Content provided by Player News - Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
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|Jeremy Lamb (heel) practices on Thursday||10-23-2014|
|Jeremy Lamb G OKC|
Jeremy Lamb (bruised heel) returned to the practice floor on Thursday.
Anthony Slater on Twitter
|The Thunder recently exercised the fourth-year option on Lamb, a show faith for third-year pro who has struggled so far this preseason. With Kevin Durant out, Lamba and Perry Jones III have a huge opportunity to become consistent rotation players. However, until either can prove that they can contribute on a regular basis, they should be avoided in most fantasy formats.|
|Reggie Jackson (wrist) practices on Thursday||10-23-2014|
|Reggie Jackson G OKC|
Reggie Jackson (wrist) practiced on Thursday.
Anthony Slater on Twitter
|Jackson admitted that he "didn't feel comfortable" after practice on Monday, but he made it back to the practice floor on Thursday and is expected to play in the team's preseason opener. With Durant sidelined till December at the earliest, Jackson's fantasy value may be at its peak.|
|Kevin Durant out of cast, in walking boot||10-23-2014|
|Kevin Durant F OKC|
Kevin Durant is out of a cast and is now wearing a walking boot on his right foot.
Anthony Slater on Twitter
|KD had surgery to repair the Jones fracture in his foot, and has already made it clear he will not rush the rehab process. His foot is now out of a cast and into a walking boot, but he is still using a scooter for the time being. As the pre-injury number one overall fantasy pick, owners are hoping Durant returns to the court sooner rather than later.|
|Raymond Felton progressing to hydro pool||10-23-2014|
|Raymond Felton G DAL|
Raymond Felton (high ankle sprain) has progressed his rehab to the hydro pool, according to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.
Earl K. Sneed on Twitter
|Felton is beyond his original timetable of 10 days and it's starting to look like he may not be available for the start of the regular season. With Jameer Nelson locked in as the Mavs' starting point guard, Felton's fantasy value is limited to deeper leagues barring an injury to Nelson.|
|San Antonio Spurs waive G Bryce Cotton||10-23-2014|
|Bryce Cotton G SA|
San Antonio Spurs waive G Bryce Cotton.
Mike Monroe on Twitter
|In a move that won't make Providence Friar fans happy, Cotton and his non-guaranteed contract have been waived by the Spurs. He'll likely start the season in the D-League and does not warrant any fantasy consideration for the time being.|
|Michael Carter-Williams eyes Nov 13 return||10-23-2014|
|Michael Carter-Williams G PHI|
Michael Carter-Williams (shoulder) is planning to return to action when the 76ers take on the Mavericks on November 13, according to sources.
|This news would have the reigning Rookie of the Year missing just over a week of the regular season, so fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned about him missing the start of the season. There is a chance that the Sixers will be cautious with MCW and hold him out beyond his targeted return date, so fantasy owners with an open spot would be wise to grab Tony Wroten as a short-term fill-in.|
|Celtics waiver F Erik Murphy||10-23-2014|
|Erik Murphy F BOS|
Celtics waiver F Erik Murphy.
Jay King on Twitter
|After the release, Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens said Murphy is "intrigued plus" about joining Boston's D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He shouldn't have been on any draft lists before this news, but fantasy owners in the deepest of leagues can officially move on from Murphy.|
|Rajon Rondo ready for regular season?||10-23-2014|
|Rajon Rondo G BOS|
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said that Rajon Rondo (hand) "is more ready to roll than not."
Emily Austen on Twitter
|What this means is anyone's guess, but we're not ruling Rondo out for the season opener just yet. The 28-year-old has been practicing with a wrap over his surgically-repaired left hand and would be a week ahead of his original 6-8 week timetable if he's able to return for the opener. A return to the court would be bad news for Marcus Smart owners, while fantasy owners who took a mid-to-late round flier on Rondo would be rewarded with an extra week or two out of the point guard.|
|Marcus Smart misses practice with stomach bug||10-23-2014|
|Marcus Smart G BOS|
Marcus Smart (stomach bug) missed Thursday's practice.
Marc D'Amico on Twitter
|This isn't major news as the Celtics' preseason schedule is over and Smart will now have a week to get himself healthy for the start of his first regular season in the NBA. Teammates have been speaking glowingly about the rookie's hard work and fantasy owners would be wise to take a flier on Smart just in case Rajon Rondo is traded.|
|Jeanie Buss comes to Kobe Bryant's defense||10-23-2014|
|Kobe Bryant G LAL|
Lakers' team president Jeanie Buss responded strongly to an article that said players don't come to Los Angeles because they don't want to play with Kobe Bryant.
|"Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser, and I'm glad they wouldn't come to the team," Buss said in an interview on Thursday. "I have no doubt that Kobe will make people regret ever saying [those comments]." Bryant's fiery personality has been a topic of conversation for his entire career, so we're we're expecting nothing less than a motivated Black Mamba for fantasy owners who are willing to spend an early-round pick on the 36-year-old.|
|Rockets waive F Josh Powell||10-23-2014|
|Josh Powell F HOU|
Rockets waive F Josh Powell.
Shams Charania on Twitter
|This move comes as no surprise as the Rockets try to trim down their roster before the start of the regular season. Powell may catch on with the Rockets' D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Vipers, but it should go without saying that he shouldn't be on any fantasy owners' draft boards.|
|Rockets waive F Akil Mitchell||10-23-2014|
|Akil Mitchell F HOU|
Rockets waive F Akil Mitchell.
Adam Wexler on Twitter
|This move is very much procedural as Mitchell will now report to the Rockets' D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Vipers. Mitchell may get a chance to join the Rockets later in the season, but fantasy owners don't need to commit his name to memory.|
|Brooklyn Nets waiver F Willie Reed||10-23-2014|
|Willie Reed F BKN|
Brooklyn Nets waive F Willie Reed.
Michael Scotto on Twitter
|Reed was a long shot to make the Nets' final roster, so this move comes as no surprise. The 24-year-old played well in the D-League last season, but isn't a player fantasy owners should have on their draft boards.|
|Brandon Jennings out Thursday vs Sixers||10-23-2014|
|Brandon Jennings G DET|
Brandon Jennings (sore achilles) will miss Thursday's preseason finale against the 76ers.
Vincent Goodwill on Twitter
|With the start of the regular season a week away, this sound like a precautionary move to keep Jennings from injuring himself further. While Jennings has plenty of talent and will produce some stellar games, potential fantasy owners need to be aware of the poor field goal percentage baggage that comes with spending a later middle round pick on Jennings.|
|Lance Stephenson out for Thursday vs Pacers||10-23-2014|
|Lance Stephenson G CHA|
Lance Stephenson (groin) will miss Thursday's exhibition game against the Indiana Pacers.
Charlotte Hornets PR on Twitter
|It's a shame that we won't see Lance against his former team, but the Hornets play the Pacers on Nov. 19 so we won't have to wait long. With the regular season less than a week away, the Hornets are likely playing it safe with their free agent acquisition, so fantasy owners shouldn't shy away from drafting Stephenson in the middle rounds of their drafts.|
|Jackson says Amare Stoudemire key to success||10-23-2014|
|Amar'e Stoudemire F NY|
Knicks president Phil Jackson thinks Amare Stoudemire will be the key to the team's success in 2014-15.
|"One of the keys to the season will be the play of Amar'e Stoudemire," Jackson said. "Although his tender knees will require his playing time and his practice time to be carefully monitored, we hope he'll be able to play four rotations of eight minutes per game." While it's nice to hear Jackson speak highly of Stoudemire, the 32-minute cap he referenced is even better news for fantasy owners as STAT averaged just 22.6 minutes in 2013-14. The 32-year-old's best days are behind him, but he can still be a serviceable late-round flier if his minutes stay above 30 per game this season.|
|Blake Griffin accused of club altercation||10-23-2014|
|Blake Griffin F LAC|
Blake Griffin has been accused by a man of attacking a man during an argument over a photo in a Las Vegas nightclub last weekend.
|Griffin has not been charged after a 39-year-old man filed a battery complaint with Las Vegas police saying that the Clippers' star slapped him after an argument surrounding a photo. We'll have to await more news on this situation, but it doesn't sound like anything that should preclude fantasy owners from taking Griffin in the late-first or early-second round of their fantasy drafts.|
|Andrea Bargnani won't reveal results of MRI||10-23-2014|
|Andrea Bargnani C NY|
Andrea Bargnani (hamstring) divulged that he underwent an MRI, but would not reveal the results to reporters.
New York Post
|Bargnani admitted to reporters that he's frustrated by the injury and that he doesn't know when he'll return. This news puts the big man's availability for the regular season opener highly in doubt as it sounds like his right hamstring isn't healing as quickly as he would have hoped. With the regular season on the horizon, the former No. 1 overall pick could be in danger of losing his spot in the Knicks' rotation and isn't worth drafting in most fantasy leagues.|
|Dante Cunningham having trouble landing job||10-23-2014|
|Dante Cunningham F MIN|
Dante Cunningham said he is having trouble finding an NBA who is willing to take a risk on him after domestic violence charges against him were dropping.
|Investigators found that Cunningham's accuser fabricated the charges, but teams are still wary of the negative publicity that could come with signing Cunningham after the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals. "At this point it's about justice and it's about clearing my name," the 27-year-old said. "Clearly this adds a terrible stigma to my name. Now when anyone looks up Dante Cunningham, oh, wasn't he the one that was in trouble?" While Cunningham could help a team in need of a forward, his prior legal situation will likely keep him out of the NBA for the foreseeable future.|
|Chris Douglas-Roberts wearing smaller shorts||10-23-2014|
|Chris Douglas-Roberts G LAC|
Chris Douglas-Roberts has decided to wear smaller shorts in an effort to help his defensive game this season.
Los Angeles Times
|Don't adjust your television screen if you think you've turned into an old game from the 1990's. It's just Chris Douglass-Roberts. "They can't get any shorter," Douglas-Roberts said of his shorts. "This is the shortest they make these days. They want me to check the best guy and you have to have stamina, you have to be able to move. I'm not saying you can't move with bigger shorts, but I feel more comfortable in these." While his shorts may or may not help his game, fantasy owners can feel free to pass on CDR as he won't see enough minutes to be relevant in standard leagues.|
|LeBron James decides who has a big game||10-23-2014|
|LeBron James F CLE|
An unnamed teammate told the Akron Beacon-Journal that LeBron James has the ability to decide who he wants to have a big game.
|"He can decide who he wants to get going and who he wants to have a big game," an unnamed teammate said. "You saw it a couple weeks ago with Kevin [Love] and the other night with Andy [Varejao]." James' ability as a floor general is well-supported by his career average of 6.9 assists per game, but he had previously said that the Cavaliers are Kyrie Irving's team so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Fantasy owners who draft Irving and Kevin Love may be in for some unpredictable nights, but each of the Cavs' "Big 3" are still one of the better fantasy options at their respective position.|
|T.J. Warren breaks thumb Wednesday||10-23-2014|
|T.J. Warren F PHO|
Suns rookie forward T.J. Warren suffered a small crack in his left thumb on Wednesday, and has no timetable on a return.
Jon Bloom on Twitter
|This hurts the Suns' in the depth department a bit, but should have no fantasy implications.|
|J.J. Redick scores 13 before being tossed||10-23-2014|
|J.J. Redick G LAC|
|J.J. Redick hit 4-of-10 shots and a 3-pointer for 13 points, four rebounds and three assists before being ejected from Wednesday's preseason win over the Suns.||Redick argued a foul call late and got a little too demonstrative for the official's liking. He was hit with a couple quick techs and sent to the locker room. Redick was well under control and shouldn't face any harsh punishment, so look for him to be ready to roll for the regular season.|
|Chris Paul hits 12-of-18 shots for 34 points||10-23-2014|
|Chris Paul G LAC|
|Chris Paul returned from a night of rest and hit 12-of-18 shots, four 3-pointers and 6-of-6 free throws on his way to 34 points, five rebounds, nine assists, four steals and a block in Wednesday's gritty win over the Suns.||Both teams treated this as a real game, which was a nice change from some of the other games tonight. CP3 was fantastic, and if he could score like this on a more consistent basis, we'd be more likely to tell you to take him before guys like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook.|
|Struggling Matt Barnes goes 0-for-5||10-23-2014|
|Matt Barnes F LAC|
|Matt Barnes disastrous preseason continued on Wednesday when he missed all five of his shots to finish with two points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal.||He was 0-for-4 from downtown and has now hit just 3-of-36 shots in the preseason and exactly one 3-pointer. The good news is that he's (hopefully) getting all of this poor shooting out of his system when the games don't count. The bad news is that his confidence simply has to be taking a hit. As long as he's starting at SF for the Clippers, he'll retain his sleeper status. But if he doesn't fix his shot soon, Chris Douglas-Roberts could start to threaten his hold on the job. CDR wasn't great tonight, scoring just three points in 24 minutes.|
|Blake Griffin returns for 35 points||10-23-2014|
|Blake Griffin F LAC|
|Blake Griffin came off a day of rest and racked up 35 points, seven rebounds, two steals and no blocks on 14-of-26 shooting on Wednesday.||Griffin looked great tonight, but didn't block a shot (as usual), and struggled from the line at 7-of-13. His free throw shooting really took a positive jump last season, and while this line doesn't put us in panic mode, it does give us pause. Griffin is going to be a solid late-first, or early-second round pick in all formats. Owners just have to hope tonight's free throw shooting isn't indicative of what's to come.|
|Spencer Hawes posts 8 & 10 in start for DJ||10-23-2014|
|Spencer Hawes C LAC|
|Spencer Hawes started for DeAndre Jordan (rest) on Wednesday and had eight points, 10 rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes.||As long as Jordan is healthy, Hawes is going to struggle to see enough minutes to make much of a fantasy dent.|
|Gerald Green scores 23 off Suns bench||10-23-2014|
|Gerald Green G PHO|
|Gerald Green had 23 points, five rebounds, a steal and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes off the bench on Wednesday.||He scored 21 on Tuesday, but the odds are stacked against him for heavy minutes. Marcus Morris has played well at small forward, while P.J. Tucker could resume a starting role after he serves a suspension over the first three regular-season games. And any hopes of Green getting big minutes at shooting guard have been crushed by the return of Eric Bledsoe and the arrival of Isaiah Thomas. Green can play, and could still be a sneaky fantasy pick this season, but he's not worth investing in until the very late rounds of drafts, if at all.|
|Goran Dragic quiet while Bledsoe goes off||10-23-2014|
|Goran Dragic G PHO|
|Goran Dragic was quiet on Wednesday, hitting just 2-of-8 shots for four points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals in 26 minutes.||He missed all three of his 3-point attempts and what's more disturbing about his line is that Isaiah Thomas played just 17 minutes off the bench. Eric Bledsoe got hot and scored 27 points, and these three guards are going to cause a lot of headaches for their owners, as they'll likely take turns getting hot on any given night.|
|Eric Bledsoe lights it up for 27 in loss||10-23-2014|
|Eric Bledsoe G PHO|
|Eric Bledsoe hit 6-of-12 shots and three 3-pointers on his way to 27 points, one rebound, two assists and two steals on Wednesday.||He also hit 12-of-14 free throws, and looked fantastic tonight. However, Goran Dragic stunk, finishing with four points on 2-of-8 shooting, and Isaiah Thomas played just 17 minutes off the bench. This three-headed guard in Phoenix isn't going away any time soon, and while all three players are going to be worth owning, they're also going to cause a different hot hand from night-to-night. It was Bledsoe's turn in this one, while Thomas was hot coming in. Goran, you're up.|
|Miles Plumlee goes for 8 & 8 in loss||10-23-2014|
|Miles Plumlee F PHO|
|Miles Plumlee had eight points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes on Wednesday.||His brother, Mason, is a better fantasy option while Brook Lopez is out for the Nets, but Miles has a starting job in Phoenix until further notice.|
|Marcus Morris plays well again for Suns||10-23-2014|
|Marcus Morris F PHO|
|Marcus Morris started at SF again and hit 4-of-9 shots and two 3-pointers for 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a block.||He's been playing as well, if not better, than his brother and is in line to start at least the first three games of the season. P.J. Tucker is suspended for those games, and by the time he returns, it's possible Marcus could have the job full time. And if that happens, it's also not great news for Gerald Green.|
|Markieff Morris struggles again in loss||10-23-2014|
|Markieff Morris F PHO|
|Markieff Morris hit just 3-of-9 shots and no 3-pointers for 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal on Wednesday.||His preseason hasn't gone quite as we had planned, but we're still on board with Morris. Anthony Tolliver didn't do much tonight and any talk of Morris coming off the bench has been quelled.|
|Wayne Ellington starts at SG for Lakers||10-23-2014|
|Wayne Ellington G LAL|
|With Kobe Bryant sitting out on Wednesday, Wayne Ellington started at SG and had 11 points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and a 3-pointer.||If Kobe goes down at some point, Ellington may be worth keeping an eye on, but that's about it.|
|Jordan Clarkson returns from calf injury||10-23-2014|
|Jordan Clarkson G LAL|
|Rookie Jordan Clarkson returned from his calf injury and had six points, two rebounds and a steal in 15 minutes.||He hit 3-of-5 shots and looked great at Summer League this year, but it's still doubtful he'll be worth owning in fantasy leagues this year.|
|Jeremy Lin plays well...off bench again||10-23-2014|
|Jeremy Lin G LAL|
|Jeremy Lin came off the bench again on Wednesday and had 13 points, three rebounds, five assists and a block on 5-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes.||We still don't know if Lin or Ronnie Price will start on opening night, but we're still listing Lin at No. 1 on the depth chart. Even if he comes off the bench, he should get the majority of minutes and is still the guy you'll want to target on draft night. We're hoping he's coming off the bench as a precaution for his tender ankle, but it sounds like Brian Shaw is considering using Lin with the reserves. Stay tuned.|
|Julius Randle racks up 17 & 8 vs. Blazers||10-23-2014|
|Julius Randle F LAL|
|Julius Randle had 17 points, eight rebounds, one steal and no blocks in Wednesday's win over the Blazers.||The Blazers sat most of their starters and Randle looked good against their bench players. He'll come off the bench for the Lakers, but tonight was a good sign for his fantasy value. Consider him late in your draft, but chances are you can find more of a sure thing to draft. He'll be playing behind Carlos Boozer (who didn't look great tonight) until further notice.|
|Ronnie Price quiet in another start||10-23-2014|
|Ronnie Price G LAL|
|Ronnie Price got another start on Wednesday, finishing with eight points, three assists, two steals and two 3-pointers on 3-of-7 shooting.||Jeremy Lin came off the bench again and a position battle appears to be underway. But once Lin is completely over his ankle injury and the regular season starts, we still expect Lin to get the majority of minutes at PG - assuming Steve Nash is in street clothes.|
|Robert Sacre starts, Jordan Hill sits||10-23-2014|
|Robert Sacre C LAL|
|Robert Sacre started at center for the Lakers on Wednesday and had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists on 4-of-6 shooting.||Jordan Hill got the night off, but is locked and loaded as the starter, for now. Sacre will play off the bench, but you've got to be in a pretty deep league for him to even be on the radar.|
|Carlos Boozer quiet in win over 'Blazers'||10-23-2014|
|Carlos Boozer F LAL|
|Carlos Boozer hit 3-of-8 shots for eight points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 24 minutes against the Portland B-squad.||As usual, Boozer didn't block a shot, and it would have been nice to see him play better against the Blazers' bench (Damian Lillard was the only starter to play). Boozer is averaging 13.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and two steals over his last five games, but it's possible those numbers take a positive jump once the season starts. Julius Randle played well tonight, and is the biggest threat to Boozer struggling this season, but he's still worth a late draft pick in most leagues.|
|Chris Kaman scores 12 vs. Lakers||10-23-2014|
|Chris Kaman C POR|
|Chris Kaman played through a head injury on Wednesday and hit 5-of-7 shots for 12 points, one rebound, three assists, a steal and two blocks in 23 minutes.||He started for the Blazers, who rested all their regulars except for Damian Lillard, who played just 17 minutes. Kaman played fairly well against his former team and is having a good preseason, but will likely need an injury from LaMarcus Aldridge or Robin Lopez to make a difference in fantasy.|