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Player Notes

  • Rockets dealt a blow in Nene contract ruling
    The NBA and the Players' Association have ruled that Nene's contract with the Rockets will exclude more than $7 million in annual "likely" bonuses if he's traded.

    Advice: Houston was very creative in their deal with Nene, but this final ruling puts them in a tight spot -- as capologist Albert Nahmad wrote, the Rockets "now essentially have a fully guaranteed $2.6M salary, for a player they can’t play more than [nine] regular-season games without risking triggering another $2.4M in bonuses." The intention seemed to be using him as a trade chip, but now he's likely just an end-of-bench center on a roster that already includes Clint Capela and Tyson Chandler. Today, 4:06 pm
  • Nuggets give Tyler Zeller training camp deal
    The Nuggets have signed free agent center Tyler Zeller to a training camp deal.

    Advice: Zeller played for the Hawks and Grizzlies last season but only appeared in six games total, after averaging 6.7 points and 4.6 rebounds during the 2017-18 season. A solid camp could improve Zeller's odds of earning a regular-season deal, but it's unlikely to be with the Nuggets, who already have Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee at the position with Bol Bol as a tantalizing prospect. Today, 12:40 pm
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  • OG Anunoby back into a primary role
    Coach Nick Nurse said the Raptors want to get OG Anunoby "back out there in a primary role."

    Advice: Someone has to break out in Toronto, and it might be OG. The Raptors will spread Kawhi Leonard's usage around, but Anunoby figures to get the first crack at the bulk of the SF minutes. Plus, the Raptors have been excited about OG and Pascal Siakam before, so their front office is likely very fired up about seeing what he can do. His unknown ceiling makes him a target in the later rounds. Today, 12:09 pm
  • Jonathan Isaac now up to 240 pounds
    Jonathan Isaac is now up to 240 pounds and stands almost at seven feet.

    Advice: Last month, he took a big jump to 234 pounds from the 209 he played at last season. Isaac looked enormous at Team USA camp, and he still showed plenty of explosiveness on face-up scoring attempts. If he can stay on the court for 30 minutes at this weight, he'll have a shot at early-round value. He's a player we're targeting in the early-mid rounds. Today, 11:51 am
  • Aaron Gordon wants to be better in post
    Aaron Gordon said he wanted to be a better post-up player this summer.

    Advice: He was top 30 in post-up possessions per game last year, but he was not efficient on those plays at just 29.9 percentile. Gordon has been hesitant to be in a traditional four role in the offense, but this year the team may try to get him down on the block more. There's still some room for improvement, but upping his shooting percentages would give him some major untapped potential in fantasy. He's still a guy to look at the middle rounds of drafts. Today, 11:48 am
  • Casey expecting Kennard to help second unit
    Coach Dwane Casey said Luke Kennard had some knee tendinitis this summer.

    Advice: Casey also said he's not sure if he will start Kennard. "I see Luke having a big year this year, playing with a confidence, run a lot of offense through him with the second unit – first or second, I’m not going to make a total decision right now which way we’re going to go with that," Casey said. The coach predictably said he has high hopes for the third-year guard, and he did mention that he had some tendinitis this summer. Today, 11:39 am
  • Pistons still being careful with Blake
    Coach Dwane Casey said Blake Griffin (knee) is back on the court, but the training staff is working with him to not overdo it.

    Advice: " He’s not where he was at this time last year, physically," Casey said. After knee surgery just as the Pistons were knocked out of the playoffs, Griffin could have extra limits on his playing time and he is a strong bet to see some load management. Casey did add that Blake should be 100% at camp, so being a little behind right now may not affect his minutes in October. The coach also said the team may be more "judicious" with his usage rate this year. He's expected to slide in drafts given his injury history combined with some holes to his fantasy game outside of scoring, some passing and rebounding. Today, 11:33 am
  • Victor Oladipo (knee) still progressing
    Coach Nate McMillan said Victor Oladipo (knee) isn't "playing live" yet and probably won't play on opening night.

    Advice: Oladipo is progressing well and there are some videos of him doing on-court work this summer. However, it sounds like he's not ready for contact yet, and it would appear he's still looking at a return date in November or December. He'll be someone to stash, but expect a lengthy recovery with plenty of limitations on his playing time until the 2020 portion of the season. Jeremy Lamb, T.J. Warren and Aaron Holiday could benefit the most. Today, 11:28 am
  • Jones: Suns can play Ayton at PF
    General manager James Jones said the Suns could play Deandre Ayton at power forward if needed.

    Advice: Yikes. Jones said Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric and Cheick Diallo could also play some four. Ayton should see an uptick in output with Ricky Rubio running some more screen-and-roll plays, and Ayton is also expected to expand his range. He'll be coming off the board in the third round in just about all competitive drafts and he should be worth that price tag. Yesterday, 3:00 pm
  • Clifford happy with Fultz's progress
    Coach Steve Clifford said he's "happy" with Markelle Fultz's work with the team this summer.

    Advice: "He’s so talented, but just because of the situation [with his injured shoulder], it’s just about him taking it day by day," Clifford said. "Seeing how things have progressed have helped him and that’s just the smart way to go for now.’’ The coach added that Fultz has "been great" with the team, and that the No. 1 pick "has a love of the game." Fultz still doesn't have a timetable to return, and he continues to be one of the mysteries in the NBA. He's only a last-round flyer at best. Yesterday, 1:59 pm
  • Mo Bamba still in line for backup C job
    Coach Steve Clifford said Mo Bamba will be the backup center to start camp.

    Advice: "I’m a believer that you don’t lose your position because of an injury, and Khem [Birch] understands that and we’ve talked about it," Clifford said. "That doesn’t mean Khem isn’t going to play." The Magic limited Bamba at Vegas because of his season-ending stress fracture injury, but for now it seems like the team will allow him to get minutes in the upper teens behind Nikola Vucevic. Just keep an eye on him as a blocks specialist in deep leagues. Yesterday, 1:47 pm
  • Cliff expecting Vooch to shoot better from 3
    Coach Steve Clifford said he expects Nikola Vucevic to shoot it better from three in the 2019-20.

    Advice: "I just don’t see that he did anything that he wouldn’t be capable improving on this year," Clifford said. "It’s not like he shot the ball really well from 3-point range, it’s not like he shot 43 percent and won’t be able to keep that up." Vooch has improved his 3P% in each of his last three seasons to 36.4% last year, so perhaps there could be more shots outside the arc. He's coming off a monster season as a first-round guy, so he will be someone to target in the later teens and in the 20s for most category-based formats. Yesterday, 1:39 pm
  • Karl-Anthony Towns to run offense more
    Coach Ryan Saunders could give Karl-Anthony Towns some ball-screen action and allow him to push the ball after a rebound.

    Advice: President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said the Wolves will try to "find a happy balance" in KAT being a scorer and trying to mix in some Nikola Jokic-like impact to how the offenses run. KAT's trainer, Matt Mazarei, said that the big man has spent even more time on ball-handling this summer to lead up to this season. "Now the offense, if he doesn’t bring the ball up, he’s going to be the Jokic-type where he’s up top and everything is run through him," Mazarei said. "So if he gets it at the top of the key, he’s got plenty of stuff in the bag. It’s going to be a pick-your-poison type of deal for the defender." KAT makes a very strong case for the No. 1 pick in almost any format. Yesterday, 1:20 pm
  • Warren 'feeling great' ahead of IND debut
    T.J. Warren said on Wednesday that he's fully healthy heading into his first season with the Pacers, according to Scott Agness of The Athletic.

    Advice: Warren, who was acquired from the Suns in exchange for the 32nd overall pick in June's NBA Draft, has missed a total of 56 games over the last two seasons due to injury. While on the court the sixth-year forward is an effective scorer, as he accounted for 18.0 points per game in 43 appearances last season, but being able to stay healthy is the issue. With Victor Oladipo set to miss time as he continues to recover from the ruptured patellar tendon he suffered in January, and Bojan Bogdanovic now in Utah, the Pacers are going to need scoring from players such as Warren. Yesterday, 10:38 am
    Player Note
    T.J. Warren Ind - SF,PF
  • Isaiah Thomas (thumb) to miss 6-8 weeks
    Isaiah Thomas underwent surgery to repair the ruptured radial collateral ligament in his left thumb on Wednesday.

    Advice: Thomas, who is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, suffered the injury while going through a workout on Monday. He was projected to start alongside Bradley Beal in the Wizards backcourt, as John Wall will miss most (if not all) of this season as he continues to work his way back from a ruptured left Achilles tendon. The timeline means that Thomas will miss the start of the regular season. This opens up more minutes for Ish Smith, who like Thomas signed with the team as a free agent this offseason. Thomas' injury also means additional opportunities for undrafted rookie Justin Robinson in training camp. Yesterday, 9:53 am
  • Damian Lillard commits to Summer Olympics
    In a recent interview with James McKern of, Damian Lillard said that he plans on playing in the Summer Olympics next year on Tokyo.

    Advice: Lillard was on the early list of names for the group of players from which the roster for the FIBA World Cup was selected, but he made the decision to withdraw his name early in training camp. Jerry Colangelo and Gregg Popovich will be working with a much deeper pool of talent next summer when they put together the roster for the Summer Olympics. Stephen Curry has also committed to playing, and the amount of available talent should make for a fierce competition for roster spots. Yesterday, 9:47 am
  • Woj: Raptors, Isaiah Taylor agree to contract
    According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Isaiah Taylor and the Raptors have agreed to a partially guaranteed deal.

    Advice: Toronto was one of four teams that worked out Taylor this offseason, with Boston, Denver and Phoenix being the others. The point guard's signing fills out the Raptors' training camp roster, which has 12 guaranteed, five partials (including Taylor) and three non-guaranteed contracts. Taylor averaged 6.6 points and 3.1 assists per game for the Hawks during the 2017-18 season. He was waived by Cleveland last October while sidelined due to a stress fracture in his leg. Yesterday, 8:43 am
  • Begley: Nets players still favor signing Melo
    According to SNY's Ian Begley, Nets players remain in favor of the team adding Carmelo Anthony to the roster.

    Advice: Even though the Nets have 15 guaranteed contracts on the books less than two weeks before the start of training camp, the Wilson Chandler suspension (25 games) means that there could be an open spot. After the first five games of the season the Nets could move Chandler to the inactive list, thus providing the team with the opportunity to sign a player -- Anthony or someone else -- to a traditional contract. Or, as the team has only filled 17 of its 20 available training camp roster spots, the Nets could bring in Anthony on a non-guaranteed deal to "kick the tires" and see if a partnership would work out. But even with the players, some of whom worked out with Anthony last month, being in favor of adding the ten-time All Star it all comes down to whether or not GM Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson believe he's a good fit. Yesterday, 8:16 am
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  • Stephen Curry wants in on Tokyo Olympics
    Stephen Curry told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he plans to play in the Summer Olympics next year in Tokyo.

    Advice: Curry, who has won two FIBA World Cup gold medals with the United States, has yet to play in the Summer Olympics. He wants to change that next summer as part of what should be a star-studded roster after so many player passed on playing in this year's FIBA World Cup. The United States finished seventh, its worst result in the history of the event. But that hasn't shaken Curry's confidence in USA Basketball. "We're still the best," Curry told Nichols. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us in the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year." While Jerry Colangelo made some strong comments in the aftermath of the FIBA World Cup about remembering who went and who pulled out, it's going to be incredibly difficult for him to say "no" to the country's best when it comes time to pick the Olympic team. Yesterday, 7:50 am
  • Beasley banned from registering in China
    According to Sportando, the CBA has informed the Shanxi Loongs that Michael Beasley is banned from registering in China due to his five-game suspension for a violation of the NBA's anti-drug policy.

    Advice: A little over a month after he agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Pistons, Beasley was waived as the team needed to make room for Joe Johnson. The expectation then was that he would play in China, with Shanxi showing serious interest. But those plans appear to have been scuttled due to the CBA's ruling. What's next for Beasley is unknown at this point. Yesterday, 7:40 am
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