuggets will likely have to choose between the two, especially with Michael Porter Jr. in need of more minutes. Today, 11:15 am
  • Derrick Jones Jr. not worried about free agency
    Derrick Jones Jr., an impending free agent, said his focus isn't on that right now. 

    Advice: “I’m just worried about the season being put back on, that’s all,” DJJ said. “I really care about that right now. I want to play basketball.” He's going to be in high demand this offseason and you'd think the Heat will do everything they can to keep him around. DJJ is having his best year as a pro, averaging 8.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks. He makes a living with his dunking ability, cuts to the rim, and spearheading Miami's 2-3 zone with his athleticism, but he still has some untapped upside as his jumper continues to improve. Today, 7:24 am
  • Cam Reddish wants to be known as a two-way player
    Cam Reddish says he wants to be known as one of the best two-way players in the NBA and that he needs to learn to adjust to how long the NBA season is. 

    Advice: “It’s pretty hectic, and the adjustment was a little crazy,” Reddish said of his rookie season. “But that was one of the biggest things I picked up on, how long the season was. I had to really take care of my body, eat the right things, stuff like that." He also wants to be seen as one of the top players in the league on both ends of the floor. "I definitely want to be known as one of the best two-way players," he said. GM Travis Schlenk has raved about his defense and while he was a bit erratic offensively, he has his entire career to get it worked out. Reddish should be a popular late-round fantasy target next season. Yesterday, 3:51 pm
    Player Note
    Cam Reddish Atl - PG,SG,SF
  • Woj confirms again that Durant won't play
    On a recent podcast with colleague Zach Lowe, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski again said that Kevin Durant (Achilles) is not playing this season. 

    Advice: He did rephrase his wording shortly after that though, saying he hasn't heard of any plans for a KD return. The Nets have been adamant all along that it will be up to Durant and the medical staff, but all signs continue to point to him waiting until the 2020-21 season for his Brooklyn debut. Yesterday, 10:01 am
  • Harrison Barnes in agreement with Damian Lillard
    Harrison Barnes said he agrees with Damian Lillard that he only wants to play again if the games matter for the Kings. 

    Advice: “I think Dame is right," he said. "If you come back and play, you want to be playing for something.” The Kings had found their stride prior to the suspension of the season with 10 wins in their last 15 games, and Barnes wants to see that through. "This group, where we’re at, we need to play, we need to play together, and playing for something is important.” There is growing optimism that the NBA is considering a 22-team format with a few regular season games before a play-in tournament, so it sounds like Barnes and Lillard will get their wish. Yesterday, 7:06 am
  • KZ Okpala earns praise from Miami's assistant GM
    Heat assistant GM Adam Simon said that KZ Okpala's defense is NBA-ready and that his offensive game is rapidly improving.

    Advice: “Once mid-January came around, we saw the strides," Simon said. "The greatest things he was doing were on the defensive end ... [H]e’s a good mid-range shooter. He’s extending out to three-point shooting and has been getting better at that." Okpala lost a lot of time while recovering from a strained left Achilles this season, but it sounds like Miami intends to keep him on the roster if/when the 2019-20 season resumes. Saturday, 10:10 am
  • Eric Gordon has lost 12 pounds
    Eric Gordon has already lost 12 pounds off his frame by way of track sprints and diet, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. 

    Advice: Gordon's knee has been a big problem in his career, so playing at a lighter weight does make sense to help him have a longer, healthier career. Gordon was able to return from a knee injury on Mar. 10 just before the NBA went on hiatus, and was able to get to 30 minutes. Even in 30 minutes, Gordon may not have much fantasy value while Russ Westbrook and James Harden are healthy. Friday, 3:08 pm
    Player Note
    Eric Gordon Hou - SG,SF
  • Knicks want to spread court, complement RJ Barrett
    The Knicks' approach to the offseason is reportedly "centered around finding players who complement rookie RJ Barrett."

    Advice: According to beat writer Ian Begley, "[S]ome in the [Knicks] organization see finding a lead guard who can knock down a shot as a priority for the offseason." New York was shooting 33.7% from deep as a team in 2019-20, fourth-lowest in the league, and their 9.6 makes per game were dead last. Marcus Morris was the only player on the roster shooting above 36.2% from downtown, and he was traded mid-season. It's obvious that the Knicks desperately need shooters to spread the court, which should inherently benefit Barrett's fantasy value by opening up driving lanes. Friday, 11:23 am
    Player Note
    RJ Barrett NY - SG,SF
  • Hall of Fame ceremonies postposed to 2021
    Jerry Colangelo said that the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will be moved to spring of 2021.

    Advice: According to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan, Colangelo said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates of Oct. 10-12, are "just not feasible" in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10 to explore spring dates, and Colangelo adds that the 2021 ceremony will be on a different day next year and the events will not be combined. The 2020 class is one of the best ever with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan as all-time greats, and it'll be another emotional day to honor Kobe's legacy. Wednesday, 6:33 pm
    Player Note
    Kobe Bryant LAL - SG,SF
    Not Active
  • NBA advises teams to limit personnel to 35 people
    The Heat are reportedly hoping to trim their team down to a "traveling party [of] 35 members," in line with guidance from the league.

    Advice: It's increasingly likely that the NBA will resume the 2019-20 season at one or more locations, and teams need to pare down their personnel to the essential. Heat beat writer Ira Winderman speculates that Miami could bring 17 players, six coaches, five members of the training staff, five 'basketball associates' such as video coordinators and shooting coaches, plus security and media relations. It remains to be seen how each team navigates such restrictions, which could prove critical in the gauntlet of the postseason. Wednesday, 7:10 am
    Game Time Decision
  • Tatum learning from Paul George and Kawhi
    Jayson Tatum credited part of his success this season to watching how Paul George and Kawhi Leonard run an offense. 

    Advice: “I knew that I would have a much larger role this season, handling the ball in pick-and-roll much more often,” Tatum said. “So I watched a lot of clips of Kawhi [Leonard], Paul George in pick-and-roll situations. Just developing that patience and that takes time.” Scoring has always been his bread and butter, but Tatum becoming a reliable playmaker has given him a clear path to superstardom -- he ranks in the 91st percentile for pick-and-roll ball handlers. His improvement as a player obviously translated to the fantasy side of things too, as Tatum was on pace to finish in the top-10 for 9-cat leagues before the season was suspended. Tuesday, 7:53 am
  • Rodney Hood (Achilles) will not return this season
    Rodney Hood (left Achilles surgery) said he will not return during the 2019-20 season "under any circumstance."

    Advice: That presumably includes the postseason, but the good news is that his rehab is progressing well. He was recently seen going through explosive, weight-bearing drills on a balance ball, and should have enough time to get ready for the start of 2020-21. When that will occur is anyone's guess, but Christmas Day has been suggested as a start date. May 23, 7:20 am
    Player Note
    Rodney Hood Por - SG,SF
  • Jonathan Isaac says sprained knee 'feeling strong'
    Jonathan Isaac said his sprained left knee is "feeling strong," and on Thursday he squatted the most weight he has since the injury.

    Advice: Isaac also ran on an anti-gravity treadmill this week, the first time he's ran since the injury in January. In late April, Isaac said that he'd be willing to return for the 2020 playoffs if the Magic organization was comfortable with it and his knee felt "110 percent." He's had over four months to rehab but the Magic won't take any risks at all with one of their franchise pillars. While it remains to be seen if he plays if/when the 2019-20 season resumes, at least he's trending in the right direction. May 22, 9:04 am
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