Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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Mike D'Antoni: Sam Dekker could be SG/SF/PF 09-28-2016
Sam Dekker SF HOU
Mike D'Antoni hasn't ruled out using Sam Dekker as a power forward.

Houston Chronicle
Dekker was used as a small forward and even shooting guard to open training camp, but the Rockets are keeping an open mind. "[Power forward] could be his best position," D'Antoni said. "We don't know yet. We're going to try them all. That will help his career if he can play two, three, four." Starting PF Ryan Anderson is only an inch taller than Dekker, so it wouldn't be shocking if he earned a handful of minutes at the four this season.
Aaron Gordon (ankle) considered day-to-day 09-28-2016
Aaron Gordon PF ORL
Magic coach Frank Vogel said that Aaron Gordon is day-to-day with a sprained ankle he suffered last week.

Orlando Sentinel
"Just to know how much I worked in the summer ... and then to just be slowed down, it's a little frustrating," said Gordon. "I'm waiting to cash my chips." Vogel has indicated that he wants to put the ball in Gordon's hands offensively, and said that the loss of training camp days is "not anything we can't overcome." Gordon is a nice upside pick in the later rounds.
Suns will rely less on PG-initiated offense 09-28-2016
Brandon Knight PG PHO
The Suns' offense will rely less on Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe initiating action at the top of the key this season, according to GM Ryan McDonough.

Arizona Republic
"I think you'll see more of the ball with wing entry, corner entries," said McDonough. "A lot of play off the elbows with the movement off the ball, dribble handoffs, interchanges and things like that." The Suns' veteran guards have spoken about the need to "sacrifice" this season, presumably because of Devin Booker's ascendancy, and fantasy owners should pay close attention to the backcourt rotation this preseason.
Joel Embiid looks rusty in Sixers' scrimmage 09-28-2016
Joel Embiid C PHI
Joel Embiid admitted after Wednesday's scrimmage that he is rusty and "it's going to take time" before he's fully comfortable at game-speed.
"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball and shooting," Embiid said. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game." Sixers coach Brett Brown has been raving about Embiid, particularly his potential to anchor the defense, and he didn't sound worried about the inevitable rust on display during training camp. It's uncertain who will be starting at center on opening night, but Embiid remains an intriguing late-round fantasy target.
Nate McMillan names nine rotation players 09-28-2016
Nate McMillan G Sea
Pacers coach Nate McMillan plans to deploy a nine-man rotation this season, though he said that exceptional performances could force him to use 10 players.
The nine players with assured roles are Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner, Aaron Brooks, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Miles and Al Jefferson. Barring an injury or two among that group, most fantasy owners can safely ignore players like Glenn Robinson III and Lavoy Allen on draft day.
Myles Turner (concussion) still sidelined 09-28-2016
Myles Turner C IND
Nate McMillan is hopeful that Myles Turner (concussion) will be able to attend Thursday's practice.
It doesn't sound as though Turner could participate, however, as he was still in the NBA's concussion policy as of Wednesday. He has plenty of time to recuperate and his inactivity early in camp isn't a huge problem, since McMillan has already named him the Pacers' starting center. His upside is huge and he's steadily creeping into the early-middle rounds of most 9-cat drafts.
Shabazz Muhammad to play three positions? 09-28-2016
Shabazz Muhammad SF MIN
Tom Thibodeau suggested that Shabazz Muhammad could earn minutes at shooting guard, small forward and power forward this season.
"He's a terrific athlete," Thibodeau said. "He's strong. There's no reason why he can't be a great defender." Defense was Muhammad's main focus during the offseason, and he feels that he's already "gotten way smarter on defense" after a few days of training camp with Thibs. Even if Muhammad does earn minutes at multiple positions, he's a dubious standard-league asset while the Wolves are healthy.
Doug McDermott has "impressed" Dwyane Wade 09-28-2016
Doug McDermott SF CHI
Dwyane Wade singled out Doug McDermott as a player who has "impressed" him during training camp.

Daily Herald
"I think [not only] the way he shoots the ball and how fast he shoots it, but the way he puts the ball on the floor as well and shows his athletic ability," Wade said. "Playing against him and now seeing his confidence in his game, the kid's tough ... We need him make shots." The Bulls have a dearth of perimeter options, so having a player like McDermott earn a reliable role this season would be a big plus for the team. Just don't expect him to have value in 12-team leagues.
Dwyane Wade has a green light? 09-28-2016
Dwyane Wade SG CHI
Dwyane Wade said coach Fred Hoiberg wants him to shoot more 3-pointers.

Vincent Goodwill on Twitter
"That's a little new era for me," Wade said. He had a career-low seven total makes from deep last season and has never made more than 1.1 treys per game in his career. The Bulls are likely going to manage Wade's minutes and he's clearly past his prime at age 34. Unless he really slides in a draft, it's probably best to let someone else draft Wade. In other news, Wade said he wants to be from "Chicago, Illinois" and not Marquette during the pre-game intros.
Gerald Green will miss time with hip issue 09-28-2016
Gerald Green SG BOS
Gerald Green will miss the next few days due to a hip flexor injury.

Gary Washburn on Twitter
It doesn't sound serious and there's no talk of any re-evaluation. Green is going to have a chance to step up with Evan Turner in Portland, but he will really have to play lights out in camp. For now, he's behind guys like Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown for minutes on the wing.
Jaylen Brown can play some four 09-28-2016
Coach Brad Stevens said Jaylen Brown is capable of playing minutes at the four.

Marc D'Amico on Twitter
There have been some comparisons to Jae Crowder just based on where his minutes could fall, so Stevens' comments make sense. Brown will have a big adjustment from his days at Cal and will likely see his 31.4 usage rate last year get cut in half. He's not a great target in re-draft leagues.
Elfrid Payton misses practice again 09-28-2016
Elfrid Payton PG ORL
Elfrid Payton (hip) missed practice on Wednesday.

Josh Robbins on Twitter
He did say he's feeling better after his injury last week. Payton did also aggravate this injury, so the Magic will be taking their time. With Victor Oladipo in Oklahoma City, Payton should have more chances to produce. He'll have to be more efficient to be a reliable fantasy asset.
Wade: Rondo is the best PG he's played with 09-28-2016
Rajon Rondo PG CHI
Dwyane Wade said Rajon Rondo is the best point guard he's ever played with.

Vincent Goodwill on Twitter
What about Mario Chalmers, though? Wade has been among the elite for usage and has 5.8 dimes per game in his career. Some of that may have something to do with sub-par guards next to him. The Three Alphas should take time to adjust, but Rondo should get his dimes. He's a risky pick in the late middle rounds.
Eric Bledsoe down to 189 pounds 09-28-2016
Eric Bledsoe PG PHO
Eric Bledsoe said he's down to 189 pounds.

Arizona Republic
He listed at 205 last year and mentioned he'd like to keep his weight down. "I'm trying to keep that going for me, eating right, recovery, the whole nine, trying to get my body 100 percent," Bledsoe said. He takes a lot of contact and that's part of the reason he's suffered multiple meniscus tears. Talent and production have never been a question for Bledsoe, but he has to stay healthy.
Carlisle: Seth Curry is going to be a factor 09-28-2016
Seth Curry PG DAL
Coach Rick Carlisle said Seth Curry is "going to be a factor" for the Mavs this year.
He led the Mavs with 15 points during their scrimmage on Wednesday. Both coach Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban have really talked up Curry more than almost any new signing ever, so he's certainly going to get a chance. He will come off the bench and play both guard spots, so he can definitely get minutes in the upper 20s. Based on his finish late last year, he's a really nice pick in the last couple rounds of fantasy drafts.
Ben Simmons plays PG during scrimmage 09-28-2016
Ben Simmons logged some minutes at the point guard position during Wednesday's scrimmage.

Keith Pompey on Twitter
Simmons also spent some time at the two logging minutes alongside Dario Saric (at the three), and it's really no secret that the 76ers plan on putting the rock in Simmons' hands a ton as they utilize him as a primary creator on offense. That being said, shooting percentages, turnovers and limited production in the 3-point shooting category will more than likely be an issue for this year's No. 1 pick, so he's going be a more attractive asset in points-based leagues.
76ers want Joel Embiid to be the crown jewel? 09-28-2016
Joel Embiid C PHI
Coach Brett Brown said the 76ers want to grow Joel Embiid to understand he's "the crown jewel" and "the centerpiece of our defense."

Jessica Camerato on Twitter
Hype train at full steam? Interestingly, Embiid ran some minutes with some of the first-unit guys during practice on Wednesday, so he might even start for the 76ers. He's going to be limited and won't play in back-to-backs, but he's certainly worthy of a late-round pick.
Shabazz Muhammad expects to earn time at PF 09-28-2016
Shabazz Muhammad SF MIN
Shabazz Muhammad said he's planning on logging more minutes at power forward this upcoming season.

Jared Zwerling on Twitter
Tom Thibodeau said he likes the "versatility" he has at the power forward position, as he could go small with either Andrew Wiggins or Muhammad, although it's still tough to see Muhammad earning much more than 20 minutes a night while the team is at full strength. Yes, Muhammad is entering a contract season, but he's just not a very attractive fantasy target given that his only real skill set is scoring.
Brown hints he could use Rodriguez w/ Bayless 09-28-2016
Sergio Rodriguez G POR
Brett Brown hinted that there could be instances this upcoming season where Sergio Rodriguez and Jerryd Bayless share the 76ers' backcourt.

Tom Moore on Twitter
Rodriguez is one of the few guys in the 76ers' backcourt that can reliably knock down the 3-point shot, so it makes sense that he could at times share the floor with Bayless in order to provide the 76ers offense with another playmaker and 3-point shooter. However, even if there are stretches where Rodriguez and Bayless share the backcourt, it's unlikely that Rodriguez will be able to consistently earn enough minutes to make a difference in standard leagues.
Terrence Jones can play some five 09-28-2016
Terrence Jones PF NO
Coach Alvin Gentry said Terrence Jones can play minutes at center.
This is music to the ears of the TJ backers. He's been very injury prone, but his ability to space the floor and size at 6'9", 252 pounds, he is an excellent fit next to Anthony Davis. The Pelicans stole him at the minimum and he could have an impact this year. He's a very nice sleeper late in drafts, especially with talk of Davis playing more five.
Pop: 'Obvious' Kyle Anderson should play more 09-28-2016
Kyle Anderson SF SA
Coach Gregg Popovich said it's "pretty obvious" Kyle Anderson should play more.

Spurs on Twitter
Pop said Slo-Mo can play the three, four, and point guard. The coach also talked about the improvements in Anderson's shot, as well. Anderson has been arguably the best player at Summer League in the last two years and coach Popovich said he has to find a way to get him some run. With the Spurs somewhat thin up front, he's a sneaky late-round pick with upside.
Danny Green (quad) limited to shooting Weds 09-28-2016
Danny Green SG SA
Danny Green (left quad contusion) got on the court for a post-practice shooting session on Wednesday, although he's still yet to work out with the team.

Tom Orsborn on Twitter
Green is nursing a left quad injury, and while it's not believed to be serious, he likely won't take the court until he's 100 percent healthy. Green likely earned himself a spot on many fantasy GM's "never again" lists after a horrendous 2015-16 campaign, but let's not forget that he was a steady mid-round producer from the 2012 season all the way through 2015. He's someone to consider targeting towards the later rounds as a potential bounce-back candidate.
Malcolm Brogdon can handle the ball? 09-28-2016
Coach Jason Kidd hinted Malcolm Brogdon could handle the ball for the Bucks at times.

C.F. Gardner on Twitter
Hall of Fame guard John Stockton was at camp for the Bucks and Kidd mentioned Stockton helping Brogdon, Matthew Dellavedova and "a pretty big point guard" -- yes, that big point guard is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Brogdon was fantastic at Summer League and showed a lot of poise at Virginia last year. Plus, he might be one of the best shooters on the team. He's a name fantasy owners will want to throw on their watch list.
Thon Maker has sprained wrist 09-28-2016
Thon Maker suffered a sprained right wrist on Tuesday.

C.F. Gardner on Twitter
He is going to be re-evaluated this week, but there is no word of an MRI just yet. Maker is an unknown as the No. 10 pick in the draft, but the Bucks certainly like him for his position flexibility. He's a boom-or-bust pick late in Dynasty drafts or deep re-drafts.
Brown says Dario Saric 'trying to please' 09-28-2016
Dario Saric PF PHI
Brett Brown said that Dario Saric has been "trying to please" and "trying to fit in" through the first few days of training camp.

Tom Moore on Twitter
Saric did run with the first unit during Wednesday's scrimmage, although with this just being the first few days of training camp, we're not going to read too much into the lineups utilized during a scrimmage. Still, Saric does possess some upside with his ability to bring a little bit of everything to the stat sheet, so he figures to be worthy of a late-round selection on draft day.
Clint Capela will have to earn minutes 09-28-2016
Clint Capela C HOU
Coach Mike D'Antoni said he doesn't know if Clint Capela or Nene will start at center.

Houston Chronicle
D'Antoni said Nene really fits the Rockets system well. "We play a certain way, and it kind of fits his style for us," D'Antoni said. "He's going to be a playmaker for us from the top of the key. He can do a lot of things." Although, Nene is limited on minutes, so it should be Clint Capela getting the most burn at the five.
Lue says Cavs point guard will be committee 09-28-2016
Coach Ty Lue said the Cavs backup point guard will be handled by committee.
The Cavs have some major depth issues at the one and Kay Felder might get some minutes out of the gate. He was fantastic at Summer League and should be on the radar. On the other hand, we should see Jordan McRae and Iman Shumpert get some minutes at point guard.
Brown says Embiid looks good at practice 09-28-2016
Joel Embiid C PHI
Brett Brown said that Joel Embiid looked "particularly good" during Wednesday's practice.

Brian Selzer on Twitter
"I think Joel continues to impress," said Brown. "We're finding new ways to use him everyday." Interestingly, Brown put together a first unit of Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Embiid for Wednesday's scrimmage, so he's at least toying with the idea of putting Saric and Embiid into the starting lineup. Embiid may not play in back-to-back sets, and will likely have a strict minutes cap early on, so his upside will be capped.
Uncle P thinks he can be better 09-28-2016
Nick Young SF LAL
Nick Young believes he can be better under coach Luke Walton.

Inside So Cal
In other news, he said he wants to go by Uncle P this year. "I can still be me here a little bit and nobody here is harping on my personality no more. That'll be all right," Young said. You might remember Byron Scott saying Young's hair looked "like a bunch of worms up there." Even with a new nickname and a new coach, he can be avoided in fantasy.
Marc Gasol (foot) will get precautionary DNPs 09-28-2016
Marc Gasol C MEM
Marc Gasol (foot) will sit out games as a precaution this season, according to coach David Fizdale.

Memphis Commercial Appeal
"There will be some games we sit him," said Fizdale. "I'm definitely going to preserve him." Fizdale also said that he will "absolutely be careful with Gasol's minutes this season," which isn't a surprise since the Grizzlies' star center is coming back from a fractured navicular bone. If you needed a reminder of the high risk that Gasol brings as a fantasy target, this is it. Brandan Wright will likely take over at center whenever Gasol is rested, giving him sporadic DFS appeal.
Jahlil Okafor (knee) limited at practice Weds 09-28-2016
Jahlil Okafor C PHI
Jahlil Okafor (right knee soreness) was limited at Wednesday's practice.

Brian Selzer on Twitter
This is the same knee that required offseason surgery, and limited him to just 53 games his rookie year, so it is a bit concerning that's he's experiencing discomfort this early on. The 76ers are currently listing him as day-to-day, and we'll be monitoring his status closely throughout training camp. Okafor was only a late-round guy last year churning in averages of 17.5 points, 7.0 boards and 1.2 blocks per game, but those numbers could take a hit with Joel Embiid now a part of the equation. Okafor could also be traded, and the uncertainty regarding his situation makes him a risky standard league target.
Austin Rivers, Felton could earn some starts? 09-28-2016
Austin Rivers SG LAC
Doc Rivers hinted that there will be situations this upcoming season where he starts either Austin Rivers or Raymond Felton.

Orange County Register
"When you play Austin with that group, he can guard a better offensive player and [Chris Paul] can do what the rest of the league does - their point guards never guard the other point guard," Rivers said. "We want to do that a lot this year. We want to put a lineup where CP doesn't have to guard the best guy. Raymond can do that, and Austin can do that." Even with a handful of spot-starts, it's unlikely that Felton or Rivers will be able to establish themselves as worthwhile standard league assets.
Brooks says Satoransky can earn mins at SF 09-28-2016
Tomas Satoransky SG WAS
Scott Brooks said that in addition to earning some time at shooting guard, Tomas Satoransky will compete for minutes at small forward position as well.

J. Michael on Twitter
Satoransky will be fighting for reserve minutes with the likes of Trey Burke, Marcus Thornton and Kelly Oubre, so it'll be tough for him to establish himself as a worthwhile asset in most settings.
Brooks says John Wall looks 'fresh' on Day 2 09-28-2016
John Wall PG WAS
Scott Brooks said that John Wall (knees) looked "fresh" after his second consecutive day of practicing at the Wizards' training camp.

J. Michael on Twitter
Wall practicing for the second day in a row is certainly an encouraging sign regarding his recovery from the offseason knee procedures, although he's still not officially been cleared for contact. Wall is as tough as they come, but two knee surgeries in one offseason is nothing to shrug at. He'll be a risky early-round pick on draft day.
Alvin Gentry not set on starting Omer Asik 09-28-2016
Omer Asik C NO
Alvin Gentry said that he's not set on starting a true center next to Anthony Davis each game this year.

Justin Verrier on Twitter
With how awful Omer Asik has been during his time in New Orleans, it's not surprising at all to hear Gentry make this sort of statement. Gentry said that he'd consider starting Davis at the five spot for certain matchups, which could result in Terrence Jones earning some extended minutes as the Pelicans' starting PF. Jones is coming off a down-year, but he offers a decent amount of upside and is worth a late-round pick on draft day. The same cannot be said for Asik, who isn't really worth drafting anywhere.
Blake Griffin fully recovered from quad issue 09-28-2016
Blake Griffin PF LAC
Blake Griffin has fully recovered from the quad issue that sidelined him for a majority of the 2015-16 season.
"It just looks like a brand new tendon," Griffin said, after seeing the results with his doctor. "No tendinitis, no anything…The doctor was like, 'This is probably as healthy as your tendon's been since high school,' just because of the nature of how much basketball we have to play." Doc Rivers said that Griffin "looked great" during his first full practice with the team at camp, and Griffin added that he's cleared all the mental hurdles of the recovery process. He's in a contract year and entering his prime at 27 years old, so Griffin could be in for a career-year with the Clippers.
Lue wants to keep minutes down for Big Three 09-28-2016
LeBron James SF CLE
Tryonn Lue said that he wants to keep LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love's minutes down this season.

Fred McLeod on Twitter
Lue added that the number one goal for the Cavs this season will be going into the postseason with a clean bill of health, so don't be surprised to see these guys (particularly LBJ) pick up some random rest days down the stretch once Cleveland has locked up their seeding. While you could still make the argument that James is one of the best basketball players currently residing on this planet, the assured maintenance days make him more of a late-first, early-second round target.
McRoberts dealing w/ stress reaction in foot 09-28-2016
Josh McRoberts PF MIA
Josh McRoberts revealed on Wednesday that he's dealing with a stress reaction in his left foot stemming from a fracture he sustained during Game 6 of Miami's second-round series against Toronto.

Tim Reynolds on Twitter
The Heat have a massive hole to fill at the power forward position with Chris Bosh's (blood clots) tenure in Miami likely reaching its conclusion, but as per usual, the injured McRoberts won't be able to help much. Once he is healthy, he'll be competing for minutes with the likes of Derrick Williams, James Johnson, Justise Winslow and Udonis Haslem, so it'll be tough for him to see the floor enough to make a difference in standard settings.
Joakim Noah (personal) practices on Wednesday 09-28-2016
Joakim Noah C NY
Joakim Noah (personal) was an active participant during Wednesday's practice.

Steve Popper on Twitter
Noah missed the first day of training camp due to a family matter, but he's since returned to the team after the excused absence, so this should be the end of that storyline. Noah is 31 years old, has struggled with health throughout his career, and was not productive during his 29 games on the court last year. That being said, the move to New York could be just what the doctor ordered for Noah to reestablish himself as one of the elite centers in the league, so he's someone to consider as a potential late-round gamble.
Snyder says Alec Burks making good progress 09-28-2016
Alec Burks SG UTH
Quin Snyder said that Alec Burks (knee surgery, ankle surgery) is making "good progress" in his recovery, and he anticipates him being cleared for contact by the start of the regular season.

"From what I'm told and what I see, there's good progress, especially in the last week or so," said Snyder of Burks. "I think it gets to a point where we're going to see it go quicker... that would be my hope." Snyder went on to say that the Jazz are focusing on "the next 12 years over the next 12 months," with regards to how they handle Burks' rehab, and that Burks has been participating in everything except for the contact portions of practice. However, the injury concerns partnered with the arrival of Joe Johnson make Burks an undesirable target in most settings.
Gentry wants Galloway facilitating on offense 09-28-2016
Langston Galloway PG NO
Alvin Gentry is encouraging Langston Galloway to take on more of a facilitating role in the Pelicans' offense.
"At first I didn't think I would need the ball to be in my hands as much as I do, needing to facilitate," said Galloway. "Now I'm learning. Coach Gentry is staying on me, telling me 'When you have the ball in your hands, you make great decisions.' I keep the ball in my hands as much as possible and try to find my open teammates." Galloway could have a bit of an increased role in New Orleans while Jrue Holiday (personal) is out, but he's just been too inconsistent throughout his career to consider drafting him in standard leagues.
Stephen Curry says he wants to be even better 09-28-2016
Stephen Curry PG GS
Stephen Curry said that he wants to be "better" this year than he was during the 2015-16 season.

Yahoo! Sports
"I want to get better. I want to be better than I was last year," said Curry. "That's going to be the same, regardless if [Kevin Durant] was here or not." Curry had a pretty glorious season last year, taking home the fantasy crown and his second consecutive MVP trophy behind averages of 30.1 points, 5.1 triples, 6.7 assists, 5.4 boards and 2.1 steals per game on 50.4 percent shooting. Curry will likely continue his development as a player, but with the arrival of Durant, it's unlikely we'll see statistical improvement.
Joel Embiid confident entering rookie season 09-28-2016
Joel Embiid C PHI
Joel Embiid said that he feels like he's the best player out there when he takes the basketball court.

Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News
"I feel like I'm the best player on the floor," he said following Tuesday morning's 25-minute workout. "So I'm just going to do my job on the floor. I'm just going to do what coach [Brett Brown] wants me to do: Be a defensive piece, and when I'm needed to be a scorer, I'm going to be that." The upside here is palpable, although Embiid will more than likely be brought along very slowly after spending the first two years of his career on the sidelines. He could, however, have a strong finish once Philly finds a trade partner for either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor, making him a worthwhile late-round gamble.
Elfrid Payton dealing w/ strained hip flexor 09-28-2016
Elfrid Payton PG ORL
Magic head coach Frank Vogel said that Elfrid Payton is day-to-day after suffering a strained hip flexor.

Josh Robbins on Twitter
Payton hasn't had any issues with his hip in the past, and he's been very durable through the first two years of his career, so this isn't an issue we'd expect to linger into the regular season. Vogel has been making flowery comments about Payton this offseason, which is a stark contrast from the relationship that Payton had with Scott Skiles, so perhaps he can take a step forward during Year-3. The shooting percentages will likely remain an issue, but if you're seeking some production in the steals and assists categories during the later rounds, go ahead and give him a look.
Anthony Davis (knee) under no restrictions 09-28-2016
Anthony Davis PF NO
Anthony Davis (knee surgery) is not under any medical restrictions at training camp.

New Orleans Times-Picayune
Davis underwent a procedure on his left knee cap this summer, and also revealed during his exit interview that he dealt with a torn labrum for the past three years, but he's reportedly fully recovered from both those issues and is looking to enter the 2016-17 season with a clean bill of health. Davis was withheld from competing in Tuesday's scrimmage, but Alvin Gentry described the absence as precautionary saying everything the Pelicans do with Davis is predicated on him being "1000 percent" healthy for opening night. Target him towards the end of Round 1.
Tim Frazier expected to start sans Holiday 09-28-2016
Tim Frazier PG NO
Tim Frazier is believed to be the frontrunner to open up the year as the Pelicans' starting point guard with Jrue Holiday (personal) away from the team, according to John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

New Orleans Times-Picayune
Frazier said that he told Holiday that he'd "hold down the fort" until he returns, and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see him earn the gig for the starting point guard position after his impressive run during the month of April last season when he put in averages of 13.3 points and 10.4 assists per game while earning 33.4 minutes a night. With Holiday's potential return date uncertain, Frazier is well worth a late-round look on draft day.
CLE has made competitive offer to J.R. Smith 09-28-2016
J.R. Smith G CLE
Cavs' GM David Griffin said that the team has made an "incredibly competitive and aggressive offer" to re-sign unrestricted free agent J.R. Smith.
"As we have stated and coach has previously stated, we think very highly of J.R. and we love him as a member of our team, as a member of our locker room," Griffin said. "He was essential to our success and for that reason we have made an incredibly competitive and aggressive offer in re-signing him." Smith is seeking a multi-year deal that will pay him roughly $15 million annually, and while the two sides have not found a common ground there, they remain engaged in a dialogue. It would be surprising to see Smith leave Cleveland.
Klay Thompson clarifies sacrificing comments 09-28-2016
Klay Thompson SG GS
Klay Thompson recently clarified his comments regarding why he believes he will not be sacrificing anything with the arrival of Kevin Durant.

CSN Bay Area
"When you acquire the talent we did this off season, " Thompson began, "I don't think that's a sacrifice at all. I think that we are in an amazing position to do things that haven't been done here. So I'm not talking about points per game or minutes or shots, I'm really not sacrificing anything because you don't sacrifice when you acquire a player like Kevin Durant and get people like David West." The Warriors improved their roster significantly this offseason, and that will likely result in Thompson seeing fewer opportunities on offense, making him a somewhat risky early-round selection.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist worked on his shooting 09-28-2016
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF CHA
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said he put in time this offseason working to improve his shooting mechanics.

Charlotte Observer
"I don't think it's a secret that I've worked a lot on my shooting," said Kidd-Gilchrist. "I've been watching a lot of film this offseason of Iggy [Andre Iguodala] and Dwyane Wade. I've been doing that pretty much all summer." Shooting has always been one of the weaker points of MKG's game, and while it's nice to know that he's put time in to address the issue this offseason, we're not expecting him to suddenly become a knock down 3-point shooter. MKG's limited contributions of defensive statistics and 3-point shooting make him more of a deep league prospect.
Luke Walton heaps praise on Julius Randle 09-28-2016
Julius Randle PF LAL
Luke Walton said that Julius Randle was "phenomenal" during the Lakers' first practice of training camp.

Serena Winters on Twitter
"Julius was phenomenal," said Walton. "The way he ran the court today was incredible. He was phenomenal from the first drill we did of 3-man weave." Randle should have some increased opportunity operating in Walton's uptempo system, although he'll also have some increased competition for minutes with the offseason additions of Thomas Robinson and Yi Jianlian. Randle won't offer much defensive stats, but his ability to rack up the double-doubles makes him worth a late-round look on draft day.
Joffrey Lauvergne (eye) leaves practice early 09-28-2016
Joffrey Lauvergne C OKC
Joffrey Lauvergne exited Tuesday's scrimmage after being poked in the eye.

Erik Horne on Twitter
We'll go ahead and throw Lauvergne on the injury report for now, but it would be shocking to see this to turn into an issue that impacts his status for opening night. Lauvergne is going to be fighting for minutes with the likes of Enes Kanter, Domatas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova this season, so it'll be extremely tough for him to earn enough minutes to make a difference in most settings.
Cameron Payne tweaks right ankle at practice 09-28-2016
Cameron Payne PG OKC
Cameron Payne suffered a right ankle sprain during Tuesday's scrimmage.

Erik Horne on Twitter
The severity of the injury is not currently known, but it's worth pointing out that this is the same foot that Payne had surgery on this summer to correct the Jones fracture. We should have an update on Payne soon enough, but with a full month to go until the regular season tips, he has plenty of time to make a full recovery.
Wall feeling 'great' after first practice 09-28-2016
John Wall PG WAS
John Wall (knees) said he felt "great" following his first day of practice at training camp.

Washington Post
"I feel great," Wall said. "I'm a little fatigued but other than that I feel really good." While Wall didn't go through the live portions of Tuesday's practice, head coach Scott Brooks estimated that he got through about 70 percent of the work, and Kelly Oubre said that he was dunking during some drills. It sounds like Wall is making solid progress in his recovery from the two knee surgeries he underwent this summer, but until he's officially cleared to play, he'll remain a risky early-round pick.
Trey Burke ready for a fresh start 09-28-2016
Trey Burke PG WAS
Trey Burke said he finally has an opportunity to be himself with the Wizards.
"Last year I didn't have the opportunity that I'll have here. Towards the end of the year, after the deadline, they went their own route," Burke said. "I feel like I'm going to have an opportunity to be myself. I'm with an organization that will allow me to be myself. It's a better fit for me." With John Wall (knees) limited early on in camp, Burke may have to step up and play significant minutes right out of the gate. He's got career averages of 12.1 points, 4.2 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.4 treys on 41.3 percent shooting, so there's not much upside here. He's just a short-term option for deep-league owners.
Allen Crabbe has worked on his ball-handling 09-28-2016
Allen Crabbe SG POR
Allen Crabbe said that he worked on his ball-handling and some post moves during the offseason.

The Blazers re-signed him to a massive four-year, $75 million deal over the summer, so it's good to hear that he's still motivated. Portland GM Neil Olshey has called him a "foundational player" and head coach Terry Stotts obviously loves him, but we'd be a lot more excited about Crabbe's fantasy outlook if the Blazers didn't bring in Evan Turner in free agency. Crabbe averaged 10.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.4 treys on 45.9 percent shooting in 26.0 minutes per game last season.
Noah Vonleh's (thigh) timetable still unclear 09-28-2016
Noah Vonleh PF POR
Noah Vonleh (thigh) still doesn't have a clear timetable to return.

Oregon Live
He was given an original timetable of about 3-4 weeks on Aug. 31, so this is worrying. "I guess you could say I'm a little behind," Vonleh said. "But I'll catch up quick." He had a bone fragment removed from his right thigh, so the Blazers won't be in a hurry to rush him back. For now, he's been limited to light running and shooting. He's the fourth PF on the depth chart, so fantasy owners can ignore him.
Al-Farouq Aminu expected to start at PF 09-28-2016
Al-Farouq Aminu SF POR
Al-Farouq Aminu is expected to start at power forward for the Blazers this season.

Oregon Live
We've heard this report throughout the summer, but it doesn't hurt to get even more confirmation as training camps begin. Aminu looked great down the stretch last season when he played primarily at the four, so the move can be viewed as a good thing for his fantasy value, especially after the Blazers brought in Evan Turner and re-signed Allen Crabbe. If Aminu can hold off Moe Harkless, Meyers Leonard and Noah Vonleh in camp, he should be a standard-league asset after averaging 10.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers last season.
Jokic to spend a lot of time next to Nurkic? 09-28-2016
Nikola Jokic C DEN
According to Harrison Wind of BSN Denver, Nikola Jokic spent a lot of time talking with coach Mike Malone about playing two bigs together.

Harrison Wind on Twitter
This obviously bodes well for the outlook of both Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic, and Wind speculates that we could see a lot of that combination early on in the season. Kenneth Faried hasn't lived up to expectations and is a trade candidate, so the Nuggets will be very interesting to watch during the preseason. Jokic is one of Rotoworld's favorite targets after he posted averages of 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting during his rookie season.
Josh McRoberts limited with a foot injury 09-28-2016
Josh McRoberts PF MIA
Josh McRoberts was limited at the opening day of camp due to a foot injury.

Barry Jackson on Twitter
The guy just can't seem to stay healthy. The Heat have a huge hole at power forward due to the uncertainty around Chris Bosh, but McRoberts isn't off to a great start. For now, Derrick Williams, James Johnson, Udonis Haslem and Luke Babbitt will compete for minutes at the four, while Justise Winslow should spend some time there as well.
D'Antoni: Beverley will start next to Harden 09-28-2016
Patrick Beverley PG HOU
Patrick Beverley is expected to start next to James Harden this season according to coach Mike D'Antoni.

Houston Chronicle
There was some concern that Beverley might move to the bench with James Harden running the offense, but Mike D'Antoni wants his defense and 3-point shooting in the first unit. The Rockets will basically use a three-guard rotation that includes Eric Gordon, but Beverley is just a late-round target for owners in need of steals and treys. He missed some workouts earlier in the week with a cut on his foot, but he has since been cleared to return to full practice.
Stephen Curry plans to re-sign with GSW 09-28-2016
Stephen Curry PG GS
Stephen Curry made it clear that he intends to re-sign with the Warriors next summer.

"I want to be back here. I like playing here, and that's it," Curry said. He's hoping that his contract situation won't be an issue or a distraction, and he said that he will have the same answer throughout the year. Curry will earn over $12 million this season in the final year of his deal, but he will get a max contract if he wants it during the summer of 2017.
Report: Will Barton drawing interest 09-28-2016
Will Barton SG DEN
According to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post, multiple teams have called the Nuggets about Will Barton.

Denver Post
It's not clear if the Nuggets have made him available, but the report adds that teams have been offering them first-round picks. He has two years left on his deal for a total of around $7 million, so his contract is an absolute bargain. Barton will have trouble matching his minutes from last season with Jamal Murray in the mix and Wilson Chandler (hip) returning from injury, so we won't recommend drafting him until his situation improves. Gary Harris is the SG for fantasy owners to target in Denver.
Barnes believes he can help Kings' chemistry 09-28-2016
Matt Barnes SF SAC
Matt Barnes believes that he will be able to help the Kings' team chemistry.

Sacramento Bee
"I think I have a unique way of - no matter what team I've been on and who's been on that team, even playing with Kobe [Bryant] and those guys - of having my voice being respected." Barnes added that he has an uncanny ability to get through to people and that he wants to lead by example this season. Barnes is one of coach Dave Joerger's favorite players, so he could have some sneaky fantasy value once Rudy Gay is inevitably traded. He also wants to be known as the "Cousins whisperer", so there's that.
Joel Embiid felt 'great' at first day of camp 09-28-2016
Joel Embiid C PHI
Joel Embiid (foot) said he felt "great" during the first day of training camp.
Embiid was battling a flu virus on Monday night and wasn't expected to practice on Tuesday, but he showed up and gave it a go anyways. "I'm feeling great," Embiid said. "I'm a little disappointed that I missed the beginning, that I didn't get a chance to play. But I went up and back a couple of times and it felt great." Embiid put in about 25 minutes of work and participated in a "controlled" scrimmage, so this was a huge step forward for the intriguing big man. After two years of sitting on the sidelines, things are finally starting to look up for Embiid and his upside makes him worth the gamble late in drafts.
Kawhi Leonard focused on becoming a leader 09-28-2016
Kawhi Leonard SF SA
Kawhi Leonard said he focused on becoming a leader during the offseason to prepare for life without Tim Duncan.

San Antonio Express-News
"Just becoming a leader," Leonard said. "Just making sure I know what's going on on the floor in every position. Just being ready to really get my mentality at leading this group this year, that's pretty much it." Leonard was dominant last season and finished as the third best player in standard leagues, averaging 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 blocks, 1.8 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 50.6 percent shooting from the field. He's a stud and standard-league owners should feel comfortable taking him in the first round.
Aldridge intends to step up on defense 09-28-2016
LaMarcus Aldridge PF SA
LaMarcus Aldridge said he will need to step up defensively to fill the void left by Tim Duncan.

San Antonio Express-News
"I think everybody has to take on that burden, it's not just one player's job," Aldridge said Monday. "No one can be Tim Duncan, so that's going to be everyone's job." Thanks to Duncan, the Spurs led the league in defensive rating last year, but luckily for Aldridge he will be have some new help in Pau Gasol. Aldridge only improved as the 2015-16 season progressed with averages of 19.9 points, 8.9 boards, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks after the break, so while his days of being an elite fantasy option ended when he left Portland, it still makes sense to take him in the third round of standard leagues.
Danny Green has a left quad contusion 09-28-2016
Danny Green SG SA
Danny Green is dealing with a left quad contusion.

San Antonio Express-News
He suffered the injury during a workout last week and sat out of the first day of training camp (Tuesday). The injury doesn't sound serious, but Green is expected to miss a few days of action. For what it's worth, he was able to put up some 3-pointers at practice, so the Spurs are likely just being cautious. Green had Lasik eye surgery over the offseason and is hoping to bounce back after a rough 2015-16 season. He's a nice target at his discounted price in the later rounds.
LeBron says he is chasing Michael Jordan 09-28-2016
LeBron James SF CLE
LeBron James said his goal is to finish with more rings than Michael Jordan.

Cavaliers Nation
"It's a personal goal," James said. "I just never brought it up. It's my own personal goal to be able to be greater than great. I think that should be everybody's personal goal." He's got three titles, but adding a fourth to his name this year will be incredibly difficult with Kevin Durant joining the Warriors. Entering his age-31 season, James is still a safe pick towards the end of the first round in all formats.